“I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed…. return to me and I will return to you, says the Lord Almighty” (Malachi 3:6-7)
I have yet to come across anyone in life that likes duplicity. Or to put it another way, people just don’t like to be on the receiving end of this sort of unfaithful behaviour. It leaves us hurting and has the potential to embed a deep brokenness into many of our relationships. What we know for sure about the character of God though is this; he is no deceiver.
His people on the other hand had been living this lie, trying to walk a tight rope of religious observance and wilful self-determination. The great irony of the situation is that there is no tight rope to walk; they were either worshippers of God or they were not. With this as the backdrop we hear some of the most wonderful words from the God who owns the whole creation.
What he seeks to communicate to his people is quite simple; don’t live the lie of pretending you know me, when you can actually have a relationship with me. You can hear his voice of authoritative, fatherly love and affection saying, just come back….just come back. This has huge overtones for the cross cultural ministry God has invited us to be part of.
Our message to the people of God and to the nations must always have this at its core. The God who made the universe is asking you to come back. When you do this, he will come to you. As you are involved in your local church, how are you being used by God to invite believers and non-believers to turn back and follow the path of discipleship which sees repentance and obedience at its core? Reaching the nations with the fullness of the good news of Jesus happens when his people live in line with his will.
So that is the principle, what about the practice? Very often in life we can become complacent. The nights got darker over the winter which meant I stopped running as much as I would do in the summer. Here I am, thinking that I can manage the same distance with not as much training. I’ll let you work out for yourself what the result was….
We have been invited by the Lord Jesus to serve in a ministry among East Asia’s peoples which equips the local church and it is a wonderful privilege. That also means we have a responsibility to keep turning back and walking in step with God’s purposes in his global mission. As part of our time to pray this month pause and take time to seek the Lord as to what he is wanting to do through OMF where you are involved?
We said last month worship is the fuel; our worship is seen most clearly in a desire to walk where the saviour leads. Let’s be people whose ministry is used by God to encourage his people here and across Asia, for his glory.