“I know your deeds, they are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were ever one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot or cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15 NIV
We are saved by grace not by deeds and we can not get to heaven by being good. But, that does not mean that we should not do good deeds. The way you can tell you are a Christian is if there is bountiful fruit in your life. Fruit is: Love, Joy, Peace, Forbearance, Goodness, Kindness and Faithfulness. If those branches do not have fruit on them then God will prune them back, which can be hard. So you will produce more fruit. Am I concerned with others needs? Am I willingly thinking of others first? I don’t need to worry about my needs because God already has that covered. We don’t actually need everything we want. So demanding my way is not really important. Some people don’t like what they have so everything seems important. But I see all of the things my father gives me and dwell on that. This has made me a very happy and grateful person. It also makes me want others needs met so they can be happy too. This is why I do good deeds. Also, I want to do all God has for me. I like to think he is happy with me. I also like to think there are blessings waiting for me in heaven. I don’t think there is anything wrong in thinking that way. God is the one who offered rewards for those who advance his kingdom. I am just looking forward to that day. Many people seem to think that once you have asked God into your heart you are all set, able to live however they want from there on out. But I want more. I want all he has for me, I don’t want to miss nothing. I am also willing to go after it. Remember this is a race – and I want a prize. The race only goes to the swift. One day I long to hear, “well done good and faithful servant.”
How well is your race going.?
“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name and in your name cast out demons and in your name perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly’I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers.” Matthew 7:22-23 NIV
“For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” Matthew 7:13 NIV
This world is a terrible place right now. It is easy to see we are in the end times. I hurt that so many people are lost and hurting. But we have been warned. It is not easy to get into heaven. It takes strength and commitment. People think you must be weak to choose Christianity. But I’ll tell you it is much easier to follow the crowd do just what feels good. It may be easier, but not better by far. If you are a Christian people will look down on you and treat you differently. Doing the right thing is not popular. Being a true Christian makes you unique and different. Standing out in a crowd. To be a true Christian you need to follow God’s commands. This is how we show him we love him. He is first in our lives before everything else. Now he has shown us how much he loves us and continues to show us each and every day. He does want the very best for us that is why his commands are there. I can see a lot of violence and hatred in the world. I get that those things won’t end up in heaven, but in the first verse it says Many who say they are Christians and who do great things in the ministry will not be going to heaven. So good deeds don’t necessarily cut it. It’s a heart thing and only God knows our hearts. People can act like a Christian and not be one. It’s not what you do but why you do it that matters. To be a Christian is to be as much like Christ as we can. He was an excellent example for us to follow. No we are not perfect, we make mistakes. But we are forgiven if we really desire to do right and make a difference. Because we are free to be a Christian in America we’ve taken it for granted. We are free to do just what we want. Making many of us selfish. It’s easy to think of numero uno first. But this is not Gods way. He has told us to put others first. Hard to follow maybe, but it’s important. Love always thinks of others first. In other countries where it isn’t free to worship God, there are so many more real Christians. They risk their lives every day that they desire to serve God, but there is a greater passion in what they do because it’s very very important to them. Here, well I’ll get around to it someday. But someday is not promised. You are betting your life in eternity each breath you take. If there is no heaven then we lose nothing, but if there is a hell you lose everything if you have not planned ahead. It’s easy to do the wrong thing, the things everyone else is doing. But remember the road to destruction is wide. It’s difficult to stay on that tiny path and many won’t complete the journey. But it is worth it.
Which road are you on?
