By Warren302, 2019-08-03
”So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:18
The luster of a new car is lost after a while. The same holds true for a new house or any inanimate object. Why is that? They are just things. Yes, things that we work hard to attain and some things that we need to live; however, there is grave danger in believing those “things” make us who we are or add to our spiritual wellbeing.
I love to look at new cars, new houses, the latest technological gadget, but I keep in mind that they will never bring me the spiritual satisfaction that only God can. There is a feeling of accomplishment and pride that comes when I attain something new mixed with the reality that it will serve a purpose for a season and eventually succumb to moths or rust (Matthew 6:19).
So, are things bad? No, God provides us with things to enjoy and live this earthly life. He wants us to be blessed, but blessed with balance. Lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life are the three categories of sin that we are all susceptible to. If the proper perspective in regards to things is not applied we will fall prey to one of if not all those categories. I spend a lot of time in the gym working out staying in shape. Our body is a temple for the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) after all so we are required to take care of it. Yet in the grand scheme of things our body is a thing also. A wonderfully designed and made thing, but it gets old, sick, and eventually dies.
Proper perspective is the remedy to keep our lives balanced, but proper perspective is not a trait that we all have. When the purpose for life is not realized proper perspective is nothing but a pipe dream. We are here for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31) and our lives should reflect that. This includes putting into proper perspective the things we have or goals we have achieved within the grand scheme of God getting the glory.
No man or woman will ever take things with them when they die (Mark 8:36), but what was done for God with those things prior to death will last. I am often reminded of this because I often think about dying, but not in a morbid sense. Ecclesiastes 7:4 (NLT) reads, “A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about have a good time.” I challenge you to ponder that for a moment. If all a person thinks about is “having a good time” the bible says they are a fool. I’m sure you are familiar with abbreviated expression YOLO which means “You Only Live Once”. It’s mainly utilized when people are going to do something they have never done before and it’s an “adventure” or it holds some kind of risk. The expression is very true from a worldly physical view; however, the actual truth of the matter is that we all live forever and we all have one opportunity in the life we currently live to receive eternal life with God or apart from Him. So, if we only live once on this physical earth with the bodies we now possess, let’s live for God and make the most of the time, gifts, talents, and things He has bestowed upon us for His glory.
By Warren302, 2018-01-29
It’s Not Debatable
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
There are many topics that are debated. Debates are derived from different opinions, interpretations and beliefs. As Christians there are topics that are debated such as whether baptism is being sprinkled, poured, or immersed in water, whether miracles do or don't occur today, and the list continues.
This article is not to debate that which is debatable, it is to ensure that the crux of the gospel is understood as not being debatable. What is the crux or the “most important point at issue”? That Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to God (John 14:6 - "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."). John 14:6 is compelling proof that Jesus is the only way, but to the non-Christian it is debatable because they do not believe. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:15, “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” So, we must remember that when witnessing or asked of our faith that we give answers gently and respectfully without wavering in what we know to be a fact that Jesus is the only source of salvation, the only way to the Father, the only source of eternal life.
Not everyone believes in Jesus Christ and not everyone will. It is not our responsibility as Christians to convince people that there is a God because that responsibility is designated for God. (1 Corinthians 3:6-8 “I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who mad it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed to grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work.”) But we do plant and water seeds of redemption that God increases. No wonder we get so frustrated when we try to persuade people into believing in God…it’s like talking to a brick wall. Anything or anyone used for a purpose they are not purposed for will always yield heartache, frustration, dead ends, etc.…
In my past I have been in heated debates about the existence of Jesus and how to receive salvation to only find myself fueling the reasons some people don’t believe in Jesus. I became more of the problem than the solution. “Our” efforts to do the work of Jesus never yields fruit without Jesus being in those efforts (John 15:4 “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.”). When we operate within our own power to plant and/or water seeds of redemption we risk debating what is not debatable and falling prey to seducing spirits (1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”). We put ourselves in a position to entertain the idea that maybe Jesus is not the ONLY way, maybe it is debatable.
I have never seen anyone board a plane without a ticket. You must have a ticket before you get on the plane. It’s a non-debatable fact. You can get to the gate and try and reason your way on to the plane, but it’s futile. Eventually airport security will be called and if the situation is escalated local police will get involved. You can even argue your point to the local courts, supreme courts, all the way to the President of the United States. Of course, this issue wouldn’t make it that far, but let’s just say it did. At the end of all the reasoning and debating your case would be lost because you need a ticket to board the plane. This holds true for receiving eternal life…. without Jesus Christ no one will receive it. It is God’s desire to say, “All aboard!” and EVERYONE gets aboard, but not everyone will have Jesus. GOT JESUS?
By Warren302, 2018-01-18
We all may not feel the presence of God, but it’s our faith that enables us to know that He is still there and that He is still God in the midst of our situation.
Sometimes I feel like God isn't even around. Then there are times when I feel the manifestation of God's power. At those times, I know without a shadow-of-a-doubt that God is present. At those times, I know that I am in right standing with God and that He is happy with me. It’s not the times that we can feel God that our faith is put to the test, but it’s the times that we don’t feel God that our faith is put to the test.
We’re all familiar with the story of Job. Job was the man!! Even God Himself referred to Job as “a perfect and an upright man” (Job 1:8 KJV). He was a wealthy man; the Bible notes that he “was the greatest of all the men of the east” (Job 1:3 KJV). God’s presence and protection was evident in Job’s life. THEN…..old “slew foot” [the devil] shows up!!
Job has no idea of what is going on behind the scenes. He doesn’t know the dialogue between the devil and God. All Job knows is that he is going through a major storm that consists of wave after wave of troubles. He loses his possessions, then he loses his children, then he loses his health. As a direct result of his previous losses, he loses the respect of others. He questions God and even blames God, but he keeps his faith. Naturally, when we face adversity, trials, and tribulations, we seek to cast the blame. If it’s not on God, it’s on someone else. Remember Adam and Eve? Adam blames Eve and Eve blames the serpent.
It’s not what we go through that’s critiqued by God, but it is how we go through what we go through. What is our hearts position when we face opposition? Do we stand on the Word? Do we keep the Faith?
The Apostle Paul had a thorn in his flesh and asked the Lord three times to remove it from him:
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto
me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most
gladly will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in
distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.
(II Corithians 13: 8-10 KJV) What an outstanding ATTITUDE!!!! To know that the times when we are going through that God is at His best and strongest in our lives. Let’s go back to Job’s story. After Job loses his possessions, his sons, and his daughters, the Bible says Job "feel down upon the ground, and worshipped" (Job 1:20 KJV). After he was afflicted in his body, his wife told him to "curse God, and die," but he didn’t (Job 2:9 KJV).
We must have an unmovable spirit in the midst of our storms. Sure it’s easier said than done, but it’s doable. We have the Power; we have the Holy Ghost. We're not always going to feel saved or feel anointed, but it’s keeping the faith that enables us to know that WE ARE despite the external circumstances. We all are going to go through, but what separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls, and the Saints from the Aints are the ones that keep the faith and endure till the end.
Keep your head up and stick your chest out through those times, because you have the Lord on your side. Saints, you have to talk and walk this life or it will be as faith without works... DEAD.
Will you keep the faith? Will you know that, "No weapon that is formed against you shall be able to prosper..." (Isaiah 54:17 KJV)? Will you be like Job in the midst of your trouble and be able to say, “For I know that my redeemer liveth…” (Job 19:25 KJV) ?
“…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” ( Hebrews 13:5 KJV)