July 19, 2012

No Idols

The gospel of Jesus Christ is this: God does the saving and His people live out that salvation. He changes our lives and our lives demonstrate that change. It is always in this order; God does the work and then we respond to what He has done.
Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope! Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually! (Psalm 119:116–117)
Too often, this is reversed. Even those who have been saved can fall into the trap of trying to earn God’s favor or merit His blessings. This is impossible. Not only that, it is an insult to God. How can sinners ever presume to please the Holy One? Are we better than God? Any form of self-effort disregards all that He says and all that He is. Whatever I worship or rely on instead of Jesus Christ is an idol.

Instead, He is God. He upholds; I live. He upholds and I am never put to shame for my hope in Him. He holds me up; I am safe. He holds me up and I respect His laws and principles all the time. 

Be on the alert for preaching and teaching that puts emphasis on what I am supposed to do without first proclaiming what God has already done for me. 

Lord, You are the Savior. Forgive me for the many times I’ve tried to save myself, or put my faith in all sorts of things, thinking that these things will rescue me, or make me a better person, or will give my life meaning. The Christian life is about You, You first and You always.

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