Don’t Complicate the Message

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7 “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sins are put out of sight.
8 Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.” 
— Romans 4:7, 8 NLT
 
God, because of His great love, mercy and grace made the plan of salvation so simple that a child can understand it.  Because of the simplicity of the plan, it often brings the question, “Is that really all I need to do to be saved?’.  And the simple answer is yes.  So, we can just keep doing what we were doing?  No! and again No!  But now we are talking about sanctification which is a lifelong process.  The good works we do are not to gain a greater salvation.  If we could do enough good works to be saved then Jesus died in vain.  We might as well still be living under the law and all of its impossible requirements.  But Jesus did not die in vain. His death and resurrection fulfilled the law and opened the gate to heaven so that all that chose Him in faith could come in.  When Paul tells the Philippians to “work out your own salvation”, he is not telling them to look for another way to be saved.  He is telling them to do good works to show the world the results of their salvation.  Phil, 2:12-15 NLT   Jesus “went about doing good”.  He is our example of how we are to live our lives as His brothers and sisters.  As Christians, our response to certain things should be so different from the response of the worldly that it gets their attention. Our good works not only attract others to Jesus but they are also how we “lay up rewards in heaven”.
Post 08-04-2016

It Ain’t Santa That’s Making a List

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16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name. — Malachi 3:16 NLT


“and the Lord listened to what they said.”

 It is both comforting and frightening to understand that God hears every word we say and knows every thought that we think.  It is frightening to think that the King of Kings hears some of the things we say to each other.  Our unkind remarks and thoughts that we have surely displease Him.  They are a sin in His eyes.  We must pray that we never get to the point that our consciences are seared over and we are not convicted of our foolish remarks. We must learn to fear God in the correct way.  The fear that we should have of God is a feeling of respect and reverence that is so deep that it causes us to be in complete awe of Him.  It is comforting to know He hears when we pray and knows our thoughts when we just think a prayer.  Think a prayer?  Yes, we have those times when we don’t verbally pray but, instantly, a thought that serves as a prayer crosses our minds.  It is also comforting to note that God records the names of those who revere Him and always meditate on His name.  It is also comforting that He says nothing about recording our sins, just our names. Thank God for His mercy that He does not give us the punishment we have earned, instead He gives us grace, a gift that we do not deserve.
Post 06-21-2016