Tag Archives: eternal life

Judges 9; What Will People Say?

Abimelech was not a nice guy. Not only did he weasel his way into become king, he hired some low-lifes to be his muscle. I guess he gave them an offer they couldn’t refuse.

Then to top it off, he killed his seventy brothers, one at a time, gruesomely, and very publicly. You didn’t mess with Abimelech. Violence accompanied his “reign.” They were into idol worship, leaving God entirely out of their lives.

Now here’s what spoke to me today: When Abimelech was dying, his only thought was, “What will people say about me?” The most important thing to him as he entered eternity was that no one could say he’d been killed by a girl. No regret for an evil life. No repentance. Just what will people say?

Sometimes I think we give too much thought about what people think about us. We have to be politically correct, we want to blend in, we don’t point out sin for fear someone won’t like us. And there are some who live like Abimelech, as though they have no eternal souls, as though there is no God to whom they will be accountable.

Abimelech’s story is tragic. And right this minute, he is living a horrible consequence for his choices made thousands of years ago. He now knows that living a sinful, ego driven life isn’t worth it. Oh, he believes in a Holy God right now. But it’s too late.

Friend, where are your priorities? Are they made with an eye on people, or position, or lifestyle? Or are they made with an eye on eternity?

Because in eternity it won’t matter what people are saying about you. It will only matter what God says about your relationship with Him.

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Joshua 8-10; Wax or Clay?

The Israelites had a reputation in Canaan. Or rather, the God of Israel had a reputation. The people inhabiting the Promised Land had heard the stories. Plagues in Egypt. Impressive victories in war. The Jordan River crossing. City walls collapsing.

Not only that, but the Canaanites knew the amazing God of the Jews had promised His children their land. If that happened, the Canaanites knew they would lose everything, including their freedom, maybe their lives. What to do?

The Gibeonites decided to go to the Jews and form a treaty. Five other kings decided to join forces to fight the Jews. One king heard the truth and chose surrender. Five kings heard the truth and chose to defy God.

Matthew Henry reminds us the same sun melts wax, and hardens clay.

It’s the same with truth today. I don’t need to give examples. You see it every day on a work-wide level, in our nation, our schools, in some churches, and in hearts of people close to us. We saw it when they hung Jesus on the cross.

Truth: There is ONE GOD, the creator and supreme ruler over all creation. Jesus is GOD’S SON, eternal God in human form. God is HOLY. He demands holiness of anyone who will come to Him. But we have sinned against Him. ALL OF US have sinned against Him. So in and of ourselves, there is NO HOPE, because the penalty for every sin is DEATH, eternal separation from God. But Jesus went to the cross to die, to pay the debt of our sin, of my sin, of your’s. And whether you want to believe it or not, Jesus is THE ONLY WAY to God.

Does that truth melt your heart, or make you angry? Do you want to surrender to God, or deny Him? Do you want to accept the truth, or fight against it?

I hope you’ll read these chapters in Joshua today. Find out for yourself what happens when people surrender, then enjoy God’s protection from the enemy. And find out what happens when people refuse to surrender, when they take up arms against God. They didn’t stand a chance.

Holy God, I surrender. I am a sinner who deserves your wrath. I deserve to die for the sins I’ve committed. But I’ve heard about You, how powerful and awesome You are. And when I hear You say there is only one hope of salvation, I believe it. So, God, I accept Jesus. I repent of sin, I turn my life over to You. Because the truth is, when I stand before You on that day, I don’t want You looking at me, seeing my sin. I want You to look at me and see Jesus. He is my Savior. And He is the Savior of anyone who surrenders to the truth.

Deuteronomy 1-3; “Why” Doesn’t Matter

I will admit I am a bit disappointed in Moses. As he is teaching an important history lesson to the children of Israel before they finally go into the Promised Land, he says something that is only partially true. He says it in 1:37, then again in 3:26.

“It’s because of YOU,” he tells them, “the Lord was angry with me and won’t let me go with you into Canaan.” Now, while it’s true the Jews had been whining about not having water, their verbal attacks on Moses were not the reason God was angry with him. It was Moses’ own disobedience that resulted in God’s punishment.

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. She shared that her son, a man who is celebrating fifteen years sober after many years addicted to drugs and alcohol, doesn’t want anything to do with church. A while back he attended a service, and an elderly saint said something that offended him, so therefore all Christians are judgmental and unkind.

Now being verbally attacked, whether you’re Moses or a recovering addict, is unfair, embarrassing, infuriating. You may have reason to be upset. But the fact of the matter is, when you stand before God, He’s not going to ask you how you felt you were treated by others in this lifetime. He’s not going to ask any of us WHY we refused to obey Him.

The “Why” won’t matter. But the “What” will.

What did you do with my Son? Did you repent of your sins? Did you accept His grace? Did you obey His Words? Did you live your life in such a way that drew others to the Savior?

When you meet Jesus face to face, the only thing that will matter is, does He know you? No excuses. No pointing fingers. Just you and Jesus.

What will you say?

