Do I have to Give up My Toys to go to Heaven?

Many of you already know that I have signed a contract with Winepress Publishers to have my book: “Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World,” published.

I had six deadlines that I had to meet with my publisher since I signed a contract with them January 15th. It Seemed like an overwhelming task. But, I met every deadline (so far) with the help of God.

We often turn our backs on challenges because we think they are too frightening, or to much to handle. There is nothing on this earth that can’t be handled when we turn things over to God.

When we can be submissive to His calling, and obey His commands we can conquer all our fears, and accomplishing many things.

It is very difficult to be submissive to anyone. We have to give up freedoms to do that. We don’t want anyone controlling our lives. However, if we allow God to lead us, being submissive is easy because we look at His only Son who was totally submissive to his Heavenly Father. He obeyed God all the way to the cross.

He could have decided that He wasn’t going to be put to death. He could have caused the earth to shake and the cross He was would have fallen to the ground. He could have destroyed any of the people who were mocking Him. But, He loved them so much He remained on the cross, and died a horrible death.

He obeyed His father, and because of that we can have eternal life if we accpet Jesus and try to be like Him.

What is stopping you from being submissive to God?  Can’t give up that job that is giving you many goodies in life, even though you stepped over many people on the way up that ladder of success?

Still wanting that boat, because the Jones’ next door have two, knowing that you will not be able to tithe to God if you do get one.  

How about that Beamer? Looks nice in the show room doesn’t it?

All of these are things that get in our way of serving God the way we should be. The old saying, “You can’t take it with you,” should have a lot of meaning here. Material goodies mean nothing if you don’t have eternal life.

Being submissive is turning our back on this world, and living a life for God. It is hard at best to accept that , and to really commit to it.  Think of the ultimate goal, and that is to be ready for the day of judgment, and to serve God during your time on this not so friendly world.

* My next post will be an excerpt from the book: “Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World. It will come out Wednesday the 3rd.

Doug

Are you a Christian on Sunday, but AWOL on Mondays?

 

What follows is an actual excerpt from the book, Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World. Chapter 35

We spend many Sundays going to church, but what do we do on Mondays?

 

The Trouble with Doing Nothing Is that I

Never Know When I’m Done

 

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds

and praise your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16

 

We go to church every Sunday, but are we doing anything about reaching out to people for the Lord on Monday?

When we worship in church, we have our eyes on the Lord and praise Him. We fellowship with other Christians and we feel refreshed.

What about Monday? You have a good attitude while you’re in church, but what is your attitude on Monday.

Let’s look at Paul for a few lines. Paul spent many of his years being beaten, hated, and even put in prison. What do you think his attitude was? Wouldn’t you think he was angry, sad and depressed or at least complained a lot?

There was a time when Paul was in prison, not knowing what the next day might bring. He had already put a plea in to the Roman government to spare his life, but he didn’t know what their decision would be.

Not so fast, my friend! Paul was overflowing with joy! Yes, a man that was on death row was excited to be there. He had a great attitude because he had a “captive” audience. The guards and prisoners had to be there each day and listen to him tell them about Jesus and the salvation He offers. What a golden opportunity for him. The gospel was spread all through the prison! Paul rejoiced for the chance to witness. Plus while he was in prison, he wrote the book of Philippians, where he uses the word “rejoice” over and over. So much for a pity party!

Attitude check here: What is our attitude on Monday when we have a chance to witness to others around us? Remember one very important thing: When we are telling others about Christ, we are not alone! God is with us.

Surprise! As a retired teacher, I still cherish the times when I can have an unannounced quiz. Let’s see how you do:

  1. Can people sense you are a Christian?    ____ Yes    ____ No   
  2. Can people tell you are Christian by the way you respond to trials, pain and hardships?

____ Yes    ____ No  

  1. Do you show the gospel of Christ with your attitude?    ____ Yes    ____ No
  2. Would people reach out to you and say, “I want what you have”?    ____ Yes    ____ No   

 

If you said no, or you are not sure about your answer to any of these questions, you failed the test. You will have to take it over and over again until you get 100%!

Stop sweating blood! I am not really saying that you have to be perfect. I’m not able to get 100% myself most days.

Romans 3:23 tells us we all have come short of the glory of God. I am not perfect. I come short of the glory of God more often than I would like to admit.

But, let me show you some ways each one of us can improve a great deal on our attitude and daily walk with God.

In Philippians 2:14–15, Paul says, “Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation.”

In other words, let your attitude reflect the love of Jesus Christ.

It is wonderful to worship God on Sunday, but if you do nothing on Monday, others will never know that you are a Christian. Your attitude is one of the most revealing factors about your personality. If you get angry a lot, or think the world is against you and complain about everything, your attempt at witnessing is falling on deaf ears.

Listen to Paul and try not to complain or walk around with a bad attitude. I have observed many people who just by their actions show the love of Christ for others. I don’t have to ask them if they are a Christian—it just shows.

If we strive to act like that on Monday, we will be doing something. And we’ll know we are done when God no longer brings people into our daily life in need of His touch through us. We’ll feel grateful for what God has done for us and be happy with what we have done for God that day.

To summarize the four quiz questions above: Can people see Christ in you?    Yes or No

If people wanted to know what God was like during Christ’s time, all they had to do was look at Him. If people want to know what Christ is like today, they should be able to look at His followers.

 

 … Do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

1 Peter 3:15–16

 

Further adventures

Take inventory of your life. What direction are you going? Do you feel you are doing what God has in mind for you? Are you comfortable with where you are now as far as showing God’s love to others? If not, get into the Word. Pray for God’s guidance and take action on whatever He tells you. Doing nothing leaves you stagnant and ineffective for God.

 

Something to ponder

Isn’t it funny how we feel strong about our belief in God, but weak when it comes to sharing it?