Friday, 28 October 2016

As Sure As Hell

Proverbs 5:5 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

      I was in an auction-house fixing a piece of equipment for the owners of the business. I could overhear about five men sitting around a coffee-table area as they were boasting and telling lies to each other with jovial camaraderie. The thing that got to me was the amount of blasphemy that was coming out of their mouths. 
      I noticed it, but the talk did not seem to disturb these men in any way. I then remembered, that is what sinners do; they sin. This is why they also need Christ so they can be delivered from their sinful state of existence. Only the blood of Jesus can give us a righteous mind. John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
      As the men talked, one of them was trying to make an honest point and he said, "No, really it happened to me. Gospel's truth." That was it. Everyone believed him because he had brought in the Gospel's truth and that made it so. I thought about the Gospel's truth and realized it was for these very men the gospel was written. 
      They, too, were the reason for the gospel coming to mankind so they could also be part of God's redemption plan. Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
      As these men continued to shoot the breeze about their lives to each other, one of the men was also trying to make an emphatic point and said, "I'm telling you the truth, sure as hell." Well, this guy might be an Evangelist in the making I thought. He was punctuating the validity of his statement with the fact that hell is a sure place. Matt. 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 
      As I worked on the piece of equipment, I thought of another saying that is thrown around without much thought: "Jesus wept." John 11:35 Jesus wept. The shortest verse in the bible, but thousands of books could be written to try and explain the meaning and depth of its love and there would still be room for more explanation.
      It is interesting how these sayings have slipped into the human vocabulary. We can take from them what we will. These workers did not realize it but they had in a backward way preached a message to me that afternoon. In short, this was the message. Jesus came and saw our condition and wept for our souls. He then gave His life on the cross for us all. Jesus gave us a new gospel of truth so we could avoid the surety of hell. Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 
      Yes, there is a saying "As sure as hell," but we don't have to go there. We have a more sure thing than hell and He is Jesus the Lord. Rom. 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
      The Gospel's truth will lead us to the surety of God's love if we receive the gift and love God has given us through Jesus Christ. Some Christians are living lives on the borders of sin where they sometimes feel the heat and flames of hell licking at their spiritual wounds. We do not have to live there. Hell is real, but the love of God is more real if I can say it that way. God's truth and love grows and abounds every minute of the day.
      The world says that death and taxes are the only sure thing in life. Taxes can be paid and death has been conquered through Christ, so saints we have a more sure thing and He is God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit working a more sure eternity in our souls. Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. May we all be found in the surety of the Lord's love and salvation. Amen!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Modus Operandi

Proverbs 21:15 It is joy to the righteous to do justice; But it is a destruction to the workers of iniquity.

      Disraeli said, "Life is too short to be little."
      We often get caught up in the everyday events of life in this fast moving world. Sometimes we forget we are building our lives upon an eternal foundation. 1 Cor. 3:11 For no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ. We put our energies and strenuous thoughts into a comfortable retirement and forget our God-given goals of eternal reward. Oh yes, I know we have to live on this earth but we still have to choose where we want to spend eternity and what we want to give of ourselves toward the kingdom of God. 

      Let's face it eternity is a long time to exist in regret or damnation for that matter. There is a day when our life's work and for some people, their life's ministries will be judged at the Judgment seat of Christ. What we have sown in our Christian life may not be of Godly quality or valuable. 1 Cor. 3:13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person's work has any value. 
      What were our motives for all the work done in the Lord? Was the work done to establish the kingdom of God or our own kingdom built of hay and stubble? 1 Cor. 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13a Every man's work shall be made manifest.
      Our motives are just as important as the work itself. The Apostle Paul warns us to be aware of people whose motives are suspect. Rom. 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 
      In another Scripture John the Apostle warns of similar corrupted motives that are not the will of God, nor are they His motives toward the people of this earth. 3 John 1:9 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. The motivational gifts God gave us are for the building of the body of Christ and not for the tearing down of it by our own misuse or misguided motives. Our motives are just as important as our heart's desires in Christ. 
      We do have to ask ourselves if our modus operandi toward the works of God are led by the Holy Spirit. Is our manner, technique or approach to God's leading just a belligerent attitude of "Take it or leave it God. You get what you get and you should be happy with that." Is working His eternal plan just an irksome task we grudgingly slog through? If our relationship in the Lord has reached this sad point, then it is possible our motives toward eternity has already changed to a place of desperation and loss. As I said, "Eternity is a long time to suffer loss." 
      Saints, we need to get our hearts back to thinking and reaching for the eternal prize and reward that awaits us. Phil. 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. The joy of the Lord is our strength and with that strength, we can enter His gates with thanksgiving in our hearts. 
      When our motives are clean, our ministry and calling will be joyful and motivated. Righteous motives will get the work of God done and our hearts and lives will be full of strength and joy. 
      The Lord tried to admonish Cain to change his motives and attitude so there would be peace in his life. Gen. 4:7 If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it. The result of Cain not submitting to God's word was a loss of relationship with God and man. Life is too short to waste it on missing the mark God set for our well-being. What is God's motive for mankind? That should be our motive as well. May God give us a new vision of His will. Amen!

Friday, 14 October 2016

That Thing Called More

Proverbs 11:25 Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.
      
