An excellent 6-minute clip of Alistair Begg explaining justification for the believer. It’s not what is done in us or what we do, but what is done for us that saves us.
I believe at times we need a sober reminder of what awaits many people on Judgment Day. I know that this belief has fallen by the wayside for many Christians, but the reality is that all mankind faces a coming judgment, and the judge on the throne will be none other than Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us of this reality in Matthew 25:31-46. There, He gives us a clear picture of what Judgment Day will look like. The goats will be on His left, the sheep on His right, and those who are His sheep will go into eternal life, while the goats are sent to everlasting punishment.
This truly is a sober reminder when we realize that many of the people who are sent into eternal punishment by Jesus Christ, are done so by the very One who could have delivered them from that punishment had they believed in Him for salvation. Those who reject Christ are rejecting the only means there is for salvation. This is all truly sad, because most people who reject Him, do so based upon their belief that they are not in need of a Savior, or that they can save themselves.
Many of them will even be able to recall that many times they gave Jesus some lip service, saying things like, “I like Jesus Christ, but not all the Christians who follow Him.” This is really sad given that how you treat Christians who follow Him is how you treat Him. That is part of the message of the passage. Jesus and His followers have such a relationship that no matter what you do to a Christian, you are doing it to Christ. Call us stupid? You are calling Him stupid? Mistreat us? You are mistreating Him.
Not that believers should flaunt this truth. We should actually morn this truth because those who mistreat us are destined for eternal damnation based upon their fallen nature. Our hope and prayer should be that the Lord would use us to convey the truth of the gospel to those who are in need of the gospel. In other words, we should pray that God gives us a heart for the lost no matter what the lost may do to us. Our misfortune at the hands of unbelievers is only temporary. It may seem like a long time, but in the grand scheme of things, merely a breath.
How much better would it be if those who persecute us and hate us, became part of our eternal family? To see our enemies become brothers and sisters truly is a joy. It shows us that God’s love can be used through us for the redemption of others. Not that we focus on ourselves in this process. We are always to keep our eyes on the Lord and tell His story, not ours. But we do get to experience joy when we see someone who is not saved, become saved.
After all, there eternal destiny is an unfathomable horror. While it is always difficult to stand up under persecution, we should still be willing to be used by God for the salvation of others.
In view of that, let me close with J.C. Ryles’ account of the eternal damnation that they face:
“Who shall describe the misery of eternal punishment? It is something utterly indescribable and inconceivable. The eternal pain of body,–the eternal sting of an accusing conscience–the eternal society of none but the wicked, the devils and his angels–the eternal remembrance of opportunities neglected and Christ despised–the eternal prospect of a weary, hopeless future–all this is misery indeed. It is enough to make our ears tingle, and our blood run cold. and yet this pictures is nothing, compared to the reality.
“Let us close these verse with serious self-inquiry. Let us ask ourselves on which side of Christ we are likely to be at that last day. Shall we be on the right hand, or shall we be on the left? Happy is he who never rests till he can give a satisfactory answer to this question.”
Taken from J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thought on the Gospels: Matthew, p. 344-345.
I’ve started taking my prayer warriors through Sinclair Ferguson’s book, The Holy Spirit, on Wednesday nights. Ferguson’s book is one of those well-done treatments of the Holy Spirit and if it is not on your “must read” list, it should be. So often, we give the Holy Spirit the short end of the stick, yet when you begin to study Him, you quickly see that all that takes place in history, especially redemptive history, is brought about by the Holy Spirit, just as much as it is by the Father and the Son.
Here are a few of my notes from chapter 1.
The Holy Spirit – Defined
Another way we might say this, is I believe in the qados ruach. That is the Hebrew. The Greek is hagios pneuma. Just by looking at His name, we begin to see something about Him. Remember that in the Bible, the names there say something about the person. Unlike our culture, that looks to names by the way they sound, names actually have some weight and truth to them. The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is qados ruach, hagios pneuma in the New Testament.
Both ways help us understand something more about the Third Person of the Trinity. First we see that the third person of the Trinity is Holy. This conveys a moral distance between the Spirit and us. He is morally pure. Ferguson writes: “God’s holiness is the seering purity of his eternal and infinite being.” He is completely other than the creation. The first truth of the Third Person is simply that He is holy, and pure, just as the Father and Son are holy and pure. His substance is the same as that of the Father and Son and shows us His moral purity.
