Unto the End

The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war. – 2 Chronicles 16:9

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For most of his life, Asa (king of Judah) served God, but his last six years were a dismal failure. It seems that Asa stopped paying attention to his Creator and began to trust in himself. Even when he became deathly ill, the king refused to cry out to God and instead reached out to some pagan faith-healers.

The Christian life is not a sprint. It is a marathon. A race that will not end until this earthly life is over. Will we be faithful unto the end? Someone once told me that I would never be too old to throw it all away.

Be alert. Be accountable. Be faithful … unto the end.

By faithfulness we are collected and wound up into unity within ourselves, whereas we had been scattered abroad in multiplicity. – Augustine

Corrections

And when he prayed, the Lord listened to him and was moved by his request. So the Lord brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the Lord alone is God! – 2 Chronicles 33:13

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What does God have to do to get you to listen to Him?

Manasseh, king of Judah, disobeyed God for many years and apparently (after some time) God finally had enough. He sent the Assyrian army against the wicked king (and his subjects) forcing Manasseh to acknowledge his sinful actions. After these events, Manasseh was a changed man, but it was first necessary for God to rebuke him.

Are you living a life that is disobedient to God? Do you claim to be His follower? God loves you too much to leave you alone. Be warned. A correction is coming.

Of course, such “adjustments” are good, because God always corrects the ones He loves.

My child, don’t reject the Lord ’s discipline, and don’t be upset when He corrects you. For the Lord corrects those He loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. – Proverbs 3:11-12

Faith is …

Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works. – James 2:26

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If you saw a person who wasn’t breathing, you would probably think he was dead. James said that in the same way a person without action possesses a dead faith. Acts of faith are proof of a life of faith. On the other hand, what … exactly … is an act of faith? Is every “good” thing we do an act of faith?

No.

Many people do “good” things, but they do not belong to Christ. An act of faith, as James describes it, originates in the heart of one who belongs to Christ and ends in God receiving ALL the glory. Under such an evaluation of our life in Christ, a troubling question arises, “How much of our faith is truly alive?”

Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not in hand. – Thomas Aquinas

Who Would You Rather Please?

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. – Galatians 1:10

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Who would you rather please, men or God? Whose opinion matters the most?

Before you give an answer, consideration must be given to whether God’s response or man’s is your primary concern. When facing any decision, are you more interested in how God’s might respond or another person? An honest answer to these questions will begin to uncover where you truly stand.

Sometimes, as servants of God, we have to displease someone, because to do otherwise would be displeasing to God. It is not a comfortable position, but we must be willing to admit that it is often a necessary one. As difficult as it may be, if you desire to please God you must be willing to live with the fact that you cannot always please men.

There just isn’t any pleasing some people. The trick is to stop trying. – Joel Rosenburg

What Can Worship Do?

At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. – 2 Chronicles 20:22

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If a person would like to see the power of praise, he need only look to the story of Joram. In his story, the worship and praise of God by God’s chosen people sowed confusion and disorder among His enemies and the enemies of Judah. Truth is, true worship and praise will ALWAYS confound the enemies of God!

What are God’s enemies? I know of at least three: fear, doubt, and discouragement. However, when God’s people worship Him in spirit and in truth, fear is replaced by courage … doubt is replaced by assurance … and discouragement is replaced by a steadfast hope.

Do you want to win the battle? Worship God!

Reverence is the highest quality of man’s nature; and that individual, or nation, which has it slightly developed, is so far unfortunate. It is a strong spiritual instinct, and seeks to form channels for itself where none exists; thus Americans, in the dearth of other objects to worship, fall to worshiping themselves. – Lydia M. Child

How Good is “Good Enough?”

Amaziah did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, but not wholeheartedly. – 2 Chronicles 25:2

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Are you a good person? Do you do good things? Is it enough to be “good” and to do “good” things if a person really wants to please God?

Amaziah did what was “good” in the eyes of God, but the Bible tells us that his heart was not entirely committed to the Almighty. As a result, the king was not able to remain faithful over the entire course of his life. The point being that it is not enough to be good, because no one is perfect and we will all eventually fail. The heart of a person must be entirely God’s, for the heart that God possesses, is the heart that Jesus saves. When we fail … when Christ’s followers fail … they have assurance, because it is the “goodness” of Christ that guarantees their eternity and not their own.

Our goodness and good works will never be enough, but thankfully, His works were and will always be.

Where do we people go if not towards the perfection of our own illusion? – Sorin Cerin

Your Best Life Now

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. – Galatians 5:16

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Would you like to be a better person? I know that I would.

A popular television preacher proclaims that he knows how you can have your best life now, but he seems to miss the truth. Only God’s Word can give us a proper answer to that question, because a person’s “best life” begins with a relationship with God in Christ Jesus.

You see, without Christ there is no life.

If a good life could be characterized as one defined by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, then it is easy to see that a life that is led by the Holy Spirit … a life IN Christ … is indeed THE best life now and forever.

Yes, in Christ, His life is yours!

One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching. – Anonymous