Monday, August 24, 2020

What It Means To Be A Follower Of Jesus

“For whom He [God the Father] foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son [Jesus], that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” —Romans 8:29

Who is your role model? Who do you want to be like? Who are you like? Given the context of this BLOG, the most obvious and spiritual answer is “Jesus”. But, for me, I know that I am something short of that goal. Life just seems to get in the way a lot of days.  Oh, I can be like Jesus sometimes – but 24/7/365? Hmmm! That has never happened. Try or wish as I might – I always seem fall short.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Romans 12:2

Personally, I think that the reality of our new life – what happens after our second, spiritual, birth, is that we enter into a spiritual struggle between the old nature and new nature that will continue until we stand face to face with Jesus. Our temptation is to be conformed to the world – to not be transformed. To embrace our old nature – to love God less and the world more. We all struggle with it. Some are more successful than others – and in my view – that does not make those with the greater struggle any less saved. The New Testament epistles are replete with encouragement to do and admonition to not do. 

“…. let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:1-3

To be successful in this new life of ours is to resist sin, embrace the Word of God, keeping our focus on Jesus. We are to be salt and light in the world.  Our job is not to change the world. Our job – our responsibility is to point the world to the One who can change hearts and eternal destinies.  As imitators of God we should be His reflection – a sharp, supernatural contrast to the natural.  Of course we should do good things – but that is a result of the love we have for God, primarily, and the difference that love relationship makes in our lives. We should not continue in sin. We should not and must not become content with a “little” sin in our lives as if it does not matter to God.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” – Ephesians 5:8-11

I want to encourage you to examine your life – as I must do mine – considering our ways in light of the God we serve, the Savoir we follow, the Spirit that leads us and the Word that enlightens us.  It is something we must do every day – perhaps every minute of every hour. The journey – the life – that God has called us to is impossible to walk and to live without Him.  Don’t deceive yourself and imagine that it is OK to be lukewarm. It is not. Jesus did not go to the cross so we could live lukewarm lives.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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