Today I began reading the devotional written by Pastor Ed Young. It’s a very creative devotional that focuses on a relevant topic with both Old and New Testament reading that corresponds with that particular topic.
It started with this topic: the red lizard of lust and I read the story of Moses leading the people out of Egypt and the final three plagues, and Romans 4 where it talks about not living according to the law/rules.
I’ve struggled with this sin in my own life. Every man has. If he says he hasn’t then he struggles with the sin of lying :). Freedom came to me, not when I worked harder at not sinning, but when I admitted my weakness, repented, and allowed God to work in my life. You see, He takes away my sin. I don’t have that power. I can forgive and be forgiven, but in the end He must do the work.
Here’s the deal: me trying to get rid of my own sin, causes me to work really hard at it. But then, even after all of my effort, I still sin. You know how frustratng that is? And guess what that frustration leads to? More sin. That’s why we have to let God do the work. And you know what else? He doesn’t get frustrated at us. Oh, he might wish better for us and occasionally be disappointed with us, but He never gives up on us.
So, let Him take the red lizard of lust off your shoulder and break its back. It might take a few days or a few years, but don’t give up. Keep asking for forgiveness, keep coming to God, keep believing that you are better than the sin that ensnares you…because you are. The Bible calls us the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. (Ephesians 1:13 NLT)
This past weekend there were several people who responded to a salvation invitation at Westside. Being in the church for as long as I’ve been, I have become accustomed to this response and even expect it. But what is really going on in people when they respond? What are they saying “yes” to?
As I’ve pondered on this I have come to the conclusion that these people are probably seeking truth or help or salvation or relationship or any number of things. But they are all seeking something. And then, maybe by surprise, they realize that what they were seeking was not one of these things, but ultimately they were seeking what everyone from the beginning of time has saught: relationship with our Maker. That there is a drawing, a calling, and ‘getting saved’ is just our response to that calling.
Once we realize that what we are seeking can be found in what Jesus did for us, then the pathway becomes more clear. Until we stand face to face with the birth and death of Jesus, we will not ultimately find what we were looking for. You might find a portion of what you are looking for in other religions or in systems of thought or in philosophy. But to get the whole picture, you have to come through Jesus, God made flesh for us: the good news.
If, for some reason, you are reading this blog and have not embraced the truth that Jesus came to die for us and to give us relationship with our Maker, and you now know that this is what you need to do: just simply ask Him to come into your life. Drop me an email and let’s start a conversation about what it means to live our life with Him.
Have an amazing and merry Christmas!