Christ’s Foot Soldiers – part 2

Last time we looked at how to increase our ability to facilitate other people’s entry into the kingdom of God by accepting Christ as their Savior – in short, to be better evangelizers. We also examined how to use those enhancements to introduce the gospel to those who don’t feel that they need saving.

Well, what if you approach someone who says that they want to hear what you have to say? ‘Hallelujah,’ is what you’ll probably say to yourself. Still, you don’t want to pass over the spiritual necessities they need to absorb in their heart to consummate their readiness and desire for salvation.

Whoever you’re approaching, keep your gospel-telling conversational, not a fire-and-brimstone monologue. Ask questions that give them openings to tell you what their pre-conceived beliefs are. Lead them to feel that they came to the gospel understanding on their own. That is when people are ready to believe. God can strip their egos later…

Previously, we concentrated on how better to deliver the gospel. Now, let’s spend a little time with the message itself. We might want to open with what it is that we all need saving from:

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. Jas. 4:17 ESV

“…for there is no one who does not sin…” 1 Kin. 8:46 NKJV

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rm. 6:23 CSB

Simple. It’s death! And, we are all found guilty of practicing sin, which leads to it.

Next, we can talk to them about what is drawing their attention to salvation:

He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]… Eccl. 3:11 AMP

God Himself is clamoring for their attention, because He loves them and wants to spend eternity with them. And He has a plan for that: salvation through Jesus Christ. It is through the blood of Christ that saves us, and the power of the Holy Spirit that brings Jesus to reside in us, when we accept Him as Savior and Lord over our lives.

Jesus came to save us from our sins. In fact, much of His earthly ministry consisted of saving the sinful in His proximity, hanging out with the outcasts.

The veracity of His divinity as the Son of God was demonstrated in His miraculous deeds, His irrefutable gospel, His sinless life, and through His resurrection.

Through Christ, we connect with God the Father, as well as the Holy Spirit, so that we have the Divine Dream Team Triumvirate living within us, caring for us and pointing us in the right way.

Christ died for you, just as much as He died for me and for everybody else. When that happened, Jesus removed all barriers between you and God by becoming your God-connection.

And [at once] the veil [of the Holy of Holies] of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom… Mt. 27:51 AMP

Therefore, believers, since we have confidence and full freedom to enter the Holy Place [the place where God dwells] by [means of] the blood of Jesus… Heb. 10:19 AMP

Thus, you get to know and have a relationship with the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present, eternal and changeless holy Creator of the universe. That may sound overwhelming, but there are surefire ways to have that happen.

First, God wrote the Bible through the prophets and the apostles, by way of the Holy Spirit. It tells us most of what we need to know about how He feels and what He’s like:

“The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth (faithfulness); keeping mercy and lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” Ex. 34:5 – 7. AMP

The other way to know God intimately, is to know His Son, Jesus, who is an exact replica of His Father, one with Him and yet separate in a way in which in our finite understanding, do not fully fathom:

He (Jesus) is the exact living image [the essential manifestation] of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible], the firstborn [the preeminent one, the sovereign, and the originator of all creation. Col. 1:15 AMP

“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Jn. 14:7 NKJV

Sounds great, huh? God put together this whole arrangement: Himself, His Son and the Holy Spirit, to handle a major problem: to reconcile His children who were lost to Him.

God created a perfect world, a perfect man and wife, and left us a set of perfect commandments to follow, to live a perfect life and stay in right relationship with Him.

But, because the members of humankind want to be masters of their own destinies, to be their own gods, they rebelled against God – beginning with Adam and Eve. That is called ‘sin,’ and as we saw in the beginning, the practice of sin brings death, death in the form of an eternal separation from God and His children.

In His infinite love for all of humankind, God put into action a plan that would save us from our sins. He sent His Son as a Spirit to be born of a virgin and grow to be Jesus the Savior. God worked through Him to bring you the gospel message that you are hearing. Broken down into a nutshell, it is this:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that through Him might be saved.” Jn. 3:16, 17. NKJV

And this is the reason:

“…to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” Acts 26:18 NASB

Did it work?

And although you were at one time estranged and alienated and hostile-minded [toward Him}, participating in evil things, yet Christ has now reconciled you [to God] in His physical body through death, in order to present you before the Father holy and blameless and beyond reproach _ [and He will do this] if you continue in the faith, well-grounded and steadfast, and not shifting away from the confident hope [that is a result] of the gospel that you have heard… Col. 1:21 – 23. AMP

Perfectly!

