Monday, May 23, 2016

Don't Step Over Jesus

“In that day they will roar over it like the roaring of the sea. And if one looks at the land, there is only darkness and distress; even the sun will be darkened by clouds.” Isaiah 5:30 

God loved Israel with every blessing imaginable. He gave them freedom, land, peace and he blessed their efforts so that they prospered. And all he asked was that they love and acknowledge Him in response. But they didn’t. They became full of themselves and forgot God. They took His blessings for granted, forgot His commands and abandoned His ways. And then they (like every individual or nation in history who chose this path) reaped the consequences of those choices.

The word “they” in the passage above refers to the Babylonian army. The “roaring” Isaiah speaks of is the sound of an overwhelming, well-oiled army of Babylonian chariots sweeping in to utterly destroy Judah and carry all survivors off as slaves.

God gives us freewill. We can choose any kind of life we like. We can reject God, marginalize Him—which is where we straddle the fence and try to say we believe in God, but still live most of our life on our terms instead of His, or we can embrace Him as Lord trust Him as Father. You are one-hundred percent free to reject everything I’m sharing with you today. You can write it off as hogwash, but the declaration of Scripture stands “God-honoring choices today, better life tomorrow; selfish choices today, consequences tomorrow.” 

Jesus said it this way… 

“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Mt. 7:24-27) 

The Apostle Paul said it this way… 

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Gal. 6:7-8)

Matthew Henry said it this way… 

“Those who would not hear the voice of God speaking by his prophets, shall hear the voice of their enemies roaring against them.” Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

The beautiful upside to all of this--the point that we desperately need to keep in mind—is that God is not mad at us! No one can look at the cross, understanding that Jesus bled and died there to pay for our sin, and say, “God doesn’t care about me.” Or “God is just critical, harsh judge.”

I love something Charles Stanley once said, “Anyone who goes to hell will have to step over Jesus to get there.”

God loves all of us so much. He has literally done all the work of salvation for us—except for one part—accepting it. He can’t do that part for us. He can, and does, send His invitation out to us—through writings like this one and others, preachers, and many other ways—to accept Jesus as Savior and trust and follow Him as Lord, but as Billy Graham once said, “God is a gentleman…” He will not break down the door of your heart and force Himself upon you against your will. However, if you do chose Him, he will lavish His love and grace upon you for all eternity!

Jesus said it this way… 

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.” (John 3:16-18, The Msg.) 

Trust Him today!

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Until next time...