It has been ill thought that most people view Jesus as nothing more than a good moral teacher. They relegate His life and ministry as fulfilling nothing more than attempting to show the world a better way to live and get along with each other. Still others utilize Jesus like the police, in that they only call on Him if they are in trouble. Ironically though, given the latest sentiment over the police, it doesn’t look like many be calling on Jesus. Why is this so? I believe that we are in this mode because people have become self-righteous and spiritually autonomous. If one is self-righteous then they do not want anyone more righteous than themselves to tell them anything. If people believe that they are spiritually autonomous than they do not need anyone calling them to submit to the Spirit of God. This is how it becomes so easy and necessary to relegate Jesus to nothing more than an ineffective, morally good teacher. But let me be clear, this is not the Jesus of the Bible.
The depiction of Jesus these days does not, in any way, capture the mission that was fulfilled by Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus did not merely attempt to show us a better way to live, no, He completed His mission to save people from their sins. It is this completed mission of Jesus Christ, that when accepted into the heart, that is the will of a person changes their view of life, humanity and purpose. When they realize that they are a sinner who is saved by the atonement of Jesus Christ, and they accept Him as their Lord; allowing Him to guide their new life according to His word, then their lives experience real change. They go from being self-righteous to knowing that their righteousness is not their own, but Christ’s. They move from a self-ascribed spirituality to being inhabited by the Holy Spirit of God. They begin to see and be convicted by the Biblical truth that we are called to love one another, not for the sake of humanity but for the fact that all men are created equal because of the God who created us in His glorious image.
This is the true transforming power of Jesus Christ of the Bible. Anything else is a counterfeit. Anything else is temporal and has no sustaining power. Anything else crushes under pressure. If this generation wants real change then they can look no further than the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. But again, the more people reject the Jesus of the Bible, the more people reject His gift of saving grace, the more into decay we as individuals and as a society will fall. All of this further proves that people need Jesus. My hope and prayer is that all who read this devotional will be further moved to know the transforming power of Jesus and compelled to share Him with a hurting and confused world, that more people will come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Soli Deo Gloria – To God alone be all glory.
If you find this devotional edifying, please leave a comment so that others may be encouraged as well.
Monday – We cannot save ourselves!
Can a drowning man save himself? The answer is no because the mere fact that he is drowning states that he has gone into a situation that is out of his control. The drowning man needs someone to save him. Can an alcoholic or drug addict get clean on their own? Once again, the answer is no because the addiction has taken them from casual use to abuse and the abuse has led them into uncontrollable addiction. In like manner, a sinner cannot save themselves. Their sin blinds them into believing that there is nothing blatantly wrong with their life. They’ll admit that they have problems and they may even understand that they hold bias’s that are not right, but they cannot see nor understand their need for redemption, salvation or transformation. Therefore, the Bible teaches that mankind is weak and cannot save itself. Before we can accept the cure, we have got to understand the condition. For this reason, the Bible tells us that the human heart is evil – Jeremiah 17:9. But God who is rich in mercy and Jesus who purchased our salvation did for us what we could not do for ourselves. Proving that people need Jesus. Study Romans 5:6-17
Tuesday – The government can’t save us either.
The Bible clearly teaches that government has been established by God for our safety and our good. This does not mean that government is without its problems. We have to remember that while government is a necessary component of society, it also functions under the direction of sinful people. Therefore, because of sin, the best of governments are flawed. Nevertheless, we are to respect our governments and its official’s, but we are to look to Jesus Christ for salvation and life transformation. Study Romans chapter 13 and please note how it end – “put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provisions for the flesh” vs.14.
Wednesday – Only Jesus changes the intentions of the human heart.
The greatest need for society in every age is a heart transplant. Not a physical transplant but a spiritual transplant. The prophet Jeremiah truthfully stated, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9. Who can understand the human heart; and when I say the heart, I am referring, not to the emotions but to the intentions. Who can discern the intentions of the sinful human heart? The answer is clear – no one can discern or make sense of the desires of the human heart. We know this because every time there is massive destruction caused by man the people exhaust the question – why did this happen? And the reality is that we never come to a clear and coherent answer outside of the Scriptures. So, if the heart of man is desperately wicked as the Bible says and humanity proves it, how can we ever believe that we possess the power to change our own hearts. The Biblical reality is that people need Jesus to change their hearts. Study 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Thursday – Jesus gives us a new mission in life.
The apostle Peter wrote to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ in 1 Peter 2:9-10, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” Peter’s words indicate that in our unregenerate state, that is, in our mindset before knowing Jesus, we had a different mission in life. Our mission was about gratifying the unholy trinity – me, myself and I. This mission also included “making the world a better place”. But how can this happen if every person is principally and primarily seeking their own glory and gratification above everyone else’s? The truth is that it’s an impossible mission with sinful man. Nevertheless, God has called sinners into the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and it is in this salvation that we find a new purpose and a new mission in life. The foundation and power of this new mission is calling sinners to Jesus and teaching them all that Christ taught us (Matthew 28:18-20). Take in and meditate on the words of Jesus in John 20:21, Acts 1:6-8 and 2 Timothy 4:1-4.
Friday – Will you share Him with others?
How we live our lives and whether we share Christ with others says a lot about our belief and trust in Him. For this reason, we are called to stand firm in our relationship with Christ. As a testimony to an unbelieving world, we are to stand form in the truth and spiritual power of the word of God. Anything less is affirmation that we have relegated Jesus to a fair-weather savior or a sunny day Lord. God will use us to call people to His Son if we, His disciples, stand form in His gospel. For this reason, Jesus stated in John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide”. This is the believers call in life, to bear fruit of the gospel. This fruit is most glorifying to God when it is manifested in the salvation of souls. Will you answer the call? Take to heart 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11.