To Be Least
"For he who is least among you all--he is the greatest." (Luke 9:48)
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Hello all. I have revived this blog, except at a new address. So update your links, bookmarks, everything.
This blog will still be here, but I will be updating at a new site.
Go to www.shaulah.com
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
We, as followers of Jesus, are most likely to fall when we are at a state of spiritual starvation. However, knowing about this condition and recognizing it are two completely different tasks.
In fact, this kind of starvation often occurs gradually, going unnoticed by the victim. More often than not, it is a result of a busy life. I am talking about those days where your worries and jobs at hand seem to push Christ out of your schedule. That leather Bible that you once gladly read, is sitting on a high shelf, gathering dust. It is neglected and forgotten along with your Savior.
One of those nights, as you finish cleaning up the kitchen and picking up the house, you can feel a sense of guilt slowly creeping up through your body. Each night, as you go to bed, you utter a short and insincere prayer in a futile attempt to atone for your shame. Each day this pattern of digression continues on. And each day you slip further and further away from your God.
Weeks and months pass by. Your fervor for the Lord has died almost completely down, along with the time spent in the Bible and prayer. Your relationship with Jesus threatens to collapse at any moment. Sure, you did not commit any serious sin, but something is not right with God. You feel starved, like a thirsty man in a desert. You are alive, but very weak.
It is during times like this, when you ignore Christ, that you are most vulnerable for attack and defeat. Your once firm foundation in Jesus begins to crack open. As soon as temptations come your way, you are destroyed.
Sunday, February 27, 2005
I turned my back on God for many days. I committed sin and I knew it. My guilt seemed to force itself upon me until I abandoned daily reading of the Bible and prayer. The lie that God did not want me because of my grievous sin took hold in my heart. Ignoring God because of my sin did not help. It only pushed me further and further into the abyss of depression and longing for the love which I chose to abandon.
That is what has been going on in my life, if you were wondering. Normally I do not post things like that, and nor do I tell of struggles I go through daily. However, I feel the need to be transparent. Rather than hide the truth under a veil of perfection, I would want my readers to know what I go through. Hopefully, because of my example, others will also desire to be transparent with each other.
Every Sunday thousands of people attend church services. Many of them are carrying masks of pretend righteousness that cover the sinful state of their souls. They worship God and take part in the services, but they have not gained forgiveness of God and their fellow brothers. James 5:16 say, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” It is essential that we, as Christians, confess our sins to each other for healing.
Instead of pretending that everything is perfect, let’s be truthful which each other, so that healing may follow.
I have found forgiveness from God for my backsliding, and I hope I will find forgiveness from my readers as well.
God bless you all.
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Jesus Loves Me
How are the following statements similar?
Jesus loves me, the sky is blue and the grass is green. The correct answer is that they were all common knowledge throughout much of my life.
However, several days ago, I read John 3:16 where it says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Unlike all the other millions of times I read that verse, something touched my heart deeply. It reverberated within my soul, echoing without end.
Jesus, my Savior, loves me.
Of course, I have always understood this intellectually, but I never understood it in a personal way. So while I sat there, my mind repeated the thought just as if I never heard it before. I was a baby who discovered a whole new and amazing aspect of the world.
I discovered Jesus’ love.
How amazing is that? Jesus, the perfect Creator, actually loves a sick sinner like me. He loves not only me, but every human that ever walked the face of the earth.
Thank you, Jesus.
Monday, February 07, 2005
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Listening to the music’s beat, I can hardly stop tapping to that jazz horn’s heat. The music is winding through my legs, and around my hands forcing them into rhythmic motion. This small enjoyment seeps joy into my dancing thoughts.
Thanks, God, for that great beat.
When resting in quiet woods, I shift my eyes to the surrounding scenery draped in beautiful tones of fall. Somewhere in the silent rustling, a wren cheerfully sings out his love song for the whole world to hear. The blue sky, floating above wisps of cloud, stares at me from his lofty height. I am speechless.
Thank you, Lord, for nature’s beauty.
I flip through pages of the news magazine. Scenes of terror and panic fly out towards me. Death and destruction follow close behind them in mad pursuit. Within its thin pages, a woman can be heard crying for her lost son. My eyes turn away from the horror that cries for my attention.
Thank you, Jesus, for personal peace amidst war.
Before I retire to my warm bed, Lord, there is something bigger than this world and its fleeting happiness to give thanks for. It is your love, Lord. You stood silently as whips gouged and nails pierced. You openly received God’s full wrath for all mankind’s sin.
Lord, I thank you for taking the torture I deserved.
What more can I say? Thank you.
Friday, February 04, 2005
Tasting Heaven's Goodness
As I slept a couple nights ago, I dreamed something that has since faded greatly from my memory. I can remember standing with some other people in a suburban neighborhood. Together, as we looked at the scene around us, a man appeared suddenly before our eyes. My mind told me that it was an angel, and I immediately began to praise God. Although I do not recall what I said, I strongly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. I can not put into words what I felt and experienced. It was all too beautiful.
At the time I did not realize that it was only a dream and after I awoke, I forgot everything. It was later, when I was sitting in my gym class when it all came back to me. I could see the man who appeared to be an angel and the feeling of awe came over me once again. Whether it was truly a vision from God, or just my mind’s creative powers, I do not know.
While the other boys ran about, I simply sat in thoughtful contemplation of these things which I did not understand. I knew that I had tasted something so much greater than this world, and I desired more of its unexplainable goodness. More specifically, I desired heaven.
So today, as I write down my thoughts, a verse from the scripture comes to my mind. The verse is from Revelations 21:1-4 and talks of when we will live with God in heaven.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
That picture is so beautiful, and yet words will never be able to describe the perfection of heaven. God’s love is so great. He has saved us from our sin and will soon dwell with us forever.
Thank you Lord.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Lost, Deaf and Blind Sheep
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36)
For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:25)
It is so easy, as forgiven followers of Christ, to despise those in the world, and treat them as enemies to our God. This should not be. The unsaved are not angry wolves seeking to devour. They are lost sheep, so blind and deaf that they do not know the way back to the shepherd. We once were these lost, deaf and blind sheep. Praise be to God, the good shepherd, who found us when were lost in the darkness.
Praise be to God.
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Igniting the Passion
Yesterday night, as I sprawled upon my bed doing some mathematics, I couldn’t help but thinking about my walk as a Christian. I wanted the love and the passion I once had for Christ back. My fervor for Jesus, somehow caught in the normality of life, had slowly died down to a forgotten dream. My tired eyes had taken precedent over the daily reading of God’s Word, and my dreary mind was slowly conquering the desire for intimate prayer with my God.
I knew all of this was taking place, but I could not respond. Listening to the radio’s music through some headphones, the hope of returning to my formal love seemed to be retreating fast into the night. It was during those moments, when I was so desperate for change, that I tore of my headphones and whispered some precious words to God.
“Lord, I need to change. I want to have the love for you I once possessed. Please help me.”
My ears tuned to the world around me, hoping to hear an answer from God. Only the blaring music from the headphones could be heard. I listened to the lyrics and found the answer I was looking for.
I must surrender all to Jesus. Those words were sung back to me, and I knew that I had found what I was looking so intently for.
I found the spark that would continue to ignite the flame of passion in my heart.
I must surrender all.
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Desires of My Heart
I have nothing but my honesty to give. What else can I say? Only the deepest desires of my heart come to mind, and only these will I write.
I want an earnest, heartfelt desire to discover more deeply the love of God in my short life. I long for knees calloused from long hours of prayer to my awesome Creator. Rather than spending my precious time on selfish pursuits, I desire to read and to search the scriptures for God's never changing truth. Each and every day, my deepest wish is simply that Christ's love would be shown through me for the entire world to see.
Lord, listen to my plea. I long to know you more.
Give Up Everything
The food aboard the ocean liner was exceptional. Fit for a queen, the waiter had told her that night as she ordered her dinner. That statement could not have been closer to the truth. With heaps of mashed potatoes piled on her plate and the steak done to perfection, she could barely contain herself from digging into the beautiful arrangement.
It was then, while she was enjoying her delicious supper, that it happened without the slightest warning. A loud crack, like that of several shotguns, could be heard echoing through the ship’s structure.
Panicked and frightened, she walked quickly to the deck, hoping to find what had caused the loud noise. Once she reached the frigid air, it did not take long to learn the truth. A large iceberg had torn a gaping hole on the starboard side of the ship. There were only a few more minutes to live before the ship would go under to its watery grave. Glancing about, she saw that many mothers with their young children were rushing towards the last few life boats.
Following these families to the boats, she remembered. Her priceless jewelry was still in her room with the rest of her things. Living without them would not be an option. She must get them back somehow.
Turning quickly around, she almost began to go back when she noticed the water. It was rapidly rising, threatening to swallow the entire ship at any second. Turning again towards the life boats, she climbed quickly in.
Her life was worth too much to risk on some personal valuables.
In the same way, if anyone wishes to follow Christ for salvation, they must give up everything they have. If they do not, they will drown in the waters of sin.
“In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:32)
Friday, January 28, 2005
Take a rest from your selfish thoughts and look at all the people that surround you. Do you see the bodies that pass you by on the paved sidewalk? Glance at each face. Do you see anyone you know?
There, behind that man, you’ve seen that lady before. You remember her, don’t you? She lost her husband two weeks ago in a tragic car accident. He didn’t feel a thing, they said, too fast and too sudden. Sorry, we could do nothing to help.
Of course, you knew what had happened. How could you miss it? She was your neighbor. Glancing out your kitchen window, you knew all that went on. The funeral and the families dressed in the dark colors of mourning. You saw all that, didn’t you?
Yet, somehow out of the pity of your heart, you ignored her. You pretended like nothing was wrong. Couldn’t you have at least looked at her as you passed each other going to your separate churches? Her eyes were streaked with painful tears, but you did not notice.
My friend, you did not love her as Christ loved you. You turned your shoulder to her misery and left her wailing in the dusty ground. How could you do such a thing? Sure, you gave fifteen percent of your wealthy income to the church, but you ignored Christ’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself.” You have failed to obey the one you so proudly called your Savior in the walls of your church.
However, here you are standing before this widow. Greet her and offer her some comfort. Turn from your sinful past in order to receive God’s forgiveness.
Simply love this woman as Christ has loved you.
Monday, January 17, 2005
I paid the ultimate price for you
Beaten and whipped I bled till my back was red
Hanging upon that old tree for you
For hours I hung, until my last tears I had shed
Even until death I remained ever true
I lived, thus was God, yet most never knew
Thursday, January 13, 2005
I Crucified Jesus
I was there when Jesus bled. Wrapping the dangling cords of torture around my hands, I smiled with sincere joy. Before me, Jesus laid trapped in a huddled mass of beaten flesh. I saw his brown eyes look up at me with love. I turned away.
Sinewy ropes flew through the silence. A cry responded and the blood spattered far. Nothing, not even the cry of an innocent man would stop me. Again and again I let them fly, digging them deep into the wounds, only to rip them out once more.
Many hours later, I led this Jesus through the streets of Jerusalem. Crowds pushed for the chance to strike and people shouted hoping their mockery would be heard. I saw out of the corner of my eye what they thirsted for. Before them and God, I spat down on Jesus’ tearful face to receive cheers and loud applause from the crowds that surrounded us. Eventually, we made our way out of the city and to the wretched place of the skull.
It was upon that skull that I had my greatest joy yet. Reaching down deep into my pockets, I clasped a rusty nail.
It was time.
Jesus fell upon the cross beams and I sliced through his palm sending pain screaming through his body. Again, his eyes stared deep into me, probing my inner soul. Again, I looked away. When all was done, I lifted the structure of Roman torture high and strong. Against the sky, he could be seen gasping out forgiveness.
I killed Jesus, the King of the Jews.
It was my sin that cut deep lacerations into his body and it was my sin that crucified him on that day. Every time I lied, or lusted he wept with the pain of torture. Every sin was a nail through his hand and a tear from his eye.
Yet, it was for me that he died.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
I was there. A young teacher of the law, I stood in the beautiful garden of Gethsemane that Passover night. Amid the flickering torches and the whispering voices I saw him. Jesus, the man who claimed to be the Son of God, was standing with his disciples, not fleeing from the scene or even defending himself. He just stood still, waiting what was too come. Somewhere next to me in the silence of the night, a voice was heard.
"The one I kiss is the man. Arrest him."
Through the shadow of the night, I saw the kiss and the scramble that ensued. In the midst of the chaos, an ear sliced open and a healing followed. Yet, my heart was so hard that no miracle could break its calloused shell.
That was many years ago. I always wondered why my heart was so hard during those years. How could have I not heard that powerful shout of God for my attention?
It was only after my miraculous conversion did the answer come to me. I was reading in the book of Ezekiel when I came across this verse. "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 36:26)
Before we knew Christ, our hearts were captive to sin. Our continual acts of sin caused our hearts to become hard and calloused. I was dying of this condition before Christ saved me. It is only by His Spirit that my hard heart became one of flesh.
I thank God for this blessing.
Monday, January 10, 2005
Collection of Favorite Works
Writing has also been a source of pleasure. I have always loved sitting in my fathers leather chair with a notebook, a sharpened pencil and some hot tea in hand. There has always been something about words that brought enchantment to my inner soul. While relaxing, the sound and the rhythm of the written language slowly play through my head until it is in perfect harmony with the ideas that force my pencil to the paper.
This simple love of the written art has led me to begin a collection of my favorite works.
Before I go on, I must point out that this idea was not planted in my mind by my own initiative, but from the True Diarist
blog. So slide on over there and give him a friendly high five for his inspiring idea and writing.
That said, I have decided to write up a couple of short stories, essays and some poetry to include in the collection as well as some of my favorite posts from this blog.
Please wish me luck as I begin on this endeavor and I will finish with Gods needed help within the coming month.
God bless all you. See you tomorrow.
Saturday, January 08, 2005
I saw a young man with his entire life before him. Below where his still body stood, a swirling, foamy mass flew underneath him in a hurry. The shadows of evening approached as the dying sun nestled lower in the horizon. Even the birds, which normally filled the air with their cries, were silent in anticipation of their needed sleep.
The sound of a tired voice could be heard. Bent over the safety railing, the man was sobbing, letting each salty tear drop into the waters below.
“I’m so sorry God,” he cried. “What have I done? When is this cycle of agony going to end? I want to be freed from this burden of sin that weighs down on me more each day.”
He stopped, hoping that no one had listened in on his conversation with God. When only silence was heard from the surrounding hills, he continued his prayer.
“I can no longer rescue my sinful self from the death that I have written out word by word. I am a sinner. No longer do I want to be a slave to the sin that deceives me at every turn. Jesus, you are the only way. I turn to you for my salvation and submit to you for your strength.”
“Lord, accept this humble offering.”
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Communication Through Prayer
Atheists claim that there is no God and agnostics say that we cannot know Him, yet followers of Christ know differently. Through our experiences, we know that communication with the powerful Creator of the heavens and the earth is available to all.
One word is needed. Prayer.
This word expresses something truly amazing. The idea that God would want to hear our selfish pleas and our troubled thoughts truly shows that our God has a loving and kind heart. However, it does not stop there. Not only will he listen, but he will also answer.
Need I say more?
The Blog of a 9 Year Old
I normally don't do this type of thing, but my sister just started her own blog
. She is a nine year old girl and loves to write.
Please check out her blog
and say hello!
Thanks and God bless.
Monday, January 03, 2005
My eyes seem to drop lower every second that passes. Today, unlike my restful winter break, drained every ounce of energy from every muscle in my body. But, I have a lot to be thankful for, especially for my sisters.
My father and I were driving when the cell phone rang. As it turned out, it was for his business and talked for a while. After he had hung up, he called home to the family.
That was when the world fell away from us in a dizzy spiral.
My sister was kidnapped.
Dad and I started to pray as we sped down the streets frantically trying to get home where our remaining family was.
Faster than a roller coaster that dips and turns without warning, my mind raced trying to comprehend what was happening. In a couple of days she could end up dead along a highway. There I could see her lying. She was raped, beaten and dead. Outwardly I was composed, but my soul wanted to scream in pure terror of the possibilities.
Seconds seemed like hours that slowly ticked away. As we neared our home, the cell phone rang once again.
Picking it up, my dad answered in hope and fear. My sister was found, they said, she never was kidnapped. With a huge sigh of relief, I knew it was a false alarm, a mistake that could happen to anyone.
Needless to say, I thank God more for my sisters now. What a blessing.
Saturday, January 01, 2005
Battle against Evil
We are in a battle, and America is the battle ground.
Unlike in other countries, the battle here is not against communist leaders who are guided by the forces of evil. Nor do we have the police knocking at our door for our arrest. What we do have is a television bringing sin and other filth into our homes daily. People are dressed without the slightest hint of decency and walk our streets. Pornography on the internet is crushing the souls of many. It grips them and never allows them to go free. It has become nearly impossible to see a movie without being attacked by messages that promote sin.
I could go on, but I do not need to. There is a war and a struggle waging under our very eyes. "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12)
In these sinful times, it is easy to become entangles in the sin that surrounds us. Before we know what we are doing, we can fall into Satan's trap. This battle will determine the destination of many souls, both for our own and for others.
What must we do to prepare for this battle that is already on our own doorstep?
"Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (Ephesians 6:13-18)
I am ready for the fight. Are you with me?
Why did God Intervene in Saul's Life?
You all know the story. Saul was a devout and fervent Jew who persecuted Christians. He was there at the stoning of Stephen and gave approval. Thinking he was in God's will, "Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison." (Acts 8:3) One day he decided to go to the town of Damascus and persecute the Christians there.
"As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?'
'Who are you, Lord?' Saul asked.
'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,' he replied." (Acts 9:3-5)
Although Saul was now blind due to the light, Jesus still instructed Saul to go into Damascus and find a Christian man named Ananias. When Ananias and Paul met, Ananias explained to Paul what he had seen and heard. At that moment, something like scales fell from his eyes and he could see.
From that day forward Saul preached the gospel to all men with out fear.
Again I ask the question. Why did God intervene in Saul's life?
God knew Saul's heart. He knew that Saul wanted to serve God and love God. God, in his great mercy, showed Saul that he was persecuting the very God that he thought he was serving.
Happy New Year!
I hope you had a great New Years Eve and will have a wonderful New Year. It is my prayer that during this new year we would draw closer to our Creator and learn to submit more completely to his perfect will.
God bless you all.
Friday, December 31, 2004
Peace in the Storm
The constant pattering on the window pane kept me restless as I lay in bed. Moments earlier, God had opened the flood gates and released the torrents of rain upon the earth. Tossing and turning, I was not able to nod off into a world of unconsciousness and darkness. The occasional streaks of lightnening were not helping with my sleep, but something else was gnawing at my heart. Slowly it ate away at my insides, until in desperation I had to turn to the Lord.
Lord, You know that I am worried and stressed about things in my near future. Please help to put my trust in you, because I know that you are in control. Everything, Lord, works together for your purposes. Help me to fall asleep without the weight of worry on my shoulders. I am yours.
As I lay silent in bed, I began to write my thoughts. No, there was not paper nor a pencil, but I wrote. With ease, I formed sentences and words that expressed my intermost thoughts. It was complete.
When Christ becomes the very center of your life and when your trust is given unpartially to Jesus, he is a light within your soul. All the shadows of doubt and worry are no more under the brilliant light of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. With Christ in control, life becomes a fountain within you that flows eternally. With this life comes a peace that is only from God.
I have found this peace.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
A couple of days ago, during the rush of Christmas shopping, I decided to become a rebel. No, I did not do anything violent, disobedient or sinful. However, I did stop to take a huge portion of my day to read scripture and seek the Lord. In a culture where we are told that we must be in a hectic frenzy to prepare for the holidays, I am sure that I classified as a perfect rebel.
It was during this time that I wrote some thoughts and musings from my readings. The following is just exactly that. Slow down for a minute and read what I have to say.
When I started this time away from the throngs of people searching for that perfect item, I wanted to more fully understand something. This something is known as love. More specifically, I wanted to understand God's amazing love for the world. Alone in my bedroom, I began to flip open the pages of scripture in order to take the first step in knowing and understanding God's love. Perhaps it was the Holy Spirit or just chance, but I opened up to the book of Ephesians and read.
After several minutes, when I was in the third chapter, I read this following verse.
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." (v. 17-19)
For a beginning of a quest to learn more about God's love, this verse seemed very providential. God's love, according to this section of scripture, cannot be bound by our knowledge. No matter how hard we try to understand God's love for us, we can never fully obtain a perfect understanding because His love is so deep that our minds can not fully grasp it.
The reason, we are told, for understanding God's love for us is "that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." That statement seems extremely strong and awesome. The fullness of God must be exceedingly full and is most likely beyond our comprehension. Yet, although I realize the power of the statement, I do not know what it means.
Do you have any thoughts?
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
When I read about of the tragic events that took place in our world and when I see the death toll growing everyday, a scripture verse comes to mind. Today, many could be asking themselves and God why these people had to die. Had they done something wrong to deserve God's wrath?
Listen to God.
Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them - do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:1-5)
Think about it.
Monday, December 27, 2004
Pharisees and Their Hypocrisy
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and selfindulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean." (Matthew 23:25-26)
In this verse in which Jesus was talking, he makes some facts very clear. They did not practice what they taught. To put it simply, Jesus called them hypocrites.
"Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus." (Mark 3:6)
In the Ten Commandments, one of the commands is not to kill, or murder. Yet these teachers of the law, who knew the Ten Commandments, plotted and eventually succeeded in killing Jesus. This is a fine example of their hypocrisy. They taught the people to obey God, yet disobeyed his command to not kill. Again, they were hypocrites.
I agree with Keith, who said that what the Pharisees were doing was very dangerous. These men, if they continued on the same path, would end up entering hell. For as Matthew: 50-52, "He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Obviously these Pharisees, who were also hypocrites, were headed towards something very dangerous called hell.
As Christians, we should avoid becoming like Pharisees. Before we condone others for a particular sin, we should search our hearts and see if we are committing the sin.
we must be careful to understand what Jesus did not like about the Pharisees. He hated the fact that they were hypocritical, but he did not hate the fact that they taught. Read the following verse:
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach." (Matthew 23:2-3)
As you can see, Jesus told the crowds and his disciples that they should obey the Pharisees. But they should not be like them, because they did not do what they preach.
Jesus said to his disciples before he ascended into heaven, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:19-20) While we should not be hypocrites, we are commanded to teach others to obey Christ's commands.
Sunday, December 26, 2004
Homosexuality is Sin
God! Please open their eyes that they might see the truth, turn and be healed. They speak of things that they do not know and teach false doctrines that lead many to eternal damnation. Please forgive them Lord, for they do not know what they do.
My heart is deeply troubled. Words seem to fail me. I cry out to the Lord for wisdom and truth to speak to the blind, but nothing comes to mind. In the last few days, I have been in a discussion at Promomusings
about homosexuality. How can people, who profess to be Christians, be so blind to the truth that is clearly presented in God's Word to us? People are promoting homosexuality as a God approved lifestyle. They ignore scripture and sound teaching all the while proclaiming lies that decieving many.
Scripture is direct about what is true, no elaborate interpretation is needed in these following verses. They point to the truth. That like all other sins, homosexuality is also a sin and a life time of following such sin will result in eternal punishment.
"Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." (Leviticus 18:22)
"If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." (Leviticus 20:13)
In Genesis, there is the account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Their top sin was homosexuality (Genesis 19:5 says, "They called to Lot, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.'"). God destroyed both of the towns because of their sins. Jude 1:7 says this about Sodom and Gomorrah, "In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire."
In Judges, a very similar incident occurred. A man and his concubine stopped at a house for rest. The men of the town came out and demanded to have sex with the man. The owner of the house refused and gave them his daughter and the concubine. They raped and killed the concubine. Because of their great sin, God commanded the rest of Israel to fight against them and kill them. (Read Judges 19-20)
"Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." (Romans 1:26-27)
"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
These scriptures that I gave to you are very clear. Homosexuality is indeed a sin in God's eyes. When he created the world, he created man and women and meant them to become one. Homosexuality is an abomination of something that God created to be sacred.
