Faithful Service


Faithful Service

Exodus 20:1–4, 7–9, 12–20

The Ten Commandments1

Then God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.

Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.

>Matthew 21:33–46

The Parable of the Wicked Tenants[2]

“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’ So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.”

Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures:
‘The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is amazing in our eyes’?

Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

Come and See AND Go and Tell Ministries

Many have put their particular spins on the Christian faith, claiming it as either a Come and See or a Go and Tell kind of model. In truth it has probably been both of these and more from the time of Jesus and over the centuries. Jesus had a Come and See ministry as He called His disciples, but for those He healed and worked miracles upon, it was much more of a Go and Tell ministry. Tweet: Jesus had a Come and See ministry as He called His disciples, but for those He worked miracles upon, it was more of a Go and Tell ministry. The common thread that runs between both kinds of ministry is the power and character that God imparts to us.

Come and See and the Law

God works through all things to change our lives and redeem the world around us. Two particular means stand out consistently behind much of this work though: God’s Spirit and the Law – God’s Word. These two interact together in a powerful way as the person of Jesus Christ, but throughout the Bible, God’s Word has the effect, not of suggesting how things should be, but by calling things into existence. God’s Law is not like government law. It is more like the laws of Gravity or Thermodynamics. They describe the way the universe works and how we can best live in it.

The Law is a guide to order in our Christian life and in our Christian community. It shapes our behavior and shapes the activities and attitudes of our gatherings. While innovation and even spontaneity can be helpful and life-giving at times, we cannot live in a world that does not have order and we get lost and confused if we cannot establish and understand some basic expectations.

Over time, the Law leads to consistency. Patterns develop when things are repeated, and our understanding of how to participate is limited by the consistency of the activities. If we want people to Come and See, we need to show them what to watch for and how to take part themselves.

As we are brought together under God’s order, the Law that helps us be greater than ourselves. It is not randomness that calls us to greatness, but an order greater than our own ambitions and desires. We grow into the people God created us to be by Coming to Him and Seeing the plans He has set before us. Then, Empowered by His Spirit, we begin to live according to those plans.

Go and Tell and the Law

That same Law that leads us into an ever deepening relationship with God leads us out to Go and Tell the world. Because it is a Law of Love, we are made to go and share the very grace that we have received. If we are to follow the Law of God, we cannot sit still and remain silent. We must Go and Tell.

But how will we know where to go and what to say? The Law gives us guidance there as well. There is not a point where God’s Word hands us off to God’s Spirit, never to touch us again. Both work continually in us, in partnership, to grow and move us. That which one speaks, the other echoes.

This work enable us to truly bear witness to the Love and Grace of God in us, which is our work and purpose as followers of Jesus. When we turn away from the Law, we quench God’s Spirit, and we become selfish rebels and enemies of God’s Kingdom. While we can trust in the grace of God, that grace is given to those who will share it, not for those who will exploit it

How is the Law of God, leading and guiding your spiritual growth today?

What are you going to do about it?

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  1. (Deut 5:1–22)
    [2]: (Mk 12:1–12; Lk 20:9–19) 

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