Devotional—The Struggle of Sanctification—The Privilege of Boldly Approaching God
The State of Florida is known for its hot, scorching sun, never-ending rainy seasons, and powerful storms. But living on the Space Coast has brought a new definition to rain. At least three times a week, we have rain in the forecast that varies from a brief shower to torrential downpours.
Last week, we had a thunderstorm that roared until the windows in my home trembled. Although I am not afraid of thunder, fear gripped my heart. It was not because of the nonstop reverberating sound or the possibility of the windows shattering, the thought of Jesus’ Second Coming entered my mind. Was I ready? I wasn’t 100% sure that I would be one of the righteous who would receive the reward of eternal life. As I slowly opened the door to look up at the sky, only massive dark rain clouds were present.
It appears that many believers are in an ongoing dilemma concerning righteousness. Trending is the concept of once saved, always saved while others feel because of grace that we have to do nothing beyond believing in God. The knowledge of Jesus’ sacrifice allows us the opportunity to be saved, but the desire to have a relationship with Him is questionable. And most do not understand the purpose of the Holy Spirit. Studying the Bible is an option, scriptures have been redefined to indicate we are entitled to the wealth of prosperity, and finally, the belief that we can sing our way to heaven. So many false doctrines.
Despite the opposing views, the Scriptures prove whether we are faithfully serving God or not. There are many Christians who do not intentionally commit the grievous sins of sexual immorality, paganism, or hate others, yet, they do not exhibit godly fear [reverence] by living holy, nor do they strive to have a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” John 14:6.
Righteousness by Faith: Our relationship with Christ is based on faith. “The thought that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us, not because of any merit on our part, but as a free gift from God, is a precious thought.” Ellen White.
Definition of Imputed: We receive righteousness as a gift from Jesus Christ. “What is righteousness? … Righteousness is obedience to the law. Righteousness is right doing, and it is by our deeds that all will be judged. Righteousness is holiness, likeness to God, and God is love.” Ellen White
Our responsibility: Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
The questions I asked myself during the storm each of us should reflect on “What is the status of my relationship with Jesus Christ?” And “Am I abiding in Christ?”
God knows that we are in the struggle of our lives. Every day we fight a war against spiritual darkness and an internal battle against our carnal desires. Still, God never leaves us alone. The human effort of staying close to Jesus requires obedience, faith, and trust. We boldly pray for God’s Divine Intervention. The Holy Spirit carries our prayers to Jesus, our Intercessor. Our Heavenly Father loves us. Praise God that we have Divine help 24/7.
Prayer: God, we thank You for being approachable and caring for us. We desire to have a deeper relationship with Jesus. Thank You for hearing our prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.