Why Do You Believe?

Proverbs 15:7-11 NASB

The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
But the hearts of fools are not so.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But He loves one who pursues righteousness.
Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way;
He who hates reproof will die.
Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord,
How much more the hearts of men!

What should faith in Jesus Christ look like? Do we believe in Jesus just so we can escape eternal punishment in hell, and just so we can secure heaven as our eternal destiny? Or, do we believe in Jesus just so our sins are forgiven us so we don’t have to feel guilty any longer when we do sin against God?

What’s the object, the purpose of our faith?

The object should be to unite us with our holy God so that we might have fellowship with him, and that we might be for his praise and glory. For, sin separates us from God, but God’s grace to us reunites us with God. For when Jesus died on that cross, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. He died that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15, 21).

So, the object of our faith is restored fellowship with God, and that we might be for his glory and praise. And, this is accomplished through dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness, all by God’s grace, and in his power and strength (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; Tit. 2:11-14).

For, our salvation from sin is not just a get-out-of-jail-free card. It is also not carte blanche to continue in sinful practices without guilt. And, it isn’t just to make us happy, either. It is for the glory and praise of God! It is that we might give him glory and praise by how we live our lives for him and not for ourselves.

For, He delights in righteousness, in holiness, in uprightness, in truth in our inner being, in holy prayers, and in faithfulness to him and to his will for our lives. He is pleased when we turn away from our sinful practices and when we follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands. And, we delight in Him and in his purity and holiness, and our desire is for Him to do his will.

So, this isn’t just about deliverance from addiction to sin and the promise of heaven when we die. This is about union with Almighty God in purity of devotion to him, desirous to please him in all that we do and say. This is about a relationship between God and man and woman.

But, if we decide to go our own way, and to keep following after the flesh, and our desire is not for him but to do what our sinful flesh craves, we will not have union with God, we won’t be in fellowship with him, we won’t be saved from our sins, and we won’t go to heaven when we die. But, we will die in our sins because we refused to die to our sins (Gal. 6:7-8).

Proverbs 15:19-21, 24-25 NASB

The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns,
But the path of the upright is a highway.
A wise son makes a father glad,
But a foolish man despises his mother.
Folly is joy to him who lacks sense,
But a man of understanding walks straight.
The path of life leads upward for the wise
That he may keep away from Sheol below.
The Lord will tear down the house of the proud,
But He will establish the boundary of the widow.

Jesus Christ didn’t save us from our sins so that we could sit back and relax, take life easy, and live for self-pleasure. He didn’t die that cruel death just to make life easier for us so that we wouldn’t feel guilty any more about sin. He saved us to transform us and to conform us to his likeness, and to make us holy vessels fit for his service, to do what he requires of us.

Too many Christians (or professing Christians) these days are taking God’s grace to us for granted, at least here in America. Too many see it as free license to continue in their sinful practices without guilt. Too many see it merely as an escape from punishment and a promise of heaven when we die. And, so they are lazy about their relationships with Jesus Christ.

Thus, many who call themselves followers of Christ are not really following Jesus at all. They are providing some religious service, which they think will be acceptable to God, but they are not surrendered to the Lord, and he is not Lord (owner-master) of their lives, for self is still on the throne.

So, they live foolishly, for self-pleasure, filling their minds and their time with the junk this world has to offer. So many are addicted to entertainment, too, as though we must all be entertained just as a matter of living life on this earth. So, they fill up their spare time with videos, movies, TV shows, games, sports, novels, secular music, trash talk on social media, and the like. And, then many of them say they don’t have time for God.

But, this is not how we are to live. We are to live for the glory and praise of God, not for our own glory and praise. We are to live for his purposes, according to his will, not according to our own purposes and will. We are to walk the straight and narrow, which leads to life, not the crooked and broad road that leads to destruction.

So, we need to understand here that how we live matters, not just for eternity, but for our relationship with God; with Jesus Christ. For, if it is our practice, i.e. the way we live, to spend our time mainly for ourselves and for our own pleasure while we neglect God, prayer, the study of his word, and obedience to his commands, then we are liars if we say we have fellowship with God. And, heaven is not our destiny, but hell is (1 Jn. 1:5-9).

Proverbs 15:28-29, 31-33 NASB

The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
The Lord is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.
He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof
Will dwell among the wise.
He who neglects discipline despises himself,
But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.
The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom,
And before honor comes humility.

If we truly believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of our lives it should drastically change how we live, how we think, and the things that we do. It should change our attitudes, too. It doesn’t mean we will be perfect or that we will never sin again, but how we now live should be a turnabout from walking in sin to now walking daily in Christ’s righteousness and holiness.

Our lives should now be given over to our Lord for his service. We should want to please him in all that we do and say. And, we shouldn’t be looking for loopholes in order to excuse away willful sinful practices. We shouldn’t fight against God’s Word or try to worm our way out of having to obey him. We should be so in love with Jesus that we want to do what pleases him.

So, we must humble ourselves before God in repentance and in submission to his will for our lives. And, we must follow Jesus Christ wherever he leads us. We must be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit, too, leading us in the way he would have us to go, and then do what he says. And, we must find ourselves delighting in our Lord and in his commandments, and in serving him with our lives because of the relationship we have with him.

We shouldn’t see obedience to our Lord as drudgery or as optional. But, we should love to walk in his love and grace in serving him in all ways in which he leads us. And, we also should not see our Lord as only a small part of our lives, but we should see him as our life, the totality of why we are here on this earth. For, this is what it means to fear the Lord, to give him the love, honor, value, respect and obedience which he so deserves.

So, we should see each day as an opportunity to serve him, to walk in his love, to listen to what he says, and then to obey him in doing what he directs us to do. And, we must be careful not to get so busy with other stuff that we neglect our Lord and that we shirk our callings and that we are so busy with self-pleasure that we fail to live for the praise and glory of God.

It’s All You

Lyrics by Tosin Iyawo Ogaga & Sue Love
Music by Sue Love @ Original Works
Vocals by Tosin Iyawo Ogaga

May 31, 2019

You are the reason I want to dance.
You are the reason I want to sing.
You are the reason, expressing myself,
I serve You in all the ways You lead me.

You are the reason my heart gives You praise.
You are the reason that I am alive.
I bring out Your best moves
Just so I do embrace You;
Sing out loud as You lead just to please You.

Let myself follow You. I don’t care who watches me.
All I want to do is to make You smile.

Let every fiber of me bring You praise.
Your love has lifted my feet to dance.
Your faithfulness leaves me singing for joy.
You, Jesus, are the reason, it’s all You.

Your grace gives me life.

*full lyrics used by permission of the lyricists

Tosin singing:

 

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