2 Chronicles 7:14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves
and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven
and will forgive their sins and restore their land. (NLT)
In a society where personal truth reigns supreme and where individual liberty is god, the need to repent is a tough "sell."
Everyone from politicians to preachers can testify the fact that we have major social problems. And they are growing daily. The proverbial slope is getting slipperier, yet few are willing to look up and grab hold of the only One who can keep us from crashing at the bottom.
The thought of a need for repentance is an offense to most. Hearing that it is a necessity is like listening to a language not our own - the idea is foreign to us. We tell ourselves things like, "I'm not that bad." or, "At least I'm not as bad as...." When, in fact, in our heart, we are saying, "I will determine if I am a sinner."
Read below, The Voice translation of how Jesus clarified the issue with His response in Luke 13:2-5:
Jesus: 2 Do you think these Galileans were somehow being singled out for their sins, that they were worse than any other Galileans, because they suffered this terrible death? 3 Of course not. But listen, if you do not consider God’s ways and truly change, then friends, you should prepare to face His judgment and eternal death.
4 Speaking of current events, you’ve all heard about the 18 people killed in that building accident when the tower in Siloam fell. Were they extraordinarily bad people, worse than anyone else in Jerusalem, so that they would deserve such an untimely death? 5 Of course not. But all the buildings of Jerusalem will come crashing down on you if you don’t wake up and change direction now. (VOICE)
Lord help us to see our need to turn to You with repentant hearts and let our nation be restored.
Psalm 89:1 I will sing about the Lord’s faithful love forever;
I will proclaim Your faithfulness to all generations with my mouth. (HCSB)
When we are traveling the seas of life and find ourselves in rough waters, like the disciples in the boat with Jesus, it's easy to allow fear and uncertainty to cause us to fall into despair.
As the disciples scrambled around the boat, Jesus was asleep in the hull. Amazed that He could be sleeping, the disciples awakened Jesus. His followers wondered how He could rest when they were in such distress. Didn't He realize how dire their situation was?
Though the storms battering against our faith may be fierce and unrelenting, it is imperative that we keep it anchored in Jesus Christ. His faithful love will see us through, knowing we can trust in His promises.
We may have to face health issues, relationship difficulties, financial hardship. We may have memories of storms from the past that cause us distress. We don't have to allow ourselves to become submerged under the rising tides of life.
Jesus calmed the winds, the rain, and the seas for the disciples on the boat. He can calm the waves and provide shelter in our storms as well when we follow their example. Call on Jesus. His faithful love endures forever.
Jesus, we call on you today. Trusting Your faithful love
to protect us from any storm we may face today.
We all have our fair share of problems in this life. Like Job, to some, it may seem like we've gotten more than our fair share. Whether it be health, financial, relational or spiritual, the Lord assures us that we will have trouble. He doesn't leave us there to trudge through life in despair. Our loving Father assures us in John 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (NLT)
God is our solid foundation when we face all the assaults that life throws our way. He is our Solid Rock, our Refuge in the storms of life. Today, Mr. Hughes says he believes that distance is a Christian's biggest problem. - The distance we allow (or cause) between God and us. We should have the same attitude as Job - "though He slays me, I will trust Him." Because Job remained close to God, he was able to trust Him with His life.
I must ask myself, "Why would I allow distance to come between God and me?" I believe it is the evidence of the root of every sin - pride.
Psalm 85:8 I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying,
for he speaks peace to his faithful people.
But let them not return to their foolish ways.
The first three of the Ten Commandments is a description of a right relationship with God. We are to acknowledge Him as Creator and put Him above everything else. I believe the sin of pride precedes every other sin. It lures us into putting ourselves before God. Pride is the sin that leads to what Mr. Hughes believes is our biggest problem. It is what keeps us from living a fulfilled life - distance from God.
Lord help us to do as David instructed in 1 Chronicles 22:19 -
"Now determine in your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God."
Proverbs 18:3 When a wicked man comes, contempt also does,
and along with dishonor, disgrace. (HCSB)
I find it interesting that as the final chapter of what has been a very long political season begins, my reading today includes this verse from Proverbs and it addresses what happens when "wickedness comes."
Author Selwyn Hughes, suggests that to get and keep political power one must follow two major principles. The first - let nothing, least of all truth and honor to interfere with success. The second - be honest in the little things and bold and dishonest in the large ones. There have indeed been wicked political powers throughout the history of civilization. In the Old Testament, we can read the list of kings who "did what was evil" We also find the honorable kings who loved the Lord and "did what was right" in His sight. Like David, they still managed to do wicked things.
