Matthew 3: Christ Calls us to Repent

One of Jesus’ first word at the start of His ministry was “repent“.

“This is the time of fulfillment.The kingdom of God is at hand. So repent (mετανοείτε), and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15).

I find it so fitting and perfect that these were His first words when He began His ministry. He calls us to repent. He came to earth, God in the flesh, to give man the opportunity to repent. Without Christ, people don’t even have the option to turn to God. We were born in this world stained with sin, and like we learned in my study on Matthew 1, because Adam sinned and we were all in his body when he fell and became separated from God, we all fell and became stained with sin and separated from God.

But Christ changed things. From my study on Matthew 2, we learned that the name Jesus means salvation, and that’s because He is the bridge leading us back to God. He is the hand of God, reaching out to us poor, wretched sinners, and asking us to come. He is our Maker, who suffered tremendous torture in order to give us this choice, this opportunity to repent.

So, what does repent mean?

It means to turn.

Repent means that you turn to God. Your life was on a trajectory in one direction – a direction away from God and towards damnation. But when you repent, you humbly realize that you’re a sinner in need of a saviour. The direction of your life is now towards God and away from sin.

Repent is not necessarily an outward behaviour of just “doing good things and not sinning”. Repent is such a deeper thing. It’s in the deepest corner of your heart. It’s your heart changing, turning towards God which leads to forgiveness and redemption. In this, you become born-again and actions begin to follow because of your changed heart and regeneration. Not the other way around. Heart first then behaviour changes.

Repent is such a term used so often and even in ways that the word was mistreated or misplaced. It’s been used in ways promoting a works-based salvation and been used in abusive ways. But really, the word simply means changing your heart towards God.

This happens right before you are saved and it leads to the moment of salvation.

Then, for believers, their lives and hearts are now set on the things of God and not desirous of sins that are displeasing to God. Yet, because we’re human and will always fall short and slip up, we’re called to continually turn to God and repent. But this repentance isn’t the kind to get us saved or keep our salvation, it just means that we are aware of our sin, and continually walking that narrow path of a Christian, turning to God when we mess up and trusting that He has grace for us.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)

Christ’s call for all to repent is so life-giving. It’s an invitation to turn our hearts to God. It’s a door that we can open into eternal life by putting our faith in Him and turning towards Him in repentance.

Repent is a beautiful word and can ignite both a spark of hope in one person and fear in another person. Spark of hope because repentance leads to salvation, and fear because if one doesn’t repent, they will suffer damnation.

Let the word repent ignite a spark of hope in your heart.

Matthew 2: God’s Plans Will Always Prevail

Reading Matthew chapter 2, a theme really stood out to me. Read these verses below!

“And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.” (Matthew 2: 12-14)
“But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.” (Matthew 2: 19-21)

The theme that stood out to me is the truth of God’s plans always prevailing. As we can see, His will can not be thwarted. Herod wanted to murder Jesus because he felt threatened by this newborn King. He thought that because he was such a powerful man, that he could take it into his own hands and murder this King. Little did he know, that this King wasn’t just any King, this King is the King of Kings, including King over Herod. This newborn baby was God in the flesh, and Herod’s plans to murder Jesus could never have come to fruition.

As a believer, this gives me great comfort. Life is so wish-washy. Life is so fickle. We think we will live to 90, when in reality we can’t even control our next breath. We think we can’t know the truth of our existence, when in reality the truth is right in front of us, in all of creation.

This theme of God’s plan prevailing gives me great comfort because in a world full of fickle randomness, to know that I am a child of God, literally His child, I know that my life is no longer random. Being in Christ means that I have benefits that start here and lead to eternity. Benefits, such as having God’s direct care and provision, knowing that my prayers are heard, knowing that I am cared for, knowing that He has a plan for my life and He will fulfill that plan through me, knowing that my pain has a purpose and I am not here to suffer and die, but suffer and be glorified, knowing that I am loved, forgiven, set free, redeemed, and covered in God’s protection…there is nothing comparable to that.

Before I trusted in Christ, I had no one to turn to. Yes, there’s always a person, a family member, a friend…but they are imperfect and can’t be everything you need at every moment. But when I was redeemed, that all changed. I now have God, who is unchanging, always the same, and always there for me. He’s the King of Kings, and in control of my life and is benevolent and graceful towards me.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

If people only know this immense treasure and gift was right at their heart’s fingertips, they would turn to Jesus in a blink. They would no longer walk in this world lost and wandering, they would have purpose, hope, and a calling. They would experience a love so deep that they could never experience within this fallen world.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” (Song of Solomon 4:7)

To have the God of Heaven feel this way about us? What a beautiful God. A God so great He created all of the beauty we see in the world. A God so intelligent that He created Math. A God so loving that He gave His son for us. A God so sweet that He comforts us with fuzzy kittens.

