Fridays are funny for me. Here’s why: I have the day off. So I told myself Fridays would be my blog days. Yet here it is almost 3 p.m. on a Friday and I’m barely starting…go figure :p
Anyway, all humor aside, I feel today’s post is going to be quite a hefty one, and aimed more towards my fellow believers in Christ. But even if that isn’t you, I still encourage you to read. My hope is that you all will learn a little bit more about Jesus, and a little more about me. I also hope we can still connect somehow.
Here goes. So last Friday I received a text quoting 2 Chronicles 7:14, which reads: If My people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land (New King James Version). (All texts I use from here on out will be from NKJV unless otherwise noted).
I wondered why this particular text was sent, and wondered how the person who sent it to me views this text. I also wanted to ask how one defines ‘wicked ways’. What is wickedness? How do we turn away from it? Is there a method? a standard? And God says here that if His people do these things ( humble themselves, pray, seek His face, turn from wicked ways) then He will forgive their sin.
That sounds like a condition. God’s forgiveness requires something from us.
And if God requires certain things from His people, how, then, do I meet those requirements? And are their consequences for not meeting them?
1 John 2:6 says “He who abides in Him ought Himself also to walk just as He walked.” After reading that text aloud, I asked a few people what it means to abide in Christ and “walk just as He walked.” They said abiding and walking as He walked means to be obedient.
Obedient to what?
Leviticus 18:5 reads “You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.”
One meaning of abiding in Christ is to obey God’s commands. Which ones? All? Some?
Weren’t some commandments done away with?
I am not going to talk about which commandments were done away with exactly, but a main thing I have to cover is that God’s law, His holy law, His holy ten commandments, is His character. Why else would His law and statutes come up so frequently throughout the Bible, Old Testament and New? And if they are His character written down — and God is unchanging — then His law is unchanging, right?
Okay, now that I’ve come to that conclusion, I’ll transition to this thought: Ecclesiastes 12:14. Fear (this isn’t to be afraid of, but rather to revere) God and keep His commandments…for God will bring every work into judgment…”
How does this apply to me, a Christian? What commandments do I keep? And what works of mine will be judged?
How shall a man be just with God? How can a sinner be made righteous?
Galatians 5:19-21 lists behaviors God’s people should avoid ( sex outside marriage, jealousy, hatred, drunkenness, just to name a few). Of course, we cannot in and of ourselves and of our own will power keep from doing these things. It is only by God’s grace, Spirit, and power working in us. It is only through Christ.
Here’s a quote from a book called Steps to Christ:
“Christ is the source of every right impulse. He is the only one that can implant in the heart enmity against sin. Every desire for truth and purity, every conviction of our own sinfulness, is an evidence that His Spirit is moving upon our hearts.”
1 John 1:9 says if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us. Luke 13:3 says unless we repent, we will all perish. Repentance is a condition we must do to receive forgiveness. Repentance also doesn’t just mean to confess the sin, but also to turn away from that sin.
Instruction is a lamp, a light, and the way of life (Proverbs 6:23). Instruction is important. God’s instruction is important. Whatever He says in His word directed to His people are important. Proverbs 4:13.
By not ignoring truth and conviction and by heeding to instruction is how to keep my conscience from being “seared with a hot iron” (1 Tim. 4:2).
“Repentance includes sorrow for sin and turning away from it. Until we turn away from [sin] in heart, there will be no real change in the life.” Steps to Christ, 23
All compromise with sin must be put to an end. I’m speaking to myself here, too. I don’t want this new year to be the same as years before, to keep putting off what I know I need to give up. Lately jealousy has been eating me up inside, and I know I need give that burden to Christ, because His promises are unwavering.