How are you serving God throughout your daily life? When you hear the word preached, do you consider how you will carry out its instructions? Or when you read the bible do you put the words into motion by living them out in your life? Or are you only a hearer of the word and struggle with becoming a doer of the word? The bible tells us we must be more than just hearers of the word. We cannot call ourselves a Christian and only read God’s word once a week or every now and then. We are called to be doers of the word – James 1:19-27. Some may say “with my busy schedule, I do NOT have time to read the bible and pray to God daily,” but they have time to spend 10 hours or more per week watching sports games, movies, tv shows, news, shopping, surfing the web, social media, etc. It’s all about adjusting your priority to what’s most important! When you eat three meals a day, you are feeding your physical body to provide nutrients and energy to carry out your daily tasks and activities. Similar to feeding the flesh daily, you also have to feed the spirit daily. Therefore, we must read the word and pray daily to live out God’s will in our lives. We need to begin and end the day in prayer and reading God’s word. His word is our daily source as we read in Psalms 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Paul tells us that we are not only justified in God through Jesus, but also how we live out His word in our lives as stated in Romans 2:13, “For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.” Prayer is our way of communicating to God through Jesus and we should perform this act of obedience multiple times per day. The bible tells us to pray without ceasing – 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18. As we pray and read the word daily, we are strengthening our faith to produce good works that bear righteous fruit for Jesus. We cannot have faith alone in Christ without righteous works since faith without righteous fruit is dead. We must have the faith that generates good fruit as explained in James 2:14-26, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also, faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness’—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” Jesus tells us that He is the vine and God is the vinedresser. We are the branches and if we do not produce fruit for furthering His kingdom by performing His will in our lives, we are guilty of being unrighteous and are doomed to eternal condemnation. Jesus clearly explains this in John 15:1-8, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.”
Is your hope in this present life? Is your allegiance to the world or to God? Do you please the world instead of pleasing God? To become a true Christian and disciple of Jesus, we must give up satisfying the world and focus our attention solely on God through Jesus as we read in Acts 5:29-32, “But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree. God exalted Him at His right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” We must deny ourselves to take up the cross of Christ. To be a true follower of Christ, we must carry out His commandments in our lives as He stated in Mark 8:34-38, “…If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” God has called us to present our allegiance to Him and tells us we will be blessed and will always prosper as stated in Psalms 1:1-3, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” We are to seek God first with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength – Deuteronomy 10:12-13. Jesus also tells us that this is the greatest commandment of all – Matthew 22:36-38. When we seek God and His righteousness first that all things will be added to us according to His will – Matthew 6:33. We should never lean on our own understanding but by always trusting in God. As we fear Him, He will make our paths straight, and this will be healing and refreshing to our bones as we read in Proverbs 3:5-8, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”
When we carry out God’s will by walking with Him daily, Jesus calls us part of His eternal family – Matthew 12:50. We cannot love anything above Jesus and simultaneously be called His disciple. To actively serve Him, we must give up our worldly lusts and idols that no way compares to eternity. If this were easy, everyone would do this as Jesus commands in Matthew 10:37-39, “Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” The way to heaven is by entering the through the narrow gate that only a few will find it. The way to hell is a broad path that leads to a wide gate where many will enter – Matthew 7:13-14, Luke 13:24. We cannot serve two masters, God, and the world – Luke 16:13. Remove all worldly idols and lust before the Lord since we cannot have fellowship with both God and the world – 1 Corinthians 10:21-22. For if we love the world, then God does NOT abide in us as we read in 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” God also tells us in His word the distinction between the righteous and wicked as we read in Malachi 3:18, “…the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.” So, how are you serving God with the spiritual gifts He has given you to help further His kingdom and the Church through our Savior Jesus? Many profess to know and follow God but deny Him by their works as explained in Titus 1:15-16, “To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.” Jesus explains how we should apply our spiritual gifts for His kingdom in the way of the parable concerning the talents as He states in Matthew 25:14-30, “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So, take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ” The worthless and lazy servant that was NOT a doer of God’s word was cast into the lake of fire.
