11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. - Hebrews 6:11 NIV
Accepting Jesus as our Savior is the first step on a journey from here to heaven. We know our destination and we know that our arrival has been secured by the blood of Jesus. The huge difference in this trip and one that we might plan to take here on earth is that we don’t know the specifics of the route. Generally, we know that it is ever onward and upward, but what does that entail on a minute by minute basis? We are facing a great unknown and we must take every step by faith.
17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” — Romans 1:17 NIV
So we must study the gospel to know the way. There is no earthly GPS that is going to lead us to heaven. But, God, in His great mercy and love for us installed a guide within us when we accepted His Son as our Savior. We must learn to listen to the Guide to stay on the path. The way will not always be smooth and level. It can get rocky and there will be valleys and mountains. Just remember that every valley has two mountains and we travel from mountain to mountain not knowing what is over the next one. The important thing to KNOW is that we are never alone and if we get lost on the journey, the great Shepherd will leave the flock, come find us and carry us back to the straight and narrow path.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight— Proverbs 3:5, 6 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. – 1 Peter 2:21-25 NLT
As Christians, the only person we can use as our example is Jesus Christ. He is the standard that we should strive to live up to. We, of course, will never reach that standard but, as Paul said, we should continue to “press toward the mark”
13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.–Phil. 3:14,14 (NLT)
Any cases of injustice and offenses should be left in the hands of God. He will deal with those that are unjust in His own way and in His own time. We were once as helpless as sheep and needed a Shepherd and a Guardian. Jesus came to fulfill every need we have and He has done so abundantly. We are to walk in His steps. We will fall and when we do, He will carry us just like a shepherd carries a helpless lamb. We can lean on His everlasting arms and rejoice evermore.
11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. 12 For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.–Psalm 5:11,12 (NLT).
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
73 You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands.
— PSALM 119:73
This verse is a prayer that I need to pray every day. When I find myself getting irritated, I need to pray this verse so that I do not hurt others with unkind words. When I find myself judging others, I need to pray this verse. When I find myself criticizing, I need to pray this verse. When I see someone in need and I don’t take the time to help them, I need to pray this verse. When I feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit to speak to someone about Jesus and I refuse to do it, I need to pray this verse. When I spend money for things that I don’t need, I need to pray this verse. When God says “no’ or “wait” and I run ahead of Him, I need to pray this verse. Most of all, I need to pray this verse when I think that Jesus has done something or allowed something to happen in my life that is not for my benefit. Because that thought violates the highest command to “love the Lord your God with all of your heart”. You get the idea, I need to pray this verse a lot. Hopefully, the rest of you are better at allowing the Holy Spirit to control your thoughts and words than I am, if not, then just join in and pray this with me, “Now give me the sense to follow your commands”.
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!—Galatians 1:6-9 (NIV)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
In today’s world, it seems more and more that we hear about evangelists and preachers that have been caught in compromising situations. We know that now, just as in the first century, there are those who preach the gospel for the wrong reasons. Paul spoke about this in his writings.
18 But what does it matter? Here is the important thing. Whether for reasons that are right or wrong, Christ is being preached about. That makes me very glad. And I will continue to be glad.—Philippians 1:18 (NIRV)
Jude, the brother of Jesus, spoke about it as well.
4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.–Jude 1:4 (NIV)
Once we have heard the pure word of God and accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, the battle has just begun. There will be those people who want to lead us astray for their own gain or fame. But, we must remember that true repentance is not only turning from sin but it is turning to Jesus. There is no turning back.Does this mean that we will never fall? No, but it does mean that we won’t return to our old lifestyle. Our focus has turned from pleasing our flesh to pleasing our Lord and Savior. We need to ask Jesus for forgiveness when we fail, but we don’t need to let the devil keep us “sin-conscious”. We need to stay “Jesus conscious”.
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.–Phil. 2:5 (NASB)
18 “I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”—John 21:18,19 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
Jesus is prophesying to Peter about how he would die. Peter was led to the cross by others and was crucified upside down at his request. Peter felt unworthy to be executed in the same method that Jesus was executed. At least eight of the twelve apostles died as martyrs with two, Peter and Andrew, being crucified. There are some leaders that teach that life as a Christian is free of stress and problems. This is not validated by a study of the Scriptures. In fact, just the opposite is taught.
33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”–John 16:33 (NLT)
Jesus tells us in this verse that we will have trials and sorrows. Not just the normal troubles of those in the world, but more because we love and obey Him. But He also tells us that we can have total peace in Him. His peace is not a lack of trouble or violence, it is peace that we can access in the midst of all that. Jesus has overcome the world and we are over-comers through Him. We can’t be conquerors and over-comers if there are no problems to overcome or no mountains to conquer.
28 Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, 29 and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment. 30 I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will. 31 “If I were to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid. 32 But someone else is also testifying about me, and I assure you that everything he says about me is true.—John 5:28-32 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
When Jesus returns to earth, the dead in Christ shall rise first, then those of us who are still alive will join with them to meet Jesus in the air. Others will arise from the graves to experience judgment and the second death, which is eternal damnation in hell.
Jesus sets a great example for us to follow. We should never attempt to do anything on our own. Even though He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth, He still says what His Father says and does what His Father does. if we do the same thing, then we can know that our actions are just and our words are true. The Holy Spirit living in us testifies of the Father and of Jesus. He knows our minds as well as the minds of the Father and the Son so the Holy Spirit can guide us in our actions and our speech.
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[l] in harmony with God’s own will—Romans 8:26,27 (NLT)