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LaGrange First Missionary Baptist Church

GRACE part 1

Lesson on grace

Grace…When I say the word, many ideas may come to your mind.  What does it mean after all?  What does grace even mean?  We talk about it like we know.  When people carry themselves well, we say they are graceful.  When we sit down to a meal, we say grace.  But, what does it mean for you and for me? 

We can begin to explore what it actually does mean by looking in Ephesians 2:1-9.  This scripture says we were dead in sin…walking according to the powers of this world in disobedience…conducting ourselves according to the desires of our flesh…That sounds like we were doomed – and we were.  Our condition was one of destruction.  But, in verse 4, it changes.  God, because of His GREAT love and full of mercy, loved us and even while we were in that condition, made us alive with Christ because of grace.  He gave us a new life. We are saved by the grace of God, not by anything that we have done.  This is a free gift of God…which means that we did not earn it…we do not deserve it…we didn’t get it because we were good or because we came to church enough.  We received grace because God loved us just that much.  We received grace because He loved us despite the filth that we were in and He didn’t leave us there.  We received grace out of the abundant love of our God…the Creator God who didn’t forget us when we went our own way, but brought us back.  This isn’t one of those things we take lightly.  This is something that we celebrate.  We have received the gift of a new life…washed clean, made new…There is nothing like it – it is an infinite, matchless grace.  Praise the Lord He has given us a new life in Him through grace.

Our sin/His gift

We are sinners.  There is nothing that we on our own can do about that.  We can try.  We can try our best to do good things that will outweigh our bad.  We do that with our spouses sometimes, right?  We make them mad, so we buy them flowers.  We upset them so we cook their favorite dinner.  We spend too much but we make sure we bring them something back.  This exchange system is learned early in life.  Mom didn’t like what I did today, but she did like what I did yesterday, so I will remember what made her happy.  We automatically file back to what makes someone happy so we can use that later on when they are mad.  We even do that with grades.  I know that if I do horribly on a test, I can make it up if I do well on the next test and my homework.  This exchange system is engrained in us, so we carry that over to our spiritual lives.  If I miss church today, it will be okay because I read my Bible extra last week.  Or, I forgot to pray yesterday, but it’s okay because I helped someone out that was in need last week.  So, we play this game. 

Unfortunately, we will never win the game of sin.  We can never do enough good to outweigh our sins.  Romans 3:23 reminds us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  But Romans 6:14 reminds us “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.”  John 1:17 says, “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ”.  There is nothing you can do to earn your way out of the mess you are in.  You will always be negative in the checks and balances system of sin versus good deeds.

Paul was reminded by the Lord when he had the thorn in the flesh that “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”.  We are doomed without sin.  What you need to understand is that grace is about God.  We are given this gift because we serve an amazing God who loves us just that much.  He is greatly to be praised.  If you realize where you were without Him, you will realize how much you can praise Him for with Him.  You will want to praise the powerful, loving God who has overcome death and sin.  You will want to lift your voices in thanksgiving.  You will realize that there is no one like God and will get excited about praising His name.  Worship with us as we praise our God who is greatly to be praised.

The great exchange

For just a moment, I want to take you back to the Easter story.  Remember the events that led up to the crucifixion of Jesus.  Turn to Matthew 27:11-26.  As we read that, thoughts of anger and/or disappointment may rise towards the people.  How could they sell Jesus out?  But, put yourself in the shoes of Barabbas this morning.  He is a notorious prisoner…the other gospels call him a murderer, was known for rebellion, and a robber.  In other words, he had quite a reputation and quite a list of offenses.  He was well known for what he had done wrong.  Imagine as he sits in the jail, knowing that his time is coming to be killed.  He deserves it.  He earned his way to be crucified. He did the wrong and should suffer the punishment.  I’m sure that he realized his time had come to an end and it wouldn’t be long before he would be no more.  Can you begin to imagine what it must have been like as the people shouted his name?  They weren’t shouting it in disgust any more.  They weren’t upset with him for all that he had done.  They wanted him released in exchange for this man named Jesus.  Jesus, who hadn’t done anything wrong was set to take his place.  How could that be?  How is it that Jesus, who had come to save His people was now being crucified for nothing?  How could he possibly take the place of this rotten thief, murderer? 

