Take a look around. People are thrashing about in seas of guilt, anger, and despair. If you’re like me, life sometimes doesn’t work. We’re drowning fast. But my dear readers God can rescue us. And there is only one message that matters…His! We need to see God’s glory. Make no mistake about it. God has no ego problem. He doesn’t need to reveal His glory for His own good. But, it’s important that we witness it for ourselves. We need a strong hand to pull us into a safe boat. And once aboard, what becomes our priority? Simple. Promote God. Shout it out, “Hey, strong boat over here! Able pilot! He can pull you out!”
1 Chronicles 16:24 says, “Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.” If we boast at all my friends then we must boast in the Lord! Psalm 115:1 says, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name we give you glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth. So…Declare His glory!
What matters to you matters to God! You probably think that’s true when it comes to the big stuff like death, disease, sin, and disaster. But what about the smaller things? What about grouchy bosses or flat tires? What about broken dishes, late flights, toothaches, or a crashed hard drive? Do these matter to God?
Let me tell you who you are! In fact, let me proclaim who you are! The Bible says you are an heir of God and a co-heir with Christ. You have a crown that will last forever. You were chosen before the creation of the world. But more than anything else is the simple fact—you are God’s child. 1 John 3:4 says we are called children of God. And we really are His children. I love that we really are His children! And if something is important to you—it’s important to God!
God is for us. God is for us. God is for us! Your parents may have forgotten you, your teachers may have neglected you, your siblings may be ashamed of you; but within reach of your prayers is the maker of the oceans. God! God is for you. Not may be, not has been, not was…but God is! He is for you. Today. At this hour. At this minute. As you read this, He is with you. God is for you!
Peter wrote his first letter to build up readers in their Christian walk. That purpose still applies today.
Our life is to be based on the atoning work of Jesus Christ, who died to redeem us from bondage to sin. His precious blood paid in full the cost of all our transgressions—past, present, and future. Upon acceptance of the Lord’s sacrificial death on our behalf, we experience a second birth and become spiritually alive.
At that moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us. His presence is proof of our new position in Christ, as well as a guarantee of our future inheritance and our place in heaven. As God’s children, we’re commanded to live a life of holiness, marked by a deep reverence for the Lord.
Our desire for holy living comes from knowing our Father’s character, understanding what it cost for us to be saved, and recognizing we will face a future judgment. Though we won’t face condemnation, we will one day stand before our Lord so He can assess our work and determine our heavenly rewards. He will examine our inner feelings as well as our outward behavior. Acts of obedience will be rewarded; times of rebellion will not. In other words, our attitudes and choices really do matter, both in this life and in the future.
Take time regularly to ponder these truths. Use them to increase your desire to follow God, to make changes in your conduct, and to be His faithful, obedient servant.
Put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)
Christianity means change is possible. Deep, fundamental change. It is possible to become tender-hearted when once you were callous and insensitive. It is possible to stop being dominated by bitterness and anger. It is possible to become a loving person no matter what your background has been.
The Bible assumes that God is the decisive factor in making us what we should be. With wonderful bluntness, the Bible says, “Put away malice and be tender-hearted.” It does not say, “If you can…” Or: “If your parents were tender-hearted to you…” Or: “If you weren’t terribly wronged…” It says, “Be tender-hearted.”
This is wonderfully freeing. It frees us from the terrible fatalism that says change is impossible for me. It frees me from mechanistic views that make my background my destiny.
And God’s commands always come with freeing, life-changing truth to believe.
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. (Hebrews 2:1)
We all know people that this has happened to. There is no urgency. No vigilance. No focused listening or considering or fixing of their eyes on Jesus. And the result has not been a standing still, but a drifting away.
That is the point here: there is no standing still. The life of this world is not a lake. It is a river. And it is flowing downward to destruction. If you do not listen earnestly to Jesus and consider him daily and fix your eyes on him hourly, then you will not stand still, you will go backward. You will float by.
Drifting is a deadly thing in the Christian life. And the remedy to it, according to Hebrews 2:1, is, “Pay close attention to what you have heard.” That is, consider what God is saying in his Son Jesus. Fix your eyes on what God is saying and doing in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
This is not a hard stroke to learn so that we can swim against the stream of sin and indifference. The only thing that keeps us from swimming like this is our sinful desire to float with other interests.
But let us not complain that God has given us a hard job. Listen, consider, fix the eyes — this is not what you would call a hard job description. It is not a job description. It is a solemn invitation to be satisfied in Jesus so that we do not get lured downstream by deceitful desires.
If you are drifting today, one of the signs of hope that you are born again is that you feel pricked for this, and there is a rising desire in your heart to turn your eyes on Jesus and consider him and listen to him in the days and months and years to come.
There are many things in life over which you have no choice. But you can choose what you think about! For that reason the wise man urges, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23).
Do you want to be happy tomorrow? Then sow seeds of happiness today. Count blessings. Memorize Bible verses. Pray. Sing hymns. Spend time encouraging people. Do you want to guarantee tomorrow’s misery? Then wallow in a mental mud pit of self-pity or guilt or anxiety today. Assume the worst. Beat yourself up. Rehearse your regrets. Complain to complainers.
Thoughts have consequences. Healing from anxiety requires healthy thinking. Your challenge is not your challenge. Your challenge is the way you think about your challenge! Satan wants to leave us in a swarm of anxious, negative thoughts. But you have a power he cannot defeat. You have God on your side!