No Other Gods

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. Do not have other gods besides me.”—Exodus 20:2-3

On the surface, this verse sounds easy enough to follow. After all, we don’t live back in the day when people worshipped other gods, like the Roman gods, the Greek gods, Molech, Ishtar…right? We live here in 21st century America. We either believe in God or we don’t. We either worship God or we don’t.

Except…

What about the god of convenience? You know, the one where we sacrifice our unborn children by the millions; the god of convenience, the one where we sacrifice our families in the name of the easy way out; the god of convenience, the one where we’d rather have the microwave meal than the homemade version. The god of convenience…the one we worship when we feel like it and how we feel like it…if it’s convenient for us.

I have been reminded of the story of Jeroboam in many different times and ways lately. Have you read about him? You can find his story in 1 Kings 11:26-14:20. The verses that stuck out to me were 1 Kings 12:28-33, “So the king sought advice. Then he made two golden calves, and he said to the people, “Going to Jerusalem is too difficult for you. Israel, here is your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” He set up one in Bethel, and put the other in Dan. This led to sin; the people walked in procession before one of the calves all the way to Dan. Jeroboam also built shrines on the high places and set up priests from every class of people who were not Levites. Jeroboam made a festival in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the festival in Judah. He offered sacrifices on the altar; he made this offering in Bethel to sacrifice to the calves he had set up. He also stationed the priests in Bethel for the high places he had set up. He offered sacrifices on the altar he had set up in Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month. He chose this month on his own. He made a festival for the Israelites, offered sacrifices on the altar, and burned incense.” Notice the people fell into sin because they chose to worship God in a way that was convenient for them, but not how and when God had told them to worship Him. Jeroboam chose to create this new human-made system of worship based on convenience and fear rather than being faithful and obedient to the Most High God. He put himself above the Creator and worshipped his own god. What are the ways we do this today?

What about the god of money? Having money is not sin; it is the worship of it that becomes the problem. When our focus is on getting money and acquiring things it takes our focus off from God and turns money into a god. The bible has many warnings about the love of money.  1 Timothy 6:9-10 says, “But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from faith and pierced themselves with many pains.” Matthew 6:24 is another great reminder, “No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money.” Let’s remember to keep our lives free from the love of money (Hebrews 13:5), and lay up our treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). In what ways have we become slaves to money?

What about the god of self? When we put our own interests above the interests of others, we worship the god of self. The “if it feels good, do it” mentality serves the god of self. The bible is clear in Philippians 2:3-4 that we are to, “do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” We are also to “take off your former way of life, the old self that is corrupted by deceitful desires; you are being renewed in the spirit of your minds; you put on the new self, the one created according to God’s likeness in righteousness and purity of the truth.”—Ephesians 4:22-24 Are we self-serving or God-serving?

Here in the United States of America where money is plentiful, and there is a plethora of convenience and comfort, and we live to satisfy ourselves…we need to repent and return to the One True God and to His ways. My prayer is that we would tear down these high places in our lives and serve and worship the Most High God. He has revealed Himself through His Word. Let’s dig deeply into the well and learn His truths about how to live our lives and have no other gods.

“May they know that You alone—whose name is Yahweh—are the Most High over all the earth.”—Psalm 83:18

The Archaic Book

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and He judges and makes war in righteousness. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns were on His head. He had a name written that no one knows except Himself. He wore a robe stained with blood, and His name is the Word of God. (Revelation 19: 11-13)

The Word of God in the beginning. The Word of God in the end. But what about the Word of God in the middle? Do we really need His Word today…some archaic book to tell us right from wrong? I mean in this age of grace, can’t we all just do what seems right to us…after all, we are being led by the Holy Spirit, right? Well, any place that I see in scripture where the people are doing what seems right in their own eyes, it doesn’t end well.

Now about this archaic book. There are several places all throughout this archaic book that teach us the importance of God and His Word.

