Category Archives: relationships
There are horrible things in this world that happen to true believers in Jesus Christ. God has blessed me with a comfortable life so far that I have never really undergone pain and suffering. If you are someone who has gone through difficult circumstances I may not be able to relate to you personally. I do not know what it is like to personally go through divorce, lose a sibling or spouse to death at a young age, or experience a painful or debilitating sickness or injury. But I do know that these things will be worth it in the end because the Bible says so:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18 NIV)
Yes, I may not know what you are going through, because I have never experienced it. But on the other hand, you have never experienced the glories of heaven. When you do, you will have a new outlook. All that pain you carry inside you, no matter how deep it seems now, can be and will be defeated when you are resurrected:
And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain;the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4 emphasis mine)
Be sure that if you are going through great pain today that I do not judge you. I do not know what you’re going through. Of course you are going to hurt inside. Of course it feels horrible. I don’t judge you for that. I would probably hold up worse than you if I had to go through it. But know this: there will come a day when it will not only get better, but the pain will be completely gone, if you believe in Jesus Christ. It will be replaced by pure, genuine joy. That is a promise made by God, and you can take it to the bank.
God bless all who suffer in Christ’s name.
What is the main driving force of your life? Is it the Holy Spirit? The Apostle Paul says:
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God (Romans 8:14 NIV).
Those who are not led by the spirit of God are not children of God. One way to tell if you are led by the Spirit of God is to identify the main driving force in your life. Be honest. What is most important to you?
If one of these are the most important thing in your life, then you are not a Christian:
Quality of life/ comfortable lifestyle.
Power. Being in charge.
On the other hand, if Jesus Christ is truly at the top of your list, you are a Christian. Here are a few goals, motivations, and lifestyle choices that are common in those who regard Jesus Christ as the greatest thing in their life.
Self denial. Giving up their career and lifestyle and dreams for the sake of others and for Jesus (Matthew 16:24).
Obscurity. Doing your best work where it’s needed, especially when no one will notice it or congratulate you for it. (Matthew 6:4)
Absurdity. Being willing to be thought of as a fool in order to do what is right (I Corinthians 1:18).
Perserverence. Doing what is right even when it seems boring and difficult (.
Ugliness. Preferring our physical imperfections to be publicly seen rather than cultivating a facade for the purpose of seducing others (Isaiah 53:2).
Loneliness. Giving up the company of the wicked in order to do what is right, and to serve God (Matthew 10:37).
Bondage. Preferring to be the slave to others rather than to impose cruelty on others. Swallowing our pride and serving others (Phillipians 2:3-4, 7-8).
Calvinist Christians are genuinely concerned that human beings not be wrongly given credit for the goodness of God. Arminian Christians are genuinely concerned that God is not wrongly given credit for the wickedness of man.
So keep this in mind the next time you debate with your brother in Christ about the doctrine of election. Do not accuse him of impure motives without reason. He and you may both have pure motives even though you might reason things somewhat differently in your minds.
There is no way that a sinner like me can defeat sin in my own power. There is no set of rules that I can follow that can make me good, since I am incapable of following any perfect set of rules. So the “law” does not help me, it exposes me as a sinner and condemns me.
But Jesus Christ loved me and died to save me. It is His perfect sacrifice: Holy, loving, completely without sin, that is powerful enough to defeat the death in me. Jesus Christ has done what I can never do. He has conquered sin for me on my behalf.
For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.And so he condemned sin in the flesh,4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:3-4 NIV)
God’s laws tell us that we are wicked. They tell us that it is wrong to murder, to steal, to lie to our family. We know that God’s laws are right because we feel bad in our heart when we break them. We feel bad when me murder, steal, and lie. But we still do it! This hypocrisy condemns us, because we not only do what is wrong, but we do it knowingly.
Therefore we will be rightfully punished by God for all our sins unless we repent and believe in Jesus for salvation.
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. (Romans 7:14-16 NIV)
God’s laws are righteous and Good, but human beings are not. Therefore God’s good and Holy laws end up condemning us to death because they reveal our wickedness and corruption:
Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. (Romans 7:9-12 NIV)
God’s rules expose you and me as sinners. But all is not lost, because Jesus died for sinners. He did not die for perfect people; He died for people like you or me who have often deliberately disobeyed Him and maliciously hurt others. He promises us eternal life and forgiveness of our sins if we admit how bad we are, repent, and believe in Jesus Christ who died for our sins.
When I lived for “today” and lived for myself I was not accomplishing anything good. Rather I was drowning in my own selfishness, a slave to sin, only doing things that were hurtful and disgusting. But now that I am a slave of God I can do good by God’s power, and actually accomplishing things that are loving and holy.
What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. (Romans 6:21-22)
But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6:17-18 NIV)
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. (Romans 8:5 NIV)
True Christians are not primarily motivated by the flesh. Their reason for living their lives is not to get rich, or obtain a sexy mate, or to be famous or popular. Their reason for living is to glorify God and show true love towards everyone around them. The True Christian is always thinking about Godly things, remembering that Jesus died for us on the Cross for our sins, making us ready to give up, if necessary, our earthly lives in order to save even our enemies.
Some people try to “get saved” as fire insurance. They make a profession of faith so that they will got to heaven when they die, but still live the same kinds of sins that characterized their lives earlier. These people are not true believers. Becoming a believer is more than just saying you love God with your lips, but actually loving Him with your heart. True Christians willingly submit themselves as slaves to God:
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:15-16 NIV)
All people are slaves: either to sin or to obedience to God. Whether or not someone is a slave to sin is made clear by their actions and attitudes towards others.
Repent and believe. Stop shaming yourself by delighting in things that are disgusting and based on selfish motives, but bring glory to God by repenting of your sins and delighting in obedience to Jesus Christ.