Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Getting out of the religious rut in 2012- some tips

Below is an extract which gives some tips for your journey into Grace and freedom in 2012.   It is only Jesus that can get us out of the bondage [religious rut] and fear.  One of my friends defines' rut' as a coffin with two open ends!  I like this definition.

Let 2012 be a special year of freedom... to get out of the religious coffin from the two open ends and be free indeed. 

Rejoice

Source : Why Grace Changes Everything by Chuck Smith

A Tragic Error

One of the most tragic errors the church can make is to emphasize the work that
believers  should  be  doing  for  God.  How  many  times  have  you  heard  heavy,
condemning sermons that tell you, "You ought to be praying more! You ought to
be giving more! You ought to be witnessing more, or reading your Bible more, or
serving God on some committee more!" How often do you go to church looking
for encouragement  only  to  hear  about  your  failure  and  how  disappointed  God
must be with you?


The last  thing  I  need  is  for  someone  to  lay  a heavy  burden  on  me  about  my
failures. I know I ought to be doing more. No one needs to tell me that I don't
pray enough or read my Bible enough or give to God enough. All I get from such
messages is a huge guilt complex. My frustration increases because I really want
to love God more, to pray more, to have a deeper fellowship with Him. When we
place our emphasis on areas of failure, we end up creating defeated, discouraged
Christians who give up and drop out of the race.


What  a  different  message  we  see  when  we  turn  to  the  New  Testament!  It
highlights not  what  we  ought  to  be  doing  for  God,  but  what  God  has  already
done  for  us.  What  we  can  do  for  God  can  never  be  enough.  Our  efforts  at
righteousness are always marred by our imperfections.  But what God has done
for  us  is  perfect,  beautiful,  complete,  and  fantastic.  How  sad  that  we  have
reversed  the  equation  and  constantly  harp  upon  our  responsibility  instead  of
God's wonderful grace! This is why we see so much of the church on the verge of
dying out.  We don't  need someone to  remind  us  of our failure  as much  as we
need someone to show us the way out of our predicament. We need grace, not
guilt.

Your One Duty 
God has given you but one simple responsibility: to believe in His promise. You

can enjoy the blessing of a relationship with God even though you may not pray
enough, or give enough, or sacrifice enough because of your faith in what God
has already done for you.


God made Jesus to be sin for you that you might be made the righteousness of
God through Him. Jesus imparts to you His righteousness when you simply place
your faith and trust in the work He has done for you. His work is all of grace.
Paul opened his letter to the Galatians with the salutation, "Grace be to you." He
closed it with, "Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Amen." His benediction takes on a rich depth of meaning in light of the letter's
sharp  focus  on  the  glorious  grace  of  God.  The  grace  of  Jesus,  not  the  law  of
Moses, was the Galatians' greatest need. To walk in the power of His Spirit, not
in the vain efforts of the flesh, was their calling.


How  did  the  Galatians respond?  We  are  not  told.  Perhaps  this  is  because  the
question  raised  in  Galatia  is  always  an  open  one.  Will  you  rely  on  your  own
righteousness, or will you trust in  God's gracious provision? Will you remain  in
the simple  message  of  salvation by  grace through  faith?  Or  will  you  add  your
own list of righteous  works to the finished work of Christ? Will you walk  in the
flesh or in the Spirit? Will you glory in the cross of Christ alone? Or will you seek
the approval and rewards of this world so that you may glory in your flesh?
These are issues that every believer in every generation eventually must wrestle
with. The answers you stand for will spell the difference between peace and fear,
pride and true humility, even spiritual life and death.


May you stand without wavering for the grace of Jesus  Christ. May  you not be
moved by the deceptive desire to please men. May you be so heavenly minded
that  you  are  of  the  greatest  earthly  good,  holding  out  the  word  of  life  in  an
increasingly dark and hopeless world. And may you glory this day in what Jesus
has done for you, and in that alone.

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