We need not look far to find wickedness on both sides of the aisle (as well as on either side and in the middle.) Wickedness resides in the heart of every man and woman. To deny it would be declaring God a liar. If we are unable to see the evil in our hearts how can we recognize it in the heart of another? No candidate is without character flaws - none of us are. As a Christian, I must strive to live my life in truth and integrity. As a citizen I must seek the same (and recognize when it is lacking) in the person, I select to lead my country.
The Lord may or may not allow a "wicked king" to come into power. If that is His will, it will be to fulfill His purpose, which could include giving us what we ask for - (and perhaps what we deserve.) When making a final selection in November, I cannot be blind to my own arrogance. Thinking I "know" the best person for the job. Only God knows that.
I pray that God gives me wisdom when I vote. Jesus is my King - I will follow His lead. I pray that my vote is in agreement with His will and that He will give us a President, who will lead, protect, and unite us - with truth and integrity.
1 Corinthians 4:2 Because we are in this particular role, it is especially important that we are people of fidelity and integrity. (VOICE)
Job 38:33 Do you know the laws of the universe and how the heavens influence the earth? (TLB)
Have you ever felt like you have your life under control? I have. We are told that we need to take control of our life, our finances, and our futures. To function in a civil society, it's necessary to keep our emotions in check so as not to let them control us.
Self-discipline is the key factor in whether our life is chaotic and dysfunctional, or not. The truth, however, is that God is the only one ultimately in control. Every single individual has a particular role to fill in the universe. The role we fill, our influence, and our destiny - God already knew before He gave us life. He was, and continues to be the one who has already determined our destiny.
It is within His authority as God of the universe.
"If He's in control, why does sickness, suffering, evil, and death occur?" is the weak rebuttal from those who, at best question His authority, and at worst, question His very existence.
He is the potter. We are clay in His hands to use for His purposes. In His authority, He chose to give us the free will. His number one command is that we "Love Him and have no other gods before Him." By His power, He could compel us to love and serve Him. He desires that we offer Him our love and worship.
In His wisdom, He chose not to do so knowing authentic love is love freely given.
Therefore, I accept stewardship of the things he's given to me to manage to the best of my God-given ability. There will be some things I can control and some things I can't. I can and should, try to influence when His Spirit leads. But the outcomes and purposes remain unknown to us until He chooses to reveal them.
Romans 3:6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death.
But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and (NLT)
My free-will gives me authority to give up control over my life, to Him. Each morning, as I lift my prayers to Him, He responds - "Trust Me. I got this."
Therefore, with humility, set aside all moral filth and the growth of wickedness, and welcome the word planted deep inside you—the very word that is able to save you.
Common English Bible (CEB)
My heart is not pure. My inherent sin defiles it.
This fact is a confession that I must make every day, or risk the deception that comparison into which the world lures me. It is easy to look at the evil in the world and tell myself, "At least I'm not that bad." God's word tells me, I am that bad.
It's what we tend to do. We compare. We size up ourselves against others and yes, we judge. Most of the time, if I'm honest, I make the comparisons for entirely selfish reasons. My purpose may come out of a quest for excellence. But it is not a pure motive if it involves comparing the level of my bar with that of someone else. My motivation is pride.
Comparison to Jesus is my only hope. His perfect love shines the light on my utter depravity and eliminates any prideful inclinations. His Word shows me how I am to live holiness.
A purified heart is not something I can achieve - or even desire, on my own. It is the gift Christ died to give us so that we may see God.
Psalm 19:14 May the words that come out of my mouth and the
musings of my heart meet with Your gracious approval,
O Eternal, my Rock,
O Eternal, my Redeemer.
The Voice (VOICE)
Proverbs 17:22 A joy-filled heart is curative balm,
but a broken spirit hurts all the way to the bone. The Voice (VOICE)
Laughter may not be the best medicine, but it certainly ranks at the top of the list. When I feel sad, angry, or afraid, when I've been in deep emotional, and yes, even severe physical pain, I've found relief in laughter.
Sometimes the cares of this life are serious. Often, however, we take things and people, (and ourselves) far too seriously. It is foolish to suggest that we skip through life ignoring our hurts, cares, concerns and responsibilities.
But when I choose to look to Jesus I can find joy in Him when there is no joy in my heart. When I look to Him, I take my eyes off of myself, my sadness, sorrow, and disappointments.
