17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. — 1 Peter 1:17 NLT
1 Peter 1:17-21 NLT
We will all be judged for what we do and we will all be judged by the same standards. Jesus paid the exact same price for each of us. No one person is more valuable to Him than any other person. Because of the price He paid, we all owe Him everything. Giving Him everything does not even scratch the surface of what we owe Him. He paid a debt that we could never pay. While we were still leading those sinful lives filled with nothing, He loved us enough to shed His blood for us. Because of that and the example He set for us, we have come to trust in God. The God that has never broken a single promise and has never gone back on His Word. He is the Rock on which we can plant our feet and never be moved. He holds the future in His hands, therefore we have eternal hope because He raised Christ from the dead. He can also raise us from the dead and one day He will do just that. Without that hope, we of all people would be the most miserable. So let us continuously give Him praise and glory all day, every day!
15 Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. 16 And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. —Hebrews 13;15-16 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. – 1 Timothy 6:18 NLT
We should never put our trust in money, men, or any earthly thing or person. We should trust in God alone. He gives us everything we need.
3 As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness!—2 Peter 1:3 (NLT)
We should use those resources to do good works and help our neighbors and others who are in need. Using God’s blessings to help others is laying up rewards in heaven. We should guard (use wisely) every gift and resource God puts at our disposal. If we spend our time studying God’s Word and doing good as Jesus did, we will find it is much easier to avoid foolish discussions and quarrels with those around us.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us.–2 Thessalonians 3:6 (NLT)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
13 And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! — 1 Kings 3:13 NLT
It has been said that when we get to heaven, if we should ask God why He didn’t answer our prayers, He will show us a list of all the prayers we have ever prayed and His answer to each one. Then, He will show us a list of all the prayers we should have prayed but didn’t and His answer to all of those. The list that we prayed will be in the thousands and the list we should have prayed will be in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Why are we so hesitant to ask God for everything that we need? No, He isn’t some heavenly Santa needing a list of our needs, but He does want us to ask. We need to realize that every breath we take is an answer to prayer. God owes us nothing, but He wants to give us everythng. The old expression that “God helps those who help themselves” is not Biblical. God wants us to be totally dependent on Him for our needs. As long as we think that we can do it ourselves, He will allow us to struggle. We must reach the same point that Solomon reached and admit to God, that we can’t. As Solomon asked, “how can one man do this?”, we need to admit to God that we can do nothing without Him and that we believe with all of our hearts that we can do all things through Him. It is at this point of need and full realization that we are helpless, that God can move in and use the full force of heaven to accomplish what needs to be done. When we feel that God has not answered our prayers, He has either said “No” or “Wait for my timing”. That is the two answers we don’t want to hear, so we just say that God hasn’t answered. Instead of rebeling and complaining, we need to use that time of waiting to prepare for what God is going to give us that we didn’t ask for. After all, He gave us the most precious and expensive gift He could give when He gave us His Son, why would He withhold anything else?
32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? — Romans 8:32 NLT
28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” 33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. — Luke 2:28-33 NIV
Simeon was a priest serving in the temple at the time Joseph and Mary borught Jesus to be consecrated. He had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would be honored to see the Lord’s Messiah before he died. God arranged that Simeon would be walking in the courtyard when Joseph and Mary arrived with baby Jesus. It is amazing how God manages all the little details to be sure that His promises never fail. It should give us great comfort and peace to know how much God cares about us. How carefully He watches over us allowing and/or causing every piece of the puzzle to fall into place to fulfill HIs plan. The events in our lives happen just in time and are designed to help us grow spiritually. They are sometimes trying but they are never more than we can bear, if we lean on Him in those times.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. — Isaiah 41:10 NIV
Some people may feel that God has never spoken to them or promised them anything. But, truthfully, He has promised each of us everything that we need to live the life that He has called us to live.
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature — 2 Peter 1:3, 4a NIV
So, in the best of times and the worst of times, if we lean on Jesus, we can always go in joy and peace.
12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; — Isaiah 55:12a NIV
16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created. — James 1:16-18 NIV
When God created the world, after each day’s work,we are told that “God saw that it was good” except for the sixth day when He made man, we are told that
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day – Genesis 1:29 – 31 NIV
Everything in this world was created good and perfect to last forever and was given to man by God to enjoy and have dominion over it all. Then man sinned and decay and rot started in all of God’s creation. But God had a plan to fix all that even before He laid the foundations of the earth . So, He gave us “THE good and perfect gift”, Himself, to die on a cross to redeem all of creation. He is still in the business of giving good gifts to us. This very moment is called the “present” because it is a gift from God. The good earth we enjoy, the very air that we breathe, every particle of food that we eat are all gifts from God. When He gives them, they are good gifts, but we have chosen to belittle and desecrate those gifts by refusing to give thanks to the Creator of all things. Every second of our life is a gift from God and we need to give Him praise, glory and honor for those precious seconds. Our attitudes should always be an attitude of humility and thankfulness. We should stand in awe of our awesome God.
12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. —1 Cor. 6:12,13 NIV
When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we were set free from the bondage of sin. We no longer were bound to satan and the flesh. Just as our physical freedom has limits, so does our Spiritual freedom have limits. The physical limits are set by the laws of the land. Our Spiritual limits are set because of our love for our Lord and Savior. Free to do anything? Yes, but would doing just anything the flesh wanted glorify our Lord? No, of course not. The flesh is weak and if we give into fleshly desires, they will become our master. We are free to choose who we serve. We can serve Jesus and live or we can serve the flesh and die. We are free to give into temptations, but that doesn’t mean that we should. There are dire consequences to choosing a sinful lifestyle.
14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.–James 1:15 NASB
10 “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn. 12 “Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said. None of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Then Jesus served them the bread and the fish. 14 This was the third time Jesus had appeared to his disciples since he had been raised from the dead. 15 After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. 16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said. 17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.—John 21:10-17 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
They had caught 153 fish in one haul, talk about an abundance! Jesus came that we might have abundant life (John 10:10). This was the third time they had seen Jesus since the Resurrection, so they knew who He was. Now, Jesus asks Peter a simple question. “Do you love me more than these?” Peter answers “Yes, Lord, you know I love you”. Jesus then said to Peter “take care of my sheep”. It is as if Jesus is saying to Peter, do you love me enough to leave these other disciples to go and feed my sheep. The third time Jesus asks He uses a different word for love that is asking Peter how deeply do you love men? Jesus says for the third time, “Feed my sheep”. The question for us then is this: Do we love Jesus enough to leave family, friends and home to feed His sheep? We come to the same question that we must ask ourselves everyday. Are we willing to give up everyone and everything to follow Jesus?
23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.—Luke 9:23, 24 (NLT)