Thursday, January 17, 2019


Abraham is a man in which all of us can learn obedience from. There are several examples in which Abraham showed his obedience to Jehovah as we can read about in the book of Genesis. We know for certain the lesson learned about how great his faith in God was when he was commanded to offer up his only son Isaac on the altar. But earlier than that incident, we can learn about Abraham’s devotion to God as the twelfth chapter of Genesis unfolds.

Get Out Of Your Country
Jehovah spoke to Abram at the time and said: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old...” (Genesis 12:1-4). Abram is a man of 75 years of age when God called him to do four things. 1) To leave his country, which was to leave all the familiar surroundings in which he was used to. 2) To leave his family. 3) To leave his father’s house, which was to leave his nearest relatives. 4) He was commanded to go into a country unnamed in order for his obedience to be tested. We do not read anywhere that Abram questioned God, but that he departed his country just as God had instructed for him to do. I wonder, would we be so devoted to our Lord to forsake all?

Obedience Required Of Us Today
Just as Abraham obeyed God then, we are fully expected to obey Him today. Jesus plainly stated in Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” There is so much that we can learn and MUST learn from this one verse that Jesus taught. Jesus warns us that it is not enough for people to merely be religious and prayerful. It is possible for men to pray much and yet not be obedient unto God. Individuals that spend a lot of time in prayer, but do not cultivate the spirit of submission to God’s will, should not expect to be received into God’s everlasting kingdom.

Jesus points out that only he who DOES the will of the Father will be able to enter into heaven. To reject the will of the Father is simply to reject the very message that Jesus was sent here by His Father to give to us. God has a will which relates to all mankind. There are commandments in God’s will that man MUST obey. Also in God’s will, He has promised us many blessings if we will obey Him. If we ever hope to reap the rewards of the will of God, which are His blessings, then we MUST obey His commandments. We can’t have it both ways, that is to receive the blessings and eternal life, while not obeying God’s commands while we live on this earth.

The necessity of DOING the will of the Father is evident. Jesus teaches that doing God’s will is a condition upon which we may hope to enjoy the promise of the Father. Everyone is not perfect, for we have all sinned (Romans 3:23), but we can strive to become perfect in our life (Matthew 5:48). As we strive toward this perfection, we do so by having a desire to obey those things in which God has instructed of us.

What Can We Learn From Examples of Obedience?
God has always required men to obey as we have seen in our example of Abraham (Genesis 2:16). But we also have other examples of required obedience and some of these include: The nation of Israel (Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 6); and the church in which Jesus built (Romans 6:12-18; 8:12-13; Philippians 2:12-16; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14). When individuals have responded to God’s will to obey Him, then God was pleased to bless those as He has promised that He would do. Enoch was a man that “walked with God” and as a result was eternally blessed (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5-6). Israel was blessed when they obeyed God (Deuteronomy 28:1-14). Then we can read about how the church also is blessed through obedience (Matthew 25:21, 34-40; Mark 10:29-30; Hebrews 5:9; Revelation 2:10-11). We also learn that God has punished those that have decided to disobey Him. The world in the days of Noah was destroyed because of disobedience (Genesis 6:5-8). Israel (2 Chronicles 36:13-21). The church (Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5; 2 Peter 2:4-10). The final consequences are this: If we obey, eternal life (Revelation 2:7; 3:5,12,21; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). If we disobey, eternal damnation (Romans 2:4-11; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10; Revelation 20:15; 21:8; 22:15). Have you determined within your heart to obey the commandments and DO the will of the Lord?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

I Am on the Lord's Side

In our song books we sing a song entitled “Who Will Follow Jesus?” The chorus of that song says: “Who will follow Jesus? Who will make reply, I am on the Lord’s side; Master, here am I.” Those words no doubt are taken from the book of Matthew, chapter 12, verse 30, where Jesus said: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” Jesus plainly taught that we are either for Him or we’re against Him. We cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). We’re either on the Lord’s side or we’re not.

Why Be On The Lord's Side?
We must strive to be on the Lord’s side because if we aren’t then there is no hope of eternal salvation! In Matthew 1:21 it says: “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” It is only through Jesus Christ that we can have forgiveness of sins and therefore we all should want to be on His side and follow His commandments. When we are on the Lord’s side we are profited. In 1 Corinthians 15:58 the apostle Paul said: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” When we are on the Lord’s side then we will want to abound in all the work of the Lord. When we love doing something, then we do it to the best of our ability, knowing that our work is not in vain because we are enjoying it.

