A World Without Sin

What prevents us from being in a right relationship with God? It is sin! And since heaven promises a right relationship with God, what’s missing in heaven? You got it—Sin. Heaven will be sin-free. Both death and sin will be things of the past.

Can you imagine a world without sin? Have you done anything recently because of sin? At the very least, you’ve complained. You’ve worried…you’ve grumbled…hoarded when you should have shared…second-guessed and covered up. But you won’t do that in heaven. Sin has caused a thousand heartaches and broken a million promises. Your addiction(s) can be traced back to sin. Your mistrust can be traced back to sin. Bigotry, robbery, adultery—all because of sin.

But in heaven, all of this will end. So. . .can you imagine a world without sin? If so, you can imagine heaven!



The Temple of God

If you watch any TV you have no doubt seen the endless commercials for weight loss, diet and exercise. We are constantly barraged by gyms inviting us to join their club where there is “no judgment”, referring to your body’s appearance and ability to work out. So, concern for your own body’s health and wellness is important. Why?

God has a high regard for your body. In 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul calls our body the “temple” of God.  Be careful how you feed it, use it, and maintain it.  You wouldn’t want anyone trashing your home; God doesn’t want anyone trashing his. After all, it is his, isn’t it? A little jogging and dieting to the glory of God wouldn’t hurt most of us.

Your body, in some form, will last forever. God will glorify your body. He will remove all weakness and disease. Isn’t that great news? Your pain will not last forever. Is your heart weak? It will be strong in heaven. Has cancer corrupted your system? There is no cancer in heaven. For a season, your soul will be in heaven while your body is in the grave. But the seed buried in the earth will blossom in heaven. And you will be just like Jesus!

I saw the Christian movie “I Can Only Imagine” last night. There are not enough words to describe how wonderful the movie is. It captures your attention from the very beginning and holds it till the end. It makes even grown men cry. Go and see it at your earliest opportunity. I give it 5 Stars.

Difficulty Swallowing Our Pride

While it’s difficult to swallow our pride and admit that we are wrong, it’s always best to take full responsibility for our attitudes, responses, and behavior. That is the only way to walk humbly with the Lord, which pleases and honors Him.


God Rejoices to Do You Good

I will make with them an everlasting covenant that I will not turn away from doing good to them . . . . I will rejoice in doing good to them.” (Jeremiah 32:40–41).

This is one of those promises of God that I can come back to again and again when I get discouraged. Can you think of any fact more encouraging than that God rejoices to do you good?

He doesn’t begrudgingly fulfill his promise (Romans 8:28). It is his joy to do you good. And not just sometimes. Always! “I will not turn away from doing good to them.”

But sometimes our situation is so hard to bear we just can’t muster any joy. When that happens to me, I try to imitate Abraham: “In hope he believed against hope” (Romans 4:18). God has always been faithful to guard that little spark of faith for me and eventually fan it into a flame of happiness and full confidence.

O how glad I am that the thing that makes Almighty God happiest is doing good for you and me!


The Importance of Discernment

Matthew 3:1-12

Who couldn’t use a little discernment? We desperately need the Lord’s help to determine truth and reality in a world filled with confusing gray areas and evil deceptions.

A discerning spirit is one that is in tune with the Spirit of God. As John the Baptist lived in submission to the Lord, he gained insight beyond anything that could have originated from his own mind.

He saw the situation from God’s perspective and delivered a strong rebuke to that “brood of vipers” (Matt. 3:7). Although we may never be as forthright as John, there will be times when a discerning spirit will lead to confrontation.

The Father wants His children to develop spiritual discernment in order to guard against deception. We must know how to recognize invalid philosophies as well as false doctrines that sneak into the church. What’s more, divine insight can also protect us in our relationships and even helps us see the truth about ourselves.


God Works Through Good Resolves

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power. (2 Thessalonians 1:11)

Seeking the power of God to fulfill our good resolves does not mean that we don’t really resolve or that we don’t really use will-power.

