Tag Archives: accountability

Jeremiah 21-25; It’s That Serious

God has quite a lot to say to shepherds in these chapters of Jeremiah, doesn’t He? But before you think you’ve dodged a bullet because you aren’t a pastor or teacher in your church, remember God commanded all of us to “Go,” to share the Gospel with our world. What Jeremiah writes to the shepherds of God’s flock, applies to all of us who are called by Jesus’ name: Christian.

We have a message from God to tell. And God takes it very seriously that our message be truly His. The only place you will find His message is in the pages of the Bible. Not the Bible plus anything. Not someone’s opinion of what the Bible says, not a new revelation. God has given us all the Truth we need to know right here in these precious pages.

We need to know what it says. Because not only does God place a great deal of responsibility on the tellers of His Truth, He places responsibility on listeners as well. Yes, false prophets, preachers, and teachers will pay dearly for their lies. But those who follow them will not get a free pass, either. The Bible is clear. You either believe God or you don’t. Believing anything other than what God has given us is a death sentence.

It’s that serious.

Dear one, we have got to be in God’s Word every day. We’ve got to be memorizing it, thinking about it, testing everything we hear according to what is in there. We’ve got to recognize a lie and reject it, not go along with it because it sounds good, and everybody else is following it.

Satan can be pretty subtle. His lies often sound Biblical. His lies can sound like love, and tolerance, and compassion, and praise, and success, and happiness, and health. His lies often are accompanied by a Scripture or two.

But they are still lies. And if you go along with those lies you will be held accountable. If you spread those lies God will show no mercy.

I’m honored that you read my post today. But if this is the extent of your “devotions,” I’d rather you didn’t. Instead, pick up your Bible. Put all the other books and blogs away. Turn off your TV or radio preachers. And get in God’s Word. YOU get in God’s Word.

Because you are going to be held accountable for what is in there. It is that serious.

 

2 Chronicles 21-24; The Reign of Joash

What do you read? Who do you listen to? Where are you on Sunday mornings? The answers to these questions are extremely important.

Joash did a lot of good as king of Judah. He rebuilt the temple, returned the people to worshiping God, destroyed the temple of Baal and killed Baal’s priest. There was quite a revival among the Jews during the first years of Joash’s reign. During those years the king stayed close to Jehoiada, the priest of God. He listened to Jehoiada’s counsel, and did good in the eyes of the Lord.

But Jehoiada died. And things went downhill from there. Joash stepped out on his own, and sin reared its ugly head.

Is there someone in your life who holds you accountable in your walk with the Lord? Someone who prays for and with you, someone with whom you talk about what God is teaching you, then checks to be sure what you are learning is true according to Scripture? Are you in God’s Word every day, reading and listening as you pour over its precious pages? Do you stand with a congregation of people each week, serving and worshiping God as He deserves?

Or do you think you can live this Christian life on your own? If that is your attitude, I would challenge you to read Joash’s story here in 2 Chronicles, then rethink your position. Good things happened as long as Joash was partnering with a godly man. Read for yourself what happened when the king lost that influence.

As I was writing this, the thought occurred to me that I have the responsibility and the privilege of being a Jehoiada to someone else. It’s a two way street. I need someone who will keep me in check, and I need to reach out to someone who needs me for the same reason.

May all of us walk in Truth, hand in hand, strong and determined to be the Church God wants us to be.

How Do I Look?

I’ve heard the account of Daniel, Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego many times and for many years. But when I recently read about Daniel’s desire to abstain from the kings food, I found myself wondering what it is I am ingesting myself. Not the chips I ate yesterday, or the big piece of angel food cake I had for dinner last night. I’m wondering what it is I’m feeding my soul.

What do I read, watch on TV? What is it a pastor or teacher or friend or blogger has said? The Bible tells me to guard my heart. How am I doing?

If I’m watching acts of sin played out on TV, what is that doing to my heart’s condition before God? If I go to a church with a “God is Love” theology without preaching the truth about his holiness, is that effecting my relationship with God? Is the music I listen to slowly separating me from God’s Presence? Relationships, thoughts, what I do in secret, are feeding my soul.

The difference in Daniel and his friends was noticeable They looked better than everyone else because of the food they rejected, the pure food they ingested. 

I wonder if people, when they look at my life, can tell I’ve feasted on God’s Word and abstained from what was offered to me by the world. I want to look different: better, more joyful, kinder, more honest. I want to BE a person others identify with my Savior.

 

 

August 14

Ezekiel 17:1-20:29

I was raised in a Christian family. My mom was raised in a Christian family. I went to church three times a week and I had Christian friends. Went to a Christian college. Got involved in a Christian church and have pretty much lived a Christian life-style (some years I was better at that than others).

Being surrounded by believers my whole life has been a blessing I don’t take lightly. But in the end, God won’t look at the way I was raised or the people I held dear in this life time.

My dad was not raised in a Christian family. In fact, their life style was just about as ungodly as it could be. Dad came to know the Lord late in life. And when my dad died last September and met Jesus face to face, God did not read a list of the sins his family had committed. Dad was not required to account for his dad’s drunkenness or his grandfather’s unfaithfulness. 

Every one of us will face eternity based on what we did with Jesus in this life time. I won’t get a free pass because I was raised going to church and praying over meals. Dad won’t get a seat in the back because he wasn’t.

None of us will be able to point a finger at parents who raised us badly or people who have wronged us as an excuse why our walk with God wasn’t all it should have been. There won’t be an excuse if you were raised not going to church or if your parents took you to a church that didn’t claim the Truth of Scripture.

The question will be… do you know Christ as your Savior? Period. No excuses. No explanations. No exceptions. 

I pray that you have accepted Jesus’ work on the cross as your own. I pray that you value your relationship with him, that you talk to him, read his love letter to you. I pray that you are an obedient child of the King.

Because one day you will meet Jesus face to face. When you look into his eyes I pray you will see Someone who knows you personally and intimately. The love will be there. Ezekiel tells us God loves even those who don’t love him. But eternity with him is reserved for those who have decided for themselves to accept him.

Loving Father, I thank you for my family, for those who cleared the path for me to know you. I pray for those whose journey hasn’t been as smooth. But help us all grasp the importance of making a personal decision to follow you, to believe in Jesus and accept his provision of forgiveness. May we really understand that we are accountable for ourselves before a holy God. May we choose Jesus.

April 16

I Samuel 18-20

Jonathan and David were best friends. What a blessing it is to have that special person who really knows you and loves you anyway.

When I worked in the Middle School I would often deal with friendship issues. If you ask most adolescents who their best friend is they will probably give you a list of four or five of their classmates. As a person matures, the lists gets narrower. A large friend base is one thing. A best friend is another.

We are created to be relational. God did not create us to be self-sufficient or self-reliant. He intends for us to live with, work with, support and love one another.

The relationship between husband/wife, parent/child, coworkers, neighbors, church family, are precious and complicated. But do you have that one person in your life who holds you accountable? Not someone who always tells you how great you are – but one who asks the hard questions, who keeps you grounded? 

And are you that friend to them, too? Do you encourage each other in your walk with the Lord and demand holiness of each other? Do you pray for them and know they pray for you? 

I would encourage us all to nurture a godly best-friendship. David’s life was spared as a result of his friendship with Jonathan. It was that important.

Father, I pray for best-friends today. May we hold each other accountable, to encourage each other in our walk with you. May we be honest as well as loving. And may we honor you in our relationship with each other. Thank you for the privilege of being that best friend to someone dear.