I am going back in time, only this time instead of going back to another century, I am just going back to 2012. I feel like it is time for a refresher course on what we have learned so far on this journey towards freedom in Christ.
I need to revamp some old posts and bring them back to life because some of the best teachings I have found on this subject are buried right here on my little blog.
So, this is a fresh repeat of a post titled It Starts With The Heart. Now more than ever I believe that to be true.
The following text is from the Spirit Filled Life Student Bible, in a commentary on Matthew 5:17-28:
Jesus Christ taught a revolutionary concept about what it means to be pure and holy before God. The Pharisees based righteousness upon keeping up outward appearances, but Jesus demanded that His followers allow His Spirit to produce true inner holiness. In other words, Jesus said, ‘Quit faking it!’
Jesus used two illustrations of unforgiveness, anger, and sexual lust to show us that it is the purification of our inner attitudes as well as our outward behavior that He wants to change. The lesson here is that we may put on a “religious act” in front of our friends, parents, and church. But God knows what is really going on in our lives.
Jesus doesn’t condemn us, but rather frees us from the bondage of inner sins. Jesus knows that the sin in our inner lives will enslave us if we don’t deal with it. God’s purpose for us is freedom from the burden of sin so that joy and victory can characterize our lives.
I recently shared a testimony to encourage some younger women of faith in the trials of life they were struggling with. So many times we try to avoid the trials and the pain when sometimes we just need to let the trials do the work in us that God intends for them to do.
I can honestly say that even though I am battling huge giants in my present land, my life has never been better. You see it is as we struggle to overcome, that He gives us His life in exchange for ours, the more of Him, the less of me. And His life is the only one worth having.
You will see this quote by Oswald Chambers frequently around here:
If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all efforts of worth and excellence are difficult. The Christian life is gloriously difficult, but its difficulty does not make us faint and cave in—it stirs us up to overcome.