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.
10 God also said,
“Lord, in the beginning you laid the foundation of the earth.
With your own hands you made the heavens.
11 They will come to an end, but you will live forever.
They will all wear out like clothes.
12 They will be taken off like a coat.
You will change them like clothes.
But you remain the same, and your life will never end.
13 But God never said to any of the angels,
“Sit in the highest position in heaven
until I make your enemies your footstool.”
14 What are all the angels? They are spirits sent to serve those who are going to receive salvation.–Hebrews 1:10-14 (GW)
Every thing that is created will come to an end. Our souls will remain and live on forever. God has said that Jesus will live and reign forever and Jesus has promised us that we will be with Him and we will be in His likeness. Our souls, our life center, will remain alive after we shed this flesh like taking off a coat. Then our bodies will be glorified and we will be with Jesus in a new heaven and a new earth. Jesus will reign after all His enemies have been defeated. In our new, immortal bodies, we will reign with Him, serving Him and praising Him with joy and gladness. In the meantime, God has sent His angels to serve us, watch over us and protect us. Jesus “was” in the beginning, He “is” now and He “always will be”. He is the author and the finisher of our faith. Our salvation depends on the faithfulness of God, not on anything that we do. Therefore, we are secure in our salvation.
1 My dear children, I’m writing this to you so that you will not sin. Yet, if anyone does sin, we have Jesus Christ, who has God’s full approval. He speaks on our behalf when we come into the presence of the Father. 2 He is the payment for our sins, and not only for our sins, but also for the sins of the whole world.–1 John 2:1,2 (GW)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
The plan of salvation and redemption was laid out before the foundations of the world were laid.
19 Rather, the payment that freed you was the precious blood of Christ, the lamb with no defects or imperfections. 20 He is the lamb who was known long ago before the world existed, but for your good he became publicly known in the last period of time. 21 Through him you believe in God who brought Christ back to life and gave him glory. So your faith and confidence are in God.–1 Peter 1:19-21 (GW)
Jesus having fulfilled His mission here on earth now stands at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. We are hidden in Christ and He abides in us. No amount of service or money could ever pay this debt. No amount of worship or adoration by mankind can ever match the marvelous love, mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Humbly bow before Him now and thank Him! Praise Him and give Him glory forever!
23 My lips will sing with joy when I make music to praise you. My soul, which you have rescued, also will sing joyfully.—Psalm 71:23 (GW)
1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors at many different times and in many different ways through the prophets. 2 In these last days he has spoken to us through his Son. God made his Son responsible for everything. His Son is the one through whom God made the universe. 3 His Son is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact likeness of God’s being. He holds everything together through his powerful words. After he had cleansed people from their sins, he received the highest position, the one next to the Father in heaven. 4 The Son has become greater than the angels since he has been given a name that is superior to theirs. 5 God never said to any of his angels,
God is waiting to show you the way.
“You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.”
And God never said to any of his angels,
“I will be his Father, and he will be my Son.”—Hebrews 1:1-5 (GW)
In the Old Testament, God spoke to His people through prophets, Theophanies, angels, and, at least, once through an animal. In the New Testament, He sent angels to specific people and also spoke to His people through John the Baptist. But, after Jesus was born, God the Father spoke to humans through God the Son. Jesus was present at the creation. He is the exact likeness of God and He is the reflection of God’s glory.. Once he had been obedient to the cross and completed His earthly mission, He was exalted to His present position, which is next to God in heaven. He intercedes for us there. He is greater than all the angels and His Name is superior to all other names. His Name is the only Name in heaven and on earth or under the seas, whereby we can receive eternal salvation.
6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. 8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. 9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.–Col. 2:6-10 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the way.
Accepting Jesus as our Savior is the first step in our journey to heaven. The next step is to allow Him to be Lord of our lives. This means being obedient to His teachings and following His example. If our roots are to grow down into Him and our foundation is to be built on Him, then we must spend time getting to know Him. As we study and meditate on His Word, our faith will grow stronger each day. This knowledge of the truth of Jesus should cause our hearts to overflow with joy and our lips to sing His praises. We must guard our hearts and our minds. The world is full of people spouting vain philosophies and nonsense. They are possessed, obsessed or influenced by evil spirits. They speak of religion and try to compare it with Christianity, which is a relationship with Jesus. Religions are based on man’s thinking and can change every time the wind blows. Our relationship with Christ is built on the Solid Rock and will withstand every storm and fiery dart that the enemy hurls at us. We are in Christ and He is in us, so we are complete with Christ as our ruler and authority.
10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.–1 Cor. 3:10-15 (NASB)
God is waiting to show you the way.
Continuing our thoughts on building God’s Temple, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the foundation is laid, because He is the foundation. If we try to build on any other foundation, the storms and stresses of life will bring the house down. We must be careful in selecting the material we use to build on the foundation. If we build with world philosophies and religions, they will not stand and the work will be destroyed. But if we allow God’s Spirit to show us the materials and how to use them, then our work will stand. The gold, silver, and precious stones of our building will be faith, hope, and love. These three will abide forever. Anything less will not stand the test of time. If we build with these materials, the Temple will be decorated with the fruits of the Spirit:
22 But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. There is no law that says these things are wrong. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their own sinful selves. They have given up their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do. 25 We get our new life from the Spirit, so we should follow the Spirit. 26 We must not be proud or make trouble with each other or be jealous of each other.–Galatians 5:22-26 (NCV)
If we build with wood, hay, and straw, these would be such things as pride, greed, and hate, they will not stand the test of fire. The soul will be saved but it will be as if were snatched from the very jaws of death, barely escaping the fires of hell. Let us choose to live and walk after God’s Spirit and the example set by Jesus Christ.