Saturday, November 15, 2008

God Prepares Work for Us in Advance

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10, NIV).

Today, I witnessed a group of saved men doing good works. These men came to New Life Theological Seminary and worked a long hard day of painting, carpentering, and doing general repairs. These men did not come and work because they had to in order to be saved; they did it because they were already saved through faith in Jesus Christ.

You see, when Jesus saves us, he creates us anew to do good works, works that God prepared in advance for us to do. These men of varying ages came to our Seminary, having only heard of the work we are doing, but knowing very little about us. They knew we were doing God's will, and they knew we had a need. They may not have known that God had chosen them for this task in advance!

The work we do is not a means of earning our salvation. We are saved through faith because of what Jesus Christ has already done on our behalf. Out of deep heartfelt gratitude for this wonderful gift we have received, we desire to give to God out of a heart filled with appreciation and admiration. When a person is truly saved and living daily in a strong personal relationship with Jesus Christ, he will look for work to do in the Kingdom of God. He will do it for little or no recognition, appreciation, or pay. A man in a personal relationship with Jesus will do this because he feels that he has already been blessed more than he can ever repay.

Do you know what good work God has prepared in advance for you to do today? Remember, you are God's worker, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, so whatever God has prepared for you to do, do it.

Prayer: “Lord, I thank you for saving me. Reveal to me the good work you have prepared for me and grant me the wisdom and fortitude to do it. Amen.”

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"God, help me to stand for godliness."

“See, it was I who created the blacksmith, who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it was I who created the destroyer to create havoc; no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declared the Lord (Isaiah 54:16-18).

On November 4, 2008, the United States of American elected its first Black President, a man of blended heritage and ethnic diversity. Many celebrate this event and consider it historic and while I suppose it is, history will eventually be written and the legacy of this presidency will emerge. I am prone to vote my religious convictions over temporal worldly cares, so I did not vote for the man who will now serve us as President. I am equally disappointed that individuals who are solid believers lost their seats in the Congress and local races. So what is it that I must do? As a Christian, I must pray for the men and women elected, that they will seek God and allow Him to guide them in the offices into which they will soon be sworn.

I know that God has made this nation the home of the gospel; and when the evil has risen against this nation, God has protected her. We should both rejoice for repeated deliverances and pray for future deliverances, but let us kept firmly in mind that God created our enemies. Satan is a creation of God and although Satan rebelled against God, he can level no weapon against us individually or collectively that God does not allow. Often God grants civilization the desires of its heart, even if that desire is not godly.

It is my prayer today, that God will grant us more and more a hatred of all that is evil and that God will hasten the day of expelling evil. Until then, believe the promise of God that, "no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper." Until then, work to overcome false doctrines and to extend the Divine truth. Until then, take comfort that God is still on His throne and nothing can happen to you that God does not allow, and if he allows an event, there is a lesson He wants you to learn through it. What is the lesson that God is teaching us? First, I believe God is trying to teach us that if we want the pleasures of this world, God will give them to us. Second, I believe God is trying to teach us that if believers seek the temporal pleasures rather than the everlasting joys, then all humanity will bear the outcomes.

Prayer is out of our schools, abortion occurs in record numbers, and alcohol kills thousands every week in this country, because believers do not stand up. This election has not fixed the brokenness of our government, and it will not be fixed until believers stand for God in our lives and in our voting.

Prayer: “God, help me to stand for godliness. Amen.”