I occasionally misplace my car keys, only to find them in my hand as I search. And I’ve sometimes looked for my reading glasses, which I discover hanging from the neckline of my shirt.
I fear that’s how it will be with lost souls on Judgment Day. What a searing, horrible regret they will feel over all the plain-spoken warnings in the Bible about obedience, submission to God’s authority and what He hates:
“To fear (respect) the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride, arrogance, evil behavior, and perverse speech.”Proverbs 8:13
Two chapters earlier, in Proverbs 6:16-19, there is a literal list that reads:
“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him:
Haughty eyes (pride),
A lying tongue (lies),
Hands that shed innocent blood (cruelty),
A heart that devises wicked schemes (duplicity),
Feet that are quick to rush into evil (greed or selfishness),
A false witness who pours out lies (lack of integrity and character),
And a man who stirs up dissension among brothers (gossip).”
That’s pretty plain-spoken language, and so are Jesus’ words in other passages:
“I and the Father are one.”John 10:30
“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”John 14:6
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name (than Jesus) given to men by which you must be saved.”Acts 4:12
You cannot read Colossians 1 or the Gospel of John or John’s short letters in 1 John, 2 John or 3 John and be unclear about Jesus’ identity.
It’s right there in front of you.
God has given you the keys to eternal life in the palm of your hand.
He has made his Word clear so you do not require reading glasses to comprehend that Jesus’ perfection and death on the cross is the payment for your sins past, present and future.
You need only claim Christ’s perfection as your own to receive eternal life.
The genuine acceptance of that truth, and the gratitude you will feel, will motivate you to live differently than before.
You cannot authentically experience Christ’s forgiveness and the peace that comes with it and not be radically changed.
It isn’t that your behavior earns your forgiveness. Instead, God’s forgiveness via you accepting Christ’s free gift of atonement on your behalf will result in changed behavior via His power inside you.
For far too long, I struggled to fully access that power and put it into practice in my life after I accepted Jesus as my Savior and received His Holy Spirit to guide and direct me.
I wasted inordinate amounts of time thinking about what I should do vocationally and stressing over, “What is God’s will for my life?”
God is instead far more concerned — perhaps, exclusively concerned — with how we live our lives, not what we do professionally.
He can and will use us anywhere we apply His wisdom and love to whatever it is we are doing.
Remember, Jesus took a few fishermen, a couple tax collectors, maybe a tentmaker or two and a few random tradesmen and formed them into a team that transformed the world like no 12 men before or since.
They did so because of how they executed His plan, not because they formed some magic coalition of aligned professions.
Connected to Him, you have the same potential.
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”John 15:4
“Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For whoever finds me, finds life and receives favor from the Lord.”Proverbs 8:34-35