For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures. –Romans 15:4

And you know that from childhood you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. –2 Timothy 3:15-17

For the Word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. –Hebrews 4:12

Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. –Psalm 119:105

Therefore, ridding yourselves of all moral filth and evil, humbly receive the implanted word, which is able to save you.—James 1:21

God’s word is the inspired direction book for all of us to live by. It reveals the mind of the Most High, Sovereign God of the universe. It shows us His ways in which we are to walk and pattern our lives. It teaches us right from wrong, holy from profane, ways of God versus ways of man. It is a God-breathed, written record of all things pertaining to God and how to live a Godly life. It illuminates the narrow path to the Almighty God…our way of salvation through Jesus Christ. It is chock full of the wisdom of God that enriches our lives when we live according to His ways. It shows us how to live because, “it is written…”

Chosen

Sun Beams

Sun Beams (Photo credit: fdecomite)

“I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”—Jeremiah 1:5

“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.”—Ephesians 1:4-6

Have you ever stopped to meditate on these verses? Have you ever wondered why…? Why did Yahweh choose Mary to be the mother of Yeshua? What was so special about her? Why did Yahweh choose Abraham… Moses… David… Peter… Paul…etc.? What was so special about them? Why did Yahweh choose me? What’s so special about me? And here’s the answer…because He could. He is the Sovereign Ruler of the universe. Not because any of us are more special than anyone else (Romans 3:23), but because He shows mercy to whom He will show mercy and He will have compassion on whom He will have compassion (Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:15).

Yahweh chose us, we didn’t choose Him (John 15:16). He chose His before the foundation of the world…out of His sovereign grace…according to His will. Yahweh’s elect are chosen before they are born (before they do any good or evil–Romans 9:11)…not because of anything they would do in the future, not because of human will or effort, but because of Yahweh’s mercy (Romans 9:16).

And why are we called? Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 1:4 tells us we were chosen, “to be holy and blameless in His sight.” John 15:16 says, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.” Because He has called us, redeemed us, justified us, we conform our lives to Him. We bring Him glory.

“His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in this world because of evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.”–2 Peter 1:3-11

Jesus in Skinny Jeans

The Rock—His work is perfect; all His ways are entirely just. A faithful God, without prejudice, He is righteous and true.—Deuteronomy 32:4

As I was meditating on what an awesome and glorious and holy God I serve, my heart became sad. Not because of Yahweh, but because of how much He is taken for granted, or worse yet, not even thought of at all. As I am willingly yielding areas of my life to the Most High God, I have become more and more aware of how much I have taken Him for granted…how much I have taken lightly the blood of the covenant. When I become aware of these areas, I confess and repent (1 John 1:9) and He forgives me. Praise Yahweh for the blood of Yeshua!!!

On this particular day, what had me saddened was (in the words of Voddie Baucham) the “sissified Jesus” that is being portrayed in much of “Christendom” today, at least in the American culture. I mean look at the “pictures” we have of Yeshua. Long flowing hair (usually blondish), short beard if any beard at all, blue eyes…you’ve all seen them. Now I wasn’t there, but I’m fairly certain that isn’t how He would have looked at all. And…are we supposed to make images of God?

Now, think of how He is being portrayed in churches across America. We’ve got Jesus in our back pockets…we can pull Him out when we need Him. He’s the “sugar daddy” in the sky…keeping us from all trouble and granting our every wish. He’s our BFF and the “big man” up there. He’s portrayed as the “if it feels right to you do it” Jesus. He’s seen as the, “I believe in you, but let me live how I want” Jesus…I can just do what I want and ask for forgiveness later Jesus. He’s the “you can come to me without repentance because how you live doesn’t really matter” Jesus.

But is that the God and Savior of the bible? Titus 2:11-14 says, “For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.”

Revelation 19:11-16 is an awesome picture of the Jesus I serve. “Then I saw heaven opened and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and He judges and makes war in righteousness. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns were on His head. He had a name written that no one knows except Himself. He wore a robe stained with blood, and His name is the Word of God. The armies that were in heaven followed Him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. A sharp sword came from His mouth, so that He might strike the nations with it. He will shepherd them with an iron scepter. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God the Almighty. And He has a name written on His robe and on His thigh: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” That’s the Jesus I serve, not some namby-pamby Jesus in skinny jeans. I serve the One who is holy and righteous, full of power and glory and can change lives and heal broken hearts…the One who was and is and is coming again to judge the world by the standard of His Word.

