The Christian’s primary job is to preach the gospel and anything else done is an overflow of the joy of that, God is way more concerned with a person’s eternal well being as opposed to their short term happiness. Eternity is forever after all and God would rather give you His unending joy later then some quick fix for the here and now that won’t last. Although God gives His children His blessings in this life too, he is saving the best for later. We need only be patient enough.
Spiritual surgery: Sometimes we do not enjoy God’s methods of bringing us to greater wholeness. Even though the outcome is good, the process in my experience can be agonizing. God is not mean, cruel, or sadistic but he is kind of like a skillful surgeon who has no alternative but to operate and cut into the diseased parts of our hearts and lives. Pain often times can be an instrument that cuts into our selfishness and prideful egos. When we go through tough times we realize how small and unimportant we really are and we become more humble, or that should be the goal. As we are being emptied of ourselves and selfishness we become more useful to love and serve others at a greater capacity. Wholeness is God’s goal, he does not inflict pain without a good reason in mind. He will use whatever he can to turn us from destructive ways or mature us into the people we ought to be as Christ’s followers.
Job 5:18 For He crushes but also binds up; He strikes, but His hands also heal.
“Imagine a place of never ending regret, and never ending sorrow, a place with no second chances or do overs. An existence where all you can do for the rest of eternity is contemplate how things could have been different if you had only made different decisions, and the pain your sins have caused other people eats your soul night and day. A place of no rest and no relief, a non ending cycle of bitter contemplation and all you have left is your cherished memories that have long since faded. All your loved ones are shadows of your past life and you will never ever see them again in this place of isolation and despair.”
Hell is an actual place that exists after the death when ones soul leaves the body, and although my depiction might not be as accurate as it could be, it is most assuredly a place of non ending regret, isolation and torment. Jesus spoke a lot on the matters of the afterlife, and my hope in writing this is possibly to awaken some who might happen across this of a reality that one cannot afford to be wrong about but can also avoid. It is not a pleasant topic but the Bible speaks very often about it and my hope is maybe someone who reads this might actually grab on to the grace that has been made accessible through Christ, and never have to face such a horrible existence.
Without Hell, then the godless and wicked would really have nothing but the grave to in-act justice upon them at best, and that is an unconscious consequence, is it not?. People like Hitler and other people would never have to answer for the atrocities they committed. People could get away with cheating others and “as long as no one gets caught, then it’s all good” There are people who escape justice and can evade arrest in this life, but every man and woman will appear before God to account for their life.
Hebrews 9:27 And just as it is appointed for people to die once-and after this, judgment-
We will be judged yes according to actions as well as motives.
Jesus asserted that even just a little lustful glance on a woman is enough to be condemned.
“You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery. But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell! -(Matthew 5:27-30)
He also said that hating someone in your heart is just as sinful as murder
“You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, Do not murder , and whoever murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Fool!’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But whoever says, ‘You moron!’ will be subject to hellfire. (Matthew 5:21-22)
So if that is the standard, then that is an impossible one. God is holy and views sin very seriously but he takes into consideration that we cannot live up to high standards, so that is why he gave His Son, Jesus Christ, over to us to die on a cross and rise again to grant us forgiveness and grace. A person is guilty enough for sinning against a Holy God but even worse is if they in their arrogance say they do not need His grace and chose to try to get to Heaven their own way in their own self effort, or just decide their sin is not even serious to begin with and just brush it aside and blindly go on living in it without any thought. “Ignorance is bliss” but not forever.
(Hebrews 10:26-29) says “For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries. If anyone disregards Moses’ law, he dies without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
The author of Hebrews is basically saying “Its bad enough for someone to reject God’s standards when it came to sin, how much worse is it then for them to reject to forgiveness at the cross for breaking such standards”
Christ came to repair the gap man created with his sin, but he will not force anyone to accept this gift, however, to reject it is a terrible mistake. If one goes on in this state of denial and rejection, then when they die they seal their eternity. It’s not to late if one still has breath but we do not know how long we have either. If you feel him moving in your heart then trust him, place your faith in His Son, do not be foolish and reject the greatest demonstration of his love for you.
