May 4, 2014
Becoming born again is the simple act of faith in Jesus, and asking Him into your heart as your Lord and Savior. Walking as a Christian in the light of Jesus instead of acting like the world only comes from developing a relationship with Him and not just following a religion about Him.
Ephesians 5:14-15, 14 Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light. 15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
Remember that Paul wrote Ephesians as a letter to active Christians. I’m confident that he was not aware he was writing a portion of what we call the bible. Not only is it interesting that he used the phrase, “Awake you who sleep”, but that phrase can apply today. I was one of those Christians for the first few years of my born again life. I went to church and believed that Jesus had died and rose again, and gladly called Him my Lord and Savior. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact it is the most important step anyone can take. Unfortunately most of us stop there and do not go deeper into a relationship with God and Jesus. It is extremely easy to make a profession of faith, only to stay stuck in your own mind with what to do next. If you were raised with stiff rules as a child, so will your walk with the Lord be. If you were left to raise yourself, than you will have little restraint in what you think. I was left to raise myself and when I became born again there was no change in my life style. I never knew how to show love toward others; other people were just something for me to use to get what I wanted. I did change my outward appearance since I was told that people with long hair and a beard had sin in their heart and the long hair and beard was a sign of rebellion. I followed that rule and once I became clean cut, people were no longer afraid to be around me and I was able to use them even more because now I had more people to choose from. Are you starting to get the picture, I was spiritually asleep to what a Child of God was or what my purpose was. Even though I was alive to God, I was spiritually asleep to the fruit of the Spirit.
The world looks down its nose at Christians and sees us a mindless, insecure, insignificant, people. If the Prince of England was to come over and walk in any street in America, people would flock to him to hear what he said. We would even see him on the six pm news. People see his position as one of power even though his power has no jurisdiction in the US. Trust me, people in the world and especially people here in the US do not look at Christians as children of royalty. How much more royalty is there than to be the God of the universe? None! How much more royal can people become than to be the child of the living God? None! If we do not understand the position we have as joint heirs with Jesus, but continue to walk in beggarly legalisms and a limited understanding of the power and authority we have been given, then the world will never see it in us either. What the world sees in Christians, as a whole, is a group of people who do not walk circumspectly, but as fools. Quick to point our finger at other people’s sins while practicing our own. We show very little joy in being a Christian because we are too busy letting people know we have “picked up our cross” for Jesus. In Luke 14:27, Jesus told his disciples, “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple”. Here we are today striving to show the world we have picked up our cross with all of our legalisms in dress and actions to the point the world no longer sees something in us they would want. This life style of self-denial is not picking up your cross! It is just another form of a modern day Pharisee. Jesus wanted His disciples and us to understand that just as He would lay down His life for them, we are to lay down our lives for Jesus. Not in self abatement, but in willingness to do all we can to grow the kingdom of God, to show His love for people. In the words of Jesus, (my yoke is easy and my burden is light), Matthew 11:30. In Matthew 23:27 Jesus called the Pharisees whitewashed tombs because they put on the appearance of religion, but did not hold the true word of God in their heart’s. Today, even more than when Paul wrote to the Ephesians, we must wake up to who we are, Children of the living God.
As a child in the sixties I heard Martin Luther King on television make a statement “you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”. Martin Luther King is the answer when I ask people today, who was the first man to make that statement? I then watch their mouths drop open when I tell them it was Jesus over two thousand years ago. John 8:31-32, “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Jesus was telling His disciples that the religious leaders of their day, and those who claimed a natural birth right to Abraham as their father, were not living in the true word of God. The same is true for us today. If we do not purpose to understand the true word of God’s grace and the price Jesus paid for our freedom, we will by nature gravitate back into man’s form of religious works. When we fail to see ourselves as real children of the living God and joint heirs with Jesus then we also fail at showing the love of God to those who come into our paths. Learn, know, and grow is the only way we as Christians can truly reach this world for Christ.
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