For March 23, 2019
I am old enough to remember when if someone professed he or she was a Christian, having moral and spiritual soundness was implied and expected. The hearers of that particular faith declaration expected to witness Christ-like behavior from professors who emulated the Lord in their words and actions.
Unfortunately, moral and spiritual excellence is not the expected norm for Christian conduct. For there are those who profess to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior—yet their words and actions reveal they do not know Him at all. What a tragedy.
There is a difference between profession and possession. In other words, anyone can profess to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and yet not be possessed (i.e., inhabited and controlled) by the Lord.
The Lord is aware of the “profession vs possession gap” and makes the following observation:
You do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. John 10:26-30 (NIV)
Jesus realizes there are people who claim to know Him, and yet they don’t (nor do they have any desire to know Him).
The Bible presents a radical, fundamental difference between professors and possessors. Professors (or wicked) are those whose god is the self; they do not want or need the Lord (or anyone else for that matter). Both sin and Satan motivate these people to fulfill their life’s mission: “Get all I can each day with little or no consideration for God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible or the welfare of others.” To say it in other words: “It’s all about me!”
Possessors (or righteous) are vastly different. These people recognize their need for the Lord Jesus Christ and, by faith, ask Him to live and reign in their hearts and lives forever. They earnestly seek Him like the “Pearl of Great Price” presented in Matthew 13:45. When they receive Him, He satisfies every desire and meets every need completely.
In addition, the Holy Spirit transforms and inhabits them so that they will be the distinguishable “New Creatures” presented in 2 Corinthians 5:17. As such, they practice a Spirit-driven lifestyle, which reveals they are truly in Christ.
We Christians are those who will always seek to follow the Lord and abide in Him by doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly before the Lord daily as Micah 6:8 teaches. To say it in other words: “It’s all about the Lord—and others!”
In John 8:12, the Lord declares He is the Light of the World; His followers will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life instead. Later in John 15:5, He states He is the Vine, and we are His branches. If we abide in Him and He in us, we can produce much fruit, for without Him, we can do nothing.
As Christians, we possess the Lord—and He possesses us. Thus, we do not operate under our own feeble strength exclusively. Instead we utilize His free, Spirit-powered, internal resources that enable us to practice a Christ-honoring lifestyle, which contrasts the sinful conduct of those who celebrate pretense and iniquity around us.
To secure this eternal, amazing gift of God’s grace and love, Jesus performed a wonderful sacrifice on Calvary’s Cross on our behalf we were unwilling and incapable of performing for ourselves.
Are we perfect? Absolutely not! The Lord is, however, and He gives us all we need to live nobly for Him in our world today while supplying all we will ever need to live gloriously with Him in His Heaven later (in the company of all those who have gone before us in like manner).
As Proverbs 4:18 (NIV) reads: “The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” We can demonstrate an awesome Christian witness before those we encounter daily in our private and public lives—for His glory and the benefit of others and us.
We can be grateful to the Lord Jesus Christ for the everlasting life we have now, which we will one day understand and appreciate in its fullest measure.
What a wonderful Savior!