10 August 2014 by Jason Law CM –
Who are we as Christians? Foremost of all, as Christians we are given not just the calling to know God, but also the privilege. It is what sets the foundation of our identities, and this knowledge is the single most important thing in our lives.
This year, Damansara Utama Methodist Church is renewing their commitment to God by returning to the basic and important things in relation to Him. As part of this commitment, on last Sunday, the 3rd of August, 2014, Pr Daniel Ho, the senior pastor of DUMC shared about the importance of knowing God, employing Deuteronomy 4 as a base for his message.
Every Christian is called to know God. This should be the starting point in the way we do things, in the way we think, in the way we talk with people, in the way we live our lives, and in everything that is in it. The way to a fruitful Christian life is to know God and His ways. How can we be successful Christians if we don’t even know who God is?
Knowing God’s Word
How do we know God? Primarily and the simplest way to know God is through knowing His Word, a reminder which has exist even since the time of Moses (Deuteronomy 4:1a,10,35). The Word of God gives us a comprehensive record and picture of who God is.
‘Through the Word, we know that God is awesome, majestic and glorious. We also know that He is good, loving, and faithful to the end. These things are so important to know because it will help us to go through tough times. Moreover, God’s Word also tells us that He is holy and righteous, and so for you and I as Christians, we want to live lives that is holy and that will take sin and compromises seriously,’ Pr Daniel shared.
Obedience To God’s Word
Besides knowing His Word, we must also personalize the Word into our lives by obeying it. Deuteronomy 4:5-8 counsels us about obedience to God’s Word, and reminds us of our privilege in having a relationship with God who is so close to us.
‘As we obey God’s Word, we will begin to experience His presence in a wonderful way. We will begin to experience great, amazing fellowship with Him, and we will begin to know Him more and more; that is always the reality. Not only that; obedience to God’s Word also shows our love for God (John 14:15, 23-24). Obedience and love are really two sides of the same coin. When we love God, we will want to obey Him, and when we obey Him, it is an indication of our love for Him.
‘More than that, we find that we grow in wisdom, insights and understanding as we obey God. We can all testify that the more we obey Him, the wiser we grow. The years of walking with God will give us His wisdom in handling issues and in our approach to life; wisdom not of men, but from God,’ Pr Daniel imparted.
Guarding Our Hearts Against Idolatry
Deuteronomy 4:15-19 warns us of the danger of idolatry. As Christians, all of us understand idolatry as worshipping images rather than God, but idolatry actually goes deeper. Pr Daniel shared that idolatry is in fact preoccupation with anything that draws us away from God, including our work.
‘God’s original design for us is to have dominion over everything in our lives, including our work. And as such, work must be under our control and not our masters. God gives us 24 hours in a day; that is God’s design for our best interest, and it must be enough for our work.
‘Our work must not draw us away from God, and when it is time to rest, we should rest. Otherwise, we will find that we’re borrowing time and end up in exhaustion. Ultimately, it will also affect our function at work,’ Pr Daniel counseled.
Not just in work but in all cases, idolatry has an effect. ‘Preoccupation always leads to addiction. Addiction always leads to compromise, and compromise will always lead to the corruption of our faith.’
Through Keeping Covenant With God
The Lord promises well-being when we keep covenant with Him. This covenant is not just for our generation, but for both us and our generations. ‘We must make certain that the knowledge of God does not die with our generation. Our children must know God for themselves. Share about the knowledge of God and teach them to your children and to their children after them. Start them young in their walk with God. It is the reason why we make it a point to conduct our Sunday services as a family worship.
‘It is not easy, especially for parents with young children, but it is very important, because it encourages families to worship together, and to learn about God together. As a church, let’s be patient with one another. If we want absolute silence in the midst of worship, you know what, that is found in a cemetery. The church is not a cemetery but a nursery. It is a place where families are nurtured together,’ Pr Daniel shared.
We must keep covenant not just in good times but in difficult times as well. One such example is the testimony of Ben Underwood. Ben’s remarkable story is also shared in the book written by his mother, Aquanetta Underwood, Echoes of an Angel.
Ben went blind at a very young age due to retinal cancer, but he never gave up on life and God throughout the short time he had on Earth. He shared that there were times when he struggled in his faith, but both him and his mother found ways (and a very unique ability) to adapt and hold on to God even in tough times. Despite his challenges, Ben’s courage and knowledge of God led him to live a full life when he was on Earth.
Further Links and Discussions:
Links to Ben Underwood’s testimony:
Ben Underwood Intro Video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUXh-X1iveU
Ben and Aquanetta Underwood at New Hope: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdDLEikgbWM
Link to the book, Echoes of an Angel:
Questions for discussion:
1. In order to know God why is it vitally important to know His Word? What are you doing each day in knowing God’s Word and how are you living it out daily? How have you seen God transforming your life, your situation and your work or study place as you obey His Word?
2. What has been or can become idol(s) in your life? How can you guard against this and how can your cell members help one another to do so?
3. In your keeping covenant with God how have you seen well-being, wisdom, understanding and blessings in yourself and your loved ones? What would you further do in order to ensure that you, your loved ones and the generations to come by his grace would keep covenant with God and why is this important?
|Share The Good News|