First, a news update: The UCG Elders special conference begins today in Cincinnati, OH at the site of the GCE meetings. The day after, the COE will have a special follow-up session on 2 February.
UCG has not been the only church to have its share of problems, of course. It isn’t just mainstream Christianity that has left divides all over the place, even as the Church of God landscape is littered with splinters.
There have been at least three fasts by three different groups this month. Perhaps the specific motives are slightly different in each case, but I hope the general motive is the same: to humble ourselves and draw near to God and to seek His will.
It is in times of conflict and trials that we should humbly seek God out and evaluate ourselves before Him. Like I said yesterday, we are dirt. OK, we are animated dirt, but we are dirt nonetheless. Even the dirt was created by an All Mighty God Who oversees the affairs of men and women. Yet, He does not take free will from us in doing so, either. So, we must willingly seek Him out and submit to Him entirely.
I haven’t always done a good job of that. Have you? Have any of these church organizations? How about the leaders of these various COG organizations?
When I see the news, and how the Middle East is once again in crisis, I cannot help but think that God is loosening His tight control of Satan to a small degree. When I see growing tensions with China over trade deficits and monetary evaluations, I cannot help but think that God is slowly withdrawing His protective hand from the US. When I see churches with problems that seem insolvable, I cannot help but think that God is allowing Satan to test us.
How long do we have? I don’t know. I don’t set dates, and I will not even think of doing so until I see sacrifices being fired up again in Jerusalem. However, I warn you that if you are waiting until then to get your own personal act together, that then might be too late.
What does God really want? Well, as I’ve said a number of times, He wants a relationship with you and me. However, with that relationship comes obligations. When we don’t fulfill those obligations, we weaken the relationship, and if we are too lax, then we may even break the relationship.
Perhaps s Some of us have individually and corporately allowed that to happen!
God isn’t going to force us into a relationship with Him, though. He wants a willing relationship. Instead, we seem to be better at exhibiting pride, quarrelling amongst ourselves and justifying bad behavior.
So, what does God really want, seeing that as a whole we are disobedient, presumptuous, prideful, selfish and rebellious children?
1Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
2For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. (Isaiah 66:1-2, King James Version)
Are you or your church organization far from God? Repentance is the answer!
1Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
2But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:1-2, King James Version)
Who am I talking to? Obviously, if you are perfect and your church is perfect, then I’m not talking to you.
"And what [else] does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." – Micah 6:8
@Richard: Well, my Bible doesn't have "[else]" in that verse. However, if we all were capable of doing exactly that and actually did that, then perhaps nothing "else" would be needed (seeing as we cannot "act justly" unless we were aligned with God's will).
However, since we are all sinners, then something "else" is needed:
"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent".