Welcome To Daily In Christ Devotionals

Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Have You Been Transformed?

There is a sense in our American Culture that we are a Christian nation that does Christian things filled with Christian People. I often ponder what God might think about the idea of this. "One nation under God" we say. But what does it really mean for a person to be under God? According to the verses in 2Corinthians to be under God means that we have been reconciled to God through Christ Jesus. That we are a new creation and the old ways of living have passed away and the new way of living has come.

2Co 5:17-20 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (esv)

Being a Christian doesn't mean believing in a philosophy of doing good things for people. There are a lot of non-Christians who help others and do all kinds of good for people. It doesn't mean we are a Christian nation if we profess to be bigger, stronger, and nicer than everyone else. In order for our nation to be a Christian nation we need to look at ourselves and ask one simple question... "Am I a Christian?" Am I following the ways of Christ or am I doing things my way and living the way I feel best fulfills my wants and personal desires? Am I reconciled with God through Jesus Christ?

There are a lot of churches that proclaim that if you said the "sinners prayer" then you are saved and will be for the rest of your life. There are others who say that you need to be saved and then do all sorts of good things for God. And then there is God's Word which says this:

1Jn 3:4-9 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. (esv)

Following Christ isn't about good works or trying to keep the law of God, it is about experiencing firsthand the grace of God and abiding in it. If God's seed abides in you then you desire the things of God and you don't desire to live continually in sin. Practicing righteousness isn't about working for God. It is about being righteous in Christ and evidence of that comes out in our life by how we relate to God and others. If we continually live in sin, this passage declares we have neither seen God or even know Him.

If we claim Christianity in our life we need to do a reality check and see if we are abiding in Him, otherwise it is simply lip service and a way of convincing ourselves we aren't going to go to hell. Jesus addresses this issue in Matthew.

Mat 7:22-23 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.' (esv)

Christ will say to the posers of the Christian faith, "Depart from me you poser, you may have tried to look like you were a Christian and even done good things, but I never knew you because you did not abide in me. You did it all for your benefit and your glory and your joy. You were not sheep of my fold."

Today I encourage you to do a reality check. If you have been abiding in God and fighting the effects of sin in your life then praise God for His sustaining grace. If you have claimed the grace of Jesus as your own but have been living life to benefit yourself and not for Christ then I implore you to turn your heart back to Him. If we want to be a Christian nation then we first and foremost need to be nation of Christians. Let's allow Christ to make a difference in our life so we can help impact the lives of those around us.


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