Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: Relief, Receive and Renew

Wednesday's Word

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Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Relief, Receive and Renew

How did you come to Christ?

This is as about as important a question that you could ever be asked, second to the question; “What did you get when you got Christ?”

Thing is, most people come to Christ because somehow, in some area in their lives, they’ve hit a place of desperation where the need for a new direction is blatantly apparent. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this as I believe God when He says “Whosoever” in Romans 10:13: This is not predicated on circumstances. However, I do think it’s important to think long and hard about our conversion experience.

Here’s the example that can be changed easily but still make the point:
It’s possible for a person who drinks to excess to find themselves in a severely regrettable situation. In the midst of the painful after effects of a drunken stupor, they cry out for help. They’re asking for God but what they really want is relief.
The following day, they’ve recovered and understandably, the power and pain of that “hangover” is really the thing that’s making the difference in why they’ve learned to deal more moderately with alcohol. They may thank God but truth is, although God is available, they haven’t really received Him and more importantly, they haven’t given themselves TO Him.

It’s dangerously easy to start a disingenuous relationship with God. The relationship may even grow into one of remarkable benevolence. Yet, it’s possible to be motivated to DO good, without being empowered BY The Spirit. Not discounting ‘baby Christians’, it seems that too many Christians today don’t show evidence of being empowered by The Spirit and my mind tends toward the idea that they either resist Him or that they’ve never received Him.

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis uses a superb example of having a toothache and his mother’s response of either giving him an aspirin or taking him to the dentist. Most times we just want relief but Christ’s answer is always the extreme makeover.
This is where I wish churches did more: Of course, freely and fully receive people based on whatever life crises they’re having at the moment, but as we persuade with the Gospel, make it as clear as possible that the God who can alleviate your situation won’t stop there – His goal is to make you perfect. It’s what He does, He makes ALL THINGS NEW.

He will be a friend to the depressed, an advocate for the accused, a sustainer for the weak, and a clear direction for the lost but at the end of the day, He is LORD of all and being relieved in the area of your distress doesn’t obligate Him to stop what He’s doing. He won’t, and learning how to do what Christians DO is no substitution for a true transformation.

So. How did you come to Christ and what did you get when you got Him? Was it made clear to you that giving Him your problems also meant receiving Him? That it meant allowing Him to transform even the areas of your life that you’re already comfortable with? That your affinities, perceptions and your rules would be “fixed” by your new Ruler. And the big warning that your strength can produce a remarkably convincing façade with no eternal value. Use His strength, not yours….joy and peace will be evident.

Here's The Word:

Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

In Him,


Blogger R. Gentry said...

Key thinking point received; was it a feeling or an actual decision (to KNOW & FOLLOW Christ Jesus)?
Thank you for reminding us that the renewal process is just that - a process, one which through Jesus and His Word, should be daily.

10:17 AM  

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