Christianity is not about obedience, but about who we are obeying. Following a set of rules, no matter how “good” they appear to be, leaves me in charge. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will obey Me.” By reducing Christianity to a list of behaviors we must follow, we simply end up listening to someone else other than Jesus, which ends up in frustration at best and quite possibly hell at worst.
If Christianity is reduced to what we do for Jesus rather than obeying Jesus, who did it all for us (He did say, “It is finished!” on the cross), we simply end up with another religion that leaves one separated from God.
Scripture tells us that many will say after leaving this planet, “Lord didn’t I do great things and build empires in Your Name?” His response will be, “Sorry, exit stage left as I don’t know who you are.”
Secure child of God, please keep life about listening to and following Jesus, not yourself, some pastor or denomination. Jesus is the head of His Church. He is the author and finisher of your faith; thus, listen and follow/obey Him and you’ll enjoy the ride to eternity rather than white knuckle it.
“S”et Free Nowww
“You gotta jump!” is the comment a comedian made to his studio audience off air. He was talking about the difference between living and existing. His point was that people were given “a good work” prepared for them by the Father at the point of salvation. It’s as we discover and live out that “good work” that we’ll feel alive.
Scripture says we only have so many years before we exit this planet. Feeling alive or merely existing is our choice. Jesus gave us eternal life the moment we put our faith in what He did for us (See Ephesians 2:8-10). And that eternity starts today, not when we die. We can feel more alive with each passing day as we get better at listening to and following Him.
As a secure child of God, there is no reason to merely exist. Don’t wait another day to discover why you’re here! Then take the leap of faith and actually do the good work your Father has for you. As you do, you’ll not only feel alive today, but touch others as well for eternity.
“S”et Free Nowww
I wrote on January 6, “Well the 16 month waiting period has come and gone without God acting in the way I thought I heard. Thus, I was wrong. Am I bummed? Yes.” So I took a few weeks off from writing to figure out how I could have been so wrong. Does God speak to His children? Yes He does. Throughout Scripture God is repeatedly talking directly with His children. Thus, I was not wrong in believing He would speak to me. Jesus did say His sheep listen to His voice.
Where I went wrong, then, had to be in what I heard; and thus, I had to double down on listening better…or so I thought. No, I discovered I heard correctly. It was my half-baked obedience to what I knew He was asking of me that kept Him from acting.
As one brother wrote, “Ours and others’ free will often impacts on what God wants to do or not do. He works WITH us if we are yielded to Him to fulfill His will but if we are not yielded to Him…His will and desire cannot be fulfilled.”
Scripture records where God says He will do A, if we do B. For instance, He “A” gives us the right to become children of God if we “B” believe in what Jesus did for us (Jn. 1:2). There are other times, however, where God says He will do A regardless if anyone does anything at all. The Jewish people brought home to Israel is one such example (Ezek. 36).
In this case, I heard correctly what God would do. In being completely transparent, though, so we all can learn how to better listen and follow Jesus, I was less than wholeheartedly, and in some cases completely ignoring, the part God had me play.
The God I love, listen and attempt to follow, however, is a Redeemer, a God of second chances. I now I have a choice. I can keep swallowing the bitter pill of defeat or choose the sweet one of success. I’m choosing the later, how about you?
“S”et Free Nowww
We all crave to be praised. It’s a need placed there by God. We all want to know that we’re loved, okay, and whether we’re doing a good job and are on the right track or not.
This is something good parents practice. Our kids need not only to be corrected when they get off the path; but just as important, to be praised for staying on it by doing the right thing. Positive reinforcement is crucial to our development.
Yet, Jesus said to be careful who praises you. He was far more concerned with what His Father thought of Him than what people thought of Him. And what’s cool is that His Father thought enough of Jesus to break the barrier between heaven and earth to let Him and His friends hear Him say, “This is My Son and I’m extremely proud of Him!”
Who will be praising you this year? A Jesus follower is cheered by Jesus as they choose to become more like Him. Use your FREEdom tools each day to listen and follow Jesus. And you will hear Him praise you when He says, “Great job My servant! You sure are faithful!”
Set “FREE” Nowww
I wrote last November 11, “I believe God has told me to wait upon Him to act. Its deadline is fast approaching too. And when He does, I’m supposed to take a certain step. He even asked me to tell a few people the specifics, which means I’m out on that limb. What if I’m wrong?”
Well the 16 month waiting period has come and gone without God acting in the way I thought I heard. Thus, I was wrong. Am I bummed? Yes. A little bewildered? Yes. But will that change my faith in Jesus? Nope. Will that change my belief that the God of the universe still wants to speak with me? Nope.
Jesus said His sheep listen to His voice and follow. I just have to get better at listening as it is a developed ability. It’s been a tough lesson to learn, but a most valuable one indeed. And for those who were praying for me during this time, I thank you.
May we all need to get better at listening and following Jesus in 2016. Isaiah wrote, “From the days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides you, who acts on behalf of the one who waits for Him.” Our God will act, but it will be what He says, not what I think or want Him to say. I simply have to get better at filtering me out.
Set Free Noww“W”