Tag Archive | reconciled

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #5

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Reward #5 – Consider the Conviction

One of our responsibilities as Christians is to change our old ways and obey the Holy Spirit’s leading as He empowers us to become more Christ-like. This process is called sanctification. To be sanctified means to be holy, or set apart. Though we live in the world, we are strangers to it. We should act differently than our non-Christian friends do.

Through the work of Christ on the cross, we have been consecrated and made righteous in Him. Our old sinful ways have died with Christ, and now we can lead a new life of righteousness in the resurrected Christ. As Christians, we should appear different to the world. We are made righteous in Christ, and we should choose to live accordingly, so the world may know we belong to God.

Being a new creation is achieved, in part, when the Holy Spirit convicts us of a sin and encourages us to repent and change our ways. When we live as Jesus Christ did, it pleases God, and it provides a witness to a watching world. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Our sin separates us from God because He hides His face from wickedness. He sent His own Son, Jesus, to be our sacrificial lamb. Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, so we could be reconciled to God. Jesus made us righteous and holy so we could enjoy a relationship with the righteous and holy God. Now He desires that we would set ourselves apart from the world. He wants us to lead lives that stand out from the way the rest of the world operates. He doesn’t expect us to do this on our own, in our own power. He gives us the Holy Spirit, who convicts us of our sin and holds us to a life of righteousness.

In His saving grace, God gives believers a spiritual conscience—the Holy Spirit—who helps us discern right from wrong in His eyes. He convicts us of sin and empowers us to overcome the flesh and change our ways. “But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:17). We are directed to submit our spirit to the leading of God’s Spirit within us.

In order to lead a God-pleasing life, we must read His Word to know what He expects of us. The Bible is very clear on what is sinful and what is righteous in God’s eyes. When we obey Him and yield ourselves to the leading of His Spirit, He recalibrates our moral conscience to recognize sin, and then He helps us steer clear of it. When we do sin, He convicts us.

The Spirit encourages us to make choices that will please God. He reminds us of what we know from God’s written Word, convicts us of our sin, and empowers us to live a life of righteousness. In order to be led by the Holy Spirit, we must tune our ears to the living God inside us. As Jesus said before His death,

“But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” (John 16:7-11, emphasis mine)

Jesus provided the way to reconciliation with God, and then He provided the way to live a consecrated life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus reunited us with God and gave us access to His power, so we may lead a life set apart for Him. It’s up to us to choose. We can lead a life of sin in the flesh or righteousness in the Spirit. If we choose righteousness, you can be sure the Spirit convicts us when we sin.

It’s important to understand the difference between conviction and condemnation. The Holy Spirit convicts us we are guilty of sin so we can confess it, ask God for His forgiveness, and turn from our sinful ways. In contrast, the devil condemns us and causes us to wallow in guilt and shame. The Holy Spirit says, “You did a bad thing,” while our enemy Satan says, “You are a bad person.”  The Holy Spirit encourages or prompts us to confess our sin; Satan accuses our person, attacks our identity, demeans our self-worth, blames us, and charges us for our sin.

When we make a conscious effort to listen to the Spirit of God within us, we hold the keys to life and peace. We must allow our minds to be controlled by Him. Paul says we are obligated to be led by the Spirit. Does Satan continue to hold you in bondage and defeat? Or does God’s Spirit guide you into freedom, victory, and peace? When we obey Him and submit ourselves to His leadership, we will experience life and peace. Consider the conviction of the Holy Spirit when you are reminded of your sin and prompted to repent.

Regularly tuning in to the voice of God, the Holy Spirit within, accomplishes a giant step in the process of sanctification. If we are going to become more like Christ, we must not only listen to the voice of God, we must obey it. When you feel the Spirit prompting you to do or not do something, don’t ignore Him. When you feel a tug on your heart to carry out an assignment from God, no matter how big or small, be quick to comply. When you know the Spirit of God has spoken instructions to you, act upon them as soon as possible.

When a human spirit yields to the control of the Holy Spirit, the result is life and peace. Choose to live in the Spirit and be at peace with God. Listen to His voice, and consider the conviction. Is there a sin you need to confess or turn from? What is the Holy Spirit asking you to do or not do? What behavior do you need to change? What action have you been prompted to take? Perhaps it’s the other type of conviction–to be a witness for Jesus Christ.

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Are You Ready?

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7).

Planning a wedding ceremony and reception is a monumental task. The bride and groom spend months scheduling, organizing, and formulating all the details—the attendants, the pastor, the church, the reception venue, the DJ, the photographer, the wedding music, the colors, the decorations, the meal, and so on.

A year in advance, the bride shops for the wedding dress of her dreams. Next, it’s the veil, shoes, jewelry, and lingerie. Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

As the big day draws near, the bride begins to prepare herself personally. She tans her body, so her skin tone makes that beautiful dress come alive. She cuts and colors or highlights her hair the week before so it’s at that perfect stage on the day of. She enjoys a manicure and pedicure the day before with her bridal party. A “run through” of the wedding ceremony is practiced that evening so the attendants know what’s expected of them, and the wedding affair will be executed perfectly the next day. The groom’s parents host a rehearsal dinner, where the bride and groom relay their gratitude for the presence and support of their close family and friends who participate in the wedding.

Finally, the special day arrives. The exciting event the bride and groom so carefully planned comes to a culmination. The bride wakes up early and starts her day with a warm, relaxing shower or a soak in the tub. Her nerves surge and her mind races going over all the details of the day. The entire day is devoted to preparing herself for her groom. A professional artist styles her hair and applies her makeup with great perfection. At her side, her attendants help her get ready, physically and emotionally. The bride’s mother holds her daughter’s dress as she steps into it. The groom’s mother assists her with her veil. The maid of honor fastens a necklace around the bride’s neck. At last, she is ready to join the bridegroom for the long-awaited wedding—a union of their hearts, minds, and bodies. The two shall become one.   *******

Are we as diligent about getting ourselves ready for our Bridegroom? Do we spend months and years preparing for our marriage to the Lamb? Will we be ready when that special day arrives?

When we accept that Jesus Christ died for our sins, believe that God raised Him from the dead, and confess Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we become a child of the King. He washes us whiter than snow and clothes us in His righteousness, so that we may be reconciled to God. Then, He sends His Holy Spirit, our Best Man, to make ready our spirits. He dwells in us and prepares us for the day we will meet our Bridegroom. This begins our sanctification process where the Spirit counsels us, encourages us, teaches us, and guides us to become more Christ-like.

It is such a blessing that Jesus receives us just as we are. We need no special hairstyles or manicures to prepare ourselves for Him. We don’t have to shed bad habits and sinful behavior before coming to Christ. By His amazing grace, Bride getting readyHe accepts us in whatever condition we approach Him. And then, He begins His transforming work in us, making us a new creation in Christ. The old fades away, the new life is here. Rejoice and be glad. Give Him all the glory!Sindy-Bride001

Becoming more like Jesus is the “getting ready” process. We need to get to know God better by reading His Word daily, allowing the Scriptures to permeate our hearts and minds. Tuning in to the voice of the Holy Spirit within us is vital in developing a mind and heart like Christ. We need to make time to walk in close relationship with Jesus by talking to Him, listening to Him, and obeying Him. Loving and serving others, by laying down our lives for our friends, will provide opportunities to share with them the goodness of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. These efforts describe some of our preparation work for our special event. This life is our rehearsal to get us ready for the big day when we will meet our Bridegroom, become united in marriage, and live happily ever after in eternity with Him.

Are you ready for your Bridegroom? How will you prepare for your big day—the wedding of the Lamb?