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Why Do You Believe?

Discussion in 'Daily Devotionals' started by Christsfreeservant, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. Christsfreeservant

    Christsfreeservant Senior Veteran Supporter

    United States
    Proverbs 15:7-11 NASB

    The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
    But the hearts of fools are not so.
    The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
    But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
    The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
    But He loves one who pursues righteousness.
    Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way;
    He who hates reproof will die.
    Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord,
    How much more the hearts of men!

    What should faith in Jesus Christ look like? Do we believe in Jesus just so we can escape eternal punishment in hell, and just so we can secure heaven as our eternal destiny? Or, do we believe in Jesus just so our sins are forgiven us so we don’t have to feel guilty any longer when we do sin against God?

    What’s the object, the purpose of our faith?

    The object should be to unite us with our holy God so that we might have fellowship with him, and that we might be for his praise and glory. For, sin separates us from God, but God’s grace to us reunites us with God. For when Jesus died on that cross, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. He died that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15, 21).

    So, the object of our faith is restored fellowship with God, and that we might be for his glory and praise. And, this is accomplished through dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness, all by God’s grace, and in his power and strength (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14).

    For, our salvation from sin is not just a get-out-of-jail-free card. It is also not carte blanche to continue in sinful practices without guilt. And, it isn’t just to make us happy, either. It is for the glory and praise of God! It is that we might give him glory and praise by how we live our lives for him and not for ourselves.

    For, He delights in righteousness, in holiness, in uprightness, in truth in our inner being, in holy prayers, and in faithfulness to him and to his will for our lives. He is pleased when we turn away from our sinful practices and when we follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands. And, we delight in Him and in his purity and holiness, and our desire is for Him to do his will.

    So, this isn’t just about deliverance from addiction to sin and the promise of heaven when we die. This is about union with Almighty God in purity of devotion to him, desirous to please him in all that we do and say. This is about a relationship between God and man and woman.

    But, if we decide to go our own way, and to keep following after the flesh, and our desire is not for him but to do what our sinful flesh craves, we will not have union with God, we won’t be in fellowship with him, we won’t be saved from our sins, and we won’t go to heaven when we die. But, we will die in our sins because we refused to die to our sins (Gal. 6:7-8).

    Proverbs 15:19-21, 24-25 NASB

    The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns,
    But the path of the upright is a highway.
    A wise son makes a father glad,
    But a foolish man despises his mother.
    Folly is joy to him who lacks sense,
    But a man of understanding walks straight.
    The path of life leads upward for the wise
    That he may keep away from Sheol below.
    The Lord will tear down the house of the proud,
    But He will establish the boundary of the widow.

    Jesus Christ didn’t save us from our sins so that we could sit back and relax, take life easy, and live for self-pleasure. He didn’t die that cruel death just to make life easier for us so that we wouldn’t feel guilty any more about sin. He saved us to transform us and to conform us to his likeness, and to make us holy vessels fit for his service, to do what he requires of us.

    Too many Christians (or professing Christians) these days are taking God’s grace to us for granted, at least here in America. Too many see it as free license to continue in their sinful practices without guilt. Too many see it merely as an escape from punishment and a promise of heaven when we die. And, so they are lazy about their relationships with Jesus Christ.

    Thus, many who call themselves followers of Christ are not really following Jesus at all. They are providing some religious service, which they think will be acceptable to God, but they are not surrendered to the Lord, and he is not Lord (owner-master) of their lives, for self is still on the throne.

    So, they live foolishly, for self-pleasure, filling their minds and their time with the junk this world has to offer. So many are addicted to entertainment, too, as though we must all be entertained just as a matter of living life on this earth. So, they fill up their spare time with videos, movies, TV shows, games, sports, novels, secular music, trash talk on social media, and the like. And, then many of them say they don’t have time for God.

    But, this is not how we are to live. We are to live for the glory and praise of God, not for our own glory and praise. We are to live for his purposes, according to his will, not according to our own purposes and will. We are to walk the straight and narrow, which leads to life, not the crooked and broad road that leads to destruction.

    So, we need to understand here that how we live matters, not just for eternity, but for our relationship with God; with Jesus Christ. For, if it is our practice, i.e. the way we live, to spend our time mainly for ourselves and for our own pleasure while we neglect God, prayer, the study of his word, and obedience to his commands, then we are liars if we say we have fellowship with God. And, heaven is not our destiny, but hell is (1 Jn. 1:5-9).

    Proverbs 15:28-29, 31-33 NASB

    The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
    But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
    The Lord is far from the wicked,
    But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
    He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof
    Will dwell among the wise.
    He who neglects discipline despises himself,
    But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.
    The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom,
    And before honor comes humility.

    If we truly believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of our lives it should drastically change how we live, how we think, and the things that we do. It should change our attitudes, too. It doesn’t mean we will be perfect or that we will never sin again, but how we now live should be a turnabout from walking in sin to now walking daily in Christ’s righteousness and holiness.

