Category Archives: Pride

Pray Humbly and Wholeheartedly for Personal Repentance

For those of us who wish to truly submit to Yeshua and follow him, we must be willing to humbly admit our faults in order to change them. Yeshua provides a wonderful example of a sinful man who genuinely comes before YHWH for repentance and contrasts that with someone who is praying in a noticeably prideful manner. I encourage each of us to thoughtfully and humbly read the scripture from Luke and then come before our father in genuine humility, admitting our sins, and ask for genuine forgiveness with wholehearted commitment to repent and sin no more.

Luke 18:9-14

9And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11“The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13“But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14“I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

All of us remain sinful, no matter where we are in our journey. Take time to identify an area in which you need change and come before YHWH with pure motive and pure heart, privately, and ask forgiveness and ask his help with repentance. Then work consciously to change your wrong behavior and he will help you. Avoid the trap of just asking forgiveness and then continuing in your sin, without repentance and change on your part. If you refuse to change, that is not true repentance and acknowledgment that you are wrong. There is a distinction between having difficulty changing and refusing to change or not trying. Often we will need his help to change our ways as it is difficult for us.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Humility and Love Reflect The Character of Christ

Yeshua set a powerful example of humility and love for others. Let us follow in His example.

Philippians 2:1-11

Be Like Christ

     1Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. 5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

All The Commandments That I Am Commanding You Today You Shall Be Careful To Do

Over and over again in scripture YHWH emphasizes a very key point which is lost on most Christians today. He calls for us to live according to His commandments and be blessed, remembering Him and He contrasts that with a dire warning about ignoring His commandments and growing prideful and diminishing His role in our lives.

We can certainly see this today as many Christians declare “Christian freedom” as an excuse to not obey God’s clear instructions. They ignore more and more of His instructions over time. We can see it even in looking back over our own lifetime, let alone over the past thousands of years since Jesus walked among us in the flesh. Today most who identify as Christian do not love God above all other things. They may use those words, but many things take His place in their heart and how they spend their time, money, and talent declare they love other things more than God. We are a culture of coveting. Sabbath is ignored and considered “odd” and “unnecessary”. Children do not honor their parents. The majority of people in the USA identify as Christian, but as a culture we tolerate the murder of unborn children and embrace “diversity” amongst those who worship false gods. We allow persecution of Christians for living God’s instructions regarding failing to honor homosexual marriage but are told to tolerate all manner of sinful behavior amongst people who reject or ignore God. We let Atheists continually chase God out of our public schools and government and mainstream life. Surely we are not on the path God calls us to follow as a nation.

Deuteronomy 8

God’s Gracious Dealings

     1“All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your forefathers. 2“You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3“He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. 4“Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. 5“Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son. 6“Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. 7“For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; 8a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; 9a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10“When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.

      11“Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; 12otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, 13and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, 14then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 15“He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. 16“In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end. 17“Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ 18“But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19“It shall come about if you ever forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish. 20“Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the LORD your God.

I believe this passage is incredibly relevant today for the USA and most western nations. As we continue to diminish God and chase after sin He will surely remove His blessing from our country and leave us to the depravity of our own minds. For those of us who are followers of Christ, we must not tolerate sin and false religion. (Atheism is a religion too… it is not a “neutral” position.)

Pray for Christians throughout our nation and the world that we would be passionate and courageous for Christ. Pray for our nation to humble themselves, repent and turn back to God.  Pray for those who identify as Christian to live as Christ called us to do. Pray that the plans of the wicked would be defeated and God would lift up the righteous in His right hand and bring victory.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

To Do Righteousness And Justice Is Desired By The Lord More Than Sacrifice

Proverbs is so often densely packed with gems of immeasurable value that I can’t possibly hope to fully unpack them in a format such as this. But they are treasures we should go hunting for through Proverbs over and over again. I encourage each of us to take time to pray for the Spirit to guide us and then dwell on each verse.

Proverbs 21

On Life and Conduct

      1The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD;
He turns it wherever He wishes.

      2Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,
But the LORD weighs the hearts.

      3To do righteousness and justice
Is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice.

      4Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
The lamp of the wicked, is sin.

      5The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage,
But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.

      6The acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue
Is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death.

      7The violence of the wicked will drag them away,
Because they refuse to act with justice.

      8The way of a guilty man is crooked,
But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.

      9It is better to live in a corner of a roof
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

      10The soul of the wicked desires evil;
His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.

