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
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking . – James 1:5 NLT
God has promised to fulfill our every need. If we need wisdom, we need to ask, but when we ask, we must believe that God will do what He has said that He will do. Jesus told His disciples that they had “little” faith and that is why they could not do certain miracles. We must have faith and doubt is the opposite of faith. As long as we have doubts, we will change our minds anytime anyone tells us “God is not going to do that for you”. Make a decision based on what you know, not what you feel. Feelings are unreliable and can be used by satan to bring us down. Study the Bible asking God to guide you and give you insight into His Word. Then you can be sure that what you ask for lines up with His Word and He will give it to you. Why would He not do that? After all, He has already given His most precious possession as a ransom for our souls.
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
– John 3:16-17 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” — Acts 4: 12 NLT
This verse is probably one of the best known verses in the Bible. It may be very well-known but we had best not get complacent about it. Do we believe what this verse says? Is there really only one Name under heaven whereby we can be saved? Would you stake your life on it? In today’s society with its anti-Christian bent, we had better be sure we believe it if we are going to stand up for Jesus because there are thousands of our brothers and sisters around the world who are doing just that–giving their lives for Jesus. If we believe then why do we get so mealy-mouthed around the religious people of the world? There is not one religion that makes this claim, only Christianity. Our beliefs had better be rooted in Jesus and our lives built on Him. Otherwise, when the storms come and the winds of doubt and fear start beating us up, we will fall. If you read the full passage above, then you will know that verse thirteen says that the council of leaders knew that Peter and John “had been with Jesus”. Isn’t that what we want others to see in us? Enough of the likeness of Jesus that they will know that we have spent some time with Jesus. Jesus died for all sinners, we owe it to Him to let the whole world know. Are we ready to stand up, speak up and die if we have to? Let us all pray that if that time comes in our lives that we will be ready to meet the challenge and joyfully go home to be with Jesus.
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
29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good News, 30 will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life. 31 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then. — Mark 10:29-31 NLT
God has nothing against rich people or people that are successful from a worldly viewpoint. Riches, power and position are neutral and can be used for good or for evil. It is the misuse of these things that causes our issues with God. He allows us to have those things for His honor and His glory. We are to use whatever we have, be it little or be it much, as a means to an end, not the end itself. We should use those things for His glory here and now and be ready to give them up completely, if necessary. Any good thing that we have now comes from God and belongs to God. When properly used, it will bring glory to God now. If it is necessary for us to give it up to bring glory and honor to the Father, we will receive a return now and rewards in eternity. It is not about the amount we give, it is about the sacfrifice we make in giving to God. The poor widow put in two small coins, others gave much more, but only she recevied praise from Jesus. She gave her grocery money, they gave from their surplus. When we have the heart of the widow and give like she gave, then the blessings will come. Not because we gave a lot, but because we gave sacrifically, trusting God to meet our every need. Don’t be concerned about the amount or the percentage, don’t quit giving when it hurts, just keep giving until it feels good.
36 The almond buds and branches must all be of one piece with the center stem, and they must be hammered from pure gold. 37 Then make the seven lamps for the lampstand, and set them so they reflect their light forward. 38 The lamp snuffers and trays must also be made of pure gold. 39 You will need 75 pounds of pure gold for the lampstand and its accessories. — Exodus 25:36-39 NLT
For those who think God has something against money, prosperity and being rich, here is something to think about. Seventy-five pounds of gold is 1200 ounces. On today’s market, gold is listed at $1114.30 per ounce. That means that in today’s world, the cost of the lampstand and all of its accessories would be $1,336,800 in US currency. Extravagant? If you own all the gold in the world, does extravagant even have a meaning? One could object that God took all this money from the poor, homeless Israelis. Why would He do that? But, we must remember when they were slaves in Egypt, they had nothing and when God called them out of Egypt, He caused the Egyptians to give the Israelis all of their jewelry and gold. He was the reason they had the gold in the first place, they were just carrying it for Him. The same is true of us today, anything that we have came from God and we are just carrying it for Him. The next time the offering plate is passed, we need to remember where our gold came from and give a goodly portion of it back. When we have an opportunity to share the bountiful gifts God has so freely given to us, let us share it with a joyful, thankful heart. Take a moment to remember and thank God for His extravagance in giving us His Son. We will never be able to give to God more than He has given to us. When we seriously think about it, God doesn’t really require much of us.
8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. — Micah 6:8 NLT