Tuesday, December 7, 2010

~ "Feed the poor...done; clothe the naked...done...."

It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. (Rom 9:16)

Once again, in this verse, Paul tells us that it is nothing that we do that opens the door to heaven for us - it is only through God's mercy! Why is it that some people think they can continue to live sinful lives and that their contributions to charities and the poor will be what saves their souls?

It comes from ignorance. It comes from being part of a "cult" that does not encourage you to read and study God's Word. It comes from looking for a way to justify an unholy life style. It comes from a point of superiority rather than humility.

You may say, "But Jesus tells us to feed the poor"...yes, he does! He also tells us to forego sexual immorality, adultery and numerous other "sins" of the flesh. Do we listen? Is that what we are dependent on to get us into heaven? He laid the ground rules (job description, if you will). He told us what is expected of us. We are tasked with making the effort. Some of our "sins" we will find the strength to overcome. some we will not - after all, that's what we are - sinners! Not one of us is better than the next, nor are our accomplishments. We do not get rewarded on our job for doing what we get paid to do ~ it's expected of us as employees. And we don't all perform at the same level, our employers take that into consideration as well. The requirement is to make the effort to do the job to the best of our ability!

Once the power of the Holy Spirit has been awakened within us, we DESIRE to do all those things, but it is not what "saves" us. We have a true "want" to be "Christ-like", to act in such a way that is pleasing to the Father. You cannot say "I'm saved" and then go and rob a bank, have an abortion or commit adultery. And don't think you are going to justify any of it to God - he's already covered that and there are no excuses! Those are the things we did before we were awakened to the gift of God's mercy! I know for myself, I cannot, in good conscience, flagrantly disregard what I know to be one of God's commands to me. The temptations the enemy presents sometimes are so enticing that I just want to say "God, please don't look"...but I don't. Why? Because even though I know that nothing I do will ever be good enough, I still want to please him. I want him to see that I am trying!

The shed blood of Christ is what saves us! Only that act by one, sinless man opens the gates of heaven! Anything you do, do for God's glory. If you give to the poor, it's for him. If you help an older person with the groceries, it's for him. If you swallow your pride and apologize for something you've done, it's for him! You don't need a pat on the back from any human being on this planet!

Stop holding on to the false teachings of your youth! Open your eyes and grab hold of the gift of salvation that comes to us through God's mercy! Stop worshiping your "idols" and bow down to the Father and praise his name! Stop allowing the enemy the power to waste your time praying to ANYONE but God, through Jesus! Read and study your Bible - KNOW the Word of God and act accordingly! Give to God what belongs to God - your praises, your love and your prayers!!!