Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (II Corinthians 5:17 ).
So, you have become a Christian? What does that really mean? Simply put, it means things have to change.
Change cannot take place unless we realize where we are in relation to where God is. In Scripture, we are told that the heavens are His throne and the earth is His footstool. Wow, He is a great big God! However, there is more to God than this.
God’s standards are much greater than ours, also. His thoughts and His ways are so much higher than ours. The following verses should cause us to really see how great God is. At the same time, they should cause us to see our lack.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord, For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:7-9).
Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God (Romans 10:1-3).
Certainly, all of us have fallen short of God’s standards. No matter how good we think we have been, none of us are perfect. Romans 3:23 expresses this clearly by simply stating- “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” There is no need in trying to conceal what God’s word already reveals. Our lives should be an open book before our God.
You see, when we become Christians, God begins a work in us. It is wonderful to know that- with God’s help- we can rise from where we have fallen. God is greater and higher than we will ever be, but He desires to see us reach beyond where we are now. The following verses should be sources of encouragement pertaining to seeing our standards rise.
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14).
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (II Corinthians 3:18).
God knows the depths to which all of us have fallen. However, He also delights in seeing our STANDARDS RISING!
Dave Snyder is an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God – Cleveland, Tennessee. Before entering the ministry on a full-time basis, he was a school teacher. He also coached middle school basketball for eight years.
Dave and his wife, Sara, have two children — Craig and Karen. They also have one ten year old granddaughter — Breanna.
Dave and Sara pastored in West Virginia for thirty-six years. Sara is now retired from the banking industry, and Dave is retired from pastoring. However, Dave currently serves as prison Chaplain for the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Writing essays, articles, and devotionals is a real passion for Dave. He also enjoys playing musical instruments and singing.