Many people attempt to develop a relationship with Jesus and are not able to completely enter into this intimate union with Him (Luke 13:23-24). This is because they seek this relationship for all the wrong reasons.
They want the benefits of the fulfilled Christian life, but they do not want to live up to the commitment. Joshua encouraged Israel to choose to serve the Lord, and that is actually what it takes to have this coveted relationship (Joshua 25:15).
God's grace provides the opportunity for salvation to every person ever born (Titus 2:11). He is not willing for anyone to perish in the flames of hell for eternity, but for everyone to come to Him in repentance (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:18).
We do not earn this stature, because it is a free gift; but it does require a choice to commit to the Lord in wholehearted dedication to His ways and His Word (Romans 5:15).
Satan will fight our choice at every turn. He is used to having us in his service and he wants us back. Therefore, spiritual battle is an ongoing event in the Christian's life (1 Timothy 6:12).
Our power of choice is still alive and well in the heart of every Believer. We make choices every day either to serve God, our flesh, the world or the devil.
Satan tempts us as he did Adam and Eve, to make choices from our self-motivated will, independently from God's will for our life (Genesis 2:1-17; Ephesians 2:10). To draw us away from God's best, he uses legitimate needs we have as human beings; but they end up being lies.
God will convict us; but it is up to us to choose to totally surrender our body, soul and spirit to Him; so that His Spirit can heal our body, sanctify our soul and regenerate our spirit.
Father God, remind us that conviction does not save us, it simply humbles us and brings us to the point of repentance. The good news is that Christ in us is greater than any influences outside of us (1 John 4:4). The more we understand our new identity in You as an authentic Believer, the more quickly we grow in spiritual maturity.
With maturity, we find it easier to choose to live in dependence on You for all of our needs. We realize that it is not necessary for us to sin in an attempt to meet our basic needs. When we hunger and thirst for Your righteousness (Matthew 5:6), You supply everything for us according to Your glorious riches (Philippians 4:19).
Thought for the Day:
Conversion only comes through a heart-felt commitment to follow Christ with our life; and it stirs us to read our Bible, to attend worship services, to attend Bible studies and to praise God in every moment through every circumstance - the good, the bad and the ugly.