What kind of impact will you make?

We are starting a new year, not exactly an Earth-shaking event. But…will you have an impact in our world or your world this year? Sometimes we make resolutions for the year when it is brand new and fresh but after a couple of paychecks and possibly a trip to the doctor’s office…well those resolutions get placed in the closet until next year. So, can we have an impact on those we love or the workplace?

GodisNearActually, we can IF we will let God into our lives and let Him influence our living from day-to-day! I know that there are people who don’t like to hear about religion in general, regardless of whether Jesus is part of it! But, the fact is that everyone needs Him whether we realize it or accept it or not!

Could we have an impact on the world without allowing Jesus into our lives on a daily basis? Yes, but it wouldn’t have an eternal outcome if we did it all on our own. Teachers in high school and college have an impact on their student’s lives during the year, but how much do you remember of tenth-grade algebra class? I would guess that, like me, you don’t really remember much of it (unless you actually work in a field that you USE it every day)!

Being a Christian is very different from learning algebra or geometry because it is a decision which we are called to by God and the Holy Spirit. It is not a decision that you make on your own, although you do have to decide to accept the offer of salvation from Jesus. You can’t just decide that today I am going to become a Christian because it is a calling from God which prompts you to realize that you need Jesus in your life.

Being a Christian and living life as a Christian is not a hard thing to do, but it is a life that you have to learn to do. Studying the Bible and learning about the grace of God and His plan for your life is part of living your life for Jesus! Repenting or walking away from your sins is another part of being a true Christian. Sitting in church or Sunday school once or twice a month and not changing your lifestyle doesn’t make you a Christian. Although many people who go to church once or twice a year think that they are Christians, even though they haven’t been baptized or changed anything about their lives!

You can have an impact in this world and in eternity by living your life for Christ so that others will see its effect on you and want what you have.

Do you see?

At times, we do see the problems around us or at home or at church, but at other times, where we seem to be blind to the happenings and the life which is there…right in front of us. Why can’t we see? Sometimes it is because we are being selfish, other times it is because we choose not to see. But if you are a Christian, why would you choose not to see what is wrong with the world around you?

Elisha prayed so that his servant would see that they were not in as much danger as he thought. In 2 Kings chapter six where this took place, Elisha had preached in Israel what God had told him to, but the king of Syria, Ben-Hadad, warred with Israel. Just prior to this encampment, Elisha had prayed for Naaman who was a leader in Syria’s army who had leprosy. God healed him and when he departed, Elisha’s servant had gone out to receive some of the payment which he had brought to Elisha.

Greed can blind you to many things and that is what happened here. Gehazi was coveting the silver and the garments which Naaman had brought as gifts for his healing. The Lord struck him with leprosy just as the Syrian had when he came for his greed. In many ways, we are like this servant. We desire something in this life which doesn’t have any spiritual benefit to us or for those around us such as wealth or lands or just more stuff. You can hear and see that stuff has become a real problem in America today because of all the self-storage units that are being built every month.

Getting back to our story, even though Gehazi was stricken with leprosy for his greed, it seems that he served his master for many years. No doubt because Elisha prayed for his healing after he learned his lesson about greed. It isn’t mentioned in the Bible, but considering that leprosy was a death sentence on anyone who had it, I believe that he was likely healed later.

The topic is “Do you see?”, so what do we see in this world? Poverty, hunger, wars, famines, loss of life in many ways, actually the list could go on and on from here. My point is this: why do we not see? In America, we have been spoken of in history as a Christian nation because that is how our country came to be. People in England fled their country because of religious persecution so they could worship in freedom and in the way that they chose.

So, why don’t we see the things around us which we could do something about? Do we choose not to see the things which we could help with because of our greed and selfishness? Are we so blind to the suffering around us because we don’t want to see it or just because we walk in this world with spiritual blinders on? In the link above to a part of 2 Kings where Elisha’s servant is anxious about the army surrounding Jerusalem, he cannot see what Elisha can. So, Elisha prays for him to be able to see into the spiritual world and he finds that God’s army was far more formidable than those who surrounded the city.

