God wants each of us to be totally committed to Him. Our lifestyles should reflect that commitment. We have to look inside ourselves and allow God’s Holy Spirit to show us where the problem lies. What is keeping us from being totally committed to Jesus? Are temporary physical pleasures more important than eternal life in heaven? Eternal life with Jesus is a free gift, so earning more money is not going to get you there. The only true peace and contentment we have is in Jesus. He knows our hearts and He knows the solution to not only the sins we try to hide, but to any situation we are facing. He is waiting to share that information with You.
If you do, He will speak to You.
3 ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ — Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV
The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
There is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood. Since Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices of blood for forgiveness of sin. Jesus fulfilled the old covenant law completely and established a new covenant for us. In the Old Testament, no one could go into the Holy of Holies except the chief priest and he could only go once a year. Now, because of the new Covenant, we can enter into God”s throne room at anytime. Our bodies have been washed and we are cleansed by His blood.
7 But if we live in the light in the same way that God is in the light, we have a relationship with each other. And the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from every sin.–1 John 1:7 (GW)
The blood of Jesus cleansed sin yesterday, it cleanses sin today, and it will cleanse sin tomorrow. We can hold on to our declaration because the One Who paid the price and established the New Covenant is faithful. Even in times of persecution, we can know that He will never let us go.
12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day–1 Timothy 1:12 (NKJV)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. — Acts 4:13 NLT Acts 4:1-15
“For they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training”. Using these oridnary men, God had drawn over 5000 men (plus the women and children} to Jesus. Ordinary men and women are the ones that Jesus uses every day to draw others to Jesus Christ. Ordianry men and women, people like you and me, are His choice to spread the Gospel. Here are two ex-fishermen that Jesus has turned into “fishers of men”. It is good to study and learn as long as our knowledge does not become our god. It is good to study and learn as long as we remember why we are doing it. Our studying and learning should be obedience-based and not outcome-based. It is good to study and learn as long as we don’t use that as an excuse for not spreading the Gospel. The time is here to put all that studying and learning to the use for which God gave us the ability to do it. We, as Christians, should have only one goal in our lives that overrides everything else that we do. That goal is to do everything for the glory of God. If we concentrate on that goal each and every day. perhaps we will one day recieve the same compliment that Peter and John received here — “They recognized them as men who had been with Jesus”. Do our lifestyles show others that “we have been with Jesus”? Do people notice the presence of Jesus in our lives? There is no higher compliment that we could pay a person than to tell them that we recognize they “have been with Jesus”.
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. — Matt 13:37-39 NIV
We are warned over and over in the Bible, that as the end draws nearer, there will arise more and more false prophets even in the church. They will seem genuine to those who do not have the Holy Spirit abiding in them and therefore, have no discernment. They will preach and teach a “cheap” grace. A grace based on head knowledge and not on what we have in our hearts. They will expound doctrines that do not require holy lifestyles or they will add manmade rules that require more than the Bible requires for salvation. Whether they add to or subtract from the Biblical requirements for salvation, they are both wrong. When we have truly accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and He gives us the Holy Spirit, we are saved. We are clothed in His holiness and righteousness. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves more holy or more righteous than He made us. A Christlike lifestyle is the external proof of what we believe in our hearts not what we know in our minds. Our thoughts and actions are the fruit of the Spirit, a good tree will bear good fruit and a bad tree will bear bad fruit. It is a natural and a spiritual law that we cannot change. For fruit trees to bear an abundant crop, they require a lot of care. So, everyday, fertilize the tree with scripture and wash it with the water of the Word.
17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”–John 10:17,18 (NIV)
The Holy Spirit has been given to us as our guide, but He will never make us do anything against our own will. We have the power and the authority to make the same decision that Jesus made. We can decide to hold onto our earthly, physical lives if that is what we want or we can decide to put our lives on the cross that Jesus gives us to bear. We will never do this as long as our own pride and other people’s opinions of us are more important than pleasing God. There is one funeral that we all need to attend and that is the death and burial of our fleshly desires. Anything that we put above our love and obedience for God has to be removed. It is a decision that Jesus had to make and so must we. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus ended His prayer with “not My will but thine be done”. So should our prayer be as well. 44 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last.–Luke 23:44-46 (NIV)
Are we ready to commit our whole lives, mind, soul, body, and spirit into the hands of God? The way of the cross leads home, but we have to go through the cross, the blood and the darkness to get there.