It is a gift from God, not something that you can earn. Jesus acquired this gift for you with His life on the cross, taking all the punishment that God would have laid upon all of humanity born throughout time, wiping out all our sins – past, present and future, by exchanging that sinless life for all the lives that would be snuffed out from the ravages of sin.

God’s gift works individually when that person comes to Christ and repents of their sins (i.e. acknowledges he or she is a sinner, exhibits true remorse with the intent to do their best not to repeat them), and to accept Jesus as who He is and what He’s done, and make Him the Lord of their life. Immediately, the sinless righteousness of Christ is transferred to them; and when God looks at him or her, He only sees that righteousness. Their price has been paid for an eternity in paradise…

…the dust returns to the earth as it once was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Eccl. 12:7 CSB

…I saw a new heaven and a new earth…I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…”Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more…” Rv. 21:1 – 4. CSB

Now, talking to you, my fellow evangelizers: all these scriptures are very apropos in their sequence, but I really put them in for you, to empower you with your truth. Remember, this might be your hearer’s first time for the gospel, so be careful not to overwhelm.

Well, at this juncture, it would be good to dive right in: ‘You’ve seen the vital importance of the salvation of your soul and how to get saved. Will you accept Jesus now? Let’s kneel together and I will lead you through prayer and your salvation will be secure.’

(Time for that sinners’ prayer):

Dear God in heaven, I am a sinner, unable to save myself. I am truly sorry and will do my best not to repeat my sins. But I know that I cannot do it myself. I believe that Jesus is your Son and that He died on the cross for me and was resurrected to pay for all my sins. Please make your Son the Lord of my life, that I may receive your forgiveness and by your Holy Spirit, I ask for Jesus to take residence within me. Thank you for opening heaven so that I may live in eternity with you. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Or something similar. Please, at this juncture, do not let this newbie out into the world. Either follow up with them or connect them to a church.

Be happy. The angels are rejoicing!

I know what you’re thinking, ‘What if they ask me theological questions that I have no answer for?’ We’ll handle that next time…

Goodnight and God bless. 

Advertisements

Standing Upon Godly Shoulders – part 4

Approximately 225 years had elapsed since the passing since our last godly champion, Joshua, walked the earth. In that timespan, the nation of Israel had again distanced themselves from following God. Even the priesthood was corrupted. Furthermore, the Philistines were continually assaulting the Israelites.

God decided again to help His children move forward on the path that He had intended for them:

There was a woman by the name of Hannah, (meaning ‘His grace’), whom God had kept barren (1 Sam. 1:6) until she went to the temple in Shiloh to pray, whereupon she petitioned Jehovah for a son. She promised Him that if He were to grant her request, she would dedicate him to the priesthood once he was weaned.

She and her husband conceived, and named the boy Samuel, meaning ‘name of God.’ As she pledged, she brought the boy to the temple at the appointed time. We hear no more about Hannah except for the prayer that she uttered after she had delivered her son to the priest, Eli. However, if we dissect her prayer, we can see that Jehovah imbued this blessed servant woman of God with a plethora of revelations and prophecy within that prayer that she herself could not have known:

1 Sam. 2:1 – 10. AMP:

“My heart rejoices and triumphs in the LORD; my horn (strength) is lifted up in the LORD, my mouth has opened wide [to speak boldly] against my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation.

There is no one holy like the LORD, there is no one besides You, there is no rock like our God.

[I’m going to elicit a little help from St. Augustine of Hippo’s book City of God, (translated by Marcus Dods), and some additional scripture, for some additional investigative discourse. I’m 3/4 the way through this 781-page book. I hope you have derived some value from what we’ve examined from that work.]

Through her prayer, we see that Hannah knows her spiritual strength comes from God alone; and she looks prophetically forward to His salvation (through Christ).

Do not go on boasting so very proudly, do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed (examined).

God, speaking through her, warns of being haughty, self-absorbed, and confident in one’s own strength. We are only exalted when we venerate our Maker:

(For if anyone thinks he is something [special] when [in fact] he is nothing [special except in his own eyes], he deceives himself. Gal. 6:3 AMP)

The bows of the mighty are broken, but those who have stumbled equip themselves with strength.

This same warning is also directed toward the enemies of God’s children, wherein He declares that the prideful with be humbled, whereas the meek shall be fortified.

Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry cease [to hunger]. Even the barren woman gives birth to seven, but she who has many children withers away.

We see too that God’s people were starving for spiritual sustenance (often self-induced) but will ultimately be fed when that perfect (‘seven’) Child is born.

The LORD puts to death and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol (the grave) and raises up [from the grave].

