We never want to take for granted the blessings from the local church. We thank God for a wonderful Sunday school class, and then the worship service yesterday. We enjoyed a musical by the Dogwood Kids last evening: "DONKEY TALES". The kids visited a Dude Ranch where there were no horses, just donkeys, and learned many stories from the Bible that included the donkey. One was about Balaam who seemed to be straddling the fence. And what God-given talent those kids all displayed for us. I believe there will be some ministers in that group; some ministers wives, or maybe some missionaries, or teachers, or ministers of music. God blessed us through them last evening.
A thought for us today as we go on with our day-to-day lives, can come from the story of Balaam. Do we find it so difficult to live a consistent life, and struggle to get to church three or four weeks in row? If you are up and down in your relationship with Christ, in deliberate sin, then repenting, and find yourself living below what you really want, could it be a lack of a totally committed heart? Let's look at some promises from His word. The Holy Spirit led Paul to write: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me;....." Galatians 2:20a.
This tells us now, that God is aiming to reproduce in us the pattern which has already appeared in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Christian life is not an imitation of Christ, but a direct new creation in Christ, and the union with Christ is so complete that He imparts His own nature to us and lives His own life in us. Peter had a very clear understanding of this, and was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write of it: 2 Peter 1:4 "For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust." This, then, is not an imitation but simply the outgrowth of the nature implanted within.
We live Christ like because we have the Christ-life. God is not satisfied with anything less, why would we who love Him want anything less. He requires it from us, and He does not, in the process of grace, reduce the standard, but He brings us up to it. He does not let down the righteousness of the law, but He requires of us a righteousness that far exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, and then He imparts it to us. He cleanses us, and He says of the new creation, through John, the disciple He loved: "He that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous." I John 3:7.
We have here the same message from the inspired pen of Paul, Peter, and John, so why would we try to live a life below what is available to us? No, we will not settle for a life like that of Balaam!
God's blessings on you today, as you die to yourself and let Christ live out His life in you.