      11When the scoffer is punished, the naive becomes wise;
But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.

      12The righteous one considers the house of the wicked,
Turning the wicked to ruin.

      13He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor
Will also cry himself and not be answered.

      14A gift in secret subdues anger,
And a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath.

      15The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous,
But is terror to the workers of iniquity.

      16A man who wanders from the way of understanding
Will rest in the assembly of the dead.

      17He who loves pleasure will become a poor man;
He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.

      18The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
And the treacherous is in the place of the upright.

      19It is better to live in a desert land
Than with a contentious and vexing woman.

      20There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man swallows it up.

      21He who pursues righteousness and loyalty
Finds life, righteousness and honor.

      22A wise man scales the city of the mighty
And brings down the stronghold in which they trust.

      23He who guards his mouth and his tongue,
Guards his soul from troubles.

      24“Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names,
Who acts with insolent pride.

      25The desire of the sluggard puts him to death,
For his hands refuse to work;

      26All day long he is craving,
While the righteous gives and does not hold back.

      27The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination,
How much more when he brings it with evil intent!

      28A false witness will perish,
But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.

      29A wicked man displays a bold face,
But as for the upright, he makes his way sure.

      30There is no wisdom and no understanding
And no counsel against the LORD.

      31The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But victory belongs to the LORD.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Neither He Who Plants Nor He Who Waters

Let us rely on God as the foundation for our lives. We are not to rely on a pastor or family member. We are not to rely on the person who helped lead us to Christ or even on the ones who help us grow in Christ. We must remain focused on Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus) as the foundation and the only way to the Father. Neither He who plants nor He who waters is anything, but rather God causes the growth.

1 Corinthians 3

Foundations for Living

      1And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. 2I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, 3for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? 4For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men?

      5What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. 6I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. 7So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. 8Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

      10According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

      16Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

      18Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS”; 20and again, “THE LORD KNOWS THE REASONINGS of the wise, THAT THEY ARE USELESS.” 21So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, 22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, 23and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.

Let no one boast in men or lay their foundation on men, even those who are righteous. Instead, belong to Christ as Christ Himself belongs to God the Father.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Shall We Continue to Sin So That Grace May Increase?

It is a very important concept for followers of Jesus Christ to understand. When we ask Jesus to be our Lord and accept His offer of salvation by grace through faith that He died for our sins, we must also recognize that we are not to abuse that grace. For us to abuse grace by intentionally continuing to sin is to not truly submit to the lordship of Christ over sin and self. It is to not truly accept His offer of salvation.

We all sin, but let us never embrace it intentionally under the excuse that His grace will cover our sins. Instead let us seek to repent from sin, to turn away from it and toward the Father. Let us die to self and sin and rise in Christ to a new life. We need His help and He will provide it to those who truly invite Him in to be Lord of their life.

Romans 6

Believers Are Dead to Sin, Alive to God

      1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7for he who has died is freed from sin.

      8Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

      12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

      15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! 16Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

      20For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. 22But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I can well remember a variety of sinful habits that I seemed unable to break on my own power. The more I turned my life over to the Father, the more I sought to learn and understand His word and apply it in my life, the more the Holy Spirit has revealed Himself in my life to guide me and strengthen me in my daily walk… in rejecting sin. I have been able to turn away from habits and behaviors that had me beat and stay away. However, temptation remains a challenge, trying to draw us in. Remain vigilant and focused. Choose righteousness over sin. The rewards in this life and beyond are priceless.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Are You Wise or Foolish In The Eyes of the Lord?

Each of us must decide to whom we shall turn for knowledge and wisdom. Will we follow our own way, scoffing at God’s way, and rejecting true wisdom? If so, we will “eat the fruit of our own way” and it is often bitter.

A fool rejects reproof and wise counsel. A wise person seeks God’s wisdom, and listens well with a fear of the Lord.

Proverbs 1:20-33

Wisdom Warns

      20Wisdom shouts in the street,
She lifts her voice in the square;

      21At the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings:

      22“How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?

      23“Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.

      24“Because I called and you refused,
I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;

      25And you neglected all my counsel
And did not want my reproof;

      26I will also laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your dread comes,

      27When your dread comes like a storm
And your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.

      28“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,

      29Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the LORD.

      30“They would not accept my counsel,
They spurned all my reproof.

      31“So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way
And be satiated with their own devices.