Saturday, December 25, 2004
Struggle to Overcome Homosexuality
Editors Bloggers Note: I found this following account at a website hosted by a church called Portland Fellowship. It shows the struggle a teenager, not so far from me, that struggled with homosexuality. This shows that this sin can be overcome, like all others, and it is not a "orientation." I hope you take the time to read it. God bless you.
Kill your television. That saying kept echoing through my mind as I sat, in disbelief, watching it happen once again. Show after show, not-so hidden messages would try to convince me to let my guard down and give in. I almost did.
What I was witnessing on TV was yet another joyful person, who had overcome homosexuality by surrendering to the Lord, being browbeaten on a talk show over national television. I saw one pastor after another, contrary to the Word they were supposed to be teaching and obeying, defend and promote this “alternative lifestyle” as something innocent and “normal.” Countless other shows blare, “it’s OK to be gay” and “not that there’s anything wrong with that” until the actors were blue-in-the-face. The nerve!
After restraining myself from throwing things at the old Zenith, I’d shut it off, run upstairs, and collapse on my bed, crying out to God, “Why am I like this? Will I ever change? Will I ever have peace? I need You, Lord. Deliver me!”
Even when I was little, I was never the type to roll around in the mud or play with GI Joes. I was an articulate little boy that often spoke too much for my own good. This didn’t make me very popular, even at preschool age, with other boys. Of course, the girls, deathly afraid of catching ‘boy cooties,’ didn’t give me a second look.
By the time I hit puberty, or rather it hit me (like a freight train), things changed. My upright, articulate image still didn’t win too many points, image-wise, with the guys. I became “a brother” to all the girls I knew, so I remained unnoticed, as a guy, by them. I felt rejected. Suddenly, I found myself being physically attracted to some of the guys at school. By then, I knew what being “gay” meant, and that it was a sin. I didn’t like what went on inside me, but would lust, anyway. As I progressed through the war-zone that is middle school, I found myself diving into fantasies every night. The more I’d experience these lusts, the more they would tear me apart. God was not pleased with what I was doing, and I knew that. I’d cry out to the Lord to relieve me of these desires, to purge whatever demons were inside of me, and to forgive me of my sins.
At school, I would hide my feelings for guys, even though my peers would constantly jeer me about how they thought I was gay. After all, I tucked my shirt in, didn’t cuss, had many female friends, and wasn’t interested in sports. Everybody knows this automatically makes you gay, right? This “image” didn’t help matters.
The summer before my freshman year, I discovered gay Internet pornography. The first time I gave into it, I ran upstairs and burst into tears asking God to forgive me. I knew I lost a big part of my innocence. I’d find myself spending hours looking at that horrible stuff when my family was asleep. All the while, I heard a voice in my head telling me that this was wrong. That summer, I also began reading my Bible daily. I wanted to know God, get closer to Him, and love Him more.
One night, the lustful thoughts crept in full-force, and I started to pray. But, the more I prayed for God to deliver me, the more intense these thoughts became. They’d tell me that I wasn’t saved, that I belonged to Satan, and I should just give up and kill myself. Frenzied, I prayed harder than ever. Then, every muscle in my body tensed to the point where I couldn’t move. My fists were clenched, my jaw was locked, and my back was rigid. It was like my flesh was physically at war with God. The thoughts intensified further toward suicide. I couldn’t take it anymore. Finally, I asked God, “Just get me through the night.” The next thing I knew, it was morning again, and I went on with my day.
The battle raged on until one day, I told myself that I shouldn’t have to resist the temptations. Confused, I arrived at school the next morning and made a beeline to the counselor. I told her about how my struggle and my faith in God were colliding. I wanted to know how I could deal with these desires. She totally misunderstood, and said that even though I didn’t want to abandon the Lord, or really ever have sex with a guy, someday I would “meet a guy, fall in love,” and my convictions would change. She called it “coming out.” As appalling as that sounds, I considered her message. I left her office more confused than ever.
It all eventually dug at me to the point where I spoke with her again, and told her I wasn’t going to accept her advice. I told her that God was more important to me than my lusts. She frowned, not understanding that the whole point of seeing her wasn’t to get advice on how I could feel better about my “feelings” but, rather, how I could deal with them and not sin against the Lord. The Holy Spirit convicted me, I realized that I didn’t want to be gay. I couldn’t just forsake my salvation, my God and His unconditional love just so I could “feel good” for a moment.
The stesses of life lead me more easily into lust and masturbation than ever. When I had free time, I’d go to a library or bookstore, looking through books and magazines promoting and explaining homosexual acts. A part of me was repulsed by it all, as it seemed nothing more than a pursuing of the “next warm body.” But, my desires were feeding off of it. I wanted so much to be pure in God’s eyes, but I felt overwhelmed by these desires. I was so exhausted and miserable.
The breaking point came one morning at high school. Five minutes into choir class, I had to sit down because I had intense physical pain. The paramedics came to work on me, as I was experiencing all five symptoms of a heart attack. Nothing turned out to be physically wrong, but I went to my doctor and told him about my struggle, and he related my struggle to my stress level. To a psychiatrist, I went.
After three full sessions of telling him about my struggle with homosexuality, I cringed at my psychiatrist’s response. He said, “Even though it may conflict with your religion, I think you should be a bit more open-minded about this struggle.” Excuse me? This guy was telling me to forsake my beliefs so I could act out my lusts? No way! I left, frustrated. I finally told my Dad about my struggle (he wasn’t surprised), and about how upset I was with my psychiatrist’s advice. He was glad to see I was fighting to please God.
But, I still had a hole in my heart. At times, I would pray for Jesus to sit next to me and just wrap His arms around me, since no one else ever would. I was just dying for the Lord to give me a solid, close friend.
He did. I met this really neat Christian guy, and we hit it off. We told each other, almost instantly, about our struggles, and prayed together every night. We even agreed to stand together for God against struggles like masturbation and pornography. Then, the enemy attacked again. I was now attracted to my friend. But, the Lord began to change me. Nervously, I told my friend about my attraction to him, and how I was fighting it. I was overjoyed to see that he wasn’t upset, but instead, encouraged me to keep fighting.
It’s been a couple of months since that happened, and things have changed. Now, I see my youth pastor instead of that psychiatrist. I haven’t given in to pornography, fantasies or masturbation for months, although they are so tough to resist sometimes.
A few weeks ago, a friend told me about The Portland Fellowship. After a few visits, I felt new strength, peace, and utter joy in being reminded that the Lord loves me, even when I fail, that this struggle will be overcome, and that someday, I will be able to rest in the Lord. My anxious, lustful heart is still a big work in progress, but the Lord is faithful. How awesome He is!
This struggle inside me is a “civil war.” My flesh is on one side, using all five senses, the media, and society against me so that I’ll give in. But, God is on the other side, telling me that His strength is enough, His blessings make it worthwhile to resist, and He loves me.
I get so frustrated when people say that homosexuals have no choice but to live “that way.” It’s such a lie. Everyone has a choice of whom they will serve: themselves, or the Savior. The Lord can change us.
“If it feels good, do it” is the message we are taught to accept today. How selfish and short-sighted it is! Why forfeit an eternity in heaven with God just to “feel good” for a minute? Unlike our own wills, God’s will is perfect, and it’s the only reason we don’t suffer eternally for the evils we commit. He has saved us, and gives us the strength to resist the enemy. He will supply every need when He knows we need it.
No matter what the world may say, the Lord is more powerful than any of our circumstances, and He’ll take care of us.
I just hope my TV can hold up to the things I may have to throw at it, as I continue my battle. No big loss if it doesn’t.
Thursday, December 23, 2004
Jesus said to his disciples in Luke 14:33, "In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple."
That verse speaks strongly to me, and shows the importance and self-denial involved with following Christ. Everything, as you and I know, means everything. So in simple obedience of that statement, I plan on resting from things of this world for the rest of this year and focus on God alone. Please pray for me as I attempt to grow closer to our Savior and further away from this fallen world.
What does this mean for the blog? Well, I plan to take a short break from blogging the rest of this holiday season.
See you in
a couple of days.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
First Anniversary of this Blog
Today is an occasion of rejoicing and celebration. Despite many setbacks, I am proud to announce that I have scaled the first year of this blog, conquering it with much vigor.
