TREMBLING - Week of July 24th
By Judy NicholsJuly 24, 2016
Sunday in church a man stood up and read the first two verses of the final chapter of Isaiah. "Thus says the Lord; ’Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for Me, and what is the place of My rest? All these things My hand has made, and so all these things came to be,’ declares the Lord. ‘But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at My word.’"
God is the Creator and Sovereign of the universe. The laws that govern His universe are immutable; the law of gravity operates every time. The laws He gave to govern human behavior are also unchangeable and violating them is equally perilous as trying to defy the law of gravity.
There are a number of Scriptures that make me squirm, if not outright tremble. Jesus said those who fail to minister to the "least of these" will be consigned to eternal punishment (Matt. 25:41-46). Paul wrote that the immoral, the idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9-10). Again in Galatians he wrote that immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, and orgies will keep those who practice them out of God’s kingdom (Gal. 5:19-21).
And in Revelation, at God’s command, John wrote, "But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. . . Outside [the New Jerusalem] are the dogs and sorcerers and the immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood" (Rev. 21:8, 22:15).
I have never murdered anyone, nor been sexually immoral, but it’s not just the big sins that God cares about. How many times have I passed up an opportunity to help someone (or even helped but with a bad attitude)? How many lies have I told? How many things have I coveted or envied the possessors of those things?
I am supremely grateful for the blood of Christ that washed away the guilt of my sin and cleansed me from my iniquity. As Paul continued in 1 Cor. 6:11, "And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." Nevertheless, in fact, especially because of the inestimable value of the blood of Christ, we must walk circumspectly. God’s call for us is not that we be happy, prosperous, fulfilled, or self-actualized. His call is that we be holy. Because He is holy.
I’m not here to pick on anyone; I am as guilty as anyone else. But if you call yourself a Christian and do not tremble at these indictments, I fear you are not very well acquainted with the God you say you serve.
© Judy Nichols 2016