Welcome to another monthly view reminding you that God loves you! "God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God's judgment."1
A New Direction
Once in awhile, I receive a letter that I must share with you so you can rejoice together with me. This young lady just lost her grandmother to cancer, and writes:
"I'm new to God. I picked up a Life Application Study Bible and I am searching around for a church. No one in my family goes to church, so I'm doing this on my own. There's only one lady at work that goes to church and none of my friends do either. But still, I'm doing it on my own. I'm easy with meeting new people.
One person I know who owns quite a few drug/alcohol/transitional houses often speaks about how these are God's houses. I was never in jail or lived in a transitional, but he is one of the few genuine people I know. He and his wife were both in prison at one point, but they are the neatest people.
Hopefully, I'll find a good place and support system. It's not drugs and alcohol, but it's family relationships. My sister was always favored, and I'm not quite sure why because I'm smart, responsible, and athletic; but I just never feel good around my family.
Thank you for your time and website. It's getting me going in the right direction."
The Right Direction
We're all going in the wrong direction before we invite Jesus Christ into our hearts. After He died for our sin and resurrected, He sent the Holy Spirit to "...convince the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment."2
But the apostle Peter assures us that God is merciful and does not want to punish man, saying:
"The Lord isn't really being slow about His promise to return, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so He is giving more time for everyone to repent."3
In this case, repentance means to turn from sin to God for righteousness through Christ's finished work on the cross. He sent Jesus to take your judgment on Himself, so you would not have to be judged by God. In exchange, God gives you, by faith, the righteousness that Jesus obtained. Through His blood, His resurrected life, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, He gives what you could not earn.
The Gift of Righteousness
Right standing with God is a free gift received by faith in God's grace. His grace worked through the power of the cross to make us right with Him.
"For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ."4
I wish everyone would go to church, but going to church does not make you right with God. You are not saved by your ability, but by God's grace - His ability.
"God saved you by His special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it."5
You are saved by trusting in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation. Salvation means to be rescued from sin, self, and Satan. Jesus made you whole, healthy, sound, free, victorious, prosperous, and so much more.
The Believer's Identity
When you received Jesus Christ by faith, you take on a whole new identity in God's family. As you are transformed [changed] by renewing your mind to your new identity in Christ, you will rise above your hurts, frustrations, and insecurities of the past.
"What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun."6
This doesn't mean that you will no longer struggle with the past. Neither does it mean that trials and tribulations are over. But it does mean that you are a new person empowered by the Holy Spirit to overcome because of your victory in Christ.
The most important thing to do is to daily remind yourself of who you are in God's family. This can be easily done by clicking on The Believer's Identity. Meditate and memorize these Scriptures until you realize your new nature in Christ. And remember, our latter end shall be greater than our past
A Prayer For You ...
Heavenly Father, I pray as Paul asked for Philemon: "That the communication of my faith may be effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in me in Christ Jesus."7 I declare that my past no longer defines who I am because I am a new creation in Christ. I believe in the cleansing blood of Jesus for my righteousness, and not my good works or obedience to the law. I will not live in the past. I will live a new, powerful life of godliness, "...for the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."8 I will yield to the righteousness of Christ that lives in me. Lord, I ask that you increase my faith so that I will be conscious continually of the revelation of my righteousness in Christ. Amen.
1 Rom. 5:8, 9
2 John 16:8
3 2 Peter 3:9
4 2 Cor. 5:21
5 Eph. 2:8, 9
6 2 Cor. 5:17
7 Philemon 6
8 Rom. 14:17
Acknowledgement: A special thanks to Sherry for transcribing this months view!