Secondly, we see the term Ruach means more than just without matter. So often those think of the Holy Spirit as this being that has no matter, sort of like a Casper the Friendly Ghost. This is a bad misconception of the Holy Spirit, at best. His name conveys so much more than just a being without matter. Ruach can be implied as wind or air in motion. This is how it is used in the storm found in Job 1:19, or in the last breath of the Queen of Sheba in 1 Kings 10:4-5.
But another use of the word is that of power. The emphasis is that of overwhelming power or energy. “Divine Spirit” can denote ‘the energy of life in God.’
This is displayed and seen when the Spirit comes upon men in order to bring about change and even helps them do what God has charged them to do. Ferguson adds “When the Ruach Yahweh comes on individuals they are caught up in the thrust of an ‘alien’ energy and exercise unusual powers; the faint are raised into action; exceptional human abilities are demonstrated; ecstasy may be experienced.”
In other words, those who had the Holy Spirit on them were able to do those things which are beyond capacity to do. This can be truly comforting to those of us who have the Spirit indwelling in us because it reminds us that the tasks set before us, to live as godly Christians, are doable and possible with His aid. He works through us to help us live as we should.
Just looking at this in my current situation of being a pastor over a church that needs to become healthy again, this is truly comforting. The leadership should realize that we cannot do this on our own, but through the power of the Spirit, He will guide us into His will.
This reality is nothing new. It is seen in the saints through out history and we see His power in the following ways:
- The Spirit gave power to men like Othniel and Samson in order for them to Judge. Judges 3:10 The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the LORD delivered Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed over Cushan-Rishathaim. And concerning Samson: Judges 14:6 And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat, though he had nothing in his hand. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done.
- The Spirit gave the prophets power and lifted them up, and even moved them. Ezekiel 3:12-14 12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a great thunderous voice: “Blessed is the glory of the LORD from His place!” 13 I also heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, and a great thunderous noise. 14 So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me. 15 Then I came to the captives at Tel Abib, who dwelt by the River Chebar; and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.
“Those who are the subjects of the activity of the divine ruach act in supernatural ways, with supernatural energy and powers. God’s ruach, therefore, expresses the irresistible force, the all-powerful energy of God in the created order. He cannot be ‘tamed’ by men. Instead, through his ruach he is able to ‘tame’ or subdue all things to fulfill his own purpose.”
But the Holy Spirit is more than just the energy of God. He is a person as well, and His activity is personal.
His Ministry – Creator Spiritus?
The Spirit is also involved in Creation, just as much as the Father and the Son were involved (See Colossians 1 for the Son’s involvement). Orthodox Christianity has held that the Holy Spirit is the one hovering over the waters in Genesis 1:2, showing us the Spirit’s involvement with creation.
Genesis 1:2 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was[a] on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Believe it or not, there are those who hold that this verse should not be a reference to the Holy Spirit. The words, Spirit of God, can be translated God’s storm. Those who see the translation this way, are saying that God’s storm is more of a reference to the chaos, than to the order that is being brought about by God.
The problem is that the context does not allow for this view to stand. What is Ruach Elohim doing? He is hovering over the waters. This is the idea that He is shaking or fluttering over the water. This would be an odd way to describe the wind so we see Him hovering over the water in His creative activity. This also helps us understand the term Elohim, which is a plurality of majesty. This type of plural use does not have to actually be a plural, but it can be, and I believe that is the use here. The Spirit of God was hovering over the the waters, working creatively as the Father foreordained, the Son spoke and the Spirit brings about creation.
His Ministry – Governing Presence
The Holy Spirit is also seen as the one who work throughout history in order to govern and preserve the people of God. This is one of the most comforting aspects of the Spirit’s work in the Old Testament. We see Him present with His people in a way that helps them to govern.
Ferguson writes: “The Lord’s power-presence is revealed in his Spirit with a view to fulfilling a variety of goals in redemptive history. He not only carries individuals beyond their normal physical capacities; he gives them abilities which extend beyond their native wit. Thus he distributes gifts of statesmanship and craftsmanship.”
