Avoid the God App

It’s tempting to treat God like an app.

Just download God and go to the app when you need Him.

One app among many.  Problems?  Just ask God what to do so you can be blessed.

The Gospel is different.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, 

to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—

this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1

When we treat God like an app we move directly to morality and abandon grace.

“What does God want me to do?”

Do “x” so God will give you “y.”

Avoid the God App, it will corrupt genuine Gospel faith.

The Gospel gives us a relationship, not an app of convenience.

“…in view of God’s mercy…”

Connecting faith to real life starts with a view of the cross.

Jesus took our place that we might enjoy His place with the Father.

Sin would take its toll from us — killing us slowly with guilt, shame, and fear.

But mercifully He took our guilt that we might have a share in His innocence,

our shame that we might have a share in His honour,

our fear that we might have a share in His peace.

Now through Jesus we are connected to One from whom and through whom

and for whom all things are!  (Romans 11:36)

What an awesome God we have!

The inconvenient but joyful way to live as one loved by Jesus is

is to make His mercy our starting place.

Y(our) Spiritual Growth

Scripture:  2 Peter 1:5-9  NLT

5In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

8The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

Observations:

“For this reason (ESV)  “In view of all this (NLT)” — Going back to verses 3-4 — because of God’s power and promises made available to us through Jesus Christ.

“make every effort”  — exert yourself

“to supplement your faith with…”

Application:

Who are you doing this with?  Who are you “responding to the Gospel with? Who are meeting with, praying with, serving with, wrestling with, and sharing life with?  So often we read these verse in the West through the self-improvement lens and we think its all up to “me.”

Yes you can seek to grow by yourself — and often you must respond to Jesus — just you!  But the fellowship of Jesus is one where we together “make every effort to supplement our faith with…”

I need a spiritual buddy, a circle of hope (or a Life Group), and a church who together are seeking to grow with Jesus.  At different times in my life I’ve been blessed with many variations of this theme!  The Gospel-shaped life is one in which we receive salvation and communion with God as a treasured grace gift.  And the Gospel-shaped life is one in which we respond to Jesus with enthusiasm and the hopeful expectation that we can and must participate in the transformation of us all into people who love well.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I’m predisposed to go it alone.  But the hope of Jesus is drawing me into a life that is shared.  Help.  AMEN.

PS:  If you are hanging around Origin, we encourage you to be a “spiritual buddy” by getting into a 2+ group to Read the Scripture, Pray for the Lost, and Share your life (10-10-10 minutes each/ once or twice weekly.)  Contact me for the Origin 2+ app.