In our lives today, we can’t see what is happening in our world spiritually. Some would say this is a good thing because we would be scared out of our wits if we could see the spiritual warfare and the beings which are here and all around us on a daily basis. Honestly, I believe that it would open many people’s eyes to the fact of their own frailty and the reason that they need Jesus. But, God has chosen not to allow our sight to be opened in that way for a reason.

Pray that God will show you His will in your life through His Word because the days are drawing closer to that time which is prophesied at the end of the age. We don’t know the day or the hour until that time comes, but God doesn’t lie and the time is swiftly approaching, so don’t hesitate. Call on Jesus for your salvation and seek Him out for your deliverance because He is the only way to be saved from the punishment which comes after you leave this world.

The wages of a life without Jesus

The wages of sin
Romans 6 

1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

What do you consider a sin? Working on the Sabbath? Cursing, taking the Lord’s name in vain? Gambling? Adultery? Gossip? Which of these would you consider a sin? How about telling an untruth (lying)?

In God’s eyes and in His way of looking at sin, all of these are sins and it doesn’t mean that we, even as Christians, have to do more than one. One sin, whether it is telling someone a lie, regardless of it being a little one or a big one, makes you guilty of breaking them ALL! So, how can we be justified in the sight of God?

Only through the belief in Jesus and in His atoning sacrifice on the cross. If you deny that or if you just believe it because the preacher says so but you really don’t believe it in your heart, then your belief is null!

If I told you that a rope could save you from falling to your death, would you believe it? Most of you would, but only IF you could see and feel the rope! The catch is that the rope will only save your life IF you reach out and take it in your hands and hold on to it so you don’t fall.

Jesus will save you from falling into Hell itself, IF you will believe in His atonement and in the work that He accomplished on the cross when you accept Him as your Savior. There is nothing that you can do to “help” Him save you, there is no amount of “good things” which you can do to enhance your salvation. He paid the price for ALL OF US with His blood, His death and His resurrection, there is nothing that you or I can add to it at all.

Choosing to know about Jesus and all of the miracles and Grace which God grants to you and me through Him, will not bring you salvation. Knowing about a chest full of gold on your property doesn’t make you rich, until you claim it!! It is the same with your salvation. If you have felt the knock on your heart and your life,heard that small voice which has tried to get you to accept Jesus BUT you have chosen to ignore it or you have determined that you will do it later??  Why would you do that?

Are you absolutely SURE that you have a tomorrow or next week to accept Jesus as your Savior? Do you know that you will live until tomorrow without a doubt or next weekend, such as next Sunday to determine that you will accept Him then? If you have this knowledge, I want to know who told you? Where did you get it from?

We are not given a guarantee of tomorrow or next week or next year! It is true that God said it was appointed to us “threescore and ten or if by reason of strength, fourscore years”, but this is not a guarantee! Moses wrote this Psalm, which is Psalm 90, and God blessed him with more strength and years to live to about 120, but our days are not written in stone.

God loves us and He will give you eternal life once you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, so from that point you could say that you have tomorrow or next year, but that doesn’t mean that eternity will be in this body and on Earth. Our eternity is in Heaven with Him, your life and mine may only last for a few more days or weeks or maybe until next year if God wills it so. We can’t boast of planning for anything too far out in our lives and I won’t make that mistake.

Seek to follow Jesus and believe in Him and the grace which we are given because of our belief in Him, and do it daily. Waking, give thanks. Eating and working, give God thanks. Coming home safely, give God thanks. Lying down to sleep, give God thanks. Why? Because it was by His Grace alone that you were able to do those things!! His Grace gives you the ability and the strength to do all of those things and without Him and His Grace, you and I are nothing!

Don’t disregard His call on your life or put it off until you have the time to devote to Him, because you don’t know when your life will end here and you will stand in front of God to answer for your words and deeds in this world. If you have given your heart to Him and believe in Jesus and His work on the cross and His resurrection for your salvation, then your sins are covered by His blood and you don’t need to fear the judgement! Standing there without Jesus as your advocate will be a terrifying ordeal, so don’t choose that path.