“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24
When I arise each morning is Jesus among my first thoughts? Do I anticipate spending time in the Bible, praying, thinking of how I might be used of God this day? Do I actually believe that my prayers will make a difference or is it all a great guessing game, hopeful of the final outcome which is a place in heaven?
At work, do my fellow staff/employees/executives know I am a follower of Jesus Christ? When I am tempted to sin are my initial thoughts those of calling on the Holy Spirit to rescue me, to remind me of the verses in the Bible I can use for refuge, for consolation, for holiness? And when angered or frustrated, do I pray for help or follow my feelings?
If you see yourself on the negative side of these situations, as not instantly calling on God for help and rescue, then you are among the many, not the few. Thank God for 1 John 2:1-6 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. (NLT)
In verse two, the King James version says, “And He is the propitiation for our sins”.The word propitiation has to do with the removal of divine wrath. Jesus’ death is the means that turns God’s wrath from the sinner. 2 Cor. 5:21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (NLT)
Hebrews 4:14-16 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (NLT)
Today we are living under the New Covenant, established by Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, not under the law, attempting to refrain from certain things and offering sacrifices through the legalistic, priestly system.
Galatians 2:16 However, we know that a person isn’t made righteous by the works of the Law but rather through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. We ourselves believed in Christ Jesus so that we could be made righteous by the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the Law—because no one will be made righteous by the works of the Law. (CEB)
Isaiah 53:6 All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way. But the Lord made the punishment fall on him, the punishment all of us deserved. (GNT)
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life. (NLT)
Where does this leave us then? How do we deal with our everyday lives in a way that is pleasing to God? There is really only one way as laid out in Hebrews 12:1 As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us. (GNT)
As usual, God has provided everything we need to walk with Him in victory and life-transforming peace. His love is beyond human understanding and changes all who claim it for themselves. He is determined to guide us through all trials and temptations, washing and rewashing us in the cleansing power of His Word.
1 Peter 1:22-25 Now you can have real love for everyone because your souls have been cleansed from selfishness and hatred when you trusted Christ to save you; so see to it that you really do love each other warmly, with all your hearts. For you have a new life. It was not passed on to you from your parents, for the life they gave you will fade away. This new one will last forever, for it comes from Christ, God’s ever-living Message to men. Yes, our natural lives will fade as grass does when it becomes all brown and dry. All our greatness is like a flower that droops and falls; but the Word of the Lord will last forever. And his message is the Good News that was preached to you.
Extricating our lives from the world and its processes is not only our biggest challenge as followers of Christ, it is essential in demonstrating how we’ve been cleansed and changed by our faith. When we trusted Christ to save our souls, He absolutely did and then gave us eternal life. Our natural lives must fade and God has given us the Holy Spirit to assist us in that process.