Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

The Atonement of my life

“Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?”

Ezra 7:23
 

The priests and scribes commanded the Israelites to take great care during Ezra's time. Everything demanded by the law and the will of God had to be carried out conscientiously and with the utmost care. Nothing less. When we read this, we become grateful, as Christians, not to have lived during Old Testament times. We may think that we, in our present Christian lives, sometimes face difficulties, need and hardships, however in a legal environment we would most probably have failed miserably and would not have been capable of offering much. And we know that a totally, devotional mindset, in thought and deed, is the only correct behavior in which to come into our great and gracious God's presence daily. God is worth it! But, at the same time, whilst we must and desire to recognize this, it becomes crystal clear to us that our lives reflect this kind of devotion much too little, not always, or not at all. And we realize how true that stated in Mark 14:38 is: “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.'' There were and are probably followers of Jesus, who in a remarkable manner, indeed give their best in their faith, their service and their sacrifice. I think here of the many martyrs, great missionaries, Christians who were indeed persecuted and imprisoned because of their faith in Jesus, of many who lived selflessly and invested a lot of love and work during their lives. In other words, true examples for us. Jesus Christ knows everyone who belongs to Him – yesterday, today and also tomorrow. A verse in a song says: “Thank you that you know me, and yet (!) love me”!

The Son of God was not only crucified for our sins and to obtain forgiveness for us, but was also crucified for our mediocrity, our lack of devotion, our unfaithfulness and our egoism. It is the atonement which causes us to give our hearts entirely to God – despite our weakness and inability. What was the purpose of the law at that time? So that we would keep to it through hard discipline. Maybe some of the most devoted Christians would have been able to keep the law for a few moments? But, throughout their entire lives? In Romans 3:19-20 Paul wrote: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” When we realize how impoverished we sometimes are, even as Christians, even if we have been Christians for decades, we become even more aware of the great atoning sacrifice of Jesus and how great a grace we have received. We definitely cannot do anything without Jesus – not even follow HIM in the correct manner (John 15:5). Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith (even if He is not “ordinary”). We however do not improve by continuously complaining about our condition, rather the more we are grateful and realize what the forgiveness of sin included and brought about in our spiritually dead hearts – yesterday, today and tomorrow. Precisely then we start changing. Amen!

(Translated by Linda Gates)

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This devotion is also available in Afrikaans: Die Versoening van my lewe
Zur deutschen Originalversion: Die Sühnung meines Lebens


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