Thursday, August 08, 2013

August 8, 2013 … Why we fail as Christians

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 220

Devotional Song: Go to this link  … A powerful truth, performed in song by Nichole Nordeman, singing “Finally Free”, reminding us that we can – if we’ll but surrender to God’s will and way, TOTALLY, walk in freedom and victory in Christ. However, we have to be the ones to shed our shackles by being willing to do what Christ commanded in denying our selfish choices and following Him (see Luke 9: 23).

Highlight Study involving today’s passage found in Joshua, Chapter 7 Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Matthew 5: 23-25 [Setting things right by getting things right.] … [NLT] …
23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. 25 “When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. ..."

Reference Passage #2: 1st John 1: 8-9 [We can walk in victory without being stoned by simply confessing our sins and letting Jesus cleanse us to walk in freedom.] … [NLT] …  
8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 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.

Reference Passage #2: Matthew 6: 33 [Our focus should always be on Christ and to walk in His righteousness.] … [NLT] …  
33 "... Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need. ..."

My Journal for Today: Have you ever asked yourself, as a Christian, why you were seemingly walking in so much defeat, not being able to find freedom and victory in your walk with Jesus? Well Joshua wondered the same thing after God had promised that he and the Israelites would have victory, following God, after they crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land [see Joshua, Chapter 1]. But if you’ve read Joshua, Chapter 7, linked above for your study, Joshua discovered, after a serious and unexpected defeat, that one of his leaders, Achan, had disobeyed God’s commands and selfishly kept some of the spoils of victory, even after God had specifically commanded against doing such.

Now the punishment for Achan’s sin of disobedience, i.e., being stoned along with his family, was certainly harsh in our eyes as New Testament Christians; but to purge that sin in THAT day, the punishment of Achan was necessary in God’s eyes. Today, covered by the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice for all such sins, we, as Christians, need only to humbly confess our sins and be cleansed forevermore (see 1st John 1: 9). However, Jesus commanded of His disciples, that we can’t openly choose, in selfishness, to disobey and walk in our own way, and then to expect God’s Spirit to bless us with a free walk in victory. But if we are willing to walk as Jesus also commanded (see Luke 9: 23); AND … if we are willing to confess our sins, openly and humbly before God’s throne of grace (again in the Spirit of 1st John 1: 9), we can, as Nichole Nordeman sings in today’s devotional song, be ”Finally Free”) and walk in victory.

So many times, however, we think we’re doing the right thing and going to church and giving to the church and walking in the surface rituals of our RELIGION, … when in truth, we have pockets of sin which we’re exercising “in the closet,” and we delude ourselves to think that somehow God doesn’t see our “hidden” transgressions. My friend, as Jesus told us in His great Sermon in Matthew 5: 23-25, if we’re going to declare ourselves to be free in Christ, we have to walk in that freedom by being totally cleansed of our sinfulness, confessing openly to God and/or setting things right in His eyes.

Our focus, as disciples of Christ, should always be to live as Jesus has instructed us, … to follow Him out of our selfishness, and to live lives, as Nichole Nordeman sings, “Finally Free” of ourselves and fully immersed in the righteousness of our Savior. Again, that’s what Jesus was exhorting in Matthew 6: 33; and I’m praying today that I can walk in freedom, having been cleansed by the infinite power of confession, and redirected by my desire to choose to surrender in my walk and follow only Christ.

 How about you?

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I can’t speak for any who meditate with me here today; but I choose to follow You and walk in freedom from myself. … Amen

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...

There are those who advance the position that, by saying, the Sinner's Prayer your sins will be forgiven and you will be added to the Lord's church. The question remains, can saying a prayer save anyone? Let us investigate that supposition.

The typical sinner's prayer: "Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I believe that you have died for my sins and arose from the grave. I now turn from my sins and invite You into my heart and life. I receive You as my Lord. Amen."

The birth of the church of Christ was A.D. 33 the Day of Pentecost. How were they saved?

Acts 2:22-41.....36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ---this Jesus whom you crucified." 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren what shall we do?" 38 Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The events on the Day of Pentecost that lead to salvation.
1. Peter preached the death, burial , and resurrection of Jesus.(Acts 2:22-35)
2. Peter proclaimed Jesus as both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:36)
3. Men believed the message and were convicted of their sins and ask what they should do. (Acts 2:37)
4. Peter told them to repent and be baptized (immersed in water) so their sins could be forgiven and they could receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
5. How were they saved? Act2:40-41..."Be saved from this perverse generation" 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. (Notice they were not saved until they were baptized).


What did they have to do to be saved?

They needed to have faith: John 3:16, Mark 16:16
They needed to repent: Acts 2:38, Acts 3;19 (repentance means to make a commitment to turn from sin and turn toward God).
They needed to confess: Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:36-37.
They needed to be baptized: Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:20-21.

The apostles never taught the sinner's prayer as the terms for pardon.

No one is questioning the sincerity of those who recite the SINNER'S PRAYER, the question is, can the SINNER'S PRAYER SAVE ANYONE?

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