Lord, I pray that we will come to know you and trust you. To know you for the God that you are, that the truth of Christ Jesus will become real and clear to us. Lord because of our religious upbringing it is difficult for persons to totally trust you. To trust you enough to just throw ourselves at your mercy. The knowledge of right and wrong that was stolen by Adam has been wreaking havoc on humanity and we have lost our innocence. Our consciences have come alive and our failure to just do right is ever-present as we are aware that no matter how hard we try we are always found wanting when measured up against your standards; a little leaven leavens the whole lump and we are guilty of every sin, no matter how small and insignificant our sin might seem to us, Your Word states that if we are guilty of breaking one aspect of the law, we are guilty of breaking all the law.
No matter what good we do, there seems to be an evil flip-side to it…
No matter what good we do, there seems to be an evil flip-side to it. Every blessing that we keep for ourselves is one more thing that we have failed to share with others who may be in need. Sometimes we try to ignore this truth in order that we can feel good about ourselves but deep in our hearts we know that something is wrong.
We pray and fast for a new house (even though we already have one) while ignoring the plight of the homeless, we stress over getting a newer car or another car in the family when our brothers and sisters have none, we drive our nice cars out of church yards after service without even offering a ride to someone who has to walk home. Life is hard financially, or so we say, yet every year we can travel overseas on vacations. Money is spent on the biggest brand names in whatever we wear, while people around us wear rags. We are blessed with food every day in so much that we waste it and allow lots of it to go bad in our refrigerators, while so many people in our surroundings go hungry every day. Yet when someone says the truth that we can only be saved from the judgement of God through His grace and our faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ, some of the people who are guilty of these practices will advocate for a “gospel of faith and works” in effect speaking their own condemnation.
Oh God, if salvation is by faith and works, who then can be saved? With every “good work” that we do, we are guilty of the evil flip-side. Which work can we do that has no evil side to it? Every time we sweep the house we create a trash pile somewhere. Everything that we do points to something that we have not done. Every success that we have, illuminates our failures. We celebrate resisting temptations when we are only tempted when we are led away by our own lusts and enticed. If a mere man can look at our best works and find genuine faults with it, how much more is a perfect God able to judge our efforts?
Lord if salvation is by faith and works, then we would have somewhat to boast about. Would it then not be true, oh God, that we have earned our salvation? How then would it be true that the eternal life that you give, is a gift? Lord, the only context that I can perceive where salvation through faith and works would apply would be “we have faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
In spite of the fact that you sent your Son Jesus into the world to set us free, the guilt, shame and fear created by our sinful nature is ever-present and just as our great-grandmother Eve chose to follow her eyes as she looked at the fruit and saw that it was good for food, instead of trusting your word when you told Adam that the fruit is poisonous. You said that if they ate the fruit they would surely die. They did not die physically, instantly, but something inside them died, something far more valuable than physical life ended at that moment and it was that sweet relationship between you and your most prized creation. All seemed lost, but you fixed it. Through Jesus You Fixed It! Hallelujah you fixed it…why then do we find it so hard to just believe and trust that it is finished?
Seeing In Order to Believe
Just like Eve, we are looking for physical evidence to qualify a spiritual truth. Instead of living by the faith that justifies us, we are trying to live justly in order to find faith. Instead of focusing on the faith that binds us to you which will produce the signs that follows believers we have become caught up in following after signs. Lord we need your help, we are thinking like the world, trusting our senses more than trusting you. We are conforming to the ways of the world instead of being transformed into the new creatures that believers should be; instead of being transformed by the renewing of our minds
Oh Lord God I am resolved in my heart and mind to hold fast to this profession of faith; that I am saved by the blood of The Lamb, completely saved, eternally saved even when everything around me saves differently. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness, I dear not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus name. Lord it is my hope that others will be thus resolved. All glory belongs to you Lord god, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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