Day 4 - Follow Jesus
God has called us to live His life, dead to sin and alive to Him.
So why do we sometimes (or often) fail at this? One of the main reasons is that we bring our old tendencies into this new life. A person who is used to living for himself or herself will find it a challenge to live for God. But it’s a challenge well worth taking because it has huge eternal rewards: we get to spend forever with the Creator of the universe! But there’s even more: while we’re still on this earth, He enables us to live a truly free life!
Christianity is not about rules – it’s about a Person, and that person is Jesus. The point of His coming was not to start a new religion, but to start a living, breathing relationship with God. When we look back in history, we see the early church didn’t go around spreading rules. Motivated by the love of God, they spread the life of God. They had seen resurrected Jesus, and they wanted everyone else to see Him.
But as the centuries went on, the law started to creep back into the core of their activities. Here’s what happens when you try to live by the law:
1) Here are the rules
2) Try to do them
3) You didn’t do them
4) Try again and try harder
But Jesus didn’t die so we could live by rules; He died so that we could share His life so that His Holy Spirit could live in us, so we could be led by the Spirit. Gal 5:16 says, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” This is the essence of living under grace: following Jesus by being led by the Spirit.
Does this man we can do whatever we want? Of course not! We are dead to sin and alive to God, and that should define our lives on earth. The apostle Paul tells us that when we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, He will bear fruit in our lives. “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22-23).
For us to bear this divine fruit, we need to be connected to the source of divine life – Jesus! Jn 15:5 records Jesus saying “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.” When we abide in (remain connected 24/7 to) Christ, we can expect to see this fruit in our lives.
Here are some steps we can take to help with that:
1) Accept your new identity. (There are many ways of working this into your life and thinking)
2) Embrace this approach. (Confess, Choose, Commit)
3) Keep your eyes on Jesus. (Don’t look for the law; keep your eyes on Him)
This will help you to be the person God created you to be; it will help you to be a fruitful, productive Christian; and it will help you to Be Free!