Weekly Devotional 9-13-21 A Necessary Consideration
A Christian brother wrote, “When I received Jesus as my Savior, a divine exchange took place. I gave Him my sin and guilt, my shame and blame; He gave/gives me right standing with God. I gave Him the impoverished areas of my life; He gave/gives me abundance. Jesus gave/gives me beauty for ashes in all areas of my life. He continued: Sometimes people ask, “What would I have to give up if I became a Christian?” I tell them, well you would have to give up misery and a bondage to sin. You would give up depression and discouragement, fear, worry and anxiety. If you carry around a burden of guilt and condemnation you would also give that up. You can choose to continue living with misery, depression, discouragement, fear, worry, anxiety, guilt, and a sense of condemnation or you can live with the certainty of God’s mercy, grace, and knowing you have eternal life.
Some people seem to think that God wants to take away everything they enjoy. But God is not mean, He is love and He is good. He replaces supposed enjoyments with joy that surpasses understanding. God loves you so much that He sent His only begotten Son to pay the price of your sin and gave you righteous standing and a more abundant life (John 3:13-18; John 10:10).
As I read our brothers thoughts my mind was drawn to the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians. In that letter he contrasted the miseries of those who have not given their hearts to God with what comes from a surrendered heart. Consider: “19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewd-ness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:19-21).
Now I ask; Who genuinely wants to reap the results of those described in verses 19-20? Who wants to reap what comes from adultery, fornication, uncleanness, or lewdness? Who wants to live with the associated guilt of ruined lives that result from such things? Who wants to live controlled by a supposed god (Satan) that does not love them, who wants to use them? Who wants to be controlled by hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders (murderous thoughts and actions)? Who wants to be controlled by drunkenness, revelries, or the like? No one with any deep consideration would want to live that way, yet they do.
Not only do all these calamities come upon those who walk apart from their Creator, but they also will spend eternity separated from Him, they will not inherit the kingdom of God. This sentence is irreversible. Wouldn’t it be better to enjoy what God’s Spirit gives to those who love Him and have committed their lives to His authority? Such things as love, joy, and peace and have a heart that is long-suffering, filled with kindness, filled with goodness, filled with faithful-ness, filled with gentleness, and filled with self-control. The answer of course for me is yes. How about you?
Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man