Leviticus 21-22; No Fear Of Death

It was a very big deal how the Old Testament priests handled death. They were not permitted to be in the vicinity of a dead person unless it was a close biological family member. Even then, they were considered unclean, and had to go through the requirements of cleansing in order to regain their position as priest. Plus, they had to control their outward expression of mourning.

What does that have to do with the 21st century kingdom of priests? It gives us reason to rejoice!

More than once, Jesus raised a dead person by touching them. In Matthew 5 he took Tabitha’s hand. In Luke 7 He touched a coffin. The Jews must have been horrified! That just was not done.

But Jesus was demonstrating that He has dominion even over death. I Corinthians 15:54-57:

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true:”Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where O death, is your victory?
 Where O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Next week we will celebrate Jesus’ victory over death. He’s alive! We don’t need to fear death. Death has no power over us who know Christ.

Dead in sin, alive in Christ. Absent from the body, present with the Lord.

Yes, Jesus is alive. And because He lives all fear is gone! We don’t mourn like those who have no hope. We have hope!

Thank you, dear Jesus!

November 10 – Love Is Not All We Need

Luke 22; John 13

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another. John 13:34-45

What does it mean to love one another? Many seem to believe love is the same thing as acceptance, or tolerance. Some think love means giving people hugs, then giving them space to live life anyway they want. I grew up in the 60’s when the word “love” was proclaimed from drug induced songwriters and poets, and touted as “free.” Is that the love Jesus was speaking about here?

Jesus tells us to love others the same way He loved the disciples, loves us. Let’s look at how Jesus loved:

He healed diseases, forgave sin, pointed out hypocrisy, cast out demons, confronted sinners, overturned money tables, and finally and most importantly, suffered and went to the cross to die. There was no acceptance of sin in the way Jesus loved. There was no looking the other way.

Jesus’ love was not the hippie version of love, or even the Hallmark-feel-good version. Jesus loved tough. Jesus’ love was in-your-face. Jesus’ love went beyond this life into eternity.

Personally, I think we need Jesus’ love demonstrated more fully these days. I think the Church has adopted a definition of love that is meaningless in light of God’s Word. If we adopt the world’s view of love, they won’t recognize us as Jesus’ disciples. We’ll look just like them.

They won’t recognize the reality of Jesus’ love that does not want them to die in their sin. That love which sent Him to the cross so they can be forgiven and live with Him forever. We need more than love. We need to put that love into action just like He did.

We need to love one another hard enough to call sin sin, and introduce people to their Savior. Then we will be loving in the same way Jesus loves.

November 3 – You Are Not the Judge Of Me. And I Am Not The Judge Of You.

Mark 11; John 12

The speed limit is clearly marked 70 MPH. If you pass me going 90, do I judge you if I say you’ve broken the law? Do I judge you when I call you a thief, if you break into my home and take my TV? If you have sex with your neighbor’s wife, am I judging you if I tell you you are guilty of adultery?

Jesus says, in John 12:47, “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” Does that mean we are not to identify sin in ourselves and others? After all, if Jesus Himself didn’t come to judge them, who do we think we are?

Jesus didn’t stop with verse 47. Verse 48 says, “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.”

The reason Jesus didn’t come to judge the world was that He had already laid down the Law, and clearly said Law-breakers are guilty. Their own actions demand a guilty verdict.

As Christians, we should not refrain from identifying sin in ourselves and others. Jesus said He knew that God’s commandment is eternal life. The opposite of that is true, too. Breaking God’s commandment, rejecting Jesus, is eternal hell.

It’s that serious. We who know the truth need to be telling it. When Jesus said people will be judged “at the last day,” He was giving us fair warning. Shouldn’t we be doing the same for our friends and loved ones who are living their lives as though there was no Judge?

God, Your children have buckled under the pressure of Satan’s lies. Your children have all too often adopted the “Don’t judge” mantra as meaning we should step back and let people do what they want. Forgive us. Humble us. Give us courage to stand up for the Truth of Your Word, to recognize sin, to speak up. Otherwise, how will people even know they need a Savior?

November 2 – Not The Same

Luke 18:15-19:48

Isn’t it amazing how much Zaccheus changed after his encounter with the Savior? Tax collectors weren’t really known for their honesty. And Zaccheus was the chief tax collector. After meeting Jesus, Zaccheus realized his sin and told Jesus he was going straight. He was going to reimburse with interest, the people he had cheated.

Zaccheus was saved that day. Here’s what I love about this account. 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost.”

Do you know God is actively seeking for you, to save you? If you have yet to accept his salvation, don’t think He’s not paying attention, or that He’s not interested in you. He’s very interested. He’s paying close attention to every thought, every word, every action. He loves you, He calls out to you, He sends signs, performs miracles, nudges you, and pursues you with the intense purpose of breaking you down until you come to Him. He wants to forgive you and lavish you with love, joy, peace… Himself, forever!

To those of you who have gone to Him and received His grace, has that encounter changed you? It ought to. Once you’ve answered His call, like Zaccheus, nothing is the same as before.