Tuesday, February 26, 2013

INSPIRATION: Are You Willing?


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Are You Willing?

Matthew 8:1-4

Today's reading assignment brings us to the book of Matthew and the Lord Jesus's ministry on the earth. There are numerous miracles and teachings the Lord performed throughout the gospel, but today's story is a perfect symbolic illustration of the Lords heart for His people who have a humble  heart and His willingness and ability to cleanse us from impurity. 
The story begins with Jesus coming down a mountainside surrounded by followers, where He's approached by a leper who worships Him and asks that He heal him. This leper is symbolic of every believer that approaches the Lord at salvation asking to be cleansed. This lepers outer condition represents the internal condition we all are in before approaching the Lord to be transformed. In verse 3, we see the Lord healing the man of his leprosy, scripture says immediately the man was healed. This is a perfect symbolic illustration of salvation, when we come to the Lord with humble, willing, open hearts asking to be cleansed internally the Lord is more than willing, and we are internally cleansed and saved immediately. The bibles tells us at that very moment of salvation we immediately become new creatures. This isn't only for salvation though, this story also applies to any situation or habit we may have after salvation that we struggle with. After we come to the Lord, as we discussed earlier, we immediately become new creatures spiritually, but physically in our soul and flesh it takes some time and effort to change or break certain sinful habits and attitudes we may struggle with. But The Lord has the same attitude towards those habits as He does about salvation, He's always willing to assist, free, and cleanse us. Many believers receive salvation freely but then spend so much of their Christian walk trying to earn their salvation and change themselves. This is an empty pursuit that can't be attained within ourselves; just as we couldn't save ourself we also cannot change ourselves internally but it is a work that the Lord does within us. This process however usually doesn't have immediate results, its usually a process often times because we get in the way of the Lord working within us by trying to change ourselves, or earn our salvation. The more we are willing to approach the Lord humbly admitting we can't overcome our sinful nature within ourselves and trust Him to cleanse us, the more He can accomplish through us. James 4 says the Lord opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. The Lord sees it as pride in our hearts when we attempt to take it upon ourselves to cleanse and change ourselves, because we can't. Scripture says its the humble that receive  His grace ( grace is Gods power to overcome and do whatever He's called us to do). The Lord sees it as humility when we realize within ourselves we can't overcome our sin within ourselves and lean on Him for His power and strength empower us. Don't make the same mistake I did, I spent years unknowingly attempting to earn Gods love through my good deeds, trying to cleanse myself, fighting to overcome my weaknesses. The only thing this brought me was a lot of guilt, shame, discouragement, and frustration until the Lord began showing me how to lean on Him to secure the victory. It's so vital to our spiritual health and growth that we understand that the Lord loves us intensely in spite of our sin, but He hates to see us entangled in sins grip because He knows the damage it does and He is willing to free us if we come to Him with sincere hearts. What area in your life has given you trouble that you have not lifted to the Lords throne yet seeking freedom? Lift your voice to Him and trust the Lord to assist you.

PRAY

Heavenly Father, I repent for the sin in my heart, I repent for the struggles I've kept to myself instead of bringing to your throne to receive freedom. I thank you for the love you have for me and the release of your grace. Right now I lift ...name your issue... To you asking that you will completely free me over this sin through your grace. Renew my mind concerning this struggle, The battle has already been won on the cross, right now I receive the victory you died for me to have and I thank you for your patience, love and kindness towards me. I thank you for cleansing my spirit through salvation, and my soul through your Holy Spirit. Right now I receive your grace, strength, joy, understanding, encouragement and freedom from guilt in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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