Now, consider that we are all Barabbas.  In our sin, we are guilty.  We have done wrong.  We don’t deserve eternal life.  We don’t deserve the love of God.  We don’t deserve anything except death.  But, just like Jesus took the place of Barabbas that day…He takes the place of you and me today.  He died for the world…He died for you and me.  That is powerful.  Grace is for you.  In Christ, we are no longer orphans, we are adopted, freed and loved.  We are daughters and we are sons.  What a sweet exchange indeed.

Closing Thoughts

Today is the opportunity to receive this grace if you haven’t already.  If you have, remember it.  Take a few moments to consider what Christ has done for you.  Praise Him for His amazing love.  Serve Him with all that you are.  Follow Him because He has a plan for you.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Live YOUR calling!

“Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1 Cor 15:58)

Work for the Lord, do all for Him, find your purpose and do it, give your life to Him…what does it all mean?  Don’t people know we have lives?  We have children to raise, jobs to go to because we have bills to pay, games to watch, and food to eat.  Are we really suppose to add one more thing to our already busy lives?  Are we to add working for the Lord to our list?  I mean, it is for the Lord…

No, we aren’t.  Jesus lived on this earth so He gets it.  He gets that there are things that distract us.  He knows that there are things vying for our attention at every turn.  He knows we have a hard time focusing because of the fast pace of our lives.  He gets it.  So, what is all this about?

Jesus said He came to bring life and that we might have life more abundantly.  But, it could seem as though our lives are about as abundant as we want them.  It also tells us that his yoke is easy and his burden is light.  He reminds us that we can come to Him when we are heavy burdened and He will give us rest.  So, what is this abundant life that is recorded in John?  Abundant life doesn’t mean more things to do…it doesn’t mean 24 hour schedules….it doesn’t mean being so attached to your cell phone and to work that you can’t breathe…abundant life does NOT equal overwhelmed life…

Living the abundant life, working for the Lord, following Him is the primary function of your life which prevents you from being overwhelmed.  It is what keeps things in perspective…focuses on the right things…and changes us in the right ways…

Ephesians 4

It has been a dream of hers since she was young.  Now, 64, she stares at the waters one more time…excited at the opportunity of this amazing…yet some call impossible feat.  Diana Nyad set off this weekend to accomplish her dream…she is attempting one last time.  She is in the process of swimming from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.  Her and her team are on their way.  There are many dangers…the deadly jellyfish…the sharks…the weather.  It is an extreme dream she plans to accomplish.  It is what gets her up in the mornings.

What is it that gets us up and gets us going?  What is it that gets your heart pumping and really gets you excited to face the day?  In Ephesians, we read about the old man verses the new man.  When we follow Christ with our whole hearts, we are putting on the new man.  We are putting away the old and putting on the new.  When we do, God puts something special in us…a spark…something that is unique that we are excited about…something special just for us.  Maybe it was there since we were children…maybe it has just started to develop.  Many call it our passion.  The scriptures call it our calling.  It is what God has put inside of us that really gets us going.  It isn’t something sinful, it is something absolutely beautiful.  We can’t stop thinking about it.  It is what we are created to do.

We may get that feeling when we hear about a ministry that feeds people…or clothes…or visits those in prison…or goes oversees to spread the gospel…or encourages…or helps children.  This passion and calling that is within you is what He has placed there to serve Him.  It is a calling that He has given you to fulfill what He has for you to do.  This passion isn’t something new to do…it is what gets you going…When you are doing it, it isn’t a chore…it is you.  It shapes who you are.  Jesus living inside of you and you serving Him with your whole heart affects who you are as a parent…who you are as a worker…who you are every single moment.  Living the abundant life is about serving Him with your whole heart and doing what He has called you to do.  When you do, there is unity…because we aren’t trying to do what we aren’t called to do to fill a spot.  We aren’t trying to force ourselves to serve and trying to figure out how to put one more thing on our plates.  We are living out what God has called us to do and it is wonderful!  It has its challenges…but it is always worth it to serve the Lord.

  Maybe it is time for us to take off the old man…put on the new…or maybe it is time for some renewal.  It is time to follow Him with our whole hearts so that we can then live life with everything for Him.  The abundant life is waiting…with our calling…will you answer?

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

What do you do?

