I am going to Florida soon and I am quite excited about it. I have been getting myself ready for it the last few weeks. I have a master list of things to get done, I am trying to stay healthy and I have been pulling out my warm-weather clothes.
We women are great at getting ready for things. From parties to trips, we are the best planners. Some events are easy and take a short time to prepare. Others, like weddings and babies take several months or even years of preparation. We carefully plan so when the big moment arrives we are set.
I find it interesting that while we are so good at preparing for earthly events we often totally neglect the eternal ones. When it comes to where we will spend our afterlife we put it off. Shoving it to the back of the pantry like that can of tomato paste we know we will need eventually. We will “get right with God” when the time comes. Maybe when we get a terminal diagnosis or when we are really old. It is hard to worry about the end of life when we are so busy just living life. Does it really matter that much?
Let me tell you, it matters. And it matters right now. You are not guaranteed another second let alone another day, year or decade. God’s Word reminds us of this frequently with verses such as this: “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14). Our lives go by in a flash, especially when compared to eternity. Let’s be serious. We may think we have years ahead but we may only have seconds. Get ready.
We are told in Hebrews 9:27 that “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,”. In the blink of an eye you could be standing before your Maker. By then your fate is sealed. There is no trial, no arguments to be had, no “Wait God, I can explain…”. No comparing yourself to the person in the pew next to you, they won’t be there. Only you and God and a just and final judgement. Either the blood of Jesus Christ will mark you as his or it won’t. Either debt paid in full or debt fully due.
If you show up on your wedding day without a dress you can still get married. If the baby comes before you have purchased a crib, you still get the baby. But if you die before accepting Jesus as Lord, you are forever damned. The choice has to be made now. Do not wait. Purgatory is a lie. Do not find false security in a make-believe destination. Jesus is the only way to the Father. Read it all for yourself in God’s Word - a book he had written so that you would read it and know. No paid clergy needed to filter the truth for you.
God is real. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Ps 14:1). Do not be a fool. Each of us deep within senses the truth of this. We long to worship something and we long for a purpose for our existence. We long to be loved and to be part of a family. This is because the truth is written on our hearts (Romans 2:15). Do not ignore the hanging question any longer - will you repent and turn from your sin and believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God? Get ready.
Ladies, don’t put this off any longer. You must choose your side. Two options: with God or against God. “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Mt 12:30). There is no in between, no limbo. You are either standing in grace at this moment, having accepted the sacrifice of Jesus on your behalf, or you are standing under God’s wrath and condemnation, having rejected him and preferring to pay for your own sins for eternity (see John 3:18). It is up to you, but don’t push this one to the back of the panty. It is far too important and you may be standing before your Judge far sooner than you think.
Seek out the truth today in God’s Word and get ready already.
Blog written by Deb Lovett.
Have you ever been asked to represent someone?
Several years ago I was chosen to represent our family at my grandmother’s funeral. I was asked to read the scripture. My cousin was asked to represent her branch of the family tree in a different way during the service.
Maybe you have been told, on occasion “When you put on this uniform, you represent this…” Company or Team, or maybe even this country. We are expected to follow particular rules and act a certain way because we don’t just represent ourselves, we represent something bigger.
A favorite scripture of many is:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
We tend to focus on the truth of the first part of the verse, but according to the second half we discover we are called according to his purpose. We are called according to God’s purpose.
One of God’s purposes for us is to represent him in this world. When we put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 13:14) we no longer represent ourselves only, we now represent him; we are commissioned as his ambassadors.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ … (2 Corinthians 5:20a)
To be an ambassador for Jesus is a very high and honorable calling. As ambassadors we are citizens in the land of our King, yet we have been chosen to represent our King in a foreign land. The foreign land is where we serve our King now. We act in his best interest. We make decisions that will please him. When we interact with people in this land, we listen and speak on our King’s behalf. When people see us, we want them to see our King – the One we serve. In order to represent him faithfully, we must know our King’s will intimately by studying the Word, and actively live under his authority by obeying his will.
As an ambassador of Jesus, God has given us the message he wants us to speak to this foreign world on his behalf.
…God [is] making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20b)
God has reconciled us to himself through Christ, and he now gives us — his ambassadors — that same message of reconciliation to speak on his behalf to those we meet in this foreign land. We are to urge them – beg them, “Be reconciled to God!” We tell them it is for our sake he made Jesus to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).
The only way to be reconciled to God is through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, God will not count our sins against us. Jesus paid the price for our sin on the cross so we can have peace and a restored relationship with God. This is the message God wants us to tell the world.
Today if you hear his voice, trust and believe in Jesus’ atoning work on the cross to restore your relationship with God. Receive your commission as his ambassador and go forth representing him in this foreign land with the message given to us by God -- the message of reconciliation to God through Jesus.
Ready for some good news today? This is for you Christian women out there taking your battle with sin seriously. There is an easy way to put the devil on the run. This simple method is found in James 4:7, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Did you catch that “R” word? Resist. We resist, he flees.