We see statesmanship with both Joseph and Daniel.
Genesis 41:38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” Pharaoh recognized that the Spirit of God was on Joseph, and set Joseph over his entire household. This in turn, led to the deliverance and preservation of God’s people. Joseph is acting as a messiah in order to deliver his family from the plague that was taking place back in Canaan.
Daniel was also blessed with the Spirit for the preservation of God’s people.
Daniel 4:8-9 But at last Daniel came before me (his name is Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god; in him is the Spirit of the Holy God), and I told the dream before him, saying: 9 “Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the Spirit of the Holy God is in you, and no secret troubles you, explain to me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation.
Daniel was able to interpret the dream for Nebuchadnezzar which eventually led to Nebuchadnezzar praising God.
The point is that when God’s Spirit rests on men in the Old Testament, we see that they are able to do far and above what they normally can do. Both Daniel and Joseph were foreshadows of the true Messiah, who it was foretold, would also have the Spirit resting on Him.
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. 2 The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. 3 His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears; 4 But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. 5 Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist.
His Ministry – Spiritus recreator
Another area we see the ministry of the Holy Spirit is in that of bringing about redemption to His people. Throughout History, He has preserved the people of God and lead them. But more on this later.
 The Holy Spirit, p. 16.
 Ibid, p. 17.
 Ibib., p. 17-18.
 Ibid, p. 21-22
Area Relief Ministries Second Annual Golf Tournament
Can you say Birdie? I always like to talk about one of my favorite sports when I get a chance to, and I won’t pass up on this opportunity.
I got to golf in the Area Relief Ministries annual golf tournament with members from my church on Saturday. That is one of the many reasons I’ve been quiet on my posts here of late. I’ve been really busy. Saturday, I was busy golfing in the tournament. The highlights: Team Grace won first place in our division. Highlight two: we beat out Team Covenant by two strokes!!! Highlight three: I had a birdie on the par 3 number 2 hole, which means I carried the team on the hole. (Don’t worry, they carried me the other 17 holes).I wish I could add a fourth highlight, the highlight of winning that Callaway driver for having the shot closest to the hole on hole number 2, but I missed out just by a few feet. It was my best shot of the day because I lost the ability to drive the ball. I was using only a 7 iron on this hole, since it was a par 3. It wasn’t until the last 2 holes that one of my team mates mentioned that I was only using my arms on my drive, and not my entire body. I wish he had spoken up a bit earlier, but alas, that is golf.
I’m not sure how much ARM raised in the tournaments, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to help while sacrificing so on the golf course. One of the ladies on the Board told me they usually raise about $8,000 in the tournament. The money is used to help the poor in the area and we are glad to help when we can. I’m also hoping to help by preaching during the summer at their weekly lunches.
We traveled to Memphis yesterday with the Augustine School. I don’t have a lot to say, but thought I would share this photo with you. This is Joey looking at the elephants. We also had a wonderful time looking at the grizzlies as they were fed, and the sea lions during their show.
OK, just a blogging note. I think I like this layout the best and will stick with it for a while. I know I’ve been changing it a lot, so hopefully, this layout for the blog will fit my needs and desires. The one thing I miss about blogger was the ability to change and customize layouts. But alas, I think WordPress is better in the long run.
11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
I believe this verse will become more and more precious to us who are in Christ as the world continues to ramp up it’s hatred of Christians and the truth we hold to. We see this especially when it comes to the homosexual community and those politically-correct pawns in power. They hear that homosexuality is a sin and immediately call it hate speech. As one blogger put it, it only becomes hate-speech when what we say is something that they hate.
The real example of this has taken place in the United Kingdom, where two street preachers were arrested when they said that homosexuality is a sin. They were not preaching that, but someone in the crowd asked them if they believed that, and then went to get police to arrest them for: “unreasonable use of abusive language likely to cause distress.” That is the law according to the UK, which, reasonably could outlaw the gospel completely since the gospel does cause distress, either leading to repentance and salvation, or the hardening of the heart and damnation.
