The best life is a God First life

Category: Worldly (Page 1 of 2)

NOT EVEN 10, Maybe toleration led to apathy

Not even 10 Righteous were found in Sodom and Gomorrah.

1. “And the LORD said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” Genesis‬ ‭18:20-21‬ ‭NASB

2.” Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?” So the LORD said, “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account.” Genesis‬ ‭18:25-26‬ ‭NASB

3. “Then he said, “Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it on account of the ten. Genesis‬ ‭18:32‬ ‭NASB

‬‬Ever wonder how many righteous built the cities?

What happened?

Maybe toleration led to acceptance followed by apathy till no one cared about doing what was right, All the way to the point they convinced themselves there were no absolutes to right and wrong. Void of God maybe they relied on their wisdom rather than following God’s.

Sounds eerily familiar to the attitude of many today.

God First!

Even in death, Stephen was Teaching!

As I listened to a lesson by Kyle Rye this past Sunday, the following thoughts came to mind. In all that we do to the end of this worldly life, Christians should strive to follow the example of Stephen and teach God’s Word in all we do down to the very end. Even in death, Stephen was teaching!

Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Acts 7:58-60

In Acts 7:59, we are told: “And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

  1. Here we see by Stephen’s words and example what faith, trust and commitment entails as he called out “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
    • Stephen did not beg them to stop or try to take back his words but rather; demonstrated by example his belief and trust in God.
  2. With a loud voice Stephen teaches them and us as he identifies their action as Sin
    • In verse 58 we find that Saul, later named Paul was present.
    • In verse 59 whether Stephan’s killers knew at the moment or realized it sometime later, Their actions were NOT Justice, but Sin. Among his last words Stephen called them out on this. Certainly, this did not escape Paul as he later grew in understanding.
  3. In death Stephen teaches forgiveness
    • In verse 60 we find Stephen asking God not to hold this sin against them. In making this statment we learn Steven did not leave this world with a grudge or hating those who were taking his life, but rather; Stephen left demonstrating compassion for their ignorance and love for his murderes, as he appealed to God for them to be forgiven of this sin.

I can only imagine how Paul may have reflected on these memories later in life. How they may have burned in his heart, knowing he could not change what he’d been part of, yet these memories likely became fuel. Heartfelt fuel that helped push him to teach and share Jesus no matter what the worldly consequences may be.

Paul later stated: “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:15-17)

God First!

  • Colossians 3:13
  • 1 John 2:15-17
  • Hebrews 13:14-16
  • Matthew 6:21
  • Mark 16:15

The well-being of others

Do you pray for the well-being of others? As I was praying for just that, the following question came to mind: What is the best thing for anybody’s well-being?

I concluded: The testament of Jesus pricks our hearts and opens our minds to God’s grace, His forgiveness, our repentance, and the love of God for us; it brings those who understand what Jesus has done for us an overwhelming desire to do His will and keep His commandments. This understanding stirs our hearts to take action. It makes us want to be “In Christ.”

According to God’s word to be in Christ, we must hear the message of Christ, believe, repent, confess Jesus as the risen Son of God, and be baptized into Christ in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for the forgiveness of our sins. We need to realize that when we come up out of that watery grave, we are doing God’s will, we have ratified God’s Grace through Jesus, and by doing so, we are forgiven! At this point, we are free of our past sins, begin a new life as a new creature, and move forward in life as disciples of Christ, enjoying all the blessings that encompass our obedient faith.

Blessings like the knowledge that we now have never-ending life available to us in heaven, a spiritual world not made with human hands, where there is no more pain, tears, or death. That God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are now within us, helping us walk this world without being of this world. We can now take comfort in the knowledge that the blood of Christ continues to wash us even when we make mistakes.

So, What is the best thing for anybody’s well-being? The message of Christ!

With this understanding, I continue to pray that we all take time to learn and share the message of Christ for the well-being of all!

