It’s Not A Buffet!

“On hearing it, many of his disciples said, ‘This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?’” -Mark 6:60 (NIV)

We seem to conveniently ignore those teachings of Christ which make us uncomfortable. When He informs us of something we need to grasp, Google+Photowhy do we not take hold of it? When He implores us to let go of certain things, why do we hold on? In our refusal to surrender all that we have to Christ, we make excuses. We say that it is impossible for us to go that extra mile for our Lord; even going to the extent of misconstruing the Word of God to justify our attitudes. If our faith is based on grabbing hold of those teachings of Christ which humors our ears and shunning those which bring us discomfort, then we have no right to claim that we are seeking after Christ. If anything we are seeking to please ourselves; to bring comfort to ourselves at the expense of living in and for Christ.

When we enter into a relationship with Christ, we do not accept a portion of Him, we accept all of Him. His restorative work in our lives is total and in order to make His righteousness perfect in us, we must surrender ourselves to His will and yield to His teachings. Christ does not expect us to grasp and live up to His teachings on our own strength and effort. He knows full well of our limitations and our propensity to error. It is only when we allow Him to mold our hearts and attitudes, asking Him to illumine our minds and make ourselves malleable in His hands, will we be receptive to His Truth, seeking to understand it and apply it to our lives. The Christian life is not a smorgasbord where we have the opportunity to pick and choose what teachings we should hold on to. As children of Christ, we live in total obedience to our Father, dwelling in the faithful and tangible assurance that God promises good things for His children and that it is not in His will to seek harm. If we truly desire to have His redemptive and restorative mission in our lives, we must actively seek to conform ourselves to Him; allowing Him to enable us to conform ourselves to His likeness so that we live under the joy and security of being in total synchronization with Him.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Committing Our Spirits!

“Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O Lord, the God of truth.” -Psalm 31:5 (NIV)

Living a life of righteousness and purity is not easy. Despite our most ardent of efforts to pursue holiness, it always seems to be an uphill Google+Photostruggle. Our sinful nature continues to ensnare us; preventing us from walking in integrity and holiness. We soon realize that it is futile to live a life of virtue on our own strength. But this is the key moment. It is one thing to realize this fact, but another matter to decide what needs to be done in light of this fact. Often we descend into hopelessness, wallowing in our sin saying that there is no point in attempting to live a life that is impossible to live. However, instead of finding relief, such an attitude only leads to our own destruction and misery.

In our over-reliance on our own strength and abilities, we fail to take into consideration the redemptive power of God. Through His loving sacrifice on the cross He has broken the hold of sin on humanity and through His resurrection He promises newness of life in Him. When our spirit is weighed down by the weight of our sin and our circumstances, we can take hope in the fact that when we commit our spirit to Him, He will restore us. We might say that we have gone too far down the path of depravity to take comfort in any hope of redemption. Yet the truth is that Christ’s grace is without boundaries. There will never be a point where He will refuse to carry out His redemptive work if we ask with total sincerity and abandoning our trust in our own capacity. All we have to do is simply call upon Him; surrendering our spirit into His hands and allowing Him to renew our hearts and minds. When we permit Him to conform our spirits to His perfect will for our lives, we will be able to dwell in the joy and freedom that comes from walking closely with Him and allowing Him to direct our thoughts, words, and actions.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Surrendering Our Burdens

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” -1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV)

Why do we feel the need to prove our strength? Although we don’t deny that we have our struggles and dilemmas, we feel that to save our pride we have to present ourselves as being fully capable of dealing with the storms that come our way. However, we soon realize the limits of our individual human wisdom and capability. Yet despite this, our pride dictates that we must make every effort to cover up our weaknesses; portraying ourselves as stoic and unassailable in the face of adversity. In this way we succumb to the folly of refusing the help of an all-powerful God and the people He brings alongside our path whilst we continue to bear, with bent backs and trembling knees, the burden of our troubles.

We are not helping ourselves when we attempt to wrestle with our difficulties and anxieties on our own finite power. If anything, we are only delaying the inevitable fate of crumbling under the weight of what we have tried to master. Christ promises to give rest to all who come to Him. In His omnipotence He stands above our worries and in His love He offers to take all of our burdens; dealing with them according to His infinite wisdom and perfect will. But when we are given the offer, why do we hold back? Why do we in name surrender our troubles to God while at the same time try to dictate to Him what He needs to do? If we seek the wisdom and power of God while still wanting to master our struggles on our own strength and wisdom, we have not truly surrendered our circumstances to Him. Our pride and our desire to retain our autonomy prevent us from allowing God to fulfill His redemptive and wonderful plan for our lives. It is only by the total surrender of every area in our lives to His will that we will emerge victorious over our situations. When we allow Christ to reside in our hearts, we will know that the best way for us to handle our anxieties is to give them all up to Him, trusting in His will and resting in the assurance that He works everything together for good.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.