Reading through the accounts within the Bible, it is easy to see that we are no different from the people throughout history. We are often caught up in the excitement of whatever everyone else is shouting about. This can lead to following other ideas and beliefs that distract from the one true gospel. We asked Micah to share his thoughts this week on why we continue to make the same mistakes from one age to the next and what we should really be doing.
Question of the week: If God has gone to such measures to set us free, why do you think anyone would live more out of fear of His judgement than in celebration of His mercy? Which of the two do you think God would rather see in our lives: fear or celebration? Why?
Celebration by Micah Rains
Man has a natural tendency to seek the approval of others. We seek the approval of peers, religious leaders, supervisors, and the approval of God. Instead of celebrating the work of Christ in our life, we return to our instinctive process of working to obtain a good report. The reason for this is due to fear of rejection, failure, and punishment.
Christ has freed us from the anxiety, stress, and work of the law. However, many Christians live in a state where they are controlled by the law or good works because they are afraid they are going to fail God. Due to a sin nature, man is always going to come up short and fail a holy and just Creator. The issue is when we become obsessed with fear of the judgment of God instead of the freedom of living in Him. Galatians 1:16 says that we cannot be justified by the works of the law and can only be declared righteous by the work of Christ in us.
So then how do we live for Christ without fear, anxiety, or guilt? We live for him by celebrating what he has done in our lives. Anything outside of celebration becomes a works based salvation. Christ did a work for us on the cross that the law, baptism, and even Southern Baptist traditions cannot accomplish. In Ephesians 2:8-9, the Apostle Paul writes and tells us that God’s grace has freed us and nothing we have done. If we believe this to be true, why do we live in the bondage of fear? Celebrating what Christ has done means that we rest at peace in the freedom of his grace and mercy.
Many times our broken minds are wired to think anxious thoughts toward the Creator. What if I haven’t done enough? What if God takes away blessings because I failed him? Will he punish me because I have missed 4 days of Bible reading? All of these thoughts are a fear based mentality that show our faith is in something else other than Christ Jesus.
Our mind should be aligning with the work and grace Christ has done in our lives. As our thoughts align with His, we begin to celebrate. We find it easy to reach out to the homeless and needy. We crave the Scriptures instead of being afraid to miss a day of reading. We rest in His grace not as a license to sin but as calling to serve. As a heart of celebration drives our service, it will quickly take us deeper into a relationship with the Father that fear will never take us. Fear only allows us to see our brokenness, failures, and inadequate service. Celebration allows us to see a big and powerful God full of grace.
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