Life is No Longer a Struggle

After surrendering our life to Christ, we experience a struggle between our soul and spirit. Our spirit is born again by the Spirit of God at salvation. Our carnal nature is now dead, and our life is hidden with Christ in God. Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:1-4).

Yet, there are predispositions in our life through habits and addictions, which continually pull us back to the deeds of the flesh (Romans 7:14-24). Thankfully, our redemption through Christ rescued us from serving a slaves to sin (Romans 7:25).

We can trust His Spirit to slowly sanctify us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). The result is that we walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:15-26). We bear holy fruit in our life and share this fruit with those God brings our way (Galatians 5:22-23).

We cannot accumulate enough good works to earn God’s love (Ephesians 2:8-9). While we were still sinners, He already gave us His unconditional and unmerited love as a free gift (Romans 3:23, 5:6-8, 6:23).

He gives us an example of how to love our children, spouse and other family members and friends. Our love for them is not based on their behavior or accomplishments, but as a free gift.

When we believe that our self-worth is based on our performance, we lose respect for our self if we fail. When we base our identity on Christ in us, we always succeed because we follow His Spirit on a daily basis.

This frees us from wearing masks to fit in or lying or living a hypocritical life in order to live up to the image we believe people expect from us. Receiving our worth from Christ in us keeps us humble and totally dependent on God.

We rely on God to point out our inconsistencies, to effect these changes in us and to help us to accomplish the works He pre-ordained for us to do (Psalm 139:23-24; Ephesians 2:10). He is our all in all through every moment of every day (Ephesians 4:6).

Prayer:
Father God, we choose to enter Your rest and to bear fruit through Your Spirit and by no effort of our own (John 15:4). We trust in the saving work of Christ on Calvary’s cross rather than on our good works; and we accept our holiness, righteousness, justification and sanctification as gifts from Your Spirit.

Thank You for rooting and grounding us in the soil of Your love and for caring for us as our Vinedresser throughout our entire lifetime. We pray that as we submit to Your will for our life, we will glorify You by bearing much fruit for Your Kingdom through Your Spirit’s work in our life (John 15:8; Galatians 5:15-25).

Thought for the Day:
God searches our heart and tries us, seeing our fears and anxiety and healing us of every hurtful memory as He leads us in His everlasting way.
– Psalm 139:23-24

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Judging Righteous Judgment

God is the lawgiver and the only qualified judge over any other being. God calls us to rightly discern whether a person’s behavior is righteous or not, but we do not place any judgment upon the person (John 7:24). We continue to love them regardless of their behavior, knowing that God will work in their lives.

God does not want us speak evil of one another (James 4:11), but to edify each other. He wants us to share His grace with everyone we meet. In this way we do not grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:29-30). Gossip only adds fuel to the fire of slander spreading rampant through the church. However, where there is no wood (contention), the fire (gossip) goes out (Proverbs 26:20-21).

God uses the same judgment toward us that we use toward others. If we do not forgive, He cannot forgive us (Matthew 6:14). He reminds us that the faults we see in others are actually magnified in our own life. If we condemn them, we are actually hypocrites. God wants us to deal with our own problems rather than to worry about others (Matthew 7:1-5).

We will all stand before God in judgment one day, and give an account for our self and no one else. Then, He will reward us for our deeds. All authentic Believers will join Him in heaven, but unbelievers already condemned themselves to eternal torment in hell (John 3:18). This can be remedied, however…by turning away from sin and toward God.

In the end, believers and unbelievers alike will bow our knee to King Jesus (Romans 14:11). Therefore, let us not judge one another, but resolve our issues so we do not cause anyone to fall away from serving God (Romans 14:10-13). As we use patience toward each other and don’t grumble, we establish our own heart toward God, and we are ready for His coming (James 5:8-9).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us the balance between those who are spiritual restoring those who are deceived by sin (Galatians 6:1), and judging one another. Help us to pay attention to our own behavior, and to make sure we are walking according to Your principles. We certainly should have discernment and not join our brethren when their behavior is obviously sinful or anti-Biblical, but we do not want to judge them either. We simply love them unconditionally and wait on You to show them Your truth.

Thought for the Day:
Behold how good and pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity. – Psalm 133:1