by David Brenneman
"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age," Titus 2:11-12 NASB
Oh how we love to get close to the flame.
Was reading that passage after having thoughts concerning what people get involved in these days.
There are oh so many people dying "unexpectedly" who chose not the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ who woke up in Hell screaming that they didn't know! They thought they had more time!
Saw in my brief rundown with the so-called news headlines of many who never considered that yesterday or the day before would be their last on this Earth.
Some would try to argue that it's not fair.
Some would see people deserving of death finally getting the "justice" they thought they deserved.
The truth is everyone deserves eternal separation from God because of sin. We spend billions of dollars a year on entertaining thoughts that do not speak to the relevance of our true future. We tend to be selfish. Some more than others. We don't consider that there are eternal consequences to our choices either for or against God's will for us.
People who's desire is to milk this world for all it will give them to make their own lives meaningful to themselves.
By way of a mental exercise I was thinking of Samuel from the Old Testament his words to those he spoke with. Thinking of Paul, of his words written to Timothy, to Titus, to the Churches.
We try so hard to mix it up with the world. Try so hard to get as close as we can to the fire and not get burned, but we always do.
We cannot live for self and live for Jesus.
Of course there's things in this world that are enjoyable. Originally God created a perfect world for mankind until Adam and Eve chose to sin. Mankind teaches mankind how to seek the approval of others rather than the approval of God. Just scroll through posts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or the evening news. Read a newspaper if you still get them. Feeding selfishness is what Satan's agenda had at its core. He prompted Adam and Eve to consider how to be like God by eating the forbidden fruit.
We face the temptation to consider self before others every single moment of every single day. The counter to that attack is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. To love your neighbor as yourself.
We live in a society that craves personal attention. Wanting instant fame and recognition. To be popular. To honestly call it as it is...to be worshiped.
We cannot afford to waste time where living for Jesus is concerned. Paul didn't waste his time in worldly things when he considered what his life was was a race to be won. He didn't mix it up with the world on useless things that did nothing to further the kingdom of God. He taught the value of making the most of every opportunity. He taught the dangers of being a lover of ourselves. He taught that we will indeed face Jesus some day.
The Bible says we will indeed give an account of our lives before Jesus Christ.
Will yours be full of self or full of service?
Will yours be full of time spent on you or show you being all-in with a life in Christ Jesus?
We cannot live two lives. We cannot turn on and then off a life in Christ Jesus by going into a Church building and leaving it.
We cannot hold onto thoughts and ideas of this world as being as important as the Word of God.
Does the thought cross your mind to want to hear "Well done!" from Jesus Himself?
Or are you so consumed with things of self to really understand that is to be your only goal?
We are given examples of those who lived out their faith in Hebrews chapter 11.
Living out our faith, being a light in darkness is to be our calling in Christ Jesus. The light of Jesus Christ ought to be shining brightly in the lives of Believers. We read in the Bible of sin that so easily entangles. It so easily entangles because we get too close to it and think we won't get burned by it.
Many many people will face Jesus claiming to have loved Him but will have nothing to prove it when their lives are reviewed by Him. Many many will not have evidence of the love of Christ in them by a changed life for the world to see. Many many will cry out for Jesus to consider all the works they did in His Name and He will tell them to depart for He never knew them.
Be sure of your salvation in Christ Jesus!
If you love this world and the things of it more than you love Jesus you are in grave danger.
Romans 10:8-13 NASB "But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Jesus came to seek and save the lost. His Father's plan was to have those who did trust in His Son for eternal life to perpetually tell others how they can be saved.
Many will cry out to Jesus that He made a mistake, that surely He missed something about their life that ought to show that they were saved!
When we come to Christ for salvation we are sealed by the Spirit of God. Those who are His are marked as His before they ever get an opportunity to do anything for Him. So pointing to works and deeds only won't work.
You can look like a saint your whole life and still go to Hell upon dying.
You could be a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a revolutionary Scientist, a consummate professional in the medical field who has saved millions. Without salvation in Christ Jesus it is meaningless.
All those types of people and more are already in Hell for not choosing salvation in Christ Jesus.
Many, even this weekend, thought they had a tomorrow coming that was full of promise. They are either on life support or gravely ill this morning. Some don't even know that they are because they haven't been diagnosed yet. We do not hold today in our hands. We do not have a future in our hands. All our today's are in God's hands. Any future is a gift from God to grant us mercy and grace towards a chance at salvation being claimed by us through Jesus Christ.
We read at the beginning of this post of denying ungodliness and worldly desires.
Jesus said to deny ourselves, take up our own cross and following Him.
Are you trying at all to do this or do your thoughts and feelings mirror the world instead? Are you more concerned of what happens in Sports than those heading to Hell if we don't intervene? Are you more concerned about politics than those who God put into your life to be witnessed to?
Is your life consumed with your health and not the Word of God and its benefits?
You can't serve two masters. You cannot mix it up with the world and not come away unscathed. You cannot serve self and serve God.
What you own.
What you spend your money on.
What your mind dwells on.
What your accumulation of possessions testify to.
What is the first thing on your mind.
Will either testify to your obedience in Jesus Christ, your love for Jesus Christ, or my Friend, it's condemning you already.
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