    Our lives should now be given over to our Lord for his service. We should want to please him in all that we do and say. And, we shouldn’t be looking for loopholes in order to excuse away willful sinful practices. We shouldn’t fight against God’s Word or try to worm our way out of having to obey him. We should be so in love with Jesus that we want to do what pleases him.

    So, we must humble ourselves before God in repentance and in submission to his will for our lives. And, we must follow Jesus Christ wherever he leads us. We must be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit, too, leading us in the way he would have us to go, and then do what he says. And, we must find ourselves delighting in our Lord and in his commandments, and in serving him with our lives because of the relationship we have with him.

    We shouldn’t see obedience to our Lord as drudgery or as optional. But, we should love to walk in his love and grace in serving him in all ways in which he leads us. And, we also should not see our Lord as only a small part of our lives, but we should see him as our life, the totality of why we are here on this earth. For, this is what it means to fear the Lord, to give him the love, honor, value, respect and obedience which he so deserves.

    So, we should see each day as an opportunity to serve him, to walk in his love, to listen to what he says, and then to obey him in doing what he directs us to do. And, we must be careful not to get so busy with other stuff that we neglect our Lord and that we shirk our callings and that we are so busy with self-pleasure that we fail to live for the praise and glory of God.

    It’s All You

    Lyrics by Tosin Iyawo Ogaga & Sue Love
    Music by Sue Love @ Original Works
    Vocals by Tosin Iyawo Ogaga

    May 31, 2019

    You are the reason I want to dance.
    You are the reason I want to sing.
    You are the reason, expressing myself,
    I serve You in all the ways You lead me.

    You are the reason my heart gives You praise.
    You are the reason that I am alive.
    I bring out Your best moves
    Just so I do embrace You;
    Sing out loud as You lead just to please You.

    Let myself follow You. I don’t care who watches me.
    All I want to do is to make You smile.

    Let every fiber of me bring You praise.
    Your love has lifted my feet to dance.
    Your faithfulness leaves me singing for joy.
    You, Jesus, are the reason, it’s all You.

    Your grace gives me life.

    *full lyrics used by permission of the lyricists

    Tosin singing:
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  2. Anguspure

    Anguspure Kaitiaki Peacemakers NZ Supporter

    New Zealand
    "We" is critical. Christianity has largely been reduced to individualism where real community is difficult to find. The Love of Christ is not expressed as an individual in the wilderness but as a daily, hourly part of a community of believers.
    Even the Lords prayer is not and individual undertaking but is a corporate affair.
  3. Tolworth John

    Tolworth John Well-Known Member Supporter

    United Kingdom
    I believe because Christianity is true.

    I also believe your post would be far better if you cut what you post to 10% of what you write.
  4. Christsfreeservant

    Christsfreeservant Senior Veteran Supporter

    United States
    We are saved as individuals. We follow our Lord in obedience as individuals. Our relationships with Jesus Christ are as individual as we are. But, yes, we are not alone. We are part of a community of followers of Jesus Christ. And, we are to work for the Lord within that community of Jesus followers to encourage one another in our walks of faith.
  5. Christsfreeservant

    Christsfreeservant Senior Veteran Supporter

    United States
    John, God has gifted us in all different ways. Some people he calls to write short devotionals. Other people he has write Bible studies or sermons, which are a little longer than short devotionals. So, we are not all going to be the same. We are not going to be cookie cutter followers of Christ. We each have different gifts and different roles that we are to fill within the body of Christ.

    So, there are plenty of places where you can read short devotionals, if that is your preference. For now, at least, that is not what God has called me to do. So, I will continue to write 1200 to 1800 word (3 pages) devotionals as long as that is what the Lord leads me to do, for I am to follow his lead. If He should decide he wants me to write less, then that is what I will do, but so far he has not led me to do that.
  6. Anguspure

    Anguspure Kaitiaki Peacemakers NZ Supporter

    New Zealand
    Yes, bur it is the second part of your paragraph that is all to often missing. I have had the 1st part for 34 years now, but it remains very difficult to find the 2nd.
  7. Christsfreeservant

    Christsfreeservant Senior Veteran Supporter

    United States
    I agree with what I think you mean by this. The church, at least in America, has gotten so far away from what God intended, and what the scriptures teach. Most of today's church, it seems, is market-driven instead of Holy Spirit driven, and it is being led by marketing 101 books on how to build your church, i.e. your business, rather than being led of God and of the Holy Spirit. And, so it rarely functions like Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4 and the book of Acts describes. So, yes, the body life is missing for sure.
  8. Anguspure

    Anguspure Kaitiaki Peacemakers NZ Supporter

    New Zealand
    I recently read a book called Why Men Hate Going to Church, and while the author identified many of the reasons why we often hate it, his solution was full of these sort of marketing ideas. I was very disappointed to say the least.