2019-09-03 What A Gift!

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.”
Psalm 84:11

This verse was included in yesterday’s discussion on answered prayer, but I think it deserves more time. This, right here, my friends, is another gigantic promise of God. It reveals the nature of his character. It is something we can count on. Let’s take a look at Hebrews, for example, for a sample of verses confirming this:

Hebrews 6:17-18 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

It would make a good Sabbath-rest bible study to find all the passages which confirm this truth – that God never changes.

Since this is true, what can we make of this? Well, according to all these verses presented so far, we see a distinctive feature on the recipients – those with saving faith in Him. How to determine this is a whole different topic. Suffice it to say that there is a big difference between those whom he calls his own and those he doesn’t. This only applies to the ones he calls his children. All others are enemies. In fact, “those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8)

This is not to say that children of God pleased him to become children. Hardly. It is only by divine intervention, which included Jesus’ death and resurrection, that we have been saved. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Right here, we need to take pause to reflect on the magnitude of this gift. No one – not one single person – will ever obtain heaven through their efforts to obey the law of God. Yes, we may enter heaven through perfect obedience, but guess what? None of us want to. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Even though I am born-again and have a new heart that is inclined to God and even though the Holy Spirit resides in me, I willfully disobey God. Not rarely or even once in a while. I deliberately sin often, and so do you.

So, the fact that God has had mercy on anyone is astounding! It’s not that we innocently have broken the rules and we now are good people. It’s that our sin has permeated our entirety far deeper than we care to admit. And, still, God had mercy on us. Well, some of us. He’s still a God of justice, so that’s really what we all are faced with. For some reason that only he knows, he selected a few people to have mercy on. And these he changed and is changing, so that they might one day be perfect in heart, just like Jesus.

Let’s leave today with this thought. God will NEVER regret his decision to pluck you out of the world and count you as one of his remnant. Never! Listen, it is simply nonsense to think that one can lose his/her salvation. If God does the “impossible” by saving us, you mean to tell me that he cannot keep us saved? Do you think for a minute that he didn’t already know that your foolish heart will one day deny him? Of course, he did! And, he saved you anyway. Now, there are lots and lots of warnings throughout scripture to make sure of our salvation, as if it might be lost. These are warnings for those who are lying to themselves and others that they are saved when they know all along that they are not. Yes, they want the benefit of God, but not the commitment. Sooner or later, that façade will reveal what is true.

Now, for those with genuine faith, your salvation is everything! There is absolutely NOTHING that can happen to you from that moment forward that will harm you eternally. You are secure as secure can get. Period. End of story.

This is where it is important to understand that God’s word is better than golden.

Do you believe this? My friends, I encourage you to ponder these things. I guarantee that when you do, your whole attitude towards life will change. You will find a new boldness in Jesus and begin walking as if you were Jonah walking through Nineveh.

Get your head in the game, folks! Wouldn’t it be worth your time to take a half day off work today to spend it digging through your bible to search out these things? Imagine if you got your game-face on and started to really play. How do you suppose God may bless you? Might he radically change someone’s life through you? Might he radically change yours?

Father, encourage your church! Amen!

Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers

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