One of the things that I regularly contemplate is my failings. Most of you are probably in the same boat. You look at your life and all the ways you have fallen.
In the words of Wayne Campbell, "We're not worthy!"
When I find myself slipping into temptation, these are the words that I often use to convince myself that it's ok to slip. "You're not worthy!" "You're not good enough.", "You can't stop that."
But are these phrases true?
I have been a Christian for a long time, yet I am still far from perfect. Although sometimes I joke with my wife that I am. She knows.
But what about what Scripture says.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NKJV)
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (NKJV)
It seems to me through my experience that to often we make excuses that let us fail. We talk negatively.
We are not failures anymore! That is not what the Bible teaches us. If we have given it to Christ. He makes us new. The Old is gone. The language it uses is very final. I think we need to stop making excuses and claim victory over our sins when we are faced with them. You are not a failure, you are a champion.
That's right you. You're a Champion!
Say it, "I am a Champion!"
No more negative talk. You are a victor. Jesus died for you and washed it all away. Your past is gone.
If Jesus can raise from the dead, surely our sins are nothing.
I want to take you back to Hebrews 11. Read it today from the perspective, that because Jesus died for you, you too can be a champion like the people in listed Hebrews. If Christ is for us who can be against us?
What does it mean to continue in faith? What does it mean to grow? Paul said that he died daily. He also said that we are to run the race of endurance. This suggests that growth as a Christian is a continual process.
Read Hebrews 11
What does this suggest to you about faith?
How does their faith inspire you?
In looking to their example how can you work on your daily walk with God?
Today ends our 30-day challenge, but the challenge continues, your walk must always progress. Look to Jesus. He is the way the truth and the life.
I read an article this morning by a Pastor that I respect a great deal. It brings up a point that all too often we are missing. Urgency! Do you have any urgency in your walk with God? Does it matter to you what happens today, tomorrow, or years from now?
I thought the article was so good I had to share it with you. For today's challenge read this article and contemplate what it means. Do you need more urgency?
Five minutes later, it's over!
Read Matthew 24, is the end near? Should we be ready now, or wait until later?
Prayer for today: God put urgency in my heart, help me to commit to you today, give me the desire to be fully committed to you, and ready for what is to come.
A walk with God is continual. It is a daily necessity.
One of my favorite passages to think on in scripture is in Genesis 5:22-24, it speaks of a man by the name of Enoch who knew God so well, that God just took him. The word that Moses uses to describe their relationship is "walked" "Enoch walked with God" this implies a growing continual relationship. They were so close that as reached maturity in age, God just took Him. I used to think that it was right before Enoch died. But before the Flood, Enoch had a son named Methuselah. Methuselah was the oldest man to ever live, so he must have had good genes.
Enoch walked with God and God took him, the story goes. But Enoch was not old for their day, he was just 365 years old when he went with God. A young age when considering that of his contemporaries. God and Enoch must have had such a close relationship that God could no longer live without Enoch.
So this makes me ask? If God can have that close a relationship with man, how much closer can we get to God? We began this challenge 28 days ago, but it never really ends. It continues daily as we learn to walk with God.
Matthew 5:33 suggests a way of growth in our walk with God.
Today make your prayer a request for God to draw you to Himself. That we can be so close to God that he will take us.
Who is a Christian?
The word in itself means to be Christ-like. This makes me wonder how often are we who ascribe the name Christian are Christ-like?
What did Christ do?
Read Matthew 9:35-38
Read Matthew 18:15-35
What does Christ suggest being a Christian is about?
What does this mean for us? How can we be like Christ?
"seek, and you will find"
We have been on this journey to draw closer to God.
Today Read Matthew 7 concluding the sermon on the mountain.
Pay special attention to verse 12.
William Barclay in his commentary on the book says this, "THIS is probably the most universally famous thing that Jesus ever said. With this commandment, the Sermon on the Mount reaches its summit. This saying of Jesus has been called ‘the capstone of the whole discourse’. It is the topmost peak of social ethics, and the Everest of all ethical teaching." William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew, Third Ed., The New Daily Study Bible
I would suggest that this verse suggests the very essence of the Law, and is a defining point that shows that the Law is about love. It also suggests to us that everything that Jesus has said in His sermon up to this point can be summed up here.
Read Philippians 2:1-5
In a book, I love the author says, "If your brethren err, you are to forgive them. When they come to you with confession, you should not say, I do not think they are humble enough. I do not think they feel their confession. What right have you to judge them, as if you could read the heart? "Ellen White, Christ’s Object Lessons (Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1900), 249–250.
God longs for us to treat those around us with a love that is beyond understanding. A love that we could only get from Christ.
Do you love others? Then, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." NKJV
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." NKJV
Pray, pray like you have never prayed before that God will give you this kind of love for others. Only when we love like He loves will anything change.
Continuation from yesterday.
In Mathew Chapter 5 you see that we are blessed because of our relationship with God not because of the things we have. From there Jesus expresses that the law is something that extends out of our hearts.
Today read Matthew 6
Pay attention to the tension between outward and inward.
Ask yourself, where your heart is?
Today spend some specific time in prayer asking God to lead you away from worldly pleasure and toward having God as the real passion in your heart.
One of the most important and beautiful messages in scripture is given by Jesus, and it is very important to get to know it well.
Matthew 6:32-34 (NKJV)
For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Now read Matthew 5
Ask yourself these questions:
God, what do you want me to know through this passage?
God, how do you want me to feel?
God, what do you want me to do?
Romans 6:1-4 (NKJV)
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
If we give our lives to Christ, if we except what He did for us, we should be changed.
Psalm 51:10 (NKJV)
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
This verse was written by David after he had lusted after Bathsheba, committed adultery, and murdered her husband so that he could have her. David was in a bad state. He had messed up. But because He had come to know God, a just, forgiving and loving God, he knew that he could be forgiven.
When David came to God he did not keep on with his evil ways, as if to say, "I am forgiven now I can do whatever I want. No, he turned back to God.
The word repentance, in the original language in the Bible actually means, to change direction. In other words when David repented he was changing his ways.
It holds the same meaning for us. If we are repentant to God, we don't have an excuse to sin. We need to make a u-turn. I love how when David is repentant he please with God to be changed.
Today ask in prayer that God will help you to change your direction. To help you be made new.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 5:17 go and read it.
Today read Philippians 4:1-13
What is Paul trying to tell us?
Are you busy? Stressed? Tired? Are you anxious? What can we do to find peace?
Ask yourself today, God what are you trying to teach me from this passage of scripture?
Now read it again. Philippians 4:1-13
What is the peace that surpasses understanding? Have you ever felt this?
Prayer: Lord I know that you can give us a new heart, and a new life. Today I ask you that you will make us new. Help us to focus our attention on you so that we can experience something that does not come from this world, your peace, your unexplainable peace. Give us what we are missing, take away our distractions from you.
How often do we wonder, "Where am I going? or What is my purpose?" In our day to day life, in our inner walk, many of us are looking for a purpose. You may be here because you want answers. You may be here because you truly want an Epic Walk. For whatever your reason, I am glad you are here. Read on. Enjoy our daily homework and hopefully, you can find more purpose, and begin an Epic Walk.