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What is a Christian?

Daily Thought

Your Word for 22 July 2024

Genesis 48:21
Then he said to Joseph, ‘Look, I am about to die, but God will be with you and bring you back to the land of your fathers.’

Are YOU a Christian?
“I was brought up in a Christian home.”  That doesn’t make YOU a Christian.
“My mother always went to church.”  That doesn’t make YOU a Christian.
“I believe in doing good and helping others.”  So do many who don’t have any time for Christ.  That doesn’t make YOU a Christian.
“I was baptised and confirmed.”  So are thousands who care little about Christ.  That doesn’t make YOU a Christian.
“I believe in God.” – So does the devil.  That doesn’t make YOU a Christian.  So many SAY and THINK they are Christians yet rarely bother about Christ.
Let us begin at the very beginning.
In the beginning when God made man, He made him good and perfect and sinless.  He wanted man to be His friend who would look after the earth. Everything that God made was perfect.
But, God did NOT make man a robot.  He gave him a precious gift of a free will to choose between good and bad.  He desires for man to love Him freely.
But, man chose to disobey God; he made the wrong choice.  He preferred to please himself rather than God.  He SINNED.  And so sin entered into the world.  It is a disease we all have, “for all have sinned”.  Romans 3:23
Sin is not only a matter of murder, stealing, robbery and adultery.  It includes far more.
I sin when I come short of the standard God has set before me (Romans3:23).  The pass mark for an exam is 50.  If you get 49 marks you have failed.  If someone else gets 5 marks he has failed.  It is no good you saying, “I did much better than the one who got 5”.  You have both failed.
50 = PASS
49 = FAIL
5 = FAIL
You may think you’re not so bad, better than most.  But that’s not the point, for not one of us has come anywhere near God’s perfect standard – Jesus Christ.  We can’t even reach to our own standards.  We may not have done anything specially wicked.  We simply are sinners because we are just not good enough.
I sin when I live for myself.  I sin when I say, ‘I’m my own boss, it’s my own life, I can do what I like with it.’ I sin when I refuse to put my trust in Jesus Christ.  (John 16:9)
Sin spoils! – Sin is like an ugly blot on a clean page.  Being selfish, lazy, thoughtless, telling lies and dirty stories ruin one’s character.  Sin destroys the happiness of a home or a friendship.
Sin spreads! – Sin is like weeds in a garden; if not rooted out, they will soon overrun it. Little acts of dishonesty and disobedience soon become habits we cannot break.
Sin separates! – Isaiah 59:1-2
Sin is like a thick cloud, which blots out the sun.  As a result God seems miles away.  God is pure and holy.  He hates sin.  He cannot and will not look at sin.  Sin blocks the way to HIM.
Sin cuts you off from God in this life and in the life to come.  Be quite clear about this; hell is a grim and dreadful reality for ALL who reject Jesus Christ in this life.
What are you going to do about it?
You cannot remove the barrier by yourself and you cannot save yourself, and neither can helping others nor doing good remove this barrier.
If sin results in us being cut off from God is there no hope for us?
Has God left us in our misery?
What is God’s answer?
God’s answer is the cross of His Son, where He proved and demonstrated His love for us, “in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us”. (Romans 5:8)
BUT, HOW did Christ’s death prove God’s love to us?  How did it remove the barrier of sin between God and us?
God’s character is like a coin with two sides: JUSTICE and LOVE.
His justice rightly condemns man, for sin must be punished.  His love makes Him long for man to become His friend again.  On the cross His justice and His love were perfectly satisfied.  Sin had to be punished, so God in His love sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die in our place, bearing the death penalty for our sins.  By dying for us, He removed the barrier of sin that separated us from God opening the way for us.
“There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin.  He only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in.”
Step 1:  Something to CONFESS.  1 John 1:9
You need to confess that you have sinned in the sight of God.  Be deeply sorry about your sins.  Hate it and be willing to turn from every thought, word, action and habit that you know is wrong.
Step 2:  Something to CHANGE.  Luke 13:3
“I tell you, Nay :  but except you repent, (do a right about turn) ye shall all likewise perish.”  Jesus changes lives that are willing to change.  Jesus said we must repent. Repentance means a complete turn-around.  It is a decision to start living a new life.  YOU must make this decision.  HE will help you see it through.  Will you take it now?
Step 3:  Something to BELIEVE.  11 Corinthians 5:15
“He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.”  True belief is total commitment to Jesus Christ.  It means to trust completely in what He has done for you.  “For HE (God the Father) hath made HIM (Jesus, the Son) TO BE SIN FOR US … that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”  (11 Corinthians 5:21) True belief is to place your entire life and eternal destiny into the hands of Jesus, who has already died on the cross, bearing all the guilt and penalty of your sin.
Step 4:             Something to DO.  Revelation 3:20.  Taking this step will give you the power to keep on living a changed life.
Ask Jesus Christ into your life to be your Lord to control you, your Saviour to cleanse you, your Friend to guide and be with you.  So many miss this last step and never come to know Jesus Christ.  No verse in the Bible makes this last step clearer than Revelation 3:20.  Jesus is speaking, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I WILL COME INTO HIM.”
Jesus waits outside the door of your life.  He will not force his way in.  He wants to be invited in.  The handle is on the inside; only you can open the door.  You become a true Christian when you open the door of your life to Jesus Christ.
CONSIDER  Matthew 10:38
Jesus never promised it would be easy to follow Him.  Except opposition, sneers and misunderstanding – for every part of your life, your friendship, work, family, time, money, all must come under His control
IF you want to make a decision right now, look for a quiet place, get down on your knees and earnestly pray this prayer
Dear Lord Jesus, I know I have sinned in my thoughts, words and actions.  There are so many good things I have not done. There are so many sinful things I have done.  I am sorry for my sins and turn from everything I know to be wrong. I know You gave Your life upon the cross for me.  Gratefully I give my life back to You. Now I ask you to come into my life.  Come in as my Saviour to cleanse me, come in as my Lord to control me come in as my Friend to be with me, and by Your grace, I will serve You all the remaining years of my life in complete obedience.


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