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Let's Work It Out - A Devotion

Let's Work It Out
Let's Work It Out
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John 14:11-13 (NKJV)
“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

The hearts and minds of God’s People are captivated by His Grace. In fact, the profound revelation of God’s Love and Mercy for His People allows us to come to the Lord just as we are and by faith there is salvation. I believe this. There is no question that mankind embraces the personality of Jesus Christ as Savior. The struggle with faithfulness to God through Jesus Christ is not in this aspect of His Divine Character but rather His Lordship. We give our sin to Jesus but faith to submit our life. The Nation of Islam is a highly successful religion not because of the Power of Allah but rather the faithfulness of its people to their god. Their faith is demonstrated by their works no matter how heinous some acts may be. These men and women are engaged in a holy war from a heart that is completely surrendered to what they believe which has made them quite successful. What if the modern day church would move past salvation to embrace surrender to their God in the same capacity and choose to serve Jesus Christ as our Lord? Would it change the position of the church today? I think it would. The Body of Christ has all the power and authority that was given when Christ ascended into Heaven. The Light of the World still burns in the heart of mankind. Miracles, signs and wonders are still possible. Anything is possible for those who believe but do they believe it enough to do something about it. God has been kicked out of our government, schools, society and homes. Christians are embarrassed to practice Christianity in their daily life a victim of cultural persecution. Jesus Christ gave us the Holy Spirit. The same spirit that lived in the Lord is now living in us. Why do we remain powerless? We choose to hide in this world although we are not of this world. Keeping our faith in God a secret more closely guarded than any other skeleton in the closet. Well, today I am calling those dry bones to life in the Name of Jesus.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also.” Where is the Power of God that Jesus promised the church for today? They are locked away in the hearts of His People. Who has the potential to do the Works of God? Every single person who has faith in Jesus Christ calling Him Savior AND Lord. What’s the difference? Those who call Him Savior bring all their sin, shortcomings and failures laying them at the foot of the Cross. Many will join you there. But those who truly want to be Children of God living in His Power and doing His Works will exchange these things for righteousness working it through their life making Jesus Christ the Lord of them. Not only that, but Jesus told the men that those who do this will do “greater works than these will He do because I go to the Father.” This is the key to successful servanthood in Jesus Christ. It is not enough to proclaim faith in Christ. We must live what we believe. It is time to work it out.

John 6:28-29 (NKJV)
Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

I want to do God’s Work. How do I do it? Believe. The greatest thing that I will ever do for my God is believe in Him. Maybe you are thinking today, I believe in God. Those who truly believe in God do the works of God. It is part of covenant with Jesus Christ. If your belief has no impact on how you act, what you do, how you think or what you say – then it is time to reevaluate what you really believe. Do you have faith in Jesus Christ? Can others tell that you belong to Him and are following Him if you do not tell them? Our deep dedication and abiding commitment to Christ is not something we do but rather how we live every day without exception. Our beliefs mold and shape our practices in our life and define how we live. If our faith in the Lord does nothing to change our attitude and actions than it is not the product of true belief and we are dangerously close to missing out on a great reward reserved for the Sons and Daughters of the Most High God. Salvation should change the way that we live. It should temper every word that we speak. It should influence every single thing that we do without exception. This is the Will of God for our life to live what we believe.

Psalm 33:14-15 (NKJV)
From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

The Lord considers “all” our works. Everything single thing we do is under close consideration by God the Father and Jesus the Son. The Holy Spirit living in us is guiding and directing us to do the Will of God. What about His Grace? It is for all those times that we do not consider our works in agreement with faith and trust in God through our belief in Christ. Casual Christianity has infected the church today painting a very weak and liberal picture of God. It has wiped up every “unsightly” drop of blood and will not even whisper the brutality of the Cross not to offend our finer sensibilities. The grace card is thrown every time we are inconvenienced or called to endure. Freedom is used to continue willful sin and disobedience against God only to come and get cleaned up on Sunday for another week of wicked rebellion against Him. The Glory of God is gone. The Works that He promised elusive in the midst of disbelief and ignorance of faith. We do not trust the Lord because we have forgotten His Lordship. We must decide today that we will work out our salvation with fear and trembling before our God. We must come back to the heart of worship that reminds us that it is all about Jesus not about me. Why? God considers all our works no matter what anyone else has told you about Him. He is not looking to punish our shortcomings and misgivings because the Blood of Jesus was enough. He wants to bless us with His Power and Promises. We must now consider all our works to have such potential in our life again.

James 2:17-24 (NKJV)
Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

We can all learn something from radical religions like the Islam. Oh, don’t be offended. Listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Body of Christ today. These people uncompromisingly and unapologetically live what they believe. Their faith may be misplaced but there is definitely convincing power in their actions. They live what they believe even unto the death. What if Christians felt the same way about Jesus Christ? Faith without works is dead. If you have faith but it doesn’t change the way that we live it is useless. We can do many good things without faith in God but when we do good things because of our faith in God there is power. To believe in God is not enough. We must have absolute faith and total trust in Jesus Christ which goes well beyond lip service to action. What we do justifies our faith demonstrating true belief. There were some men who were casting out demons in the Name of Jesus who were not presently following Jesus Christ but obviously had faith in His Name. The disciples wanted to stop them. But Jesus pointed to them as true examples of faith. They were honoring the Name of Jesus by what they were doing which would lead them closer to Him. (Mark 9:38-41) The more we do to “work” out our salvation the more confident that we will become in the One who we have faith in. His Glory will fill our life as miracles, signs and wonders begin to happen just because we believe in the Power of His Name. It is that basic. We must believe.

Proverbs 16:3 (NKJV) Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established.

Today, I am once again going to attempt to commit all my works to the Lord. His Word will establish my thoughts when I choose to meditate on them regularly. Now I must apply what I know to my life. The struggle is real. The world is filled with people who are the vessels that the enemy uses to interrupt us. We must be focused on faith that minute our feet hit the floor until our eyes close in sleep to be successful. Why? I want the Glory of God in my life. I want to have real faith and credible hope that will endure to the end so that I will be saved. It matters how I live. The Lord has made this quite clear. Work for the Lord today and not man. Committing our life to Jesus Christ making Him Lord of our life is essential to our salvation. Not my words but His Word for our heart and mind today.

Psalm 15:1-2 (NKJV)
LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart…

Abraham was considered a friend of God not only because of His Faith but His Righteousness, too. Our faith should produce righteousness or a deep desire to remain in right standing with God the Father which is always the avoidance of sin. Surrendering our life to the Lord is not forfeiture of freedom but acceptance of a new life. By doing so, we accept the Power of God and His Glory as a benefit and blessing in our everyday existence. This reserved for those who truly believe. A perverse and divided heart cannot live in His Presence. You cannot believe one way and live another. (Psalm 101:4-7) The Lord will guard you and protect you from all wickedness if you submit your life to Him every day beginning with your attitude and actions. He will put a covering over our mouth so we can consider each word. (Psalm 141:3-4) This would be a great place to start for some of us (typed with my finger pointing at me). I want God to work out my life for His Good and Glory. I want miracles, signs and wonders to show others that He is real and relevant today. This will happen if I choose to live what I believe starting today in this moment and throughout every single minute of the rest of my life.

Philippians 2:12-13 (NKJV)
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.