Tuesday, April 21, 2015

This Person I Know

This person I know; you should know Him too.
He can do all that you cannot do.
He will show you how to start life anew!
You can do nothing without Him, my friend.
He is the one who cleanses from sin.
He takes all of your fear and dismay when you let Him into your heart to stay.
For all have sinned, the Bible does say. Please come to Him. He will take sins away.
He will cleanse you today if you only say,
"I know I have sinned, Lord, please take my sin, I pray."
This person I know; you know now too.
His name is Jesus, the King of the Jew.
His story is told in the Bible, you see.
It tells how He died for you and for me.
Yet, He now lives within us. He sets us free.
Read of His life and His love each new day.
And, pray to be like Him in every way.

            Re-establishing the guiding force in life requires looking back and evaluating personal goals. My journey of self-examination began with a look back to the time I first accepted Christ as Savior.  I quickly came to the conclusion something vital was missing in my relationship with Him — my focus had changed. In those first days as a Christian seeking God's righteousness and his kingdom were the most important pursuits in my life — not out of fear or obligation, but out of love.

            After all it was love that brought me to the place of accepting the idea Christ was the answer and through Him I would find salvation. What happened to the love? What happened to the peace that came through accepting Christ?

            I suppose you would be right in saying of me, "He got caught up in the day-to-day burden of life. His bills needed to be paid. His friends did not understand the changes in his attitudes and actions. Every time he found a close Christian friend, they would move to another state, and they lost contact."

            All those things are true; however, the biggest reason my relationship with Christ changed is that I became indifferent to the pursuit of righteousness. Holiness was only an unattainable concept. It was not a real lifetime goal. I can't help feeling there are other Christians who have lost the burning desire to seek God in His fullness. I believe that there are many of us who need to find a renewed faith in the Savior. Where can we go and what can be done?

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." — Romans 10:17 (KJV)

            According to this verse, we must involve ourselves in actively hearing God's Word. Therefore, it is important for us not to be passive listeners, but to actually see ourselves as an important part of the body of Christ. Over the years I must say that I have not acted on all I was taught from the Bible, and I was rather passive in the way I listened. The preaching did not affect me because I could always find someone else in the congregation for whom the message was better suited. But, if I accept the idea of personal responsibility everyone is required to hear and do the will of God as it is revealed to them. For that reason, I must retrace the foundation of my faith.  So, that is my story, but where are you in your relationship with God?

            I know that when we all start out on this journey, pleasing God is our highest priority, but things just have a way of happening. Our only defense can be to take refuge in the Word of God, and to correctly respond to the truth of all He speaks. Remembering where we have come from and lining up where we are going according to God’s expectation, is our only hope.

"Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." — Revelation 2:5 (NKJV)

            How many will hear God's call and respond? Will you be one who chooses to rebuild and strengthen your faith, or will you tear down and destroy what God wishes to establish? The Bible speaks both of a great falling away, and a great revival. I believe that if we are not actively looking for the latter we will find the former by default. Christ is calling. I know which side I want to identify with — Do you?

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." — Revelation 3:20 (KJV)

            Clearly God, through Jesus Christ, is seeking a relationship with each of us. The sin in our lives can be forgiven and the struggles we face have solutions when we apply scriptural truth to them. Finding what we lack begins with confession. Our faithlessness is overcome by God’s faithfulness.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." — 1 John 1:9 (KJV)

            It seems that it is easy to become a Christian, but it is increasingly difficult to stay in the family. Daily devotions, prayer, and Christian service within the community of faith cannot be defeated by the demands of daily life; however, the demands of daily life can become a distraction. For me the only way I can maintain focus is to daily remember the things that God has conquered in my past, and to look forward to those things He has said He will accomplish in my future. I must also realize that God does not work according to my schedule. He has divine timing. Therefore, He is not subject to my deadlines. Then again, God has never been subject to any deadlines. Do you recognize the words, "Lazarus, come forth?"

            Just as Christ called Lazarus back to life He is calling us to life in Him today. I understand, at this point, you may think everything I have said is tired, old and worn out. You may be thinking, “I have heard all this before. I even put it into practice once or twice.” If that is the case, ask yourself, "Do I see God working in my life the way He worked throughout the Bible?"

            When the answer comes back no, remember what God said concerning the fact that He does not change, and what is said of Christ being the same yesterday, today, and forever.

"For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return.” — Malachi 3:6-7 (KJV)

            Please understand that I am not saying we can either work our way into or out of heaven. I fully realize that it is only by the grace of God that anyone will make heaven home. In spite of our traditions, and our interpretations of scripture the Word of God calls to us, offering us the opportunity and responsibility to examine what we believe, the reasons for our faith and the outcome of our lives. We are always brought back to the foundation of God’s grace. Grace establishes our heart.

“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.” — Hebrews 13:7-9 (KJV)

            It is only through the perfect love of God that we have any hope of changing this world, or of being changed ourselves. It is only through the peace and strength that Christ brings we can stand for the truth of this Gospel. My conduct is often a poor example of my faith; however, I am finding it impossible to block out any longer the message God is calling me to deliver. I must pray. I must read His Word. I must speak to my generation and I must renew my devotion to the things of God. Will you respond with me to God's call? Will you join me in loving this generation enough to tell them about Jesus and what He expects?

No comments:

Post a Comment