Sunday, January 22, 2012

Not being good enough...

As Protestants, we sometimes squirm when we talk about works. We remind ourselves that we are saved by grace by the blood of Jesus alone. Then, what about our works? Does this make this Christian faith passive? No. As I understand it, our works give evidence of our true faith. It is a normal outgrowth of our faith.

Jesus' demands are clear in Luke 6:46-49 (NIV): "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."

John 13:17 says, "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them."

I know the truth but do I truly live it? 1 John 3:16-20 (NIV) "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything."

I quote in part a comment from The Life Application Bible (p1952, comment of 1 John 3:19-20)
Many are afraid they don't love others as they should. They feel guilty because they think they are not ready or they are unable to show proper love. Their conscience bothers them. John had these people in mind when he wrote this letter. How do we escape the gnawing accusations of our conscience? Not by ignoring them or rationalizing our behavior, but by right actions, says John. If we still feel guilty, we should remind ourselves that God knows our hearts as well as our actions. If we are in Christ, he will not condemn us (Romans 8:1; Hebrews 9:14,15) So, if you are living for the Lord but feel you are not 'good enough,' remind yourself that God is greater than your conscience. He knows you belong to him, so you can know it too."

Ah, as the old song says..."Isn't the love of Jesus something wonderful."

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