This week's Bible verse:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17
It is hard to live the way we should in God's eyes, especially when everything we see on tv, on our streets, in the mall, and even in the library ;-) shows people acting anyway they want. Our human-ness wants to follow the pack...but I also think that when we do give in to bad behaviors, we find ourselves not being fulfilled by them and yearn for a better way.
Our memory verse is true...when you believe and ask Christ into your heart, you put the old behind you and are a new creation. That DOESN'T mean you don't sin...
I remember when I reconnected with God about 11 years ago. I had a wonderful experience where I recommitted my life to Christ...it was very moving for me. I thought, NOW I can live the life I want to live and be right with God. I thought, I really did, that I wouldn't sin as much.
Well, as I have said, when you are in Christ, you are new...but you still have free will. You will still sin. To be honest, I had one of the toughest battles with sin AFTER I recommitted my life to Christ.
As children of God, and followers of Jesus, we have responsibilities. Read Ephesians 5:1-8. Our new way should be to follow Jesus, to use him as an example on how to live. There should be no obscenities, sexual impurities, greed or even course talk. Ok...I could be in trouble! LOL Really, we KNOW what pleases God...goodness, righteousness and truth.
In our KidsPraise program we tell the kids the Bible is like a sword, or a letter from God...or a light. Psalm 119:105 says the Bible is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. If we read the Bible daily, we are staying in contact with God, learning what Jesus did and being reminded what pleases God. This DOES help us with our responsibility.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says that we should honor God with our bodies...another reminder of how God wants us to live. Do we think stuffing our face with that Big Mac is honoring God with our bodies?
Becoming a Christian doesn't mean we don't and won't sin. It DOES mean that we KNOW how to act and behave and we know where to go when we need guidance...and we know who to turn to when when we mess up...and we WILL mess up! I think we are to support others, help them learn to lean of God for guidance and forgiveness, but we should NOT judge others. It's a fine line we have to walk...support and advise and be kind to others, even when they are struggling. But when we turn that support into judgement, then we turn hypocritical and could end up doing more damage than good.
I know I can't be good on my own efforts...I have tried and failed so many times. I'm glad and thankful that I can rely on God, his word and my relationship with Christ to help me to bring me back when I'm tempted and to forgive me when I fall.