The engagement of God’s power never takes the place of the engagement of our will! The power of God in sanctification never makes us passive! The power of God engages itself beneath or behind and within our will, not in place of our will.

The evidence of God’s power in our lives is not the absence of our willing but the strength of our willing.

Anyone who says, “Well I believe in the sovereignty of God and so I will just sit back and do nothing,” does not really believe in the sovereignty of God. For why would someone who believes in God’s sovereignty so blatantly disobey him?

When you sit back to do nothing, you are not doing nothing. You are actively engaging your will in a decision to sit back. And if that is the way you handle sin or temptation in your life, it is blatant disobedience, because we are commanded to wage a good warfare (1 Timothy 1:18) and to resist the devil (James 4:7) and strive for holiness (Hebrews 12:14).

This verse says that it is by the power of God that we will fulfill our good resolve and our work of faith. But this does not nullify the meaning of the word “resolve” and the word “work.” Part of the whole process of walking worthy of God’s call is the active engagement of our will in resolving to do righteousness.

If you have lingering sin in your life, or if you keep neglecting some good deed, just because you have been waiting around to be saved without a fight, you are compounding your disobedience. God will never appear with power in your will in any other form than a good resolve that you make and keep.

So people who believe in the sovereignty of God must not fear to engage their wills in the struggle for holiness. “Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many I tell you will seek to enter and will not be able” (Luke 13:24).

(reprint from John Piper | Daily Devotions)


Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

What do you do when you hear people discussing what it takes to get into heaven where one person says they’ve been a good and moral person and the other says they are saved by faith in Jesus Christ? Of course this further begs the question, “What do I need to do to hear, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’ when I arrive in heaven?”

In Jesus’ parable of the talents, the Lord tells of two faithful servants who used what they had been given to increase the master’s wealth. When the master returned from a long absence, he rewarded his two faithful servants and said to each of them, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21, 23). Every Christian longs to hear those words from Jesus’ lips someday in heaven.

We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8–9), but we are saved “to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10). Jesus spoke of laying up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:20), and His parable of the talents hints at various rewards for those who faithfully serve Him in this world.

To hear those words, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” from Jesus, first make sure you are saved. The unbelieving will never hear those words, for “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). And recognize that Jesus is not only your Savior; He is also your Lord (see Luke 6:46). “Serve the LORD with gladness!” (Psalm 100:2, ESV).

Here are some ideas on ways you can serve the Lord:

1. Share the gospel. The Lord Jesus desires us to make disciples, teaching others of the nature and character of God and sharing the meaning of His death and resurrection (Matthew 28:18–20).

2. Help the disadvantaged. In the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19–31, the rich man is condemned because he doesn’t help Lazarus and because he trusts in his wealth too much. Don’t put self-gratification before the needs of others. First John 3:17 says, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”

3. Forgive others of their offenses. This isn’t the same as reconciliation or trust, but it means you renounce vengeance. The Lord Jesus modeled forgiveness: “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to [the Father] who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).

4. View your position of authority as an opportunity to help the people under you, and view your position of subservience as an opportunity to submit to your authority, just as Jesus submitted to the Father’s authority. Either way, you can be Christlike, because Jesus was both master and servant to different people. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

5. Seek to know the character of God better through church fellowship, listening to sermons, studying the Bible, praying, and chronicling how He seems to have been involved in your life.

6. Recognize that every advantageous position you’re in is because of God, the Source of every blessing: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17).

7. Be willing to be unpopular, displaying rare courage like the Good Samaritan in Jesus’ parable (Luke 10:30–37). Do what the Bible says is right, always. “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29, ESV).

8. In introspective moral judgment (evaluating your own character), look at the character of Jesus as a measure rather than rationalize your questionable actions and attitudes. Show humility.

It all comes down to this: love God more than anything, and love others sincerely (Mark 12:30–31). At the judgment seat of Christ, those who are faithful to the Lord who saved them will hear those words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” No true servant of the Lord could ask for more.

(article reprint | Got Questions.com)