Saturday, 14 November 2015

lay off - I've heard it all a million times before!

You have to live right and do the right things - obey the rules and make a go of your life - stay true to yourself and obey your parents and everything will be OK.

That's exactly how the world  looks at 'proper' living. We have rules for this and rules for that and actually when you look at it thoroughly that is precisely how it should be - after all where would be without rules?  Anarchy reigning supreme!

Of course we need rules and heaps of hoops to jump through sometimes it seems way too many hoops.

We also have a myriad of people willing to enforce those rules to make us 'live right'. I like to call it the "Pharisee Syndrome". People who love to point out to us our mistakes.

There always seems to be an 'achievement point' that we should aim for in life. Some far off distant place where we must set our sights. "Work harder son and you will achieve". "Act smarter and work longer hours".  Do this and do that, go here and go there break your back climb the corporate ladder and keep pursuing your dream.

It's the same with our salvation. How many times have we heard "It's not through works" it never was and never will be. Yes! We have heard it all a million times before. BUT there is something nagging in the back of our minds "maybe if I tried a little harder it really wouldn't hurt - God may approve".

If I achieve this and help out in here - If I can organise that group or run that camp - organise the worship group or run the creche just perhaps I can win a few "brownie points" with Jesus and just squeeze into heaven.

Something in the back of our minds keeps prompting us that, well, after all, yes, we 'need' to do something, anything really, to live right and stay in the lines so God will eventually approve.

So many of us jump through the hoops, take on a workload, join the circus, break our backs and knock ourselves out trying to win the approval of God which we have been told a million times that it just won't 'wash' with our Heavenly Father.

All of these works are great and good and deserving of our father's blessings BUT we must do these works out of lives of faith and trust not out of some sort of duty bound necessity.

In James 2 we read:-  "What good is it if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?" so we see here that deeds ARE essential to our faith BUT they must come from a heart given to Christ. They are natural out-pouring of a heart changed permanently by our Father God.

Often these outpouring of 'works' can be a torrent - a gushing of praise and thankfulness to a mighty work of change and transformation in our lives.

These works are so different to the "obligatory' works that we so often find ourselves doing out of a sense of duty and necessity.

In 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 we read about all types of works being "proved" by God -  just how He will do that remains a mystery to me, but at the end of that final day, works that are done out of a sense of duty or obligation will be burned up.

BUT those done out of a heart turned to Christ and done with faith and trust, out of a natural out pouring of a life changed, will last eternally and bring honour and glory to God.

Okay, so we may have heard this a million times before, BUT the message is unchanged and still rings true today as it will eternally. There is absolutely nothing we can do to earn our salvation. Jesus has done it all.

When we grasp this amazing truth, it's like seeing God's grace in a brand new light as if we are seeing it for the very first time.

Let's not build our lives on a foundation of 'self' breaking our backs building monuments that will not last, just like our wonderful tree house here, but let's build on a firm foundation, one built on faith in Christ and trust in Him.

Any 'works' emanating from our 'heart change' will reflect the very love of Christ and come from Him via us. It is these types of 'works' that will last eternally, not so much the physical side, but the motives and the consequences will glorify God for eternity.

We don't have to jump through any hoops, we don't have to break our backs and minds trying to prove ourselves worthy of God's love. Everything is done for us, all we need to do is to accept, through faith, this amazing and astounding gift of love offered to us.

Let our faith in Christ bring forth the amazing deeds and works that He has promised us. Let's not 'jump the gun' and try to get God's approval. He loves you because YOU are YOU. He made you and He loves you.

God bless you as you work through your salvation. Take heart in the fact that you REALLY don't need to 'earn' anything. God through Jesus paid that price once and for all time.
























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