Over the past several weeks, we have talked about what it means to radically follow Jesus.  We have looked at some of the more difficult messages of Jesus.  We have considered giving our all to Him…our everything…and putting nothing before Him.  I pray that you have made that decision to radically follow Him…no matter what.  I pray that you are dedicated to serving Him because you love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

So, we say yes to following the Lord…God has called, we answer…we are ready to live life for Him.  That may have been years ago or a week ago.  We finally give everything to Him.  We have finally made that decision to let go.  Then, everything seems to fall apart…one piece at a time.  Or it all seems to crumble all at one time.  What happens when you follow the Lord and things don’t go well?  What happens when you feel as though you have been beat down?  What do you do when you mess up?  What happens when you are not even sure you can keep moving forward?  What do your world isn’t working out the way you thought it would?

For me, that lesson is learned from looking at the life of David.  David was chosen and anointed as a young man.  He was blessed by God.  Saul, the King, chose David to be his armor bearer.  David could play the harp while Saul was in distress in way that would calm him and help him to keep going.  1 Samuel 16:21-23.  It is going well for David.

He even faces Goliath…a giant that no one is willing to fight.  1 Samuel 17:42-47.  He didn’t just fight him, he defeated him and showed the people who God was.  He is doing the right thing…surely it would all continue…and then…the “party was over”…1 Samuel 18:7-9.

David fled, Saul pursued.  David encountered battle after battle just to keep his own life.  Saul wanted him dead.  David just wanted to live.  David’s camp was raided…his wives and children taken.  He was blamed.  But, through it all, David knew this is where God had led him.  2 Samuel 5:12.

David had every reason to question where he was in life.  He had every reason to question his calling…quit the fight…wonder why he was called to live such a life.  He could have just given up.  But, for me, the message that David’s early life teaches me is found over and over…2 Samuel 5:19.  David inquired of the Lord.

What does that mean?  It means that David wanted to know which steps to take…so he asked God.  He wanted to know whether the battle was right or now…he asked God.  When he made a mistake, he came to God with it.  In the terrors of his life, he kept asking God what he should do.  And, God answered.  God was leading his life.  Step by step and day by day, God led.

David wondered why Saul would want his life, but he remained faithful to God…which meant several times not killing Saul when he had the chance.  David remained faithful to God because he kept seeking God in his daily life.  He remained faithful because he didn’t do it on his own…he looked to God for answers.  Can you imagine how overwhelming the situation was for David as he went from place to place hiding out because the one he took care of was now trying to kill him?  Yet, he kept coming back to the Lord and seeking Him.

How about you and me?  Do circumstances guide your feelings and attitude?  Does your situation indicate how obedient you are?  OR…do you remain faithful because you are continually seeking His will and His way rather than your own?  Things don’t go well…seek God.  Daily seek Him.  Daily listen to Him.  Daily let Him lead and guide you.

When you seek God daily…you find strength…you find guidance…you find peace…and you can be obedient and faithful to the call.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Go and Make Disciples

Last week, we considered whether or not the Word of God is enough.  Is it really enough to bring us together?  Do we have that desire to know God more, to see what He reveals to us?  Do we really want to grow in Christ?  Do we desire to come together to do that?  Is it really enough?

Today, I want us to think about what are we to do as Christians?  What is it that we are called to do as His church and as His people?  We look at the Word for answers.  Matthew 28:19-20.  The first thing that we read in this scripture is to GO and to MAKE disciples.

Make disciples…that’s an interesting thought isn’t it.  What does it mean to make disciples?  We might first think it means to get people to come to church.  Surely if we can get someone to church, we can make a disciple of them, right?  Isn’t that what you pay the preacher for?  Isn’t that what we are doing when we have church?

That could easily be a general consensus of the church.  But, that isn’t what it means to make disciples.  As a church, bringing someone to worship isn’t the definition of making disciples.  Making disciples isn’t something that the pastor does for the church.  Jesus didn’t say, sit in church and wait for others to come.  He also didn’t say for us to bring people to church and let’s see what happens.

He told His disciples to go and to make disciples.  He is telling you and me as disciples to go and to make disciples.  That is done in our ordinary everyday lives.  We make disciples through relationships.  The church is not our mode of evangelism…our way of telling people about Jesus…our communication with the world.  The church is the place where believers come to worship the Almighty God.  We come together to know more about Him and to worship Him.  But, we go and make disciples.  The people we see in church often are people we see on a regular basis in church.  We are comfortable.  These are our “church peeps”.

