Saturday, October 31, 2015

For the Glory of God

"Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created."
Psalm 148:5
   Are you singing for the ears of man, or for the glory of God?
   I recently heard or read how some people sing because of the words, and other people sing because of the music. They could be singing heathen songs just as well as Christian songs. We're not singing because of the delightsomeness of the music, or our masterful ways with our instruments or voices. We're singing because of Jesus! 
    The concerts I like going to best are the ones where I can feel God's Spirit there or am encouraged in the Lord. A concert like this is like a nugget of gold in a pan of rocks. Rocks may seem special by themselves, but compared with gold, they are just another rock to be discarded when we leave our earthly pleasures behind. Our relationship with Jesus is all that we will still have. Get your heavenly house built. The houses you build on earth are not as important as they appear. Eternity is a long time compared with the blink of life you spend here. Will you have something to show for your life after you are dead?

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, 
and his righteousness; 
and all these things shall be added unto you.”
 --Matthew 6:33

“Mother, I am afraid; no God I know; 
Please tell me an eternal way to go. 
You taught me how to live, each day by day,
But I am dying, and you don't know what to say.
In our land we honor mothers high,
The very word mother exalted to the sky.
But only the mother with God in her heart
Can teach her child how this life to part.”
--Maria, a Christian in the Soviet Union

Who are you going to be?

   Someone once asked me if I were going to college. I answered no, and he then asked me what I was going to be. I thought, “Well, I already am who I am.” But I decided he really was wondering what job or what occupation I wanted in life. I started to answer, “I don't know what I'm going to be...” And he cut in with some advice on finding a husband.
   I am who I am. What I do in life doesn't have that big of bearing on who I am. Who I am is who I am whether I'm taking trash to the dump, singing at nursing homes, welding rebar, playing chess, smoothing concrete, or playing freeze-tag. These things don't make me me. God made me into me, and I'm sticking with Him no matter what I may do. 
   People like to ask children what they want to be when they grow up, as if they are nothing until they become a doctor, plumber, electrician, or lawyer. So as children grow up, all importance is placed on becoming somebody. First they get their general education, and then they get a good college to make them into who they will be. This process of not quite being who you will be takes quite a long time. And, when you're almost thirty, you become who you are (maybe). And then what? All you know about is becoming and not being, so it probably takes some getting used to. And for the next thirty years, your goal is retiring. And then what?  The next big event is dying, and after that, surprise! It's the main event: heaven or hell.  
   I already am who I am, and I'm not worried about anything I will be doing in the future. I do know I will be serving Jesus. My earthly occupation isn't that important. Jesus said not to even think about what I'll eat or wear. But to seek the Kingdom of Heaven first! He'll take care of all the things everyone else thinks are so important and worries about in life.  
   Why worry about those things, when you know what is truly important? What is truly important is living for Jesus. If you are not, then what good is your life when it is over? So Charity, what are you going to be? I already am who I am going to be. I am a humble servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I will continue to follow Him. Jesus said, “A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” And I'm pretty sure a man's life doesn't consist of how he got the abundance of things he possesses either.

Walk in the Spirit

   Sometimes it may seem that you are your own worst enemy. Your natural man wants to walk after the way of the flesh, and no matter how hard you want to be good, you just can't. The Bible says to be carnally minded is death, and if you are in the flesh, you cannot please God. There is only one solution: the flesh must die. Jesus died and rose again that we might also die and live again by His Spirit.
   Romans 8:13 says, 
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: 
but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body,
ye shall live.”  
   Yield yourselves to God. Walk in the Spirit. Never let that old man you once were have his way; you will but forge chains of slavery for yourself. Romans continues, 
“As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” 
I know that when I pray and read my Bible, seeking God with my whole heart, He comes and is with me and teaches me like a good father does. And every time I'm with Him, I just want to be with Him more. I want to do things that please Him.
   The Devil tries to throw a whole bunch of things at you to try to get you distracted from your spiritual walk because when you are with Jesus, you are dead to all the Devil's tricks. The Devil knows that you will get weak if he can keep you away from your time with Jesus. He hopes you will yield to the flesh, so he can have you for his servant again. Resist the devil. Remember, you need not struggle.  Jesus said, in John 16:33, 
“Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” 
The battle is already over, and Jesus has won. The Devil has no power over you.
   Walk in the Spirit. Do everything the way Jesus would have it done. Don't let your eyes get distracted from Him. Always take time to learn from Jesus and fellowship with Him. When planning your day, always remember Jesus is your number one priority. If nothing else gets done in your day, take time to be with Jesus. Keep your priorities straight! Jesus is always most important.

True Patriotism

   Is a true patriot one who loves his country and would do anything for it? Or is a true patriot one who clings to truth and right, and will fight to keep his country on the right path? 
   Let us take Germany in World War 2 for example. Were its true patriots those who were all for Germany despite its Nazi leaders, or those who fought against the evil, even if it meant siding with the enemies of their own country? Who were the true patriots?
   I feel it is not good to be blinded by “patriotism” (love of country). Patriots by that definition would die for their country even if it were in the wrong. Countries change. Their leadership and ideals change. But good, truth, and right never change, though the general perceptions of them may. They never change because God, who set them forth, will never change. The only way to always know the truth is to know Jesus. 
   If I had a country, I would rather have citizens whose only allegiance was to Jesus Christ than citizens whose love was for the country alone. They might die for the country, but would they die for the right?
   Let your allegiance be to Jesus Christ, and be not blinded by patriotism.