If you have ever taken the time to look back at my previous posts, you will soon realize that I had little direction when I began this blog, my skills at writing were nonexistent, and I knew comparatively very little about the Bible. Needless to say, I have grown tremendously in my writing skill and more importantly in my knowledge of the Truth. Also, if I may add, I have long since found direction for this blog, which is the exhaustible subject of Christianity.
Many other thoughts have begun to creep from my mind into the outside world, but this post is not the place or the time. Until later, God bless you all and have a very merry celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
We are Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind and Naked
Penned in from the outside world, these men and women have nothing but the wounds on their back and God to keep them company. More often than not, they have no Bible with them. Yet they know God. With no where to turn, they look up and offer God the incense of their prayers. You can read about their experiences in the dark pens of torture and pain where they suffered for Christ. Contrary to human wisdom, they say that those days were the happiest and joyful days of their lives. Times when they were closest to the eternal God and His Son, Jesus.
Across the Pacific, we have huge churches and an overabundance of Bibles. Entire stores are devoted to Christian literature and prayer meetings overflow the cup's brim. If that was not enough, freedom is something cheap here. It is sold from the market place and from every store window. Yet, somehow despite this abundance, we are not close to God.
We ask ourselves, How can this be? We have everything we could ever want, and more. Have we forgotten what the Lord says in Revelations 3:14-22?
"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarmneither hot nor coldI am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
We are the church in Laodicea. We have become rich and have begun to say to ourselves that we do not need anything, even God himself. In God's eyes, however, we are pitiful and naked, in need of what God has to offer.
Listen! God is knocking at the door, will we hear his still, quite voice and answer the door? Or are we going to ignore the knocking and continue to live lives of selfishness and materialism?
It is time that we forget about the physical things and put our focus on the eternal. To put our focus of the God that stands on the door and knocks.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
He Missed Jesus
Charles Templeton was an evangelist, preaching the truth of God’s Word to thousands in packed arenas. Until, that is, he abandoned the faith and turned agnostic. He wrote several books, one of which was entitled, Farewell to God: My Reason for Rejecting the Christian Faith.
During a home interview for a book, The Case for Faith
by Lee Strobel, Strobel asks Templeton why he turned agnostic.
Templeton begins to talk about the poverty and pain in the world and how a loving God could not allow such things to happen. So, he explains, there cannot be a God.
As the interview progresses, Strobel asked his what he thought about Jesus. Templeton replied saying that Jesus was the greatest man that ever lived and that the world would do well to model after him. Then, he unexpectedly said this:
“Uh…but…no,” he said slowly, “he’s the most…” He stopped, then started again. “In my view,” he declared, “he is the most important human being who ever existed.”
That’s when Templeton uttered the words I never expected to hear from him. “And if I may put it this way,” he said as his voice began to crack, “I…miss…him!”
With that, tears flooded his eyes. He turned his head and looked downward, raising his left hand to shield his face from me. His shoulder bobbed as he wept.
He missed the Savior who he once knew. Under the arguments and the logic, the truth was found. Templeton missed his Savior. He knew the truth, but had rejected it.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
To Be a Disciple
Our holiday visit with our grandparents was over, and we were headed back towards home. Preoccupied with the thick Bible that sat on my lap I hardly noticed the twirling of snow on the other side of the car window. Flipping through its thin pages, I found exactly what I was looking for.
Silently I read from Luke 14:33, “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”
“That verse certainly stands in the way of the modern watered-down Christianity that is being preached from the pulpits,” I thought to myself. “Christ clearly tells us that if we want to be his disciple, we must give up everything. He gave no exceptions or excuses. Does that mean that, as followers and disciples of Christ, we are to give up everything in our lives for His sake?”
I know the answer is a simple, “Yes.”
Glancing up a few verses to Luke 14:27 and read, “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
Again, I think. “Does this mean that I must pick up that symbol of suffering and follow in Christ’s footsteps to my own crucifixion in order to be his disciple?”
“Yes,” I can almost here the Lord saying to me, “You must.”
“Oh God, must the path to eternal life be so difficult? Do I have to give up everything to take that path marked by Jesus’ footsteps of persecution?”
The answer penetrates my heart.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Hand to the Plow : Striving for Perfection
My fellow blogger
over at Hand to the Plow
recently wrote a post entitled "Striving for Perfection
This is what we should be doing. However, many a Christian is too concerned with looking perfect rather than being it. At first glance the strive for perfection may seem stupid, because how can someone be perfect?--it's impossible. Alas, what we fail to realize is that the perfection we should be striving for is not based on the ideas of man, but rather those of God. For in the eyes of man we will never be perfect, but on that glorious day when Christ returns and we are ushered into His presence, then we will be perfect. We have to realize that the things that we are doing now--whether good or bad are affecting our eternity--either good or bad.
Paul says in Philippians 3:12-14, "I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven."
Striving: to devote serious effort or energy. How many of us are seriously devoting energy to the things of God? How many of us are actually doing what we promise God we will do week end and week out? How many of us are truly forgetting the past and focusing all of our energy to what lies ahead?
Perfection is not some pie in the sky ideal that would be nice to have, but it is something that we can truly attain. Not through mere human methods, but through His.
Over the past months, he has had some very insightful and interesting things to say about the Bible and the Christian walk. So stop by
and say hello to a fellow believer.
Until tomorrow, God bless you all.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
The Faith of a Child
People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:15-17)
The Christmas season is just around the corner, and billions of kids are being told that Santa, that jolly old man, is coming to town. Surprisingly, ever single of these children will believe what they are told about Santa, even if it is impossible.
They believe in something preposterous without question. They have faith. That is what is needed to enter heaven. Unlike faith in Santa, we need faith that Jesus is God and that he died for the forgiveness of our sins.
As we grow older, our brains get ahead of us and we begin to think that we have everything together. Yet God calls us to have the faith of a child. Think of that the next time a kid displays unwavering faith in a fat, jolly man dressed in red.
Monday, December 13, 2004
I Will Seek God
The monotonous days tick slowly by. Every day at nine o’clock, I settle down in my favorite arm chair with my Bible in hand. After glancing at my reading schedule, I slowly scan the designated chapters, then offer God several sentences of prayer and turn off the lights. Day after day and week after week I plod along, trusting in God’s forgiveness of sins and content with my Christian walk.
But then I read the Old Testament and feel awed by the closeness with which Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and others were to God. Later, I make my way through the book of Acts and wonder why the church today is not like the early church. Why don’t we have the fervor to proclaim the truth of the gospel from the rooftops, without fear or hesitation? This brings to mind all those who have suffered for Jesus. They have been beaten and tortured for their faith that the cling to, yet they have unspeakable joy despite the pain.
Then I decided that I will live the life shown in the Bible. I will seek God with all my strength and soul knowing that I will find God. I want to know God truly, just as Abraham did. Without shame, I will proclaim the gospel to all men just as Paul did.
God, I will seek you without stop.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)
Sunday, December 12, 2004
What Is Our Purpose Here On Earth?
When compared with eternity, the length of an average life is extremely insignificant. Yet so many people live their lives without regard to how it would effect eternity. They do not understand that the choices they make in this life, effect what their eternal life is like after you die.
So that brings me to my point. This life is only preparation for what is to come, whether that is hell or heaven. Some unwisely choose to live immoral and sinful lifestyles and reap the punishment of hell. Others choose to serve God and follow Jesus with all their heart. By doing so, they reap eternal life.
The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:8)
Our purpose on life is to serve God, and by doing so we are determining our eternal destiny.
Saturday, December 11, 2004
Would You Remain Faithful?
The pastor was finishing up his closing thoughts, when two armed Russian soldiers walked in through the front doors.
"Get up!" they commanded threatening with their weapons. "We don't believe in your faith. It is false! We will shoot anyone who does not abandon their faith at once. If you choose to abandon your faith, move to the right and leave!"
Many church members were obviously persuaded, moving quickly to the right they headed out the door. Remaining were the faithful, those who would walk with Christ to their death. Although frightened, they were prepared to join Christ in his Kingdom.
