The following is an excerpt from my book "Living the Transformed Life." More information on my next book will be coming soon.

Jesus said that He came not only to give us life but that we “might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). So different is this life he offers, that 2 Corinthians 5:17 says those in Christ are completely new creatures. All which was part of a person before salvation is forever gone. Everything becomes new.

Why then are so many Christians miserable? They want this new life, but their Christian walk is oppressive and burdensome. They struggle and work harder rather than enjoy the freedom Jesus promises.

The problem is not their sincerity, for they truly want to obey God. In fact, the more they fail, the harder they try, promising the Lord over and over that they’ll do better.

The problem is they haven’t understood what Jesus was saying about the kingdom of heaven. Instead, they are living out religious routine which is empty of all life. This manmade religion may be a bunch of rules imposed by a church or it could be what someone creates for himself.

Many times we set standards for ourselves based on what we think we should be, none of which are scriptural. Even more elusive is trying to fulfill the expectations of what we think others have of us. The result is internal conflict, in which we constantly try to gain a sense of security by pleasing others. We struggle in this same way in an attempt to please God.

Jesus offers us something much different, something liberating.

 

-Kevin West

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