Saturday, March 4, 2023

Jesus Is Still Working On Me

Philippians 1:6-7, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.”

What a short, simple, yet incredibly powerful truth in Matthew 14:30 that perfectly summarizes the Christian life. There is no secret to living the Christian life. The Bible plainly teaches that we live by faith, the same exact way that we are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We have Christ's promise that He will always be with us, and never forsake us. Hebrews 13:5-6, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” We all feel down at times, but dear reader, BE OF GOOD CHEER, for Jesus is risen from the dead!!!

The Holy Spirit reminded me today about Peter, who obeyed the Lord and had the courage to literally get out of a perfectly good boat and walk on water. That took a lot of faith. Peter did walk on the water, not sinking an inch. But when Peter took His eyes off Jesus and began to focus on the stormy sea of Galilee and the rushing winds, he sunk. It's not a mere coincidence that God put this incredible event in the inspired Scriptures for us to read. God wants every Christian to learn the importance of keeping our mind and heart focused upon the Lord Jesus Christ. KEEP YOUR EYES UPON JESUS! If there is a secret to living the Christian life, it is to continually stay focused on Jesus.

When Peter began to sink into the murky depths of the raging sea, he cried out in desperation, “Lord, save me!” The story of Peter walking on the water, sinking, and then crying out to the Lord to be saved is a beautiful truth that even a young child can completely grasp... KEEP YOUR EYES UPON JESUS!!!

We Are Saved and Live the Christian Life by Christ's Righteousness
Peter was already saved in Matthew 14:30. So as a Christian Peter walked on the water by Christ's strength, not his own. As Christians we have nothing to offer God that can please Him, except our faith. Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God.

So often when a person comes to Christ and gets saved, they then go down a wrong path of self-righteousness as a believer. That is to say, they know that they were saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone; but they now have the wrong mindset that God is somehow pleased by their own efforts. The truth is that no matter how hard we may try as Christians to live for God, we will fail every day, one way or another, whether in deed or thought. If our best efforts couldn't impress God to get saved, then why should our best impress God now that we are saved? Isaiah 64:6 teaches that even our best self-righteousness is as filth in God's eyes. The same holds true even if a person has been saved for 50-years.

The ONLY thing that has ever pleased God the Father is the righteousness of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, which is imputed (attributed) to every believer the moment they believe the gospel (death, burial and resurrection) of Jesus Christ and are saved. This is why we are taught in the Bible that Christ lives through us as Christian believers. ...
Galatians 2:20-21, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”
I love this Bible verse... CHRIST LIVETH IN ME!!! Romans 8:9 teaches that a person is not saved who doesn't have the Spirit of Christ (i.e., the Holy Spirit). We are saved by Christ's righteousness and we continue to live the Christian life by Christ's righteousness. You cannot impress God any more in your own strength as a believer, than you could as an unsaved person who tries to impress God with keeping the Law. The Lord is our strength as His children. I cannot live the Christian life any more than I could save myself from sin and Hell. I live in Christ's righteousness, that is, Christ saved me and lives through me as I yield to the Spirit's leading by the Word of God!

That's not to say that being born-again is a process. The new birth is instant, immediate and undoable. Yet, salvation is more than being saved. Indeed, the salvation of a believer begins the day we are saved and continues to conform us into the image of God's Son each and every day. Through the hardships, sufferings and afflictions of this life we are changed into the image of Christ. Romans 12:2 tells us, “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

The Bible Never Tells Us to Seek God's Hidden Will

The Holy Bible never tells us to SEEK God's will; but rather, TO SEEK GOD Himself! The Bible never tells us to seek the will of God; but rather, to obey the revealed will of God in His Word, and then God will direct our paths. Proverbs 3:5-7, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” So don't worry over what God's secret (or hidden) will is for your life. God has PROMISED to direct our steps if we'll acknowledge God in all our ways. We do this by studying the Bible to know how God wants us to live. Jesus commanded in John 5:39 to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES!!!

If we do that which we know in the Bible, then God has PROMISED to guide our ways. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Our hope as believers is that Jesus Christ has raised up from the dead and is alive forevermore (John 16:33). Christ is our hope! Titus 1:2, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.” We don't hope in the sense of optimism as do Muslims and the Amish (who do their best and hope it works out in eternity); but rather, we have a blessed hope in full confidence based upon the PROMISES of God.

To Understand the Times in Which We Live, Keep Your Eyes On Jesus

There are many people who attempt to figure out what's really going on in the world, but they are going in circles, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2nd Timothy 3:7). Without the Word of God you'll never understand the truth, the world nor anything concerning spiritual things.

Did you know that one-third of the Bible is composed of prophecy! It's true! We learn in Revelation 19:13 that “JESUS IS THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY!” ...

Revelation 19:10, “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

In fact, Jesus is the spirit behind all of the Scriptures! That is, all of the Bible centers around Jesus Christ!!! When you read and study the Bible, always look for Jesus in the passage context (how it relates to Him) for the truth.

Kindly said, unbelieving religious Jews have interpreted the Bible all wrong for thousands of years, rejecting the cornerstone of their Messiah. 1st Peter 2:7, “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner.” Some people only read the Bible to fit their religious agenda, but without the Messiah they are barking up an empty tree. Others search the Bible for hidden numeric codes, which is a waste of time. The Bible says in Hebrews 1:2 that God speaks to us in these last days through His Son. John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Always look for Jesus in the Scriptures, for His name is THE WORD OF GOD (Revelation 19:13; John 1:1-3,14). Jesus is the living Word, and the Bible is the written Word. KEEP YOUR EYES UPON JESUS!!!

The heart of the Bible is the blood of the Lamb of God, Who was slain for the sins of the world (John 1:29). The way to make it through the Christian life is to keep our eyes on Jesus. If we take our eyes off the Lord and focus on the problems of this world, then we will begin to sink into an ocean of doubt and despair. When we find ourselves sinking low, we need to cry out to the Lord, putting our eyes back on Jesus and trusting Him at His Word. KEEP YOUR EYES UPON JESUS!!!
In youth I'm too happy to think, I've got plenty of time left.
In manhood I'm too busy to think, I'm trying to make a lot of money.
In the prime of life I'm too anxious to think, worry has taken over.
When I start getting old, I'm too old to think—life's wasted, heart's got harder.
Dying in bed—I'm too sick to think, I'm weak and suffering.
Death is too late to think—time's over and opportunity is lost.
In eternity—forever to think, I'm in Hell now with no mercy, and lost forever.

“Too long I've laid me down to sleep, and prayed the Lord my soul to keep.
I should awake before I die, and realize time is passing by;
And rise and go and tell the lost, despite my plans despite the cost.
Too long I've laid me down to sleep, while multitudes about me weep;
And other cries of dark despair, for no one ever seems to care.
My life is short, and soon I'll stand, with sinner's bloods upon my hand;
Unless I wake before I die, and realize time is passing me by.”

“The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power,
to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour;
To lose one's wealth is sad indeed, to lose one's health is more,
to lose your soul is such a loss, that no one can restore.”

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