But, what about the people you see at the grocery store?  What about the people you see at the bank and at the doctor’s office.  These are people we see through our jobs and in our lives.  These are people we see when we are doing what we do on a daily basis…not what we do on Sundays.  In making disciples, we may bring them to church.  Worship is obviously really important in the life of a follower.  But, inviting someone to church isn’t the mode of making disciples.

Making disciples is living the life.  It is talking with others.  It is finding out what is going on with them.  It is being a friend.  It is showing love when others don’t.  It is being there when they are down.  And it is showing them God.  We show them the love of God in the way we treat them.  We show them love by taking time out of the hustle and bustle of our lives.  We don’t cut people off because they don’t talk or act like we do.  We show love by being there.  We live the example by buying a few extra groceries in a week for the food pantry or FLOK.  We live the example by showing people we are real, with real problems…but that we serve a real Savior.  We show them where our hope comes from.

Life isn’t easy for anyone.  It may seem that some have it easier than others.  But, no one has it easy.  We all struggle.  We all have things that bring us down.  We all have burdens we are carrying around that no one may not ever see.  But, if we are continually seeking out people like us…Christians…we miss the opportunity to make disciples.

Romans 10:11-17…Powerful words!  These words remind us that there is a progression.  People call on the Lord when they believe.  People believe when they hear.  People hear when someone preaches.  Someone preaches when they are called.  You may think that doesn’t mean you.  You know you aren’t called to be a preacher.  That may be true unless you consider that preaching is really just proclaiming.  Can you proclaim that Jesus is Savior?  Can you proclaim what He has done for you?  Can you proclaim what God is doing in your life?  If so, you are called to do what is outlined here.

Also, do you think this is referring to a Sunday morning service?  How about people hear when someone is willing to live the life and to proclaim the truth.  God calls.  He has commanded us to go and make disciples.  He has given us the mission to go.  He is calling…are you answering?

Make disciples…You and Me…Make disciples.  We do that through relationships…we do that through our everyday lives…we do that through mentoring and loving…we do that through encouragement.  But most importantly, we do it through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Following the Lord…filled with the Holy Spirit…always with the Lord…making disciples…

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Is the Word enough?

Today, you can put away your Bibles.  We won’t need them in worship today.  Instead, we are going to just spend time worshiping.  We are going to talk about how much we have been blessed.  We are going to come up with ways that we can be a better church and better people.  Sounds like a plan?

It shouldn’t.  It shouldn’t because if we are going to be obedient people and an obedient church…and if we are going to truly worship…the Word of God has to be an integral part.  So, what is the Bible really good for?  We have had an emphasis since Memorial Day on reading the Bible every day.  But, what is it really good for?  Why do you have the Bible?  Why do you read it?  What are you looking for?  The answers to these questions say a lot about us.

For many, the Bible is a history book…and it does have a lot of history in it.  I have been reading in 1 Samuel recently and there is some powerful history of God’s people.  For some, it is a road map.  It is a way for us to make the right decisions…a guidebook for life.  For some, it is a love letter…God’s letter to us.  But, in all of these things, the focus of the Bible is me.  It is my love letter…my guidebook for my life…my road map…the focus is ME.  Now, it is true that the Bible does provide us with a way to live our lives…and it does show us the love of God, I want you to think of the Bible in a completely radical way…

Let’s think about the Bible as God’s revelation.  He is revealing something to us that we don’t know and we won’t know unless He reveals it.  It isn’t something we get on our own.  It isn’t dependent on us.  It is dependent on God.  In this revelation, God is revealing who He is to us.  How we approach Scripture says a lot about our priorities.  David Platt in Radical writes…”If you want to know what you really treasure, take a hard look at the way you read the Bible.  If you read the Bible with the intent of getting good advice, making choices, or finding your way in the world, then chances are you’re worshiping at the altar of self.  If you read the Bible as it was meant to be read – so that you can know, understand, and obey God – you’re beginning to see the true focus of Scripture:  God.”

Let’s read in this Word about the Word…2 Timothy 3:16-17 and Hebrews 4:12-13.

The Word is there to train and correct and teach in the ways of God.  It isn’t about us…the Word is about God.  It is about who He is and how He is calling us to an obedient heart and life.  The Word of God cuts to the heart…it reveals our true motives…it opens us up to the truth.  If the Word isn’t correcting us and revealing where we are missing the mark and showing us how He wants to go, then we may be missing it when we are reading the Word.

