Through this season of Easter preparation, I’ve seen many people demonstrating their love for Jesus and God our Father, in many different ways.
In the past, I have fasted during Lent, abstained from meat during Lent, and have denied myself sugar and other things I like very much during Lent, as a way to ‘suffer’ for Christ.
We don’t have to do that because every day we Christians suffer in some manner. I spoke to a lady one day who said she feels alone and unloved. I told her she is not alone, the Lord dwells within her and loves her and so do we, but we all feel that way, sometimes. But that’s a part of our suffering and persecution, just for being a Christian.
Jesus said “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” John 15:18
And He also said “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.” Luke 6:22
I’m just ‘gonna say that we have to step into the life of a Christian and “put on Christ”, as it is written in Galatians 3:27, in the same manner as I watched a lady step into her role of choir director. I listened to her reaction when she was first appointed, and she was not sure of herself as being capable. “Why me”? she said. “Why don’t you do it?” she said. But the night of our first rehearsal when we were packing up to go home she said “Thank you all for coming” and literally caught herself thanking us. You see, that meant she had stepped into the role. She had accepted it and was walking in it.
That’s what we have to do as Christians. Our lives change dramatically. I look at myself all the time, and sometimes compare myself to the way I used to be... and I’m still changing day by day. I’m still saying the wrong things sometimes, and still reacting wrong sometimes, but at least now I’m catching myself, or I should say the Holy Spirit is showing me immediately when I do something wrong and I feel badly about it and apologize immediately, instead of waiting years to apologize, or never doing it at all.
We have to “put on Christ.” I know I’ve been studying Hebrews, and it’s so good! But we have to move around in the bible you know, like we’re floating on a raft, letting God move us through His Living Waters! Yes He does, if we let Him. We have to float, and quit trying to paddle against the current or wind, letting the Lord lead us. Be reading Hebrews 7 though, and we’ll get back to it again. It’s great, because it explains a lot about tithing (giving our ten percent!).
Look at this in Galatians chapter 3: “1 Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. 2 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. 3 How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? 4 Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?
5 I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.
6 In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” 7 The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God.” Galatians 3:1-7 New Living Translation
Did you see that?!! “The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God.”
That’s us! Hallelujah! Can you get excited about that? Those of you who have allowed the enemy to cause you to stumble because you don’t think you’re a Jew, or of Abraham’s seed, look at this and rejoice! Those of us who believe in Christ Jesus and put our faith in God are the real children of Abraham, who also receive all the promises God gave to him.
Please read on: “8 What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.” Galatians 3:8-9
My note: Did you see that?!! Are you excited yet?
“10 But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.” 11 So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” 12 This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.”
13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.” Galatians 3:10-14 NLT
Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Praise Him all creatures here below! Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost! Amen!