[Scriptures for consideration]

  • 1 John 5:3
  • Romans 10:17
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
  • 2 Peter 3:9
  • Acts 2:37-47
  • Acts 16:30-33
  • Acts 8:30-38
  • Romans 6:23
  • Romans 5:15-18
  • Ephesians 2:1-10
  • Luke 17:10
  • James 2:17-18
  • 1 Peter 1:17-25
  • 1 John 1:7

God First!

Blindness opened Paul’s eyes.

Paul’s eyes were Opened in Blindness on the road to Damascus, Jesus told Saul… “But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” (‭‭Acts‬ ‭9:6‬) Saul had 3 days of blindness to think and pray about his “literal” come to Jesus meeting.

In a vision, the Lord came to a disciple in Damascus named “Ananias.” The Lord tells Ananias where to find Saul and to heal his sight. Scripture reads: “So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized;” (Acts 9:17-18).

Note: Baptism was the very first thing Saul did after meeting Ananias and having his sight restored. Why? Had Saul/Paul’s sins were forgiven before this moment, he would not need to be baptized to have His sins forgiven or, to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, would he?

Acts 2:38 tells us when we receive forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit, “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

In 1 Peter 3:21 it reads: “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Jesus’s own words are very straightforward in Mark 16:16,

“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

Mark 16:16

Paul shares his story in – Acts 22:1-16

Why do I believe all of God’s word? Because not believing would be to call God a liar, and I know God cannot lie. How many scriptures need to state something before it is true? God breathed out all scripture, so only one. (2 Timothy 3:16) This said, it is important not to take any single scripture out of context as God’s Word encompasses all of Scripture; if scriptures seem to contradict, we can know we have the wrong understanding of those scriptures and need to seek what fits the whole. There are a lot of teachings in this world about what God wants, a lot of feelings about what God wants, yet it rests upon each of us to decern what God’s Word actually teaches. Don’t believe me, believe God!

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Philippians 2:9-13

God First!

Learning how to please God

To become proficient in our professions, we study and practice to be Doctors, Nurses, Accountants, Engineers, Firefighters, Carpenters, bricklayers, etc. Learning and skill are not developed by osmosis. To do our profession to the best of our ability, one must be studious and committed to learning every aspect possible about our endeavor. Shouldn’t we put even more effort into getting to know God and keeping his commandments? The less we know of God’s Word and the message of Christ, the less we know of God; Yet, our soul’s eternity depends on our submitting to God’s will in accordance with God’s will, not ours. How can we do what we do not know? we should be making ongoing efforts to grow in our understanding.

Still today, many in our world are deprived of access to Bibles and would love to have scripture to study, yet in our country (America), most homes have more than one. So for us, there is really no excuse for choosing ignorance when God’s Word is so readily available. Understanding comes through study, and there is no better time to begin study than right now. Why not grab your closest bible or download a bible app and read it daily starting now?

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15)

God First!

Include God; He offers so much!

We know from Scripture we are made in the image of God; we also know from God’s Word that God has feelings. For example, that God hates sin, God loves, God is righteously jealous, etc. so; I have a few questions for us to ponder:

How do we feel when the only time someone thinks of us is when they need or want something?

How do you think God feels when we treat him that way?

Why treat him this way?

It’s obvious from Scripture; God wants to be included in our lives; He wants us to love Him as He loves us. This said, Why would we not want to include God in all that we do?. After all, Jesus told us to: ask, seek, and knock.

Our very breath is dependent on our creator! By embracing God’s love and keeping his commandments, we secure God’s promise of eternal life. Thus, we can obtain the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding that will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. If we are truly In Christ, our hearts are filled with joy and the comfort of God. Therefore, it seems kind of stupid to me to exclude God when he offers so much life both in this world and for eternity.

  • Ephesians 6:18 – pray often
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 – God of all comfort
  • James 5 – prayers of the righteous
  • Matthew 7:7-11 – Ask, Seek, Knock
  • Philippians 4:7 – Peace beyond understanding
  • John 15:1-16 – Joy

Conforming to God’s will is the ultimate act of Love.

  • Our tastes change,
  • Societies change,
  • People change,
  • Governments change,

GOD, DOES NOT CHANGE

  • GOD, does not change,
  • God’s Love does not change,
  • God’s Truth does not change,
  • God’s Word does not change,
  • God’s Promises do not change.

