Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new - 2 Corinthians 5:17
Christians are brand-new people on the inside. The Holy Spirit gives them new life, and they are not the same anymore. We are not reformed, rehabilitated, or reeducated - we are re-created (new creations), living in vital union with Christ. At conversion we are not merely turning over a new leaf; we are beginning a new life under a new Master.
While reading the other day, I came across the passage in the Bible talking about the The Temptation and Fall of Man.
Scripture of focus is Genesis 3:1-6 when the serpent tempts Even to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Here’s a link to the passage if you’d like to read for yourself http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=genesis%203:1-6&version=NIV
After reading, my Bible reflected on the scripture and asked the question, “Why does Satan tempt us?” It followed by saying temptation is Satan’s invitation to give into his kind of life and to stray away from God’s kind of life. It went on to say that being tempted is not a sin, we have not sinned until we give into the temptation. Then, to resist temptation we must (1) pray for strength to resist, (2) run, sometimes literally, and (3) say no when confronted with what we know is wrong.
Scripture says No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to hear it. - 1 Corinthians 10:13
A friend told me before that God always gives you a way out. I think about those cartoons back in the day where you have the little devil on one shoulder and the little angel on the other. The little devil says, “Go ahead, have fun. It won’t hurt nobody. Ain’t nobody looking.” Then the little angel says, “Nope, don’t do it. It’s not right!” I think that’s the little voice we hear when we encounter a tempting situation and you hear that voice of reasoning saying, hey, don’t do it. That’s not the right thing to do.
Wrong desires and temptations happen to everyone so don’t feel singled-out as if it’s just happening to you. Most importantly, remember that if we are tempted that we aren’t tempted by God. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. When we are tempted, it’s a way to refine our faith and to help us grow on our dependence on Christ. We can resist temptation to sin by turning to God for strength and choose to obey his Word.
And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:6
Scripture says that Abram believed in God and he was accounted for as righteous by God.
I was reading in my bible it was reflecting on the scripture saying just as Abram was accounted as righteous by God we can too have a right relationship with God by trusting him. The center of our relationship with God should be based upon faith - that heartfelt inner confidence that God is who he is and does what he says he’ll do.
Having new, weak or struggling faith can make things difficult. You may ask questions that question or faith/trust in the Lord.
Someone described to me that building faith was somewhat similar to when you meet your mate. At first you go after them to get to know them, spend time with them and after spending time and knowing them you eventually trust them. We must diligently seek the lord (Hebrews 11:6), spend time with him; reading, praying, worship etc. and on our path to getting to know him we develop that trust in him (Proverbs 3:5)
We have to build ourselves up in the Lord. The Bible is full of scriptures of the Lord showing his works and standing on his word. How can we trust the Lord? I think of Hebrews 13:8 - Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. Christ has been and will be the same forever. In a changing world we can trust our unchanging Lord.
I receive a “Today’s Word” e-mail from Joel Osteen every morning and this particular e-mail was titled Redeem the Time.
Afterwards, I thought about a few questions, how do we begin our day? Do we really put God first?
I’m currently reading this book “100 Days of Prayer for a Righteous Man” and one section asked the question “Are you really putting God first in our lives, or are we putting other things – things like possessions, pleasures, or personal status – ahead of our relationship with God.”
A scripture that was referenced to this section; Exodus 20:3 – You shall have no other gods before Me.
I have a Life Application Study Bible and it takes scriptures and provides explanatory notes to help understand passages. For this particular scripture, the following was annotated:
Today we can allow many things to become gods to us. Money, fame, work or pleasure can become gods when we concentrate too much on them for personal identity, meaning, and security. No one sets out with the intention of worshiping these things. But by the amount of time we devote to them, they can grow into gods that ultimately control our thoughts and energies. Letting God hold the central place in our lives keeps these things from turning into gods.
I thought about it and my morning routine. I’d wake up, turn on the TV and watch the news for a few minutes, then grab my cell phone and look on Facebook, send a few tweets. Then I’d get up, eat, shower, get dressed and head into work. In my mind I’d say I’ll pray after the news, or I’d pray after my shower, after I eat, when I get to work and all of a sudden I don’t pray at all. It just amazed me how that quickly I got distracted.
With God’s help, I’m working on a prayer routine. I tried something new this morning. I grabbed my phone and just started listen to songs of praise and worship and afterwards I began to pray. Then I started to proceed with my routine. Just as we have routines for our daily duties, we can make a routine of prayer. Someone told me after a while it will just become second nature to us. We’re not perfect at all and some days it just won’t happen. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
Redeem our time, make the best of our time and most importantly seek God first. Make him our priority and he’ll direct our paths. Take advantage of our gift called today!