Section Two: The Personal Characteristics of a Godly Life.
Our current theme: Characteristic Three: Being Extremely Valued.
Our reading for today: Romans 10: 8-10 (MsgB)
It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us. This is the core of our preaching. Say the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what He did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting Him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between Him and me!”
The mind is a powerful tool.
It can produce amazing results. It can solve big problems. Analyze large piles of data. Sort through multiple levels of difficult issues.
Yet, it can also lie dormant and useless. Asleep at the switch.
Our minds can dream and ponder on the loftiest of thoughts. Produce good and healthy answers to the most complicated of life questions. Or, it can traffic in evil and hatred. It can conjure up the most hideous things known by men, and the vilest of thoughts and the cruelest of deeds.
And all of these options are controlled ultimately by one word.
You see, as creatures made in the image and likeness of God, we were given the gift of choice. A will, or inner drive, that is absolutely free to make choices at our own discretion.
And it’s that will, our freedom of choice, that will ultimately determine which way our lives will go. God, while all-powerful and sovereign, has chosen to create us with freedoms that must be trained and disciplined, lest we wander through life like mindless zombies, unknowing and unaware of the power within us to do either good or evil with our lives. Sadly, many go through this life, largely unaware of their power of choice, blaming others for their problems, looking for excuses on why the world won’t let them succeed, and generally slothing-through instead of choosing wisely.
But on occasion, a man (or a woman) takes his/her mind out of his/her rear-end, realizes the great worth we have as unique creations from God, and goes about, with the mind of Christ, choosing wisely to live life to the full, to the greater glory of God; a glory which was embedded deeply within us from the beginning of time!
As I see it, it’s men and women like these who rise above the confines of religion and race, politics and power, to live lives of grace; grace toward themselves and grace toward others. Paul identifies these grace-empowered folks with his words found in today’s passage from Romans 10. People who:
Say the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master.”
Embrace, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what He did in raising Jesus from the dead.
Simply call out to God, trusting Him to do salvation for them.
With their whole being, embrace God setting things right, and then saying it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between Him and me!”
When I read it this way, it seems pretty simple doesn’t it?
Yet, it’s still a matter of choice. My mind must choose to do these things Paul talks about here. No one else can do it for you. Nor should anyone else be able to do it for you. God has given us a free will, a free choice to decide today if we want these things God’s Word offers to us, or whether we’d prefer to walk the remainder of our days on our own.
I guess when it’s put that way, the power of choice is a pretty powerful tool, don’t you think?
My prayer: Father, as I understand it, it’s this power of choice that will ultimately determine if my mind will be transformed by the renewing power of Christ or will remain unchanged and unredeemed, leaving me to my own ability and strength to make it through. Today, Jesus, I choose You and all that You have for me. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: Am I deferring my choices, unaware that my “not deciding to move forward with Christ” is a decision all the same? What practical action steps can I take today that will be consistent with my choice to follow Jesus wherever He might go?
So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?
Over a thirty-six week period, you and I will take a deeper look into twelve key characteristics of a godly life. In other words, we’ll take A Journey into Christian Discipleship. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Journey home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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