Lots of church people believe they’re serving God until that day they are challenged to see if they will. It’s a good thing to keep a spiritual evaluation going on in one’s life to see where one’s life stands before they are called upon. So here are some simple thoughts you might want to consider:
- Do I give 100% effort to God or a portion to man?
- Why would God choose me out of a group of people to do something special for Him?
- Do I finish the projects God gives me or leave some undone?
- If I was doing the choosing for God to fill an important position, would I want God to select someone like me, especially if my life depended on it?
- How do I handle money? Can God trust me?
- Have I been faithful in what God has asked of me in the past?
- How solid is my faith against the temptations I might have to face off with?
- Is this going to affect my ability to obey God regardless of how it turns out?
- Has my life got the integrity God needs for the position needing filled?
- Can I properly handle the criticism that I might receive as God would want me to and that I wouldn’t allow my flesh to respond improperly?
- Can God trust me regardless of the outcome to remain faithful?
- Do I, myself, actually take the same advice that I give others?
If you have answered truthfully, how will you measure up? Are you the kind of person God looks for when He needs to fill an assignment from heaven?
Ever known someone who has said something but you knew they weren’t telling the truth? Have you ever felt that when somebody has apologized over an incident that they really didn’t mean it? It happens a lot because mankind’s nature is sinful and sin works against truth.
The Bible’s book of Jeremiah is not a real popular read with most of those who read the Bible. It tells of the pending doom headed for Israel because of their blatant sinful ways. With verses in chapter 4 where it says that the people are foolish and do not even know God, that they have no understanding, that they are clever at doing wrong, that they don’t know how to do what’s right.
Their problem was they had let sin go so long that they were going through their religious rituals believing that they were alright with God. But their language was much different than what their heart was really like. They acted like salvation was a reward from God by what they said, but their actions really said what was really going on with their lives.
The people were doing foolish things, sinning in many forms and did not know God, but they thought they did. In Jeremiah chapter 5, the statement is made that they lied about the Lord.
People are using the gifts God gave them to commit sin, yet say it is right because God made me this way. God never made anyone to sin. Many in this world have deceived themselves, and the price to pay is bigger than our national debt.
If you live in the places where tornadoes come and go, your local city usually has some type of siren warning system that sounds off that there could be an approaching danger.
Most of us have heard these now and then, and it generally gets our attention pretty quick, and most spring into some kind of action to prepare for an approaching dangerous storm.
On a much larger scale, today we have another approaching storm like no one has ever experienced before; a day some have heard about but are paying little attention to the types of sirens that are going off. From economic instability to shocking cultural changes to religious factions that have such hate for others that they will go to any lengths to destroy others they despise.
This world is not as safe of a place as it was 50 years ago. Our society and morality is eroding. People have agendas and will steal, lie or destroy anyone who gets in their way. Trust is becoming less and less at all levels of life. We are in a time of extremes, and life in America is especially reflective of these changes.
While all the time, the sirens sound telling us something is soon approaching and with every little storm a bigger one looms on the horizon. Jesus told the people in Matthew 16:3, “You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.”
Far too many Americans today are consumed with their own needs. In fact, in the whole world the numbers are few of those who really are concerned with what God deserves and what they want. People make more money to buy more fun. People daily rob God of the offerings that are rightfully His just so they can enjoy the good life, and so they put everything else ahead of the Kingdom of God. Yet all those things they are investing in will soon be gone, one way or the other.
The many things that most people think they have to have actually have them. They’re tied to payment after payment. They’re so obligated to things and other people that they have nothing left. Some believe in giving to God, but it is only a cheap handout to what anyone actually owes to God. You breathe His air, you eat His food. People rob His creation of its natural resources to build their own empires or build their homes and futures. They enjoy animals that were created by God and drive automobiles that we made of His resources. Why, even this paper where these words are written was made from God’s resources.
Yet so many people- and its everywhere, outside and even inside the church- sometimes hold back from what God deserves. And it is not that He needs our money, but it is our attitude about money that He truly is wanting to adjust. For money is only a tool, but needs to be used rightly.
When people understand the goodness of God and have a personal relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus, then and only then will money and His resources be handled more faithfully concerning what and who is really important.
Something that is becoming rarer among people today is truth. People have put such a spin on words when asked questions that you don’t know exactly if they ever answered the question or not. Truth has always been a problem with many people because with truth comes accountability, and a lot of people aren’t willing to have to deal with the consequences of truth.
When Jesus stood before Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, Pilate asked the question, “What is truth?” and Jesus told him that those who love truth recognize it. And that is why many don’t tell the truth. They don’t know the love of God who establishes truth.
Little children go through their beginnings testing truth, but as they grow from what they learned, they use truth for what it’s worth or will twist it as much as they need to for their own personal benefit.
Today leaders, across the board, struggle with truth. Think of all the money that could be saved in our own government or country if people would just tell the truth. There would be no need for investigations or special committees.
Not telling the truth is nothing more than lying, and some of mankind may be fooled, but God is never fooled. And not telling the truth means that you lie. God, in His word, says He hates lying because it all stems from the father of lies, the devil. And God also reminds us there is no place in Heaven for liars.
All of us go through life here on earth doing something. We all in someway build into this world, whether it be a house or a business; you may just fix up stuff or restore something old. At times we all seem to be about building something. Some things bigger than others will be built, and some things begun but never finished.
The quality of what we build will say a lot about us and its lasting value will show the investment of your work. The Bible speaks of our work in 1 Corinthians 3. There are several verses, one being verse 9, which says, “For we are God’s fellow workers, you are God’s field, you are God’s building.”
