Friday, May 23, 2014
God Is Working
PHILIPPIANS 2:13 NLT 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
The Christian life is not supposed to be a struggle to be good enough for God to accept you. That was the Old Covenant way.
God's Old Covenant message was "Do right and I will accept you and bless you."
God's New Covenant message is, "I love you and accept you because of your faith in Jesus. So you are blessed. You are now my child, so I will work with you and help you do right."
The Old was dependent on human effort. The New is Good News because it is dependent on God's effort.
1 THESSALONIANS 5:23-24 NLT 23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 24 God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.
God will do it! God will make it happen! We can trust Him. (Trusting ourselves doesn't work.) Our salvation does not depend on us striving to do good, but on trusting God.
God now accepts responsibility to make you perfect. The responsibility to perform is now on God -- Who cannot fail! (Of course we must cooperate, because God never forces His will on us.)
God's standard of perfection has never changed. His desire and plan for all of us is that we be perfectly whole and wholly perfect in every way. But there is a huge difference between the Old Covenant approach and the New Covenant.
Under the Old Covenant the responsibility to perform was on us. "You shall..." and "You shall not..."
God has not lowered His standards in the New Covenant. But He has said He Himself will be responsible for meeting them. Notice in the following passage describing the New Covenant that God says, "I will... I will... I will..."
HEBREWS 10:16-17 NLT 16 "This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the LORD: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds." 17 Then he says, "I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds."
The New Covenant is Good News! It should make you happy!
ROMANS 4:6 NLT 6 David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it:
Keep your focus on Jesus. You fall short -- that is why you needed a New Covenant and a Savior. But God is working!
Don't hinder God's work by refusing to believe His message of love toward you. When you try to earn God's acceptance through your performance, you are rejecting God's gift through Jesus Christ.
ROMANS 10:3 NLT 3 For they don't understand God's way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God's way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law.
Don't reject the Gift of God and try to establish your own righteousness. Your own attempts to do better will always fall short. Only God can make you perfect.
EPHESIANS 2:10 NIV 10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We are the result of God's work -- not our own striving. We can't make ourselves perfect. We can't attain God's standard by our own efforts. That was the purpose of the Law -- to show us we fell short so we would know we needed a Savior -- someone who could help us (Galatians 3:22-25).
ROMANS 8:28 NIV 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
God is always working for your good! Things may not always be good, but God is always behind the scene working things out for your good.
So when thoughts come like "There is no hope!" respond by saying "God is working!"
In fact, any time is a good time to say "God is working!" It helps you keep your focus in the right place.
SAY THIS: I believe God is working in my life!
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