The Struggle

For some, the struggle to do what is right is a daily fight. This struggle includes making wise decisions, being considerate of others, standing up for justice, doing what God says to do, and do it well. Why is this struggle so great?

The struggle to do right is greater because it is so much easier to give in to temptation. It is easier to think and act selfishly. It is easier to cuss someone out than to think about how to say what you want to say. It is easier to go along to get along than to stand on principles aligned with God’s Word.

 

If the struggle to do right was easy, many people would be saved and living abundant lives. But it is so much easier for people to live unsaved, without thinking about the consequences of their action, and how what they do impacts others. Since there are so many people struggling to live–without fear, without concern about finances or what the economy will bring or what the politicians will do, we know the struggle is real, we know there are people who have yet to find peace with Jesus, who are yet unsaved.

 

Lord Jesus, help us in our struggles to do what is right and help others to do the same. Help us to fight the good fight of faith in you, not self. Help us to resist the devil and watch him flee from us.

The Measure of Greatness!

“To which of the trees in Eden will you then be likened in glory and greatness? Yet you shall be brought down with the trees of Eden to the depths of the earth; you shall lie in the midst of the uncircumcised, with those slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude,’ says the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 31:18 NKJV)

When people seek greatness of their volition, they usually don’t care about the lives they destroy in their quest. And when they foolishly believe that their greatness is a result of either who they are or what they accomplish, they shall be brought down for all the world to see.

When God’s will for greatness is fulfilled in a person, everyone around them benefits. If people do great things for the benefit of others (not themselves), then God will raise them up for the world to see and if they are truly humble before God, their greatness will be beyond measure for it will never stop.

There are people who have been called great based on our understanding of greatness, but they were they great in God’s sight? Only He can determine the measure of their greatness which probably has less to do with our definition of greatness. But there are some things we can measure based upon His Word.

Are we seeking to promote peace within and without our immediate boundaries?

Are we promoting unconditional love for all regardless of ethnicity or gender?

Are we promoting obedience to God’s Word or are we promoting political correctness that defies God’s Word?

Greatness, our greatness, will not be measured by God by our standards, but by His and if we don’t measure up to His standards, what then have we truly accomplished?

I’d rather have His elevation for doing things His way--no matter how long it may take–for all eternity, than to have all of mankind applaud my efforts in keeping them pleased, for an instant! Only what we do for Christ will last!

Who Died For You?

“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (I Corinthians 1:13 NIV)

In the never-ending battle over which religion or denomination is the most important, this question should actually end all discussion. Who died for you that you might have life and that more abundantly?

As great as some of the founders of various denominations may have been–none of them were appointed to die as atonement for man’s sins, but Jesus.

None of the separatists–those who pulled away from the original “doctrine that Jesus promoted” have been able to say, “through their death, mankind is saved” for all eternity.

If we look carefully at each of the “religious dogmas” we find error and confusion and reason to debate.

Peter could not have been the “rock” upon which Catholic doctrine (regarding non-marriage for priests) was established since he was married (Matthew 8:14). The doctrine was established out of need to control and an inability to comprehend what Paul was saying.

Martin Luther did not die for mankind’s sins.

Buddha did not die for mankind’s sins.

Mohammad did not die for mankind’s sins.

John Wesley did not die for mankind’s sins.

This list could go on and on, but the point here is–to make people aware that we must pay attention to who we reverence and why. God has always used “people” to accomplish His will, but that doesn’t mean we should give “the people” the place of honor that does not belong to them.

Though greatness is determined by those who affix the title–none of them–died that we might have life.

And this was the warning Paul was giving–though we have respect for those who do great things, we cannot give them the place of honor that only belongs to Jesus Christ. When we attempt to put “mere men” upon pedestals, chaos and confusion reign since those men (or women) are just as imperfect as the rest of us.

So, rather than argue and debate which religion is greater or which leader is the most revered, let’s focus on the One, True founder of our faith (if we say we are followers of Christ) and give Him the honor and reverence that is due Him and no one else. How can we say we believe in God and not believe that He came down from heaven in the person of Jesus Christ, clothed in flesh, like a mere man in order to save us from ourselves, with the ultimate sacrifice of His life on the cross?

He is the reason for this season–His birth, death, burial, and resurrection–all made possible by His love for us. Who else could make this claim?

One Thing!

“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4 NIV)

In spite of all the things we may ask of God, while we are yet here on the planet, there is only one thing that I desire of Him, after death–to live with Him for all eternity.

No matter how many movies we see–lighting the way to heaven, seeing what actors do when they are supposedly in heaven, the reality is–after death–we know nothing (in the natural) and can certainly do nothing. I’ve often threatened to come back and haunt some folks if they don’t follow my wishes when I die, but whatever they do–will no longer concern me when I’m dead. For The Word says, “the dead know nothing” and we should not promote them knowing anything.

However, when He returns, “even the dead in Christ shall rise, first and live forever” with Him for all eternity. But in order to get there, or be “in Him” before we die, we must obey Him and do what He says for us to do. If we do not know The Word, we certainly cannot obey The Word, so I implore you today, get to know The Word, obey The Word, and expect the One Thing you seek the most to happen–in heaven for all eternity.

The Covenant of Grace!

“By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.” (Hebrews 8:13 NIV)

The old covenant between God and man consisting of ritualistic sacrifices for the atonement of sin, which man could not keep because of their willful nature, became obsolete, when the new covenant of grace appeared.

What is this covenant of grace? It is the recognition that God loved us so much that He was not willing to see any perish in their sins, and provided a means of escaping the fate of sinful behavior, by becoming the ultimate sacrifice for the atonement of sin. Our part in this covenant of grace–receive the finished work on the cross and obey Him in loving others. For if we love–Him and others--we will do nothing to disappoint Him or others. That’s what love does!

Under the covenant of grace–we have access into heaven by simply believing and accepting The Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. If He is Lord over our lives–we give Him complete control--no longer desiring to just please self, but to please Him. There is no more sacrifice for sin–just the judgment that comes with disobedience and unbelief!

Thanking God for the Covenant of Grace and for His willingness to be the ultimate sacrifice for me!

He Will Help!

“For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13 NIV)

When we we’re in need and can’t call a friend,

Who are we going to call upon?

Jesus!

When we can’t see beyond the moment,

Who are we going to call upon?

Jesus!

When our bodies are wracked with pain,

And doctors have given us no hope to gain, relief,

Who are we going to call upon?

Jesus!

When children and grandchildren go astray

From all they were taught, and led away, by evil,

Who are we going to call upon?

Jesus!

When there’s no food in the fridge, the cupboard bare

No money in the bank,  and we sit pulling our hair,

Who are we going to call upon?

Jesus!

When darkness tends to blind hope and light,

And we realize, it is not through our might, change comes

Who are we going to call upon?

Jesus!

There is no other name, by which a man be saved,

With Him, our path of success is already paved,

In Him, through obedience to His Word,

His name is Jesus! He will help!