Referring once again to our verse of the year, 2 Corinthians 4:6, Andrea spoke on how God wants us to move on from 2017, leaving it behind us, and moving forward into 2018. He doesn't want us looking back and dwelling, He wants us focusing. In order to do this, we need to focus and drill down into the word of God so that we are processing it in a healthy way. She spoke of truth, and the importance of knowing the difference between relative truth, and absolute truth. Jesus Christ is an absolute truth. When everything else is uncertain, one thing remains: Jesus.
Andrea then went on to talk about how transformation happens from the inside out. What we see on the outside is a reflection of our insides. We are called to become more and more Christlike. We are called by God to someone before we are called to something, and our dream should never be bigger than your God. What He desires for us should become our dreams. He brings things about for His glory; we no longer matter, because it's all about Him.
We must remember that God loves us, and not to relegate Him to the periphery. God wants totality. He wants us to put Him at the center of our lives, and not just be a Christian on a Sunday morning, when we go to Church. He wants us to place him at the center of our relationships, speech, thoughts, and all aspects of our life and our world.
Reading from Micah 6:8, Andrea raised three points for us to apply to our lives. We must seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.
Sin will be judged and punished, but God loves us and wants us to return to Him. By Jesus' glorious resurrection, we can be with God. We can be empowered by the living God, but we must keep our hearts open, and keep certain moral duties. We don't get to decide what pleases God's heart. We need to guard our hearts, and not judge each other. God is the only one who is allowed to judge us. He will deal with us, and anything we do that isn't pleasing to Him, but it is not our job to do this. We have moral duties that must be kept to please God. The reward, however, doesn't come just after keeping them. The blessing comes much later, but the real blessing is actually in keeping His commandments. David got true joy from walking with his God. He loved keeping His law.
Andrea encouraged us to dive into the word, and to read and read and read until it soaks into our very consciousness. She reminded us that it is through this that God locks away scriptures in our brain, which He can then point us to in times of need.
She spoke of three acts:
1. Act Justly, which means keeping our mouths shut, often when every part of our being is telling us to speak up. Our human brain wants justice when we are wronges, but we have the mind of Christ, and must act as such. In Romans the word tells us that we will never make ourselves look good if we are making somebody else look bad.
2. Love Mercy. We have endless, overflowing mercy from God. He tells us that we must do things His way. Mercy is withholding punishment because you choose to, even though it would be so easy for you to punish. There are no factions in the Church of Jesus. When we withhold mercy, we are withholding God Himself. What God says in the Bible stands the test of time. A love of mercy is absolutely key. In the world, we have this concept of karma, but this is not a Christlike concept. We mustn't take delight when we see people down in the dirt. We must be the ones to pick them up. We are the hands and feet of the Most High God, and God shows His love through us.
3. Walk Humbly. God becomes more as we become less. When we make everybody else less, we make Jesus less. Serving God can be comprised of the simplest things. We must serve like Jesus did. We must love on others. It really is that simple. We must give, even if we get no thanks. We should not expect any thanks. The truth is that if people are talking about us and don't like us, we are actually probably doing things right, even if we never get to see the benefits ourselves, and, we should remember that if Jesus isn't in it, then we shouldn't want it.
In closing, we are encouraged to question what it is that God requires of us.
Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 4:6, Micah 6:8, Romans 12:9-19, Galatians 6:12-16, Philippians 2:5-11