All of us should look to our service for Christ the same way. We should enjoy being on the Lord’s side and therefore do everything we do with fervent zeal, knowing that our eternal peace will someday be realized, because we were always determined to do ALL the will of Jesus (Matthew 7:21). In addition, when we’re on the Lord’s side, then we will be happy in all things that we do (Ephesians 1:3). We also want to be on the Lord’s side because it is honorable (John 12:26). We will be glorified (Romans 8:17), will have peace (John 16:33), and will reign with Christ forever (2 Timothy 2:12) when we make it known that we are on the Lord’s side!

Who Is On His Side?
Individuals show that they are on the Lord’s side by believing in Jesus to the point of doing His will. In Hebrews 11:6, the Hebrew writer said: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” When we have faith in God, then others will see our faith and be able to see that we are on His side, not Satan’s. When we truly believe in God, knowing that we will be rewarded by our life’s service to Him (2 Timothy 4:8), then we can be effective teachers in His kingdom. 

Not only the believers, but the whole-hearted (Matthew 12:30), and those that overcome the world (Revelation 17:14), will be counted as being on His side. When one chooses to come out from the world and be separate (2 Corinthians 6:17) then they are making a statement by letting others know that they are choosing to be on the Lord’s side. Only the faithful, and those that endure to the very end will be on His side forever (2 Timothy 2:12).

In What Should We Be With Him?
When one chooses to be on the Lord’s side then one has chosen to be with the Lord in death (Galatians 2:20; 2 Timothy 2:11), in burial (Colossians 2:12), and in the resurrection (Romans 6:5; Colossians 2:12). When one is baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), they have chosen to be with the Lord in the likeness of His death, burial and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5). Afterwards, one will serve Him in his manner of life (2 Timothy 2:12) and that includes any suffering that may come our way in our physical life (Romans 8:17).  Don’t leave the Lord and return to the ways of the world (Galatians 5:4). Are you on the Lord’s side? Are you determined right now to serve Him daily so that you can spend an eternity with Him in heaven?

Friday, January 4, 2019

What Must I Do To Be Saved?

In Acts 16:16-34 we can read about what led to and the conversion of the Philippian Jailer. Paul and Silas were cast into prison for preaching the truth and for casting out a "spirit of divination" from a fortune telling slave girl. It is interesting to note in verse 18 after Paul had commanded the spirit to come out of her, that her masters only saw that their way of making money had disappeared instead of seeing the work of God. In a rage, they brought Paul and Silas before the magistrates and falsely accused them. As a result they were stripped of their clothes, beaten, and cast into prison where this jailer was charged to keep them safely.

The Earthquake
While in prison, Paul and Silas stayed true to God and were singing and praying to Him. When the earthquake hit, the record says that the doors were opened, and their bands were loosed. The jailer being awakened by the earthquake thought that all the prisoners had escaped and was getting ready to kill himself when Paul exclaimed "Do thyself no harm: for we are all here"(Acts 16:28). Quite opposite of the slave-girl's masters reaction, the jailer realized this was an act of God and fell down before Paul and Silas and said Sirs, "what must I do to be saved?"This is incredible when you think about it. Here is a pagan soldier, who just moments before was unaware of his need to be saved, and now was eager to know the truth and how he could be saved. How good it would be if everyone had the heart of this jailer, who was ready and willing to do whatever it took to be saved.

The Jailer and You
Do you realize that you and I are in the very same situation? We live perched on the edge of forever everyday (James 4:14; Hebrews 9:27). Do you continue to conduct your life as though you will never have to stand before God and answer for your deeds? You will (2 Corinthians 5:10). Do you think God will overlook your rebellion to obey Him? He won't (Revelation 1:8). Our life is short and therefore we should strive to do whatever we can to ensure that we are saved. We should ask "What must I do to be saved?"

Paul's Answer
Paul spoke the word of the Lord to the jailer (Acts 16:31-32). It is only God's word that can take away guilt and remove the barrier of sin that separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 1:16). The word of the Lord told the jailer that he had to believe (Hebrews 11:6), but that is not all because belief alone will not save us (James 2:19-24). Paul's answer to the jailer led the jailer to DO what was necessary unto salvation. In verses 33-34, we can see that the jailer's faith in God was not a dead faith, but an active, living, obeying, saving faith. As a result he was baptized for the forgiveness of sins. The burden of guilt was removed and he received God's gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8). This very same gift is available to you today!

The Jailer Did Not Wait
Unlike many people today, the jailer did not wait to be saved. Once he knew what he needed to do, "the same hour" he was baptized. Are you waiting? If your life is not right with God, why are you waiting? It is a terrible thing to put off a chance for eternal salvation. Won't you make your life right with God, who loves you so much that He sent His only Son Jesus to die for you (John 3:16)? Have you heard the WORD OF THE LORD? If so, what are you WAITING for?