When we accepted Christ as our Savior, if our lives have NOT gone through a major transformation such as repenting from our sinful nature and walking in the light, then we did NOT accept this commitment to follow Christ. By not changing our evil ways, we are NOT truly saved and are deceiving ourselves as stated in 1 John 1:5-10, “This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” As born-again believers, we are a new creation in Christ and our old lives and nature have passed away – 2 Corinthians 5:17. We should NOT become attached or value this present life since eternal life is much more. Our lives here in this present world are extremely short and no way compares to eternity. The bible tells us that are lives on earth are like a vapor of smoke that soon vanishes as we read in James 4:13-15, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ ”
When you play a card game, you thoroughly review the hand of cards dealt to you and how you can improve the game in your favor for a win. Our eternal salvation is no game to play with, but we are all dealt a different hand in this life with a mixture of blessings and trials in order to serve Him. He has given us a victory win in this life and in the life to come for His purpose through His Son Jesus. If we accept Jesus and carry out His will for us, He will tell us in heaven, “well done good and faithful servant.” If we reject God or are only hearers of the word which never produce any fruit, we will be condemned to the lake of fire for eternity. You may say, “but I go to Church every Sunday and tithe religiously.” However, swimming in a pond one day a week does not make you a duck any more than attending Church makes you a Christian. For this reason, many people call themselves Christians but do NOT have a relationship with Jesus and will be in for a rude awakening on Judgement Day. Jesus explains this in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’ ” When we walk daily with Jesus, studying His word and praying to Him regularly, while living out our lives for Him as He commands us, we will have a relationship with Him. If we have a relationship with Jesus, our foundation is on the rock of Christ which no spiritual storm can destroy us – Luke 6:46-49. For if we love Jesus, we will keep His commandments and will receive His Holy Spirit to abide in us forever – John 14:15-17. Jesus called all the Saints to spread the good news of the gospel to all the world as He stated in Mark 16:15-16, “…Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” We cannot be ashamed of Jesus and the gospel or He will be ashamed of us in heaven before God the Father – Matthew 10:32-33. If we are ashamed, we will be counted as cowardly, faithless, and detestable, and will be condemned with the wicked – Revelation 21:8. If we are truly saved, we must acknowledge Jesus and the gospel to others to be counted worthy as we read in 2 Timothy 2:11-13, “If we have died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful—for He cannot deny himself.”
Jesus told us to store up treasures in heaven instead of on earth as He stated in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Therefore, we must put on the whole armor of God by resisting all forms of evil while exposing all the false teachings – Ephesians 6:11-18, 2 Timothy 4:1-5, 2 Peter 2:15-22. As Saints, our true home is NOT on earth but is in heaven – Philippians 3:20-21. We are to eagerly seek Him and await the soon return of Jesus (rapture) – Matthew 24:36-49, Mark 13:32-37, Luke 21:34-36, Titus 2:13, 1 John 2:28. If we are not eagerly seeking Him, we may NOT be counted worthy and could get left behind to experience the tribulation of God’s Wrath, which will be the worst time on earth since the beginning of creation.
Do you know where you will spend eternity after you die on earth? Will Jesus be your Lord and Savior or your eternal judge – John 3:15-21, Romans 2:16, 2 Timothy 4:1? Jesus says He is the narrow gate to heaven where it is difficult to find and only a few will enter by it where many will enter the easy, wide and broad gate that leads to Hell and destruction – Matthew 7:13-14. Will you experience the second eternal death (spiritual death) – Revelation 2:11, Revelation 20:6, Revelation 21:8? Do you know for sure that you are written in the eternal Lamb’s Book of Life – Revelation 3:5, Revelation 20:12-15? The place called Hell is NOT a myth and is very real and an extremely scary place – Watch this Video!
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