Thursday, October 31, 2019

What Kind Of People?

"Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?"
2 Peter 3:11-12 (NKJV)

If you rented a car, would you take it somewhere to get an oil change and a tune up or have it painted a different color as soon as you picked the car up?  If you booked a room in a hotel or some other place to stay, would you immediately go to a store to buy new furniture for it or maybe check into changing the pictures in the room?  The answer would of course be no.  You would not invest the time, effort, and money into something that you only have a temporary involvement with.

People have many different ideas about what is called the end times or last days and there are four main viewpoints about it.  But one thing that everyone can agree on is that no one lives forever, at least on earth.  No matter what you believe about when or if Jesus will return, your days on earth are limited, our time on earth will not last forever.  Although everyone will live eternally, no one will to live to celebrate their 200th birthday.  Our lives on this earth, and the earth itself are only temporary.

The Bible tells us that one day all of the things on the earth will be burned up, they will be gone.  Knowing that, what kind of people should we be?  We need to be the kind of people that don't just focus on earthly needs and desires, but we need to be the kind of people who invest their time, effort, and money into things of spiritual, eternal significance.  It is certainly alright to have nice things in life, but all those things will be gone one day.  We need to have a focus on eternity and not just this world, that will help us have the right perspective in life and be the right kind of people.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Knowing Beyond Knowledge

"that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height -
to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."
Ephesians 3:17-19 (NKJV)

Having general knowledge about something is one thing, but it is different to have a full understanding of that same thing.  For example, you could meet someone who knows the English language and speaks English, but it is different when you meet someone who not only knows English but they thoroughly understand how the language works and the rules governing English language and grammar.  One person knows the language, but the other has a greater understanding of it.

In his prayer for the church of Ephesus in Ephesians 3, Paul prayed that the people would know the love of Christ which passes knowledge.  How can you know beyond knowledge, what was Paul saying?  Paul was talking about a kind of knowledge that goes beyond our regular mental, intellectual knowing of something.  Some people say it this way, that there are two kinds of knowledge; there is sense knowledge and there is revelation knowledge.  Paul was talking about having revelation knowledge of Christ's love.

It is one thing to know God's love as a fact, but it is completely different when that basic fact goes beyond our head knowledge and we have a spiritual understanding and revelation about the love of God.  If we go beyond our regular mentally filtered knowledge to an in depth understanding of God's love, we will have a revelation knowledge of the love of God that will change our lives and help us change the lives of others.  Don't just settle for a basic knowledge of God and His love, go beyond just knowing to spiritual, revelation knowledge.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Checking Your Work

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."
2 Corinthians 5:10 (NKJV)

Most people are employed somewhere that expects them to actually work.  It would be strange to have a job where nothing was expected of you and no one ever paid attention to what you did or reviewed your work.  You may be required to write some type of report, you may have someone working with you who reviews what you do, you may have some quota to fill, but one way or another nearly everyone will have their work checked to see if what was required and expected was actually done.

One thing that is clear from Scripture is that God has a plan and calling for each and every person.  While we know that we are not saved by our works, we are saved in order to do the good works God has prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2:8-10).  God gives us all some ability that can be used to help others and bring Him glory.  This is all good to know, but it is also important to know that one day God will be reviewing our work.  The Bible talks about the Judgment Seat of Christ where every believer will appear to give account of their work.

The Judgment Seat of Christ is not where the decision is made as to if we are going to heaven or not, it is simply a place where our work is checked and we are rewarded based on what we have done.  The time will come when God will want to check what we have been doing with the things that He gave to us and He is expecting us to have a productive life in His Kingdom.  Be sure you are paying attention to your work, realizing that one day God will inspect it.  This is not to bring fear to us, but it should motivate us to do all we can for God with what He has given us.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

God Conscious Or Unconscious

"The she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head.  Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him.
And she said, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!"  So he awoke from his sleep, and said, "I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!"  But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him."
Judges 16:19-20 (NKJV)

People who are unconscious do not realize that they are unconscious.  That may sound humorous, but it is just a fact.  To be conscious means to be aware of something, you are aware of what is going on around you.  If you are unconscious you are unaware of things and you do not know what is going on.  You can make yourself more or less aware, or conscious, of something by how much you pay attention to it.  The things you focus on are what you are most conscious and aware of.

In the book of Judges, we find the story of Samson, he was used by God to defeat the enemies of Israel.  In Judges 16 we see the downfall of Samson.  Samson was once very connected to and conscious of God.  But the point came, as we see in Judges 16:20, that Samson was no longer connected to God, but Samson did not even realize it.  It is interesting to see how in verse 19 that Samson was "lulled to sleep" right before it talks about him not realizing he had lost his connection to God. 

As Christians we need to be God conscious, we need to have an awareness of God in our life.  By spending time reading and studying the Bible, spending time with God in prayer, and fellowshipping with other believers we can be more conscious of God.  But today, too many Christians are being lulled to sleep because they are paying more attention to everything in life except God and they have become to some extent separated from God, and they don't even realize it.  We need to be more conscious of God than anything else.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Be As Wise As The Locust

"There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise:

The locusts have no king, yet they all advance in ranks;"
Proverbs 30:24, 27 (NKJV)

Having a good leader is a wonderful thing.  But there is a difference between a leader and a lion tamer.  Have you ever been to a circus or seen one on TV or in a movie where they showed a lion tamer?  In one way, the lion tamer is a leader because they direct their animals in what to do, but if you did not have a lion tamer then it is very likely that the lions would not do what they are supposed to do.  Having a leader is good, but if we need a lion tamer in our life, that is bad.

Most people would not immediately think of locusts as being a source of wisdom, but Proverbs 30 tells us that the locusts are exceedingly wise.  But why would the locusts be considered wise?  We are told that the locusts do not have a king, but they still all advance in ranks.  Locusts move forward with one common goal and that is how they can be considered wise.  Just like the locusts, Christians should be able to move forward together with the common goal of doing the will of God.

Christians definitely need leaders, but we should not need a lion tamer or a king.  Unfortunately, too many believers lack focus and motivation and they constantly need someone to point them in the right direction and keep them from falling behind or getting in the way of others.  Through being spiritually mature and being led by the Holy Spirit we can move forward together in the will of God for ourselves and for the overall Body of Christ.  We all need to be as wise as the locust.