Will we even recognize Him when He comes again?

Will the Real Christ Stand Up Please!

“We’ve got a False Jesus being portrayed. As seen on TV, acting cool….you see he’s changed.
A different Jesus from the Bible so…allow me to bring the real Christ on stage.

Not that whack Jesus, the one not based on fact Jesus, too often displayed.

The Christ in Glory, not the one on your chain.
Because he’s the real Jesus Peace that only dwells in the saved.

So allow me to paint the picture of Christ in the Scripture preaching faith and repentance that your too cool Jesus….never seems to mention.

It seems like he’s down with all the things that you do.

But come on, there’s only one Jesus who is true.

So which one will you let reign over you? Who?
The Millionaire Jesus who just wants to make you rich?

Give you some ice, fame, money, to prove that you are blessed?

The Black Panther Jesus who throws up his black fist.

The ‘Kan…Ye…West’ Jesus who walks with no Holiness.

Which one will you choose? I said….Which one will you choose?

So I think it is long overdue to have a re-introduction of Christ.

So there won’t be any confusion as to which one is right,

because one leads to death, and the other IS life!

So allow me to, re-introduce the Christ.

Allow me to, re-introduce the Christ.

I said allow me to re-introduce the Christ!

He’s been distorted by the people and IT JUST AIN’T RIGHT!

Allow me to re-introduce the Christ.

Not someone you can pimp around to propel your cause.

Or a name you can proclaim just to cover your flaws.

Look if this is true then you’re serving a different Boss.

Your Christ is an idol and you’re probably lost.
Because Christ in the scripture? He gave a call to forsake all.

Not to wear a cross but to take up your cross and follow Him.

Because we’re holding a death sentence because of our sin.

And it’s His Mercy that His wrath hasn’t burned times ten.

Just like Sodom and Gomorrah but a curse within.

You see He gives us a chance to learn of Him!
So that He can be glorified in His rightful place.

So if we’re serving this imitation Jesus, dude, it’s like a blatant slap in the face, distorting His grace and disregarding His sacrifice.

For a worldly Christ, like the ‘Purpose Driven Life’ Jesus, who prophesied you’ll be used by him before you’re living like Jesus.
Or that S.A.T. Jesus who helps you with all your quizzes, gets you into college, allows you to pass math and physics.

The homosexual Jesus who doesn’t see you sinning.

The ‘Destiny’s Child’ Jesus who sees your Beyoncé and starts grinning.

Which one will you choose? I said…which one will you choose?
So I think it is long overdue to have a re-introduction of Christ.

So there won’t be any confusion as to which one is right,

because one leads to death, and the other IS life!

So allow me to.. re-introduce the Christ.
Allow me to … re-introduce the Christ.

He’s been distorted by the people and IT JUST AIN’T RIGHT!
So allow me to re-introduce the Christ.

Not someone that we can cover His mouth,

so we can continue our nose in the dirt,

so He doesn’t require us to repent of all sins, to be born again, to never blend in with this world,

and Broadway is the street that walks the Material Girl, she’s got you seduced, she feeds you a phony Jesus that doesn’t want to save you from your sins but wants to…”Kick it with you.”
Like…”Jesus is my Homeboy”..or “Jesus got me employed” or “Jesus is my Decoy”,

But will the real Jesus please stand up?

The ONE who is TRUE!

Because He’s been, knocked down, pushed down, and these idols come in, he wrecked it up, he wrecked it up to the point that if the real Jesus came back right now…

Dude, the Church would probably hang Him upside down!

Pin Him to one of these beams and crucify Him again.

Because he’s not down with your sin!

And it hurts me to see how the Church will defend their lifestyle.

Like, Wow! Don’t we want to know Christ?

The one who willingly gave His life to set us free from our sin you see.
And I must do this by ANY means necessary.

See, I must NEVER hide the LIGHT!

So tonight, I’m going to introduce Jesus Christ.

I said I’m going to introduce Jesus Christ because He’s been distorted by the people and IT JUST AIN’T RIGHT!

So I’m going to introduce Jesus Christ because one day…Dude….