After the unfaithful were out of sight, the soldiers smiled and put down their guns. Crying out in joy they proclaimed, "We, too, are Christians, but we wished to have fellowship with those who consider the truth worth dying for."
Would you be with those who left the church and abandoned the faith, or would you stand there ready to receive the spray of bullets? I will close on this verse from Matthew 24:12-13, "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."
Friday, December 10, 2004
Life is Short, Seek God While You Can
Close your eyes. Remember back to the days when the world was simple and your face was young. Like a dream during the still night, those years haunt you with strange joy and longing. Since then many years have passed. Graduations have occurred and jobs have been accepted. Your life has been lived without interruption and without stop. All goes along normally when you realize that your life has flown by, leaving you in a cloud of dust and memories. Like a perfect bubble, life has floated for a moment and then burst into nothingness. The shortness of this life reveals the urgency with which we are to seek God. Before your life is gone, serve God with all your heart, mind, and soul.
Thursday, December 09, 2004
Past, Present, and Future Forgiveness?
"What sins were forgiven?" the bible study moderator asked one of the girls.
"All of them," she replied without the slightest hesitation.
That's right," he continued, "Your past sins as well as your future sins are paid for when you accept Christ as your Lord. So even if you fall away, you will still enter heaven because all your sins were already forgiven."
Okay, let's stop that scene right there. Something is terribly wrong with what the man said. Can you see it?
He said that the sins you commit in the future are already forgiven. Now, is that statement biblical? Are your future sin forgiven?
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, selfcontrol; and to selfcontrol, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. (2 Peter 1)
Addressed to Christians, Peter says that they have been cleansed, or forgiven, of their past sins. Notice, it does not say future sins.
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. (Hebrews 9:15)
When we accept Christ into our life, we go from the first covenant, or from under the law, to the second covenant where Jesus forgives our sins. So, this passage states that Jesus died to forgive the sins committed before we were saved.
Although the idea of our future sin being forgiven has recently become very popular, it is not biblical. Christ died to forgive our past sins. However, when we do sin, we have to confess our sin to Christ and he will forgive us.
Sunday, December 05, 2004
Christ is the Solid Foundation
In this world, there are many foundations you can build your life on. Some might include sports, your job, family, and other things of this world. However, there is a problem with these foundations. They are not stable foundations and can change at an instance notice. A family member could die over night, you injure your knee and your boss could fire you without warning.
However, there is a foundation that will never change and is always there. This foundation is called Christ. He has always existed and always will. If he is the foundation of your life, you will never fall no matter what happens in your life. You are no longer dependent on the world, but on Christ.
Sunday, November 28, 2004
Salt of the Earth
I am sick with the state of America. With no thought to God, people have thrown themselves to the mercy of their sin. Without constraint our country has been running down the road of destruction.
Although that bothers me greatly, I am sickened even more by something else. What is it? It is the fact that the church in America has not stopped it. We have not fervently prayed for our nation and gone out to proclaim the truth. We have become cold in the inactivity of our faith. Forgetting to do as Jesus commanded us; we have not gone out and truly made disciples.
Jesus commands us to be the salt of the earth. What does salt do? It preserves the food. We hold the truth that can prevent destruction and we are to use this to preserve the world from death. Jesus said that if we lose our saltiness, we are no longer good for anything and must be thrown out.
Thrown into the place of everlasting torment.
My friends, that is serious. We must awaken ourselves and go out into the world preaching the gospel. We must preserve America by being its salt. And if we do not, I shudder to think of those who knock at the gates of heaven pleading, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?” Yet Jesus will plainly say to them, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (See Mt. 7:22-23)
Gone for Thanksgiving
I am sorry for not posting for the last several days, I was away for Thanksgiving at a relatives house. Before I could remember to type away my departure, I was taken away for a car trip.
Will post later today. God bless.
Monday, November 22, 2004
The Modern Gospel
A modern evangelist approached a young man in a shopping mall. "Sir," the evangelist said, "If I offered you a free gift would you take it?
"Of course I would," the young man replied, "Why?"
"Because Jesus offers you a free gift, a gift of eternal salvation," the evangelist replied. "He loved you so much that he died on a cross so that you could have eternal life. "Would you like to accept this free gift today, and have eternal life?"
The young man startled says, "Well, I suppose, what do I have to do?"
The evangelist smiling says, "Just say this prayer..."
Is this the gospel message? Is this what Christ told us to do, go around asking people to pray a prayer so that they could get to heaven?
Before Christ ascended into the sky, he told his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. (Mat 28:19
) He did not tell us to make one moment decision makers, he told us to make disciples.
However, it does not end there. Through out the gospels and the book of Acts, you see a common thread throughout all conversions. What is it? It is something called repentance. Repentance is the act of turning away from our sins and toward God. When we go and evangelize, we need to emphasis that fact that they are sinners going to destruction in hell. Only when they understand and believe this can they truly repentant and turn to God for healing and forgiveness.
So I ask you the question, are we proclaiming the full gospel, or are we proclaiming a gospel that shows the benefits, without showing the consequences of rejecting it? It is time that we begin to proclaim the gospel that is truly good news.
Lose Your Life
When Christ said that, "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it," in Matthew 10:39
, he showed the incredible extremity of following Christ.
When you die, or lose your life, your entire life is involved. So when Jesus tells us that we have to lose our life in order to have eternal life, he is not talking about losing just one aspect of your life. No, he is talking about losing your entire life. Everything.
What does this translate to our lives now? It means full and complete submission to Christ's will regardless of the consequences. Every sinful aspect of our life needs to be completely destroyed and never touched again in obedience to Christ.
We are to give everything in our life, and even our life itself for God's use, not our own.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Giving to Needy
I have recently subscribed to the free Voice of the Martyrs
monthly newsletter. I recently read about the Christians and other people in Sudan who are literally starving to death. All through this world, many of our brothers in Christ are in need of food and the basic necessities of life. Some have seen this problem and have served on the mission field helping these men and women with Christ like servant hood.
Yet, I just have to glance around at the church in America and I see something that disturbs me. I see churches expanding, building bigger and better auditoriums, gyms and other facilities. I see the church spending the majority of the money on its self.
This money could be used to provide food and clothing for those who are dying every day because they lack them. Rather then selfishly indulging in things for ourselves, should we not rather be giving to those in much greater need?
A New Beginning
I am going to reboot this blog so to speak. So please come back soon and check out whats new with this blog!
God willing I will be back very soon.
Monday, November 08, 2004
While sitting in the school computer lab, the repetitious sounds of typing fingers and whispering voices are vibrating in my ears. My mind, however, is in a place of thought and contemplation. I begin to think...
What has Jesus called us to do? What are his standards for the Christian life? The writings of the Apostles show us clearly that we are to imitate Christ. But surely God does not expect perfection from us as only humans. Or does he?
Imagine that you are sitting on a mountainside, listening to Jesus teach. Glancing about, you see a crowd of people. Many of them listening intently and absorbing the truth the Jesus spoke to them.
Several minutes after Jesus started teaching, you hear something unbelievable. Did you hear him right? Did he say that we are to be perfect, therefore, as our heavenly Father is perfect? (See Matthew 5:48)
How can we do this? John talks about the fact that "if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." (1 Jn 1:8) So surely Jesus did not mean it when he commanded us to be perfect.
He meant every word of it. Not only does he want us to be good, he wants us to be perfect. Without sin, just as Jesus was. Even still, we are not perfect and we will fall from time to time. That is why John tells us that, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 Jn 1:9)
After striving with all our heart, soul, and mind to be perfect and failed, Jesus will forgive us. Then we will be purified from sin. Only then will we be perfect here on earth.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
believer in the most high (blog)
Check out this blog
. She says about her blog:
My life is about live for God right now. I post things that came to my mind mostly about God though.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Weeping in Heaven? #2
In his article "Rewards For Christians," Tony Evans talked about a place in heaven for those who are unfaithful.
