Lesson 13 -- fourth quarter 1999
November 28, 1999
© Copyright 1999, Christian Light Publications
How can I possibly serve a holy God?! One aspect of holiness is purity through and through. My heart still succumbs to such impurities as anger, bitterness, suspicion, lust and evil speaking. Is it really possible for me to serve Him? "Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God" does not seem to give me much leeway or hope.
How can I possibly serve a jealous God?! One aspect of His jealousy for me is that He wants me only, solely and completely for Himself. But my heart so many times still lives allegiance to me, to stuff, to comfort, and to the world. Can I ever hope to serve Him? "Ye cannot serve the LORD: for . . . he is a jealous God" certainly seems to close the door for me.
I have decided to leave those issues hanging instead of responding to them here. Why would I do such a thing? Because I want you and your class to do so. I want you to search the Scriptures for the hope and assurance that we can indeed serve a holy, jealous God despite our failings. I want you to challenge and encourage each other with the findings of your research. (Maybe this is also a good time to remind you of lesson 8 -- ask your parents!) I want you to take what you learn and rediscover . . . and let that truth move you forward and deeper in your service to God.
At the close of today's lesson text I see a huge challenge for me. Think about this. The Israelites had a strong track record for veering off the track! But they did not allow that to deter them from committing themselves to staying on the track from then on. Furthermore, they covenanted together; they didn't content themselves with making a personal decision in the quietness of their own hearts or homes. That's what I think of when I read, "Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day."
The challenge for me (and for you)? Quite clear, don't you agree? Committing ourselves together to choose the Lord to serve Him has an immense amount of value. We don't walk the narrow way alone nor do we walk it with God alone. We are the church! We are "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people that we should shew forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvellous light"! When was the last time I covenanted with fellow believers to be faithful to the Lord? Sigh!
Well, in closing this quarter and this lesson, let me turn your attention back to you and those gathered with you. Covenant together to make the Lord your ongoing life choice. Covenant together to serve Him faithfully. Covenant together to be a help, an encouragement and a guardian to each other. "Stand fast in the faith . . . be strong."
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