Tag Archives: Loving God

The Job Series: Can God Depend On Us?

We can proclaim to be Believers or even True Worshippers when things are well with our finances, health, and relationships. But, what happens when calamity surrounds us? For example, we experience a job loss and our 401K retirement plans are exhausted due to a stock market crash. Suddenly, our spouses become estranged not lending support whether financial or emotional. Illness attacks our bodies leaving us in debilitated state unable to pursue other employment opportunities. Hurricane winds rip through our towns and destroys our properties with our children inside. Now, imagine all of these things happening at once. Can God depend on us to be faithful?

The Book of Job provides a recount of an upright man in the land of Uz named Job. A man who seemingly had everything and who devoutly worshipped God. Yet, tragedies would strike him on all fronts. Job lost his wealth, children, property, spouse, and his health. He did not respond in anger. He accepted what God allowed and offered praise. This is not to say that Job was not perplexed or did not bear a spirit of heaviness. Job desperately desired to hear from God. Not to question God’s sovereignty but to understand the cause of his troubles.

Job did not understand why he had to endure these hardships. After all, Job was a righteous man that shunned evil. What Job did not know is that God was using him to shut the devil’s mouth. While Satan was seeking whom he could devour, it is apparent that Satan had no authority to torment Job on his own accord. Job 1:10 indicates that God had a “hedge of protection” that surrounded Job and anything directly or indirectly connected to Job. Satan charged that if the “hedge of protection” was removed so that he could have access Job would curse God.

God knew Job well. God took pleasure in Job as his servant. (Psalms 147:10-11; Jeremiah 9:24) God wanted Job to be prosperous. Job was not only wealthy because of material possessions and his family, but because he had an intimate relationship with God. Satan believed that the Job’s piety and relationship with God was superficial and could easily be severed if he had access. God knew Job’s heart and trusted him to stay faithful. Can God depend on us to do the same?

The Book of Job is gives us so much insight to Satan and his stratagems allowing us to identify how to fight a spiritual battle and win. Satan utilized crime, natural disaster, physical illness, deceiving spirits, and the psychological attacks of depression as stratagems to cause Job to curse God. Satan’s objective was to squeeze Job to his breaking point. Job’s strengths were his patience, endurance, and trusting God. Job worshipped God through his suffering, anticipated an audience with God, and expected God to deliver him.

What we must learn from Job is that God is not arbitrary or uncaring about our welfare. Having a relationship with God and knowing Him is better than having all the answers. The trial or tribulations that we may endure are not always a punishment. Standing on God’s promises leads to victory.

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True Disciple Requirements and Characteristics

What makes us true disciples for Christ? True discipleship is more than acknowledging God, being baptized by water, identifying ourselves as Christians, and attending worship services religiously. Jesus made this clear to the mixed multitude of followers in Luke 14:25-35. Not everyone that followed Christ were true Believers or Disciples. It is evident through the Scriptures that Jesus wanted people to be aware of the requirements. He was not seeking enthusiasts, fascists, or groupies who falsely identified themselves as His disciples. Jesus was specific about the requirements.

True Disciples will…

  • Love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds (Matthew 22:37; Luke 14:26-27; John 14:15)
  • Study the Scriptures for teaching, reprimand, improvement, and training in morality which will equipped us for every good work (II Timothy 3:16-17)
  • Possess faith in God (Hebrews 11:6)
  • Assist in spreading the Gospel (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 19:9-10, John 8:31)
  • Acknowledge that we are not exempt from enduring affliction, persecution, and suffering (Matthew 10:24-25; Luke 14:27)
  • Pursue Christ (Luke 14:27)
  • Be productive, fruitful (John 15:8)
  • Teachable (John 14:26; John 6:60-66)
  • Live our lives characterized by love (John 13:35)
  • Worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24)

In Psalm 15, David asked God, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” David was making inquiry to what characteristics were necessary to be Citizens of Zion. This Psalms identifies five important characteristics for the Citizens of Zion. The Citizens of Zion will be…

  •  Psalms 15:2 ~  Sincere about their relationship with God and be blameless in their Christian Conduct. Obedient to all ordinances and commandments of  God.
  • Psalms 15:3 ~  Those who avoid speaking evil (gossiping and backbiting), and are careful not to cause harm to anyone.
  • Psalms 15:4 ~  Values and respects virtues and godliness, but despises wickedness and does not envy their possessions.
  • Psalms 15:5 ~  Philanthropists who freely gives to the poor within their ability. They will not accept bribes or be a party in extortion.

When we compare the requirements with the characteristics, we are able to see how they align with one another. In knowing the requirements and characteristics, do we still say “Yes”? If we examine our personal relationship with God, are we meeting His expectations? Are we sincerely striving to be the true worshippers that God seeks?