Photo Credit: Aaron Burden via Unsplash
Last week we talked about the importance of knowing the truth. Not aligning yourself with the enemy by forgetting that you are a new creation. I hope that you asked God to reveal to you areas where you may have been doing that. Being transparent God revealed many areas where I have given away my spiritual authority.
I’m seeing that often we are striving in our attempts to die to self. We are working hard to maintain appearances. It’s a constant struggle that is taking its toll on everyone. It’s taking its toll on the church.
We get tired it feels like a lot of work to keep it together. We are looking at it all wrong. We have complicated the simple and we make it look hard. We know that Jesus died for our sins, most accept that and know that was necessary to cover our sins. Salvation was a pure gift.
16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. ~John 3:16
God loves the world and His heart is that none should perish but all would turn to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). The thing is that all have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). So God being gracious sent Jesus that we all have the chance to be saved and spend eternity with Him. Jesus didn’t only come to die for the white man. Jesus didn’t only come to die for the black man. Jesus didn’t come only to die for Americans. Jesus didn’t only come to die for the Middle east. Jesus died for A-L-L all. He didn’t die just the for one who has it all together. Honestly, none of us do. He came to die for all so that through His death we might find wholeness and abundant life.
8 But what does it say? The Word (God’s message in Christ) is near you, on your lips and in your heart; that is, the Word (the message, the basis and object) of faith which we preach, 9 Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation. 11 The Scripture says, No man who believes in Him [who adheres to, relies on, and trusts in Him] will [ever] be put to shame or be disappointed. 12 [No one] for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek. The same Lord is Lord over all [of us] and He generously bestows His riches upon all who call upon Him [in faith]. 13 For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord [invoking Him as Lord] will be saved. ~Romans 10:8-13
The thing is that God sent Jesus to make a way. He is a Holy God. He can’t accept our sins. The only way to enter His presence is through the shed blood of Jesus. Without that blood, if we approached God in our sin we would die. The good news is that because Jesus was willing to lay down His life we can now come to God boldly. Laying our needs before Him.
Jesus is not a way. He is not one of many. He is the only way (John 14:6). If anyone on earth believes He was raised from the dead you will be saved. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done. Anyone can confess from the heart and God will hear.
This world today is crazy. Violence is everywhere but God is greater that the violence. Evil appears to be running the show but God can free you from the chains of evil. You don’t have to be perfect, no one is this side of Heaven. You just have to believe in Jesus, repent of your wicked ways and then Jesus does the work of making you new. From this place of repentance and believing, you now get to rest. And let God finish the work He started when He drew you to Himself.
Then somehow we act like that is the end and that we now must work to be righteous, holy, loved, and healed. God has been showing me again that it’s all already done. There is not one thing that I need to work for. I need to receive all that is already mine. I can’t add to it and I can’t take away from it.
2-4 Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up! Galatians 3:2-4 (MSG)
Friends this should cause us to sigh in relief. All we need to do is rest in it. That love that we never feel we deserve, rest in it. The worth that the world says we must work for…we are already worthy. Stop striving and trying to perform.
Just rest in it.
We have already overcome by Jesus and we’re seated in heavenly places. We are already dearly loved and accepted by love itself. We are already in heavenly places. What more could you want? Rest in who you are in Christ and life gets a lot simpler. We need to learn to live from this place of rest every moment of every day. There is no need to strive to do more or be more. Simply abide with Him.