Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I was nine years old when it dawned on me that I had never formally asked Jesus to forgive my sins. Sitting on my bed, I invited the Lord to make me his child. I made the decision to follow him closely.

It was not long after that that someone convinced me to participate in something that was in conflict with the Word of God. I knew it was not right. I knew I should have left, but I stayed. The guilt I carried haunted me even at my young age. From this one experience I developed a habit that would take years to overcome.

Perhaps you too have invited Christ into your life and yet you struggle over a habit that you know is displeasing to God. This does not mean you are not his child, but it does mean you are missing out on the freedom he offers. Jesus said, “Whoever commits sin is a slave to sin.” The sin may be gossip, lying, fornication, adultery, complaining, causing strife, cigarettes, abuse of alcohol, or abuse of food. Whatever it is God is able to set you free.

Scripture tells us in Colossians 2:6, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

How did we receive Christ? We simply received him. We knew that we were unworthy and had no strength to save ourselves. So it is with being set free from our addiction. Though unbelievers overcome addiction, they usually substitute one destructive addiction for another. But as believers we can substitute the addiction of living in God’s presence and in his word, which brings us freedom. “If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know he truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32),

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mirror or Mask

Ravi Zacharias is a well known apologist who speaks to overflowing crowds at universities and symposiums. After a particularly difficult evening, while his host was taking him to his hotel he told him a brief story. The man had invited an atheist professor from the University to hear Mr. Zacharias at an earlier event. The woman had agreed to come since it was being held at the school. As the man and his wife took their guest home, they asked what she thought of Zacharias’ speech. The woman responded, “Powerful, very powerful. I wonder what he is like at home.”

Our public life is either a reflection of our hearts or a mask to hide our true character.