Old Testament Lesson
This is that famous passage that was once set to music many years ago. But, the message of this passage remains as true today as it ever was. There is a time for everything in life. There is nothing in life that we will not experience. We will experience life and death, joy and tears, celebration and defeat. Good things will happen to us, as will bad things.
Two thoughts to think about this morning, then. The Christian life is not a life that will avoid pain. I don't believe that you get saved and everything is a bed of roses. Many times, most of the time, really, things will get harder. There will be more temptation, more rejection. But, the joys will be lasting, the peace will be enduring, and the hope will be all surpassing. Because of the second thought
In all these things, God is there with us. He has promised to never leave of forsake us. Throughout whatever you may be going through, God will be there. Through everything, His presence can be found. If you will look for it.
New Testament Lesson
We are not saved through the law. We are not saved through our actions. We are saved through belief and faith in Jesus Christ. We are saved by grace through faith. Our actions do not save us.
Then, why we do we preachers talk so much about how we behave. If we aren't saved by our actions, why do we care? Our actions show what we really are. No one but God knows the heart. I don't know if someone is saved or lost, I have to go with what they say. In fact, I've never met a lost person. I've never met someone that told me that they are lost. That's not to say I haven't met lost people. It is to say that everyone I've ever met will tell me a Christian, even if their is no evidence of it. Now, they might not have been to church in years, they might not pray, they might not read their Bible, they might not witness, they may curse like a sailor, they may be living in sin, but they will assure me that they love the Lord.
Do I know their heart? No. But, I can see their actions. And, if they claim to be a Christian, they are not living like it. That is why are actions matter. If you say you are a Christan, but are living in sin, you are bringing shame to the Savior that you claim to love. We are not saved by our actions, but our actions show how we really are.
Today, I'm sure that you would tell everyone you are a Christian. What do your actions say?
We see here that following Jesus may bring great cost at in your life. Today, There are Christians that are literally giving their lives for the Gospel. Yet here in America, we are are concerned about what God will do for us, not so much about what we will do for God. John the Baptist gave it all for Jesus, and was rewarded with eternal life. That is the thing that we all truly seek. Are you more concerned for the things of earth, or the things of heaven. These earthly things will pass, the eternal will endure forever. Whatever we give up now will be but a fraction of that life in eternity. Today, is your life found here upon the earth, or is it found in eternity with Jesus Christ?