Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Sunday, May 1, 2016

That other question

So many profess to know God in America's version of "Christianity." They make this claim despite the fact that they question the validity of the Word of God and seek to alter it to fit their fantasy doctrines. It is common for most of these "professors" (preachers, conference circuit speakers, authors, etc.) to remind those that listen to their "sermons" of the many "years of faithful service" they have under their belt and taut their accomplishments far above the One who (supposedly)  saved them. Usually, their "testimony" is filled with themselves and not the gracious mercy of the Savior. This is by no means limited to 'preachers' and 'church leaders' but includes those who claim to know God, yet their fruit tells a different story. Matt. 7:13-23 speaks specifically to this scenario---the false vs. the genuine believer. One may be able to deceive his peers and certainly can/will deceive himself (Jer. 17:9) into thinking that all is well with his eternal soul just because of his involvement in "church" activities. But judgment approaches for us all, that final day when we will stand before Almighty God and be judged by Him of our every word, deed, and thought. Are you ready for that? [No, that's not the 'other question'.] Will you stand by yourself, or will Christ Jesus be your Advocate? Will His words to you be: "Well done, good and faithful servant...:" Matt. 25:21 or will He say to you: "I never knew you; depart from me you that word iniquity." Matt. 7:23.

That 'other question' would be: "Does God know you?" Laying aside the long list of things that you may intend to use in order to persuade God that you are "worthy" of His acceptance (Matt.7:22) you may find yourself speechless on that day, knowing deep inside the horror that awaits you. The prospect of these words being spoken to us ("I never knew you...") should shake a soul to it's very foundation and they will at the right time. Even for the genuine believer these words may cause a lump in the throat, a sick stomach, and weak knees. But there is comfort in the Word of God!!! There are no less than 33 'tests' or indications of real faith given to us in the Book of First John. 1 John 1:5; 8,9 & 10; 2:3,4,5,6,9 & 10,15; 3:24; 4:4, 13; 5:1, 4 & 5, 10, 12, 18, & 20 are some of these. There are more in this book and throughout the NT, and the OT (Job 19:25-27). Does learning about the Lord, the reading and study of His Word excite you? Luke 24:32. Is the promise of His return to earth anticipated or 'put on a back burner'? Heb. 9:28. Another pesky question would be: Do you credit the faith you say you have to some innate trait that needs only to be stirred by you at your discretion or is it all of grace? Acts 18:27 and Eph. 2:8-10.

1 John 5:21 "Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen."
May it please the Lord to shatter our idols, burn our fig leaves, and open our hearts to Him in full honesty and humility as He searches the thoughts and intents of our hearts daily.

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