August 18

The greatest blessing we have is the salvation that comes to us through Jesus Christ our Lord. It came at the highest possible cost, and yet that price was paid because of how much God loved us. We respond in faith and obedience and seek to live in that same faithful obedience.

What words come to mind when you think of what you’ve got in Christ Jesus? I’ve put a list together, with a brief comment or two about each one. I plan to emphasize a couple of these in Sunday morning’s sermon as we speak of “the helmet of salvation” from Ephesians 6.

• Assurance and Peace—Though we have sinned, yet we are forgiven. Doesn’t make it okay that we’ve sinned. Doesn’t give us permission to sin now. It is simply to say that by the blood of Christ and through our response of faith, we can have assurance of our salvation. Of course that assurance leads to peace. Not like the world sees it—peace so long as nothing’s difficult or threatening to me. What we have is an inward peace no matter the external circumstances.

• Mission and Worship—We are called to continue the work of Christ, to be ambassadors for Christ, to share the love and Word of God with others just as our Lord. And we offer our whole lives to that end in worship, in direct and indirect ways, publicly with others as well as individually, as living sacrifices.

• Gratitude—We do that out of a spirit of gratitude, responding to the love that’s been shown to us.

• Humility—And we do that humbly, realizing there’s nothing we can do to deserve or earn what’s been given to us.

• Service—Refusing to get caught up in the way the world measures greatness, we gladly give of our time, energy, money, possessions, position, preferences, in order to serve others.

• Faith—Our ultimate trust is in God, and only in God.

• Love—We love our God and Savior; we love our fellow humanity—the two greatest commands.

• Hope—Because Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead, we have hope that nothing in this world can take away from us. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”

• Joy—We live with a deep and abiding joy that nothing this world—nothing Satan, the adversary—throws at us can take away. Our joy comes from within, not from any person or situation in this world. And so no person or situation in this world can rob us of that joy. Unless of course we let them.

What would your list look like? You might include most of these; you might add some to it. Make your list.

What else would you say about these?

Which ones of these come easiest for you?

Which are hardest for you?

Are you living these every day?

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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