The Selfish Life? Or Jesus?
A follower is made for God’s calling.
I answered, 'Why should someone like me have to run and hide in the temple to save my life? I won’t go!'
Nehemiah was a leader who did not let pressure, apathy, ridicule or opposition stop him. He knew what to do and how to do it. Most of all, he knew his identity: a chosen and beloved servant of the most High God.
Here are three ways God can give you the same identity:
1. God makes sure you can relate to sinners
Sometimes new believers are surprised to find that their old nature is not gone. You’ll always need God’s grace. Without Christ as your center, you can do nothing. (John 15:1-5) Colossians 2:6 says "As you have put your trust in Christ Jesus the Lord to save you from the punishment of sin, now let Him lead you in every step." If you have nothing you did not receive, (1 Corinthians 4:7), and nothing to hide, (Proverbs 28:13) judgmentalism and hypocrisy make no sense.
2. God means for you to make His mission your own
Hebrews 2:10 says that God "…chose to bring many children into glory.” In chapter 12, we are told how to follow Him: "…by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross…" (Hebrews 12:2) For Jesus, the joy was anticipating you with Him in glory! Soon, heaven will be your home! But while we’re still on earth, will you be “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19) to those who have never heard His name?
3. God gives you a new nature
Last week's devotion described turning away from a selfish life. Once you put all your hope in Jesus, many great things happen to you: Christ comes into your life, (Revelation 3:20), you become God’s child, (John 1:12) and receive the Holy Spirit, (Romans 8:15). All your sins are forgiven, (Colossians 1:14) and you have the gift of eternal life! (1 John 5:11) You go from being a child of wrath (Ephesians 2:3) to a worker alongside God Himself! (1 Corinthians 3:9) God even approves you to represent Him to the world: "So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, 'Come back to God!'" (2 Corinthians 5:20) Like Nehemiah, you are a servant of the Most High God!
Pray this week:
Father, teach me what it means to represent you to the world.
What does it mean to live your life in a way that is fitting for the gospel? (Philippians 1:27)