To begin with, I must tell that this week had been somehow filled with disappointments– most especially at school. To be honest, I just want this school year to end now (lol). But this verse has been really effective to me in overcoming my disappointment:
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
With this verse, I constantly remind myself of God’s promise and love for me, that He will always be with me in whatever situation I’ll be in. He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). All my disappointments immediately go away when I remind myself of the verse.
For 2017’s third week, here are my devo highlights:
God remembers our sin no more if we confess it to Him and repent.
“… Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be white as snow;
Though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.”
Repentance is the key. Repentance is acknowledging that we have sinned and then seeking for God’s help in turning away from sin and wicked ways. Most people have the thought that it is okay to sin after we confess them to God, because they say God will always be a forgiving God. That’s true, God will be forgiving, but only to those who repent and those who truly walk in obedience to Him. So aligning the thought that it’s okay to sin and God being forgiving will never be correct.
In Isaiah 1:18, God said that he will no longer remember our sin if we obey His commands. We might fall while we’re on the way to holiness, but He’ll always be there to pick us up. We should align ourselves to what pleases God. Because we are called to be holy just as He is holy.
Being spiritually clean comes after following Jesus, not the other way around.
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Many people today are afraid to come to Christ because they think that they are too bad to be saved, or they think that they’re are not yet ready. But that’s not why Jesus came into this world. I remember one time, our pastor said “if you’re gonna take a bath, do you need to be clean first before doing so?” The sentence itself may be confusing, but the thought is clear. To relate Jesus to that sentence, He is the water that would cleanse us from our sin and impurities, then after, we’ll be clean. We don’t need to be “ready” before we accept Him, because change would become gradual while on the process after accepting Him.
There’s never a works-plus-grace relationship with Him.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith– and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Martin Luther said: “A man could be saved by his faith and faith alone.” This is what people today misunderstand, especially here in our country. Some religions say that faith and good works are both the keys to salvation, but this same thought blinds the people to what the Bible says. It’s clear in the verse above that we are saved by faith alone. Good works are only the result of having real faith. It’s true that faith without works is dead (James 2:17), but in setting a “faithful person” without works as an example, the faith shown there isn’t genuine after all.
A proof that we are saved through faith alone is found in Luke 23:39-43. This is the story of the crucifixion of Jesus with the two criminals. The first criminal tested Jesus to save Himself since He is the Messiah, while the other feared Him even at the last moments and he knew that Jesus didn’t do something worthy of the punishment handed down to Him. The latter expressed His faith in Jesus with whole sincerity while at his own cross, and he was promised by Jesus that he will be with Him in paradise.
Have he had the chance to do good works? No.
How did he earn his salvation? Through faith.