There will always be troubles, trials, and tragedies in this fallen world. When I can laugh in spite of them, I deny satan the power to use his very powerful and effective tool - depression.
May the joy of the Lord fill us with His Holy Spirit,
bring healing, and enable us to laugh in spite of pain.
Proverbs 17:20 The crooked heart will not prosper;
the lying tongue tumbles into trouble. NLT
Stretching the truth, (otherwise know as lying) seems to have become socially acceptable. In business and our personal lives, embellishment has become "strategic marketing."
Integrity and honesty used to go hand in hand and were once required if one hoped to gain respect. Today, however, one gets recognition for the number of "likes" received or the volume of hits on a Youtube page. On occasion, the recognition is for things that are uplifting, wholesome - true. Unfortunately, all too often, the more offensive the content, the more it is shared. It truly does become a "virus."
As society moves toward indecency, incivility, and violence, lying has become commonplace. Though we make every attempt to make it so, darkness can never become light. Light exposes what hides in the dark. Lies to hide indiscretions, embellishments on resumes, intentional omissions on tax returns - every lie is evidence of our the depravity of humankind. "Everybody does it." "It's okay as long as nobody gets hurt." these are the lies we use to justify behavior we know to be suspect.
In the July 13 devotion of Every Day with Jesus, Mr. Hughes' summary states:
"The universe is made for the same thing as we are - namely, righteousness. not only the face of the Lord but the face of the universe is set against those who live below its standards."
May we all strive to live above the poverty level standard of a world of unrighteousness.
Acts 13-38-39 “Brothers, listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. 39 Everyone who believes in him is made right in God’s sight—something the law of Moses could never do. NLT
The simple answer is, "No." God loves us and does not reject us. But as with most relationships, it's not that simple.
He is a Holy God. Though His will never reject us, He must, in His Holiness, reject sin. It is we, in making our decision to sin, who are the one's rejecting Him. We are the one's who damage the relationship when we rebel against His authority.
Why does He get to make the rules? - Because His is God.
He is the Creator of the universe and everything in it. The rules on how to live in it and how it operates best are His alone to make.
We show our imperfect love for Him through our obedience and submission to His authority. He demonstrated His perfect love through His Son Jesus Christ. He offers His love daily, through the grace that he extends to us when we return to Him in repentance.
His love is always free for us to accept or reject.
What choice are you going to make today?
My utmost journey of devotion has taken a different route for awhile. On my current journey, I am on a walk in the Every Day with Jesus Daily Bible. As you can see from the day of my last entry, I halted sharing my devotions for far too long. Though my writings ceased, I remained on my journey of faith.
In contrast to My Utmost..., Every Day with Jesus by Selwyn Hughes has scripture passage readings from both Old and New Testaments, as well as from Psalms and Proverbs. Each reading ends with a short prayer, a devotion, and provides additional scriptures for further study.
With so much instruction to read and absorb, and the time restraints of daily life, I failed to share this new journey on which God is leading me.
Under conviction and after much prayer, I begin again sharing this daily journey. Refreshed, renewed, and determined, this is my first entry on this journey that began last November.
Today, the author asks us to consider how God has revealed Himself to us and what our picture of God is. God, through His word reveals Himself as my Creator, Provider, Protector, my Heavenly Father, and my Savior. I envision Him to be radiant, beautiful, kind, gentle, holy, and just. - With His hand reaching out to me.
How do you see God?
If the Lord blesses You through as you read what He's shown me, please bless Him in return by commenting or sharing as you feel Him leading you.
Thank you for reading and God Bless.
1 Corinthians 10:31 So if you eat or drink or whatever you do, do everything to honor God. (NLV)
Human inclination is to look at my experiences or the experiences of others to find inspiration. I scroll through my social media accounts and, before long I find this inspiring story (usually accompanied by a photo to stimulate our visual sensory perception). I'm inspired by the strength of the one who has overcome loss and tragedy. I'm touched by the benevolence of those who petition on behalf of those in need of support. It is an understandable and natural response. There are exceptions of course but, generally speaking, we are a kind-hearted species.
To some, my own life could be one such story. Quite honestly, in my humanness, I wrestle with the how to reconcile my conflicting emotions. I am overwhelmed with humility and thankfulness to experience, in such dramatic fashion, the faithfulness of God. It is so humbling to realize that the God of the entire universe was right there with me - protecting, and providing for me while He was answering my heart's prayer for others. The idea of making such an assertion is awkward and uncomfortable. I wonder how to convey it without sounding arrogant - like somehow I think I was "righteous enough" to deserve such favor.
