Who gives us our reward?

Many people seem to be chasing after things more and more today. It is almost like everyone is trying to get ahead of their neighbor because they have this thing and I need something bigger. Why? We are rewarded with all of our blessings through God the Father because of our faith in Him and in Jesus Christ. He even gives to each of us, whether we deserve it or not, the breath that we breathe and the home that we live our family lives in. Even those who do not worship Him get their blessings from Him although they probably think that they did it themselves. No man is capable of doing these things alone. We are given our good things in this life in order to give God thanks for all of it…but do we thank Him for them or do we pat ourselves on the back and say to ourselves “You did good!”.

All of the rewards that we are given in this life come from God and we should acknowledge it. But…pride, the original sin, gets in the way. Pride in our education and in the money that we have earned yet it is God that has given each of us the intellect and ability to have everything that we enjoy. In the Old Testament, Solomon was a wise king and God gave him much in all things of this world. He had riches and wisdom and he built the most magnificent Temple that the Jews ever worshiped in but his wisdom showed him that everything that we gain in this life is like a puff of smoke.

Vanity of vanities…Solomon said that all of the work of mankind is only pride and a puff of smoke.We labor for all of our “things” only to die and give them to people who didn’t do the work to attain them. Your only true reward is the one you will gain when you enter into heaven after following Jesus in this life and doing His work while you can. Then your reward will be, “Well done, my good and faithful servant…”. I pray that will be what I hear from my Lord one day and I also pray that you will too.

Abundant grace from God

The hymn “Amazing Grace” is truly a wonderful song and the story of the man, John Newton, is a picture of God’s abundant and amazing grace which is poured out on all of us. But, consider the grace which we all enjoy by the power of the cross and by the name of Jesus. He is our High Priest in heavenly places so we can come boldly into the throne room.

Jesus the Great High Priest

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

God’s grace is poured out on us through Jesus and His work on the cross for our salvation. He does this because He loves us, not because He has to. Can we understand His love for us? Nope, but I am glad that we are on the receiving end of His grace rather than His wrath.

God loves us with all of His heart. It has no bearing upon our life or our reaction toward Him. Just as an example of the type of love we get from Him, look at your parents or grandparents. If they were the loving parents who they are supposed to be, you got a very small taste of God’s love through them. The same goes for your grandparents. God’s love is perfect without any conditions, we should live our lives in the imitation of it. We can’t duplicate it exactly but just by trying to live to His standard we are doing better than we can do on our own.

The grace of God and His mercy flows from His love for us and since it is infinite love, we have been the recipients of it even on our worst days. We don’t have to live up to His standards in order to receive it but we should strive toward them in our everyday lives. Because just by doing this through His Spirit, we are better people than we could be without and others will certainly notice it. When they do, they will ask you why you act the way you do even when things aren’t going your way?

God’s grace is so amazing and so penetrating to the depths of your soul until it has an effect on every part of your life. Family and friends will see the difference in your life and your attitude regardless of the problems that you are facing. Take note of your friends and your family and if you can see there are troubles, and there are likely some, get on your knees and pray to God who is the only One Who can take care of whatever the problem may be.

The night before…

Regardless of which day you believe that Jesus was crucified, the night before was His worst. It started out good with the meal with His disciples but then as the hours passed, He knew the time was getting closer. The time in the Garden of Gethsemane stressed Jesus to the point of sweating blood while He was praying. I mean, come on, sweating blood! You know that had to be some serious stress!

No, I’m not being trite with this. Jesus’ human side was truly scared and wishing, even praying that He didn’t have to go through with this. But, He did and He did it for you and for me and everyone else in this world. Why? Because His sacrifice and death on the cross was necessary to pay for ALL of our sins. He was the only man who could do this. Not the Pope nor any other religious figure in the past could pay for our sins because none of them could live a sinless life.

The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. That is Who Jesus was and who He still is. So why do people have so much angst over His name? Is it because He claimed and proved that He is the Son of God? Maybe. His suffering was prophesied many years before He was even born and yet the prophecies all were fulfilled in His Life and His death on the cross and by His resurrection after three days. Regardless of how you calculate His death and the feast which was taking place, He still fulfilled the prophecies about Himself. No mere man could do that!

Jesus, Yeshua, the Son of Man and the Son of God is the only man who could be the Savior of the world and the only begotten Son of God! If this bothers you enough that you never want to read this again…then don’t. Walk away from His Spirit which is touching your heart and letting you know that you need Him as your Savior. It will be the worst mistake of your life if you do. Why do I say that? Because you have no idea if you will ever have the chance to give your heart to Him and ask Him into your life. We are not given a guarantee of a certain number of years on this planet. You or I may die tonight before the sunrises tomorrow.

Don’t turn away from His call in your life because that is a call you don’t want to miss. It is like a call from a “lottery” about a number that could make you rich, it will likely come only once in a lifetime. Don’t pass it up. Giving your heart to Jesus is more valuable than any amount of money you could win because in eternity the money you have here is worthless. Please, don’t turn away from Jesus.

Jesus gave His Life so that you could have eternity.

Walking with Jesus

Each of us who answer His call has to learn how to do this. The Lord does give us an idea of how to do it, but it’s up to us to figure it out. It does take reading His Word and learning from it and this is a lifetime process. Some people think that going to church gives them the key to heaven or maybe reading the Bible gives them a special place in heaven. Those actions have no real bearing on your eternity although they do help you to be the person that you are supposed to be in Jesus Christ those actions do NOT save you!

Faith in Jesus and believing in His atonement for your life, your sins and all of the words and things which you have done or said in this life. The Holy Spirit comes to live in your heart and you become a new creation from that moment on. We become more like Him by turning away from our sinful lives and truly following Him daily. God called you to be His and it is His call on your life which allows you to be saved because He gives you the faith and the grace to become His child…but only if you answer that call by accepting it and moving toward Him and away from your old life.

But…what if I don’t want to give up my old life?

Then it is likely that you won’t accept Jesus’ call on your life! It is a sad position to be in from an eternal standpoint. If you have felt His touch in your heart and you know that you are a sinner and you need Jesus as your Savior, yet you love your sins and your “regular” life more than you feel the need of salvation…it is very possible that you will just walk away from Him. What would’ve happened to the church if the disciples had turn away from Jesus? There wouldn’t be a church today.

Could Jesus have found other disciples? Of course, He could have but it would’ve been very different from the ministry which He had with the original disciples. People are very different and shepherds or other disciples would have learned from Him in different ways from the 12 which He chose. Even His betrayer would’ve been different, but God knew which men would follow Him and the ones who did were the disciples which were needed.

God knows our hearts and our usefulness to Him, not because He forces us to be His disciples because gratitude and love cannot be forced in any way! We serve God because He loves us and because we love Him in return for everything that Jesus did for us. But, our life with Jesus brings with it a responsibility, and that responsibility is to grow in our faith and our spiritual strength as we go through this life with Him.

Reading the Bible and praying for the Spirit to teach us the meaning of it as we read is part of our life and our walk with Him. It is not really an option and it gives us the ability to resist the temptations and the “fiery darts” which are sent our way as we live in service to Him. If you don’t grow and learn from Him in your daily walk with Him and in reading His Word, then you will be overcome at some point when temptation or trials come your way.