Dead To The Power Of ‘Works’

 

29th November

So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the One who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God.”

Romans 7:4

Have you ever thought about why we sign legal documentation when we get married? Well, quite simply, it is to show that ‘legally’ two people are joining together to become one. It is almost like a ‘binding contract’ between two people. Moreover, in God’s eyes, until that ‘contract’ is broken through the passing of a spouse, marital unfaithfulness is adultery.

The writer of Romans, alludes also to the picture of marriage to explain how the power of sin and the law is broken. Before Christ, the law was the standard and guideline for holy living and ‘spiritual faithfulness’; almost as if we were married to it. Step outside of it, break it or abuse it and it was classed as ‘spiritual adultery’ of which there were severe consequences. Yet when Jesus died and rose again, His death separated us from the bind of the law, ‘trying to do good and keep all the laws’, and instead we were given new life, raised in Chrisr, because of Christ. Simply put, Jesus’ death broke the power of sin and the law, and His resurrected life has set us free and allowed us to be united to Christ, not to sin and the law.

It is Christ in us that produces good works for His glory. Not ourselves, not our ‘contractual’ obligations to be faithful, but a right standing and liberating relationship with our Heavenly Father. We are free from ‘doing’ because we have to be good! We rather now do good because we are free!

Life: In All Its Fullness

 

28th November

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness.”

John 10:10

When Jesus came to the earth, as mentioned yesterday, He didn’t just come as a ticket to Heaven. He came so that we could live life to its fullness here now on this earth. When we pray ‘Lord let Your Kingdom come and Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven’ we are praying for every blessing that is in Heaven to become real on this Earth in our everyday lives. Jesus came to bring peace in our troubled world, life where there was only death and joy when there was despair. He came to penetrate every part of our thinking, choices and actions with His glory. This is life in its fullness. Living in Him and for Him. Life without Christ is not worth living. It becomes only temporary satisfaction. It is only Jesus that can fill our hearts to overwhelming. Invite the life giver into every part of your heart and watch and see Jesus’ blessings overwhelm your souls.

The Way, The Truth, The Life

27th November

Jesus told him,“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really know Me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him!””

John 14:6-7

Have you ever wondered how to get to Heaven? Well, the answer is simple; through Jesus. There is no special ticket or no trick questions to answer or no religious act you have to do. Just simply, through Jesus. If you don’t believe these words, then read Jesus’ own words. He said of Himself, ‘That no one can come to the Father except through Me’. He alone is the way, the truth and the life. He is the way to Heaven, He is the truth of God in His fullness, and He is the life beyond life.

Yet Jesus’ words were so much more than just simply directing us to Heaven. Jesus, above all, wanted and wants us to know God for ourselves. He wants us to have a personal relationship with Him, with the Father and with the Holy Spirit. That is why He said, ‘When you know Me, you know who My Father is’. Jesus said this, because He wanted to emphasize that He and His Father are One. He wanted His disciples to know who the ‘Father’ was, who ‘Elohim’ was, who ‘Yahweh’ was, who the ‘God’ that they and their ancestors had been worshipping all of their lives. He wanted to show them that the God of the Torah, of the stories of old, of Moses, Abraham and Isaac, was standing right in front of them, reaching out to have a relationship with them, both in the ‘now’ and ‘eternally’ in Heaven.

We too are presented with the same challenge today. Jesus presents Himself in front of us as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He wants us to have a relationship with Him now and forever more. Is Jesus the way, truth and life for you?

He Is Faithful And Just

 

25th & 26th November

Weekend Edition

But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

1 John 1:9

Isn’t God’s love and kindness incredible. He forgives us when we don’t deserve it and instead of punishment, He gives us freedom. His grace sets us free; not only from the punishments of sin, but from the condemnation of it and the guilt. It is a daily challenge to accept this though, as as humans, accepting something so big for free is not easy, especially when we feel undeserving of it. John clearly states in his epistle, that if we confess our sins to God, He is faithful to forgive and cleanse us of every stain of it. This is where grace comes in. The cleansing and the purifying are free gifts of God. His love covers all sins. No matter what we have done, if we confess to Him, His grace forgives and removes the condemnation of it: even when we don’t deserve it. No sin is out of God’s reach. His grace covers our shame, our guilt and even our remorse. He can restore and heal you and make you whole again. Confess to Him and watch your life change.

Different But The Same

 

24th November

May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for the followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept each other as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.”

Romans 15:5-7

God created us wonderfully. We are all different but the same human beings. We breathe the same air, eat the same food produced by the earth and feel the same emotions. Of course wherever we live the air and food may be different, and even the way we express our emotions are different across the world. Yet when it comes down to it, we are the same. This being said, rather than focus on our similarities, we often pick fault with each other’s differences. Even in the church, because someone doesn’t worship the same way as us or doesn’t dress in the same way as us, we can cause conflict and division. Yet the church should be the beacon of difference in this world; a place that the world can look at and see harmony and unity in-spite of our differences.

The writer of Romans was addressing this very issue too and encouraged us all to live in complete harmony, not for ourselves but in humility and serving others. Christ was our perfect example who humbly lived for others and not ourselves. Let’s strive for harmony and unity. Rejoice in our differences and accept each others faults. As the writer of Romans says,

Therefore, accept each other as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.

Amen

A Blessing From The Book Of Psalms

 

23rd November

But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your Name may be filled with joy. For You bless the Godly, O Lord; You surround them with Your shield.”

Psalm 5:11-12

David knew the benefits of God’s gracious love. He knew that he could call upon the Lord in both his time of need and in peace. He had full security in who he was in the Lord. Moreover he had full assurance that because of God’s unfailing love towards him, he could enter into God’s presence and rejoice in the fullness of God’s love.

We too can have that same assurance, security and peace knowing that we are loved by the creator of the universe. We are protected by the Saviour of the world. In addition, we can find rest for our weary souls, in the refuge of our Father’s loving arms.

May David’s blessing, in today’s verse, be relevant for your life. May God truly bless you. May you find refuge in God’s presence. May joy fill your heart. And may you find protection from the enemy as you are surrounded with the Lord’s shield. The Lord is for you and not against you.

May “all who love Your Name may be filled with joy.”

Dust Is So Annoying

22nd November

Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible…”

Ephesians 5:11-14a

Have you ever looked around at your house when the sun shines brightly through the windows. Although the sun rays are warming, almost comforting, its beams of brightness annoyingly and embarrassingly expose all the uncleaned shelves covered in dust. Quite comically, it also shows where you have been lazy and only done a ‘half job’ sometimes. There is no escaping the inspection of the sun’s rays. It is like when the sun shines, it magnifies what we have been avoiding dealing with. The same is with our lives. Sometimes we try to cover up our mistakes and sins, thinking that in the secret of darkness, they will be hidden and free from consequence. Yet as Paul says, eventually our ‘evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything visible.’

What is important to note, is the God’s light doesn’t want to expose us to embarrass us, but rather to gently correct us and protect us. For sin has power in secret, in darkness and when not spoken about; yet when exposed, sin’s power is broken. Half of the battle is bringing it out into the open. This takes confession on our behalf. Yet when we confess our sins to God or to our accountability partners, His comforting and love is like the warmth of the sun’s rays. Although our sin is exposed before Him, we can also soak in the warmth of His forgiveness and restoration. He is faithful and just to forgive us from all things we have kept in the dark and forgive and clean us up with the warmth of His loving grace.