He is coming back and it’s important that you recognize Him because the scripture talks about that.
Many people saying….”I’m Jesus….No, I’m Jesus…No, I’m Jesus”

But which one is fact?

And you got to get into the Bible to see about that,

that He’s coming in the clouds with Power and Glory, and every knee will bow, testify to His authority.

So this Jesus of the scripture better take priority,

not the one that’s accepted everywhere by the majority,

when He Himself said the world would hate Him!

So why all of a sudden does the world want to date Him?

Think about it.
Hopefully you haven’t given in to this ‘Come as you are, stay as you are’ Jesus.

He has this wonderful plan for my Life’ Jesus, ‘You don’t need repentance’ Jesus…or ‘All roads lead to Jesus.’

I hope you haven’t given in to this, but you serve the One who is Holy.

Because it will be something if on Judgment day the Jesus you’ve been serving was simply an angel of light,

which covered a legion of demons masquerading as Christ.

All this time serving a Jesus who’s not been pierced at his feet and the wrists,

who has no sword coming out of his mouth, No rod of Righteousness!

To go on day by day by day, and willingly MISS because we’re serving a created image that leads you to the Abyss.

So let’s get into scripture, so we’re not fooled by this Jesus

who when were sinning he’s still with us,

Won’t get into this Jesus that the world loves,

and he’s cool with your worldly music, worldly TV, you going to the club, your sex, your lies, your vanity, your phony love,

the very thing that caused Christ in the scripture to shed blood.
So let’s make sure we’re serving the right Christ,

not a wolf in sheep’s clothing that’s got you enticed.

The TRUE ONE, want to make you new ONE, The ONLY begotten SON!
So I think it’s long overdue for you to be introduced tonight. Everybody help me welcome…Jesus Christ!”

Law vs. Grace

So which is it you ask? Law…or grace… So here is my opinion, take it or leave it. I believe the debate/argument about law and grace is the most useless, unprofitable, and worthless debate going on in “Christian” circles today. So there it is, and here is why I believe what I believe.

But…before I proceed, I just want to unequivocally state that I firmly believe no one can be saved by works of the Law. That was never the purpose of the Law…ever. We are saved by grace through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Messiah Yeshua alone. (Ephesians 2:8-9).  If we try to obtain salvation through works of the Law, we become legalistic which is strongly cautioned against by the church today, and rightfully so. However, many have become so caught up in anti-legalism, anti-Law, that the “church” has swung on the pendulum way too far in the opposite direction.

So, now here it is…why I believe what I believe. The Holy scriptures themselves tell us in several places that the Law of God is eternal: Ecclesiastes 3:14, “I know that all God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of Him.” Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever.” Matthew 5:18, “For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all things are accomplished.” Luke 16:17, “But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter in the law to drop out.”

The Word of God also tells us that when the Messiah came there was a change in the priesthood.  And Hebrews 7:12 says, “For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must be a change of law as well.” Hebrews 9:11-14 then tells us, “But the Messiah has appeared, high priest of the good things that have come in the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands (that is, not of this creation), He entered the most holy place once for all, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow, sprinkling those who are defiled, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to serve the living God?” This was a change in how the Law was manifested, not an exchange of one set of laws for another or to abolish the Law. Messiah’s words in Matthew 5:17 reiterate this point, “Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

Here is an example. The Law of sacrifice is still in effect today. The death of Yeshua on the cross did not cancel the sacrificial law. It is true that because of Him we do not need to sacrifice animals to atone for our sin. Yeshua took care of that once for all. However, there is still a definite need for the Law of sacrifice to be in effect today. Romans 12:1 commands us to, “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.” The manifestation of the Law changed…i.e. animals to humans…dead to living…but did not cancel the Law. God’s Laws are eternal.

