Vol.XV No.I Pg.5
March 1978

Living Our Life "As Unto The Lord"

Robert F. Turner

(continued from page 4)

God does not need anything. Paul told the Athenians God was not "worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things" (Acts 17:24-25). God is not supplied, His stature is not enlarged, His glory is not enhanced, by things (per se) we do for Him. This is as true of baptism and Lord's Day worship as it was of animal sacrifice in a past dispensation. Disobedience is expressed by what we do, or do not do, but the basic fault is in the heart from whence all sin comes (Mk. 7:21-). Likewise, service that is not a genuine expression of the heart can not be true God-service.

The more one delves into this matter the more one recognizes the profound simplicity of God's dealings with man. God made man in His own image, giving him something of himself. He gave man a soul peculiarly his, a spiritual entity. Man was made the apex of creation, with the capacity to return love, to declare the glory of God. He was given the capacity and opportunity to exercise free moral agency, the power of choice. But free will also gave man the capacity to say "No" to God; hence man's free existence was given a time limitation, and a day of judgment was set. God's sovereignty will be vindicated then.

For now, God asks (the magnitude of the matter fills us with awe) ONE thing of man. He asks that we, of our own free will, cognizant of choice, give ourselves to Him. Here is the essence o God-service -- that I take the one thing that is peculiarly "me" and freely return it to my Maker. Social maladjustment, or the self-destructiveness of sin, pale in importance when its true significance is considered. Sin is "against God"-a rejection of our Creator. The beautiful harmony of God is apparent in His remedy for our sin. He gave His Son, and the Son gave Himself, in our behalf. And Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matt. 16:24).

The Lord made it clear that anything less than complete dedication was unacceptable. Service to God must come before service to father, mother, wife, children, etc. (Lu. 14:26-f). But this does not excuse the neglect of domestic obligations. God sees through the hypocrisy of those who use such excuses (Matt. 15:3-9), for He knows if our heart is nigh, or far from Him. As our Col. 3: text shows, we can meet all valid obligations in this life "as unto the Lord."

The best thing parents can do for their children is to develop in them a God-consciousness. It is the finest legacy; a gift that will sustain them through life after gold and silver have perished. It is the unmatched character builder, for it aims life at something higher than self. It beckons us to "higher ground" as nothing in this life can ever do. Little wonder then that the wisest man who ever lived, having examined all facets of material life, drew this conclusion: "Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment... whether it be good, or whether it be evil" (Eccl. 12:13).