(I hate when I realize I didn’t write the previous day’s thoughts!)
Acts 24:10-27; Judges 21; Psalm 46
Christianity is an easy religion to believe – until you start thinking about what it really means to follow Christ. When we talk about grace, mercy, and forgiveness there are a few people who think it’s too good to be true. It isn’t. At the same time, God makes demands on our lives once we commit to following Jesus. “As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, ‘That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.’” (Acts 24:25) As Paul talked about those demands: righteousness, self-control, and the upcoming judgment it caused Felix, who was hearing the Jews case against Paul, to become uncomfortable. We come to God as unrighteous beings. No one is righteous enough in themselves – that’s why Jesus died on the cross. But God expects us to live in righteousness with Him. At the same time, He gives us the power to live righteously. He expects us, and gives us the power to, change from a life of self-indulgence to a life of self-control. And then there’s that judgment issue. When we commit to follow Christ we don’t get out of judgment, we just change the process. Our judgment is not one that will lead to heaven or hell; our judgment will be based on how we followed God. I’m sure that Paul talked with Felix about judgment in both ways. Following Christ is not an easy lifestyle. For Felix, the truth was inconvenient. Many today look only at what they get out of the relationship with God, not what responsibilities they have. A balanced faith calls us to a life that honors God in all areas.
Oh Lord, if only You wouldn’t make demands on my life. It would be so much easier if I could tell people that I follow You I You didn’t have such great expectations of me. Yet, You give me the power to become the man I’m supposed to be and in the long run, what You demand of me leads to a better life. Remind me of that every day.