“Memorial Day” is a US holiday commemorating people who have died while serving in the US military, usually in a time of war. Some people extend that to also say that the holiday is a day to honor our soldiers who they say have died protecting our nation and our freedoms. Today was “Memorial Day.”
But, the Lord was reminding me today, instead, of the necessity for us to honor the One and Only who gave his life up for us for our freedom, in truth, and that is Jesus Christ, our Lord and our Savior. Every day should be a day of remembrance of Him and of what he did for us, and a day to honor him for what he did for us in dying on a cross for our sins, so that we could be delivered from our slavery to sin and be set free to walk in God’s holiness.
Romans 12:1-2 NASB
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
So, how might we honor our Lord on a daily basis in remembrance of what he did for us in dying on that cross so that we might be free from the control of sin over our lives? And, free to walk in his holiness?
To honor him means to esteem, value, respect, reverence and worship him. And, how should we worship him? By giving ourselves wholly unto God, to live holy lives, pleasing unto him, free from conformity to the ways of this sinful world, via the renewing of our minds and our submission to our Lord.
And, the key word here is “Lord,” which means “owner-master.” If he is our owner-master, then we belong to him, and our lives are no longer our own to be lived how we want, but they are to be lived to God, to do what honors him and what brings him praise.
“So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:12-14 NASB
We are under obligation to our Lord (our owner-master) to do what pleases him, to no longer live in conformity to our flesh and to the world. Jesus didn’t free us to live however we want without guilt or remorse. He freed us that we might walk no longer according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For, it is we who are being led by the Spirit who are the children of God, not those who merely profess Christ as Savior of their lives.
There are many liars and deceivers, nonetheless, who would have you believe that you have no obligation to God whatsoever, that you owe him nothing, and that he requires nothing of you in the way of repentance, submission, obedience and honor, etc. But, that simply is not true.
And, they would also have you believe that those who teach holiness, repentance, obedience and submission to Christ are legalists who are teaching works-based salvation, and that we should not listen to them. They would also have you believe that those who teach such are also unloving, critical and unforgiving, and that they are religious extremists to be avoided.
But, scripture is the determining factor, not the words of people in their deceitful scheming. Scripture is what tells us what God requires or does not require of us. And, so the Word of God is what we must live by.
And, the Word teaches us that if we sow to the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction, but if we sow to the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life. The Word says that if we live according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live. It also says that if we make sin our practice, that we will not have the hope of eternal life with God in heaven.
[See: Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Jn. 1:5-9.]
The truth is that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. His grace, which brings salvation, instructs us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly (fleshly) passions (desires, lusts) and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s return. Our worship of God is not just singing songs of praise to God, but it is yielding our lives wholly to God for his will and for his good pleasure.
[See: 1 Pet. 2:24; Tit. 2:11-14; Rom. 12:1-2.]
Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, and take up his cross daily and follow him. To follow means to obey, to do what the Lord and his Word say we should do. This is not legalism. This is loyalty, devotion, reverence, respect, honor and worship, and it is our obligation. We owe it to our Lord to live for him in obedience to his will and his ways.
Jesus also said that if we hold on to our lives (of living for sin and self), that we will die, but if we lose our lives for his sake, i.e. if we die with him to sin and self, then we will gain eternal life. He made it real clear when he walked the face of this earth what it meant to be one of his followers. His sheep listen to his voice and they follow (obey) him. We must die with him to sin so that we might live with him to his righteousness and holiness.
[See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:12-14; Jn. 6:35-66; Jn. 10:27-30.]
Not of World
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world. We should be living holy lives, separate (unlike, different) from the world, because we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ Jesus, our Lord.
This means that we don’t adopt the ways of this world into our lives. We don’t live to please our flesh, but we live to please the Spirit of God. We don’t make sin our practice, but we practice righteousness, instead.
Again, this is not legalism, as some would have you to believe, but this is reverence, honor, respect, and worship of God, which is acceptable and pleasing to our Lord. And, we should show him this kind of honor every day of our lives, i.e. every day is a “Memorial Day” to honor our Lord Jesus who died for us and for our freedom from sin, that we might have eternal life with God in heaven.
Not Our Home
Jonathan and Emily Martin
We are making our exodus
Out of this world of sin and death
We are making our exodus
Into the life that he’s promised
Oh… this is not our home
Oh… we’re headed for the kingdom…
Monday, May 28, 2018, 7:16 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for these encouraging Words. May you bring them home to our hearts. Amen!