Here is a difficult thing -
If the Bible truly is the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God - which it is - then it is of utmost importance that I read it. Reading the Bible, I come face-to-face with the holy, terrible, just, loving, merciful God of the universe. I am confronted with my own sinfulness, and my great need for the great Savior, Jesus. And then, I find myself faced with a dilemma: do I respond with obedience or with rebellion?
God clearly communicates in His Word that He hates adultery, lust, and lasciviousness. Suddenly, clicking on the flashing internet link is about much more than indulging my carnal inclinations. Now, it's about what I truly believe concerning the God of Scripture: is He God or is He not? Sleeping with my boyfriend - no big deal, right? Everyone's doing it, right? Except that now, sleeping with my boyfriend is a brazen, defiant declaration that God is not God and His Word is not true.
My overly-critical comments about a fellow church member, my eagerness to be in on the latest gossip, my tight-fisted protection of "my" assets and my reluctance to give freely to the church and to those in need, my disparagement of those in authority over me...all demonstrate a heart in rebellion to the authority of God. Even while professing to be a Christian, I stamp my foot like a petulant child and insist upon doing things my way, in blatant disobedience to my Creator.
Yes, I need a VERY great Savior!
Encountering the truth of God's Word, I must be broken and reshaped. I cannot continue nonchalantly on the same sinful, rebellious path. Either my life, by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, must be conformed more and more to the Word of God - or - if I have any scrap of integrity, I must admit that I do not believe in this God at all and that I am no child of His.
I must read the words that God has written to me. And I must change, be changed as I encounter His truth.
But I am so comfortable with my old sinful thoughts and patterns of behavior! They are so familiar!
Ahh, but I am no longer my own.
In redemption, Christ was not given to me so that I might use Him to my benefit, to assuage my guilt or to increase my comfort or to secure my future. No, in redemption, God has given me to Christ, to be used for His purposes and for His glory.
Everything....everything has changed.
3 weeks ago