Genesis 22:2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
Abraham had finally received the one thing he longed for so much in his life, but through a strange turn of events God threw him a curve ball. Now we all know how the story ends up, but let’s place ourselves in poor old Abraham’s shoes of confusion at that moment of distress. Have you ever yearned for something for a very long time and you finally see it materializing, and then the unthinkable happens when God says “Let go”
Whether it is a long awaited dream, or something that has finally taken place that you could never imagine ever happening in your life, BELIEVE GOD, and be willing and trusting to let go of it because God will not ultimately disappoint those who put their trust in him wholeheartedly. Even though Abraham could not make heads or tales of the situation, he demonstrated complete faith in He who is faithful, not only this, Abraham demostrated an impeccable undivided allegiance to God. As a result, he passed the final exam with flying colors, after such a long wait in the classroom of faith, Abraham got an A+ on the final test and God rewarded him in this.
“To him who is able to do more then we can ever ask or imagine, through his power at work with in us.” Ephesians 3:20
We must trust God enough to believe he has our very best interests in heart even when we cannot see the outcome.
Jeremiah 29:11 gives us a little window into the heart of God toward His people, and those who will become his people “11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Hold the future with an opened hand. Why? Because of Him who holds the future in His hand. For He is all good, all wise, and all powerful and knows everything. Trust the master painter to make the canvas of your life a true masterpiece. Trust the expert architect to know how to design your future. He is an expert programer and when we try to make things work out our way we will err because we lack all the details and expertise so we can let go and let Him do what He specializes in.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
This is a pretty loaded and juicy text if you dig deep into it. How does Christ love the Church? For one, he is patient with her and two, He loves her unconditionally. When we were saved by him, He does not give up on us and will wait very patiently when His children go astray. The third way is Christ loved the Church sacrificially and gave up His comforts and glory in heaven to win and woo his bride, as the text says “and gave himself up for her” He gave his all even before she could reciprocate.
“For while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8
Colossians 3 gives us a little more insight, “19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.”
Christ is not harsh, he can be stern when we stray as sheep into poison ivy patches but he is not the kind of sheperd who will beat up his sheep in anger. He gently corrects, convicts, and yes at times will discipline his children for good not destruction. For those who belong to him as Romans 8:1 says are not under “condemnation”
Not that I’m any expert on marriage but I came across this text and it has always been a fascinating one in my opinion because one day by God’s gracious provision I hope to be married, and whatever happens happens but as Scripture says “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” So whether married or single this verse still has very juicy implications regardless. We should treat others as Christ would, and even if they can be irritating or irksome at times whether it is a sibling or spouse or whomever, we learn that if we are going to represent Jesus Christ we should clothe ourselves with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12
We don’t have to approve of one’s behavior or ideas to be patient, in fact, what use is patience for those whom you agree with 100 percent of the time? There is no patience necessary for those whom there is no friction, since in many translations the Biblical word for patience is “long suffering”- Yes the pain of enduring opposition and conflict without retaliation.
Romans 3:22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
At the end of the day this verse puts the religious and the non religious alike on the same plain, we all need God’s mercy. No matter who you are or how you were raised, or what your background is, God’s gracious gift is there for anyone who calls on him in faith. The cross of Christ is the great equalizer and if being super religious or moral could save a man or woman than Christ suffered in vain.
Religion and Morality, AKA trying to be a better person is only skin deep if it is not truly motivated by deep love for God that results from a changed heart. Heck, I’ve been down the religion road before I knew Jesus personally and it had no ability to really deal with my heart and what was going on deep inside, it only curbed my behavior.
Galatians 2:19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
We “died to the law to live for God,” but what does this really mean? Let us use an analogy, suppose a man marries a woman named “Law” and she nags him, she demands him to do this and that, and she expects him to buy her flowers and chocolates on a regular weekly basis. Her condition of staying with him depends on what he does and if he fails she will leave him. His devotion to the woman is motivated more by fear and obligation, not genuine love. Well suppose the old hag dies and then the man finds another, and this woman’s name is “Grace” He loves her because he knows what a treasure she is, she is gentle and kind. He fears doing anything to hurt her or damage their relationship because he loves her too much to do anything to put distance between them. He buys her flowers as often as he can and is actually excited and will go out of his way to express his love even if it costs him.
Can you see the difference? The Law as Paul described it was a temporary fix until Christ came. It was something kept in place until the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises. When I was younger, my dad was trying to glue something in place for a project he was working on and as a temporary measure he use a clamp to hold the board in place until the glue dried. Another example is a steel plate to fix a fractured bone, the plate in some instances is only necessary until the bone fuses and the fracture is healed.
