Ephesians 4:17 A Way Not To Live

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. Ephesians 4:17

The majority of the world lives in a way that is to please themselves in the moment. People have the mindset that if if feels good, looks good, or tastes good, then do it. It is all about in the moment of personal pleasure, regardless of the long-term outcome.

The world believes in a freedom that is actually a bondage. They are unable to think in any other way, other than of self.

Paul gets demanding in that he demands that the people no longer live like the Gentiles.

Although on the surface the thinking and ways of the world seem like freedom and good, they are in reality actions leading towards death and destruction. It denies the truth and authority of God.

With this mindset, there is no solid foundation of rules. The rules of the world change according to the feeling in the moment. What was wrong a while back, is now considered good.

There have been many in the church who have chosen to continue to live in this way, while claiming to believe in Jesus. They have chosen to continue to hold onto sinful acts and habits to please themselves.

Alternate lifestyles, abortions, drugs, abuse, sexual immorality and other actions are sadly common among believers as acceptable. Many have been deceived into thinking that living this way is really loving and accepted by God.

Every believer in Jesus is supposed to become a new creation. This means that his ways of thinking and acting are different. He is to longer think and live like the world. One is either living for God or he is living for self, there is no middle ground.

If you consider yourself a believer and follower of Jesus, you must leave the ways of the world behind you. Give up thinking and acting like the world.

Change your thoughts and actions to become like those of Jesus in everything you say and do. Live your life to please God for what He has done for you, not to please self or others.

Living as the world does will only bring God’s judgement of wrath upon you and death.

How are you thinking and living your life today?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will think and act like Jesus; that God will give you strength to reject the ways of the world; and that you will know how God wants you to live your life.

Romans 9:30-31 Pursue Righteousness By Faith, Not Law

What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Romans 9:30-31

People want to feel as if they can do the right thing all the time. They want to be known as a good person.

No one wants to be seen as a bad person, who is in the wrong. In order to combat the view of being bad, many will do good things to make themselves look good.

Paul points out that the gentiles had received righteousness by faith, not the law. The Israelites were unable to attain righteousness by following the law.

There are many believers who know the laws of God very well and push them on everyone. They stress that one must follow the laws of God to be a believer and be righteous and holy.

Following the law is man’s effort to look good before God. Once a person sins, he can never look good enough or be truly righteous before God.

The only way a person can become righteous and holy before God is by accepting what Jesus did on the cross. This acceptance is what faith does. It is faith in the works of Jesus, not self works.

However, this does not nullify the law. One must now pursue the law out of faith in Jesus. He must strive to be holy, not to gain righteousness, but because of what Jesus has already done. Jesus gives every believer in Him His righteousness and holiness.

Through faith one is made righteous, not through self work, following God’s law. Faith in Jesus must precede following the law. Following the law must always follow faith.

As you trust in and believe in the work of Jesus, you are saved. There is nothing more you can do to be saved more. This is faith in action. Once you are saved, you are given the righteousness of Jesus.

As a result of what He has done, pursue following God’s law and commands to you. Pursue the law out of love for what Jesus did for you, not in order to be righteous or better in God’s sight. Jesus has already done that work for you.

What is your reason for following God’s law? For righteousness or out of love?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have faith in the works of Jesus; that you will love God with your actions; and that you will trust in the righteousness of Jesus given to you.

Romans 11:11 Not Beyond Recovery

Road In the desert

Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgressions, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. Romans 11:11

Paul is telling about how the Israelites had fallen away from God. They had chosen to not follow God any more. This opened the door for God to provide salvation for all people, both the Israelites and Gentiles.

People who have done something extremely bad are often seen as beyond recovery. Many believe that there is no longer any hope for the person, because of how bad the action or actions were.

There was a time in America that when a person was convicted of certain felony crimes more than three times, he was no longer given any more chances. He would be put into prison for life or lose some other privilege for life. There was no longer any hope of recovery for the person.

There are many individuals that have been in the church and believed in God, that have fallen into the same belief. Some action has been done against God that caused the person to fall away from God. He turned his back on God and went the way of the world. Now he feels that there is no longer any hope, that God will not allow him to come back.

God does not work that way. He is a God full of love, grace and mercy. He wants to bring all people back to Him. Regardless of what was done in the past, God is right there, ready with open arms to welcome the person back into His family and relationship. God wants to save everyone, regardless of what he has done in the past.

You may be in a place where you have stepped away from God. You may feel as though there is no hope of recovery of your relationship with God. Although the sin may be great, God is greater.

Just as with the Israelites, there is still hope. If you have breath in your lungs, you can turn to God. God has made a way for you to recover from your sinful lifestyle. 

Be willing to seek forgiveness from Jesus, and He will give it to you. Turn from sin back to God, and receive the salvation that He has provided in Jesus. You are not beyond recovery.

I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus provides you; that you will seek the forgiveness from God; that you will build your relationship with God; and that you will be a witness of the salvation Jesus provides.

 

Romans 11:32 Bound To Disobedience For A Purpose

“For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.” Romans 11:32

Paul now has brought up some interesting points on disobedience. God had to have a perfect sacrifice in order to take away the sins of the people. Jesus was to be that perfect sacrifice. The Israelites had to disobey God in order for Jesus to be crucified on the cross. Their disobedience was the benefit to all Gentiles. Without Jesus dying on the cross, no Gentile could be saved.

Moving on to the Gentiles, Paul also states that they were bound to disobedience for the sake of the Israelites. God is able to show mercy to the Gentiles and bring them salvation through Jesus. Salvation is the very thing the Israelites were seeking from God in the Old and New Testament times. They are still seeking it to this day. When they start seeing God working in the lives of Gentiles, providing favor and salvation, it will stir their hearts to seek God more. It will create a jealousy that God is saving the “filthy” Gentiles instead of themselves. This will allow God to open their hearts to Jesus and receive the gift of salvation that He provides.

It is only by the mercy of God that anyone can be saved. It is not by any works that a person does. You cannot earn your salvation and it does not come by natural inheritance. It is only a gift of mercy from God.

The Israelites only saw salvation by earning it or by blood inheritance. Most only people see it the same way. Salvation is offered to everyone freely.

God bound everyone to disobedience because everyone has chosen to sin against Him since the time of Adam. God is using this disobedience to bring about His purpose. His goal is to save everyone, both Jew and Gentile.

Where do you see yourself in God’s plans for this world? Are you striving to live in obedience to Him?

Are you open to everyone having an opportunity to know Jesus and be saved by Him?

Are you telling everyone about what Jesus has done for them?

I pray today that you will know the mercy God has for you; that you will know the mercy God has for others; that you will know what Jesus has done for you and others; and that you will tell others about Jesus so He can show His mercy to them.