January 30, 2013 at 5:54 p.m.

Come to God and He will put your life in order

By Meredith Ebbin- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

In the last four weeks we have countered some of the common excuses that, "There are too many hypocrites in the church," "Why believe and attend church when all they want is money?", "Why believe and attend church when it's only for the elderly?", and "Compared to others, I don't really need God!"

This week we will address the last, and perhaps most popular excuse of the series: "I can't commit to the Lord until I tidy up my life."

Many believe that in order to come to God they must get their life in "order" to make themselves acceptable to Him. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Some have come to this conclusion because of their fear of failure, others have vowed "not to be a hypocrite" because of bad examples they have seen, and still others endeavour to decrease the risk of a commitment that they may not be able to keep.

Based on these examples, they all have one common denominator: they believe that the source for the power to live for the Lord is theirs to muster. This is not the case.

Not one of us has the power, wisdom or drive necessary to clean up any messy part of our lives in order to be acceptable to God. This is what makes the Christian life so special.

Would you scrub your car before going to the Bulls Head car wash? Or clean your clothes before taking them to the drycleaners? Of course not! The purpose of the car wash is to thoroughly clean, so it is pointless to conduct any scrubbing when that is their purpose.

The drycleaners have the equipment, the power, and the wisdom to clean your clothes - and those spots!

Likewise, the job of cleaning up you and your life is entirely the Lord's. All He asks us do is turn from what we are trusting in and instead trust in Him and surrender to a personal relationship with Jesus.

God is able to give us all we need to live for Him. Remember what He told us:

"By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence." 2 Peter 1:3 NLT.

'Lose your life' for Jesus

In fact, the Lord knows that no one could live for Him without His power. For this reason, when anyone accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour by faith, there is an irreversible transfer that takes place. He takes your life and in exchange gives you His life. The Word of God states: "Those who try to hold onto their lives will give up true life. Those who give up their lives for me will hold on to true life." Matthew 10:39 NCV.

"Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. For what good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world yet forfeits his soul? Mt 16:25-6 NIV.

"If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?" Matthew 16:25-26 NLT.

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10b NIV.

You receive His life. 1 John 1:2 tell us that eternal life is actually a person: Eternal life is Jesus! Wow! Therefore, you don't have to try and be a "good" Christian in your own strength, struggling with all of your limited energy.

Conversely, if you don't know the Lord, you don't have to plan on cleaning up your life before accepting Jesus. He knows you cannot, that's why He died and rose again for you. What He wants you to do is surrender your life to God, come to Him - with your mess - and allow Him to clean you up! You will find that He will change you from the inside out. You cannot change from the outside in.

This excuse is one of the most misunderstood truths of why people don't come to the Lord. It is also why Christians fall into a rut of complacency rather than experiencing the abundant life. They feel it is up to them to live right, when it is Jesus that has to live through them. God has guaranteed that He will supply all that we need for life and Godliness if we just simply turn our lives over to Him rather than try to prepare our lives in order to come to Him.

Come as you are

The bottom line is that there is nothing you can do alone to change your life for God. The truth of His Words as He was about to go to the cross ring in our ears:

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." 1 John 15:5 NIV.

He wants to welcome you as you are and then He will do the changing by His power.

This is what I believe separates Biblical Christianity from every other religion in the world. All other religions have a strong focus on what you can do to prepare yourself for the Deity. However, in Luke 15:11-32 we have a picture that Jesus gave us of God, the loving Father. A Father that actually runs to the prodigal son who is on the road to come back home! The Father gives his wayward son a welcome home kiss on his neck and throws a big bash to celebrate his return.

That's the God that we serve. No rituals are needed to impress Him; no punishing of self; no sentencing one's self in the prison of self-condemnation - just a broken heart to say, "God, I need you. Daddy, take me back home." He will then give you the freedom and power to live for Him with all of your heart.

Pastor Gary Simons serves as the Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Bible Fellowship, 82 Church Street, Hamilton.[[In-content Ad]]


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