Laying Our Life Down as a Living Sacrifice
"and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31.
But How? How to Love God above all things! Again, the Bible is clear on this subject. The Bible tells us that there is nothing that compares to God... nothing, not even close. And, without a doubt, I agree - without hesitation.
As a matter of fact, I do praise Him quite often throughout the day. God is so much bigger than ALL things, and I praise Him, and I thank Him constantly!
But... How does one actually love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength? Is it even impossible? Is this an impossible demand? Can it be fulfilled? Or is it a setup for failure?
With everything going on in my life, with all the pressures and responsibilities and demands on my life as a husband, father, and employer... Do I... can I... can I actually love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength? The answer is an emphatic YES! ABSOLUTELY I CAN, AND I DO...
Because of The Abundance of GRACE, I Am the Righteousness of God in Christ
Let me tell you how. How do I love God with all my heart, mind, and soul? But, more importantly, how do I love my neighbor as myself? How do I fulfill this Scripture? Through Christ!
"and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:24
I choose to believe that I am, because of the abundance of GRACE, the righteousness of God in Christ, and I am made HOLY, and not by anything I did, but I receive it ALL as a free gift of GRACE!
Jesus did it all for us, through Grace, and that as a free gift of salvation. Literally, Jesus supplied everything you and I would ever need for salvation and godliness.
"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3
And, Jesus did all of this Grace stuff before the foundation of the world. It's His work, and He's given us the benefits of His work and asked us to thoroughly enjoy them.
So, basically, the Righteousness of God is a fruit of God's Grace, and it's on display in us and through us. Meaning, it's not ours, it is HIS righteousness, but He has given it to us FULLY as stewards to give it away freely.
It's His love in us that is doing all the loving. So be humble and grateful. Love because He loved us. We love God and others through The love we've received from Him.
If we can keep our minds fixed on the truth, the truth that through Christ WE ARE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN CHRIST, then we can actually love God and others with all our heart, mind, and soul. As the righteousness of God, we are love, and in love, all fear is cast out.
According to the Apostle Paul, as he wrote in Philippians 1:11, "Believers are filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God."
"The Purpose of Righteousness - Called as Ambassadors of Reconciliation
God has made us to be RIGHTEOUS through the blood of Jesus Christ so that His love for all mankind could be displayed through us IN faith.
Meaning, in God's love through Jesus, we were reconciled with God. And, having been reconciled with God through Grace, we received the complete wholeness of God, and He wants us to be His message of love to the world.
"that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation." 2 Corinthians 5:19
Through grace, God is no longer counting ANY sin against ANY man, and instead, He is imploring us to BELIEVE and receive grace by faith and so be saved. God is then asking the "saved" to help Him reconcile the world to Himself, God.
God is calling the righteous, the ones He saved by Grace, to be Christ's Ambassadors as if God were making His appeal of Grace through us, those who have already received grace through faith as a free gift of God's love - love that we believe made us whole. Whole - Body, Mind, and Spirit... made complete, whole, perfect, reconciled, restored, redeemed.
"We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God" 2 Corinthians 5:20
Everyone was made righteous when Jesus died. He died to save everyone. Not everyone chooses to receive God's gift of righteousness. Believers, however, are convinced of that they are the righteousness of God in Christ. They are convinced that Jesus became sin for us (He took our place) so that we could take his place, the place of right standing with the Father.
He, Jesus, who knew no sin took on our sins and gave us His holiness, His right standing with the Father.
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21
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Today's message was based on Clearview's Guiding Principle #1, which is, "I Will Choose Love" - and it's based on... "There is no fear in Love; but perfect love casteth out fear." 1 John 4:18
Tuesday's Message: Through Grace We Can Love Anyone, Starting With Ourselves
Wednesday's Message: The Purpose of Righteousness - Called as Ambassadors of Reconciliation
Thursday's Message: What Does Love Require - Only to Receive
Friday's Message: Laying Our Life Down as a Living Sacrifice