One of the craziest things from high school that I remember was how heavy my backpack was. I know, very small detail to highlight, but it was the worst. Yeah, we had lockers, but when it came time for homework and studying, you needed all those hefty textbooks. Random musing, I know, but sometimes I feel like I can walk around like I’m carrying a weight on my back. If you ever had a heavy backpack or had to carry something heavy for an extended period of time, you know how hard it can become as time goes on. I want to take a look at something simple today, a basic truth about a relationship with God. Our God has died for us, we are bought and paid for by the blood of the lamb. So why do we continue to walk around with burdens on our backs? It’s time to take off our burdens and remember that we don’t have to earn our way to a relationship with out creator.
Something I struggle with is the fact that I feel like I have to earn everyone’s approval. In ninth grade I had a teacher who told me I wouldn’t make it anywhere if I weren’t able to get better grades. So, I started trying to earn everything I got. I thought I had to be good enough for my teachers, I thought I had to earn my friend’s approval, I believed that I had to be what people wanted me to be in order to get recognition. This ties in with my story of failure from last week, failure is a great teacher, but the enemy is always creeping around. I hate how it feels like the only way to move ahead in this world is to gain the approval of everyone else, because it then causes us to think we have to do the same for God. Our scripture reading becomes a checklist, our serving becomes selfish, and our savior becomes a magic genie. This is so wrong. Scripture is the truth to cut out the lies from Satan. Serving is a selfless act to raise others up and look after the broken. Our savior is one who created us and desires to have a relationship with us, not give us gifts on a fading world (This is prosperity gospel, a fake gospel).
Here’s what I want to talk about today. You do not have to earn God’s love, and you do not need to seek the approval of the world. 1 Corinthians 7:23 says, “You have been bought and paid for by Christ, so you belong to him—be free now from all these earthly prides and fears.”
Have an authentic relationship.
The point of following God is not to earn his favor by doing good things, it’s simply to have an authentic relationship. When we are focused on pursuing Christ, we stop trying to earn love because we already know God loves us by the way he has always been pursuing us. Faith is not about what to do and not to do, it’s about running after the one who gave it all so we could come into a relationship. It’s about how God loves us. We need to focus on our pursuit of him, and our quiet times become more intentional, our serving becomes and overflow of our heart, and our savior becomes our one desire. We don’t have to earn God’s love, worrying that if we mess up just once that’s it, because God loved us in the midst of our deepest sin. Stop carrying a burden and rest in the truth that you have been bought and paid for by the blood of the lamb.
Let go of a slave mentality.
We are bought and paid for, it’s time to stop being chained to the junk of the world. Prides and fears. It’s not about us and our savior has defeated death. Humility and faith. We need to stop trying to be something we aren’t, promoting ourselves as perfect people will only bind us in chains and make the fall harder. Living in fear of what people think about us or live like expectations have been placed on us, will hold us back from being confident in our calling. Stop living as a slave to the world, it’s going to pass away. Invest in the kingdom. God wants to have a relationship with you and he wants to prepare you for eternity. Break your chains, stop listening to the lies of Satan, and live free. You have been bought and paid for, no one can take that from you.
This doesn’t come easy. I currently am learning to remember that I have in fact been bought and paid for. I don’t have to fear what others think, or feel the pressure to be anyone I’m not. I get tired from carrying these burdens, and just like that backpack from school, it’s time to take it off. We are made in God’s image, he wants to have a relationship with you, and he paid the debt you owned to do it. That’s real love. You are worth loving. God has a powerful calling over your life, it’s time to let go of the burdens and step into it.
Let go and live in the truth that you have been bought and paid for by the blood of the lamb.