Reading an old journal entry, I noted where someone graciously commented to my wife and me that, if people were like us and our children, the world would be a much better place. The person was kind. I recalled then one takeaway or lesson, and have since thought of two more.
- You never know who’s observing you. Your words and actions make an impact, whether you realize it or not. Example is important.
- It is a good goal to make the world a better place, but better by far to prepare people for that perfect place of eternal bliss at the foot of God’s throne.
- Every single life is of immense value to God. Let us not ignore those whom the world forgets or neglects. Of such are the kingdom of God.
If people of the world were like you, what would this world be like?
Let us repeat, and pray for, and work toward, the sentiment that the apostle to the Gentiles expressed:
Paul replied, “I pray to God that whether in a short or a long time not only you but also all those who are listening to me today could become such as I am, except for these chains.”
Acts 26.29 NET
¶ In his ebook Transform Your Habits, James Clear wrote, “So if you change your identity (the type of person that you believe that you are), then it’s easier to change your actions.” God changes our identity. It shouldn’t be so hard to change our actions, then, should it?
¶ A tweet made yesterday by the Messianic Church in Brazil, which has nothing to do with the true church of the New Testament, quoted someone as saying, “The general plan for this life is established by the way we thought and acted in previous incarnations.”
On one of my Brazilian sites, I called this one of the most depressing thoughts ever. Fortunately, the Bible teaches that our direction is determined by the thoughts, decisions, and actions that we choose in the life we’re living right now. Not that we have ever had a previous one. The soul we are was created for the bodies we have.
One life, one death, one judgment.
“And just as people are appointed to die once, and then to face judgment, so also, after Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, to those who eagerly await him he will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to bring salvation.”
Hebrews 9.27-28 NET
Make this one count.
¶ Can you sit down at a minute’s notice and teach someone how to be saved by the gospel with only your Bible? If you can’t, why not make that a goal of yours in the next few weeks? A lot of people you know need you to do that.
¶ Every so-called step to salvation is a response of some kind to God’s initiative. Faith is the response to the message which God sent to be proclaimed. Repentance is the response of decisive change before the holiness of God. Confession is the response to the exalted Lordship of Jesus Christ. Immersion is the response to the blood of the Cross. Faithfulness is the response to the faithfulness of God. Evangelism is the response of gratitude and obedience of service in the kingdom of God.
When we teach the gospel, let us not forget to tie every human response to the divine action. This is much the same approach as when Peter calls saving immersion in water “an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” 1Pt 3.21 ESV.
See why you can’t separate the facts of the gospel from the steps to salvation?
¶ This site, BulletJournal, was helpful to me. You might find it of some use as well. I’ve used notebooks over the years to organize my life and work, and this site offers some nice tweaks.
¶ Last year I wrote a song, lyrics and tune, both. When I sing it, I think my voice sounds like Willie Nelson. That can’t be a good thing, can it? Especially since it’s a hymn.
¶ Some people can talk Bible (or is it theology now?) all day long. I sometimes wonder if they can pray for the same length of time. Is that judging?