      The Consumer they call us. We're the people that buy. Stompin' Tom Connors
      Retail therapy is a therapy many live and set their lives to. There is such a drive in our society to want more and the leaders of our consumerist system make it easy to get more and more of all that can be thought of. More of what you might ask? Just more, that is what many seem to want - more. More money, more house, more boat or car, more food, more vacation and more of more. 

      We have become melancholic looking for home in this rapid lifestyle of acquiring more of anything imaginable. The anxiousness that is deep down inside the everyday person cannot be explained away because it gnaws at the center of our being. Most people know there is more to life than owning stuff, but they no longer know how to divorce themselves from all the stuff that is thought to be needed. 
      There seems to be a pressure on Christian people of whom many want to be secure in the love of God, but the system we live in won't let us be secure unless we buy our way out. Life is spiritually discerned and we need to know what the Holy Spirit says about going forward in life.
      God knew we would be wrestling this thing called more because He created us to want more. We were created to want more of God. The Lord put a desire in us to want more of the power of the Holy Spirit. We have been inspired by God to want more relationship with Christ our savior but the enemy of our soul has diverted our attention to using our wants for more toward the things of the earth with no lasting value. 

      The devil knows if we are buying stuff all the time we can become stingy and as the proverb says, "Lose everything." Matt. 6:19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. Yes, we do need to live here on this earth and we do need to pay our way through life but not at the cost of being owned by all the possessions we own. We do live in the everyday world where the cost of living is outrageous in some cases and God knows this fact. 
      Solomon, who was the richest man alive, even said that money handles most problems. Eccl. 10:19 Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything. However, as Solomon found out, money itself did not handle the issue of our eternal soul but only worked in earthly matters. The Lord has said clearly to those who follow Him that we make sure we put Christ's kingdom first and the things in this life will get taken care of in this world. Matt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. God also said. Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. 
      God does want to promote us in this world. The Lord is pleased to give us good things within the realm of His kingdom to help this world. Luke 12:32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Our heavenly Father finds delight in giving us our heart's desire. Psalm 21:2 Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withheld the request of his lips. Selah. God shows us when we take a delightful love toward God, He will give us the desires of our heart. Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 
      Retail therapy or consuming vast amounts of items for the sake of doing something to pass the time has lost a lot of its shine for many. We were created to be givers and be a blessing in this world by being a hand extended on God's behalf. God is not stingy and yet He has everything. Psalm 24:1 The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. 
      We were created to want more of God so that we can give more of ourselves with God in us. We are enlarging the capacity of our souls when we become more of who God made us to be. When life is over, the stuff we have will only be worth what it can be sold for in a garage sale. What we are made of in heart will follow us into eternity where there will be so much more of life beyond our understanding. 
      What more do you want than the gift of eternal life with God Himself? If you have Jesus Christ as your Lord then you have everything and all the things needed to live here will come your way. What an amazing God we serve. Give us more of you Lord God. Amen!

Friday, 7 October 2016

Simultaneous Buckling

Proverbs 19:3 People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD.

      Mimi McKewan said, "There is an expiration date for sin before it is exposed."
      Simultaneous buckling was an illustration an engineer used to explain what had happened to a three-storey building that had collapsed because the foundations were poorly maintained.
      I thought of some Christians who have fallen and utterly destroyed their lives because of simultaneous buckling so to speak. They had not maintained the fundamental foundations of their faith. The deception of sin and the rot of iniquity had crept into their souls where the foundations of faith are built upon. 
      They forgot who they were in Christ and who Christ was in themselves. Eph. 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. The old hymn says it this way: "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness."
      When we remove Christ from the throne of our heart, we begin to expose the weakness within our foundations. Psalm 11:3 When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? When we become only talkers of religion and its many facets and forget to be a doer of what the word of God says, we will become self-deceived. James 1:22 Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves. 
      An interesting point about self-deception is that the devil no longer has to trick, deceive, or coerce us into anything wrong or evil because we get to a point where we are tricking ourselves into falling apart. It is like a domino affect of failure where the pressure and guilt of one sin leads to another pressure and the building cannot stand when the storms of life come along and destroy the work and worker. Matt. 7:24 Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
      When a person's faith collapses because he or she has chosen to participate repetitively in sin, the result can be catastrophic because the anger within the sinner may be directed at God. Prov. 19:3 People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD. If you have fallen in an area of life and you can still blush, be thankful and repent. If sin has brought you to a place where the activity is no longer fun so to speak and your heart is saying go home to the Father of heaven, be thankful that repentance is being granted. 
      If you are tired of a false life and hypocrisy has become your middle name, turn back to your Lord and Savior and get radically turned around toward righteousness and Godliness in Christ. Don't wait for a full implosion of your life where you have no conscience to take responsibility for your actions and then blame it all on God and the church. 
      You may have fallen but know the love of God is never in doubt toward you. You are God's number one love and He will bring you back into relationship. However, you have to come in the sincerity of heart and repentance. There is grace for you. Jer. 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
      We live in times of uncertainty and confusing messages on an hourly basis. The pressures Christians feel today seem like we are being squeezed to death with temptations upon temptations. The reality is from the day Adam and Eve were tempted and fell to this day, sin has always been a battle for every person's heart who ever lived. 
The devil has no new strategies, just a lot of the old ones repackaged for our times. 
      As Christians, we have to know we have the ability and power in Christ to overcome anything the devil throws at us. We can and we will overcome if Christ is on the throne of our heart. 1 Cor. 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide an escape, so that you can stand up under it. May God keep us all from falling. In Jesus name.