What about the “Law” of celebrations…Feasts of Yahweh? Some say they are for the Jews only. Some say they were done away with when Yeshua fulfilled them. Well, both of the arguments are not scriptural. When the feasts are commanded by Yahweh he states very clearly they are eternal, permanent statutes throughout the generations. He gave those eternal statutes to the Israelites, the people, that if we claim to be believers in Yeshua, have been grafted into (Romans 11:17).  Not only that, He did not say they were for the Jews, the Christians, etc. They were His feasts, His appointed times (Leviticus 23:1-2). Divine. Godly. The New Testament even shows us that the feasts were kept after the death, burial, and resurrection of Messiah Yeshua. 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 tells us, “Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch. You are indeed unleavened, for Christ our Passover has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us observe the feast, not with old yeast or with the yeast of malice and evil but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” Yeshua is our Passover. So much more depth and spiritual meaning are added to Yahweh’s appointed times in light of Yeshua. Again, our observance of these biblically appointed times are not a matter of salvation. They are a matter of worship; a time of remembrance and reverence for what He has done for us and is continuing to do. (For more on Yahweh’s feasts see Holy Days vs. Holidays.)

What about the dietary laws? Following them does not lead to salvation, however they are proven to be healthy guidelines to follow…the proper way to treat our “temples of the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The bottom line is science can confirm the health benefits of following them. God gives us His Law for our health and benefit.

One of the purposes for Yeshua’s sacrificial death was to change the heart of man, not abolish the Law of God. Ezekiel 11:19-20: And I will give them one heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove their heart of stone from their bodies and give them a heart of flesh, so they may follow My statutes, keep My ordinances, and practice them. Then they will be My people, and I will be their God.” Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”

James 2:12 tells us, “Speak and act as those who will be judged by the law of freedom.” I have heard this verse used to “prove” that we are free from the Law of God. The reality is that this verse is speaking entirely to our freedom from sin by the mercy and grace of Yahweh. “Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” (Romans 8:1-2).To develop a theology that is based solely on grace and nullifies the Law of Yahweh is to commit a gross misunderstanding of the scriptures. To develop a theology that is based solely on the Law nullifies the sacrifice of Yeshua. The conclusion of the matter is this: There is no such thing as law versus grace. You must have both. You can’t have one without the other. It is law and grace.

All the Lord’s ways show faithful love and truth to those who keep His covenant and decrees. – Psalm 25:10

Belief and Trembling?

You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. (James 2:19) What makes us any different than the demons? As a matter of fact…even the demons who are destined to be tortured in Hell know enough to shudder at the belief in the Most High God. So, how do we know that our belief is a belief that leads to salvation? How are we different than the demons? How can we be saved from being burned in the fire of Hell? The “church” today paints a “wide gate” picture of salvation…that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ will be saved. They believe that no matter what people do, if they believe in Jesus, they will go to Heaven…They pervert the Scripture of Romans  10:10, “For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Don’t the demons meet those requirements as well? We know from James 2:19 they believe. Don’t they confess that Jesus is Lord…Mark 5:7, “and shouting with a loud voice, he said , “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore you by God, do not torment me!” So if this is what we are basing our salvation on…that gives us faith that is equal to that of the demons…who are still going to Hell…….so what is the difference?

Jeremiah 6:16 says, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls.'” Jesus Himself tells us what we must do to become his disciple, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Therefore, salt is good; but if salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Luke 14:26-35) Our belief…our faith must move us to obedience and action. We must be willing to forsake all and count the cost to become true disciples of, not just travelers with our Lord and Savior. Godly faith requires action…Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being of itself. (James 2:17) Jesus died to give us a faith that works obedience in us (Romans 1:5). True faith begins and ends with obedience…obedience to God’s commands, carrying out God’s commands through His power, the way He tells us to do them. We must be willing to submit to God’s righteousness and forsake man’s “religious” ways. In Matthew 7:21-27, Jesus is speaking to believers when he says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me you who practice lawlessness.’ Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great was its fall.” 

I know that I for one, do not want to be one whom the Son of the Most High God declares that He never knew me. I want to be “diligent to present myself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) I want to be “diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless”. (2 Peter 2:14) I want to “diligently keep the commandments of the Lord my God, and His testimonies and His statutes which He has commanded me.” (Deuteronomy 6:17). I want to “diligently take heed to myself to love the Lord my God.” (Joshua 23:11). My prayer for you is that you will find the saving kind of faith…greater than the faith of the demons…faith that changes you, faith that makes you obedient to God’s ways. Faith that doesn’t change you, doesn’t change your destination.