Recrudescence – a reawakening after a period of brief sleep.
That’s just it. We need a Recrudescence. Christianity has fallen asleep. We’ve been in a slumber, and we are about to receive a rude awakening. This message is not going to be encouraging. In fact, these words will be hard for me to say and harder for others to hear. I am guilty of my own speech, but my honest plea is to bring about a Recrudescence for all believers in Christ.
“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” – Ecclesiastes 1:2b
Everything in this world is useless. Not one physical thing here on this planet will last. Every beautiful mountain, forest, and river; every book you read; every promotion you get, possession you own, pleasure you have. Useless. Why? Because in this world we all have the same fate. Death. We perform our own requiems with our personal desires. We banter before the dust of the deceased! The actions that we take lead us one step closer to six feet under, and we refuse to talk about it. We’re messed up. Our design has been desensitized. We are ignorant of mortality. We are ignorant of immortality! Death does not disturb us and eternal life is entirely missing. That is why I am writing.
My honest hope is that the preceding paragraph has awaken you to the futility of seeking purpose of life in vain.
Then why live?
“Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” – Ecclesiastes 12:13b
So what does this mean?
Let’s look at what it means to “Fear God.”
In order to understand what this means we must first look in the Gospel of Matthew. At the end of chapter three John the Baptist baptizes Jesus. The Bible says, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” – Matthew 4:1. One of the temptations was to bow down to Satan and he said he would give Jesus all the worldly possessions. The passage reads, “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, ‘All these I will give to you, if you will fall down and worship me.'” – Matthew 4:8-9. The way in which Jesus responds to Satan explains what it means to fear God. “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.”‘”
Notice that I have quoted a quote within a quote within a quote: a passage from the Bible (quote 1), Jesus speaking (quote 2), and a scripture reference that Jesus addresses (quote 3). To understand what Jesus is referencing we must turn back to Deuteronomy. Here we find the direct quote saying,
“It is the Lord your God you shall fear.
Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.”
Moses then expands on this a little further in chapter 10 of Deuteronomy. He says, “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to (1) fear the Lord your God, to (2) walk in all his ways, to (3) love him, to (4) serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to (5) keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?” – Deuteronomy 10:12-13 (numbers added in reference to following sentence.)
5 specific things were spoken in this passage about the relationship between God and man:
(1) Respect, (2) Following, (3) Love, (4) Serving, and (5) Obedience.
Paul best sums this up as he addresses the Christians in Rome by saying, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” – Romans 12:1
This brings us back to where we started. Understanding that death is inevitable requires us to offer our lives in fear of God and keeping his commandments. The fear of God is essentially worship. It is Respect, Following, Love, Serving, and Obedience. It is releasing everything in this world that you possess and allowing God to take control of it.
Our worship will in turn demand us to keep his commandments. Moses gives us a list of those in Exodus 20:3-17. Briefly speaking they are: (1) No other gods before me, (2) No idols, (3) Do not take the Lord’s name in vain, (4) Remember the Sabbath day, (5) Honor your father and mother, (6) Do not murder, (7) Do not commit adultery, (8) Do not steal, (9) Do not bear false witness, and (10) Do not covet. Jesus later turns this around and clarifies the commandments with two phrases telling us what to do instead of fearing what not to do. In response to a Pharisee he said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40
I leave you with one final passage. Matthew 15:7-9 Jesus responds to the Pharisees saying, “You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'”
So I ask you: Do you fear the Lord or do you follow the commandments of man?
This is the Recrudescence.
A Final Prayer:
“Father God You are greater than anything this world has to offer. Your grace is overwhelming. I pray that Your will be revealed in my life. I have been asleep, following the ways of the world for far too long, and I am desperate to seek Your kingdom here in the world You made. Awaken me to a life of everlasting worship. I offer all I have to you because I know that you are all I need. Thank You Lord for giving me life to worship and glorify You. Thank You for saving me from eternal punishment. Keep me on the path of righteousness that my good deeds would reflect who you are and what you have done for me. To You be all the glory!