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07 February, 2014

Deuteronomy, Salvation Gratitude and Love! 1/2

I come to love the book of Deuteronomy because it is filled with God’s
guidance to keep up the relationship we have with Him. It is also filled with God’s love and protection for his own. In return He asks obedience that comes right from the heart. Not just looking to play the part on the outside and to conform. But the motive behind it all should be our love for Him and in Deuteronomy 6:24 Moses made it clearer to them. I understand where God is coming from. I can also see why the Christian life He taught me, is so busy and requires every ounce of one’s strength and every bit of who you are, must abide. A closer look at the book of Deuteronomy will show that before love for God can dominate our lives, we need to acquire something of a monumental importance in our salvation, which is GRATITUDE. Read Deuteronomy for yourself, and see how many times God emphasized the importance of gratitude and the role it plays in this life He has in mind for us. Look at how many times He repeated how they were freed from Egypt, how well He cared for them in the wilderness and how not only they need to keep what He has done for them alive in their hearts, but they need to drill them down into their children so they too, could always be fearful and grateful.

This gratitude I mentioned above, is acquired when first Salvation touches you on the inside, I am not talking about the counterfeit Salvation we have today where we get people to say the sinner’s prayer under duress or through manipulation. I am talking about those who were touched by God and in their encounter with Him, they have reached the point where they felt the need to say even in their hearts “God save me” or “what do I need to do to be saved?” This encounter would have come in very quietly or with a bang. Whichever way it comes in, your conscience is pricked and all of the sudden you realize you are a sinner in need of a saviour. This is the difference between man made Salvation and God’s. With God in the process, even if we do not know what the next step is, but one thing for sure, you know of your condition within.

The point I am trying to make here is that gratitude and humility work together and both come from God. We do not need to work hard to live a grateful and humble life before God, because we can see our nothingness and how without Him we can do nothing.  All we need to exercise this humility in everything that we do is abiding in Christ. As we abide in Him, we make use of Christ’s humility. It is a phenomenal thing to see how, over the years the humility we possess on the inside is growing as we grow spiritually. Like the agape love of God, it flows through you. It is like there is something within you that keeps recalling those moments when we first found out we are nothing but miserable sinners who deserve hell. Yet, God in His grace not only sent His son to die for us, but you have something else to be grateful for, because somehow you have been chosen amongst billions who will be going to hell and your eyes were opened to your condition. I don’t know about you, but often times I try to make sense of the fact that I have been called and chosen to see and recognize that I am a sinner in need of Him, why me instead of someone else? When you can see your salvation through His eyes, love simply bursts out of your heart like a broken water main gushing out a river of water. Then, God takes over this love and exchange it for His Agape Love. This is the result of Salvation, and this is the life giver living out His life within us.

Now, some of you might say, well, not all of us have to see our salvation this way and it is not necessary. I am here to tell you that you either have a defective Salvation or you have made use of the free will that God has provided for you and like the Israelites you chose the wrong path. I urge you to examine your heart honestly and openly before God. If you find out that you cannot bring yourself to even examine your heart in the light of God, then that is one more reason to panic because God’s Salvation in your heart will be enough to get you there and drive you to your knees.

What is worse is that some of you call yourself Christian for decades, you will read this and feel like something is wrong with this picture, but will dismiss it all simply because you do not have the courage to face yourself.  There is a strong chance that the feeling you are trying so hard to suppress is the shame of finding out that you have no idea what this gratitude and humility are all about and the fear that you could have been wrong all this time can actually cripple your heart. From all that Moses told the Israelites in Deuteronomy, we can tell by the time we find the Israelites in the book of Jeremiah, we can see how badly they have deteriorated without being wiser. We find them clearly practicing religion but never truly taking “GOD” within. They cut off and rejected GOD the life giver. They failed to take God into their hearts and abide by faith in His love. Yet, they never rejected His promises and felt they were entitled to them.

 It is very easy for anyone of us and any group of people to get so entrenched and build religious practices around certain doctrines and beliefs, have these practices control our behaviour and regulate our hearts. But, know this, there is a big difference between Salvation in the soul changing you and me through grace, and working things from the outside so that we can conform to our “religion.” In the latter, all we have found is religion, NOT CHRIST. Like the Israelites, we too cut off and reject CHRIST the life giver for a substitute. Examine yourself to see if you are in the faith because in the end, God loves all that He has created no matter what, but not all of us belong to Him.