We must NOT conform to worldly changes but rather stay true to God’s unchanging hands of love which offer eternal life in heaven.

For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham,[b] having patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

Hebrews 6:13-20

Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

John 14:21-24

God First!

Broken hearts and pain, for what?

Our hearts and the hearts of family and friends can be broken, torn apart with sadness and pain by the actions of one alcoholic drinker. One drinker behind the wheel can take a life. One drinker with loose lips can destroy relationships; one drinker, not exercising self-control, can start a fight that ends or lames a life.

To many, drinking is harmless and often associated with socializing, fun times, relaxation, romance, and parties (I used to think this way).

Sip by sip; one loses their ability to react swiftly in emergencies. Many who drink will Never admit they’ve been affected negatively. Instead, they tout, “It’s only one beer or one glass of wine.” They may exclaim, “I don’t get drunk,” or “I function fine on just one or two drinks,” etc. Maybe, just maybe, that’s because they’ve never faced a real emergency when drinking before. A situation where their best was required, and they didn’t have it. Where their reaction was slightly slower, their words not wise, and it led to devastating results. Heartache, pain, lives turned upside down results—unnecessary, avoidable turmoils.

It’s been a while back now since the van of a niece was hit by a drunk driver and flipped: her husband and one of her children with her. At the time, my niece went through much pain, the rest of her family seemingly OK. It’s scary to realize; We could’ve lost them all; they could’ve been horribly injured, maimed for life in some manner, all because of a social drinker. One person who thought they were in control, who drank just enough to impair their ability and cause an accident, An accident that now labels them “a drunk driver.”

I quit drinking alcohol several years ago because I came to this conclusion…

“If there are more reasons not to do something than to do it, then Why do it?”

Wayne R Johnson

There are many logical, biblical, and commonsense reasons not to drink. For me, I started asking myself, why do I need to drink alcohol? I found no good reason! I still have a good time; I still enjoy my friends; I can still be silly and do all of this without alcohol, plus, as a great big bonus, I get to remember more about the fun I had.

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,”

Philippians 1:27 ESV

God First!

In Christ, we have access to the power of God

God: Unseen by the human eye, yet His power and love is evident in all of creation. Through Jesus, we are encouraged to tap into God’s power. Scripture tells us If we draw closer to God, He draws closer to us that we should work toward righteousness and demonstrate our love by keeping the commandments of Jesus. Although we live in the world, we should not be of the world, that so far as it depends on us, we are to live peaceably with all.

If God is with us, who can be against us!

  • IN Christ, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, who intercedes with our prayers.
  • IN Christ and through Christ, we can petition God in faithful fervent prayer.
  • IN Christ, we have God’s ear; we can turn those burdens ”out of our control” over to Him and trust in Him.
  • IN Christ, the God of all comfort, helps us in times of suffering.
  • IN Christ, we can have peace that surpasses understanding.

Scripture tells us how to be ”IN Christ,”

  • The Holy Spirit helps with our prayers. (In Romans 8:26)
  • The prayer of the righteous is well heard! (In James 5:16)
  • The closer we draw to God, the closer he draws to us (in James 4:8)
  • If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (In John 14:15)
  • God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
  • Christ disciples are Not of the world (in John 17:14-23)
  • “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
  • “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man” (Acts 17:24)
  • To be In Christ (Galatians 3:25-29)
  • They were cut to the heart, and they asked, What do we do? (Acts 2:38-41)
  • Live peaceably (Romans 12:18)

God First!

Faithful Christians in Government

If politicians were faithful Christians, corruption would not be an issue. Lies and Deceit would not be an issue. If we love Christ, no matter our role in this world, we keep his commandments. Love of God and our neighbors are the two greatest commands. The keyword to this statement is “Faithful“- those continuously striving to be Christ-like, to love others as Christ loved us!

You can’t love two masters, such as greed and God.

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Matthew 6:24
  • John 14:15
  • John 13:34

God First!

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