Monday, July 13, 2009

Morning Devotion....

Answer The Challenge

Why are so many "believers" content to live a life of mediocrity in Christ - a life partially devoted to following God and partially devoted to following the ways of the world? Without question, some have only put on the face of a Christian and have never given their heart to God through a saving faith in Jesus. But others are true believers in desperate need of a spiritual kick in the pants!

Paul's letters comprise much of the New Testament. They were written to give instruction on the Christian faith and to encourage perseverance through times of testing. Paul often wrote of the simplicity of the gospel message; "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8). But he also wrote to encourage those who truly put their faith in Jesus to live a life of service, holiness, and unity.

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we begin a new life. We are set free from the bondage of sin (Romans 6:22) and are called to follow Christ as we are conformed to His image (Romans 8:29). But Paul saw many believers sitting on the sidelines of the Christian life; "I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received" (Ephesians 4:1).

Paul gives encouragement by "urging" a life worthy of Salvation. This has nothing to do with earning our way to Heaven; rather, it's a life lived in holy thankfulness for the gift we have received. The word Paul used for urge can also be translated as beseech, beg, implore, exhort, or challenge. He's not giving a gentle pat on the back which says, "You're doing well, keep running a good race." Rather, Paul is presenting a firm challenge to draw nearer to God and give our lives more fully to Him. Paul used the same word in his letter to the Romans.

Romans 12:1
"Therefore, I urge {beg, implore, exhort, and challenge} you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship."

We have been set free and made new! We are a new creation and CANNOT continue to walk with one foot on God's path and the other being allowed to tiptoe along worldly desires. These simply have no place in the life of a worshipper of the One True God!

Today, we are being challenged to trust God more; to talk with Him more and seek His presence more diligently; to not get pulled away by the lies of the world! We are being challenged to love Him with ALL our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). As we face this day with its multitude of struggles, let's live a life worthy of the calling we have received and forevermore answer the challenge!

Have a Christ Centered Day!

Steve Troxel
God's Daily Word Ministries


Brian said...

Great post! Read this a few minutes ago and it goes well with what Steve wrote about.

"God did not give us His gospel just so we could embrace it and be converted. Actually, He offers it to us every day as a gift that keeps on giving to us everything we need for life and godliness." - Milton Vincent, 'A Gospel Primer for Christians'

Anna said...

Thanks for sharing, this is Brian's quote too.

cheryl said...

I have to share this...

This morning, on the way out to help Allyson, I prayed for Dennis to be "encouraged" today with a call for a job.

When I arrived home, he said there was a message on the answering machine about a job!! WHOA!!

Now...he thinks it's for a drivers position (since he put on his resume' that he has a current CDL) but he's open to it and is eager to talk to the guy. He called back and left a message and is waiting for his return call.

He is doubting that it will work out, since that's not what he applied for, but hey...HE WAS ENCOURAGED!!

Tomorrow, I am praying for a call for a job that he is "qualified" for! Ha!