“The reason why my father loves me is because I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and take it up again. This command I received from my father.” John 10:17&18 NIV
From the beginning they were there together. They knew all and had a plan to save all people and bring them back to themselves to live for eternity. What impresses me so much about this verse was that God put his son in control. Of course Jesus knew his father’s will but he also had final authority to make that decision himself. At any point he could have called for a hundred angels to come save him. So that they could not harm him. But he willingly laid down his life. He looked ahead to eternity and said, “they are worth it.” He kept that and the joy of his father in mind during everything. As he was being beaten and as he hung on the cross in great anguish we were on his mind. Family is so very important. I know as a parent my children came first, there wasn’t anything i wouldn’t do for them or their father. Well he looked at us that very same way and he knew that a perfect lamb had to be sacrificed for our sins for God to be able to be with us, his family forever. He was the only one who could do it. Not only did he go to his death willingly but he put up no objections or arguments. He forgave each and everyone who would do anything to bring about his death. As he hung there dying he saw the remorse and pain in the eyes of the criminal that hung next to him. He had done things worthy of death but he could also see his heart . He knew that he was sorry. He forgave him on the spot and promised him paradise. Even when he could have been thinking of himself he wasn’t. He was thinking of others. He knew they were all a part of God’s great plan. It was a perfect plan and each person’s actions were important to that plan. He saw the big picture. What it would mean to eternity. We see the small view. How could he do this? Why would his father want this? So much pain, hurting and suffering. But it was enough, it was brief compared to forever. I am so glad he made a way for me. A gift so precious that I will never take it for granted. I have so much respect and love for my savior. I get to know him more every day and I love him more and more.
Aren’t you glad for this gift, too?
“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? What can anyone give in exchange for their soul?“. Matthew 16:26 NIV
What is your soul worth to you?
“Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your heart on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4 NIV
When we were born again our worldly life with all it’s desires for selfish lusts and self gratifying passions died. As we became a new creature the old sinful man left and was replaced with the Holy Spirit and all of Christ’s power and righteousness. We are no longer slaves to sin, fear, negative mind sets, and all those things that Satan has hoped to overpower us with. We have been redeemed. We are now residents of heaven and this world is not our home. We are aliens just passing through temporarily. We should therefore set our minds on our new family and our new coming home. What it will be like. All it has for us. This new family comes with so many privileges. As part of this family God looks at us as his children just like his son. Perfectly! We are no longer flawed, we are perfect just lie his son. He also longs to lavish us with so much. Power is the biggest gift. Power to speak in Jesus name. Whatever we speak in faith believing he says we can have it. Healing in Jesus name, abundance, power. Blessings will be yours to the right and the left. Do you realize all you have been promised ? God can, and will provide. He is not limited by money or things. He has a warehouse full of provision and the more we use it for his glory the more he has available. He will always provide our needs. Our church lives by this principle. ‘Find a need and fill it.’ We have so many ministries to help serve people in need. Those who are hungry, homeless, addicted, hurting and so many more. You would think that the thousands of dollars going out would bankrupt us but everything is God’s and his supply never runs dry. Money always comes in to meet these needs. He also gives extreme wisdom to help meet life’s challenges. What he wants to do next and where. He wants us to focus on moving forward and growing in the process. We need to look forward to the glorious day of Christ’s returning. When we will all be with him in his kingdom. No more trials, no more needs. Our work will be done.
Can you imagine how the hereafter will be?
“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer, I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days, be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.” Revelation 2:10 NIV
We are in the end times and things will get worse. Wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and strange weather, wickedness increasing on the earth. It has been that way for some time. But for children of the Lord there is nothing to fear. One day the trump will sound and we will see the Lord coming in the clouds. It will be a day like no other. For we shall see him in all his glory. The dead in Christ shall rise and his followers shall be caught up with him in the air. And then we will all be in heaven together. But what will happen to the many who remain? There will be many who thought they would go too, but will be left with those that made no plans. There will be hard times ahead. The world will be in turmoil as millions of people just disappear. But they will be crowned with righteousness. Rewarded beyond comprehension. Those who remain will struggle just to survive but if you cry out to God it’s still not too late. If you are alive. Right now minutes will matter so much. Marshall law can not be guaranteed because of all that will be going on. We’ve lived through hijackings, shootings, martyrdom because of the evil around us. But with the good, godly people gone it will be much worse. If you cry out to God you can still be saved from hell but persecution to anyone who finds Christ in this time is promised. But God is trying to give you hope. This won’t be a long period of time, but it will be a hard one. But if you are persecuted stand strong, for God is your strength. If you stand strong you will be rewarded for all that you go through. I have watched documentaries about mass shootings and people who survive targeted attacks like bombings or 9/11. So many people draw strength from these times and their courage brings out good in them. People learn so much from these trials and it does make them better people and more resilient. What is of the utmost importance is whose side you are on when this time is over.
Do you want to meet in the air so you miss this time?
