A child of God is anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. When we do that, our sins are forgiven and we become a new creation. We are filled with God’s light and where there is light, there can be no darkness. Does this mean that if we sin or fail that we are no longer God’s children? Not at all, each of us will fail at times. The question is not about a single sin, but a lifestyle of sin. If our salvation experience does not change our lifestyle then we need to question whether it was a real life-changing event or merely an emotional experience that we had. Don’t be deceived, God is faithful and just. Getting saved is a rational, logical experience. There may be emotions and feelings involved, but the true experience is a decision that we make to trust our souls and our future to Jesus. If we have done this, then there will be changes in our lifestyle. Some immediately, some as we mature in our walk with Christ. Our lives will bear the fruit of the Spirit.
3 Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. – James 5:3 NLT
God does not have a problem with us having money. He realized how important it is but He also realized that as humans, we could become too attached to money and the material things that we could purchase with it. Jesus talked about money more than He did Heaven and Hell combined. Jesus talked about money more than anything else except the Kingdom of God.
11 of 39 parables talk about money.
1 of every 7 verses in the Gospel of Luke talk about money.–Answers.com
Jesus wants us to understand that money, in and of itself, is neither good nor evil. Whether it is good or evil in our lives depends on how we acquire it, what we do with it, and whether or not money becomes our “god” . This passage is a warning to those who would get their riches using the wrong methods and use it to purchase the wrong things for the wrong reasons. God will not take second place to anything or anyone.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.–Matt. 6:24 (NKJV)
Mammon means more than just money. In earlier times, mammon was the god of wealth and riches, so it refers to money, material things and false gods. It can also refer to a wicked spirit that causes people to do sinful acts to accumulate wealth of any sort. Jesus knew that we needed money to buy what we need to sustain life, but He also knew it could be a huge problem. Now we can see why Jesus talked about money so often and why He warned us about getting attached to it. Having no money or very little money can be a problem as well as having too much. Having too much seems to be the bigger problem. There are more Christians who fail the “prosperity” test there are who fail the “poverty” test.
I wish I had never said that! Sound familiar? Unfortunately, our spoken words are like our texts and our emails, once we have hit the send button, we can’t get them back. Words can pierce us to depths of our heart and the wounds are slow to heal, if they heal at all. In the carpenter trade (which Jesus was very familiar with), they have a saying” “measure twice, cut once”. Of course, the implication is that if you take the time to measure correctly, you won’t have to cut the lumber again. That would be a good rule for us to follow in our conversations. Think twice about what we are about to say before we say it and maybe no one will get cut to the bone. We should choose words that build up and create rather than destroy. We need to show our faithfulness to Jesus by caring for those around us that need our help. Not just physically and materially, but also spiritually. We need to walk carefully so that we are not corrupted.
We are told in the first chapter of John that “the Word became human and dwelt among us”. That Word was and is Jesus Christ. He is still alive and active. He stands at the right hand of the Father and intercedes for us. His Holy Spirit searches our hearts and minds and knows our very thoughts. We can all “talk the talk” but only each of us and God know whether or not we are “walking the walk”. He knows our thoughts and judges our intentions. We cannot fool Him, we cannot hide our thoughts from Him and we cannot physically hide from Him. He sees all, hears all, and knows all about us. And one day, “every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess” that He is Lord. We can do it now and spend an eternity with Him or we can wait until judgment day and spend an eternity in hell. Jesus wants everyone to go to heaven, but He knows that not everyone will choose to go. The choice is ours.
10 But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” – Jeremiah 17:10 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Everything that was created was created to praise God and give Him glory. But, because of sin, we were in a fallen state and separated from God. All of nature is in a fallen state as well. It has always been God’s plan to restore us and the world to Himself. Nature groans waiting on the return of Jesus to restore it to its original condition. Humanity, however, rebelled against God and began to worship idols. The only thing that would meet the requirements for forgiveness was the sacrifice of blood because life is in the blood. In the Old Testament, that was a process that was repeated over and over. But when Christ Jesus came in human flesh, it was His obedience that led Him to shed His blood on the cross. Jesus was perfect and His blood was pure, so it satisfied the requirement for redemption for all ages. Now, we are washed in His blood, clothed in His righteousness so that we can approach God without a blemish. No one, absolutely no one can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus.
