Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cease Striving and Believe God

How many times have you said, "I am supposed to keep the Ten Commandments and I feel condemned when I don't.? In my early years in Sunday school my whole religious experience consisted of "Keeping the Ten commandments", reading all the bible stories and striving to keep the law. I knew nothing of the LOVE of God. I only knew that He would love me if I obeyed my parents.  I guess in some ways, it did put the fear of God in me, but it certainly wasn't the 'fear' of worshiping Him in awe! God was distant, unavailable and always expecting me to perform.

I am so grateful that the Lord has opened my eyes to the real Jesus.  The Jesus who made a covenant with His Father on my behalf and gave it to me. This is AMAZING LOVE!  Jesus Christ was the only perfect human being, without spot or blemish, who could make a blood covenant with God.  There is NO way that you or I could ever make a covenant with God. It is rather ridiculous to think about it. But Jesus was the PERFECT man. His blood was worthy and acceptable before the Father to represent us.

Isn't it a blessing to know that our God is pleased with us not because of what we do or don't do, but because  we believe and accept His Son as a propitiation (substitute) for our sin?  The Christian life is not supposed to be a struggle to be good enough to win God's approval.  That was the Old Covenant way. Its message was "Do right and I will accept you and bless you."

God's New Covenant is , "I love you and accept you because of your faith in my Son, Jesus. I choose to bless you and I will work in you and ENABLE you to do what is right."  The Old Covenant was dependent on human effort.  The New covenant depended on God's effort working out our salvation. God hasn't lowered His standards in the New Covenant.  But He has said He Himself will be responsible for meeting them and He did in His Son.

Notice in the following passage describing the New Covenant that God says, "I will, I will, I will..." Hebrews 10:16-17
"This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I WILL put my laws in their hearts, and I WILL write them on their minds.  I WILL never again remember their sins  and  lawless deeds." NOW that is good news!

Ephesians 2:10 says "For we are God's  workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." God is at work.  We are the result of God's work--not our own striving.  We can't make ourselves perfect.  We can't attain God's standard by our own efforts.  The purpose of the Law was to show us that we fell short and that we would know that we needed a Savior. Someone who could help us.

There comes a peace of mind when we rest in this truth.  We don't have to strive to be good to please God or to change ourselves to be accepted..  The more we know our God, the more we will desire to be like Him and His enabling grace will continue to change us from glory to glory. The presence of the Holy Spirit will lead and guide us into all truth and will finish the good work He began, which is to be conformed into His image and likeness; our new creation.

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