With so much information available today, it is almost impossible to get through a day without hearing a lot of high-sounding nonsense. As I go about running my errands each day, I see billboards, listen to talk radio and watch the opinion shows on TV, I am amazed at the amount of nonsense that is sent out everyday. I sometimes wonder if the producers of these things think everyone in this country is of low intelligence. Empty philosophies and words abound everywhere. How does one keep him/herself from being overly influenced by this worldly chatter? Those of us that have accepted Jesus Christ must understand that there is a spiritual battle being waged 24/7. It is just as real as any military operation and it has consequences that last for an eternity. The mind is the battlefield and that is where we win or lose each battle. We must keep our spiritual eyes and ears focused on Jesus. We must put on the full armor of God each morning before we hear the first human voice speak. God is the Commander of the Heavenly armies and we are a part of that army. Before you leave home each day, check in with the Commander and see where He needs you to be today. He is looking for warriors to stand in the gap for families, neighbors, and our country. Christ is the ruler and authority over the whole universe. Be committed to Jesus and be so convinced that nothing can change your mind. If we suffer with Him here, we will reign with Him there. Show the world Jesus by helping and loving those around you today.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
While Jesus was hanging on the cross, He was mocked by the crowd, the soldiers and even one of the thieves that was hung with Him mocked Him. That thief died and went to hell. The other thief asked for forgiveness and ended up in paradise with Jesus. This is a glaring example of immediately reaping what we sow. Just as God spoke the world into existence, we can speak words that create and build up or we can speak words that destroy. Let us be sure that we are speaking words that edify one another and that our actions prove the words that we speak. We will not always receive immediate punishment for bad words and deeds nor will we always receive immediate rewards for good words and deeds. But if we are faithful in doing good works, we have a reward laid up in heaven. So, let us continue to do good works, not for earthly rewards, but because we love our Lord and Savior. 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”—Luke 9:62 (NIV) 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him.–2 Tim. 2:12a (NIV)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
10 God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation.
Why does the Creator even consider the created? Why would God create us knowing that in the future, He would have to give His only Son as a sacrifice for our sins? He caused His son to give up the glory of heaven and become lower than the angels He had created. This is love that human beings cannot understand. Through His kindness, God allowed His son to suffer and die for us. Then, because Jesus was obedient even to death on that cross, God crowned Him with glory and honor and established Him as ruler over all things. When Jesus returns, He will use the authority given to Him to rule and reign. At that time, those who have refused to bow before Him will be cast into an everlasting hell. Those who have chosen to receive His salvation will be with Him in the new heaven and the new earth forever. We will cast our crowns at His feet and He will be crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
2 Tim 2:11-13 (Voice)
11 Here’s a statement you can trust:
If we died with Him, we will live with Him.
12 If we remain with Him, we will reign alongside Him.
If we deny Him, we will be denied by Him.
13 If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful,
For He is not able to deny Himself.
We must determine each morning to put away our carnal, fleshly desires and live for Jesus. As Jesus said to Cain in Genesis 4:7 If you do what is right, you will still be accepted, but if you do not choose to do right, sin is at the door, it desires to have you. The phrase, “sin is at the door” indicates that if we refuse to repent and do what is right, we will continue down the wrong path and sin will eventually control our minds and our lives. If we wish to have eternal life and reign with Jesus, we have to remain faithful to Him. Faithfulness requires a working knowledge of God’s Word. If we hide God’s Word in our hearts, we will follow after goodness and righteousness.
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. – Philippians 3:12 NLT
God created a perfect earth. When Adam and Eve were tempted by satan and chose to disobey God, the earth was no longer perfect. Then the earth, along with humankind, started to age and decay. God became the perfect man to redeem earth and all mankind from that fallen state. When Jesus ascended, there was no longer anything left on this earth that was perfect. Then God came as the Holy Spirit to abide within us. Since that time, those of us who accept Christ as our Savior and Lord have been given both the command and the desire to strive for perfection. Though we understand that as long as we live in this fleshly tent, it is impossible for us to achieve perfection, nevertheless, as Paul says we “press on to possess that perfection”. Why would we or Paul strive to achieve a seemingly impossible goal? If this temporal dwelling and life were the end, then we would be foolish. But we, who believe in Jesus, have a knowledge and a hope of eternity. That knowledge and hope will not be perfected while we participate in the activities of the Kingdom of God here on earth. We press on because we know that when the Perfect One comes to reign again, we will be like Him. It is then that our hope will be fulfilled and we will reach the goal of perfection. We press on for a few years to win the prize of eternal perfection, fully synced with the One who has always been, now is and will always be Perfection. Impossible in this lifetime? Yes. Impossible in eternity? No!
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.
19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.” 22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded. 23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.–John 18:19-24 (NIV)
With His first answer to the high priest, Jesus receives a slap in the face from one of the temple officials. Thus begins the mockery that is called a trial. This type of questioning and cruel treatment would continue through the night. When the high priest Annas finished questioning Jesus, he bound Him and sent Him to Caiaphas the high priest.
(There were not really two high priests at this time. The Romans had removed Annas in AD 15, yet the Jews still respected him and considered him a high priest. Since his removal from office by the Romans, five of his sons had served as high priest and now, Caiaphas, his son-in-law was the actual high priest.)
Jesus never claimed to be anyone but who He was. He never wavered or changed His story. He understood and accepted the reason He was being mistreated. He is our example of how we should respond when we are mistreated for His name’s sake. No matter how we suffer, if we are called to suffer, Jesus has already been there and worse. He will be there to carry us through. We should remember what Paul wrote to Timothy: 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.–2 Timothy 1:11,12 (NIV)
We too are appointed as heralds and teachers of the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
–2 Timothy 2:11,12 (NIV)
We must be ready to die for Him now, if we expect to reign with Him in heaven.