The amount of beauty from this God is indescribable. And the greatest miracle of all? That He came as a vulnerable newborn baby, to redeem humanity from the fall that occurred in the Garden of Eden. What kind of loving God do we have, that would do such a thing?! He was born to sacrifice His precious, Holy, unstained life – for our miserable, wretched, vile and foul sins.

This God could have let us just die and go to hell without even a thought of dying on the cross for our sins. But, because God is love, He would never do such a thing. He is love. Love comes from Him and there is no such thing as love outside of Him.

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8)

This loving God belongs to me, and I belong to Him. That’s because I came to Christ and now I am His Bride.

“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” (Song of Solomon 6:3)

Because I have this close relationship with Christ, I know that my life on earth is no longer random. His plans and desires will prevail in my life and no mere human can stop his plans from taking place. And this is true for every believer in Christ. But to have this, a person must come to Christ and put their faith in Him.

Reading Matthew 2 really comforted me when I saw this theme and honed in on it. And I hope it comforts you. If you are a believer, know how powerful God is over your life and nothing can thwart His plans. If you are an unbeliever, know that you too can have this.

All you have to do is receive it.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

Behold, Beauty!

Have you ever looked at something so beautiful, that it takes your breath away? Reflect for a moment, on something that you beheld, that left you speechless and in awe because it was so beautiful. This happened to me today (among many other days)! I was looking at my astoundingly gorgeous, fluffy white cat, and I was speechless for a moment. Her beauty.

God made her.

In my heart, I know that an intelligent, beautiful Being created her. How could she just exist in all her exquisite beauty, without a designer?

She left me in complete awe and wonder, and looking at her made me think of Jesus even more. The Bible says that He created all things.

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”

1 Corinthians 1:16

Jesus made my beautiful cat. She has a glorious Creator, who intricately made every detail about her. How could anyone look at something so beautiful, and think that there is no Creator? It’s an impossibility. Just like we can’t look at a beautiful work of art, and think it just exists without a hand of intelligent design behind it.

In my mind, I just don’t understand this belief within those who do not believe in God. It’s so obvious and logical to know that paintings, great architecture, sculptures and other things were so obviously created – but when it comes to things even more complex, glorious, beautiful, intricate, breathtaking and intricate, we conclude that it just exists with absolutely no God who created these things. This is not correct.

The truth is, is that there is a God. He made all things, and He requires something from you. You exist for His purpose and not your own. So why not seek and search what this beautiful glorious Creator requires from you?

Trust me, His requirement is not burdensome. It’s freeing. It’s life-giving. It’s refreshing.

It’s necessary for life.

“But, I’m already alive!” you say. “Why do I need God when I’m already alive?”

Friend, you need God because He’s the one who gave you life, and in fact, you are currently not living.

What?!?” you exclaim. “Yes I am! I am breathing, aren’t I?”

Sure, you’re breathing, but do you have true life within yourself?

If you haven’t put your faith and trust in Christ and had your sins forgiven of you, then the answer is no. You do not have life within yourself. And your life is ticking away, second by second, moment by moment, day by day, year by year, until you breathe your last breath.

“That’s okay, I won’t exist any longer. No more pain and heartache and I can finally Rest In Peace”, you say.

Contrary, for those who haven’t believed in the Lord Jesus, they will not Rest In Peace once they die. They will experience eternal separation from God, and their life on earth will feel like heaven in comparison to eternity in hell. This is because for these lost souls, they denied God and His offer for salvation and they died without being forgiven and covered with the perfect blood of Christ.

So, what does He require of you?

Like I have said, His requirement brings life, peace, refreshment to your soul.

All you have to do is come to Christ. Truly, wholeheartedly, and fully come to Christ. This means that you accept that you need your God who made you. You recognize He is perfect, and you are a sinner who needs forgiveness. You let go of all of your conditions and doubts and rebellion and independence and you turn to Jesus in faith.

This is the gift that He offers, and all He requires of you is that you accept His gift. That’s it. He does the rest.

Just like my beautiful cat is pure white, Jesus will make you white as snow. You will be purified by the Holy Spirit and your new destiny will be toward Heaven.

This means that you need not worry death any longer. Because you have eternal life inside of you that is permanent. This means that all you have to look forward to is pure perfection, pleasure, and beauty of God’s presence in Heaven instead of the evils of hell.