A friend of mine was hurting. A close friend of hers was dying of cancer. I promised to pray. But every time I started to pray I was bombarded with thoughts. I felt I needed to write about death. The first thing that came to my mind was a big party I had attended as a girl. A girlfriend of mine’s parents were going on a, well looked forward to trip. It was a bon voyage party wishing them well. As I thought about it, if I was dying, whether from old age, an illness or even COVID 19. I would be packing in my mind. I can’t wait till Jesus comes. Going home! What a comforting thought. When someone I loved died once I felt God say, “they were so precious to me and they did all I asked, but they suffered enough, I want them here with me.” There will be no more pain, suffering, and tears, and joy and rewards to be had. Have you ever heard of a near death case where they go to see heaven. They don’t say, “I want to go back.” They want to stay. The very best day on earth is exponentially better there. There is a big party waiting for them. Friends and family who preceded them are so excited. I know many I miss are waiting. I want to hear that great line. “ Well done good and faithful servant.” I love life and God has blessed me soooo, but here I come. I hope my family can rejoice with me. It is not a sad day but one I have looked forward to all my life. One of the residents in my home got so bad that she just listened to praise music all day. When she died her family held a huge party. So much food, they even brought some for us to enjoy. Flowers too! They were so excited that her pain was over and a party was going on in heaven. So many people get so upset and can hold onto that for a long time. Mourning is normal but at some point you have to see that it is God’s plan. I will see them again. I have hope. No one is going to leave early. God has planned from before we are born the day and just how we will die. It is all planned. God does not make mistakes. He is in control.
“Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whosoever loses their life for me and for the gospel saves it.” Mark 8:35 NIV
We will do so much to have a good life. We join gyms to work out so we can have that perfect body. Spend large sums of money on plastic surgery and the latest treatments to enhance beauty and health. We seldom think about anything after our lives are over. Oh, maybe a beautiful burial plot. To save the family money and grief upon our death. Do you realize that we are only on this earth for a short time, but we will spend forever in eternity. Not just 100 years but millions of years. Most people don’t want to think about it. They choose to think that we just go to sleep permanently. No pain, no troubles ever again. The Bible tells us that a wiseman plans for the future. How do you plan for a future you don’t understand? We need wisdom. God has told all those who want wisdom to ask for it. He has promised to give it to anyone who asks. He has also sent his son to save from all we have done wrong. Even if you have lived a good life, nobody is perfect. We are all sinners and our soul needs somewhere to go when this body gives out. people like to think they will all go to heaven when this life is over. God certainly wouldn’t send a good person to hell. But he has told us that the wages of sin is death. No eternal life. Doing nothing and hoping for the best will only bring eternal death and separation from God. People who do bad things just don’t want to think about it. But there is a way to get eternal life with God and it is not difficult. Just admitting that you are not perfect. No one is. And that you know you need the help of a savior, Jesus Christ. Tell him you do really want to be better and ask him to help you follow his ways. Read his word so you will know his will. Do you know that he loves you and wants you to have the best life. He also wants to spend eternity with you. He can give you wisdom and help you to do what he asks but we need to care more about pleasing God than ourselves. But in pleasing God he will help you to have an abundant life. When you seek to help others and honor God he takes care of the rest.
Have you made plans for your future?