But those Christians who are unfaithful (Matt. 25:28-30) will have their rewards taken from them and given to those who were faithful, and, and they will be cast into "outer darkness," the place where there shall be "weeping and gnashing of teeth." The "outer darkness" described in this passage is not a description of hell, but is likely a lesser status in God's kingdom. Unfaithful Christians will see more diligent Christians rule and reign with Christ. Seeing that they could have had much greater reward and prominence in God's kingdom, these unfaithful stewards will weep and gnash their teeth in deep remorse and regret." (p 1234)
Along these lines, Charles Stanley says this about Matthew 25:30 where it says, "And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
The final verse of this parable is so severe that many commentators assume it is a description of hell. It is not . . . The point of this parable is that in God's future kingdom, those who were faithful in this life will be rewarded and those who were not will lose any potential reward . . . Before we can understand the full impact of this parable, we must first determine what the "outer darkness" refers to in the context of the parable. It certainly does not mean hell in the parable. How could a master throw a slave into hell? . . . But what actual place was Jesus referring to in the parable? He gave us only one hint: "In that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." . . . To be in the "outer darkness" is to be in the kingdom of God but outside the circle of men and women whose faithfulness on this earth earned them a special rank or position of authority.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Rev. 21:3-4)
There will be NO mourning, crying and tears in heaven. These men say that in the "outer darkness" in heaven these unfaithful stewards will weep and gnash their teeth in deep remorse and regret.
The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 12:41-43)
Matthew used the description "where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth" to describe the fiery furnace. This is an obviously hell. However, they took this phrase to mean a part of heaven.
These men are in error.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
God's Perfection Humbles
I was reading Mr. Standfast's blog
today, and a thought came to mind when I read his post:
When we become apart of God's family, we are cleansed from our sin, and are given the Holy Spirit to help us obey God. Because of our new found righteousness, it is so easy to compare our "holiness" with the pagans. Instead of the humble heart that Jesus wants, we become proud and conceited.
However, when we look at the perfect righteousness and holiness of God, we are forced to realize that we are sinners. That we are imperfect and need a Savior daily. God's perfection humbles us.
Monday, October 18, 2004
Do Not Love the World
However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?
That was said by Jesus in Luke 18:7. When you read it, it makes you think. I look at the immoral state of the United States. I look at the statistics that say that 80% of the American population is Christian. Yet statistics also say that Christians have the same divorce rate as non-Christians.
"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 3:1)
We are told by the apostle John that if someone loves the world (the sin of the world), the love of the Father is not in him. That is a pretty strong statement. If you are love the world's sin, you are not saved. Period.
I know that many people who walk around calling themselves Christians live sinful lives. I know that many of them do not bear good fruit. We should examine ourselves. Are we these Christians?
Do we love the world? Do I love the world? Something to think about.
Saturday, October 16, 2004
One the ten commands that God gave the Israelites was to not have any other idols or gods besides God.
"You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below." (Exodus 20:4)
My question to you today is this. Are you worshiping an idol? Before you answer, an idol does not have to be some foreign statue. It does not have to be a religious "god." Some examples might include you job, money, lusts, school, computer, and anything else that you love more then God. These are also idols.
If there is anything that is more important in your life then God you are committing idolatry. What do you do? You repent, confess your sin to God, and ask for forgiveness. He will forgive you, however you must continue to put God as first in your life, not something else.
Let me end with this verse talking about who will be outside heaven:
Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Rev. 22:15)
Let that verse be a warning to us.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
The Truth Will Set You Free
Read this passege from John 8:31-32:
"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Sin is deceptive. It initially attracts you, drawing you in. It promises enjoyment and happiness. Once it entices is victim, it latches on. Unknown to its victim, it clings on tight. Months may pass, years even. The sin saturates the soul. Like a deadly poison it slowly kills. It destroys. Even with its destructive effects, you are held captive to it. You a slave in shackles. A slave to a master called sin.
Jesus tells us in this passage that we can be free from this slavery and bondage. "The truth will set you free," he explained. However, he says to the believing
Jews that if the hold to his teaching they truly are his disciples. Then they will know the truth and the truth will set them free from sin.
In order to be truly set free from sin, you me hold to his commands. Then, you will know that you are really Jesus' disciples, and the truth will set you free. It takes more then belief, you must hold to Christ's teaching to be experience freedom from slavery to sin.
Sunday, September 26, 2004
Mockery of God
There once was a young man. Now, this man was a strong Christian. He knew that Jesus Christ was his Lord and Savior. However, as he grew older he began to live in immorality and sin. Now, one night after about a year of this lifestyle, he died driving drunk. His family, who were Christians, were sad and greived. However, they found comfort in the fact that he once was a Christian and that God had taken him home so he would not hurt other with his sin. They knew the God called him home to be with him in heaven.
I find that story, which is based on many true stories, shocking and disgusting. The fact that people say that people living in sin are called home to be with God because they are hurting others with their sin is offensive. It is a mockery of God.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-9)
Friday, September 24, 2004
Weeping in Heaven?
Many "reformed" Christians hold to the idea of rewards based on your faithfulnesses and obedience. I came across this quote of Stanley about Matthew 25:30 where it says, "And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Read this, and I will respond to it:The final verse of this parable is so severe that many commentators assume it is a description of hell. It is not . . . The point of this parable is that in God's future kingdom, those who were faithful in this life will be rewarded and those who were not will lose any potential reward . . . Before we can understand the full impact of this parable, we must first determine what the "outer darkness" refers to in the context of the parable. It certainly does not mean hell in the parable. How could a master throw a slave into hell? . . . But what actual place was Jesus referring to in the parable? He gave us only one hint: "In that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." . . . To be in the "outer darkness" is to be in the kingdom of God but outside the circle of men and women whose faithfulness on this earth earned them a special rank or position of authority.
So, according to Stanley, heaven will "have weeping and gnashing of teeth" in a section of heaven. Lets compare that with scripture.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Rev. 21:3-4)
So the Bible says that heaven will have no more tears, no mourning, crying, and pain. Stanley says that some will experience weeping in heaven. They are in conflict with each other. They both can not be right. Who is right? Stanley is wrong, God's Word is right. There will be NO crying, tears, mourning and pain. Matthew 25:30 is not talking about a place for the unfaithful in heaven, it is talking about hell.
Monday, September 20, 2004
Dymoke Christian Ministry
I found this blog
today of via the Blogs4God
site. It is written by a man named Howard Dimmick who is an 86 year old Christian.
In the first two parts of this article I concentrated on the misunderstanding of unbelievers, now I want to show you how many who profess to know Christ also have an inadequate understanding of God's infinite grace.
Grace has been defined as "the unmerited favor of God". When we look at the moral condition of mankind in Jesus day, we can't help but wonder why God would even care at all about pagans who completely ignored Him or the Jews who circumvented Gods law with their own rules and regulations. But God's grace is so caring and universal that John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." This gives us a faint idea of the depth and quality of grace.
Continue to Read this Post...
He makes a lot of good points so please check his blog out.
Sunday, September 19, 2004
To Be Least
I have done it, I changed this blog's name. It is now "To Be Least." However, I did not change the url as this would create mass confusion and chaos.
Why the name? Because I think that the phrase "To Be Least" sums up what the life of a Christian should be. We are to follow Jesus' example and submit ourselves to complete service to God and other people. We are to die to what we want and live for what Christ wants.
Then of course, there is this verse from Luke 9:47-48, "Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, 'Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all--he is the greatest.'"
If you link to my blog, please change the text of the link to "To Be Least." Thanks.
Saturday, September 18, 2004
I have been thinking about this for quite a while now, should I change the name of this blog?
Why would I want to do this? Because "Blogging Teen" does not accurately reflect what I talk about on a daily basis. My focus on this blog is entirely on Christianity.
Please comment and tell me whether or not I should change this blog's name. I would appreciate it. Thanks.
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Mt 28:13-20)
We are called to make disciples. Paul was an excellent example of this. His entire life from the day of his conversion was dedicated to preaching the good news. He was not ashamed of the gospel. He boldly preached the gospel even until his death.
A verse that really struck me was when Paul said that, "Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God." (Acts 20:25-27)
If there is one thing that I do not want do be guilty of, it is the blood of those I failed to witness to. I must not hesitate to proclaim the whole will of God. God help me.
Friday, September 17, 2004
I am Tempted
The walk of a Christian is not an easy one. Temptations that threaten to entangle you again in darkness must be overcome. Every day I am tempted to sin. However, it is not a sin to be tempted, but to give into the temptation.
We are told in Cor. 10:13-14
that, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."
