Turn your eyes upon jesus

Many of you are still healing from the trauma that institutionalized religion created in your lives. Maybe you just can’t read your Bible right now, or can’t listen to Christian music, or you must avoid your ex-church friends . . . Allow the Lord to lead you, guide you and HEAL you. He’ll bring you back to those things in His timing.

It took me around 12 years of growing in grace before I could really delight in Christian music again. It took that long to recover from the false “praise and worship” methodology that American non-denominational churches impose on their members.

TRUE praise and worship is to live a life of trusting in and resting in the finished work of Jesus Christ. And as He fellowships with us, He may actually speak to you through music! 

😃

He’s done this with me twice recently.

Last night, unable to sleep, feeling anxious and uptight, He suddenly spoke to me by “dropping” this song in my brain. It was exactly what I needed to hear!  He is such a wonderful friend. 

❤

O soul are you weary and troubled
No light in the darkness you see
There’s light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there
Over us sin no more hath dominion
For more than conquerors we are

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

Are christians supposed to “do what Jesus said”?

January 31, 2021

I recently read an online comment suggesting an “excellent grace teacher” (a YouTuber).  Yet after listening to several of this person’s videos I learned that she encourages Christians to keep the Law, to “do what Jesus said.”   She even went so far as to say that we believers are held to a higher standard than the Israelites; that in fact, we must, “be perfect therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

This illustrates a clear misunderstanding of WHERE to divide the Word of God.  She is incorrectly dividing the Old Covenant from the New Covenant.

Are Christians supposed to “do what Jesus said”?  When we rightly divide the Word of truth, the answer is clear:  no!

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15, KJV)

Why?  Because Jesus taught the Old Covenant.  The New Covenant went into effect at His death.

So, when Jesus said things like this (below), remember that He was trying to show the religious Israelites that they did NOT perfectly obey the Law of Moses, and therefore needed to come to the Messiah for salvation.

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’  But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brotherc will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” (Matthew 5:21,22, ESV)

We “rightly divide” the word of truth by understanding that the New Covenant begins with the book of Acts

Thus, we can finally relax when we read the four books of the gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — knowing that Jesus was NOT talking to us, or telling us what to do, or how to live.

Believers, we are living in the days of the the New Covenant.  Let’s live in freedom as recipients of the eternal inheritance! 😁

Therefore Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, now that He has died to redeem them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.(Hebrews 9:15, BSB)

God’s Righteousness

anonymous religious hasidim jews during pray near western wall
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

I was told once that Christians can be divided into three groups:  Modern-day Pharisees, Christian Eeyores, and lastly, the Grace Community.  And I was told that I was the modern-day Pharisee type.  A lot of you were as well.  You know, the really annoying, judgmental, legalistic type?

 

But, c’mon, unless you used to be an Ultra-Orthodox Jew, you were nothing like a Pharisee. Neither was I.

 

The Pharisees were hard-core religious zealots who devoted every minute of their lives to being righteous; they were sincere and serious. Their zeal was based on the Laws that God spoke to Moses.

 

“For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.” Romans 10:2

 

Not according to knowledge?

 

The apostle Paul goes on to explain in Romans 10 that their religious practices were “their own” attempts at righteousness, and had nothing to do with God’s.

 

Yes, God gave the Law to Moses, but He did not give it so that it would lead us to Him.  To a life of faith, of reality.  The Law was given to increase the knowledge of sin and to lead us to despair and to the feet of the Lord God. (Romans 5:20)

 

So, if you desire righteousness and holiness, your efforts at being ‘good’ will not succeed. The Bible is so clear.  Again and again we are told that, to be righteous in God’s eyes, you must have FAITH.  Before Jesus came, one had faith in God and the words He spoke to one’s heart.  After Jesus came, one puts their faith in the death, burial, and resurrection.  It is THAT that spells out the good news, the gospel; it is that that saves a soul from hell.

 

Paul calls the gospel “the word of faith.”  The gospel is “the word of faith” because it has to do with assenting to what God reveals to your heart, it is about saying yes, having faith, and telling God, “yes, I believe that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead.”

 

The Christian life is a life of faith.  “From faith to faith,” as it is written.  We are saved through faith by grace, and then we grow to know Jesus through faith by grace.

 

Faith is the noun form of the verb “to believe.”  Faith is about trusting God.  It’s about        believing Him. You trust Him for salvation and you continue to trust Him every day afterwards.

 

. . . yet with most of us, there was a slight detour into “works.”  For me, it was a 15 year detour.  Although we were not as serious and sincere as the Pharisees, we church addicts were still nonetheless trying to establish our own righteousness based on “law.”  Our lives were guided by rules and principles and standards (not by the Lord.)

 

But God brought me back to Himself.  He asked me to quit church, to give up my religious idols. To surrender my pride to Him. He asked me to stop TRYING to be righteous.

 

It’s great news because anyone can do this; the gospel applies to anyone and everyone!    God’s idea of righteousness is attainable.

 

We don’t have to be modern-day Pharisees to be righteous in God’s eyes.  I’m still blown away by that!  So, thanks for listening. 🙂

 

“Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Romans 10:4