Hannah’s prayer also prophesied about how God helps us put our old sinful self to death through the salvation of His Son, which saves us from the grave:

(Therefore if you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, sharing in His resurrection from the dead]…you died [to this world], and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. Col. 3:1 & 3. AMP)

The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and He lifts up.

He raises up the poor from the dust, He lifts up the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with nobles, and to inherit a seat of honor and glory; for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and He set the land on them.

And again, we are reminded of the importance of being humble, in order to be elevated to the city of God:

(…GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD [the disdainful, the presumptuous, and He defeats them], BUT HE GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time… 1 Pt. 5:5, 6. AMP)

He guards the feet of His godly (faithful) ones, but the wicked ones are silenced and perish in darkness; for a man shall not prevail by might.

We also see that the godly will be divided from the wicked:

(For we [believers will be called to account and] must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be repaid for what has been done in the body, whether good or bad [that is, each will be held responsible for his actions, purposes, goals, motives – the use or misuse of his time, opportunities and abilities]. 2 Cor. 5:10 AMP)

Still, we are judged and sent to the city of God. Those who chose to occupy the city of the earthborn will experience a judgment with only one outcome – eternal damnation.

The adversaries of the LORD will be broken to pieces; He will thunder against them in the heavens, The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; and He will give strength to HIs king, and will exalt the horn (strength) of His anointed.” 1 Sam. 2:1 – 10. AMP

Hannah ends her prayer with a prophetic picture of Christ’s ascension, to render the final judgment. It is here too, that we see for the first time in the Bible, the identification of the Messiah as ‘King.’

Mind you, God rendered these revelations 1000 years before Jesus was incarnated.

Hannah too, is a citizen of the city of God. We’ll meet Samuel, the prophet and king-maker, next time…

Goodnight and God bless.

What is the Gospel?

…the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead. Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among you also are the called of Jesus Christ… Rm. 1:1 – 6. NKJV

The gospel is the good news of God’s salvation through Christ Jesus, who is the living word of God, and thus, the living gospel. This introduction to the gospel above, declares that the Son of God was descended from King David (on His human side), and that Jesus has fulfilled all of the prophecies that the Holy Spirit inspired the prophets to write. This all points to the fact that Jesus is the Messiah.

Furthermore, this scripture states that God resurrected His Son through the Holy Spirit, and in that moment, Christ came into His kingship. Finally, we see that we, like the original apostles, have been granted the grace of God through Christ, in order to be apostolic ourselves – equipped to advance the gospel throughout the world.

How powerful is the gospel?

…it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Rm. 1:16, 17. NKJV

It is our faith in, and obedience to, the gospel, that enables us to take on the righteousness of Christ as our own – opening the doors to our salvation. We are ‘justified’ (made innocent) by having faith in Jesus.

The gospel is God’s will for your future; and He made it available for all to see. Thus, those who reject the salvation message will be without excuse:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them. Rm. 1:18, 19. ESV

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Rm. 1:20 NASB

God is saying that He left identifiable and irrefutable aspects of Himself within everything that He has created, in addition to the ‘knowing’ of that truth that He has placed in everyone’s heart, which calls to each of us to seek Him out through His Son.

Unfortunately, most people deny that call, and follow the invitations from the world and the god of it (Satan):

Therefore, God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God…They were filed with all manners of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice.

They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them, but give approval to those who practice them. Rm. 1:24 – 32. ESV

This is a description of the dark potential that is awaiting everyone who does not embrace the gospel: i.e. addictions to perverse transgressions, as well as worshiping others who practice them.

Yet our loving and merciful God keeps an open invitation for the transgressors to change their hearts and seek His salvation. However, if they persist in rebellion, God steps aside and lets them sow the seeds of their own destruction. He will not violate their free will.

So, this is how it all ends up:

But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who “will render to each according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness – indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish on every soul of man who does evil… Rm. 2:5 – 9. NKJV

The latter is not a place where we want to be. This is serious stuff. The gospel message is a life-or-death matter. Again, how important is the gospel and what is its core message? God tells us:

But now the righteousness of God has been manifest apart from the law, although the Law and the prophets bear witness to it – the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. There is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Rm. 3:21 – 26. ESV

That’s the gospel in a crystal-clear nutshell.

The Mosaic Law showed us what perfect behavior would look like. In so doing, it also demonstrated the impossibility of perfectly meeting all of its dictates, due to our weaknesses. Thus, it pointed the way to our need for a righteous Messiah to remove that burden – one who possessed the ability to cleanse us of our sins. It is the cleansing that facilitates unification with God for all who place their faith in the blood of Jesus.

