Here is the devotional:
A lot of Christians strive month after month, year after year, to change. Over time, though, they get weary, feel defeated, and give up. They have forgotten (or never understood) the bedrock truth of what Jesus did on the cross, and what it means for transformation.
Jesus bore the penalty of sin by dying in our place, and broke sin’s power over us forever. You joined the winning side the moment you received Him as your Savior!
Your old (sin) nature “died” with Christ.
Your new nature rose with Christ to new life.
Your enemy (Satan) was defeated when Jesus rose from the dead. The evil one has no power over you, no matter how much he tries to convince you otherwise!
What does this mean to us as we are wanting to become more Christ-like? How does this objective truth translate into the power to change?
When you have faith that God really loves you and empowers you, then you take action, trusting Him to guide and support you.
Consider yourself dead to sin but alive to God in Christ. Root yourself in His Word, take steps of faith according to His Word, and connect with other believers who minister the grace you need. Trust God to transform you, and don’t give up.
If you do that, I can promise that you will not be disappointed. You will be changed!
Are you allowing sin, death, and Satan to control how you see yourself?
Or do you see yourself as a participant in the divine nature of Jesus, able to trample sin, stare death in the face, and live absolutely convinced that nothing can separate you from the love of God?
Prayer: Lord, make the truth of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross and victorious resurrection come alive in my heart. Help me believe that sin has no hold on my life, and that the Holy Spirit can transform me into a more Christ-like child of God.
Here are the scriptures referenced:
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Ephesians 4:7-10 KJV
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
John 12:24 KJV
Here are Stu’s thoughts:
There in lies a lot of the problem…
They have forgotten (or never understood) the bedrock truth of what Jesus did on the cross, and what it means for transformation.
This is another area in which I feel the church is failing….discipleship. There is some preaching going on but there is no teaching and there is a difference by the way.
I’m not talking about your church. I’m talking about THE church.
Your body of believers inside the four walls of what many consider the church may be growing, changing and making a difference in your neck of the woods.
But as a whole I dare to say that is not the case.
And that may be part of the reason many feel that our Christianity is outdated. It’s really not outdated and never will be. It’s the fact that people have not learned to apply the beginning of their salvation to the rest of their journey because it is not being taught.
Do you remember when the Passion of the Christ came out and how so many people were realizing exactly what Jesus went through for them and then accepted Christ? I do.
But I have to wonder how many of those lives have truly changed over the years.
Im not trying to down play that change takes place! I’m really not! I’m proof that it happens as are many of you!
But from the outside looking in it really looks bad.
So many pastors are falling away. Getting caught in affairs, with child pornography and some have been arrested for being a part of sex trafficking!
And it trickles down to deacons, elders and what ever other name a certain denomination comes up with.
Has the church really forgotten what Christ did on the cross?
Or do we really not care because we have become so accustomed to the ways of the world that we really do not want to give things up?
Jesus died a death I would not wish on anyone. No one should be beaten to the point of non recognition, skin and muscles pulled from their back with whips that have fragments of stone and other sharp instruments attached to them! But Jesus went through that.
He went through that for YOU! He went through that for ME!
There are things I need to change in my own life even as I type this out. So I know there are things that need to be changed in your life as well.
We need to get back to the basics of our salvation.
And it takes us right back to being rooted at the foot of the cross were love was poured out!
May we never forget what Jesus did on the cross and what that means for us to change and be more like him.
Once we come to the point where we realize that we are powerless on our own to change and call out to the one who gave his life for us and truly repent and want change is when change will take place.
There are 3 power sources for our change.
Get to praying and laying your burdens down.
Get into the Bible and dig! Learn!
Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you daily as you read the Bible and find ways to apply what you learn in order to change.
And lastly find like minded believers who will walk the journey with you!
Get plugged in!!