Devotional February 17, 2017 [What are you working towards?]
Leviticus 4 | Leviticus 5 | Romans 9:30-33 | Romans 10:1-21 | Proverbs 4
Hey everyone, I hope you are all having a good day so far. I am currently at a local Starbucks near my job writing this devotional. I had a lot of time before work today so I decided to stop in and change up the scenery a bit. Places like Starbucks seem to spark up a bit more creativity out of me for some reason.
Anyways, a quick update on mommy and baby Saige. Both are at home recovering well. I am so happy with how everything has turned out since the delivery of Saige. This experience has been everything that we ever imagined in a pregnancy and even more. I can’t thank God enough for everything that has taken place and faithful God has been for us. I find myself calling Saige my “hope” and “lion” baby because she truly gave our family hope again. I also call her my lion because one of the symbolic messages the lion offers us is to have courage, have faith. These things are what Jennifer, myself and our family have experienced in this journey.
I continued with my bible plan and I must admit that I am quite proud of myself for the consistency that I have displayed this year with reading scripture. It is important to me, so priority will be high to make sure that I accomplish my goal this year of reading the full bible.
If you set resolutions or goals for 2017, how have they played out so far? Are you still pressing forward? Have you taken a dip? Whatever the case may be let God give you the strength you need to persevere and be intentional about the importance of your resolution and goals.
I read a portion of Leviticus, Romans and Proverbs today. I lately have been taken by the book of Romans and today was the same. Romans 9: 30-33 speaks about how the gentiles could receive faith easier than the Jews and it mainly was due to the people of Israel trying too hard to get right with God by keeping the law, which never succeeded (Romans 9:31).
You are probably saying, “Why were they wrong for keeping the law? Isn’t that what we should be doing?” Yes, it is what we should be doing, but let me ask you, will good people go to heaven? Think about it a bit. If you spend your whole life being a good citizen and doing everything right does that automatically take you to heaven? No, it does not. I will explain myself.
Paul says in the same chapter that the people of Israel were not made right by God because they were trying to get right with God by keeping the law instead of by TRUSTING in him. Paul goes on to quote scripture from the book of Isaiah 28 which says, “I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. But anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”
Romans 10: 4 says, For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.
You could spend your whole life being good in many's eyes, but never have been good in one's eyes, the one, God. Faith has nothing to do with what you can do or accomplish, it has everything to do with what you cannot do or accomplish on your own. You cannot work your way to heaven. You cannot achieve salvation by your own achievements and accomplishments; because if that was the case then I would be screwed.
Salvation is something you cannot earn or achieve. It is something you must receive. This does not make sense to many because we live in a work, results and “what have you done for me lately” society, which makes this simple concept the utmost difficult.
Open, confess, receive. Open your heart, confess that Jesus is Lord and receive forgiveness and the gift of salvation. As simple as this sounds the enemy has found ways to twist this around, but if you fully put your trust in God, he will begin to open your eyes to see the simplicity, powerful, but beautiful life changing decision this is.
I leave you with this verse in Romans 10:9-10, If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.
There is nothing, I mean nothing you can do to win right standing with God until you have made Jesus Lord of your life. He is the mediator between us and the father. I don’t want to discredit your achievement, accomplishments, education, etc. but understand that when everything is said and done you will not take any of that with you, wherever you end up going. So, pause from building your life and your kingdom and build His kingdom and your life in Him. Start working on your long-term salvation plan.