Our behavior is made perfect vicariously, through Christ’s righteousness. We cannot earn our salvation. It’s a gift of God’s grace; and if a gift, there can be no exchange. Salvation is not something we do; it’s what God does. Faith is the vehicle in which we receive the gift of salvation.

Faith is not a doing; it’s a being and a having. It’s not even something that we can produce. Faith is a gift that we receive from Jesus when we accept Him as the living Son of God:

…let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith… Heb. 12:1, 2. NKJV

Christ gifts us with faith, in order to nurture our eternal relationship with Him. God uses our acceptance and faith to justify us in His eyes through the ‘propitiate’ (from the Greek hilasterion, which means ‘an atoning victim’) act of His Son on the cross:

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Rm. 5:1, 2. NKJV

…God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. Rm. 5:8, 9. NKJV

God is love. He is merciful. Even when we are enemies of God, (enslaved to the ways of the world), He opens His arms through the those of His Son and scoops up everyone who is willing to receive His love.

In His limitless mercy, God sacrificed His Son so that we could be transformed – cleansed of those enslavements, by His grace, to become the children of God who will spend eternity with Him in complete love.

Through God’s clemency and grace, He struck down your Adam-derived death sentence with the free gift of Christ’s salvation; and the suspension of your sentence is eternal.

Jesus died for all of our sins for all time; and those who receive Him obtain the transformation of righteousness, becoming new men and women in Christ:

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. Rm. 8:1, 2. NASB

What a God! What a Son! See the word ‘now’ in that scripture? It means that God has already freed those who have received Christ from the condemnation of sin.

That is the Gospel! Doesn’t that make you want to go out and tell somebody?

Goodnight and God bless.

Jesus Pursues Your Salvation

Jesus and His apostles were traveling through Samaria on their way to Galilee. The Bible tells us that Jesus needed to go through Samaria. (Jn. 4:4) Most Jews avoided that region because they were prejudiced against the Samaritans for being a gene pool hodgepodge of Israeli and Assyrian lineage, i.e. not pure Jew, and therefore considered inferior.

So, Jesus had a purpose for being there. They came upon Jacob’s well. Jesus remained there while He sent the apostles to a nearby town to purchase food. Seemingly coincidental, a woman approached the well to draw water. I believe that Jesus’ purpose for going through Samaria was for this very meeting – so that He could reveal something to her that we all need to know.

Jesus asked the woman to draw Him a drink. Initially, she is taken aback because this ‘Jew’ is talking to her, a lowly Samaritan, and she tells Him so. But, there isn’t a prejudicial bone in Jesus. He answers:

“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” Jn. 4:10 NKJV

What is Jesus doing here? He’s pursuing her salvation! She responds by asking Him of the whereabouts of this ‘living water.’ He ignores her question and instead contrasts the water of the well with His living water:

“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life.” Jn. 4:13, 14. NKJV

The woman’s curiosity was piqued, and she asked Him for some of His living water. But instead of directly responding to her request, He keeps her off balance by telling her that He knows that she has been married and divorced five times, and that she is presently shacking up with another guy.

Jesus is bringing the depth of her sin to the light for examination, but not with condemnation, so that she could perceive her need for salvation. Then, Jesus leaves the subject of her sin alone.

That’s the way Love operates. Jesus knows everything we’ve ever been up to. Even if our deeds are deleterious to our spiritual health, His love for us never waivers. He faithfully waits by our side, until we choose to return to Him.

Because of Jesus’ revelations about her past, the woman now believes Jesus is a prophet. So, she asks Him what she perceived to be a relevant spiritual question (and undoubtedly wanting to turn the focus of their conversation away from her sin). She tells Jesus that the Samaritans worship God in a temple in Samaria, but the Jews maintain that He can only be worshiped at the temple in Jerusalem. She asks Him which temple was the correct place to worship.

Jesus answers in a way to plunge the woman into deeper contemplation:

“Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming the you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.” Jn. 2:55 NKJV

Jesus is telling her that worshiping God will no longer be limited to designated physical settings. He is also saying that Samaritan worship is a corrupted mixture of Mosaic Law and Assyrian paganism. And, He’s letting her know that He is a Jew and that the Messiah comes from the Jews. He continues:

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is a spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Jn. 4:23, 24. ESV

Jesus is saying that the time for worship is now. In addition, He reveals that God is a Spirit, and therefore occupies all space and time. Thus, He can be worshiped from anywhere at any time. Jesus is also opening her mind to the reality that God is available to all sincere worshipers – regardless of race or ethnicity.

How do we worship in the spirit? Our spirit must first become predominant in our lives when we are born again.

