Thursday, May 21, 2020

A Changed Life, not just a Different One

. . . if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:3 ESV If . . . so this is not something to be taken for granted across the entire human race. If . . . so there is a possibility (and a probability) that some people have not tasted that the Lord is good. If . . . so this is not a general but a special mercy, and it is necessary to ask whether we know the grace of God by personal, inner experience. There is no spiritual blessing which may not be a matter for searching our own hearts. But while this should be a matter of careful and prayerful inquiry, no one ought to be content while there is any question if he has tasted that the Lord is good. An appropriate distrust of the self may raise the question even in a believer’s heart, but the continuation of such doubt would certainly be evil. We must not rest until we have struggled desperately to hold the Savior in the arms of faith, and say, “I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him” (2 Timothy 1:12 NLT). Oh, believer, do not rest until you have full assurance of your position in Jesus. Let nothing satisfy you until, by the infallible witness of the Holy Spirit bearing witness with your own spirit, you are confident that you are a child of God. Don’t play around here—don’t let “perhaps” and “possibly” and “if” and “maybe” satisfy your soul. Build on eternal truths, and build on them truthfully. Get the “sure mercies of David” (Isaiah 55:3 NKJV), and surely get them. Advance beyond these dreary “ifs”—live no longer in the wilderness of doubt and fear. Cross the Jordan of distrust and enter the Canaan of peace. Yes, the Canaanites linger, but the land always flows with milk and honey.  - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening 

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13 There is no mistaking a life transformed by God! The disciples had been vain and fearful when Jesus enlisted them. James and John sought to outmaneuver their fellow disciples in order to gain the places of greatest honor next to Jesus (Mark 10:37). Over and over the disciples’ actions showed that they did not truly understand who Jesus was (John 6:7–9; Mark 6:49). Even after three years with Jesus, Peter was afraid to confess Christ before a young servant girl (Matt. 26:69–75). Anyone who knew these men would realize they were not the kind of people on which you build a worldwide kingdom. Yet something happened to them as they were with Jesus. The Holy Spirit transformed them, giving them new boldness and wisdom. Now they could perform miracles and preach fearlessly and persuasively to multitudes. Even their enemies noticed in their changed lives the same power they had witnessed in Jesus. Sometimes we desperately want others to believe that we have changed, that we are more godly, more devoted, more Spirit-controlled. It is not necessary, however, for those who have been truly transformed by Christ to convince others of the difference; the change will be obvious. Don’t become too introspective, always focusing on yourself and the small changes you see happening over time. If you have to prove to someone that God has really changed you, He has not. Those around you will surely notice when your life has been transformed by your relationship with Jesus. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

It's really interesting when both of my devotionals hit upon similar things.  Add to this the Spiritual warfare to try to keep me from talking about it this morning.   

It is an incredible subject.  The knowledge of being saved.  To know.  To be sealed by the Spirit of God. 

Honestly, my friend, if you can't point to a moment in time when you got down on your knees and asked Jesus to save you, then you might indeed have a very big problem.  

Salvation is free indeed it is.  Our stubbornness often gets in the way of acknowledging the importance and need to be saved.  Reality is it doesn't take a whole lot of stubbornness to reject Christ. It just takes enough.  Enough? Yes. You see even Satan knows that part of Scripture where Jesus says no man knows the day nor the hour of His return.  He doesn't need to go on with all-out assaults on people to get them not to come to Christ.   He has been deceiving people for centuries.  He isn't going to waste his resources on overkill. 

His trouble is also right after people are saved.  Some are as Jesus mentioned in the parable of the soil.  Some take root in good soil and produce fruit right away. Others it takes time.  Others it may take a very long time. Still others have problems because of the cares of this life and don't produce fruit.  Others fall away because they had no roots to begin with. 

Knowing you are saved is very important.  Knowing your enemy is also very important.   

We who are in Christ know the importance of staying in Christ.  Staying in prayer, in the Bible, with like minded people.  In hymns, songs and Spiritual songs. Not grumbling.  Focused on things above not on things down here.  

The storms in recent days haven't let up. In fact they really haven't gone anywhere, we are just settling in to it becoming part of life.  Some refer to it as the new normal.  
Satan wants a normal he controls.  Yet he doesn't, not even in this pandemic.  God is still in control.  Read of Job. Satan must ask permission before impacting this world.  He will never be allowed to deviate God's Plan for mankind.  This world is still heading for judgment.  Satan is still going to lose, he is still going to try to take as many as he can with him on the way down. 

Knowing is a huge thing. It brings confidence.  It grows faith. Knowing.

Doubt causes delays.  Causes faith to wane.  

God has shown me a great many things in recent years that, before I was ready to see and hear, I wouldn't have believed possible. To see more, to understand more, requires letting go of me. It too is a sign unto ourselves when we see the Spirit reprioritizing our thoughts and actions.  When we start learning how to let go of everything that is really hindering our walk with Jesus.  

But I would have to give up...

Yes, you just might.  But really, in the long run, is your holding on to whatever you do, worth disappointing Jesus?  

On another side knowing for sure is imperative.  Many will stand before Christ and claim all kinds of things done in His name.  Yet they had no real relationship with Jesus.  There are fruits of the Spirit. It's not judging others to look for fruits. 
Look to see if you see evidence of Christ in you.  Look to see if you see evidence of Christ in those around you.  Look for the fruits of the Spirit. If they are not evidenced in your life or the lives of people around you then now is the time to make things right.  Now is the time to come to Christ for Salvation.  Now. You aren't necessarily granted a later.  Most everyone who will still be here after the Rapture will cry out that they thought they had more time.  

My struggles in my walk with Jesus provide ample evidence on top of knowing that I am safe in Christ to show me of me.

Satan doesn't bother with people who are already his.  He had big problems with those who aren't.  He will put up a fight to keep people from Salvation when they are nearest to obtaining it.  He will introduce lies. Will tell you things to get you to put it off...again.  Stressing how unimportant it is right now.  How bad it would be for you. How it will rob you of happiness.  How it will take away your freedom.  

Asking Jesus to show you He is real and that He DOES care about you is one solid way to get past all that.  Then it's up to you to decide.  You will never be forced. 

Know today.  Right here, right now. You read this much.  Take the time to look up Romans Road to Salvation online.  Make sure you are safe in Christ.  If you are and are struggling.  Reach out to other believers for help. Ask others to pray for you. Believe me, praying works.

Don't think you know.  Know today. 

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