Billy Holland | A perfect time to begin brand new
Published 10:23 am Wednesday, January 4, 2017
As a minister, I am constantly hearing what other people believe and how the scriptures should be interpreted.
On one side, we have the hardcore group that are small in number but very dogmatic. These self-announced scholars emphasize sacrifice and suffering as a sure way to earn a front row seat in heaven, but they are so focused on works, they seem to forget about grace.
On the other side of the pendulum, we have the feel-good gospel that talks about chocolate cake, puppies and a life filled with abundant blessings. This vision of heaven on earth is very appealing but not completely realistic.
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Actually, I have been involved with both sides over the years and have come to the conclusion there must a happy medium. I will not call it a compromise, but rather a balance of spiritual commitment and good old-fashioned common sense. A sense that will allow us to be a dedicated follower of Christ, without becoming so weird that people are afraid of us. The New Year is always a wonderful time for a brand-new beginning. As II Corinthians chapter 6 reminds us that, “Now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation.” For those who are thinking about becoming a Christian, I care about you and pray you will trust Him today.
I believe that God understands about our physical and mental limitations, which is why He emphasizes for us to have faith in His power. It’s not about how smart we are or how much we can accomplish in our own strength, but rather the divine idea is to allow Him to work through us. Understanding that we cannot earn our way to heaven allows us to trust His crucifixion and resurrection as the price He paid for our salvation.
When Jesus went to the cross, it was like God signed a blank check for everyone, but it is up to each individual to accept it and cash it. This is faith and the first step of our spiritual journey. For us to continue building our trust, we must be passionately determined to develop our relationship with Him. This means to stop focusing on our desires and invest more time reading, seeking, praying and studying about who He is.
We only have so much time, and managing it is our responsibility. In Matthew, chapters 5,6 and 7, you will find Jesus explaining some basic fundamentals of the Christian life. His words are filled with beauty, power and wisdom, but to be honest, they are very difficult to demonstrate. If you have been observing those who claim to be Christians and have been disappointed, you see what I mean.
God loves us and is patiently waiting for us to reach out to Him. But we will never build our life from His blueprint until our determination to change becomes stronger than our desire to remain the same.
Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian author, outreach minister and community chaplain. To learn more visit: billyhollandministries.com .