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We Are Called to Be Godly...But How?

Discussion in 'Daily Devotionals' started by Michie, Nov 13, 2002.

  1. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

    United States
    <B>By Laura Bagby

    God has given us a means to be exactly what He asks of us: Jesus Christ.

    How exactly do you become holy, or good, or kind, or any of these godly things? The answer rests in something beyond ourselves.

    The Dilemma of Our Own Efforts</B>

    In Leviticus 11:45 and again in 1 Peter 1:16, the Bible tells us that God told His people, 'Be holy, because I am holy.' This isn't some suggestion; this is a command. The same goes for being self-controlled (1 Peter 1:13), being thankful in all things (Colossians 3:15), being steadfast (1 Corinthians 15:58), and a host of other righteous characteristics.

    If God has commanded it, shouldn't it be easy? It doesn't seem fair that God commands us to reflect godly character, and yet, over and over again, we come crawling back to the Lord, pleading, 'Lord, I want to be holy, I want to be godly, I want to be a genuine, true Christian, but I just can't seem to do it.' And we walk away defeated.

    Well, I am here to tell you that it isn't God's fault that you can't be righteous or holy or steadfast or thankful.

    Think about it: Why would God give you a command that you could not fulfill? God is a good and blessed God. To say such things about God would be totally inaccurate.

    So now what?

    I shall tell you, my friends. If we are unable to accomplish the task, it is simply because we believed WE were able.

    In today's society, if something needs to be a certain way, we go out and do it. We are incessant doers. Just like the biblical Martha, we fly through life with our five-minute Bible morsels, chanting, 'Be holy? OK, I can do that,' daily keeping track of our righteous checklist in hopes that by the end of the day, we will be the people God wants us to be. And we wonder why none of the boxes are checked off by day's end.

    When will we learn that none of OUR efforts will do?

    We can never be holy on our own. In fact, because we were born into this world as corrupted souls, we can never be those righteous things we might strive to become through our own efforts. We will fail again and again.

    How, then, can we succeed in our Christian walk if we aren't able to do what God asks?

    <B>Wait: There is An Answer</B>

    God has given us a means to be exactly what He asks of us: Jesus Christ Himself, our undeserved gift from heaven for all who believe.

    If you are stressed out, burned out, and confused in your attempts to please your Lord and Savior by being all that He wants you to be, perhaps you have forgotten that Jesus is the key to your very life as a Christian.

    If you are screaming, 'Lord, but I am not able to do it,' know that God knew that way before you admitted it even to yourself. For the Bible tells us, "While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8, emphasis mine), which, in a nutshell, says we couldn't do the job ourselves. That's why we have Jesus.

    God knows your inadequacies, and yet He never despises you for it. He wants you to admit you can't do it, that you have reached an impasse in your Christian walk. That is when He can re-introduce you to Himself and the incredible work of His Son, Jesus Christ, the One who understands our struggles and shows compassion on our weaknesses.

    If we could become something pure and good in our Christian walk by doing, by our own efforts, then there would be no need for Jesus Christ to die on the cross for you or for me. But the fact is it was necessary for Christ to die, because our sin was keeping us from being able to commune with the Father. And when we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and the work that He did on the cross and ask Him to cleanse us and fill us with Himself, a new work begins. We have Jesus Christ in our lives to intercede for us and to instruct us and to enable us to do and be what God commands.

    And as we daily die to ourselves, humbling ourselves before the Lord, acknowledging that only His presence can make us righteous, a beautiful thing happens: With Christ at the head of our lives, we will be continually formed in His image -- His pure, holy, and righteous image.

    See, living a holy life has nothing to do with self-reliance and everything to do with relying heavily on the only One who is and will ever be truly righteous -- and that's God Himself through faith in Jesus Christ. And to rely on the working power of Jesus Christ, we must know Him intimately. And how can we know Him if we do not read the Bible? That is why it is so critical to daily read the Word of God so that we may come to know and trust, and in turn, rely on His power and not our own to accomplish the things only He can do. And as we abide in Christ, He abides in us. Christ dwells within and enables us to do and be those things we cannot do and be on our own because we are sinful.

    Want to be pure? He is. Want to be steadfast? He is. Want to be compassionate? He is. Want to be just? He is. Whatever you need to be, He is it at the very basic level of being. We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and we can be all these things, because He is and He is living His life through us, if we are abiding in Him. That is the paradox of being a Christian.

    You and I are already equipped to do every good work. We just must know who has the ultimate power to accomplish such goodness -- Christ Jesus in us.

    Once we get this revelation, we will stop sensing that our Christianity revolves around our human effort, which is faulty, and lay our burdens, our worries, our very selves into the capable hands of God Our Father who will be through us so that we can stop doing.

    I pray that we won't strive toward accomplishing in our own efforts, for we will gain nothing of value by trying on our own. Rather, by allowing our Savior to live life through us, we shall be, truly be all that He desires.

    "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).


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  2. BigEd

    BigEd an adopted child of God

    Thank you, for this devotional michie. This topic has been very much on my mind these days.
  3. carmen

    carmen Active Member

    Thanks for the post michie