Tuesday, February 14, 2012

We All Need An Advocate

Everyone needs an advocate. We must stand for those who cannot stand for themselves. This is what Jesus Christ did for us. This is what He does for us. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot experience heaven on our own account. We are saved through the blood of Christ. We experience His love daily. We don't have to be saved to experience His love. But for us to see the other side of heaven, we must accept Him into our lives and into our hearts. This is what true love is. He gave us the perfect example of unconditional love. He continues to love us even when we choose to not love Him in return. We have value in Christ. He sees us as we were created to be.

It is Jesus who connects us with our Heavenly Father. Without Jesus there would be no way to reach God. Jesus is our Advocate. He is that middle man who chose to step in and stand in the gap for you and me.

We are perfected through Jesus Christ as He lives in us. Plain and simple, there is no greater love than the love of Christ. When He is alive in us, it shows through our actions and words. Our life is a living testimony of His gracious love. Our relationship with others is a reflection of our relationship with Him.

"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, "I have come to know Him", and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in Him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked." 1 John 2:1-6

Friends, these are powerful verses. In just six verses alone, it gives us so very much. Sin disconnects us from Christ. Our sin is like a brick. One by one, we build a brick wall between us and our Savior. Because of our sin we can no longer get to Him. We must knock down that wall we have built up. How do we begin? Brick by brick. Sin by sin, we ask forgiveness from our Savior. We ask that He forgive us of the sin that has overtaken us and it is then that we feel the grace of God wash over us. In that grace we find forgiveness and peace. We cannot allow that brick wall to stand. We must realize that the Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome sin. The Holy Spirit is our guide and reinforcement to conquer the sin and the temptation before our very eyes. It is through Him that we can not only knock those bricks down, but see them before they begin to stack upon one another.

Plain and simple, we cannot say, "I love the Lord", and sin against Him. In God there is no darkness. There is no love in sin. Sin can only be made in darkness. There is no light in sin. When we keep our eyes on Christ we remain in His light and it is His light that makes our path clear.

We say, "Oh yes, I know Sarah", when in fact, we do not. We may know of her. We may have heard of her name, but that doesn't mean we know her. We may be friends with someone who is friends with her. That doesn't make us friends. In order for that friendship to form, we must spend time with her. We must get to know her. We must allow her to get to know us. We form a bond, a kinship, a friendship. It is through talking and listening that we grow intimate and have a knowledge of one another.

Have you been away from Jesus? Has He become an acquaintance to you? Just someone in passing? Today can be reunion day for you. I think we all need a reunion, don't you? A time where we can look back and a time where we can see moment by moment of the blessings that have been poured out. A glimpse at the times we have missed and an opportunity to catch up.

We should be able to ask ourselves, "Am I closer to the Lord than I was a year ago?" If not, we are in need of that reunion with Him. As our Advocate, He is waiting to step in and show us His great love that reaches all. We must remember, we are on a journey. There will be days where we are on fire for the Lord and those in which we fall short. But that is where our Advocate steps in. He knows we are going to fall short. He is there to pick us up and place us where we are to be.

I know there are times in my life where the Lord is shining through clearly for all to see. Now, even I know, that's not me, that's all Him. But I too have those days where I know those around me are not seeing even a glimpse of Christ through my actions. It's on those days I hear Him saying, "Daughter, why are you not obeying Me?" Too many times I choose to ignore His call to mercy. Our flesh is an evil thing. I fight my flesh daily. Praise God, I am a work in progress and He isn't finished with me yet.

Many times we skip out on reunions. We don't want others to know what we have become or where we have been. It's funny really, we tend to put on a show for everyone. It's when that mask comes off and we show our true selves that others do the same. Jesus doesn't care where you have been. But He does care where you are going. He can take care of your past just the same as He holds your future in His hands. We want others to see us doing good and being a success. Well, the Lord has another definition of success and it has nothing to do with this world's view. Success is when we follow God and totally sell out for Him. It's when we allow Him to live in us and through us, touching the lives of those around us. It's making a difference for Him. Success is hearing our Heavenly Father at the end of our last breath say, "Well done, my good and faithful child". Friends, we must allow this world to witness our missteps. Through our failures God can create beauty. He is in the business of reconstruction.

We need to see growth and change in our lives. Each year we should be moving toward Him. Too many times we get caught up and sin and think there is no way back. Friends, lets not look at it as a way back. Lets look at it as a moving forward. Reaching new heights and growing in ways we never thought possible. God has a way of taking our sins and turning them into blessings. If He can turn ash into beauty, He too can take your sin and turn it into something usable for His glory and honor.

Our obedience to Him shows our love for Him. If we are not obedient to His Word than our love is missing. We can't say, "I love you, God", and turn around and ignore His Word. We are not powerless against sin. The closer we are to the Lord, the closer we are to the person He is creating us to be. The more our eyes are upon Him the less we will sin. We will never be sinless, but we can sin less.

The Holy Spirit will help us conquer our sin. Friends, today is Valentines Day. A day to celebrate love. This can be your reunion day with your Savior who has written you the greatest love letter ever penned. Allow His words to penetrate your heart. It is His Word and His love that will change your life forever. Although Valentines Day is celebrated one day a year, His love is everlasting.
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