The Struggle for Sanctification
Today’s reading: Genesis 12-14; Matthew 5:1-26
A reality for every believer is the awareness that our actions are too frequently inconsistent with our profession of faith. We veer between the heights of faithfulness and the pits of sin.
Abram shows exemplary faith in his response to God’s call. He shows generosity and love toward his nephew Lot. He shows a profound understanding that his integrity was not for sale in his interactions with the pagan kings. However, his deceptive dealing with Pharaoh reveals another side of the patriarch. Gripped by fear, he reverts to deception that even the Egyptian ruler found appalling, passing off his wife as his sister.
In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, we learn that God looks on the heart of His people. Mere outward conformity to the law is unacceptable. This got the Pharisees in trouble. Their sins would not have been as observable as Abram’s famous lie, yet their righteousness was insufficient to gain entrance into the kingdom of heaven. They were insensitive to their failure to truly obey God.
What is the solution to our spiritual roller coaster of success and failure? How do you view your spiritual up’s and down’s? Do you trust in your own goodness when you seem to be walking in obedience? Do you doubt your acceptance before God when you disobey His commands? Let us never trust in our own works for our salvation but in the work of Christ on our behalf. Let us never neglect to make use of the means of grace which God has provided for our growth in sanctification. Seek to be faithful, believing God’s promises to save us by grace through faith while making every effort to grow in God-glorifying holiness.