Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Sometimes...We Need Reminders
Sometimes...We Need Reminders
by David Brenneman
Our world today doesn't just label others...they attach that label like a firebrand. If you're opposed to something in this world, that goes against your faith, you can be horribly labeled.
So many people don't want the actual consequences to their actions. Don't want to believe that those consequences exist.
They would prefer to believe that oblivion awaits them after death rather than to acknowledge the truth of God. To me that's true insanity.
I live among several at least who in this present time shake their fist at God.
They're determined to do what they want, however they want it, in defiance to the truth of God's word.
The truth is...no matter how much rage a person has against God...Jesus died for them too. The most horrible people who have ever existed in our time or times past...Jesus died for them. Their sins and ours were heaped upon Him on the cross.
Our personal tastes in what's acceptable and what isn't as Believers isn't what's paramount.
The life of a Believer is to be spent in one particular way. Living out their lives in sanctification. Growing in Christ. They're supposed to be reflecting the light of Jesus Christ to the present darkness around them. He is the vine, the Believers are the branches.
When a Believer starts to think that they're not responsible to do anything, they're then reverting to living a life apart from the righteous life that God desired.
We have been brought to Christ in this here this now to be what someone else needs to see in order to come to Christ themselves.
We aren't to live life for ourselves after the ways of the world. If even our so-called recreational life is in conflict with the word of God, we really need to rethink its value.
God doesn't bless us in order to just help us create a version of our own paradise. God blesses us to be a blessing to others...both the Believing and the unbelieving. Jesus blessed both, so must we. Even if there's no recognition nor appreciation. Just as it happened to Him.
Our world really really hates to hear about consequences. They really want you to accept them as they are, affirm it out loud, and leave them alone. God says that He runs after us. He's going to go after those who are still alive in this present time.
Those who are called of God, which is in fact every single Believer, are in the body of Christ for a very specific purpose.
We're told in the Bible that we can expect the world to hate us, judge us, condemn us. That persecutions are inevitable. Yet weren't not to give up. The Apostles often despaired of their lives. Can we expect anything less?
Reality is this: You and I are not promised even a single heartbeat. In a moment lives change unexpectedly every single day. In the time you took to read this, thousands of people entered Hell and Heaven completely unexpectedly to those who did so. Thousands per second. Thousands per second are granted to be born. All life originates with Jesus. Satan is the destroyer of life...when so permitted. Satan does not have absolute rule to kill anyone.
Are you at all living your life as though the light of Jesus Christ is in you? Or are you hiding it under a basket? Do you at all by your actions point people to Jesus? Or are you more concerned about what it might cost you? That same Jesus who blessed you can just as easily take that from you and give it to another.
Over the years I have learned how easy it is to justify allowing worldly thinking to negatively impact my growth in Christ. In many respects its based in so-called competition. We get so easily blinded because we want to fit in. From my elementary school days on up to adulthood I can give prime examples. Of peer pressure to be a certain way and the consequences of doing so. As the one picture says...I wasn't free from my actions. I saw what I was becoming and couldn't see that person standing before Jesus someday.
Look good and hard to yourself. Be real with yourself. Take stock of yourself.
The you that you are today...knowing all that you are doing in your life...do you want that version of you to stand before Jesus?
Many Christians believe in hating others, which isn't at all what Jesus did. When Judas betrayed Him, Jesus didn't angrily tell him that He hated him. When the many many people passed by Jesus while He was on the cross, laughing at Him, mocking Him, He didn't wipe them out of existence with a thought, which He could have. When people sought His life, He didn't have them taken from this world.
Many think that God hates the present day Jewish people. They see what Hitler did as God trying to destroy them all.
To be clear...God hates sin. He loves each and every single human being that He's given the breath of life to. Including every single person that mankind has murdered through abortion. It was only for humanity that Jesus went to the cross.
A while ago I was lead to write about careers. What we're lead to be doing ought always be what Jesus wants for us, not what we're only going to accept.
What the Spirit calls us to do is what is our career. Even if it makes absolutely no sense to the world around us. Our obedience is part of His plan and purpose for those around us. We who are in Christ are already secure in our eternal destination.
Really consider why you do what you do.
Are you justifying thinking that you do that's not of God? I mentioned what competition does to me. It brings out the worst in me. Anger, rage, abusive speech, ungodly behavior. Until the Spirit showed me the truth about these things that I used to do, I was completely comfortable with them. It's not just competition that was a stumbling block to me. An imagination running wild did too. It had me going after books to read that really were unbiblical. They were doing nothing to feed my soul with what matters...and again...I justified it by saying that I needed a break...an escape from life. It's still a trap at times.
It's a very very deep train of thought behind what Jesus said about living life.
"And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?" Luke 9:23-25.
If we're embracing the world then we're not doing this. If we're thinking that there's no unacceptable consequences then we're not doing this. If we're allowing and encouraging the negative things that the Spirit warns us about then we're not doing this. If we're living three lives...one the world sees and one we think is ok...and the one that Jesus knows is real...then we're not doing this.
Are you really ok with what all you have allowed in your life to the point that you're ok with being acceptable to Jesus when you give an account of your life before Him? Food for thought.
All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.