Read Marcia Segelstein’s blog here. Also, Alisa Harris reports on another pastor that was arrested a month earlier in Scotland for the same thing. You can say that Dale McAlpine and Shawn Holes are both blessed because they have lived out what Jesus spoke of above. One of the realities of the gospel is that when we suffer for Christ, we are blessed in Him as well. Jesus suffered His entire life on our behalf to bring about salvation for us. In that, we suffer for and with Him when the world persecutes us and we are blessed by being able to identify with our Savior. He has sovereignly allowed us to be partakers of Christ.
I know there are those who might wonder about justice in this case. Yes, it was unjust for them to be persecuted, but we need not worry about that. Jesus will take care of that as well. See Matthew 25:41 ff. Those who mistreat His sheep, thereby mistreating Him, will be dealt with accordingly on judgment day.
The key here is for us to realize the blessing that we have been given to suffer for His sake. Of course the world hates Christians. The same world hated Christ and put Him to death on a cross. Why should we expect any treatment other than what He had? We should not, but rest in the reality that Christ has designed our persecution for our blessing and for His glory.
WORLD’s Rebels against Rebellion!
WORLD Magazine published a list of blogs that are written by teenagers who are rebelling against rebellion. I loved the piece and checked out all the blogs and decided to add them to my blog roll. In fact, I’ve decided to make a special section just for them. My hopes are that others will see the sillyness of rebellion. So many think they are stepping out into uncharted territory when they become little rebels. No, we are all born rebels. It is only when we are changed and conform to Christ that we actually become something unique and different than what the world offers and tells us we should be.
I thought this post would have link to these sites, but it did not. Here are some that I found:
I know the appearance of this blog keeps changing. I’m trying to find one that I like. This one seems close, if I can make a few alterations. Any suggestions?
There is just too much going on in sports to ignore it all. I need an update to help you see it too!
First, Tiger Woods withdrew from Players Championship due to his sore neck, which could have been a result of that car crash he had last year, about the time all the news surfaces of his running around on his wife. Someone needs to tell Tiger that car wrecks AND adultery have consequences, especially when they are linked together.
That is newsworthy, but not nearly as fun is the fact that police had to taser a heckler on the 11th hole of the tournament. I love the use of a taser. It sends some 50,000 volts pulsating through the troublemaker’s body causing them to fall to the ground in a heap. Realize, it’s not the voltage that kills a person, it’s the current. This is why you can get zapped by so much voltage with static electricity and be OK. This is a perfect way to help the troublemaker realize he’s gone too far. And yes, it’s not only about deterring others from committing the crime, but also about zapping some yahoot into conformity. I’m sorry, I just love too much and I know I shouldn’t.
We’ve had two yahoots tasered in the last week. The other one, pictured, was tasered at a Phillies game. The irony is that they won’t release his name because he is a minor, however, they don’t mind plastering his picture all over the internet. Not to worry. Given that the guys if from Philadelphia, he is probably proud about his feat of fame and will use this story every time he enters into the local bar with the rest of the union workers.
Secondly, there was a perfect game thrown in baseball yesterday. Dallas Braden of the Oakland A’s was the 19th man ever to throw a perfect game in the Major Leagues. Realizing that it has happened only 18 other times should show you how rare and special it really is. Here is the list of those who have done it.
Dallas Braden, Oakland vs. Tampa Bay, 4-0, May 9, 2010.
Mark Buehrle, Chicago (AL) vs. Tampa Bay, 5-0, July 23, 2009.
Randy Johnson, Arizona at Atlanta (NL), 2-0, May 18, 2004.
David Cone, New York (AL) vs. Montreal, 6-0, July 18, 1999.
David Wells, New York (AL) vs. Minnesota, 4-0, May 17, 1998.
Kenny Rogers, Texas vs. California (AL), 4-0, July 28, 1994.
Dennis Martinez, Montreal at Los Angeles (NL), 2-0, July 28, 1991.
Tom Browning, Cincinnati vs. Los Angeles (NL), 1-0, Sept. 16, 1988.
Mike Witt, California at Texas (AL), 1-0, Sept. 30, 1984.
Len Barker, Cleveland vs. Toronto (AL), 3-0, May 15, 1981.
Catfish Hunter, Oakland vs. Minnesota (AL), 4-0, May 8, 1968.
Sandy Koufax, Los Angeles vs. Chicago (NL), 1-0, Sept. 9, 1965.