With shame, I must admit that it sometimes holds me back from sharing what God has done in my life and the lives of those around me.
How do I successfully reconcile humility with my desire to shout to the world the magnificent faithfulness of my awesome God? Proven through deliverance, divine protection, miraculous healing (physical, emotional, and spiritual)? Through grace to forgive, conviction of faith, and strength to take each day as it comes, and challenge skeptics? Is that possible?
If you are rightly devoted to the Lord Jesus, you have reached the sublime height where no one ever thinks of noticing you, all that is noticed is that the power of God comes through you all the time. My Utmost for His Highest ~ Oswald Chambers
Life has its drama. It is a never-ending feed of trending tragedies and triumphs. If we're lucky (or unlucky, depending on one's perspective) it may be mundane. Mr. Chambers tells us, however, "The test of the life of a saint is not success but faithfulness in human life as it actually is."
Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (ESV)
Every word I write, each word I speak and songs that I sing - every thought and every action; I pray others see, not me, but Jesus in me.
Our human relationships are the actual conditions in which the ideal life of God is to be exhibited. My Utmost for His Highest~ Oswald Chambers
James 4:8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you.
I must share the Gospel. Jesus carried a burden in His heart for every sinner. His weight was so great that He willingly suffered on the cross and He died for me... He died for all of us. He knew it was the only way for us to prevent eternal separation from God. He is the Only Way. So as a Christian, I follow His lead.
If my heart is not burdened for the lost, can I really claim to be seeking the heart of Jesus Christ? To be following Him?
It is essential to give people a chance of acting on the Truth of God. ~ My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers
It's not easy for everyone to share the gospel. But God didn't call us to "easy" life. He calls us to obedience. When He gives us something to do. He is faithful to give us what we need to complete the task. But we cannot sit in silence and watch those in our world die without hearing the message of salvation in Jesus Christ. - Not if we are living the life of His disciple.
The responsibility must be left with the individual, you cannot act for him.., it must be his own deliberate act. ~ My Utmost..., Oswald Chambers
We cannot compel anyone to believe. That is not our responsibility. Our responsibility is to inform them salvation is only found through faith in Jesus Christ.
Never allow a Truth of God that is brought home to your soul to pass without acting on it... The feeblest saint who transacts business with Jesus Christ is emancipated the second he acts; all the almighty power of God is on His behalf. ~My Utmost..., Oswald Chambers
To choose to act is a decision of the will for both the saint and the sinner. It is the sinner's responsibility to "Come," when she hears the Truth is hers alone to make. It is the saint's responsibility to "Go and tell."
The power of sin and death in the world is not defeated by our acts of obedience. It is defeated because our act links us to the redemptive power of God through Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:6 God is the One Who made us preachers of a New Way of Worship. This New Way of Worship is not of the Law. It is of the Holy Spirit. The Law brings death, but the Holy Spirit gives life. (NLV)
1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a house of God where the Holy Spirit lives? God gave you His Holy Spirit. Now you belong to God. You do not belong to yourselves. (NLV)
There is no such thing as a private life - "a world within the world" - for a man or a woman who is brought into fellowship with Jesus Christ's sufferings. God breaks up the private life of his saint... My Utmost for His Highest ~Oswald Chambers
Today's reading is the uncomfortable truth regarding my life. Once described as a very private person (a truth manipulated to fit an incorrect assumption regarding my life), I must face the fact that God didn't want my life to remain isolated. My faith in Jesus Christ and what he has done in my life - as well as in the life of my husband, my son, and others in my life, is not meant to remain "private."
When I married my husband, God joined us in Holy matrimony. We became one in the eyes of the Lord. When God sanctified me, I felt a desperation for my husband's soul that I had never felt before. God heard my prayers for him and he knew the sincerity with which I prayed. And He proved Himself faithful. God does what God needs to do to accomplish His will. My prayers for Larry's salvation was in line with His will - that is that none are lost.
My life changed in an instant. Our family's future was permanently altered and my heart broken. My privacy was misinterpreted. Those believed they were "helping" me, made my pain so much greater. I now know I must forfeit that privacy. God calls me to sacrifice it for the sake of the truth about my husband and our life together, and for the sake of my own faith - and his. It is for the sake of the Gospel that it must be done. So that others may know freedom in of Jesus Christ. - Because my life is no longer my own.
