by Pastor Tim Burt
How glorious it is to discover Jesus Christ and all He has done for us. How even more glorious to be able to receive Him personally as Lord and Savior. For most that choose this experience a radical inward inspection—a cry to God to change to be more like Him and a new perspective on life as the Holy Spirit begins to help them see life through God's eyes. It is a supernatural experience leading to a new life in Christ. That is exactly what God intended and means in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"
I have seen people radically changed like this weekly for the last 31 years. It has always been amazing to see the power of God transform people. This work of God in them is not without their effort, yet happens by the grace of God as a gift. As a new believer cooperates with the Holy Spirit leading them, the Word of God speaking into their life radically changes their thoughts and perspectives and consequently the result is that their life changes. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) says it like this; "God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."
I've radically changed since I received Jesus as my Savior in 1977. I don’t swear any more. I don’t let my mind be filled with garbage. I try to treat people respectfully and kind most of the time. I could go on and on… but that's what people say who don’t know Jesus, that try to justify why they hope they’ll make it into Heaven. So, I won’t say that to you. My personal righteousness is still filthy compared to the Lord’s. I still struggle at times to walk the walk of love that I should. I still sometimes hold back the message of God’s love through Jesus Christ with others because I am too busy going about my day. I’m not always engaged in my heart about what is most important to the Lord. My righteousness—God seeing me washed from sin is a gift. It opens the door to all blessing in my life. God wants my efforts to be godly in obedience to His will, but I am so thankful for His grace when I get caught up in doing my own thing. My Christianity is not about my wonderful efforts but about His amazing love and grace working in my despite myself.
The Christian life is not about my efforts even though they are important; but about living by faith—the moment-by-moment thinking of Him and crying out to and desperately needing His help and wisdom that He has called us to live by. Galatians 3:11 (NIV) says, "Clearly no one is justified before God by the law (by obeying God's Word perfectly) because, "The righteous will live by faith."
It is by faith—thanking Him continually for rescuing us—rescuing me from the pit I was in before knowing Him—this all done out of His love and sacrifice of Jesus—His life for mine, that He has called us to live. It is by faith—embracing His never ending love and help and involvement in our lives and sharing His willingness to help others, that He has called us to love. This is real Christianity and nothing else is! It's not about how good we are although living for the Lord is very important. It's not about our own self-righteousness—an oxymoron in God's world! What Jesus did—not what we do in our own efforts to be good is what true Christianity is! So... Forgive me Lord when I go through the motions of Christianity which becomes dead religion, instead of leaning on and embracing you by faith each day. It is the only acceptable sacrifice you are looking for and the living sacrifice I want to offer to you each day!
Let's get this right. Let's lean on Jesus everyday. Let's cry out for and ask Him again and again to help us find ways to touch others with His love and share the story of God's transforming power at work in all those who truly live by faith!
Romans 12:1-2 (Message Bible) So here is what I want you to do, God helping you: take your everyday ordinary life – your sleeping, your eating, your going-to-work, and walking-around-life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you live in it without thinking. Instead fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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