Participation Matters

One of the more common teachings that I hear some share is to simply “say a sinners prayer one time” and then “rely on Christ to change you”, as if it takes no effort,  no sacrifice,  no work on our part to participate in the Kingdom of God. While this wording has truth and value explaining what is happening within a genuine born again Christian, it can get twisted into deception when people say things like, “Christ did all the work” and then they use grace as an excuse to continue in their sinmaking no genuine effort to participate in the Kingdom of God.

What a dangerous teaching when misunderstood by those veiled to the truth of the narrow path!

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.  Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
Colossians 3:1-10 ESV

Scripture doesn’t say be born again and all your sin will be put away for you. No, it says be renewed,  be born again, be made a new creation,  and commands us to resist evil,  to put away sin and set our minds on the things that are above. Yes,  we are washed clean,  and yes,  we receive His glory anew each day if we are His.

“But now YOU must put them all away”. Yes, you have access to the power of the Word of God – you have the power of the Holy Spirit,  of Christ who lives in you, too decide to use and overcome sin and prove your salvation as a child of God bearing fruit,  or to cling to your sin demonstrating death and darkness as your final destination.

And doesn’t the state of our heart either testify to our loyalty to God – or to our loyalty to that other master. Doesn’t what we long for, what we truly long for tell us who we really love? Do we love the me that I can touch and see and know personally – or do we love a Good that we can’t see?

Isn’t that what faith is all about friends? Stepping out onto the waters of something unsure to our logic and reason,  but undeniable to our heart?  Isn’t it about learning to exercise our hearts (our spirit heart, not our physical heart) and not just exercise our intellectual minds?

Isn’t it about finding love,  true Godly love that comes through a journey of retaining our minds from listening to the ways of the world into listening to the ways of God. But how many still cling to that old radio station of constant temptation spoken to us by the world – instead of changing the channel and seeking God’s voice?

Help us today,  Lord,
And each day thereafter,
To seek your voice,  your wisdom,
So that we might learn how to love,
Learn how to live like you,
Serving and loving and forgiving others,
Sharing the truth of your gospel,
To the end of the earth,
Through our loving actions,
And even in our words where necessary.
Teach us,  our teacher,
Lead us,  our leader,
Heal us,  our healer,
Save us,  our Savior,
Recreate us,  our creator,
Remold us, our refiner,
Discipline us, our Father.
We love you.
Thank you for loving us.
Thank you for welcoming us back into your arms.
May we remain there for eternity,
Singing your praises,
And participating in your Kingdom,
All for your glory and honor,
For you are faithful and true,
And worthy of all praise.

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