Bible Ballistics: Vol. 7 No. 10 To All The People I Love!!!
Promotions are abounding on every hand reminding us that “Valentine’s Day” is coming, so I’d like to take this timely opportunity to send a message to those that I love today. And that includes YOU!!! While Valentine’s Day is usually focused on romantic love, I’d like us to consider the Love of God! The only love that can change lives, and grant eternal life, is found in Jesus, but only on God’s terms. We must choose to believe and receive the payment that Jesus made for sin, yours and mine! We can’t just exercise mental assent to the fact that there was a “Jesus”, or even that He died on a cross, but we must come to a genuine recognition of “my” personal sin against God (and men), and a willingness as well as a desperate desire to repent of “my” sin, and trust all “my” life to Jesus; to bow “my” knee to the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. This can only happen as the Holy Spirit touches your heart and convicts (brings you to see yourself as God sees you) your heart of your desperate need for Jesus, and your total inability to meet that need yourself. We must recognize the fact that God is God, we are not, and there is only one way to God and HE IS JESUS!
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44
So we see that we can choose, but only as God opens our eyes through the convicting power of the Holy Spirit; to see that we must choose to follow Jesus to receive eternal life, but not just whenever you like! God initiates all salvation, and we must be open and willing to come to God, God’s way! But we must choose! And even if you don’t realize it, not choosing, IS choosing. There is no option to pass.
Joshua once called the children of Israel to choose, and we are also faced with a choice—God gives us the right and the ability to choose, but there are consequences to every choice, and we don’t get to choose the consequences.
“And if it seem evil unto you
to serve the Lord,
choose you this day
whom ye will serve;
whether the gods
which your fathers served
that were on the other side
of the flood,
or the gods of the Amorites,
in whose land ye dwell:
but as for me and my house,
we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
Joshua realized that it is a choice to “serve”, not just to give “lip service” to obtain “fire” insurance, but choosing, making a commitment to believe and receive the gift of salvation that Jesus purchased with His blood. To be His servant—and there is a priceless difference of love and devotion.
Jesus Himself tells us that when we receive Him and trust to His saving, life-transforming grace, there is a price to pay—not to purchase our salvation but to express our devotion and gratitude to the “One” who gave Himself for all who will believe! For YOU and for ME! A devotion of gratitude that has ‘died’ to self, to ‘live’ to and for Jesus, through the power of the cross and the Holy Spirit.
“And he said to them all,
If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily,
and follow me.” Luke 9:23
Taking up our cross is not a picture of the every day difficulties of life—the rheumatism, the family crises, the challenges of just getting through this world—it’s dying to self and living to Jesus. How do I take up my cross? Paul gives us one of the most beautiful pictures of how to continually “take up” our cross and follow Jesus:
“I am crucified with Christ:
nevertheless I live;
yet not I,
but Christ liveth in me:
and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me,
and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
I can live by the “faith of the Son of God”, because HE gave Himself for me, and His Spirit is living within ME! When I die with Him spiritually (at the cross), God raises me to “new life” in Christ Jesus:
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.” Romans 6:1-7
What a powerful concept, “that henceforth we should not serve sin”. Yet when I look around and see so many who glibly claim to know Jesus, but seem to be so devoted to the world and seemingly contented to be so, my heart grieves and my desire and purpose is to help those I love to have their eyes opened through God’s Word and the love and prayers of one who loves them—me! We must all continually examine ourselves to see whom we are serving! Are we serving Jesus or my own worldly lusts and the lies and distractions of the enemy?
Does my life say that I belong to Jesus or the world? I see so many wrapped up in the ways of the world; living in open adultery, drunkenness, sloth, having time for every thing but God, having no desire for the Word of God but every desire for the things of the world. How can we expect God to hear and answer our prayers when we refuse to walk in HIS ways? How can we live and walk in sin, expecting God to approve of our life choices and bless them, when they are sinful and diametrically opposed to God? I can’t find that in scripture. In fact I find the very opposite.
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. 3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. 4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.” Isaiah 59:1-4
Sin separates us from God; sin hides His face from us, and keeps our prayers from being effective. Because as scripture tells us about prayer:
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16 (Righteous by the blood of Jesus, see 2 Cor. 5:21)
James reminds us that we are to confess our faults to one another, not sweep them under the rug, not say they are ok, or call wrong right and right wrong. As we confess (to the degree that the sin is known, not a national broadcast) to one another, there is a healing and restoration both personally and corporately—our churches are in such desperate need of the conviction, repentance and healing of the people of God being restored to the holy church of God which can be salt and light in a world of darkness and corruption. The world is in desperate need of authentic, genuine, Holy Ghost filled believers! Oh, dear ones please call on Jesus today and ask HIM to:
“Search me, O God,
and know my heart:
and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24
God will show us where we are, and He will bring us to where we need to be if we will but seek His face and realize that we must “choose” to be His servant, not His manipulator, because God is God and we must choose to serve God His way—to simply be God’s own by the blood of the Lamb, and abandon the world.
“No man can serve two masters:
for either he will hate the one,
and love the other;
or else he will hold to the one,
and despise the other.
Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24
James uses a word in his letter that describes what Jesus is talking about, “double minded”—to try to think two ways at the same time—a virtually impossible thing to do, and surely not a good thing.
“A double minded man is
unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8
“Draw nigh to God,
and he will draw nigh to you.
Cleanse your hands,
and purify your hearts,
ye double minded.” James 4:8
We must strive to “single” minded, keeping our eyes on Jesus; know that we must “die” to self and “live” to Jesus in the power of the His Holy Spirit. Every day we choose whom we will serve—self or the Savior, yet there is a consequence to every choice. My heart’s desire in this post is that you will examine your own heart and go before God to find out whose you are, and measure your life according to the Word of God, not the whims of men. Will you “Draw nigh to God” or befriend the world? Will you experience the “joy of the Lord” or the “judgment” of God? The choice is yours, but the consequences aren’t.
“He that believeth on him is not condemned:
but he that believeth not
is condemned already,
because he hath not believed
in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18
“Ye lust, and have not:
ye kill, and desire to have,
and cannot obtain:
ye fight and war,
yet ye have not,
because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask,
and receive not,
because ye ask amiss,
that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses,
know ye not that the friendship
of the world
is enmity with God?
whosoever therefore will be a friend
of the world
is the enemy of God.
5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain,
The spirit that dwelleth in us
lusteth to envy?
6 But he giveth more grace.
Wherefore he saith,
God resisteth the proud,
but giveth grace unto the humble.
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil,
and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to God,
and he will draw nigh to you.
Cleanse your hands, ye sinners;
and purify your hearts,
ye double minded.” James 4:1-8
Whose friend are you? I want to be known as a “friend of God”. Won’t you join me in the pursuit, and stop settling for worldly pursuits. Have a blessed week seeking HIS face, choose which “spirit” you will yield to.
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” Galatians 5:25
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” Ephesians 2:2 (the evil one).
God’s way or yours? Choose wisely!!! I am praying for you!
“(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” 2 Corinthians 6:2