Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Now let’s make this practical.

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7 NIV

You hear what that says? God’s love for us, and our salvation, is not based on righteous things we’ve done, but purely on God’s mercy and grace, that is generously poured out on us through Jesus. So this whole story about Paul’s conversion that we have been studying this week is really about a religious guy who realized that he missed the whole point, because he missed Jesus. And as a result, he had to make a major adjustment.

God calls all of us to major adjustments. All of us.  Not just those who already want to change, not just those who aren’t doing anything else anyway.  God calls all of us to major adjustments in our lives in order to join Him in what He is doing.
Now some of you might be thinking, I don’t know about that. I don’t need any major adjustments in my life. I’ve always been a Christian. I can’t remember when I didn’t believe. I’m doing OK in my relationship with God, I don’t need any major adjustments. The very fact that you think you don’t need to change much, is the clearest sign that you really do. And it may mean that you are actually resisting the things God really wants to do in you.
There’s a story in Isaiah about when Isaiah has this vision of God, and how Isaiah reacts to it.  Now the prophet Isaiah is probably one of the holiest, most godly men that ever lived. God spoke through him to the people of Judah for decades. But listen to what Isaiah says: - "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." Isa 6:5 NIV

Isaiah realized that even as a very godly spiritual leader, he still needed major adjustments in his life, and if you think you don’t, if you think you’re better than Isaiah, then you might want to reconsider.  In fact, the main reason most of us ignore the need to change, is that we really don’t want to. It’s as simple as that.  Nobody really likes to change.

Paul must have found it very hard to change. He’d been trained for years as a strict Pharisee. All the rules and regulations and legalism of the Pharisees had been drilled into him for years, so he really knows religion. It had to be extremely difficult to forget all that. But God has a way of getting our attention. God calls us out of our comfort zone to make major adjustments so we can join Him in His work.  Really, until we discover who we are IN HIM and allow ourselves to be re-invented by God, we cannot serve His purpose.  He cannot fulfill His plan in our lives unless we accept His love and mercy and see ourselves the way He does and allow those adjustments.

Every one of us, all of us, no matter who we are, no exceptions, need major adjustments.  So, what are some of the adjustments we’re going to have to make?  In what ways do we need to change?  There’s at least four major adjustments that God wants all of us to make in our lives, no matter what our background, no matter if we’re religious or not.  The next two days we will look at these four adjustments.

Scripture to Claim:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Devotional Archive