If you are like most women (and you are) you feel the enemy breathing down your neck from the time you first crack your lids in the morning. Our antagonist continues to poke at us throughout our day. Reminding us of our weaknesses and pointing out temptations. Often we walk right into his traps, drawn by the desires within us. We wish we had the strength or understanding to fight back. Are there magic words we could say? Or some holy kung-fu we could learn?
Ladies, it isn’t even that hard. The command (it is an imperative sentence) is to resist. That’s it. Resist and the devil flees. He doesn’t casually stroll away as if he wasn’t all that interested in little you after all. No, he FLEES. Why? Because of sentence number one in that very same verse. “Submit yourselves therefore to God.” You belong to God. You are a called-out child of THE superpower of the universe. You are not afraid of the enemy. You know the truth. You believe the truth.
This reference will date me, but so be it. This reminds me of a scene from the 80s movie Labyrinth . The main character, Sarah, has been caught up in an elaborate scheme put together by her evil adversary, Goblin King Jareth (David Bowie). He has taken her baby brother and she is trying to get him back. Towards the end there is a scene where they meet face to face. Despite all of her struggles and hard work, Sarah has failed. Jareth tells her that he will make all her dreams come true, she just has to let him keep her brother forever. Sarah seems to have no other choice, she feels hopeless. Then the realization hits her, she remembers the truth. She says, “You have no power over me.” She continues to repeat it, getting more excited, “You have no power over me! You have no power over me!” The evil snares set up by her enemy dissolve and she returns to reality.
That is us every day, ladies. Realizing the bully we put up with far too often has NO power over us. Zero, zilch, nada, nil. He is a faker. Quit playing his game of fear and anxiety. RESIST him. No elaborate conversations, no conjuring of angels to fly to your aid. Resist him with the knowledge that you are under the authority and protection of God. Then he has to run. He has no choice, it is part two of the promise. There are too many others willing to dance with him, he will not waste his time on you when you are walking in godly defiance of his wiles.
When we submit ourselves to God we don’t become timid creatures, afraid of the big bad world and all the temptations it holds. No! “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7. Great courage and conviction comes from being adopted into the family of God.
There you go, Christian woman. Some good news in your battle against darkness. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. What a relief that no super-spiritual throat punches are needed. Next time the enemy comes prowling, remember he has no power over you. Resist him by refusing to give attention to him. Know the truth of the Word. Think on the One you belong to and delight in the fact that you are his. Go and resist, go and rejoice
Unless you live in total isolation from media of any kind, you know about the trial going on for a potential supreme court justice. People have been digging into the past of both the accused and the accuser. Trying to find dirt to put on display to tarnish his or her character.
If someone did this to you, what would they find? Are there things in your past that you would rather others not know? As a society (truly all of humanity) we love to point fingers. We love to find skeletons hidden in closets and drag them out. We prop them up and pronounce our judgements. Sharing them passive-aggressively on social media and in indignant conversations with the like-minded.
What would be dug up about me? I like to think that I’m a pretty good person. I’ve always been kind, trustworthy and fair. Or have I? As I stop to think about my past it doesn’t take long for me to compile a mental list. A list of things I’ve done, said, and thought in the past 41 years that I would rather my mother never know and some that would make me weep with humiliation. Digging for dirt? No, all there seems to be is dirt.
There are no innocents in this world, neither has there ever been or ever will be. There is dirt and plenty of it. Read the book of Judges then read the newspaper. “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9. Paul tells us “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23. We can feel the truth of these verses deeply when we tally up our piles of dirt. We understand it isn’t just for everyone else, this truth is for us.
If we have to be pure to be with our holy Father, what are we to do? We are filthy and tarnished. Not worthy of forgiveness, certainly not worthy of blood to be spilled on our behalf!
Here. Right here is where the grace of God finds its climax. At the cross. “Yet while we were still sinners Christ died for us. “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8. Still sinners, still weak, ungodly, and still sinners again. Those words describe us too well. But God showed his love for us in that he sent his perfect Son to bear his wrath against our sin and die in our place.
Oh dear God, why? Why die for a dirty sinner? Because the worthiness of this sacrifice does not rest with us. It is because of the great mercy and grace of God and the ultimate worthiness of the sacrifice, Jesus Christ.
Jesus was resurrected and remains alive today. He is seated next to the Father as our Advocate (1 John 2:1). He is proclaiming NOT our innocence, NOT our dirt-free existence, but that our debt has been paid in full, once and for all of time. If this doesn't rock your world you are not alive. You must still be dead and buried under that pile of dirt. Believe in Jesus. There is only a short window of time. God is merciful and full grace but he is also just and will punish those who choose to love their dirt instead of him.
When the world stands accusing and pointing fingers, don’t join in. Remember where Christ has pulled you from. “He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” Psalm 40:2. Christian, you no longer live in the dirt. You have been pulled out and are being washed clean with the truth of the Word. The day is coming when we will be clothed in white and the full extent of our salvation will be realized. Until then, praise him, praise him, praise him for what he has done.