“But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
When this world is over and Jesus returns, we will “love” for eternity, but “faith and hope” will no longer be needed. Even in the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man was concerned for his family, showing the love he still had in torment.
When this world is over; We will find ourselves in the moment of truth fulfilled. Then, “Faith and Hope” will no longer be relative.
At this point; The choices we make to follow Christ today according to God’s will, and Not ours, will determine our eternal destiny as we appear before Christ in the reality of our judgment to hear him say: Welcome my loved one or Depart from me, I never knew you.
- Isaiah 26:9
- James 4:12
- John 3:17-18
- Matthew 12:36
- Matthew 7:19-29
- Proverbs 21:2
- Revelation 20:12-13
- John 5:30
- Luke 16:19-31
- Romans 6:23
- 2 Timothy 4:7-8
Believers in God don’t sit around waiting on God to provide everything for them!
No, that would be sluggishness (laziness) and is not the role we find endorsed by God in Scripture; God expects us to work! It would be misrepresentative of scripture to believe it’s all about what God can do for us when so much is about what we can; Go and Do!
God expects us to do our part in providing physical and spiritual nourishment. God has given mankind a working role since the beginning. (Gen.2:15) Throughout Scripture, we find being a sluggard has been condemned while effort has been rewarded. (Matt.25:24-30)
Working towards righteous goals may take much patience; on our part, and we should be mindful of that fact that seeing the full results of our efforts may never happen; even so, in our ongoing, consistent unrelenting effort, we can know that working for good; will reap good in time if we don’t quit.
How can we know this? Because God tells us so.
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for, in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9
If we do our part, God will always do His!
- Proverbs 18:9
- 2 Thessalonians 3:10
- Proverbs 26:14
- Proverbs 26:16
- Proverbs 24:30–31
- Mark 16:15-16
(Several proverbs address sluggards)
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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- Colossians 3:13
- 1 John 2:15-17
- Hebrews 13:14-16
- Matthew 6:21
- Mark 16:15
The Bible is the Christian’s training ground, our means of staying the course. In it, we find the power of God, hope beyond measure, our “DAILY” armor. Our weapon of truth, our shield of faith, our protection from Satan, the Bible is our strength for endurance and our connection to Our Creator. The study of God’s Word is our preparation, the sharing of God’s word is our exercise, the ability to defend God’s word is our duty as soldiers of Christ.
The Marines’ motto is Semper Fidelis which means- “always faithful” or “always loyal.” Let’s be Marines for God; let us always be faithful and always be loyal.
In “ALL” circumstances take up the shield of faith… (Ephesians 6:16)
“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.“Ephesians 6:10-20
If God is with us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)