How important really is the Word?  Is it really so important or is it something you could live without?  Is it something you could worship without?  Is the Word of God really enough for us?  Is it enough for us to come to worship OR do we come for some other reasons (or not come for other reasons)?

Are we really here to learn more about Him?  Are we really here to read His Word and to know Him better and obey Him?  What if we take away the comforts of the church…the cushions…the decorations…the A/C…would you still come?  What if we didn’t have the building and had to meet under an oak tree?  What if your life was on the line if you came together to hear and study the Word?  Does it really mean that much to you?  Does hearing and learning more about God really mean that much to you?  Do we have a thirst for the Word and a thirst to worship?  In other words, is the Word of God enough for us to come together?

If we want to follow Jesus, that answer has to be YES.  But, that isn’t often our focus because we are thinking about us.  We aren’t really thinking about God and worshiping Him…much of the time, we are thinking about what we want.  We are thinking about how there could be different music or hymns, how the preacher could really stop any time, thinking about how the service is going to run long because of communion, thinking about what is going to happen after church.  We don’t give God our 100% when we are here and we likely wouldn’t come without the modern conveniences.  We could easily go somewhere else that has them.  And if we don’t, we can just stay home.  Those are scary thoughts because it reveals how much we really want to follow Jesus rather than self.

Our decision, though, isn’t that we are going to start loving the Word of God today.  Our decision is rather that we are committing ourselves to following Jesus Christ.  Our decision is that we will love the Lord our God with all of our heart and soul and strength.  Our decision is that God is enough and we will worship Him no matter what.  When we make that decision, the Word of God comes alive for us because the Holy Spirit ignites that.  We look at 1 Samuel and we see the heart of Hannah…we see the heart of David…we see the fall of Saul…and the fall of Eli’s sons…and we take a long hard look at how we are being obedient and if our heart is loyal to God.

Do you want to know more about God…do you want to know how to be obedient…do you want to know how to follow?  Spend time in the Word and spend time in worship with the Word.  God reveals Himself through the Word, through His Spirit, and throughout our lives…but we miss it if we miss the Word.  Yes, the Word of God is just that important!

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Who He Is…Who we are

We have been looking over the last few weeks about what it means to follow Jesus…truly follow Him…to sacrifice all in order to follow Him wholeheartedly. Today, let’s consider why following Jesus is so very important. To start, I want us to consider who God really is. Now, there is no way for me to completely describe God. It is important, though, to look at the characteristics of God. When we think of God…many of us have ideas that pop into our minds automatically. We could picture God as a loving God who sent Jesus to take on the sins of the world. Some people picture the big father figure who is standing in judgment and we should be afraid of. Then there are others who have a view that fits how He was described growing up. But, it is most important that we don’t try to change who God is to fit who we want Him to be. For some reason, we could get the idea that the God of the New Testament is much kinder and more loving than the God of the Old Testament. We divide the two as if God had a change of heart between the two. We could split them…God of Old versus God of New. But that isn’t correct. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. God doesn’t change. He hasn’t changed ever. His love hasn’t changed ever. He hasn’t become a softy through history. He is the same. God is still a jealous God and expects us to put Him first. He is still God that has wrath towards liars, hatred towards sinners. He still expects obedience from His people. That can all seem so harsh unless we consider that He does all of these things for our good. He expects us to put Him first because that is what we were created for. He doesn’t want us to fall in the traps of sin. He doesn’t want us to go our own way that leads to destruction. Like a loving parent, He shows us the way and provides guidance for us all along the way. There are consequences to our decisions…as there should be. That can make us squirm a little in our seats. We sometimes forget that He is High and Holy…Powerful and Mighty…Sovereign King… Given what we just considered about who God is, let us think about who we are. In order to do that, let’s look at Ephesians 2:1-3. In just a few short verses, we begin to see who we are. Not a pleasant view of humanity. We are dead in sin, we follow fleshly desires, we are disobedient, we deserve wrath. Without God, we are in hopelessness. We deserve punishment. Just like we don’t want to think about who God is, we don’t want to think about who we really are either. We don’t want to think about how we are disobedient and are influenced by the devil. We don’t want to think about how we go our own way. We want the pretty pictures. But, humanity doesn’t have a good side with sin. The wages of sin is death. So, we have God who hates sinners…and we have us…sinners. That is a picture for you. We see in the Old Testament where God is trying to redirect and His people keep making really bad choices. Even those who God directly told to do better didn’t. They were doomed and so are we… What do we do? Acts 2:37-40. Peter was asked the question about what to do. His response was to flee the world, repent and be baptized. They were told to repent…turn away from their sins. They were instructed to be baptized (a public showing of their decision…one that could be very dangerous). They were told to flee what this world has to offer in order to follow. Let’s continue by looking at Ephesians 2:4-10. Because of God’s GREAT love for us, God – who is rich in mercy – provided grace. We were dead in our sins. We were hopeless. But, God didn’t give up on us. He loves us. Through Christ, He provided a way. It is only by grace that we are saved…and grace is a gift from God…completely undeserved. We can’t do anything to earn it. We were created by Him…and reborn in Christ Jesus…to do good works! Sinners…provided a way…through an unearned gift…to do good works. And yet, we have a problem with total surrender. Why wouldn’t we surrender to the One who has provided so much already?

