Sunday, May 13, 2018

Stuff = Distraction

Keep your life simple. If you find yourself gathering things just to have stuff or just because you want to buy something, you'll soon start to stray away from diligently following the Lord. It's easy to get off tract and the enemy is quick to help you do so. This life is not about things. The bible shares one of the most well known verses concerning this matter.

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? - Mark 8:36

We've all heard the old saying, "You can't take it with you." That's right, but you can send it on ahead.  Every time we give to the work of the Kingdom, we send it on ahead of us into our heavenly bank account. Paul tells us about the heavenly bank account in Philippians.

Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. - Philippians 4:17

I believe we can draw on this heavenly bank account when we need to. Jesus withdraws for us and moves someone's heart to release it. Trust me, there are obedient servants out there who do as he says. So, the next time you feel the urge to buy something that may just collect dust, consider your heavenly bank account. Sow into the Kingdom instead and the funds will be there for what you really need to buy and not something that will cause a distraction in your spiritual life.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Does The Bible Contradict Itself?

Unless we use the preponderance of scripture to establish doctrine, we can become confused and think there are contradictions. For instance, in Ephesians, Paul writes plainly that we're saved by grace alone and not by our works:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. - Ephesians 2:8-9

God draws us to Jesus and gives us a measure of faith to believe. That measure of faith will also give us a hunger to know more and will empower us to truly repent of our sins.

Paul makes it clear that there is evidence of someone who has truly repented. Towards the end of his ministry, when sharing his message with King Agrippa, he says this:

“So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds. - Acts 26:19-20

When someone has truly believed the message, their repentance will lead to deeds of righteousness, as Paul writes:

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. - Ephesians 2:10

There is a difference between the works a person performs to try and justify him or herself in the eyes of God and the works that God prepares for us to do once we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ.