Faith, Family, Truth for Today

248 – What’s in it for Me?

Comments Off on 248 – What’s in it for Me? 01 February 2013

When someone asks you to do something, invest in something, support something, your first response is probably, “What’s in it for me?” We want to know the benefits before the commitment. There are, of course, benefits that accrue to a child from his or her parents. Parents will normally give precedence to their own child. God grants some benefits to His children as soon as we enter His family. These are things we need to know that flow from our relationship with Him. In John’s first letter in the Bible he often used the words “we know.” There are some benefits and some certainties that he was teaching that we need to know about. We will talk about that here.

When you become a child of God you will no longer habitually sin. You will not become sinless, but you will sin less. “No one who has become part of God’s family makes a practice of sinning” (1 Jn. 5:18 LB). After we become children of God by faith we have the power to overcome sin. We do that by ”trusting Christ to help [us]” 1 Jn. 5:4 LB). Again, you’ll notice that John does not say that we never sin again. We know from our own experiences that is not true. But, because of our new nature in Christ and His life in us, by faith, we can choose not to sin, and a child of God begins to do that more and more after being redeemed. We should not make a habit of sinning after we are in God’s family. The direction of our lives changes after we are born again. That is because we are Christ empowered!

When you become a child of God you will learn how to have victory over Satan. “For Christ, God’s Son, holds him securely, and the devil cannot get his hands on him” (1 Jn. 5:18 LB). In every temptation experience we either choose for Christ or for Satan. We do not have to lose the battle. Satan attacks us at our most vulnerable positions. But the death blow dealt by Christ to him when He was on the cross is our source of victory. We cannot excuse our sin by saying “The Devil made me do it.” Satan tempts but does not control the mind of a believer. We are kept by the power of Christ who has overcome him. We sin by choice not by some outside control. Satan cannot touch us without Christ’s permission.

When you become a child of God you will live in the realization that Satan and his influence are still around. “We know that we are children of God and that all the rest of the world around us is under Satan’s power and control” (1 Jn. 5:19 LB). Our enemy is still influencing the world around us. We don’t have to look far to see his mark. We have no reason to fall prey to him as others do. We have a heavenly Father who is all-powerful. We don’t have to lose to a defeated enemy. If we live by God’s teaching we will be looked upon as strange to a world corrupted in its thinking. Satan is the prince of the world, but he is not the Lord of the world. Yet, there are a lot of devotees of his in all spheres of our society. In government, in business, in churches, in homes, in offices, in schools, in institutions of all kinds there are evidences of the enemy at work. In those spheres there is an ignorance, or worse, a rejection of God and His power. Satan’s purpose has always been to dethrone God and enthrone himself. Nothing has changed about that.

When you become a child of God you will be led in a pathway that is clear. “And we know that Christ, God’s Son, has come to help us understand and find the true God. And now we are in God because we are in Jesus Christ his Son, who is the only true God; and he is eternal Life” (1 Jn. 5:20 LB). If you want to know God you have to do that through knowing Christ. He came to make God visible to us. It is by knowing Him that we know our Father in Heaven. When we trust Christ, we become uniquely joined to God. It is in Him and through Him that we are made alive and have the choice of victory over the world. Christ leads us to God and in Him we are led in our living in the world. And, then there is heaven afterward!

When you become a child of God you will be linked with God your Father forever. “And now we are in God because we are in Jesus Christ his Son, who is the only true God; and he is eternal Life” (1 Jn. 5:20 LB). Jesus is the real deal! He is not a counterfeit. He is the eternal God. He has made it possible for us to become children of God alongside Him. It is this simple: “But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust him to save them” (Jn. 1:12 LB). If you trust Christ you are a member of God’s family and all of these things are true of your life! God is in you and you are in Him forever! That’s what is in it for you!

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The painting in my logo is by an artist named Kelly O'Neill.

If you appreciate excellence in art and are captivated by works that grip your emotions and proclaim the remarkable truths of God’s Word, you will want to know more about the very compelling art piece that is part of my ministry logo.

Kelly O’Neill is a remarkable young artist who very masterfully depicts the compassion, grace, and redeeming love of Jesus Christ in her painting, “Redeemed.” No painting has so grabbed my emotions and stirred my gratitude to Christ for His redeeming love as this one. Technically unparalleled, inspired, heart-stirring, and mind captivating are words I used upon seeing it for the first time.

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