Preparing For Judgment

Preparing For Judgment

“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” John 5:22 How do you prepare for the day when you must stand before Jesus and be judged by Him? Obviously, you must school yourself in being His obedient slave. As Jesus Himself modeled: “…I seek not My own will but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 5:30  More than life, you want to please your Master, even if it means appearing foolish in the sight of others. A slave should have no expectations. If you view yourself as the property of Jesus Christ, and He does something you do not like, if He offends your sense of justice, that is His prerogative. When you take His yoke, you go and do what He wants, not what you want. You are involved in the lives of people because that is His will for your life. Again and again Scripture reminds you that people will abuse you. Even though you are fair, helpful, and kind to others, it is unrealistic to expect others to treat you the same way. Because you understand your depravity and propensity to sin, you prepare for Judgment by living a life of perpetual repentance before Him. You are best served if you condemn yourself before God and hope that He will see things differently when He judges you, rather than justifying yourself and finding that He sees things differently when He judges you. For more articles by Walt...
The Twin Pillars of Faith

The Twin Pillars of Faith

“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Isaiah 46:10 If you desire a satisfactory relationship with God, two pillars must be firmly anchored in your life. You must believe that He is in control and that He has your best interest at heart. The sovereignty of God must be a deeply held conviction. When my son was dying of leukemia, a friend wrote, “I don’t know how this tragedy came about, but I do know that it did not come from God. God is not in the business of killing little children.” As I pondered his observation, I concluded that if God did not kill my son, then I have a far greater problem than my son dying. I worship a god who is not in control. God was not sitting on the edge of the universe chagrined over the disease that ravaged my son’s life. As I held my son in my arms while he slipped into eternity, I knew that I was experiencing the beautiful handiwork of God. This naturally leads to the second essential pillar: The goodness of God. God is good. He is incapable of doing anything but good. The debate, like so many debates in life, is over who gets to determine what good looks like. Do you truly believe that the hurts of life come from the hand of a good God who only does what is best for you? The writer of Hebrews, quoting from the Psalmist says, “The Lord...
Refusing To Think

Refusing To Think

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 It occurs to me that people who live iniquitous lives tend not to spend much time thinking; the experience is too painful.  Most of us cannot think on the past without regret, and the more acute the regret the greater the temptation to fill one’s life with distractions so as not to have to think. So too, most arguments in the body of Christ flow from disagreements regarding doctrine rather than moral issues.  Because biblical commands are unambiguous, and because conscience affirms most moral absolutes, the reprobate may plead for tolerance, but rarely does he seek to defend that which his conscience condemns. Professing Christians who live (or have lived) immoral lives, therefore, tend to embrace those practices derived from tradition rather than serious reflection on Scripture, such as praying to icons and insisting on experience-centered worship.  The deeper a man thinks on biblical truth, the more aware he becomes of his depravity, and if his sins prove too painful to contemplate, he ceases thinking, fills his life with activity. Paul offers the antidote to this happening: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  Philippians 4:8 The “things” referred to by Paul are found in Scripture.  To the degree that you mediate on the Word of God, He will deliver you from a vacuous, sinful life. For more articles by Walt...
Entanglements

Entanglements

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” 2Timothy 2:4 The picture is a soldier trying to fight while being engulfed in a net. He may be engaged in the affairs of life, but he keeps himself from becoming entangled in them. This is the warrior’s code. Paul was a tentmaker, and from this we learn that the issue is not vocation. Rather, it deals with focus, purpose, values, hope, and motivation; making a good product in you labor differs from seeking significance from your labor. That this is a vexing issue in men’s lives can be seen by strangers asking, “What do you do for a living?” rather than “What are you doing with your life?” The world insists on evaluating your worth by success in your vocation, while God insists that your worth is derived from His imputing to you a value you would not otherwise have. The Bible does not call for celibacy or other forms of asceticism. You cannot dictate to God what serving Christ looks like. Endeavoring to do so is an indication that you are entangled. This is a decision that God must make, and although the decision is subjective in nature, each believer must determine for himself what God thinks being free from “entanglement” means for his life. For more articles by Walt...
Strong In Grace

Strong In Grace

“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” 2Timothy 2:1 Scripture uses “grace” in two ways: The salvation given through Jesus Christ, and God’s provision of help in everyday life. In this verse the apostle uses it in the second way. He also said: “But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead.” 1   A man does not obtain grace by what he does, but by his understanding what he cannot obtain on his own. The dependent follower of Christ gains all the grace he needs, a gift unmerited as well as unlimited. He cannot finish the race of life without God’s empowerment, and God will empower all who look only to Him. 2      Grace is located only in Christ Jesus and consists of having Christ as his life. This is a moment-by-moment perpetual process. This admonition reemphasizes what Paul said in chapter one: “Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.” 3     To be “strong in the grace of Christ,” Timothy must cast off sloth and indifference, for the flesh is so sluggish that even those who are endued with marvelous gifts are found to slacken in the midst of their course if they are not frequently challenged. He adds “in Christ Jesus” to show that the grace comes from Christ alone and no other. If you are not...