We all have a past…those B.C. years (Before Christ) when we were far away from God. But for some, their “But when God” conversion is a radical encounter. Saul had a similar divine appointment on the road to Damascus when his idea of God was turned upside down. His radical conversion was a 180 degree turn from his past…showing that with God anything is possible, and that no one is beyond the reach of our Heavenly Father.
What does the Gospel mean to you? I’ve been thinking about this all week in preparation for a meeting this Sunday. To me, it boils down to Religion vs Relationship. It’s the difference between ceremony and connection, liturgy and linkage, ritual and relationship. For Religion is mostly man-made, piling on the things we can’t do…while a Relationship with Jesus Christ is about freedom. It’s about freedom from sin and death and freedom from the Law we can never keep. But the biggest difference between Religion and Relationship is this…Religion can’t save you. Only Jesus Christ who lived a perfectly sinless life has the ability to bring you into His glorious Kingdom and eternal life…it’s only through Jesus that you can make your way back to God.
God has the power to punish mankind…yet He refrains from doing so. Romans 2:4 tells us it’s the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience that stops Him from giving us what we deserve…quite simply, Hell and eternal separation from Him. His mercy and long-suffering are blessings we need to consider and seriously think about then, for God’s patience can last only so long…and sooner or later His judgement will come.
You are not reading this by chance. God has brought you to this page for a reason. And that reason is the Resurrection. For all of us will made a decision concerning it…all of us will respond either that we believe Christ was raised from the dead, or not. So where do you stand today? Do you have the hope of eternal life through Christ Jesus…or are you still living in worldly denial? This Easter, realize it was only because of God’s great mercy that He offers to you the undeserved kindness of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ. Fix your hope on Jesus today…ask Him into your heart and be born again.
When children are little and they disobey out of ignorance…there’s some wiggle room for correction. Usually, just enlightening them with clear instructions will alleviate further problems. But when there’s willful disobedience on their part…that’s when a serious discussion of the consequences of their wrongdoing is in order. Our Heavenly Father desires us to be obedient children…not only because He commands it but for our eternal benefit. For Proverbs 11:18 says, “He who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.” When we pursue doing the right thing, we not only receive the gift of salvation, but we are showered with God’s infinite grace and mercy.
Walking in the light of the Lord is so much more than how we behave in Church…or what we say, or don’t say around the Pastor…or how we can quote Scripture at Bible Study. No, walking in the light of the Lord is more a lifestyle…a way of life of putting others before ourselves, of speaking truth and wisdom in difficult situations, and of doing the right thing…even when no one else is looking. Rather, walking in the light of the Lord is manifesting the enlightenment of the knowledge of God into everyday living for His glory.
Someday I’ll get right with God. At some time in the future I’ll give my heart to Him…but not yet. I’ve got too much I want to do, and I don’t want the rules and regulations of being a Christian to hinder me. I’m young and I want to just have fun. Sound like you? You’ve been holding God at arms length…knowing what you should do, but wanting to wait till you’re “old” to commit. But consider this – someday may never come for you – your future may end today, and this is why now is the time to be serious about your eternal salvation. When we’re young we have this grandiose vision of immortality, and the future goes on forever…but in an instant…this can all change. That’s why the Gospel Message is for you today…the forgiveness of your sins is for now, not someday. Don’t wait until tomorrow to make that decision you know you need to make today…for you may be running out of tomorrows.
Growing in our salvation is a process…a conscious, everyday struggle of putting off our old self to be made new in the attitude of our minds. (Ephesians 4:22) This verse should convict and challenge us all to look at our conduct, actions, and manner…and free ourselves from the chains of all the negativity. For it tells us later in this chapter, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” (Vs 16) Letting loose of negative emotions will unchain you from the past while freeing you for the future.
Jesus Christ’s death on the Cross atoned for our sins, removing the condemnation and power sin had over us. But when He rose from the dead He took His rightful position at the right hand of God becoming then our advocate, mediator, and champion. I John 2:1 reminds us, “We have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ.” Remember, you have someone who is ever-present at the elbow of God appealing on your behalf…intervening for your good…defending your case – Jesus Christ is His name.
Jesus told His Disciples, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19) And for Believers, the Great Commission holds true for us today. The Lord is the God of salvation and the Gospel message, the Good News of Jesus, is to be brought to the scattered children of God. (John 11:52) We are to take this light – this truth – to every man (John 1:9)…for it gives revelation. (Luke 2:32) God’s plan and purpose is for the Gospel message to be brought to the ends of the earth by the feet of His Believers…for as the truth of His light is spread abroad, darkness must flee.