You are here for a reason. You exist for a reason.

And it’s to turn to your God and be saved by Him.

In this, God is glorified.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 6:23

You Are Beautiful

Psalms 147:4-5 “He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.”

Think of a bright starry night. Have you ever looked up at night and see trillions of stars, a number so beyond our comprehension – way too many to count? It says in scripture that God has a name for each and every star! Not only did He create each one, unique in glory and brilliance, but He also has a special name for each star. That’s so unbelievably amazing!

This God who made all of these stars and named them personally also made you! And because you’re made in His image, a star can’t compare to the beauty God has bestowed on you as a human being. You are at the top of His creation.

If magnificent stars are beautiful, and you are beautiful, and all the rest of creation is beautiful…how beautiful is Jesus Christ, the glorious One who created all of these things? He is so much more beautiful than all the beautiful things combined.

And He is so deserving in our trust in Him.

Why Should We Trust in Jesus?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

There’s only one thing that we as humans can trust in with all of our entire heart. That one thing we can trust in is Jesus Christ! Because He’s perfect in every way and therefore loves us perfectly, we can rest in the fact that because of His perfection and love, He will always act towards us in that love. That means He’ll never hurt us, leave us, lie to us, abuse us, cause us pain. It also means that He will save us when we put our faith in Him, along with protect us, cherish us, and do things according to our very best interest.

The second part of the verse, “lean not on your own understanding”, means that we as humans don’t see all the things that God sees nor do we understand all things. And because God knows all things and sees all things, as well as love us perfectly, we CAN trust Him with everything in us.

It doesn’t mean we understand all things, but we can trust that He does, and that because He’s God, He’s in control of all things. Trust requires faith because it relies on the One that we put our trust in. And when it is God that we put our trust in, we know that we are safe.

This world can be so uncertain and chaotic. But the one thing that will always remain, is God.

Will You Open The Door?

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation‬ ‭3:20‬

Jesus is alive, real, and draws people to Himself (knocking). We must put our faith in Him to receive forgiveness of our sins and be cleansed of them. This results in eternal life! It is such an amazingly simple thing, probably the most simple thing in all of existence: to trust in the God who literally created your soul. Yet, it can be so hard to get to that place of full surrender and faith. Why?

Because humans tend to trust in what they can see, and disregard what they cannot see. Our tendency is to trust in the tangible and reject the unseen and spiritual. Because of our sinful nature, we suppress the existence of God in our hearts because we can’t see Him, and put all our trust in humanistic ideologies, theories, ideas.

We all do this, every single human being. Until we come to a place where we acknowledge that God is real, He is who He says He is, and we do what He requires.

Thankfully, God is so incredibly amazing that He requires very little from us, because He Himself did all the work. He came down from Heaven, lived the perfect life we couldn’t live by following the law perfectly, and died for us a tortuous and painful death. The death that we deserve. All He requires from us? Our trust. Our faith in Him.

It takes one moment, one act of faith that sets your soul on a secured path to heaven. He is drawing you, and you must respond. This decision of whether or not a person opens the door to Jesus Christ will be the because decision in our life, and it has eternal consequences.

God is so beautiful, even though people deny Him and are children of wrath (before a person is born-again they are a child of God’s wrath) even though people deny Him and reject Him, He is still ready and willing to have a relationship with those who turn to Him! All it takes is faith in Him.

It’s as easy as letting go, humbling yourself and surrendering to the Almighty God. And when this happens, you’ll have a close, intimate, unending relationship with Jesus Himself! He’s waiting and knocking at your door, He wants you to open to Him, repent and trust in Him.

Once that door is open, it can never be shut and the Lord will keep you close to Him forever. You’ll be covered by the blood of Christ and born-again, your soul protected before you die and you’ll be taken to heaven after you die. There’s nothing greater on this earth than that. Open your door to Him (faith) and you’ll experience salvation for your soul and the true love of Christ. ♥️

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” Romans 1:16-25♥️

Where Is Your Treasure?

For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give, in exchange for his soul?

Matthew 16:26 ♥️

We can’t take anything in this life with us to the grave. Material possessions are so worthless when it comes to what’s really important in life. The only thing we will be taking with us is our soul, which is more precious than all the riches in the world. In this world, people spend their lives acquiring, buying, spending, and reaching higher and higher on the ladder. They are striving for that “American dream” for their lives on this earth, yet not even giving a second thought to the condition of their soul. All these things that we human beings spend our life working for and acquiring will literally mean nothing once we’re dead. We came into this world naked, and we will return to the grave naked.

Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return tither. The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Job 1:21 ♥️

We’re taking nothing with us – not our education, our job title, our prestige, our money, our possessions, not even our family. In fact, once we die it’s only a matter of time before even our own descendants will forget us. For instance, do you know the name of your great great grandmother? Sadly, I don’t. Your life is but a vapour and will vanish. There’s one, and only one thing that will remain: your soul.

For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten.

Ecclesiastes 9:5♥️

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

James 4:14 ♥️

The beautiful thing is that your soul is precious to God, and God knows the hairs on your head. You are valuable to God. But you must realize that this time on earth is spent in vain if it is not spent trusting in the LORD. Because at the end of the day, we will die and nothing will matter except if you put your faith in Him for salvation. Your soul is the one thing you will take past this grave and it will either end up in heaven or hell. Your treasure be in either one of two things: it will either be in things that will perish and be completely useless and non-existent after you die, or your treasure will be in heaven.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Matthew 6:19-21 ♥️

The Lord Jesus mentions that we’re more valuable than many sparrows. Material or earthly treasures will vanish but spiritual treasures will remain eternal. All the treasures are found in Jesus Christ! 👑 And if you put your faith in Him, your soul will be in safe keeping even past death. And that’s more valuable than anything this world has to offer.

“(Jesus), In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Colossians 2:3 ♥️

The Beauty in the Humbleness of God

“(Jesus) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:6-11

This is such an incredible passage and it leaves me in awe when I read it. This is what kind of God we have, the kind of glorious God who created the earth, the stars, the sky, and the oceans. He is glorious and majestic and beautiful! Yet, He came in the flesh (Jesus Christ) and became a servant, with no reputation, and humbled Himself!?

Too much to fathom in my mind.

This speaks of God’s wonderful character so much. Though He is the most powerful being in the universe, He’s also the most humble being in the universe. How is it that we as mere imperfect humans could have pride at times, yet God in His greatness is humble?

Wow, just wow.

He was humble to the point that He actually endured the most gruesome torture, mocked, had His beard plucked out by each hair, beaten, whipped, and nailed to the cross (which is the most painful execution known to man in all of human history).

He was so profoundly humble to go through all of that, just so we could be forgiven and saved from our sins if we trust in Him. There is a way to heaven and it’s by putting our faith in Him and only Him.

It’s the most glorious thing imaginable. God is so beautiful in His humbleness.

He came to this earth as a humble servant, and He will be returning as a mighty King. Are you ready?

When You Live Your Life Apart From God

apart from God

When you live your life apart from God…

You may seem like you have things under control. You feel like you don’t need Him, because you can’t see Him, and if you can’t see Him, then you don’t need Him. You trust in yourself and what you can do. Your heart feels like an empty pit of darkness and purposeless because you walk around this earth not even knowing why you have breath in your lungs. You spend your life trying to fill that emptiness you have with things like sexual immorality, pornography, gambling, drinking, money, or even good things such as family, security, job, and staying busy. Family is one of the most beautiful things given to us by the Lord in this life, but if you have a family without God? Meaningless. It’s all meaningless without God. But with God, everything is meaningful.

Yet apart from God, no matter what you turn to, whether it be something dark and sinful like pornography, or something “clean” and seemingly fulfilling such as family, your strivings to fill that void within your soul are in vain because you realize at the end of the day, you’re still empty. You yourself can never fill that void, nor the things you try to fill it with.

You thought climbing up the ladder socially, financially, educationally, and occupationally would give you the “perfect” life and the ultimate happiness. The American dream, right?

Wrong. Because in this quest for total life fulfillment you failed to turn to the only One who can give your heart and soul purpose, the only One who can give you fulfillment and satisfaction, the only One who can save your soul. You spend your life denying God and His existence, yet you seek lesser and temporal joys that always leave you more and more empty. You realize you have it all on the outside but are still empty in your heart.

When you live your life apart from God…

You fall into to addictions such as drugs, prescriptions, pornography, and alcohol because that desire to fill that void inside of your heart and soul became out of control and the need to fill it was unquenched, so thus began the seed of addiction. Your need to be filled has spiraled into complete uncontrollable urges to keep up with that dopamine hit and that rush. But it always leaves you feeling empty and in despair, once it is over. And, it will always end. It is temporal and leaves you more shattered every single time you indulge in these things, because even though these things may give you a pleasurable hit, it is devastating to the well-being of your soul.

