Bible Reading for: April 28
Wandering away from God is a journey of disaster. Only misery and sorrow is found on that road. In Christ, you can have abundant life. Remain in Him. Don’t wander.
Getting a little redundant, isn’t it? A king is murdered, his son takes his place, he doesn’t walk in the way of the Lord, and there is no peace. In the other kingdom, finally one of the kings is faithful to God, but not completely, as he does not destroy the idols. It is the same thing over and over again. Every time I read through the Bible I keep saying “Boy these guys are really dense. Don’t they get it? How many times do they have to cycle through separation from God and disaster, back to faithfulness to God and blessing? When will they decide to stay in faithfulness?”
The answer, of course, is never; they are fallen. I point my finger at the Israelites of old, but look at America today. Of course, I have that one finger pointed outward which means I’ve got three pointed back at me. Isn’t that how we are as individuals? God has revealed Himself to us. He has saved us. We have been blessed but we start worshiping things and pleasures and we walk away from Him only to suffer the natural consequences of our foolishness. When will we get it? When will we decide to stay in faithfulness?
Let me be clear. The blessings of God are spiritual. They make the paltry trinkets this world has to offer look like dung. God’s prophets lived hand to mouth, and were content with their lot if not their fellow countrymen. The kings lived in luxury and perpetual fear of treachery and death. You don’t obey and remain in Christ so you will get the goodies of this world. You obey and remain in Christ so you will get the spiritual blessings that make the luxuries of this world fade to nothingness. Friend, don’t get me wrong. God made us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. He created the Garden of Eden as a wonderful physical place where we could glorify Him and enjoy Him in a physically luxurious setting.
We destroyed that setting because we wanted to glorify ourselves. We are able to enjoy the spiritual riches Christ promised here today, if we have accepted His gift and abide in Him. Unfortunately, we live in a perverted world of our own making, and the physical luxury of Eden is lost to us for a time. Lost for a time, but not forever. You see we have been told that there is a new Heaven and a new Earth. Once we meet our Maker face to face, we will live in both spiritual and physical luxury. The entire reason for your existence is that very time.
I was reading a little about the guy that wrote “90 Minutes in Heaven”. I haven’t read the book but I think I might. He was a Baptist minister who was hit by a Tractor-trailer and pronounced dead on the scene. He was dead for 90 minutes. He saw Heaven. He tells us that it is real. It is a physical place. His book has been a New York Times bestseller. I’m glad he has come back to us to tell his story, and I have no doubt that God sent him back for that purpose, but I don’t really need his book or his story to convince me Heaven is real. I have a better book with a better story. I have a testimony from an unimpeachable source. The matter is settled for me.
Jesus didn’t promise us an easy ride until that day we see Him face to face. In fact, from a physical point of view, He promised us trouble. He said the world will hate us because they hate Him and He is in us. Jesus also said, however, that He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. My friend, I’m here to tell you that no matter what you are facing, no matter what you are struggling with, you can have the peace, joy, and abundant life Jesus came to give you. This won’t be the taking away of the consequences of living in a fallen world, but it will be peace, joy and abundance nevertheless. You want it?
If you haven’t accepted Christ’s sacrifice for you sin, then that is the first and most crucial step. It all starts there.
John 14:6 ESV
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”
If you have accepted Christ, then “remain in Him”.
John 15:5-11 ESV
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
Remain in His love. Obey His commandments that His joy may be in you and that your joy may be full!
Vivere Victorem! (Live Victorious!)
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!