John 20 Living Bible
8 Then I went in too, and saw, and believed that He had risen[d]— 9 for until then we hadn’t realized that the Scriptures said He would come to life again!
And I believe.
Today the message preached about how there is no effort in unbelief but much understanding and effort comes with BELIEF.
To believe in the living God takes effort, submission of pride, insight into good versus evil (sin), and an understanding of the Holy nature of God Almighty.
Yes, to believe in Jesus Christ and ask Him into our hearts creates change--a huge shift in what we see about ourselves and this world begins. And if we carefully tend it, it will grow and magnify in blessings beyond what this world has to offer.
But we must choose. We must choose to cultivate, tend, listen, read, learn, and put effort into the knowledge of who Christ is and how His power can be magnified through us.
Jesus is always the gentleman. He never pushes/forces us to do His will and become more Christ-like. And that my friends is why I didn't look, sound, or act very Christ-saved for many decades.
Because the true forever change (being one way and now I am another) come from tending the garden of our hearts and minds. The pruning of our words, thoughts, and actions only comes with EFFORT and time.
Our pastor pointed out that as Peter betrayed Jesus time, and then time again, and then the final time--he cursed! I always know how much I am tending the garden of my mind and heart by the level of curse words that I let slip through as well as other things like blooming jealousy or negative thoughts that I no longer want to entertain.
Our Jesus deserves more than simple acceptance of Him as our Redeemer--though if that is where you are right now embrace it! (But this is a call for you to embrace far more blessings than just salvation alone.) He deserves for me and you to sit with Him in the morning, to prune with Him during the day, and to put effort into knowing what words and deeds He wants from us.
Let's choose to put effort into tending the thoughts in our mind, the words that flow from our mouths, and the deeds that represent a heart submitted to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Let's choose to rise up each morning and renew our relationship and mind with His word and through prayer--let's write it down, speak it, believe it, and BE it. (Romans 12:2 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.)
Let's pray: Dear God, thank You for this day, thank You for Your loving sacrifice that brings us into a lifetime relationship with You.
Jesus we are in awe of You. We love that You made it so clear--You are the way, the only way to come into the holiest of holies to our Creator God Almighty.
Jesus please forgive us our sins, known and unknow, things done and left undone, and so uphold us by Your Spirit.
We lean not into our own understanding of this world but lean into Your word and Holy Spirit to guide us through day by day.
Please imprint Your Holy scripture upon our hearts and minds and help us to act in accordance with Your will and way.
We thank You Jesus that You are risen indeed.
In Jesus name, we pray, Amen.
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New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB) Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.
Living Bible (TLB) The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.