A Shepherd's Heart
Statement of Faith
How to find us
Is "an open door" evidence of God's will?
ABANDON ALL HOPE?
Are you making God angry? Not wise.
Do you have an Absalom in your life?
What produces repentance that saves?
Subscribe to Devotional
March 2022 (2)
February 2022 (1)
January 2022 (1)
December 2021 (1)
November 2021 (1)
October 2021 (1)
February 2021 (1)
December 2020 (1)
May 2020 (1)
March 2019 (6)
October 2017 (1)
November 2016 (1)
June 2016 (1)
May 2016 (1)
February 2016 (1)
January 2016 (1)
July 2015 (1)
June 2015 (2)
May 2015 (1)
January 2015 (2)
November 2014 (2)
April 2014 (3)
January 2014 (2)
December 2012 (1)
February 2012 (1)
January 2012 (1)
December 2011 (1)
October 2011 (1)
July 2011 (1)
April 2011 (1)
March 2011 (1)
January 2011 (2)
December 2010 (1)
November 2010 (1)
October 2010 (1)
September 2010 (2)
August 2010 (1)
January 2010 (1)
October 2009 (1)
June 2009 (1)
April 2009 (1)
March 2009 (5)
February 2009 (2)
December 2008 (3)
November 2008 (1)
October 2008 (1)
September 2008 (1)
June 2008 (1)
May 2008 (4)
April 2008 (7)
March 2008 (14)
A Shepherd's Heart
Have I Lost My Savour?
by GBC Ministry
[I want to share with you a personal “conversation” I had with myself.]
While meditating on my life and Christian service, I was reminded of the following declaration of the Lord.
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (Matthew 5:13)
I was taken back with the thought that my “savour” might not be what the Lord desires, that I might be “good for nothing.” Could there be any worse condemnation of one who has been purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19), adopted into the family of God (Romans 8:14-15), and thereby made an equal heir of the glories of heaven with His dear Son (Romans 8:16-17)? “Good for nothing.”
Then I was reminded of the words of the apostle Paul:
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be [unapproved]?
(2 Corinthians 13:5)
Following only a few short reflections, I found myself asking with the Psalmist, “But
If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” (Psalms 130:3)
Nevertheless, I continued only to quickly confirm that I was in the same state as was the apostle Paul when he wrote to the saints in Rome:
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (Romans 7:21-24)
How discouraging. Oh, my sins are not of the sort that would bother most people. But the more I understand and experience the love of Christ, the more meager do my efforts to honor and glorify Him seem to be so very, very inadaquate. And the command to "redeem the time" (Ephesians 5:16)... so many cares of this life... too many wasted hours.
But wait! Paul knows the answer to his (and my) question. He knows how I can be delivered from my weaknesses, my infirmities, my sins:
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 7:25a)
YES! Just like the blessed apostle, I am a sinner. “But God commendeth his love [for me], in that, while [I was] yet [a sinner], Christ died for [me]” (Romans 5:8). So, also like Paul, I have been saved by grace so that I have “peace with God” (Romans 5:1) that can never be taken away.
Does this mean that I can willfully sin without consequences? “God forbid. How shall [I], [who am] dead to sin [by faith in Christ], live any longer therein” (Romans 6:2)? While I have everlasting assurance, a salvation which can never be lost (John 6:37-40), i.e., “peace
God,” I can lose the peace
God through willful sin. Complacency, neglect, unthankfulness, unfaithfulness, any sin can abort the Lord’s blessings in my life, cut off communication with my Savior, ruin my “savour.” For I know that
…the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But [my] iniquities [can separate] between [me and my] God, and [my] sins [can hide]
face from [me], [so] that he will not hear [my prayers].
Then the words of the apostle John entered my mind:
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (1 John 3:1-3)
I am no longer under the bondage of sin. I am not its servant. I am a son of God. And as His son, I have a responsibility to keep myself pure, free from known, willful sin, for His sake.
The grace of God is not a license to sin. Rather, it is freedom to NOT sin. But, since I am human and still have the “old man” present in me, should I sin I “have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1), who loves me, understands my weakness, and invites me to “come boldly unto the throne of grace [to] obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16). And if I will sincerely repent and confess my sin to my Lord (whatever it may be), not only will He fully and forever forgive me, but (here’s the really good part) He will “cleanse [me] from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9-10). I can have victory over sin. I can learn and live as demanded by the grace of God.
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:11-14)
I was not saved by my works (though true salvation produces godly works), nor do I maintain my salvation by my works. I serve God because “the love of Christ [constrains me]; because [I believe] that… he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
My victory is that God “hath made him [who knew no sin]
sin for [me]; that [I] might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). His grace secures the victory for me, and His love empowers me to enjoy it. My “savour,” the only thing of value I have for the world, is the beauty of His holiness working itself out in me.
Hallelujah! What a Savior! I have not lost my savour, for “[His] grace is sufficient for [me]: for [His] strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9a). Sin never glories the Lord, but gaining the victory over it (not continuing in it, nor condoning it) does.
Thank you Lord not only for allowing me to serve you despite my many weaknesses and shortcomings, but for providing grace for me to gain the victory over them and, thereby, bring glory to your precious name, and the savour of a redeemed and transformed life to the world around me.
to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:57-58)
Grace Bible Church :-: (217) 200-2232 :-: 3900 N Willow Rd Urbana, P.O. Box 303, IL 61803 :-: pastor (at) gbcurbana.com