All of the Old Testament led up to John the Baptist’s proclamation that Jesus Christ was, in fact, the long-awaited Messiah. Amen!
Although we live in a sinful world, be encouraged by 1 John 5:18-19, which says the enemy cannot lay a finger on those who are in Christ.
I know folks who were turned off by bad experiences in church, but I don’t know anyone who walked away from a true relationship with Christ.
Are you following Christ because it’s your choice, or are you following the footsteps of a parent, spouse, etc? The decision is yours alone.
I had the chance to attend a ladies’ retreat last weekend with about 80 women from several different churches. The guest speaker used Proverbs 31 as her text, and I have to admit that my first thought was, “Oh, great – I’m in for two days of hearing about all my faults as a mother and ex-wife.” If you’ve ever read “The Wife of Noble Character” passage, then you know what I’m talking about.
The Proverbs 31 chick is perfect, and many sermons I’ve heard about that passage focused on some aspect or another about this implausibly flawless woman and left me feeling like a complete failure. To my surprise, that’s exactly what the speaker said: it’s pointless to try to compare ourselves to the Proverbs 31 woman, because none of us are Betty Crocker, Oprah Winfrey, and Mother Theresa combined! Instead, she explained that rather than line ourselves up (with all of our failures and baggage) against this perfected image, perhaps we’re looking at it from the wrong angle. Maybe this depiction of the ideal woman is actually how God sees us, through the lens of Christ.
For example, the woman in Proverbs 31 came from a well-to-do family and ran in high society circles (Proverbs 31:21-23). Not many of us would consider ourselves upper class, but when it comes to our status through Christ, we are royalty! (1 Peter 2:9)
In God’s eyes, we are worth far more than jewels (Proverbs 31:10). He sees the work we do – often behind the scenes and seldom acknowledged – at home, at work, in the church, and in our communities. It may seem like no one notices or appreciates our efforts, but God does!
If you’ve ever felt like you don’t measure up to the heroes of the Bible or people like the Proverbs 31 woman (or her husband, for that matter, whose accolades are touted among the city leaders), then I encourage you to spend some time reading about folks like David, Moses, Rahab, Martha, or Peter. They were all flawed people who allowed God to use them, anyway. They made mistakes in life (some were real doozies), but those issues didn’t define who they became; God did.
Pick one word to characterize your life before you accepted Christ. How can you use that depiction of the old you to share your faith-story?
It is contrary to our culture to give up control or to be submissive. To let Christ truly be Lord of our lives, though, we must.
Remember getting a new pair of shoes as a kid? You thought you could run even faster! Think of “wearing” Christ with similar enthusiasm.