One Ministry, One Church, One Message Worldwide
God’s favor in our lives is a powerful force. It’s so strong that many of us may not realize at first just how deeply it impacts us. When we first get saved we may have a rudimentary, intellectual knowledge of grace, but it may take us years, or even the rest of our lives, to fully understand what we need to know. This undeserved favor from God proactively reaches out to us in various ways, changes us for the better, and allows us to live on the same level as Jesus Christ.
Comparing the old to the new, life before the cross was not as rich and full of promise as life after the cross. Under the Law of Moses, the people were expected to abide by hundreds of strict rules and regulations to avoid being cursed. God led them, but from a distance. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, God, Himself, can now live in us. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
Believing in the power of what Jesus did for us releases us from bondage to fear, worry, stress, and anxiety—emotions the rest of the world assumes are a part of living. We now have peace of mind and joy that can’t be explained rationally, yet it’s always there, even in difficult times. This is all part of the Father’s plan for believers. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven. When we miss the mark, we can be free from the spiritual shackles of guilt, shame, and condemnation because Jesus has already taken care of the judgment and sentencing for sin. Negative emotions hold people back from leading the joyful, powerful lives God wants them to have. Shame inflicts emotional pain and damage; Jesus hated it so much, He died on our behalf to take it away forever. “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed” (Isaiah 50:6, 7).
Because we have a relationship with Christ, we can rest without the nagging uneasiness so many others carry. This rest is something religion can’t give us because it focuses on self-effort and hard work to earn blessings from God, instead of on receiving by faith what He has already provided for us. “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:9-11). This isn’t always easy to do when the pressures of life hit; however, with God’s help it can be done.
As God’s children, we’re in a unique position to demonstrate His love by the way we live. God has radically changed us so that His grace can flow through us and radically change the lives of others. Submitting to His influence makes us lights in a dark world.