Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Giving Our Lives to the Lord


Frequently, we need to consider these thoughts, whether we have become a Christian or not.  Most important—have we committed our lives to the Lord?  Then, if so, have we remained committed to the Lord?

Too often an individual wants to be baptized because they have heard that baptism is connected to salvation.  Not so fast!  Baptism is not an insurance policy.  We go through that procedure and we are saved.  It is a very big part because it is obedience; however, it is not just getting wet.  1 Pet.3:21  

Something must happen in our heart.  We must realize that we are a sinner.  We all are! Rom.3:23; 1 Jhn.1:8    It is just that some have been saved through the blood of Jesus.  Heb.9:22   What happened when Eve committed the first sin?  Adam followed and they were separated from God with whom they had walked.  God and sin cannot reside together.  Isa.59:2

Our hearts must be full of sorrow and repentance which means we are ready to turn our lives around to serve God rather than self and the world.  Our whole self—heart, soul, strength, mind—must be filled with a love for God.  Lk.10:27   Our love is proved by the way we obey God’s commands.  1 Jhn.5:3; Jhn.14:15   God’s love was proved by sending His only Son to die on the cross and take our place.  Jhn.3:16,36 (some versions use the word, “obey”, in verse 36).  It is like our doctor.  We may believe what he tells us but if we do not DO what he tells us to do, we will not get better.

Understanding that we must obey the method of salvation as found in Scripture, we want to look at the kind of life we are to live after we become a Christian to see if we are truly willing to follow through with that.  It is not enough to call out to the Lord.  People in Jesus’ day were doing this and Jesus had a reply.  Matt.7:21; Lk.6:46  We must learn of God’s will and be willing to follow it.

Where is our heart?  If we don’t realize, God knows.  Luke 16:15; Heb.4:12.13  Our heart will follow what we treasure.  Like a man who own a lot of stocks—he will follow the stock market up and down.  A farmer will follow the market in livestock and grain.  What is our treasure?  Lk.8:14   Jesus lists three things that we could treasure.  These could block the Word of God working in our life.  They are life’s worries.  (We should put them in the hand of God.  Phil.4:6)  Another is riches.  1 Tim.6:10   The third is pleasures.  Our culture is surrounded with entertainment.  All is not bad but the tendency is to let this desire control our time, money, and interest. 

It is so important for us to be like our neighbors and those we admire.  Maybe our admiration is misplaced.  We must not conform to the ways or looks of the world.  Rom.12:2   If we are ready to become a Christian, we will be giving our lives to the Lord.  This will make us new in Christ.  We will take on the righteousness of Christ as He took on our sins.  2 Cor.5:21   It would be like our being sent to prison, but, instead, Jesus would go for us.  He took on Himself all the sins of the world.

As we become new in Christ, what needs to change?  Do we have habits to eliminate from our lives?  What is a detriment to our growth in Christ?  Do our friends cause us to be more godly or do they drag us away from the Lord.  1 Cor.15:33   This is a proven fact.  Our law holds us responsible with whom we associate.  Many an innocent person has been incarcerated because of a crime of someone they were with but they did not know the crime was even committed.  Our friends are very important.  2 Cor.6:14,15   A lot can be said of a person by the company he keeps.  We do not want to be an enemy of God.  Jam.4;4   Our friends may not understand, but are we trying to please them or God?  They can’t take us to heaven.  1 Pet.4:4   Would our friends and pleasures of the world be worth selling our soul?  Matt.16:26   Jesus wants us to follow Him.  We take up our cross (our life with whatever comes in following Him) and follow Jesus.  Matt.16:24,25

As a Christian we will have to avoid evil—even anything that has that appearance of evil.  1 Thess.5:22   Satan wants to distract anyone who might think of becoming a follower of Christ.  1 Pet.5:8  

We have plenty of lists of sins to avoid.  Gal.5:19-21; Rom.1:29-31   It is important to note that these sins against God are unrighteous acts in rebellion against God BUT not only those that take part in these sins but also those that take pleasure in others that are involved.  Rom.1:32   This involves our entertainment.  Are we entertained by sin?  This will greatly affect us.

We also have plenty of lists that describe a Christian.  These are the qualities that we want to put in our lives and grow in them.  Gal.5:22,23; Col.3:12,13  Our thoughts control our life.  In all we do and what entertains us, we should filter with Phil.4:8

Are we thinking, “I can never live up to this”.  None of us can alone.  We achieve and grow only with the help of the Holy Spirit which is a gift given to us when we are baptized into Christ.  Acts 2:38   The Holy Spirit is our Helper.  Eph.3:20   We need the fellowship of other Christians.  Heb.10:24,25   We have a new goal as a Christian—heaven.  Col.3:2,3

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