Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 16 - Not of This World

Nehemiah 10

A friend of mine recently told me about a moment where she spoke unkind words to a fellow Christian about someone else. She later felt convicted and apologized to the Christian about the words she spoke. God continued to convict her heart and showed her that she had spoken in front of some non-believers, and she was overwhelmed by the thought of them knowing she was a Christian saying such things. She drove to their house with only one purpose – to apologize to them for the things she had said. I was in awe of her absolute obedience to God, and I know that her witness as she apologized probably gave them a lot to think about. What she did was not something you see every day. She hadn’t done anything to them, yet she knew her behavior may have offended them. That is Christ’s work in her heart, and Christ’s work often brings out a nature that goes against our human instincts.

As I read through chapter 10 and read a commentary today, something stood out at me. My commentary mentioned that all these commands that the Israelites were agreeing to follow showed how their relationship with God affected their relationships (vs. 30) their time (vs. 31), and their resources (vs. 32 – 39). No other culture around them had a religion that set them apart the way God set the Israelites apart. What God expected was behavior that was not of this world. God still expects that from us today. We are not bound by the law in the way the Jews of the Old Testament were, but God wants us to live a life that is changed because of His work in us.

You see, the Bible tells us that we are the salt and light of this world in Matthew 5: 13 – 16, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” We are to be living a life that draws people to Christ and bears witness to the change God is performing in us.

What do you need to commit to God? Where is God changing your life that bears witness to the people around you?

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