James, the half-brother of Jesus, did not believe in His deity during Jesus' lifetime. How sad that he wasted all of those years that he could have spent with our Messiah, learning from Him and benefiting from His wisdom and spirituality.
Human beings throughout history do this same thing. They rejected Jesus as Messiah until the last minutes of their life, missing all of the blessings they could have enjoyed by having an intimate relationship with Him from their youth.
Satan often interjects his lies in order to keep people from receiving Christ as Savior. Yet, if we submit to God and resist the devil, he has to flee from us (James 4:7).
Then, the gift of grace, which we receive at salvation washes away all of our sins (Ephesians 2:8). I thank God that He came to me when I was 18, and that He gave me the heart to follow Him ever since.
We do not earn salvation and we cannot improve upon it. With salvation there is no condemnation for anything we ever do (Romans 8:1). So why should we strive for holiness and perfection when a place in heaven is already guaranteed to us?
Grace does not give us permission to continue sinning. Although grace abounds in our soul, that is no reason for sin to flourish (Romans 6:1-2). The Bible holds a standard of holiness and perfection for every Believer who is washed in the blood of the Lamb (1 Peter 1:15; Revelation 7:14).
We sell ourselves short by believing that we cannot live up to this Biblical standard. As Christians we know that God’s Word is the absolute truth on which we base our life. We enter His rest and live according to His precepts without compromise.
Father God, through the power of God’s Spirit within us (Acts 1:8), we stand against the temptations of the flesh, the world and the deceitfulness of Satan’s wiles, which strive to draw us away from Your truth (James 1:13-16). The law of the Spirit of life sets us free from the law of sin and death that used to be the norm for our life (Romans 8:2).
Your freedom allows us to live in victory over sin every single day, and to live a purified life. Living in perfection is possible, because Christ lives within us and he is perfect (Matthew 5:48). Thank You for having this perfect plan for our life and for giving us Your Word to encourage us to abide in Your truth forever.
Thought for the Day:
When God's Spirit abides within us, His fruit allows us to walk in holiness all the days of our life; and He conforms our mind to the mind of Jesus.