Thursday, January 12, 2012

The God who walks with Men

“… God is with us…” (Matthew 1:23NLT)

Our Daily Bread devotional book told a story about a pioneer missionary Ludwig Nommensen who begin his work among the Batak tribes of Southeast Asia. When he was there, a village chief gave him two years to learn the customs and to convince them that he had a message worth hearing. At the end of that time he was asked how Christianity differenced in its moral rules from the traditions of the Batak.
We know what is right,” said the tribal leader, “for we too have laws that say we must not steal, or take our neighbor’s wives, or tell lies.”
That’s true,” the missionary answered, “but my Master supplies the power needed to keep these laws.”
The chief was startled. “Can you really teach my people to live better?” he inquired.
No, I can’t, but if they receive Jesus Christ, God will give them the strength to do what’s right.
Being permitted to remain another six months, Nommensen preached the gospel and taught the villagers how the Holy Spirit works in the believer’s life. At the end of that time the chief said, “You may stay longer. Your religion is better than ours, for your God walks with men and gives them strength to do the good things He requires.”

That’s the gem of the story: that God walks with men and gives them strength to do the good things He requires. The goal of a Christian is not to live a better life, though it will eventually come to that; but a fellowship with the Living God. It’s not merely to go to Heaven, thought it is the best place for us; but a walk with God. It’s not about fulfilling all of God’s laws, though we shouldn’t neglect it either; but to show us that we are sinners, incapable to save ourselves from the wrath of God – only God can save. He already provides Salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. He gives the Holy Spirit to works in the believer’s life, thus when He commands, He gives Strength. I read a little booklet about John Wesley one day; someone asked him, “What is the greatest truth you have ever taught?”
He answered, “That Jesus is with us.”  He is!

Do you believe that?
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