When they write a review about you

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One of the most effective and over-used ideas used to sell us products is this – “This will change your life!” Mostly we discount such claims knowing them to be the stuff of commercials. But … what about actual product reviews? When I read a review posted by a user that extols the value, quality, and/or usefulness of a product I pay attention. While shopping for an appliance online last week I scrolled through the reviews and soon was convinced that there was one brand that I would not buy.  Multiple users told about terrible follow-up service, about breakdowns in the first few months.  If only a few had posted negative comments, I might have dismissed them as cranks, but at least half of the hundreds of reviewers did not recommend that brand.

We say that Jesus changes our lives and knowing Him should make us a different kind of person. Is it hype or reality?

If your family or friends were writing a review of your faith, how would it read? Would readers conclude that the Gospel of Christ is what we say it is? It is a mistake to ‘sin and grin,’ to assume that Jesus’ gift of salvation will not begin to transform us.  Paul says it simply and clearly -“His grace to me was not without effect.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)

Run too far with that idea and you will most likely turn into a perfectionist, guilt-ridden about not ‘doing more’ for Jesus.  There is a part for us to play, some choices we make, that give the Spirit of God openings to accomplish His work in us, making us authentic Christians whose ‘walk’ matches our ‘talk.’  I believe strongly in the practice of spiritual disciplines – daily prayer and meditation, learning the Scripture by study and reading, confession, service, and generosity – to name a few.  When we do those things, God’s grace fills us and He does change us from the inside out.

To assume that all that will be done in us happens at the moment of faith and conversion is a mistaken idea.  Of course, I know and believe what the Bible says about Jesus’ work on our behalf. It is complete and we cannot add to salvation, a gift that comes to us through faith and by God’s grace. “Not of works so that no one can boast,” Ephesians says. However, we must work out the implications of knowing Jesus each day. We grow in grace. We grow in knowledge. There is a corresponding emergence of a new person that is being transformed into greater holiness.

If all that sounds like a grim duty, a terrible weight, I ask you to rethink it. Inviting the Spirit to be at work in us, cooperating with His forming of the character of Christ in us, allows us to experience the fullness of joy that Jesus promises to those who love Him.  Guilt is gone, replaced with assurance. Fear of the future is gone, replaced with anticipation of eternal life.  Feeling alone is replaced with a place in the Body of Christ.  Yes, Jesus’ grace is life-changing.

On this Monday morning, take a few moments to ask the Lord to work deeply in you, to capture your mind and paint a picture of the you that He desires. Tell Him you are willing to let go of those things that alienate you from His Presence, that you want to be someone in whom His love and goodness is consistently seen, for God’s glory.

Here is a word from the Word.  Read it, live it!  “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (Titus 2:11-14, NIV)
_____________

Build My Life

Worthy of ev’ry song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You

Jesus the name above ev’ry other name
Jesus the only one who could ever save
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
We live for You

Holy there is no one like You
There is none besides You
Open up my eyes in wonder and show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me

I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken

Brett Younker | Karl Martin | Kirby Elizabeth Kaple | Matt Redman | Pat Barrett
© 2016 Martin, Karl Andrew (Admin. by Arkyard Music Services Limited)
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