Jim Bunning, Philadelphia at New York (NL), 6-0, June 21, 1964.
x-Don Larsen, New York (AL) vs. Brooklyn (NL), 2-0, Oct. 8, 1956.
Charles Robertson, Chicago at Detroit (AL), 2-0, April 30, 1922.
Addie Joss, Cleveland vs. Chicago (AL), 1-0, Oct. 2, 1908.
Cy Young, Boston vs. Philadelphia (AL), 3-0, May 5, 1904.
I think what shocked me when I looked at the list was seeing that Kenny Rogers did it all the way back in 1994. It seems like yesterday. O how time flies.
Third, and the final miserable sporting point… the Astros finally broke into double digits in the … win column. Yes, they won their tenth game of the season yesterday. That should show you just how miserable my Astros are doing.
Once again, something at Neil’s site is giving me something to write about. He quotes Randy Alcorn from his book Heaven. Alcorn writes:
Envision Jesus with His disciples. If you cannot picture Him teasing them and laughing with them, you need to reevaluate your understanding of the Incarnation. We need a biblical theology of humor that prepares us for an eternity of celebration and spontaneous laughter.
—Randy Alcorn, from his award-winning book “Heaven”, on whether we will laugh on the New Earth
I know this may seem innocent enough, but I have a major problem with it. In fact, I have several problems with it.
- There is no record of Jesus ever laughing in the Bible, therefore, Randy is making an assumption. Granted, it is an assumption we would like to make because we would like to imagine Christ laughing with His disciples. But it was not ever recorded, one of the few emotions of Christ that is missing from the text, perhaps for a reason.
- The only record we have of God laughing is in Psalm 2. That laughter is not one of a joke, but of derision towards those nations who rage against God. He is laughing at their futility in trying to throw off the yoke of God.
- Alcorn’s statement shows that Alcorn himself does not understand the incarnation. The Reformers were in the habit of calling it Christ’s humiliation because of the weight of sin on Christ, from the moment of His conception until His death. Randy is failing to see that it was not a jolly exploit down onto earth for Christ. He was a sinless being who entered into our sinful world and the weight of that responsibility never left Him. I know it would be nice to assume such, but again, there is no text recording such, and I think for a good reason. Jesus was too burdened with the will of the Father to play the fool or even practical jokes.
- Doing what Randy is doing opens up an entire list of things that Jesus might have done. As I noted on Neil’s site in the comments section, one could take the same thing Randy says and change it around to fit our purposes, i.e., “Envision Jesus with those women He healed and forgave, you can almost see Him dating them, taking them out on the town and other such things. After all, some of those babes were hot mammas. Just check out the woman at the well. How many times had she been married? That’s because she was one hot babe. Think of Liz Taylor and you get the idea. What we need is a biblical theology of dating.” It opens the door for all kinds of trite speculation and drivel. The Bible doesn’t give us much of a theology of laughter for a reason. I trust God has His reasons.
If Alcorn is going to make statements like this, he really needs to back it up with Scripture. I admit, I don’t know the rest of what he wrote because I don’t have his book. So if you do have the context, it would be nice to share it. Regardless though, it’s always dangerous to start making assumptions.
Why do so many find the cross offensive? Paul said that it was foolishness to those who are perishing (1 Cor. 1:18-25). We understand the cross to be an offense to those who are perishing because the cross shouts to mankind that man is not good enough for God’s acceptance. This is the reality of the cross. No matter what our religion, or our attempts to work our way into heaven, we will never measure up to God’s perfect righteousness. In view of that, He sent His Son to do just that, live up to the perfect standard, and die on the cross to satisfy the Father’s wrath.
This message is offensive to those who see themselves as “good” people. They want to claim a righteousness in themselves that should make them acceptable before God. The cross does not allow that. It screams at those who want to be righteous in their own eyes, “You are NOT good enough. Even in all your goodness, you still need a Savior.” That never sets well with the unbeliever.
I remember sharing the gospel with my uncle one year. He was a devout Christian Scientist (neither Christian nor science). After I shared it with him I asked him what he thought. He said, “I find that extremely offensive.” He said that he was a good person and didn’t need Christ dying on the cross for Him. He completely rejected the idea all together.
