You Can't Fix Yourself
Theme of the Week: Down-to-Earth Godliness
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
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Key Bible Verses: Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-18)
Dig Deeper: 2 Corinthians 5:17-20
In Matthew 3:7, John the Baptist called a spade a spade and called the spiritually elite a basket of snakes. These people put the focus of their lives on outward cleansing all the time as many self-righteous Christians do today. John then called them and anyone within earshot to "bear fruit in keeping with repentance" (v. 8, ESV). In other words, stop worrying about your outward spiritual appearance. Stop trying to manage your sins.
Bottom line, Jesus's payment on the cross for your sin made you holy, righteous, and sanctified. He did it all. You don't get to claim any of it, but you do get to humbly work with God to display his work in your life. First Thessalonians 5:23 says, "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (NIV). Yes, it is God's desire that you grow in the fruits of righteousness and that you take your human imperfection seriously, but don't think for a minute that you can fix yourself. God has made you clean through the perfection of Jesus, so focus instead on the good, the fun, and the meaningful things life in his kingdom has to offer.
—Hugh Halter in Flesh
My Response: Is my motivation to do good based on appearances or a true desire to grow?
Thought to Apply: Whatever your gifts, accomplishments, or virtues, they cannot produce fruit if you are detached from Jesus Christ. … Fruit is borne not by trying, but by abiding.—John MacArthur (pastor, writer)
Adapted from Flesh by Hugh Halter. Copyright ©2014 by Hugh Halter. Flesh is published by David C Cook. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Prayer for the Week
Lord, please help me to not try to be holy in my own strength, but instead lean on the power of Christ's death and resurrection.
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