      32“For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them.

      33“But he who listens to me shall live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

Which path will you choose… that of a fool who mocks God’s instruction or that of a wise person who accepts correction and learns to follow along on God’s path.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Listen To Wise Advice And Work With Others

Moses was chosen by Jehovah to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt. After many miracles and a deepening relationship with Jehovah, it would seem easy for Moses to be vulnerable to pride and not be open to the wise council and advice from someone else. However, Moses deserves credit for listening to and following the advice he received from Jethro.

Exodus 18:1

Jethro, Moses’ Father-in-law

      1Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people, how the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt. 2Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took Moses’ wife Zipporah, after he had sent her away, 3and her two sons, of whom one was named Gershom, for Moses said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.” 4The other was named Eliezer, for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.”

      5Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was camped, at the mount of God. 6He sent word to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her.” 7Then Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and he bowed down and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent. 8Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, all the hardship that had befallen them on the journey, and how the LORD had delivered them. 9Jethro rejoiced over all the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, in delivering them from the hand of the Egyptians. 10So Jethro said, “Blessed be the LORD who delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of Pharaoh, and who delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11“Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; indeed, it was proven when they dealt proudly against the people.” 12Then Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses’ father-in-law before God.

      13It came about the next day that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from the morning until the evening. 14Now when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge and all the people stand about you from morning until evening?” 15Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. 16“When they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor and make known the statutes of God and His laws.”

Jethro Counsels Moses

      17Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you are doing is not good. 18“You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. 19“Now listen to me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. You be the people’s representative before God, and you bring the disputes to God, 20then teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do. 21“Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. 22“Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23“If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go to their place in peace.”

      24So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. 26They judged the people at all times; the difficult dispute they would bring to Moses, but every minor dispute they themselves would judge. 27Then Moses bade his father-in-law farewell, and he went his way into his own land.

When Jehovah gives us a responsibility to serve Him, we absolutely want to take it seriously and work hard at doing it right. However, we must be careful that we do not wear ourselves out by taking on too much of the burden on our own. We must learn to listen to wise advice and take it, whether from Jehovah or from man. We have greater and longer lasting impact when we can lean on others who can be trusted and let them help us do our Father’s work.

Are there any situations in your life that are putting a heavy burden on you? It can be work or family or even ministry… as in Moses’ case. Pray for Jehovah to send you help and wisdom on how to do His work most effectively and sustainably.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

There Are No Excuses For Rejecting Jehovah

Many who mean well, genuinely struggle to understand how Jehovah can pass judgment on some who have never heard of Him. Sadly, rather than studying the Bible to gain better understanding, they just begin to redefine Jehovah in their image and rationalize that people will not go to hell after all. This leads to all manner of misconceptions about Jehovah.

We know that Jesus is the way to Jehovah.

John 14:6

6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

If we believe those who do not hear about Jesus will automatically go to heaven because of ignorance…we can find ourselves rationalizing that we should not go and tell others about Him because if we do and they reject Him, then they will go to hell, but if we just don’t tell them… then they will go to heaven?

Following false doctrine leads to disastrous consequences. Jesus commanded us to proclaim the gospel to all the nations, knowing that many would reject the message and reject Him.

Matthew 28:18-20

18And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 7:13

13“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Does that mean Jesus wants people to go to hell? Of course not! He came to save us, but people must submit to and follow Him in more than just empty words. We must show our love and obedience to Him by truly being His disciple. To be a disciple, we must learn. To learn correctly, we must study and pray.

Paul reveals the harsh truth of the matter. There are no excuses for those who choose to reject Jehovah. Evidence of our Creator is available all around us in His creation. Jehovah is not pleased with those who reject Him, whether or not a missionary has formally come to teach them about Him.

Romans 1:18-32

Unbelief and Its Consequences

      18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

      24Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

      26For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

      28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Please review carefully the specific, but not all-inclusive, list of sins that Jehovah finds worthy of wrath. Do not overlook the last verse… which highlights the sin of not just doing these acts, but also of simply approving of, accepting, or encouraging these behaviors.

Jehovah will not force people to obey and follow Him. He will let them suffer in their own choice, by their own free will. He gives them over to degrading passions that they have chosen. He gives them over to their depraved mind which they have chosen. As such, they will suffer in this world and then face the ultimate judgment when they face Jehovah when they die. Those who have not accepted Jesus as savior and submitted their lives to follow Him will go to hell.

