quinta-feira, 3 de janeiro de 2019
GREAT EXPLOITS - by Pr. Les Bowling
Text written by Pr. Les Bowling - Eagle Rock Church - Pickerington, OH
"And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days." Dan. 11:31-32
What are great exploits? What are these great things that people who know their God do? Often we define things according to the world's definitions. We think mighty exploits are great deeds done.
We think of people whose actions have impacted the world. We think of the glory and the fame.
Truly mighty exploits - ones that count for eternity - can only be done by people who know their God. It then follows that we must look for mighty exploits from God's point of view, not man's.
What does God look for in these great deeds?
Jesus gave the first commandment as loving God completely. All mighty exploits flow from a love of God. Any other motive is self-seeking and renders great actions eternally impotent. Our love for God must be first. We act out of our desire to please him in all actions - great and small.
God looks for men and women, boys and girls, who will obey His instructions. Too many people want to decide for themselves what is right or wrong. That was the failure of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It is not a choice God has given mankind. He has already declared what is right and wrong. Our choice is simply obedience or disobedience.
Mighty exploits can only be done by people in submission both to God and to His leadership. They know what it is like to be under authority, and so they have authority.
To do mighty exploits we must consider the cause of our King greater than our own lives. We must be willing to put it all on the line. We cannot seek our own glory, fame, or satisfaction. We are to be consumed with the Kingdom of God.
Mighty exploits can only be done by people who will stand on Godly principles no matter what the cost. They do not violate the Covenant. They will not be moved by selfish ambition. They will not compromise. They will treat everyone ethically and fairly no matter what the cost.
What do great deeds look like?
Jesus did His greatest work on the cross. To the world it looked like failure, to God it was the greatest victory possible.
One of Job's mightiest exploits was when he praised God after he lost everything, including his health.
I once read in Voice of the Martyrs how a Christian family helped a murderous guerrilla leader get a life-saving operation and then cared for him as he was recovering, including having him spend Christmas with them. He later said it was the first time anyone had given him a gift. It was a mighty exploit.
Great exploits are done by people who are the love of God expressed in their community.
Yes, they will oppose evil, but it is far more than that. Remember that evil is overcome by doing good. The end never justifies the means. The ends and the means must both be righteous. We can't go around shooting abortion doctors, for example?
How many of us have had such doctors into our homes for a friendly meal?
I know I haven't.
The price we pay for doing what is right may be high - sword, flame, captivity. In the long run; however, we will win and the Lord will abundantly reward us for any sacrifice on His behalf.
We need to clear our minds of the clutter that often clouds our vision. We need to begin to see things how God sees them and to express the unconditional love of God. Then we will do mighty exploits that will echo for eternity even if they are unrecognized on earth. This is not something for supersaints, but for everyone one of God's people. I am talking to a mirror, because I need to consider this so much more in my own life.
a) You are Strong
b) You are Brave
c) You are Wise
d) You are Willing
e) You are Winning
f) You are Overcoming
You have what you need to have to do what God commands us to do.
Revelations 19:10... "the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy."
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