Jesus has worked His wonder. The Samaritan woman’s spiritual eyes begin to open and she expresses her heartfelt desire:

“I know that Messiah is coming, (He who is called Christ – the Anointed); when that One comes, He will tell us everything [we need to know].” Jn. 4:25 AMP

In response, Jesus throws the doors of salvation wide open. Turning to her in His infinite compassion, He says:

“I who speak to you am He.” Jn. 4:26 NKJV

The woman left to go into the town and tell all of the Samaritans that she knew about this ‘Man’ at Jacob’s well – whom she believed to be the Christ…

Jesus will go to any lengths to lead someone to salvation. If you haven’t made the choice for Jesus yet, He is just waiting to swing your doors wide open as well. If you have, help Him with your ministry, swing wide someone else’s…

Goodnight and God bless.

We All Slip Sometimes

There was only one sinless man that ever walked this earth – Jesus Christ:

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor. 5:21 NKJV

The rest of us? Well…

Adam and Eve began the practice of slipping (sinning) when they used their free will to indulge in pride, acting out their desire to be like God.

Cain majorly slipped when he killed his brother in a fit of rage that was rooted in envy.

King David and King Solomon surrendered to the lust of the eyes and of the flesh.

The apostle Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament (previously a murderer of the church), said this about himself:

…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 1 Tim. 1:15 NKJV

What chance then, do we have?

We only have one, but it’s a mighty BIG one – it is found in the immeasurable grace of God.

God wants you to live your perfect highest and best life, full of peace, love, joy and happiness. But you’re not living that way when you slip. Slipping is when you allow yourself to get lost in your base desires, those that have been proscribed by your Creator. He hates to see that because it does you harm; and what hurts you, hurts Him.

You were created innately good:

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. Gn. 1:31 NKJV

Unfortunately, everyone that was or will be conceived on this planet has been tainted by by the error (sin) of Adam and Eve:

…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… Rm. 3:23 NKJV

But, it’s the very next two verses that brings hope:

…being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed…

Rm. 3:24, 25. NKJV

When we accept Christ, we are transformed, our spirits becoming one with Him as we return to the original creative intent of God, being restored to life:

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Jn. 10:10 NKJV

We receive His resurrection power, freed from the death of sin, motivated to take godly action. Our eyes are opened by the faith that Jesus brings to us by the Spirit. Thus filled, we begin the stepwise transformation towards our Savior’s image, which invites God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to come and dwell in our spirits.

We can lean on Christ to strengthen our will to walk in His footsteps and to live for Him. And this process is not one of bondage, but of liberty – to live free as God intended. We get to make the free will choice to live in His love by moving in His will.

That very same love from God is found in His statutes. He did not lay down laws to be dictatorial, but instead set them before us to protect us from the shortcomings of our flesh. Our obedience to them propagates our transformation.

Yes, this walk is one that is opposite of the way the world moves; and that’s a good thing. The world revolves around lies set forth to justify sin, so that the agenda of the adversary may be manifested. Unfortunately, that manifestation will be achieved in most of the world.

That’s why the telling of the salvation message is so imperative. God sends His children to the lost to show them the Christ they have within, Who, is freely available to all. We are emissaries for the love of God, brought forth not only to enrich those consciously receiving that love, but also to decimate the evil in those who feel that they are not.

Yet, even the followers of Jesus are not spared temptation. The devil plays no favorites, but I’m sure he is especially delighted if he can influence believers to indulge in apostasy. Thus, we must be vigilant with regards to our thoughts and actions. We must keep them centered on love, on Jesus.

When we slip, and we all slip sometimes, it is crucial that we get down on our knees before our Father immediately, to confess and repent. We can be motivated to do this by His mercy (found in grace):

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lm. 3:21 – 24. ESV

God wants to forgive you. He knows that you have slipped into your flesh, and that sin is satanically sourced. Therefore, it’s deadly, and if left to its own devices, death-binding.

Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. I Jn. 3:8 ESV

That’s not what God wants for you:

“Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die…? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies, “says the Lord GOD. “Therefore, turn and live!” Ezek. 18:31, 32. NKV

Life is not always easy. We are points of light, set living in an ocean of darkness. We must stay alert to keep from drowning. But if we start to succumb, God always has His hand outstretched:

‘Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, i will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Is. 41:10 NKJV

He strengthens us in our faith, in His word and through prayer He bolsters us in our self-discipline to help us regain our toehold on our spiritual path. We respond with gratitude and love, and the acknowledgement of our need for His grace.

God puts His salvation in place (Christ) and you are freed once more…

“I, even I, and He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.” Is. 43:25 NKJV

For the death that He died, He died to sin one for all… Rm. 6:10 NASB

Goodnight and God bless.