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

The heart of things

Growing up in church, I often questioned why we couldn’t do what we wanted to do…why we couldn’t do the things we chose – especially when they didn’t involve anyone else.  Who was I hurting?  Who would even know?  Would God care about that?

My Dad often got the majority of these questions because he was my Sunday School teacher many years.  He always summed it up to…it is a heart problem.  You will make decisions and do things based on what is in your heart.

At that time, it at least helped with some of my questions.  But, as I grow older, it means more and more.  In following Christ, our lives should reflect the character of Christ…we should care for what God cares for…we shouldn’t ignore the things that God considers important.

That means I end up loving things that I wouldn’t necessarily want to love…it means that I end up doing things that will seem crazy to the rest of the world…but right on with God.

Let’s look at a scripture…thinking about getting to the heart of things.

Mark 10:17-31

Today’s scripture is much like the last 2 weeks.  This is one of those difficult scriptures because our first thought often is…Is Jesus asking me to sell everything I have if I follow Him?  Our next question to automatically assume that Jesus wouldn’t ask us to give up our possessions…so we can just move on.

Jesus may actually ask you to give up all you have and follow Him.  That may actually happen.  You certainly wouldn’t be the first…and I am sure you wouldn’t be the last.  There are people all over our world who have sold their homes and left the comforts of their jobs and lives in order to follow Christ to the ends of the earth.  There are people listening to God and saying YES as He is asking them to step out on faith and trust Him.

The issue is not whether Jesus is asking him or us to sell everything.  Jesus is calling for total surrender.

It is important that we realize that salvation isn’t about our actions.  Good works do not get you into heaven.  We can’t get into the game of seeing who has done the best works and comparing because no works compare to the blood of Jesus Christ.

We don’t do good works to be saved.  We are saved…so we do good works.  Our heart is in the right place.  We are changed by the power of Christ…the Holy Spirit is working in us…we desire to reflect Him.  We are changed to be more like Him because we totally surrender it all.

Look at 1 John 2:3-6

When we look at this scripture, we can easily go down a path that is not the right one.  We could find ourselves looking at this scripture and identifying other people who claim one thing but live a different life.

Sins…we are quick to look at people and code them as not following…despite what they claim.  Can point out what is wrong with the way they are living.  No problem with that.  Can look and see their fruits are not reflective of Christ.

But, it is quite a different issue when we look at ourselves….That plank in our own eye is quite large.  We begin to compare sins and think about how our sin isn’t as big as someone else’s sin or we think about how terrible someone else is living but don’t want to look at ourselves.  We could think that we are doing it all correct because we never take inventory…

How about caring for the poor?  What about indulging in more and more stuff while ignoring the poor…How about looking at what we have and seeing if we are using it ALL for the glory of God.  How are we spending our time…how are we living our lives…

Have we actually allowed Christ to change us?  Are we actually following Him?  Are we doing what He is saying?  If not, now is the perfect time to repent of that and ask Him to change us.   We want Him to change us to help us to reflect Him!

Finally, it is important not to leave discouraged…wondering how we are going to do one more thing.  Don’t leave here thinking about what you need to do.  How about be encouraged to know that when we come to Him with our whole hearts and totally surrender…He will come and rescue us and change us.  It is about becoming more and more like Him and less and less like the world.  Now that’s something to look forward to!

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2013 in Uncategorized