I, as much as any human, am tempted. Sometimes the temptation are so intense I think I will not be able to stand up under them. However, God says that he will not let us be tempted beyond what you can bear. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I can resist these temptations. I have to remember that my eternity is at stake. That I must remain faithful in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. This is a battle for my soul.
Lord, please help me. There are times when I think I can not overcome the temptation. Times when there looks like there is no hope. Give me strength to overcome my temptations. Lord, following you is not easy, but it is what I must do. I can not do it on my own Lord, help me.
Jesus saved me from death. What more can I do than to offer my entire life as service to him? I have become indebted to serve God with all my heart, mind, and strength; this is my life.
Thursday, September 16, 2004
To Love Jesus
Many people say that they have a relationship with Jesus. But I have a question for you before you so readily say that. Do you love Jesus?
It may seem basic, but love is at the core of our walk with Christ. For example, if someone was married, but did not love their partner, would their marriage last long? The correct answer is no, it would not. In the same way, we must love Jesus if we want to have a solid, continual relationship with Him.
What does it mean to love Jesus Christ? 1 John 5:3
says, "This is love for God: to obey his commands." So if you truly love Jesus, you will obey him. This is one of the essential components of the Christian walk. If you want to go somewhere, you have to strive to live a obedient life.
P.S. - I will continue the last post most likely the next time I decide to post, but I had to write this.
What has Jesus called us to do?
Has he called us to read the Bible when we find time? Has he called us to find some time in our day to pray? Did he call us to go to church when we feel like it? Does doing all of this make us Christians?
that "the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." (Mt 13:44) The kingdom of heaven is something so valuable that we should give up our life for it. But would Jesus really call us to that extreme of a calling?
Look at Luke 9:24
where Jesus says that, "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." Again, the calling of a Christian is not something easy. It requires something more then church on Sunday, more than Bible reading for fifteen minutes, and more than a short prayer before you eat you turkey dinner. What does it require?
It requires the lose of your life hear on earth, to gain life in the Kingdom of God. What does this look like in action? I will address that tomorrow. Until then, stand firm in Christ.
Monday, September 13, 2004
Walk the Talk
I have decided that unless I am living it, I am not going to write it. In other words, I have to walk the walk if I want to talk the talk. If I am going to tell others to live holy, I have to live a holy life. If I am going to tell others to die to their self, I must die to my self. I am going to teach others, I have to live up to that teaching myself.
1 Corinthians 8:1 says that, "Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up." A Christian needs to have love more than knowledge. If a theologian studies the Bible for his entire lifetime (and thinks that he is great because of that), but does not love, it means nothing. A verse that really applies is another verse from 1 Corinthians 13 which says, "2
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing."
Again, what is love? One thing that the Bible makes clear is that love is the foundation of the law. Romans 13:10 says, "Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law," and again in Galatians 5:14 says, "The entire law is summed up in a single command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Love is the heart of the law. Jesus told us in John 14:15 that, "If you love me, you will obey what I command." This is essential to our understanding of what it means to love.
I do not want to be one who just knows the Bible, but one who applies the Bible to my every day life. I want to teach out of experience, not out of factual knowledge. I want to spread the good news not because of what I know, but because of what God has done for me.
Am I making any sense here? I hope so, and I will try to post more frequently.
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Why God Must Exist
Scientists have long tried to explain away the existence of God by forming theories on the creation of life, the creation of this planet, and the creation of this universe. Many of these theories are widely accepted among the scientific world. However, I have one question. Do these theories truly explain away the possibility and need of a God?
Scientists have tried to explain how this world and universe came together. I could ask scientist, what caused the earth into existence? They would reply with a widely accepted theory. However, no matter how far they go back in explaining the cause of existence of different things. A question remains, what caused those things into existence? This discussion could go one for an infinite amount of time. There could be an infinite amount of causes, or could there?
There can not be an infinite amount of causes. Why? Because this would take an infinite amount of time. An infinite amount of time is impossible to transverse. So we can conclude that because it is impossible to transverse an infinite amount of time, it was a finite amount of time and causes that created the universe.
However, this creates a dilemma. How can you have something caused into existence by something that has never been caused? How can you have an uncaused causer? The answer is simple. God is the uncaused causer. He was never created, yet created all things. God must exist for everything in this universe and beyond this universe to exist.
Sunday, August 29, 2004
"Man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment." (Heb. 9:27) I will die someday, so will you. Being relatively young, it is hard for me to actually realize this. When you can grasp that you are mortal and eventually you will die, you can realize the importance of focusing your life on serving God with everything while you have the chance. You can begin to see the importance of living holy lives in light of eternity.
James says that our lives "are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." (Ja. 4:14) Compare the long life of a 100 years to 100 billion years. This is nothing compared to eternity in heaven or hell, which is beyond what our mind can comprehend.
When you compare our life to this amount of time spent after our physical bodies die, you realize that our life is indeed a mist. If not less than that. It is so short, yet our life decides where we will be for a incomprehensible amount of time. For infinity to be exact. Because of this, we should "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12), knowing that this is the only life we get and it is the life that determines our eternal destination.
Saturday, August 28, 2004
I have been thinking about being a witness for Christ a lot recently. I am going to spill out what I know, and I hope you will share what you know about being a witness.
I think that our actions are a lot more effective than what we say. In fact, our actions either support or destroy the message that we have about Jesus. If we say that we are Christians, but act like the secular world, our witness is not going to be effective. However if we treat others with love and respect, they will want to know what is different about us and will be more open to hearing the truth.
So I think that we should first live as Jesus showed us and also be bold about sharing the good news that we possess. Working together, we can be an effective witness for Jesus Christ.
Does anyone have any thoughts, experiences, and advice on being a witness for Christ. I am listening.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
The Cost of Following Christ
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)
What does it mean to deny yourself. When you think about it, that is a pretty strong word. It does not say just to try to deny what you want. It says you must deny yourself.
When you deny the existence of God, you act as if God does not exist. In the same way, when we deny ourselves, we must act like we no longer exist. We must live our life completely for the service of others and for God. We need to come to the place where we no longer care for what we want, but have our minds set on the needs of God and others.
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Must We Continue in our Faith?
"It is by grace you have been saved, through faith." (Ephesians 2:8) That said, must we continue in our faith until the day we die in order to inherit eternal life? If we do not continue in our faith, will we inherit eternal life?
I firmly believe that we do indeed have to continue in our faith to spend eternity with God. Why? Read on.
The following is an excerpt from my mothers post
which explains some key truths on this subject.
For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." (Romans 1:17)
What does this verse teach us? This passage from Romans 1:17 quotes from Habakkuk 2:4 which is prefaced by the words, "a righteousness that is by faith from first to last." Another translation says, "from faith to faith." This expression implies an ongoing life of faith until one breathes his last. It is this kind of enduring faith which is required to guarantee salvation. The importance of this message is evident in that this same passage is quoted two other times in scripture: Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38.
The other passage of scripture regarding salvation that is often quoted in the New Testament is from Genesis 15:6: "Abram believed the Lord, and he was credited it to him as righteousness." In the Hebrew, the word for "believed" is "aman." This word implies an enduring, steadfast faith which is immovable. It is this kind of faith which credited Abram with righteousness. This passage, too, is quoted several times in scripture: Romans 4:3, 4:22; Galatians 3:6; and James 2:23. When a passage of scripture is repeated so many times, the reader should take note. God tells us five times in scripture that an enduring, steadfast faith will credit us with righteousness. Nowhere does it say that a fleeting moment of faith will credit us with righteousness.
With that thought in mind, consider the following :
All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:22)
(to the Gentile believers) "For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in His kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off." (Romans 11:21-22)
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:2)
"But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in sight, without blemish and free from accusation-if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel…" (Colossians 1:22-23b)
"But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and hope of which we boast." (Hebrews 3:6)
"We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first." (Hebrews 3:14)
"You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. For in just a little while, `He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. But we are not those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved." (Hebrews 10:36-39)
Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Revelation 2:10)
These verses make it clear that only those who stand "firm to the end will be saved." Romans says that righteousness is "by faith from first to last." Faith that will save us is not something that is a one time decision, although it does start there. It is a faith that continues until God calls us home.