I receive a monthly bank statement that contains an ad asking, “Are you taking advantage of us?”
Of course we understand they want us to take advantage of all the services they offer so they can make a profit.
One day it struck me that God wants us to take advantage of him, but for our profit and his glory. He could in effect ask, “Are you taking advantage of me?”
There are many more scriptures than the following examples, but they will do to make the point.
The prophet Isaiah prophesied concerning Christ’s death and resurrection as payment for the sins of all mankind offering salvation to those who with contrite hearts would receive him.
“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he has put him to grief. When you make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see the labor of his soul, and be satisfied. By his knowledge my righteous servant shall justify many for he shall bear their iniquities,” Isaiah 53:10-11.
We need to take advantage of God’s offer.
When a person believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who raised him from the dead and they receive Jesus Christ as their savior they are born again, justified with all sins forgiven past, present and future.
Having taken advantage by faith of God’s saving grace the following become available to take advantage of God’s faithfulness, goodness and mercy.
“Take advantage and find rest for our harried souls,” Matthew 11: 28.
“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” Matthew 11:29.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:30.
Take advantage and find the knowledge, wisdom and power to live a Christian life through his indwelling Holy Spirit.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing,” John 15: 4-5.
Take advantage. God is trying to put the mind of Christ in us. He will not force us.
“Take advantage and allow the mind of Christ to dwell in us through his word and the witness of his Spirit to ours,” Philippians 2:5.
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted him and given,” Philippians 2:6-9.
Take advantage. “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long suffering;
“Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
“But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord,” Colossians 3:12-16.
Take advantage. “I say then: Walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
“For the flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
“But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law,” Galatians 5:16-18.
We are at liberty to walk under the correction, instruction, direction and power of his indwelling Holy Spirit.
God does not force himself on us but seeks to gently draw us or woo us unto himself, offering to be our sufficiency for and in all things.
Lee E. Scaggs is a retired pastor who conducts a non-denominational Bible study in his home, 35920 Sterling Highway in Sterling, Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. He can be reached at 262-5064 or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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