That is the reality of the gospel to those who find it foolish. It offends their sensitivities. This is why they want the cross removed from the public square. They don’t want the reminder of their need for a Savior.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:
“ I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”[a]
20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks[b] foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
This is encouraging. Apparently there are more blacks running as Republicans in the upcoming elections than ever before. Many are coming out to run as conservatives because they are tired of sitting on the sidelines and watching the Republican Party act like a bunch of moderates. If they are truly conservative, I am all for it! Why let the Dems say they are the party that embraces all races when in reality, they only embrace those whom they can keep under their thumbs and dependent upon government.
What I hope does not happen is that these blacks get elected and then do nothing about those issues that are near and dear to our hearts. If you look at what one candidate is sayings, I would vote for her in a heart beat.
For far too long, conservatives have sat idly by while others set policies inconsistent with our values. We need a Representative willing to stand up for what is right – not just what is popular.
As your Representative, you can count on my unwavering support of the sanctity of life and the protection of the unborn. I believe that human life is sacred, begins at conception and you have my word that I will stand firm in my opposition to any and all efforts to use public funds for abortion. I enthusiastically support a life amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Traditional marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman and is the foundation of family in our great nation. I support the Defense of Marriage Act and will be a relentless advocate of Federal and State legislation that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
You can count on me to oppose any and all efforts to mandate gun control on any law abiding citizen of the United States. I firmly and unequivocally support gun ownership and am committed to our constitutional right to own and bear arms. I support repealing the gun restrictions in Washington, DC that violate our Constitution and will stand up every day to preserve our right to protect our property, ourselves and our families.
But where I get frustrated is when these pro-life types go to Congress and never do anything about their position. The Republicans had both houses of congress and the presidency and DID NOTHING. I’m tired of candidates telling me they are pro-life and never really doing anything about it. There should be new legislation introduced in the Congress every session to outlaw abortion. If they truly believe in life, they will do just that. It really does not matter to me what color they are. If they are conservative Republicans, they will get my vote. I just wish they would actually start doing something that shows support for these positions once they arrive in Babylon.
I use Tabletalk Magazine for my daily devotionals and I really loved the Coram Deo section from yesterday’s devotion.
“There are many demands upon us all, and it can be tempting to offer God only what is left over of our time, energy, and funds. But we do this because we do not revere Him as we ought. Yet while we should not be fearful of God’s condemnation as His children, we betray a lack of love for God and His people if we do not put Him first. Let us give our first and best to the Lord from our time, energy, funds and so on.”
You can see the problem we have right off the bat. So many of us only put God first in everything in theory only, yet Scripture calls for us to do so in reality, not just belief which is not truly possible. He wants our best at all times. We are just like the apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane the night He was betrayed: “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”
O how weak it is. We can read admonitions like the one above and not moments later, after re-committing ourselves with new zeal, fall quickly away to the tyranny of the urgent, or worse, the tyranny of the mundane. Just look at our use of the internet. So much of our time on the internet is wasted time. How much of it really seeks to glorify God and work for the Kingdom? Not much at all. Yet, it appeals to our flesh and we just keep right on surfing.
This all drives us back to Christ because no matter how many times we gird ourselves and pull ourselves up by our Croc straps we fail. The reason it sends us back to Christ is because He DID NOT FAIL in His complete and utter devotion to the Father. This is why our faith must rest in Him, even in our sanctification. He is the One who fully satisfied the Father in all things. When we trust in Him, that righteousness of His is given back to us, and the Father is pleased with us even when we do fail to endeavor to live as we have been called to live. This does not mean we do not still endeavor to live as Christ did, but we know that our salvation is not dependent upon ourselves. When we do fail, we are to repent and trust in Him all the more, and trust in the Holy Spirit to help us live as we should. By faith, we will endeavor to live more and more as He did. Therefore, let us trust in Him all the more to put Himself first in every aspect of our lives. What areas? Our time, thoughts, finances, gifts, possessions, relationship, etc. Start one step at a time and look to Him to lead us.
I have not checked out my blog rating since June 2007, so I thought I would add it for this one. Here it is:
Created by OnePlusYou – Free Dating Site
That is good enough. It said I got the PG-13 because I had the word “kill” twice, and “hell” once. I guess I’m not writing about the Ten Commandments enough, or about hell enough.