It’s the big day. Thousands of years went into the details of this big moment. As families we spare no expense to have that one perfect moment. A wedding, a graduation, a birth, so many special moments. But this day was planned for longer and harder than others. Think of this family, for a moment, the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit. They were together for so long before the world ever began. They spent time talking of all the details. What would it be like to have a huge family to love. Their expertise was love and they had to share it. It had to be free to be, not required. A love given and accepted and given in return. What would this world need. I can image the hours of chats and the special times as a family together planning. Then what would we do when they rejected us and did their own thing. What about sin? Sin had to be dealt with. Someone or something had to pay. God is just and he is perfect, so he needed a perfect plan. I imagine them putting there heads together to come up with a plan. Dad why don’t I go to earth as an example of your love. I can live with man and teach them so much about you and your ways. I can do so much good. Sin means death so I will pay for everyone’s sin with my life and go to hell for them. This was a good plan. But it would take time. So when Adam and Eve sinned God took an innocent lamb and slaughtered it to cover their shame. He taught the people how to cover their own sins by taking an innocent lamb, perfect and precious and slaughter it in their place. God was so proud of his son. He would do this willingly so that we could be together forever. One day everyone would be together where death was no more and everything would be perfect just as it was meant to be. This plan would have so many details but it would be worth it. They also knew that Satan would just give anything to destroy the son of God. That would work to their desired end. Satan would never envision that he was working right into their hands. Then that special day came for Jesus to leave. They had been together for so long. The big three had shared so much it had to be hard. Saying by for now. Jesus was giving up so much. His power, his glory, the closeness they all shared. He was starting out as an innocent, helpless baby. His new family was young, poor, scared and alone. They were to be a part of this great plan. How exciting! It was hard but God was with them. As Jesus grew he always spent time with his family in prayer. He needed that strength now more than ever. As a man he had trials and needs that could easily distract him. He had to stick to the plan perfectly. It was easy to have compassion as he did have that perfect love living in him but the physical challenges of being about all his fathers business could wear him out at times. These people really were messed up. They really needed help. Couldn’t they see. Our ways are so much better. If they just tried it they would know. It was frustrating at times. But Friday came and the overwhelming responsibility came and was hard it was real and scary. If there could be any other way. No, he grew strong in God his father. He would do this and God would be with him. He looked out into the future. Lives flashed before his eyes, not one, not two, but billions. His joy was real. He did this for us. It made him stronger. With each lash and each second he had eternity on his mind. Then came the moment when sin was so great upon him that his own father could look no longer. He turned away. All of heaven was hushed as they watched him take his last breath. The earth rumbled and the veil was torn once and for all. It was finished. Sin would no longer have control. He was placed in the tomb. Jesus the sinless lamb carried all the sin of the world. Every last one into death for each of us. Something too impossible for us to imagine. Death, hell, torment forever was taken away for us never to experience. Jesus did not deserve this but he would do it again if he had to. We were worth it. With the belief in Jesus work and when we are sorry for the sin that has control over our lives he has offered us his gift. We can be born again. We have the opportunity to be new. To be brothers and sisters, to have access to the three 24/7 everything they are is ours. Joy is the greatest. We are no longer a nobody, but are somebody to the king. We receive power and authority as children of the king. Our lives will never, and should never be the same. And we can live in the house of the Lord forever.
Do you wish to accept this awesome gift? To die to the old you and be made brand new?
“How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Genesis 28:17 NIV
Heaven for a Christian is your final reward. For a life lived for the Lord. We don’t have to fear death. We are going home to a wonderful family. A father who loves us more than we could ever imagine. Relatives and good friends you have lost in the past will be there waiting. Maybe you lost a child or had a miscarriage, they will be waiting there to meet you. People whose lives were changed because of you. I once heard of a doctor talking to his patient about death. The patient had reached the end of his life and wondered what was waiting for him on the other side of that final door. The doctor went to the door and opened it. A big shaggy dog came barreling in the door almost knocking the doctor over. “My dog was waiting outside.” He did not know what was going on inside but he new his master, whom he loved, was inside and he couldn’t wait to be reunited with him. Do you know what’s awaiting you when you pass through that door? There is still forever when you cease to exist in this life. You see it’s not knowing what’s on the other side, but knowing who is on the other side. I can’t wait to see my master. Can you? Who’s your master? If you don’t know Jesus, and he gladly longs to get to know you. He is the most awesome one you will ever get to know. You don’t need to worry. He loved you before you were ever born. He knows just how many hairs are on your head. He knows all about you and loves you. He is standing before you with his arms open wide. He says, “Come home.” He doesn’t expect anything from you but love. If you do not know him it’s easy to meet him. Then you will know who is waiting for you. He anxiously waits for you to want him to be your Lord and Savior. All he asks is that you believe in him and his son Jesus. Believe that he died just for you. And that he was raised to life again. The best gift you can ever receive is Jesus Christ. Receive that gift by asking Jesus Christ to come into your life. Asking him to forgive all of your sins. And to live a life devoted to loving him. If you believe that with all your heart. Now you are a child of this King. Get to know him now by just talking to him like you would to a good friend. He loves you so much and wants to get to know you today. Get a Bible and start to read about this awesome God who loves all of his children the same.
Are you ready to meet this God?