January 12, 2011
Now That I'm a Christian, What's Next?
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:1 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Imagine standing before a court of law. You've been arrested on multiple counts and the sentencing is about to begin. But just before the judge makes his final proclamation that will determine your punishment, someone walks from the back of the courtroom and approaches the bench.
"Judge, I know that this woman is guilty of every crime brought before the court today. I know that she deserves a life sentence without parole. But I come before you today, in the presence of these witnesses, and offer to serve in her stead. My life for her life so that she may go free."
The Judge looks as this man whose eyes are full of compassion and love. "Very well," he proclaims. He turns to the woman as the man who redeemed her life is lead away in chains. "Not guilty! You are free."
When we come to Christ, all our sins, past, present, and future are forgiven - tossed into the deepest of seas. The word "condemnation" is a legal term used only three times in the book of Romans. It paints a picture of us standing before the Judge in a court of law. Our record has been expunged, wiped clean, and there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We are accepted by God and adopted as His child.
Just as you could do nothing to earn your salvation, you can do nothing to lose it. Jesus is able to keep those who are entrusted to him. "To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen" (Jude 1:24). While you can do nothing to change your state as a child of God, there is much you can do to change the standing - the closeness of the relationship. Throughout life we ebb and flow in our closeness to God depending on our obedience. However, God never moves. We do.
Nothing can separate you from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). But the depth and intimacy of your relationship with God is proportional to the time you spend with Him reading his Word, talking to Him in prayer, and listening to His still, small voice.
Let's say that you met and married the man of your dreams, but soon after you walked the aisle and said "I do," you moved to Texas. He is still in North Carolina and you call him once a week to tell him what you need. Oh, let's say you call him on Sundays, except when you're too tired to pick up the phone. How much intimacy would you expect from such a union? How well would you know your man?
I hope you catch the parallel there. It is not enough to simply walk the aisle and be joined to your heavenly bridegroom. In order to have a personal intimate relationship, we must spend time getting to know Him. If not, we will begin to feel distant. I've been married over thirty years and I continue making new discoveries about my man. Likewise, I've been a Christian for over thirty years and I'm still making incredible discoveries about my Lord.
As you begin this New Year, tell God that you are eternally grateful for your eternal salvation.
Father, thank You that I just as I could never be good enough to earn my salvation, I could never be good enough to keep it. Thank You that Jesus has paid the price once and for all. Oh Father, how I want to know You more. Show me Your ways. Help me hear Your voice. In Jesus' Name, Amen
Now It's Your Turn
Think of ways to get to know someone better. Make a list.
Now apply that list to your relationship with God. How is it similar?
What is the most recent truth you have learned about God? How long ago was your latest discovery?
I hope you are discovering new truths about God through the Girlfriends in God devotions. I know I am!
More from the Girlfriends
Today's devotion was taken from Sharon's book, I'm Not Good Enough…and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves. If you've been believing the enemy's lies that you are not good enough, totally worthless, would be happy if…, etc. and are ready to begin living in victory by believing God's truth, then this book is for you! It's time to be set free to see yourself as God see you: His holy, chosen, forgiven, and dearly loved child. Now that's a truth worth repeating.
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how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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