“But someone will say, ‘you have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18) and, “For as the body apart from the spiritis dead, so also faith apart from works is dead” (James 2:26).

Friday, June 28, 2013

Repent. The Time is Near

When people hear the word repent, they might conjure up a thin, poorly dressed man, standing on a street corner, Bible in raised hand, sternly admonishing passersby to "Repent!" They shun him and quickly walk by never giving his message a thought, other than thinking that the man is a lunatic and fanatic.

Truly, we need to pay attention. Repent means to turn from our sins and sin is not a fashionable word these days either. But we know we all "sin".  In 1 John 5:17 we can read, "All unrighteousness is sin . . ."   Scott Ashley writes in Good News on line magazine:  "Sin, then, is to transgress those boundaries God has set for us or to miss the target He set for us." (see http://www.ucg.org/christian-living/how-does-bible-define-sin/) .  We can go beyond breaking or bending the laws of the Ten Commandments. Ponder Matthew 22:35-40:
35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Do we do what Jesus advises? If not, we need to repent, yes, turn from our sins and seek God's forgiveness.  This is an ongoing process of repentance because no one is without sin. And, by putting our faith and trust in the work Jesus did for us on the Cross, we can be seen by God as justified and righteous.  He died for our sins so that we could be cleansed, past, present and future. "Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses" (Acts 13:39)  And, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor.5:21).
Dear readers, don't scoff at the words "Repent" or "Sin".
For truly:
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt. 3:2)
This is serious business. Don't be left behind.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Why Did God Let That Happen?

We hear this so frequently. We read the horror stories online, in the newspaper or hear them on TV. We see our loved ones in terrible grief, pain, and distress. Even our pets suffer. Why? So much of what God allows to happen we simply don't understand.

Be comforted.  In Isaiah 55:8, 9 it is written: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways, my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Seek the Lord. You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, Lord, I do seek." (Psalm 28:8)

Be patient.  "Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord." (Psalm 31:24)

God loves us.  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16.

Trust the Lord. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)