Week 5 of our 6 Week Study : )
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
The most amazing before and after anyone has ever witnessed. Before grace there is no hope, no future, desolation, wrath, pungent smells of sin infested lives, darkness, despair, and destruction.
Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I am found was blind but now I see. Jesus brought with him grace, forgiveness, salvation, redemption, adoption, love, hope, joy, peace and so much more.
Pharisees despised him. They wanted him gone, this Jesus who brought hope to the people. They wanted to continue with their own misled ideals and interpretations of the law. To elevate self. They were standing in their own way while Jesus offered them grace and redemption. To truly be free.
There are those who view serving Christ as total enslavement. Jesus said my yoke is easy and my burden light. There are no chains that bind a Christian. If we are slaves to anything it is goodness. Christ has simply called us to a better life that can only be found in Him.
I can’t help but smirk a little bit, as Jesus answers all their questions. As if He doesn’t know their thoughts and evil intentions. He smashes evil with goodness, truth, and lights a path through the darkest of hearts. He points to the Father always leaving us the perfect example to follow. All the while He loves them and wants them to see the error of their ways.
Healing the blind, the sick and demon possessed. He shows mercy and provides restoration. Sharing parables along the way that they can relate to attempting to open the eyes of their thirsty souls.
We have already touched some on Matthew 12 sorry I skipped ahead : ) Taking us back to one of my most favorite Psalms. Psalms 46. I hope you had time to just read it in its entirety. God my refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble. Remember He is always near even when we feel alone. God is our place of refuge. There are days I am weary, and I need to rest. I just get in my quiet place, and I go to my Father who loves me. In Him I find my restoration. My strength to refocus and press forward persevering in the name of my God.
There in verse 10 – Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth! We must remember to refuel. We try so often to keep pressing forward and we fail to remember we need Him. Don’t get caught in the trap of your plans are better than His. Been there done that. Hit the reset and reboot. I still struggle with being still at times. I tend to be more of a Martha at times, but God is working on me being more like Mary and remembering where I truly need to be.
It is at His feet we will find clarity within the fog of our own confusion. God has scraped me up from the floor more times than I can count. He has never forsaken me even when I am at my worst. Even when despair has overcome me, and my faith fails. He is forever faithful.
II Timothy 1:7 – Paul was encouraging Timothy reminding him of his strong faith and the generations before him that lit the path ahead. Asking him to remember that God had not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Verse 8 “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God. Verse 9, “who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10. but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11. “to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”.
We are a holy people with a holy calling on our lives as followers of Christ. We are to be separate. We are the image bearers of Christ. We cannot walk that line without continually working on ourselves to be more and more like Jesus. Here are (3) wonderful reminders for us to remember every day.
- Love God with everything you got.
- Value other people.
- Improve yourself.
The first and greatest commandment is to the love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, with all thy strength and with all thy might. The second is like it to love thy neighbor as thy self, and we must always be working on self. How can we not want to be the best image bearers we can be for a God who loved us so very much and a Savior who gave everything for us.
I learned long ago through my own personal trials, who am I to question God on any sacrifice required of me? Did He not give His only son for me? Did He not defeat death, hell and the grave for me by the giving of his own life? I shared a quote this week about Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego – It was a reminder that they were not alone, Jesus was with them in the fire. God does not necessarily remove the storm, but He carries us through by His mighty power.
This leads us to our “Hall of Faith.” Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This chapter speaks of those who walk the holy calling. They had found favor with God. Reminding us in verse 6 that without faith, it is impossible to please God. His only requirement being our faith.
Paul along with all those mentioned in Hebrews 11 understood that faith was not without sacrifice. They also knew God was bigger than anything they would ever encounter. Scripture tells us to be absent from the body is to be present with the LORD. I don’t know about you my friend, but I long for the day I can bow before my Jesus and thank Him personally for all He has done for me. I may hug his neck and never let go. How I hope I have made my Father proud and on that day how wonderful to hear the words – Well Done! Thy Good and Faithful Servant!
We have been talking about the importance of being aware of His presence, being aware of self and where our focus lies, and building on the solid foundation of Jesus our LORD and Savior. Getting those bibles out and those prayer closets filled with heartfelt prayers in reverence, humility, and praise. God longs for us to need Him. He longs for us to turn to Him.
I leave you tonight with 1 Corinthians 15:56-58, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
See you guys’ next week which will be the end of this study. See your homework below : ) We will continue next week with Gods power and how God responds to our faith.
- I Peter 1:5
- James 1: 6-8
- Mark 5: 22-34