Monday, February 2, 2015, 6:30 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Follow Him.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Proverbs 28 (selected ESV).
Keeping God’s Word
1 The wicked flee when no one pursues,
but the righteous are bold as a lion.
4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law strive against them.
5 Evil men do not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.
6 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
7 The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
9 If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination.
So, what is our responsibility as believers in Jesus Christ today with regard to the law? For one, we learn in scripture that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the law. And, there are many New Testament scriptures that say we must obey Christ and His Word as part of believing faith (See: Ro. 6:16; Heb. 5:9; 1 Jn. 2:3-5; 3:24; 5:3; 2 Jn. 1:6; 1 Pet. 1:2). So the “law,” for those of us who have been saved by grace, through faith, is Christ Jesus and his Word (his teachings and his instructions). As well, Jesus summed up the law for us in two commandments: 1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and 2) Love your neighbor as yourself. Love is the fulfillment of the law, yet not “love” as humans define love, but as the Word of God defines (agape) love.
So many people today are teaching “gospel lite.” They are telling people that they can be saved from their sins, escape hell and have the hope of heaven merely just by asking for forgiveness, yet absent of repentance, or by praying a prayer to receive Christ, with no submission to the cross of Christ. Yet, if we study the New Testament teachings with regard to our salvation, and in context, we will soon learn the truth about our salvation. True faith in Jesus Christ involves repentance (turning from sin), being transformed of the Spirit of God, and being given new lives in Christ which are to be lived in the power and working of the Spirit within us as God conforms us to the image of Christ (See: Ac. 26:16-18; Ro. 6-8; 2 Co. 5:15; Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:8-10; 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:24-25; & 1 Jn. 1-5).
Lies and Deceptions
10 Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way
will fall into his own pit,
but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.
11 A rich man is wise in his own eyes,
but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.
12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.
13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
24 Whoever robs his father or his mother
and says, “That is no transgression,”
is a companion to a man who destroys.
When we give people the impression that they can just pray a prayer to receive Christ and now they are guaranteed heaven, no matter what, not only may we be giving them a false hope of eternity, but we may also be giving them carte blanche to continue in sin, thinking that God’s grace covers it all. Yet what kind of grace is that if it does not free us from our bondage to sin and so we continue to live hopeless, directionless and self-centered lives with little to no regard for God and his word?
Jesus did not die just so we could escape hell and go to heaven when we die. He died so we would no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave himself up for us. His grace “teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age while we wait for” his return. Jesus Christ “gave himself up for us to redeem us from ALL wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good” (See: Tit. 2:11-14).
Walking in Integrity
14 Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always,
but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
18 Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered,
but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.
23 Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
than he who flatters with his tongue.
25 A greedy man stirs up strife,
but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched.
26 Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
So, if we are truly born again of the Spirit of God, transformed in heart and mind, and delivered from slavery to sin, then we should be ones who no longer walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (See: Ro. 8). We should no longer have to look over our shoulders, wondering if we will be found out, but we should walk in freedom and be bold in our testimonies for Jesus Christ. We should understand that faith in Jesus Christ is not just about making everyone feel good, with reference to the subject of being non-judgmental, i.e. with regard to just being “nice” to everyone, but it is about doing what is right in God’s eyes, and doing what is truly loving towards others, which may also involve speaking the truth in love to them, at times, i.e. it may involve confronting sin, too.
Although none of us will live the Christian life with absolute perfection, as believers in Christ our lives should be surrendered to Christ, submitted to the cross, and committed to walking daily in fellowship and obedience to our Lord and to his word. If we sin against God, we repent of our sins, accept God’s forgiveness, and we continue on in living to please our Lord in all that we do and say – only in the power and working of the Spirit within us.
Follow Him / An Original Work / February 21, 2013
Based off Luke 9:22-25
Jesus, Son of God,
Died for us on a cross.
Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself and follow.
He must take up his cross daily;
Die to sin and self each day.
Father, God above,
Loved us so: gave His Son.
If you want to save your old life;
Keep on sinning, follow your ways,
You will lose your life forever;
Hope of heaven gone away.
Spirit of our God
Gives us life in God’s Son.
Nonetheless, if you die to self;
Forsake your sin; follow Jesus,
You will live with God in heaven,
And forever praise His name!