Bible Ballistics: Correct Change???? Vol. 4 #18
I was listening to an old song this week, one of my favorites, and it so spoke to my heart that I wanted to share it in this weeks article—as it still resounds in my heart. But first, how are we to live this Christian life while awaiting Christ’s return or our own passing from this life?
Being from Oklahoma, we are familiar with ‘Toll Roads’–a road where you must pay a toll at some point during your drive. Many of the toll collection points have an ‘Exact Change’ lane for those who have the correct coins to toss into a hopper to pay their way through the toll without stopping for a teller to take their money that is other than ‘exact change’. I see a parallel here with our spiritual life –we are on a journey and at some point in time we will meet the ‘Keeper of the Road’ (if you would), who will ask if we have the correct payment to enter the gate. The difference being—there is only one currency that will gain entrance into the heavenly gates, and His name is Jesus, and His precious blood spilled for us. (See 1 John 1:17)
The question won’t be about ‘correct change’ but are you ‘washed in the blood’? Not how many possessions you left earth with, or even how good you were, or if you went to church faithfully, or even went to church at all. The question (the toll) will be: “What have you done with the blood of Jesus”? Has it cleansed you from your sin?
So many around us, people that we love and inter-act with regularly, who talk about being a ‘Christian’, don’t seem to see a connection between belonging to Jesus and living for HIM. They want a heavenly home while being content to live a worldly life. They seem willing to trust in something other than Jesus for living-but hope that Jesus will take care of their dying. Not seeking His will, through His Word, or an intimate relationship with Him. The world has so crept into lives and churches that we don’t recognize sin or try to see our lives through God’s eyes. While some will say, “Who are you to judge?” I don’t have to, God does in His Word, and I am called to speak His ‘truth in love’. (See Eph. 4:15)
Hebrews 10:28-30, “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.” Grace demands my all. (see 1 Peter 4:17)
God has a standard. He had one in the beginning; when He gave Adam one single command, don’t eat of ‘this’ tree.
Genesis 2:16-17, “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (See 1 Cor. 15 about “Adam”)
While Adam and Eve disobeyed this simple command and brought sin and death on the whole human family–Jesus brought life through His shed blood for us–for all who will believe. So believing, do I live like I truly believe that Jesus ‘saved’ my life from hell? Like He gave me ‘new life’–abundant life– to live His way before the world? Before those in my own household? While God says clearly in Hebrews 12 that He disciplines His own children, are we yielding to His hand. Have you, or are you now experiencing the discipline of God? If so, know that it’s because you are His and He loves you—don’t’ continue to trample the blood of Jesus, by your life choices? Submit!! (Read Hebrews 12)
Does my speech betray my Lord? Do my actions, my activities, my passions betray my Lord, do they trample under foot His blood? Or is Jesus evident in my daily life?
2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Do I reflect the love of this Christ I claim to know in my treatment of others: those closest to me, to strangers, to those who come against me? Does my home life make others want to know Jesus? Does God’s peace rule in my home, or does conflict and tension abound, causing others to say, “If that’s ‘Christian’, I don’t need it”? Do people see HIM in ME!!! Or am I blocking His Work?
2 Timothy 2:19, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
A believer’s life should be free of blatant sin, unkindness, bitterness or meanness!! Ouch!! It hits pretty close to home, doesn’t it. But remember God knows me, and He’s willing to show me how to live if I’ll but “ask….seek….and knock…”. If we come before His throne to “find grace to help in time of need”? Will we “study to show yourselves approved unto God….a workman who needeth not to be ashamed…”? Today? Tomorrow? The next day?
Remember, God is working on His own, and in them. Every day is a new opportunity to live in the Spirit and reflect the love and saving power of Jesus to the world. How? By His Spirit’s work in and through us.
Romans 8:26-30, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. ….. If God be for us, who can be against us?”
Think on these things. And as I promised may these lyrics remind you that –
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
So ‘until then’ be sure you have the ‘right change’!!!
Until Then By Stuart Hamblin
“My heart can sing when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone
Along a trail that’s winding always upward,
This troubled world is not my final home.
The things of earth will dim and lose their value
If we recall they’re borrowed for awhile;
And things of earth that cause the heart to tremble,
Remembered there will only bring a smile.
This weary world with all its toil and struggle
May take its toll of misery and strife;
The soul of man is like a waiting falcon;
When it’s released, it’s destined for the skies.
But until then my heart will go on singing,
Until then with joy I’ll carry on,
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.”