Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Honor of Humanity Part 9 - The Image of God's Omnipotence in Man

This is my personal summary of the preaching of Rev.Dr.Stephen Tong on his apologetics series on The Honor of Humanity Part 9 on 1st October 2006

God revealed to Abraham that He is the Almighty God and based on that He required Abraham to live a perfect life before Him (Gen.17:1).

God is not willing that we become people that waste our lives. God wants us to still be seeking the truth even in our most tired times, our most difficult times, and our old age. It is something that many church leaders are not aware of. Because of lazy church leaders, we do not grow. Many people just want to have early retirement and enjoy lives.

When Joshua was old, God told Joshua, “You are already old but many lands have not been conquered.” God did not allow Joshua to have retirement. God revealed to Abraham that He was the Almighty God and required Abraham to live a perfect life when Abraham was 99 years old. Since God has such serious demand on His servants, how dare we forgive ourselves for our slackness and negligence?

God demand such high requirement from us because He created us with very high value and potential. We are beings with the potential to fight. With such honor He has made us, it is shameless for us to complain against God over our problems and the demands required of us.

How much can a person accomplish in one life? Have we ever asked that question? If we have found the answer of how much we could potentially do, and we see that we have wasted so much time and have not done much, how are we going to face God some day?

We are willing to do a lot for our wives and children but not for God and His church. Our life and time are from God. How much have we used for God? How much price have we paid for God? Everything we could do comes from what He has given us in the first place. But how much do we demand ourselves of the things we can accomplish in life? Most of us have no discipline, no demand of ourselves, and we do not force ourselves. Apostle Paul said that he disciplined himself. God is pleased with the spirituality where we make ourselves willing to force ourselves.

“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” (Gen.17:1)

If you can understand the relationship between the two (God’s omnipotence and His demand on us), we will accomplish a lot in the Lord. Paul truly understood with that statement when he said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil.4:13)

Many preachers are satisfied just preaching one a week or a month. Many Christians never witness for the Lord. How dare we be complacent? How dare we say ‘impossible’ before the Almighty God? If God is Almighty, and we are made in His image, why do our lives lack accomplishment? When the judgment of the Lord comes, He would remind us of the times when His Spirit moves in your heart and we choose to reject His voice. We cannot hide or run away.

When Moses said he could not speak well so he felt unqualified to be God’s spokesman, although that is true God would not even accept that as a reason. Since God is so strict of His demand, we should use the same standard to demand of ourselves.

As God is the Almighty God who made us in His image and likeness, He has given to us unceasing potential. We should fulfill potential and find the particular content we ought to fill up in our lives. God’s omnipotence should be the source of our power to accomplish His will in us. Our accomplishment should correspond with what we have received. We have to learn to demand of ourselves, to expand ourselves and not waste our lives away.

When a person wastes his life, he is not aware of the sin he has committed against God and against society. Confucius said that the greatest thief is those who do not study when they are young, do not work when they are adult, and do not die when they are old. Many people want to become American citizens when they are old, but they have never contributed a single thing to America. This is a very shameless thing. We cannot just keep living for ourselves and live off other people but we need to ask ourselves what contribution we have made to mankind.

When we think about God’s image from this angle, we cannot be lazy anymore. Jesus says there are two kinds of people, one is the good and faithful servant and the other one is the lazy and evil servant.

Faithful means we consistently fulfill our responsibility. Good means we have a right heart towards God and compassion towards humanity. The lazy are those who waste the grace and opportunities God give them. They are evil in that have no compassion towards men and only live and think for themselves.

Let the demands of God become the strength which we push ourselves. Let us serve God with the potential God has given us. Let us enjoy the privilege of paying the price to live for God. In this way we will actualize ourselves and our contribution becomes a blessing to others and our good works will be remembered by all. The Bible says that the world and its desires pass away but only those who do the will of God will live forever. (1 John 2:17)

“I am the Almighty God, so before Me you are to be perfect”. When we understand that God is Almighty, we will realize that the demands of God are not impossible. “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”


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