God created the world with the spoken Word. It is held in place by the Power of His Word. Our words have power, they can be words of life or words of death. When we speak words of death and live disobedient lives, we grieve God’s Holy Spirit. It pleases God for us to walk right and talk right. If we hold resentment and anger in our hearts, it becomes a root of bitterness. That root grows because the flesh feeds it and soon it pushes out all forgiveness and love. Being kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving kills the root and we follow after the example of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. You can’t please God and the flesh, you must choose which it will be.
Jesus said “I am the Truth, the Way, and the Life”, so when we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we accepted the Truth. Because the Holy Spirit abides in us, we have the truth abiding in us. We also have God’s written Word, which is truth. When the liar, satan, tempts us, we must use the Word to overcome the temptations that he puts in front of us. Anyone who denies the truth is a form of anti-Christ. To receive the promises of God, we have to hang onto what we have been taught and have come to believe, then we will receive our reward–eternal life.
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”— 1 Samuel 16:7 NLT
Society and the world wants us to “dress for success”. Commercial after commercial emphasizes how we should continue to try to look young and beautiful (or handsome). All those things are temporary and fleeting. Good looks, great physiques and great wealth can be gone over night. None of that is guaranteed, so why do we spend so much time and money on those things? The important thing is this: What does God see when He looks into our hearts? What is in our heart will determine where we spend eternity. It is much more important to please God than to please man. We need to ask God to “create in us a clean heart” and “renew a right Spirit within us”. What does God require of us?
We may look at the list of things that pagans choose to do and with great relief, say “I never gave in to any of those things.”. But let’s take another look. A synonym for debauchery is decadence which is defined as excessive self-indulgence. How much time and money do we spend on thngs that benefit no one but ourselves? At what point do our “needs” actually become only our “wants”? Then there is lust, usually taken in the sexual connotation, but let’s spread that out a little further. How about the desire to control and to have a high position? Or the desire for things? And then there is that ugly word, idolatry. No statues or figurines in the house? How about things that we spend inordinate amounts of time and money trying to acquire? How about persons on whom we spend inordinate amounts of time and money trying to please and/or appease? How about things and events that we spend way, way too much time talking about? If there is anything or any person in our lives that we feel so strongly about that those feelings would cause us to be unkind to and/or hurt others, those are idols. If we are guilty of any of these things and suffer in any area whether it be financially, emotionally, or spiritually, then we are not suffering for Christ, we are suffering from bad decisions and there is no reward for ourselves and no glory for God. We need to decide that we are done with sin, commit to doing God’s will and then when we suffer for His sake, Christ will receive the glory and we will receive the reward in heaven. We have all seen those dirty cars where someone has written on them “Wash Me”. When our lives become so cluttered and covered with things and issues, maybe we need someone to write on our our hearts, “wash me”.
Isaiah 1:18.Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
When we take the Communion, we are all symbolically partaking of the same body and the same blood. This has been true ever since Jesus set the example with the disciples in the Upper Room. No matter what time it is in eternity, we are all bound together by that one body and one blood and it will be culminated in heaven when we all partake of the Communion at the great banquet table. So, we should never defile that practice by partaking of anything that has been sacrificed to idols or to demons of any sort. We cannot serve two masters and our God is a jealous God. We do not want to provoke Him.
13 But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images 14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God),—Exodus 34:13, 14 NKJV
While we may not bow to wooden or golden images, we can still have things that we treasure more dearly than our relationship with God. These things or people are just as much an idol as any graven image. Each of us needs to ask the Holy Spirit to show us the things in our lives that grieve Him. Those things are our idols.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting–Psalm 139:23, 24 NKJV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous