One MCS - Annual Conference Highlights

When love and faithfulness meet

Mar 2012    

OUR OBLIGATION

“Our relationship with God hinges on faithfulness – God’s faithfulness to you and me. Because God has redeemed us, we have an obligation to love Him and His commands.”

PERSONAL, CORPORATE AND PASTORAL PRAYERS are flush with praise and thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness. The church regularly sings hymns themed on the faithfulness of God.

It is right for us to recognise, with thanksgiving, that every good and perfect gift that we receive comes from the loving heart of a faithful God. Each day we are assured that God never fails, that God keeps His promises because of His love and that “He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim 2:13).

Faithfulness hinges on what we value as important, combined with commitment to the object of our value. We live in an environment where it is growing exceedingly difficult to be faithful; one does not have to elaborate on this subject.

But the question that arises is: How faithful am I to this loving God in the midst of all these distractions and selfish desires?

Our relationship with God hinges on faithfulness – God’s faithfulness to you and me. Because God has redeemed us, we have an obligation to love Him and His commands (Deut 26:16-18). It follows that our greatest act of faithfulness is for us to embody our Redeemer’s faithfulness.

Paul’s letters state explicitly why and how we are to be faithful. If we say that we trust God, we have to offer our faithfulness to Him. We can never be as faithful as our Lord, but while we walk with Him, our faithfulness can be offered to the One to whom we have committed our love.

By living a life of redemption, we are saying that “He is Lord”, and in doing so we are identifying ourselves in Him and submitting ourselves to His authority. Such faithfulness is only possible by having a great vision and a great deal of discipline to walk the talk!

During this season of Lent, let us give serious thought about our responsibilities in our relationship with God because He is the object of our commitment and therefore, our faithfulness. Faithfulness grows out of a relationship. Offering our faithfulness to God who has redeemed us is true devotion.

Our daily faithfulness in reading His Word and being in prayer and meditation is truly our gift to God, for we are telling Him that we are learning to lean on Him, which simply says that love and faithfulness meet.

The Rev James Nagulan is the President of Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference

Putting faith to the test

THINGS HAPPEN that hurt terribly.

• A youngster breaks a leg, eliminating him from participation in a sports activity in which he was excelling;

• A tragic accident turns life into a nightmare;

• A “perfect” marriage is shattered by the sudden death of a partner;

• A promising career is fractured by a merger which puts a brilliant man out of work.

Such things put faith – even strong faith – to the test. e Bible says, “ The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” (Psalm 37:23). How? We cannot presume to know how God works in every case. But for starters:

1. The good man seeks God’s will in all he does. He does not make decisions without considering God’s will. He consults God’s Word, and prays for direction. en if problems come, he reasons that God may be directing in a way beyond human understanding.

2. He looks for good even in the painful experiences. ere will be times when even the good man fails to properly consider God’s will. Times when he will fail to consult the Word, and pray. Times when he will act impulsively, foolishly.

And even when he has fervently sought to do right there will be times when things go sour and tragedy strikes.

What does he do then? He places his trust in God – convinced that, though he does not understand how, God will bring good out of it.

Maybe there are times when God causes seeming tragedy in order to send us down a different road. More often, however, those painful experiences cannot be assigned to the Lord. He does not cause them – but He can use them. Even the terribly tragic experiences He can turn to our advantage.
– KneEmail.

Joe Barnett contributes to KneEmail, a Christian resource organisation.

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