John 3:16-21

      16“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

The world and the people in it are inherently depraved and wicked, not inherently good. Some overcome this through becoming disciples of Christ. Sadly, most do not. Prayerfully review the scripture and ask Jehovah to reveal to you what sins you may be practicing or approving of… of which you need to repent wholeheartedly to come back in right relationship with Him. Then humbly admitting your fault and recognizing the lies regarding what the world tries to paint as “right” and “proper” or “acceptable” behavior, turn from them and follow after Jesus as a true disciple.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Denial Is Not Just A River In Egypt

Most of us are familiar with the phrase “Denial is not just a river in Egypt.” It is a word play on “denial” and “the Nile”. We all encounter denial in regards to Jehovah’s presence and interaction in this world. It seems that some can find a way to reject Him no matter what signs and wonders He performs. Others, even when He gets their attention with signs and wonders, they quickly fall away again once the sign is past and they begin to rationalize away the power of God they just witnessed.

Pharaoh and his court did this over and over, thus inviting God to continue demonstrating His power to all through more miracles. First, whenever God would demonstrate a sign through Moses and Aaron, the Egyptian “magicians” would attempt to produce a fraud… a trick that mimicked in some way the real sign just demonstrated. They would try to point to something man can do similar to what God did as a way of avoiding admitting that Jehovah was God. After they were overwhelmed by God’s signs they would appear to repent. He got their attention. They were defeated in that sign, like the frogs in Exodus 8. Then Pharaoh would commit to releasing the Israelites. However, once the sign was completed and the threat to Egypt appeared over, his heart was hardened again and he would go back on his commitment.

Exodus 8:1-15

Frogs over the Land

      1Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 2“But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite your whole territory with frogs. 3“The Nile will swarm with frogs, which will come up and go into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed, and into the houses of your servants and on your people, and into your ovens and into your kneading bowls. 4“So the frogs will come up on you and your people and all your servants.”’” 5Then the LORD said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the streams and over the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt.’” 6So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7The magicians did the same with their secret arts, making frogs come up on the land of Egypt.

      8Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Entreat the LORD that He remove the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the LORD.” 9Moses said to Pharaoh, “The honor is yours to tell me: when shall I entreat for you and your servants and your people, that the frogs be destroyed from you and your houses, that they may be left only in the Nile?”

      10Then he said, “Tomorrow.” So he said, “May it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God. 11“The frogs will depart from you and your houses and your servants and your people; they will be left only in the Nile.” 12Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to the LORD concerning the frogs which He had inflicted upon Pharaoh. 13The LORD did according to the word of Moses, and the frogs died out of the houses, the courts, and the fields. 14So they piled them in heaps, and the land became foul. 15But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

Often we say to ourselves, “Pharaoh was a rare exception because God hardened his heart. That does not really happen today.” I disagree. It is all around us even today. Consider…

What are some recent examples you have encountered from people, even those identifying as Christian, in which they deny the power or presence of God based on comparing what man can do to what God did? I can think of examples in healthcare… people turn to God for help, He miraculously heals someone and those involved start convincing themselves it was not really God, but rather man’s efforts in medicine alone. (Of course God can work through doctors and medicine.)

Apply the same thought exercise to an event like major hurricanes that have led to devastation in some areas or terrorist attacks. (We can debate in any one case if major events like this are guided by God. However, the reaction we see in people is the same as if it were.)  The event happens. People are in pain emotionally and physically. Some who are not close to God may turn to him in this time of suffering. What happens once the event stops and time begins to pass? Some will continue in deeper relationship with God but many will adjust back to acting as they did before… as if nothing happened. This is essentially what Pharaoh did in Exodus 8 after the frogs were contained.

Now the hard part… you may want to engage a fellow follower or disciple of Christ you trust. Look back at your life and prayerfully consider if there are moments when you too dismiss the power of God that has been demonstrated in your life. Avoid the blindness of pride in this exercise and begin with humbly admitting you are not perfect and are indeed capable of making mistakes. This opens the door to growing in wisdom and applying God’s word in your life. Are there times in your life around big events or small ones that you quickly dismiss the power of God, rationalizing it away as coincidence or activities of man alone? Look for it in your thoughts as you go forward in life. Consider writing down when you feel God is working in your life to keep a record. It is too easy to dismiss what He is doing in our lives while at the same time wondering why He is not active in our lives.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.