Bible Ballistics: Vol. 7 No. 23 The Shadow Of Death???
Life is a gift from God, and while we are to treasure “life”, sometimes we are so distracted by “getting by”, or “getting ahead”, or even by “worldly success”, that we forget who is the giver of life, and only Jesus can give us “abundant life/eternal life”! Life that makes “life” worth “living”, regardless of the obstacles that pop up along the way.
“The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me;
and thy staff
they comfort me.” Psalm 23:1-4
When we have God as our shepherd, even death holds no real peril for us, because we belong to Jesus, and leaving this physical life is simply the gateway into the glory that we will share with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for eternity! Our confidence is in the creator NOT the creation—our Lord Jesus came in fulfillment of the promises of God, and He’s coming again to take us unto Himself—Jesus keeps the promises He gave before His death, burial and resurrection.
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:1-6
And since our Lord Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” we can be confident that “the way” (Jesus Himself) is on the way to fulfill His Father’s will—to rule and reign in His eternal kingdom. So we can be confident in this life and the life that Jesus has promised to those who believe in Him!
“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight🙂 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:6-10
All will give an account—whether saved or lost. All will bow before Jesus and answer for what they have done, are doing, and have the opportunity to do! The saved for the deeds done in the flesh, but not for our sin—Jesus paid for that at Calvary; the lost will also answer for the deeds done in the flesh, and they will also answer for their own sin—because no blood has been applied to their sin debt.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
The condemnation that our sin cost—the “wages” of sin—has been paid at the cross for all who will believe. But God’s judgment will come on all those who reject His Son—the only way of salvation. You can have confidence in the flesh and come up short, or you can place your confidence in Jesus Christ, for only His blood-bought salvation covers the “shortfall” of sin! Even as Jesus told Nicodemus
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 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. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” John 3:16-19
So the question is, “Where is your confidence placed?” “Will your confidence get you through the ‘valley of the shadow of death’?” Only Jesus can give eternal life and deliver us from the penalty of sin–which is death, not only physical death, but also eternal death! Jesus enables us to live “after the Spirit” and not fall to the condemnation of the flesh. It’s what Paul was talking about in Romans 8:1 & 9:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit….. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
But how do I walk in the Spirit? Only by having the Holy Spirit within us, the Spirit of Christ which we receive from God when we are born again; for without HIS Spirit, we are NOT His and we stand responsible for our own sin debt. Just as God gave life in the beginning—He gives the “new life” of salvation to all who will believe, and He gives the indwelling Holy Spirit, who will lead us into all truth.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them…… And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.” Genesis 1:26-27 & 2:7-8
When man fell into sin, God had already provided for our redemption, and He promised that “ONE” would come who would defeat the Serpent/Satan and pay for man’s sin.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15
Jesus would come and deliver men from the penalty of sin–death. In HIM we have confidence, knowing that we can live and die in assurance of His victory over sin and death!
“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:54-58
Our victory in life or death is Jesus. He accomplished victory over death, sin and hell at Calvary—are you trusting to His provision for life, or your own?
And when we when we belong to Jesus and have “victory” in Him, we can understand and join with Paul who said:
“Therefore, my beloved brethren,
be ye stedfast,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know
that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
So, will you walk and live ‘unmovable’ even in the “shadow of death”? Will you trust and rest in the glory that the children of God will share with HIM; or go your own way? The choice is yours–but choose wisely—there are consequences that follow each choice.
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15
Will you bow before Jesus as Lord of your life, and Savior of your soul, or bow before Him as your judge and spend eternity in the lake of fire. Not a very pleasant subject, but one that is imperative to your life and soul. While I’m not going to pursue death, because God has given us “abundant life”, I am ready to face whatever may come because I belong to Jesus, for He has paid the price for ME!!! And my dear friends, HE has paid the price for you!
“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? 43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 44 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 6:40-44
AMEN and AMEN!!! If He is calling YOU, won’t you respond?