Friday, March 27, 2015

Transferred, not tweaked (March 27)

Have you ever taken a vacation where it seemed like the world slowed down, where the beauty of nature and the clean fresh air transformed you into a much better version of yourself? Returning back to the regular grind is a letdown as you try to hang onto the remnants of that glow. That’s a tiny glimpse, a sampling of what God does when we are saved. Jesus rescues us from darkness and transfers us, transports us to another existence, another world where power, joy, peace and wisdom are all around us. Huge problems can come, but we are nowhere close to that darkness anymore. Our weapons of warfare are supernatural and always effective, if used correctly. That’s the new birth.  It doesn't end like a vacation, but as we remain in His Kingdom, it just grows stronger for eternity.  

Now take a look at yourself, your beliefs, your emotional state, your perspective on the problems around you.  Plenty of self-labeled Christians are in the darkness but just tweaked their behavior, vocabulary and weekend activities thinking that’s all it takes to become born of God. They might be tweaked, but they're not transferred. They're not reborn into the Kingdom of “the Son He loves” — experiencing a new life inside while at the same time living in the same sinful world.

One big lie of the devil is that being saved is a bore, a heavy burden — no power, no miracles and no real freedom. Jesus said the way was hard and the road narrow, that there would be sacrifices and submission. We would have to serve a Master and die to ourselves. All of that is true and necessary to enter the Kingdom of God, but the unsurpassing joy of being in the Kingdom is worth every sacrifice. Jesus never promised a burden-free life, but He did promise rest for our souls when we take on His yoke.  

It may not feel like it, but it really is good news to discover that you aren't yet born of God.  That means that the tiresome mediocre Christianity you've been living is not the final product. There’s something far greater that you can look forward to, and you can begin to live in it now if you are willing to go all the way. Rebirth first requires death. Dwelling in the Kingdom of God and serving Him is what we were all created for. 

“For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”  (Ephesians 2:10 HCSB)

He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him. (Colossians 1:13-14 HCSB)

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