2Jesus’ last words from the cross weren’t “EARN THIS.” His last words were a shout of triumph, “It is finished!” Sadly some Christians spend every day of their lives feeling like they have to live in a way to earn the sacrifice of Jesus. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He was saying there was nothing else we could ever do to be saved.
17When we live under the liberty of grace, we admit we are powerless to help ourselves. When a person is in bondage to an addiction, they will remain in chains as long as they try to help themselves. They think, “I can fix this. I can do better. I can live better.” But it’s only when they admit that they are powerless, that they begin the journey to wholeness, healing, and restoration. The same is true about the Christian life.
19I believe that when you come to Christ, God forgives every sin you’ve ever committed and every sin you’ll ever commit. So if I’m forgiven, then why should I run from sin? One word: Consequences. Forgiveness is God removing the penalty of my sin problem—eternity in hell. But as a Christian I still have to face the consequences of my sin in this life. Moses sinned against God by showing pride and disobedience. He was forgiven, and he’s in heaven, but he sinned, he suffered the consequence of never entering Canaan. King David sinned against God, and he was forgiven, and he’s in heaven how. But because of his sin, he suffered tragedy and heartache in his family.
23When you wake up every morning, you have a choice. You can wallow in the ashes of the world, or choose the beauty that God offers. You can give in to mourning, or you can have the oil of joy covering you. Are you burdened down with a spirit of heaviness? You can choose to put on the garment of praise. Joy is a choice!
26The kindest thing you can do for a person is to introduce them to Jesus. And sometimes the easiest way to do it is by performing some act of kindness to them in Jesus’ name. Kindness is an evangelistic tool. You may not know the four laws or the seven steps, but you can show kindness in Jesus’ name.
27We think we’re good because we compare ourselves to others. We look at our neighbors, our coworkers, and our friends and if we’re a little better than them, we feel we’re pretty good people. You’re using the wrong standard if you compare yourself to other people. God’s standard is perfect goodness and complete holiness. If you use the wrong standard, then all comparison is useless.
31The biggest mistake you can make about the Fruit of the Spirit is to think you can manufacture love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Fruit can’t be manufactured. You can’t manufacture Spiritual Fruit either. It comes supernaturally when there is a proper mix of the Life of the Son, the power of the Holy Spirit, and your willingness.
36When we’re crucified with Christ, we’ll be like that thief on the cross. He longer cared about what people thought about him. They could have yelled that he was ugly and stupid, but it didn’t bother him, because he was crucified with Christ. He didn’t fear arousing the wrath of the Romans for talking to Jesus, because he was crucified with Christ.