If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, thank Him for breaking your heart. My Utmost... ~Oswald Chambers
I do thank You Lord for breaking my heart, and for Your mercies in the pain... May I soon be singing Your praises for restoration? Your will be done.
John 20:21 Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” (NLT)
The great dominant note is not the needs of men, but the command of Jesus. My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
I have never felt God's call to be a "professional" missionary. The call to go to foreign lands and serve Him in that capacity. I admire them and the work that they do. I simply don't feel God sending me into that kind of service. I believe God wants to reach the people, already in my life, through me and reach others through my writing.
Living the life of a missionary is not limited to those who leave their life and "Go," - somewhere else. God "sends" us where there is need - a need for Him. And we all need Him. We are His ambassadors in our homes and towns, our places of employment and recreation. It may sound like an easier assignment than those who must sleep under mosquito nets in jungles. But sometimes it's harder to reach those who are near us. Those who are not suffering from hunger or poverty. - Those who are part of our family or our circle of friends.
The "dangers" that those of us who don't leave our current homes experience are not those of disease or pestilence or threat of violence in war-torn countries. It is the "danger" of alienating our friends and loved ones with the message we bring.
Our message is one of love and grace. But it is also a message of conviction. It is a message that calls people out of their contentment with the things of the world and reveals our true need. When people are not in need, they may see no need for God at all.
Today Mr. Chambers reminds me of the sole purpose of missionary work. Whether it be at home or otherwise.
We forget that the one great reason underneath all missionary enterprise is not first the elevation of the people, nor the education of the people, nor their needs, but first and foremost the command of Jesus Christ -- "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations." My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
All nations. That means the work of a missionary may be on another continent. - It may also be in one's own home or community. It's not all about who needs what. It's God's command to "go and teach."
...we should give credit to the Divine guidance of God through childlike people who were foolish enough to trust God's wisdom and the supernatural equipment of God. My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Matthew 28:19 Go and make followers of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
This is the mission of every believer - wherever their mission field may be.
1 Corinthians 9:22 to the weak I became as[a] weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. (NKJV)
"Being chosen." I've often wondered how that works.
Today Mr. Chambers tells me that I am not to be a "worker" for God by choice. Today, our liberty to choose our own actions and pursue our own happiness is championed. But he says that "Unless we have the right matter in our minds intellectually and in our hearts affectionately, we will be hustled out of usefulness to God." My Utmost for His Highest
He warns of the woe that will be upon me if I turn to the right or to the left, once God has put His call on me. I may not have chosen to be a "worker." But I must choose to obey once I feel God's call to work for His kingdom. I must choose to do and to be whatever God calls me to do, "..that I might by all means save some."
I don't write because I have aspirations of becoming the next best selling author. I don't wake up each morning of my own strength, thinking what great things I can do today. (Or that I can sometimes even manage to find joy in the new day.) I write because it is what I know God has called me to do. He has confirmed it many times in many ways. I wake up with the strength of the Lord, praying that He gives me something great to do for Him. I may not be "happy" about my lot in life. I want things to change and my life to be the way I think it should be and how it would most honor God. God has given me the patience to wait for those changes.
And so I wait - joyously. For what He has already done. And I wait with expectant joy for what He is going to do.
While I wait, however, I will work at those things in which He has called me to do. For some reason, He has chosen me to live this life He's given me.
Why He is doing it, we do not know; He is doing it for one purpose only - that He may be able to say This is My man, My woman. My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
I will live it out the best way that I can for Him and through the power of His Holy Spirit. Because he called me to tell others about Him.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, royal priests, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession. You were chosen to tell about the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (NCV)
2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (NLT)
I bring to life my own interests and prejudices. I get consumed with all the things of this life that are of great importance to me.
When I was born again into a new life with Christ Jesus, that all changed. The Holy Spirit began to work in my heart. My priorities changed. The things of this life are still important to me. They are just re-prioritized.
Mr. Chambers asks the pressing question:
How are we going to get the life that has not lust, not self-interest, no sensitiveness to pokes, the love that is not provoked that thinketh no evil, that is always kind? The only way is by allowing not a bit of the old life to be left; but only simple, perfect trust in God, such that trust we no longer want God's blessings, but only want Himself. ~ My Utmost for His Highest
If I am honest with myself, I must admit I am not "there" yet. I do still ask God's blessing. There are people and things I still care about for which I ask His blessing. He wants me to ask. It's different now, though. I ask and surrender, knowing He knows what is best.
