Friday, September 28, 2012

Abiding in Christ Part One

The Mom Crowd Teaching Your Children to Pray

I had always heard we needed to live for God. So I tried very hard. I would find out what “good Christian girls” were supposed to do and then strive to do it. What ended up happening though was I couldn’t do everything I was supposed to do and instead would just get discouraged.

Do you know how many commands in Scripture there are???? There seems to be a command in the New Testament for every topic. Here are just a few of the topics God has commands for:

Anger, Authority, Bible study, Unity, Children, Christian Life, Church Discipline, Church Service, Communication, Communion, Complaining, Convictions, Coveting, Debt, Denominational Differences, Diligence, Discipleship, Holiness, Divorce and Remarriage, Dress, education, Encouragement, Employment, End Times, Love, Non-resistance, Evangelism and missions, Faith, False teaching and False Teachers, Fasting, Fear, Food, Giving, Government, Listening to God, Holy Spirit, Hospitality, idolatry, judging, lawsuits, leadership, Marriage, money, meditation, music, obedience, parenting, patience, persecution, relationships, personal examination, Enemies, fellowship, forgiveness, kindness, offenses, reconciliation, stumbling blocks, prayer, pride, priorities, rejoicing, relationship with God, service, sickness, sin, spiritual education, spiritual gifts, spiritual warfare, stealing, submission, swearing, taxes, teaching, temptation, thankfulness, thought life, tithes, tribulation, truthfulness, widows, wisdom, works, work ethic, worry and worship.

That’s not even all of them! How many of you know what God has to say about each of one of these? How many of you never break any of those commandments and live according to God’s standard ALL the time?!?!?

So you can imagine my struggle as I tried to measure up to God’s standard. I knew I was saved by grace but I feared the judgment seat of Christ. I felt like my sins before I was saved would be forgiven and forgotten but after I was saved all my failures would add up and I wouldn’t hear “well done thou good and faithful servant” Every night I would go to bed and think back over my day. How I messed up, how I didn’t want to die and face God’s judgment. Sure, I knew it wouldn’t affect my salvation but who wanted to hear “fail!” for the rest of eternity! I would hear verses like “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” and think, “I don’t think so! It would be much easier not to worry about being a good Christian and doing everything right. I don’t want to have to worry about being judged by God and other people if I don’t do everything perfectly.” As much as I thought it would be so much easier not to be a Christian and try to live up to God’s standards the alternative of Hell didn’t seem worth it to me!

So is this what the Christian life is? Living for God and following all His commands? Trying to meet His expectations of what a good Christian should be? Living in fear of not hearing “Well done good and faithful servant”?

No! Something in my Christian life was terribly wrong! I was living in constant fear. 1 John 4:17-18 “ …as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment…Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.” I was definitely not experiencing a love that was expelling all my fear. Romans 8:1 Says, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” This was not how I felt!

So what was I missing? After we are saved does God want us to go back to trying to please Him? Could I now measure up to His standards once I was saved even though I couldn’t before I was saved?

To Be Continued on Tuesday...

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