What you permit, you promote

Matthew 12:33-37New International Version (NIV) 33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

This past Saturday, I led our men's group (Men of Faith) and focused on the question of what matters to God.  I read some scripture in the Book of Psalms and the Book of Job.  Over the past week and a half, I attended two funeral services.  One was for an Uncle and the other was for the father of my Senior Pastor.  I was impressed by the legacy that these men lead both in their families and in their community.  The eulogies among friend and family in both services were very touching and from the heart.  These men said words that they believed and were true about these men who are in Heaven today.

The other two things that I talked about was when my wife was really sick 8 years ago and we almost lost her as her body was approaching renal failure.  I had very young kids at the time and couldn't believe what was happening to me and asked God if this was His plan for me?  I prayed, I cried and I wrestled in confession and prayer to our Heavenly Father.  After several days (5 days) in all, the night before my wife would come back home to me and my kids, I finally prayed in a pool of tears that I trust God and that if His will was for Him to take my wife home to Him, then I trust Him and His will.  I let go of my wife and gave her to Him.  She's your's Lord - your will be done.  The very next morning, the prayer team called and my mother-in-law and I both had this unbelievable peace - the Peace of Christ.

The other eternity thinking event that happened in my life was when I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma twelve years ago.  I have been cancer free since that day, but my doctor is quick to point out that I am in the 5% chance camp of this type of cancer rearing its ugly head through my eyes and or my brain - meaning that it has 5% chance to come back this way to me.  Both this cancer and my wife and her health issues many years ago has kept an eternal grasp about how quick our lives will be.

I then asked the Men of Faith:  "For those of us in this room that will die we will have two questions to ask:

Question #1 - Do we know God's Son, The Lord Jesus Christ, as our Savior (is our name written in the Book of Life).  Have we truly surrendered to God's will and turned away from our sins?  Have we put the old self to death (this is a daily battle) and put on our new self.  Scripture tells us to examine ourselves closely to make sure that we are still in the Faith.  The beginning of Wisdom is the fear of the Lord.

Question #2 - What have we, those of us who are saved, done with what God has given us?   Have we been good stewards of His time, His talent that He gave us and His treasure that He has given us stewardship over.

  • Scripture on Time:  Psalm 90:12 ESV "So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom."
  • Scripture on Talent: 1 Peter 4:10-11 (NIV) 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."
  • Scripture on Treasure:  Malachi 3:6-10New International Version (NIV) Breaking Covenant by Withholding Tithes 6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.  “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.    Mark 12:41-44New International Version (NIV) The Widow’s Offering 41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

After we die, we will have a judgement of our souls.  Those of us that know the Lord as Savior will have his sacrifice and his blood poured over our life.  His perfect life, his righteousness will be imputed onto us.   Scripture tells us that God will remember our sins no more because they have been covered by the blood of Jesus Christ.  What GRACE (God's Riches at Christ's Expense) and what Mercy God has given each of us.  If you do not know God's Son as Lord and Savior then every word, every deed and every action has been recorded and will be used to condemn those who do not know Jesus as Lord.  This makes my heart sad.  This will be a grave day for the lost, the Athiest and hater of good.

The second question will be good for some, okay for others and a day of regret for those of us who are saved, but know we can do more.  Job in his prime of life did these things for the Lord:

Job 29New International Version (NIV)

Job’s Final Defense 29 Job continued his discourse:

2 “How I long for the months gone by, for the days when God watched over me, 3 when his lamp shone on my head and by his light I walked through darkness! 4 Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house, 5 when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me, 6 when my path was drenched with cream and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil. 7 “When I went to the gate of the city and took my seat in the public square, 8 the young men saw me and stepped aside and the old men rose to their feet; 9 the chief men refrained from speaking and covered their mouths with their hands; 10 the voices of the nobles were hushed, and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths. 11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me, 12 because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist them. 13 The one who was dying blessed me; I made the widow’s heart sing. 14 I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban. 15 I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. 16 I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger. 17 I broke the fangs of the wicked  and snatched the victims from their teeth. 18 “I thought, ‘I will die in my own house, my days as numerous as the grains of sand. 19 My roots will reach to the water, and the dew will lie all night on my branches. 20 My glory will not fade; the bow will be ever new in my hand.’ 21 “People listened to me expectantly, waiting in silence for my counsel. 22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more; my words fell gently on their ears. 23 They waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as the spring rain. 24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them.[a] 25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief; I dwelt as a king among his troops; I was like one who comforts mourners."

2 questions for you:

Question #1 - Do we know God's Son, The Lord Jesus Christ, as our Savior (is our name written in the Book of Life).  Have we truly surrendered to God's will and turned away from our sins?  Have we put the old self to death (this is a daily battle) and put on our new self.  Scripture tells us to examine ourselves closely to make sure that we are still in the Faith.  The beginning of Wisdom is the fear of the Lord.

Is your life bearing the fruit of the Spirit?

Question #2 - What have we, those of us who are saved, done with what God has given us?   Have we been good stewards of His time, His talent that He gave us and His treasure that He has given us stewardship over.

Blessings, Dante