Have we come to the place where God can withdraw His blessings and it does not affect our trust in Him? When once we see God at work, we will never bother our heads about things that happen because we are actually trusting in our Father in Heaven. - Whom the world cannot see. ~ My Utmost for His Highest
Phillipians 1:29 You are not only to put your trust in Him, but you are to suffer for Him also. (NLV)
2 Corinthians 1:20-22 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (NLT)
I don't know what it is that makes us so hesitant to admit when we're wrong. It seems our go-to response is to find out who else caused us to make a mistake. We want to identify the excuse for our mistake. There is one simple reason - we are not perfect. We will make mistakes now and then. And sometimes our mistakes can teach us even more than our successes.
When it comes to sin, however, there is but one remedy - faith in Jesus Christ.
Sin is a fundamental relationship; it is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and emphatic independence of God. ~My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Galatians 1:15 But God chose me before I was born. By His loving-favor He called me to work for Him.
Thank you Lord for allowing me to see my need for a Savior. I can do nothing to improve the condition of my own heart. You, however, can renew it through Jesus because I see my need.
God cannot put into me, a responsible moral being, the disposition that was in Jesus Christ unless I am conscious I need it. ~ My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
I don't know why You've allowed me to see. But I am so thankful You did.
When I reach the frontier of need and know my limitations, Jesus says - "Blessed are you." But I have to get there. ~ My Utmost...
Praying that eyes are opened, that we may see our need for Jesus to renew our hearts.
When sin entered the world through man, we were destined to eternal separation from God. In His mercy, Jesus Christ His Son bridged the divide created by sin. We inherited our sin it is within each and every human soul. There is nothing we can do to erase it, apart from faith in Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:12 This is what happened: Sin came into the world by one man, Adam. Sin brought death with it. Death spread to all men because all have sinned. (NLV)
We can't escape this fact. We-are-sinners. We can do good or not do good. Our activities have no bearing on the penalty of sin - only our faith in Jesus Christ who already paid the penalty for our sins. We can either choose to accept His offer of salvation... or not.
It is my disposition regarding myself that is sinful. My sin is whether or not I believe I need God or if I am my own God. Our sin is rooted in our self-actualization - our selfishness. Ironically, our sinfulness comes from the liberty God has given us. Liberty gives us freedom to disobey and deny to go my own way and fulfill my own desires in my own way, in my own time. It's all about me. What I did. What I do. What I think and want.
Condemnation does not come with sin. It comes when I realize Jesus came to deliver me from it and I refuse to let Him do it. Condemnation is not that I am born with a heredity of sin, but if when I realize Jesus Christ came to deliver me from it, I refuse to let Him do so,..."And this is the judgement" (the critical moment), "that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light." ~My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
I cannot give my all to God and, at the same time, keep a self-centered, sinful disposition. And God always knows the disposition of my heart.
1 Corinthians 1:2 I write to God’s church in the city of Corinth. I write to those who belong to Christ Jesus and to those who are set apart by Him and made holy. I write to all the Christians everywhere who call on the name of Jesus Christ. He is our Lord and their Lord also. (NLV)
I wonder, is it just me? Is it some flaw in my disposition that makes me stop just short of following through on what I feel God is asking of me? At times, I feel so energized by where I see God leading me. I'm excited. I begin the task and commit to it for a while. Then slowly but surely, I find other activities - (sometimes equally worthy), distracting me from my original task. Then, other times, I'm just too tired from the ordinary things of this life. So I tell myself I "need" to rest. I, "can't let myself get run down." Will I. really? Or is it just the excuse I use.
If I feel God calling me to a "vision," (as Mr. Chambers called it) why fail to trust Him to carry me all the way through it?
We have to learn to live in reliance on what we saw in the vision, not in ecstasies and conscious contemplation of God, but to live in actualities in the light of the vision until we get to the veritable reality....Let the little "I am" be shrivelled up in God's indignation -- "I AM THAT I AM hath sent thee." He must dominate. ~ Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest
Those who belong to Christ Jesus are to be set apart have seen the vision of what God calls us to do. No matter if I stumble on the way, He will pick me up and help me continue on the way until I reach fulfill His purpose.
..and so, I begin again.
Melinda started her fifth year of her devotions reading Oswald Chamber's My Utmost for His Highest. In 2015 she has made the commitment to share what this year's journey. Taking a detour, she began living Every Day With Jesus