The Complications of Confidence

Facebook posts. "13.1" bumper stickers.

Annual Christmas letters.

Honor Rolls and Dean's Lists.

Salaries.

Prime zip codes.

The list could continue on and on; this is merely a sampling of things that can complicate our confidence.   Do you relate?  After a winter of sedentary hibernation, I can think pretty poorly of myself when I see one of those half-marathon stickers on a car.  Or, when we're struggling at home with basic academic concepts, I can be shaken when others are reveling in their high GPAs.  Why can't we keep up with the Joneses?  Will I ever be able to do what she does?

This kind of thinking is bound to be prevalent in the world around us.  In fact, the world thrives on comparing us with others; this is the foundation of advertising!  Yet, I know this is prevalent in the church too.  We live in this world--even if we're not of it--and we can quickly become lured away by this kind of thinking.

Our flesh wants to check off the requirements, do the work ourselves and accomplish what needs to be done.  We are stopped short when we read this:

For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.  Ephesians 2: 8-9

What?  This isn't about what I'm contributing?  This isn't about ME and what I'm doing?

For some of us, this may seem like Christianity 101, but I challenge you to consider whether or not you are possibly falling prey to worldly confidence as opposed to godly confidence.  Do you compare yourself to others?  Are you finding pride to be prevalent?  Is your focus more on yourself than on Jesus?  Is praise from man more desired than praise from God?

Because of Christ's sacrifice on our behalf and His resurrection and victory over death, we can have perfect and complete confidence.  It is HIS perfect accomplishment that gives us beautiful godly confidence.

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2 Corinthians 5: 21

This kind of truth, this kind of confidence, does not fade away with time.  It is not shaken because of difficult circumstances.  It is not up to me and my abilities.  God has given us His righteousness.  This is who we are--righteous--because of Jesus' work on the cross.

Can you be confident because of Jesus?

Will your parenting reflect this or will you waffle in training your children?

Will my walk with Christ show this or will I spin my wheels because I'm just not quite sure God, the giver of all good gifts, will take care of my finances, will give me victory over bitterness or will conquer my fears?

Let's boldly walk out in this confidence that comes from knowing that God is our loving Father and Christ is our perfect righteousness.

Love, Wendy

(This post was inspired by a wonderful sermon that you can listen to right here.)

 

 

 

Re: flect-Ing on Jesus as our Mediator

 

Therefore He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

Hebrews 9:15

A mediator is a go-between, an intermediary who acts to bring two sides together towards an agreement or settlement. The mediator attempts to solve any issues by working solely towards a resolution.

The Bible tells us that we have mediator of a new covenant.  That mediator is Jesus Christ. You see, God has a dispute with us because of our sin.  There is nothing we can do to stand before God as righteous. No amount of good works or keeping of the law can allow us to enter eternity. And this is not just some of us, but all of us.

 

All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:23

 

The Bible also tells us what we earn by sinning.

 

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:23

 

Without a mediator, we’d spend our death of eternity in hell separated from God.  But because Christ is the mediator for us, we can live for eternity in heaven worshipping God!   Jesus becomes our Defense Attorney who goes before the Father and pleads our case. Unlike a lawyer working in our judicial system today, this Mediator actually paid for and took this punishment upon Himself on the cross.

What an incredible truth to celebrate today!  There isn't any cute story or illustration to go along with this name of Christ today... I just decided to write it as it is – an incredible truth that should make every Christian literally jump for joy!  It has really changed my heart as I head toward Easter. It motivates me to be more thankful for the amazing fact that Christ is our Mediator.

Love, Julie

 

Re: flect-Ing on Jesus as our Righteousness

It is easy for me to become discouraged over my sin.  I can begin to believe the lie that those sins will keep me from enjoying the eternal blessings that God has promised.  Why is this a lie that I must fight in my life?  Because in myself, I will never be righteous and able to stand before God.  And if this is where my hope is, then I am in serious trouble.  

In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; He will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called; The LORD Our Righteousness.

Jeremiah 33:15-16

 

Jesus is Our Righteousness.  The glory of Heaven is not dependent upon anything that I can muster on my own; it is only the work of Jesus.

 

Yet, we are told in Matthew 5:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.

 So, is there really a work I must do?

 

Think about the last time you were hungry—I mean really hungry.  What goes on in your mind when you experience true hunger?  It is hard to think about anything other than the food you hope is coming soon.  To be hungry implies a craving, a feeling of emptiness.

 

Is this how you approach Jesus?  Do you seem empty without Him and feel as though you are wasting away?  Are you unable to think or focus because your craving is so great? Jesus is Our Righteousness.  He desires for us to hunger for Him, and He promises that we will be filled.

 

Jesus stands before His Father and allows His righteousness to cover us so that we are able to stand before God, yet He calls us to hunger for more of Him.

 

We live in a world where our wants and needs are satisfied quickly and with relative ease, so how can you develop a hunger for the righteousness of Jesus?  You must taste Him by reading His Word and spending time communicating with Him.  You must think about Jesus throughout your day, asking God to give you such a deep craving for righteousness that, without the Source of true righteousness filling you, you will starve.

 

May we each hunger and thirst for more and more of Jesus every day!

 

Love, Cheryl