Are you a member of a church? Are you committed and active in your church? Do you have a close relationship with Jesus Christ?
Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation emphasize the fact that merely to be a church member offers no guarantee of a right relationship with Jesus Christ. Notice in Revelation 3:20 that the reference is to individuals, not to a group as a whole: "If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with Me."
When you invite Jesus Christ to come into your heart and life to be your Savior and Lord, confessing your sin and need for forgiveness, He answers your prayer. He enters your heart and life. Why?
One reason is so He can empower you. The Christian life is more than difficult; it is humanly impossible to live. Only Jesus Christ can live it through you as He dwells within you. he wants to think with your mind, express Himself through your emotions, and speak through your voice, though you may be unconscious of it.
But as worldly Christians examine their lives, they often find themselves filled with many areas of activity -- studies, finances, social life, home life, business, travel -- with no real purpose or meaning. The reason for this is that they are controlling these areas themselves instead of allowing Jesus Christ to control them.
There is a throne in each of our lives. Until Jesus Christ comes into our lives, our self, or ego, is on the throne. But when Jesus comes in, He wants to assume His place of authority on His throne. We must step down and relinquish the authority of our lives to Him. As you can see from the diagram below, when Christ becomes the controller of our lives, He becomes Lord of every activity, and that results in purpose and harmony.
Thus the Christian life is not a person trying to imitate Christ; rather, it is Christ imparting His life to and living His life through the person. The Christian life is not what you do for Him; it is what He does for and through you. The Christ-controlled life always produces the fruit of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23.
Note: Salvation differs from fellowship. Salvation is having our sins forgiven and receiving eternal life. Fellowship is our daily relationship, or communion, with Christ. Through sin we may often lose our fellowship in the same way a child loses fellowship with his father through disobedience. However, the child does not lose his relationship as a son, nor do we lose our relationship with God. He is still our heavenly Father. (See John 10:27-29)
When Jesus Christ lives within us, what can He do for us as we face the following problems?
Dear Father, I need you. I acknowledge that I have been directing my own life and that, as a result, I have sinned against You. I thank You for forgiving my sins through Christ's death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled in Ephesians 5:18, and as You promised in Your word that you would do if I ask in faith. I now thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Cru. All rights reserved.
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