There is nothing-no circumstance, no trouble, no-testing that can ever touch me until, first of all it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a GREAT PURPOSE, which I may not understand at the moment. As I refuse to become panicky, as I lift my eyes up to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will ever cause me to fret-for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is- that is the rest of VICTORY!!!!
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Religion or Relationship.....
As followers of Jesus I think we try and live on a points system sometimes. We think the more we do the more we will get. We try and constantly occupy our lives with works to gain the love of Jesus when we forget it comes freely. "Man's way to reach God is religion; God's way to reach man is Jesus." We so often get the concept of "religion" confused with a "relationship." Religions are man made, and are based on trying to get to God through rules and regulations and works. Man made religions all are based on people's efforts at reaching God and being made right with Him through their own efforts. God's plan for man's salvation and for being right with Him is told throughout the Bible, in the Old Testament and the New Testament. God's plan is not based on people's efforts and good works, but is based on His amazing Love and amazing Grace for us.
God doesnt hold us on a point system, He doesnt sit there watching our every move thinking "ok now Amber helped out with an event at church this week so thats one point for her and so and so didnt do anything this week so I better take away a point on hers." Thats crazy sounding I'm sure but many people struggle with this very concept. Ephesians 2:8-9 "For it is by free grace (God's unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law's demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]
We can do "works" for Christ all day but if our hearts are not genuine and we are not in love with Jesus on a personal level then its all for nothing. Its very pleasing to the Lord when we put forth our heart and serve Him but what He wants even more than that is our hearts. In order to be the hands and feet of Jesus and serve others we must be so empty of all that we are and filled with the Holy Spirit that it seeps from every ounce of our being and thats what others see in us and are attracted to. I have talked about the story of Mary and Martha before but its such a huge reprsentation of how we should live our lives not being so focused on our works that we loose sight of just merely sitting at the feet of Jesus and worshiping Him. We live in a world where its all about you get what you give but Jesus tells us that what He wants is not from our actions but our hearts. I pray as you go throughout this next week that you will keep your focus on Christ and truely embracing His love that He gives us so freely. Allow your works to come freely because you are filled with the Spirit not merely because its just another task in your list, another hole on your punch card for Jesus. God extends His blessings and grace for us us, we don't have to purchase or do anything to earn it we just have to accept it.