When you live your life apart from God…

You are walking on this earth and your eternal destiny is hell. You work and work and work to get ahead in this life and stock up the riches and the big family and the big house with a pool, only to die and live in eternal judgement where none of the things you acquired on this earth will even matter to you in the slightest, because it’s all over. You spent your life seeking everything but God, and now it’s too late and there are consequences. You will live your life apart from God, and then die and see His glorious face in judgement. There, you will realize that you’re entire life was spent in vain and you will weep and gnash your teeth and cry for a second chance…but there will no longer be any chances.

When you live your life for God…

for God

You recognize that you are a sinner and you have sinned against a holy, righteous, perfect God. You recognize that God is just and good, and that you will be judged because you have broken His law. You recognize that you are completely useless to try and save yourself or win God’s favor by anything you do. You recognize that all of your “good works” are filthy rags because everything you do is tainted by sin, and God sees all things – even a grain of impurity. You recognize that because of this, you are destined for eternal punishment in hell because just like a just judge in a courtroom will not let broken laws go unpunished, a holy God even more so will not let those who broke His perfect law go unpunished. Hell awaits once you die.

When you live your life for God…

You become helpless to do anything to go to heaven yourself. You recognize that you are desperate for a Saviour, and it is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ, the One true God. You recognize that He is absolutely perfect, lived the perfect life you cannot live and kept God’s law perfectly the way you would never be able to. You recognize that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, shedding His perfect blood for you, and rose again three days later.

And you put your faith and trust in Him, letting go of everything and falling into His eternal arms, trusting in His forgiveness and love and mercy and grace. When this happens, your soul is saved for all eternity.

When you live your life for God…

You realize that your time on earth is short, but you are on your way to Heaven. Death no longer scares you, and you know that you are loved immensely by the God who made you. You now have a desire for Him, to talk about Him, read His word, preach the gospel – you live, breath, and live more for God! He captures your every thought, and He fills your mind. You fall in love with Him as you see His creation as a display of His own beauty. You live your life with the burdens of sins on your shoulders lifted. You live your life with your soul satisfied knowing you have a personal relationship with Christ that will never, ever, ever end. You know that whatever happens, God is in control. You have peace that any hardships that occur, God will work it out for your good. You know that the things of this world are only temporal, so you don’t put your heart or trust in them. You are free from the bondages of this world to live for Christ and Christ alone, and you have the love of God in your heart for the first time – a love that is so immense that it takes your breath away.

When you live your life apart from God…

You are dead.

When you live your life for God…

You are truly living.

bible

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 1:1-2)

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13.50)

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2: 1-10)

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (Matthew 22:37)

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

 

He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease

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As Christians, our goal in life is to become less and less and have the fragrance of Christ exude from us more and more. It’s not about us, it’s about Him. We’re to walk in this world viewing it with the mind of Christ; we are not to view Christ from the standpoint of the world. As we grow in our faith and abide in Him, He will become greater in us and we will exude Jesus more. Our time on earth is extremely short, and it’s easy to get caught up in selfishness and comfort. But when we get back to perspective and realize that we really only have a few short years on this earth, and those years are meant to spent living for God, loving and serving and following Him, it makes helps us not think about ourselves so much.

He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30).

Before we come to Christ, our lives are centered on ourselves – our needs, our desires, our comforts. And we tend to more often than not put ourselves first. However, when a person trusts in Christ and gives their entire life to Him, that person is made new by the power of the Holy Spirit. Through regeneration, our hearts, our minds, our spirits are transformed. We are not working to be close to God and be different than we used to be, instead we now have God permanently indwelling us and He’s the one who makes us different. Thus begins a life of transformation, from the inside out. Where we were once selfish, we become selfless. Where we once put ourselves first, we put Christ first. And when we put Christ first, we put others first.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)

Slowly but steadily, the dry and wretched things of this world come off of us as we are renewed by the Spirit of God daily. As we have our eyes look on Him, our eyes are looking toward ourselves less. Our hearts focus upward to God, and less inward to ourselves.

This is the purpose of human existence. For, God is the One who created you, and He created you for a reason. And that reason isn’t to make yourself greater, but to glorify God and to make Him greater in this world. You were not created to live for yourself; you were created to know God and be known by God, and live for Him.

How does one live for Him? By trusting in what Jesus Christ did on the cross, (that He shed His blood for your sins), being forgiven of your sins, being justified of your debt that you owed God, and regenerated by His Holy Spirit. Without His Spirit, you will be striving your whole life to please God in vain, because unless you are covered by His blood, there is no forgiveness. All you need to to is put your faith in Him, and you will be made new and clean, from the very depth of your soul.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)

Through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10:43b)

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (Romans 3:25)

Trust in the Lord of lords and King of kings and fulfill your soul’s purpose. ❤