We’ve got it Backwards

Not long ago I wrote a post called, Has The Church Become a Modern Israel?, in which I talked about similarities that I had noticed between modern Christians and the Israelites. The main similarity being our dependence on our ability to do what we’re supposed to do and other ways in which we have seemed to forget the cross and its life altering meaning.

Recently I listened to a sermon by Pastor Joseph Prince in which he talked about the way we usually teach or view our Christianity. We tend to say (or if not say, act like) we need to stop being lazy (or sinful, or tempted, or lost, or confused, or weak, or some other condemning thing) and start following Christ and doing what he says. If we do that we will be loving Christ and we will have peace knowing that we are finishing his work on the earth.

This is how Christianity is so often thought of! We are sinful and so we need to start doing things right! That’s when we start getting the perks. That’s when we become real, good Christians. We quote verses like “Do you love me?” (John 21:16) and “come and follow me” (Matthew 4:19) and “faith without works is dead” (James 2:17) to condemn ourselves further and draw the requirements out of us.

According to the bible we have it all backwards.

When Jesus died on the cross for our sins he shouted, “IT IS FINISHED!” (John 19:30)

He finished his life work right then and there. He doesn’t have some need for us to do anymore work on that front. The whole point of his coming was that we couldn’t save ourselves.

After his death he appeared to his disciples in the upper room and said, “PEACE BE TO YOU.” (John 20:19)

What did they have to cause them peace? The finished work of Christ. Christ calls us to rest in him. To be sure of his grace, to be sure of his salvation, to be sure of his love for us.

After his disciples found that peace he asked, “DO YOU LOVE ME?” (John 21:17)

Why then? Why after they’d found his peace? Because he loved us first. “We love because Christ first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) We would be unable to love him if we didn’t see anything in him to love and if we didn’t trust him. All Christ wants us to do is look at him and to his finished work on the cross. That is how we love him. We declare his goodness and his greatness by resting in him.

After the disciples said they loved him he said, “FOLLOW ME!” (John 21:19)

It goes from Grace to Works, not from Works to Grace.

The point of the old testament, the point of the ten commandments, the point of the cross was to show that we couldn’t be good enough alone and that we could never deserve the free gift of love that God was giving to us, so why do we keep trying?

Why do we continue to strive?

Why do we still find ourselves filled with guilt and condemnation and confusion and sin?

More importantly how do we stop?

That is what I will discuss next time in the context of Isaiah 2-4

May God bless you with an inability to forget the cross.

I love you,

Deanna ❤

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Food for Thought: Dating and Lust.

Often times when one thinks about dating they get either a fluttery, warm feeling of joy or the bitter, heavy feeling of guilt. What makes the difference?

The answers may differ, but one key element for the christian is this word: LUST

(The dictionaries definition of the word Lust is as follows: Intense or unbridled sexual desire or an intense longing [for something that is not yours])

When you enter a dating or even courting relationship because of Lust – or even before you’ve dealt with Lust in your heart – it will create many pitfalls for both you and the person with which you are involved. You will fall to the will of temptation much easier, your thought life will turn rotten with sexual fantasies and shame, and you will definately hurt the other person by making them into an object whose most important use is to make you happy and beyond that – and most seriously – Lust is a sin. You are hurting not only the person you say you love, but the one who always loved you – God!

Hebrews 13:4, Matthew 5:28and 1 Corinthians 6:18.

If you are single I suggest that before entering a relationship that you clean Lust from your heart and fill it back up with the true love of your life: God. He is the only one who will ever truely satisfy you, find your fulness in Him before you look for a man.

If your dating/courting now and Lust isn’t a problem for you start to pray and search your heart. Ask God what you need to do and what you need to work on. It will bless your relationship in the long run if you take some time to do this.

If you’ve found Lust to be a problem in your life and you feel guilty, hurt or sick of yourself then take a break from romance! It couldn’t do anything but help. It is true that it is hard, but you need to let go before you can really change. Once you’ve let go hold tight to God and his word. He will heal you, cleanse you, and strengthen you! Sit in his love and wait for his signal to wave you back to your sweetheart.

Hold God higher than anything else in your heart and you could not be stronger, fuller, or more pure. Make Jesus your everything!

Job 31:1 “I dictated a covenant (an agreement) to my eyes; how then could I look [lustfully] upon a girl[or man]?”