Sunday, February 18, 2007

Monday Morning Devotions

John 14:2- "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." (NKJV)
Jesus expected his disciples to believe everything he said. He is the Son of God, the second person of the Godhead. So his disciples should have accepted all that he said. Yet it was not just on this basis alone that Jesus expected to be believed. He had taught them for three and a half years. They had witnessed his miracles: he had fed the five-thousand, calmed storms at sea, healed the sick, and raised Lazurus from the dead. Being with Jesus for a prolonged period of time led Peter to declare to Jesus: "...You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Jn. 6: 68-69. NKJV) Jesus had a history with his disciples. By this time, the night of his betrayal, while they fellowshipped in the Upper Room, the disciples should have known his character. What he said was so. They knew by experience he had no falsehood in him. That is why when Jesus promised them that in his Father's house there are many mansions, Jesus could expect to be believed. "...if it were not so, I would have told you." At the beginning of our relationship with Christ, we are just getting to know him. As our walk progresses, we have our own histories of Jesus delivering us from sin and harm. We also experience him transforming us into his image. That is why we can stake our lives on the fact that Scripture's promises are true. Our history with God shows us that God does what he says, and he will bless our obedience. If this has not been your experience, then examine yourself. Repentence will probably have to be made somewhere. Then as you abide in Christ, he will protect and guide you. And you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt, by experience, that Jesus will do for us what he said he would do. And at the end of our journey on earth, we will worship before Him!
Rom. 8:1- "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." (NKJV)
In chapter seven of Romans, Paul described the futility he experienced trying to please God by living according to the Law. He could not live up to its standards because his flesh was weak. No one had more zeal for the Law than he, yet even his human energies could not make his religious activities cause God to consider Paul righteous. And if Paul could not please God in the flesh, neither can we. We say we live by the Spirit, but our reliance on our incessant religious activities says otherwise. We place burdens on ourselves, but we can never live up to the Gospel's standards on our own. There is only one who can live a life pleasing to God. Jesus. If we have repented of our sins and truly have placed our faith in Him, then Jesus takes up residence in our hearts to live the Christian life through us. The Holy Spirit guides and empowers us. We listen, obey and cooperate. Then as Jesus lives His life in us, we truly experience that His yoke is easy and his burden light. Trying to please God in our own strength brings condemnation. But Jesus in our hearts living the Christian life through us, that brings victory over sin, the flesh and the devil. This is what Paul is celebrating in Romans. He is praising God for setting him free from the law of sin and death. If we cooperate with the Holy Spirit, letting Jesus live through us, then we can celebrate with Paul that we have been set free from the law of sin and death by the Law of the Spirit of life!

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