On my perpetual calendar, “Spiritual Refreshment for Women,” for October 22nd was this statement:
Salvation is hard work! Not only did it require Jesus’ crucifixion for our sins, but we have a part in the effort, too. We have to live out the commands in God’s Word that make our faith have an impact on the world.
In our Christian walk, there needs to be balance. Ephesians 2:8 tells us that,”… by grace you have been saved, through faith– and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.” Our part in salvation is pointed out in John 15:5 where Jesus says, “…if a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit.” We are called to remain in Christ and bear fruit. Fruit that comes by walking with Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives . Christ calls us to grow up. To look less and less like the world and more and more like his example. This is the hard work we must do in cooperation with God’s grace.
As Christians we are all at different points in our spiritual journey. But where ever our starting point, scripture is clear that no one who encountered Christ remained unchanged. And so it should be in our lives. There should be change, not from rules, but from the inside with the renewal of our minds by the Holy Spirit, revealing himself in our daily lives.
No matter how long we have known Christ, we often struggle to understand His love for us. We see all of our failures, shortcomings, and sin and feel useless and unworthy. We think God doesn’t really mean it when He says He loves us. We think if only we can act better it will increase His love for us.
I have devoured Neil T. Anderson’s book entitled “Victory Over The Darkness.” In his book is a paragraph that I want to share with you today.
God Loves You Just the Way You Are!….The primary truth you need to know about God in order for your faith to remain strong is that His love and acceptance is unconditional. When your walk of faith is strong, God loves you. When your walk of faith is weak, God loves you. When you’re strong one moment and weak the next, God loves you. God’s love for you is the great eternal constant in the midst of all the inconsistencies of your daily walk.
The author reminds us that scripture shows God wants us to do good, of course. But God has already made provision for our failure. So His love is constant regardless!
But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for OUR sins but also the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2;1,2 NIV
I wanted to share my morning devotion from the flip calendar “God Calling: Expanded Version”
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13
My fishermen-disciples did not find the fishes ready on the shore in their nets. I take man’s effort and bless that. I need man’s effort–he needs My blessing. This partnership it is that means success.
God chooses to work in concert with us in accomplishing His work on this earth. Matthew Henry says ” It is the grace of God which inclines the will to that which is good: and then enables us to do it.”
Great devotion from the flip calendar, “God Calling” edited by A.J.Russell. February 1st. This scripture verse is probably my favorite as it reminds me of the hope we have in our Heavenly Father.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 5:22-23
Put the old mistakes away, and start anew. I give you a fresh start. Be not burdened. Be not anxious. If My forgiveness were for the righteous only and those who had not sinned, where would be its need? God
A new day, Father, to love and be loved, to listen and be heard, to find and seek. For this I am grateful.