A piece of advice: Start by spending TIME with Jesus – and then love others. Set your own needs aside and “turn the other cheek”. Matthew 5:44-48 reads: “But I (Jesus) say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Remember that in your baptism (if you have been baptized the Biblical way – not the Lutheran baptism) the OLD life was buried…! But do you choose to receive your new life? Or are you still living in your old life that should be gone…?
“be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and […] put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.”
This indicates action, WE must do. It isn’t something God does for us. It says that we must be renewed in the spirit of our minds and put on (action again) the new man. This means it doesn’t happen automatically. It’s our choice to do it or not to do it…!
If you choose the new man and receive the Holy Spirit, a transformation will take place in your spirit!!
”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
….but it is your choice whether those things penetrate your mind or not. YOU choose what to focus on in your life…! You choose whether your baptism is just a dip under water, or whether it will renew your spirit, soul and body!
Far too many Christians are depressed and discouraged… I’m sorry to tell you this, but if you are seriously depressed and discouraged, it is because you don’t spend enough time with Jesus in prayer and reading the Scriptures! Or maybe it is because you choose to wallow in your own misery (or illness) instead of looking at Jesus and beyond Him at others!
Maybe I am being a little hard on you…? But will you choose to see this lecture as an attack against you and as an indication that ”you aren’t good enough”? Or will you choose to see it as guidance: ”Yeah, maybe I should work on this a little bit, even though the truth hurts…”? The choice is YOURS…!
If you opt for Jesus every day, TIME with Him, a relationship with Him, and reading the Scriptures every day, while also choosing to PUT ON your new life with Jesus, then your will start to profit little by little!!! But yes… it takes a close relationship with Jesus…! And that is a CHOICE!!! All kinds of other excuses won’t do, because it IS a priority and a choice to get out your Bible EVERY DAY…!!!
18 May 2018
Translated from Danish
by Lisbeth Agerskov Christensen