In the same way the law had the power to set a man’s behavior in check but could not do anything to correct the heart issue. It might have restrained and contained evil, yet it could not eliminate it inside the man. It was a quarentine but no cure.
Remember the analogy of the man, Wife number one we will just say used the method of nagging and it got him to maybe behave how she wanted but it didn’t really cause her to love her anymore, in fact if I were that man, then I would venture to say he would be rather resentful. She could really accomplish no inner change in him. Wife 2 however won over his heart and out of an overflow he bent over backwards to love her and serve her.
There are really two ways to serve God, and only one is effective. The first way is the Law, and the second way is The Spirit.
Jesus always seemed to get on the Pharisees even though they did all the things right to the T almost, yet Jesus condemned them and said that they neglected the “weightier matters of the law” such as “mercy, justice, and the love of God”
Jesus then quotes the prophet Isaiah and says “These people worship me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” Isaiah 29:13
Jesus equated the religious Pharisees of his days to beautiful tombs with dead mens bones on the inside. They looked righteous and acted righteous but the attitudes of their hearts were vile, self seeking, prideful, and not a result of genuine love for God.
Some say, “Actions speak louder than words” but even truer is this “Motives speak louder than actions”
Deuteronomy 6:6 The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.
Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done– burn with no one to quench it.
It’s not about the denomination as much as the new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
-Doesn’t matter what church you go to at the end of the day unless you have been born anew and made new in Christ.
John 3, Jesus said, “Unless a man be born again, he will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Now is wise church selection important? Yes, but you can attend the most solid church and think your in but still be lost!
Are You Prepared to Wait On God For His Best?
“Love is patient” 1 Corinthians 13 says, among other things it is also.
But let’s focus on it’s patience for a moment. Now although God doesn’t have marriage for everyone, he does for most though. The question we must ask I think is, “Is she/he worth our wait?” God’s gifts and timetable is always the best and instead of getting impatient, we who are waiting for God’s best laid plans should “Seize the day” and become the best we can ultimately for Christ, so we can be the best mate for whoever God might have. Even if he doesn’t have a spouse for you, trusting God is never waisted time or energy. Patience is not waisted. God has a plan for every believer’s life and that is to be the people he redeemed that can give hope to a lost and fallen world. His ultimate goal is that through us who have the truth, more people can be added to His family and experience the same goodness He has given us.
Jacob ended up working hard for seven years to get his wife, but due to being tricked he ended up to agreeing to work another seven for the woman he loved. Now if that is not patience and dedication then I do not know what is. Through the process of his long wait God worked in his life. Seasons of waiting are God’s workshops in which his people are equiped for whatever the blessing may be, whether marriage or ministry. Does not matter really. God’s plans at the end of the day will not disappoint those who trust Him.
Like You Prepared to Wait On God For His Best?
In old times it was not uncommon for a man to provide a sum of money to the father of the woman he loved in order to have her hand in marriage. Many women would be insulted now days at such an idea and would see it as if a man thought she was a piece of property that could be bought, however, then it meant something completely different. It showed that the man was willing to pay a costly price for someone he loved, her.
When God sent his son Christ to die on the cross for mankind, He gave up something very costly, He gave himself. He did so to buy us back from our father Adam, who is representative of the fallen sin nature.
Proverbs 15:28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.
Powerful little proverb and a convicting one at that. Our words have more power than we realize and they can either effect people for good or harm. James describes the tongue as a fire and says “It’s a restless evil full of deadly poison”
James 3:8 8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Our words can, like scorpions, deliver deadly stings that can impact people. If the words of the mouth are full of the venom of perversity or bitterness the can cut like a sword and leave people wounded for years. We must be careful to weigh what we say in a few ways I think and I will be the first to admit I need more practice in this area.
1.) Is it beneficial?–Will what you say be the most constructive for that moment.
2.) Is it reasonable? –What a person’s reason and motivation for saying something can make all the difference. If we are trying to advise someone we must consider, am I doing this with the true motive of pointing them to Christ, or a solution to a problem, or am I saying this out of resentment or possibly a little vindictiveness. People will sometimes say, well “it’s the truth, and the truth hurts. They will get over it”- This is not the most loving way to address a situation.
3.) Is it timely? Time makes all the difference sometimes.Somebody may be overwhelmed enough as it is and if you bring up a particular issue at just the wrong time it may be the straw that breaks the camels back.