Truth for Today 6.26.2012

Jesus Knows Your Heart

26JUN

The truth is Jesus knows all about YOU! He knows your heart, your motives, your desires, your faults, your failures, your weaknesses, your struggles, your sincerity, your ____________________________________ (fill in the blank). He knows. The amazing thing is that even though He knows, He still loves us.

As I was reading in my devotions this morning I came across this Scripture:

But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. John 2:24-25

There were many who “believed” in Jesus the “miracle man” (see John 2:23). According to the Amplified Bible they simply “identified themselves with His party” after seeing the signs and wonders He performed. However, we know that the new birth is more than verbal identification. We are to trust in, cling to and rely upon the risen Christ as our Lord and Savior. Faith in Christ leads to the New Birth (John 3:3) and a total transformation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

So as He looks deep into my soul and yours what does He see? Does He see a meaningless mental consent to Christianity or does He see a genuine faith in Him? We often talk about committing our lives to Christ, but we see from this passage that Christ commits Himself to those who truly believe.

He knows YOU and He knows me. What does He see?

Truth for Today-“Are YOU Good Enough?”

Are you a good person? Well…you aren’t too bad…right? We can all think of people who have done horrific things. We look pretty good when we compare ourselves to them. However, we would also admit that we  are not perfect. We have all made mistakes, and we have all missed the mark of God’s standard.

Notice what God’s Word says in Romans 3:23-“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:10 reminds us-“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (emphasis mine in both verses). We have all fallen short of God’s perfect standard. Even though we may feel good about ourselves because we aren’t doing things others have done, our comparisons with others become irrelevant when we compare ourselves with God’s standard of perfection.

Author Cary Schmidt paints a great word picture here:

Think of it this way. What if God commanded us to jump to the moon? You might be able to jump higher than I can, and I might be able to jump higher than my five-year-old daughter can, but in the end, we all fall way short of the goal.

That’s what God is saying when He says that we all “fall short of the glory of God.” We all fall so short that the slight difference between your goodness and someone else’s goodness (or badness) doesn’t matter in God’s sight” (DONE: What Most Religions Don’t Tell You About the Bible, p. 32).

Our standard of being a good jumper may be reaching a ten foot basketball rim. Some can jump high enough to touch it while others can’t. However, if the standard is touching the moon you can touch a ten foot rim all day long and it will not matter! That is what DOING religions are all about. They set a standard, and as long as you work really hard to meet their standard everything is ok. However, God has set a standard of perfection, and none of us are perfect!

So what do we do? Do we live our lives in despair because we are incapable of meeting God’s standard? NO! A thousand times no! We need to realize no matter how high we “jump” we will never reach the goal. We need to ADMIT we are incapable and trust in One who has DONE it—He has already met the goal on our behalf! We must trust in Jesus Christ. When we do this He lifts us up to God’s standard! God no longer looks at us and our failure to meet the goal, but He looks at Christ who has met the goal for us! Jesus fulfilled all righteousness and paid for the sins we committed when He died on the cross. We depend on what He has DONE for us, and God forgives us and brings us into a personal relationship with Himself. Jump all you want, but you will never reach the goal. DO all you want, but it can never lift you high enough. Trust in what Christ has DONE!

Scripture reminds us in Romans 5:12 that we were born “spiritually defective” because of the sin nature passed down from Adam (see Genesis 3). This defect has separated us from our Creator. However, the Good News is that Jesus Christ came to provide the only remedy to our problem. Many people do not want to hear they have a spiritual problem. However, if I go to the doctor and I have a major physical illness that is treatable I want to know about it! I want to know the treatment! We have a spiritual problem, and Jesus Christ provides the treatment!

Will YOU trust Him today! Will you come to the end of DOING and trust in what He has DONE? He loves you and is waiting to receive you today! For more information please contact us and join us for church this Sunday morning at 10:30am.

Truth for Today-“Knowing Where You Are Going”

Someone asked a friend of mine the other day if he knew where he was going. Her intention was to make sure he knew his destination and how to get there. As we began to back out of my driveway I jokingly (but not so jokingly) said to him, “I sure am glad to know where I am going…I’m going to Heaven!” I am not going to Heaven because I deserve to go to Heaven, or because I am a pastor, or because I belong to a particular denomination or religion. I am going to Heaven because Jesus Christ has DONE everything to pay for my sins and reconcile me to God. There came a point in my life where I realized that my sins had separated me from God and no amount of DOING was going to make things better. I realized I needed what Jesus had purchased, and I turned away from my own accomplishments and depended upon His.

There are many opinions about where a person’s soul goes at the point of death (physical death is simply the separation of the soul from the body). Some suggest that the soul or spirit hangs around planet earth either haunting or comforting people. Others believe in reincarnation and others believe in purgatory. The good news is that we do not have to stake our eternal soul on opinions. Scripture clearly shares with us that we will spend eternity somewhere.

Hebrews 9:27 tells us that we all have an appointment with death, and after death there will be a judgment. Just as death is certain, judgment is also certain. If we know that we are going to die, and we know that Scripture gives us an opportunity to be ready for death and judgment, we are making a foolish decision not to prepare for this appointment.

The trouble with “DO Religions” is that you never know if YOU have done enough. You hope you have and when you compare yourself with others you may feel pretty good about it, but you never really know for sure. The best we can have is an “I hope so.”

God doesn’t want you to go through life wondering if you are ready for this appointment. He wants you to know for sure. Listen to what the Scripture says in 1 John 5:11-13-

And this is the testimony, that God have us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may KNOW (emphasis mine) that you have eternal life. (ESV)

God wants YOU to KNOW! He doesn’t want you to live your life in doubt and come to your appointment with regret.

Do YOU know, or do you keep on DOING in hopes that when the appointment comes you have done enough? Cary Schmidt, author of the book “DONE: What Most Religions Don’t Tell You About the Bible” says, “The word KNOW implies full confidence and understanding…It rests on fact rather than wrestling with doubt. It trusts rather than being frustrated in fear” (p. 26).

What if you really knew for sure “where you were going?” How would this change your life? Schmidt says (p. 26):

  1. It would remove the fear of death! I have told people that I’m not afraid of death, just the process. I know, because of my trust and reliance upon Jesus Christ, that when my soul leaves my body at the appointed day I will have a new residence in the place that Christ has prepared for me…a place He called “His Father’s house” [we usually refer to it as Heaven.]
  2. It also gives this life a new perspective. You should no longer be living for just the “here and now” but living for the eternal! You would be able to live a life of hope! You will be able to DO, not to earn abundant and eternal life, but DO in gratitude for it!

God wants YOU to KNOW. I want YOU to KNOW. Flagship Church wants YOU to KNOW! If YOU would like to KNOW we can share more with you through e-mail, phone or a personal meeting. Also feel free to visit http://flagshipchurch.org/truth-will-set-you-free/ for more insight. We hope that you will plan on joining us this Sunday morning at 10:30am at Flagship Free Will Baptist Church, 2728 Pebble Drive, Erie, Pa!