The Call to Personal Reformation

I’ve heard many times the challenge to be a real Christian. Not just an I’ve-said-a-little-prayer ‘Christian’, but a true Christ-follower, who knows her Lord and Master, and strives to serve Him with a joyful heart.
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Our family recently attended a baptism at a local church to which we have several connections. But since then, I’ve promised myself to avoid that church like the plague, and here’s why: During a ‘message’, a lady gave this call to the congregation: “Don’t just be a good Anglican, saying and doing all the right things. We must be true followers of Christ.” This was hard to take, as many present we knew to be just that, “good Anglicans.” I don’t know what they were thinking as they sat there. But it didn’t seem to go very deep, because they all went to the kneeling rail for Communion.

Just saying a little prayer, or answering an altar call, or going to church
can’t make you a Christian. We were all dead in our sins, and only God can change that. And He does!

He has saved us, and we should rejoice in that. And we’re completely safe and dry. But we’ll never, in this life, be able to say “I’ve made it. Now that I belong to God, I do everything I can for Him.”  Well, you don’t, do you?

No matter who you are, where you live, or how old you are, there is always more work to be done. We don’t live our lives triumphantly, holding with uplifted arms the cup, the prize we’ve won. No. Instead, we press on toward the prize (Phil 4:13). There’s always more to be done. We can always be more humble. More obedient. More Christ-like. We can always be Reforming.

…He must increase…
…and I must decrease…

Obedience is Only Instant

tea towelsImagine your mum comes into your room, and says “Go hang out the washing”. Do you:
Say “Sure, Mum, I’d be glad to,” put a marker in to your book, and head to the laundry?
Say “Yes Mum,” finish your chapter, and go along out?
Say “Mmhmm”, read for 15 minutes, and then climb out the window and sneak round the house so she doesn’t see you?
Well, I’m sure you realize that only the first scenario is the right one. And it makes no difference who gave you the instruction, what it was, or what you were doing. If you don’t obey instantly, you’re not real obeying at all. And this doesn’t just apply to legal minors. This is true for all of us, no matter who we’re supposed to be obeying.
Imagine that your instructor instructs you, and then hangs round staring at you until the task has been carried out. It would be irritating in the extreme, but you would definitely get onto the job much sooner, and perhaps even do a better job, knowing that you were being watched.
I’ve just realized that God is always watching. He sees every time you sit around, slack, take too much break time, or carry out your chore with a sullen attitude or rebellious heart. God sees. And he cares.
Look up these verses, in context, to more fully understand this important truth. John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” Acts 5:32 “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Romans 2:8 “but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.” Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”

An instant response to the initial prompting of the Holy Spirit, or to the commands of another authority, is true self-control. Look up 2 Peter 1 and  Galatians 5:22-23 on the subject.

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 We don’t serve God because we have to. We are freed from Satan. Serving is our privilege, and it is our work of thankfulness to God for our freedom from slavery to Satan. Put aside your pride, and become an obedient servant of God, and all the authorities He’s placed over you. And do it with Joy!