It then goes on to say in verse 10, “But let each one take heed how he builds on it.” Verse 11 says, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Then verses 13, 14 and 15 finish by saying that each one’s work will become clear for it will be revealed when God tests it.
If anyone’s work that he built endures, he will receive a reward, and it goes on to say if anyone’s work doesn’t add up for the purposes of God’s kingdom, that person’s work will be burned and that person will suffer great loss. Again, we are always building in one form or another- families, jobs, futures- and there will be a day when all we’ve done will be tested at the end of one’s life.
There will be an accounting for all of what we labored to build here and for eternity. If that would be required of you today, just where would your works of what you’ve built be?
Just what would the ledger say about all you’ve worked on? Was it for this world or the one to come? You still have the tools now to build for those things that have everlasting value.
This is not a new kind of religion. It has been around almost as long as the word “religion” itself. It is not a branch of another of God’s work, but that of human nature. You see, God made what we consider religion, and by His covenants of being all we need it if we will choose to follow His ways; then living can have a much fuller purpose.
But we have flesh that wants its way and wants to be pampered. So for that to happen, the areas that are hard for people to live by, God’s covenant has to be softened up. That’s where troubles begin. Some here and there begin to make changes that seem to make more human sense instead of God’s covenant.
Now problems will not just continue but also grow in magnitude as God’s covenant ways are exchanged for people’s newer rules and policies. Now they have softened those hard places in God’s Word to help them better navigate through life, or so they think.
They now see they can be freer with their lifestyles, going more where they want, experiencing new relationships, acting out their wildest dreams, and treating others for their own benefit the way they need to.
Then what comes along to help this is then in the area of authority- taking the people’s position by twisting the words of God’s covenant agreement to make the people happy and tolerant of the lifestyles in the day in which they live and explain that the covenant of God’s Word really has a different meaning for today than in other days past. So we now have a soft religion.
But just because it changes God’s covenant message doesn’t mean it changes God, and then the people will have to deal with their changes like what we are seeing happen today. For only the blessings of the covenant depend solely on obeying the conditions of God’s covenant. Period!
The Old Testament had what was called the Levitical Laws that were standards or guidelines for God’s people to live by. They were told that certain foods or practices would be considered okay- or not okay- for them to partake in as children of God. They were to set themselves apart from others that did such things.
When Jesus came in the New Testament, He did not do away with the law but fulfilled it by living the life and showing people how they could. Jesus gave us a new covenant to live above the unclean things, not being forced to do so but to live out of obedience because of our love for God.
Now today the same clean or unclean things are before us. For as a true child of God, we are expected to live a clean life. The world’s dirt will get on us now and then, but we must choose to be clean, and that takes many forms.
Have you ever considered what things in your life are clean or unclean? TV shows, habits, the very type of words we speak, the places we go, what we really think about others, the things we do in secret places…
Every day we are given this choice to be a part of something clean or unclean- a thought, an action, whatever the case.
God knows the real choice we make and why we make it and what will be written down about it in His book of life that will be revealed.
In an election year, every person running for office is either running on their previous record or talking it up about the goals and qualifications they have for the office they are seeking. I’ve heard it said, as I’m sure you have during these election periods, that it is the candidate with the most in-depth experience that counts, or how concerned they are to serve your interest for the goal of America.
I’d like to ask you to consider some other leadership qualifications. A person should have qualifications that aren’t so much geared toward experience or great qualities, but ones of character, integrity and morality. You see, even a person with great abilities to communicate and to lead can still be dishonest. Good people can be tempted, and will be. It’s the character of a person that makes the person do what’s right, not what is always in the best interest of a few people. Good people can go wrong, but one with true character- if molded by God- will do what’s right regardless of the outcome. Every time a political candidate lists qualifications and information, most list being a member of a church. However, few are willing to stand up for her when decisions become difficult or there could possibly be loss if they take a stand for the church.
God called the church His bride, and says that this is who He is returning for: churchs who has not compromised its character, took its lumps and stood for its principles instead of man’s. It is not popular at times to go against the establishment, but it will be tougher when leaders have to answer to God for why they didn’t.
If you drive through almost any town of any size in America, you’ll find a good number of churches. Each one will most generally have a different name on their sign of various denominational beliefs or fellowship affiliation. To those that attend church this all makes sense because that is the way they believe; but to those that don’t go to church, what do they think?
Is it that these people can’t get along, or does someone teach different rules than the other? Both are true somewhat. Some churches are started because of church dissension in another church. And there are churches that have different doctrinal beliefs according to that group’s interpretation of the Bible. And some just like to be different.
Regardless, there must be truth, the fact that there is only one God, named Yahweh by Israel. That there is only one Savior, named Jesus, God’s Son, and there are no others. That there is only one way to eternal life through Jesus and His blood, shed on a cross for the forgiveness of all mankind’s sin and only by mankind’s repentance of their sin. Because of Jesus and His finished work on the cross, mankind can be saved from their sins. There’s no other way to heaven.
Now these different church affiliations are the results of people and traditions of mankind’s beliefs. The Bible can only be interpreted one way, God’s way. All other interpretations or changes bring false doctrines that will lead people astray or weaken their position as a Christian and cause them to be ineffective, to an extent. And until Christians believe and trust God’s Word to be true and let go of manmade traditions, they won’t have a much greater influence.
Real church is not limited by people’s natural capabilities nor religious affiliations.