Sunday, July 5, 2020
Who are you?
. . . called to be saints . . . Romans 1:7 ESV
We are likely to think of the apostles as if they were “saints” in a more special manner than the other children of God. Anyone God has called by His grace and sanctified by His Spirit is a “saint,” but we tend to look on the apostles as extraordinary beings, hardly subject to the same weaknesses and temptations we face. But by thinking this way, we forget some important truths: that the closer people live to God, the more intensely they mourn over their own evil hearts, and the more their Master honors them in His service, the more the evils of the flesh harass and tempt them each day. The fact is, if we had seen the apostle Paul, we would have thought him remarkably like the rest of God’s chosen family. If we had talked with him, we would have said, “We find that his experience and ours are much the same. He is more faithful, more holy, and more deeply taught than we are, but he has the same trials to endure. Actually, in some respects, he is more severely tried than we are.” So don’t imagine the ancient saints as exempt either from weakness or sin, and don’t regard them with a mystic reverence that almost makes us idolaters. Their holiness is attainable—even by us. We are called to be saints by the same voice that compelled them to their high calling. It is our duty as Christians to force our way into the inner circle of sainthood—and if these saints were superior to us in their achievements, as they certainly were, let us follow them. Let us emulate their zeal and holiness. We have the same light that they had. The same grace is accessible to us. Why should we rest satisfied until we have equaled them in heavenly character? They lived with Jesus and for Jesus, and therefore they grew like Jesus. Let us live by the same Spirit as they did, “looking to Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2 ESV)—and our sainthood will soon be apparent. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
Most get up each morning and inevitably find themselves in front of some form of mirror. What is it you see?
Some people are more emotional than others. They don't see a simple appearance, they 'see' emotional states. They look for fatigue, they look for how their smile or frown. They are the ones that look for blemishes. Me? I really just look to see if I have 'bed head', wet down what hair sticks up and move on. The rest isn't important to me. I have never been one to contemplate how I look. I only look beyond what my hair looks like, when I need to shave.
These things don't tell the story of what's inside a person. Glamor or other things do not define a person. Money really doesn't define a person. Celebrity status doesn't define a person. When you stand before Christ, there will be no makeup. No fancy clothes. No bling. Nothing. Just you, wearing the same clothes as everyone before you. The only defining attribute is whether or not when God looks upon you, is does He see Jesus?
That's who you are. Either you are in Christ or you are not. If God looks at you and only sees you, then you have a big problem.
Salvation is found only in Christ Jesus. You could be Billy Graham, Mother Theresa and the Apostle Paul all rolled into one, but without Christ your works mean nothing.
You cannot save yourself. You cannot become more than who you are without Christ. The man or woman in the mirror has lived a wasted life if that life was lived without Jesus. Jesus said that apart from Him you can do nothing. Nothing.
You could have all the money and opportunity possible to accomplish the greatest wish list of life ever but without Christ it's meaningless. You will spend the rest of eternity in Hell.
That example of those 3 greats of human history rolled into one...that fictional person would end up living eternity in Hell.
Say you consider yourself a good person. But still do not have Christ as your Savior. You will spend eternity in Hell.
That is not my speculation. That's exactly what God has said.
There is no one good not one. That's from Scripture, from Jesus Himself. Your standard of good compares not with God's standard.
Apart from Him you can do nothing. So all the good you think you have done amounts to a pile of nothing in God's eyes.
Without Christ as your Savior, you are living an empty life. With no destination that will be anything but Hell.
But you CAN change that. You CAN become a child of God. You CAN find a hope and a future in Christ. You can find your life having meaning. No it doesn't immediately follow that you will find yourself becoming a missionary or a teacher or even a Pastor if you are a man.
It will mean that you will achieve more in your life than you dreamed of. It will mean serving where you are and working as unto the Lord and not yourself. In what you do you will find that God will use to make you more like Christ so in that day you stand before God, He will see Jesus when He looks at you. Don't let your fears of what might be stand in the way of the potential that Jesus sees in you.