Tuesday, June 30, 2009

You Know God; Does He Know You?

As a basketball fan, I know a lot about Michael Jordan. I could answer a lot of statistical questions you might or might not have about him. But if I tried to get in to see him, his security guards would ask not if I know him, but does he know me. The answer to that question is "no," by the way.

"Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' - Matt. 7:21-23

If Jesus will say, "I never knew you," to some people, how can I be sure that He will know me when my time comes? The easy answer, Love Him.

But the man who loves God is known by God. - 1 Cor. 8:3

God knows those who love Him. We like to say in our church that we are not trying to teach you how to join a religion; we are trying to lead you into a relationship with Jesus Christ. That relationship that He desires is one of mutual love. God showed His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. His act of love has already been carried out for every generation, so how do we show Him our love? How do we make this a two-way relationship?

Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. - John 14:23-24

Jesus only gave us one teaching that specifically said, "This is how you show me that you love me," and it wasn't by singing certain songs or filling out certain formulas. You can't go down a check-list and make sure you have fulfilled your quota of good works.

To show our love to Jesus, we must live a life of obedience. If we love Jesus, we obey Him, and the love of the Father is on us. If we do not obey Jesus, we do not love Him. If we do not love Him, we are not known by Him. If we are not know by Him, we will not get in to the eternal kingdom which He has prepared for us.

A relationship is always a two-way street. God has already shown His love for us - He gave us Jesus. Will you choose to love Him back, and obey His word?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Is God's Will Always Done?

"I guess if it happened that way then it must have been God's will."

Have you ever heard anyone address a situation that way? Do you agree with it?

I have a couple of thoughts on this I will post after some healthy discussion on the concept. Feel free to leave comments (On topic) by clicking the link under this post.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Don't Shrink Back

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while,
"He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." But

- Hebrews 10:35-39

Living by faith depends on doing the will of God. This passage leads into Hebrews 11, which we call the "faith chapter". The heroes of the faith are heroes because they did the will of God, not because they said the "believed". If Noah said he believed it would rain, but never built the ark (obeyed God's will), he would have drown with everyone else, and none of us would be here today. Abraham's faith that was "Credited as righteousness" was not in saying He trusted God, but in walking up that mountainside with his only son, laying him out on the altar and raising the knife to obediently sacrifice Isaac. We know that God had provided the ram in the bushes, but Abraham knew that if God wanted to do it, He would bring Isaac back from the dead.

We are to have that same faith in the will of God. "We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved."

Our faith leads us to obedience to the will of God. When we have done the will of God, we will receive what He has promised.

What is this thing that He has promised? Is it heaven? Is it rewards in heaven? what do we receive if we do God's will? What do we receive if we don't do God's will? Can a Christian continually avoid the will of God and still go to heaven?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Will of God - Day One

I want to follow through on something I promised the people at my church on Sunday Night, May 31. We had a study sheet that I never got around to filling out, leaving many blanks on the study sheet and on people's faces. The next few blogs I enter are going to be that study on the will of God - drawn out and open for discussion through the "comment" option at the end of each study entry. Anyone who reads this study may leave comments or ask questions, if you think I'm off base. It is possible that I won't explain myself as well as I think I did, and even more possible that someone might disagree with my observations. Either way, your insight and thoughtful consideration as to what I have said will be valued.

Let's start right in the nitty gritty of this issue of the will of God:


What does Matthew 7:21 say about doing God's will?

"Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."

- Jesus

Did Jesus mean that if you do not do the will of God, you will not enter heaven?

Many are going to say that they deserve to be in heaven because of what they did in God's Name, or in Jesus' Name. These things may seem very impressive to people, but to God there is only one thing that seems to matter: "Did you do what Jesus told you to do? Did you live out the will of God?"

If that is the measuring stick Jesus will use to separate the sheep from the goats, it becomes a truly vital thing to do the will of the Father.

Are you doing the will of God? Do you believe it is as important as what I have presented here? If not, why not? If so, how are you doing at this? What have you done this week because you believed it was the will of God for your life? Can we know God's will? How does God reveal His will to us?

Lots of questions, but all very important to answer for yourself if you have the desire to please God and spend eternity with Him in Heaven.

God Bless you as you consider the consequences of your answer to these questions.