Is Your Life “Good Enough” for God?
“So what does God expect of us? What does it mean to “get right” with Him? What does it look like in a person’s life? Let’s notice Jesus Christ’s own statements that give us the answer!
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Getting right with God and receiving His gift of eternal life involve much more than just belief.
Considering the chaos we see in the world around us, it’s understandable that many people see a need to “get right with God.” But what exactly does that mean?
Many think that all God expects or requires is found in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
But is it biblical that belief in God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ is all that’s required to be saved? Clearly not! As Jesus’ own half-brother wrote in James 2:19: “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!” (emphasis added throughout). They likewise know that Jesus is the Messiah (see Mark 1:24).
Yes, the demons believe—but clearly they are not saved!
So what does God expect of us? What does it mean to “get right” with Him? What does it look like in a person’s life? Let’s notice Jesus Christ’s own statements that give us the answer!
In Matthew 7:21 Jesus says, “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.” Merely acknowledging Jesus as Lord and Master—calling Him “Lord, Lord”—is not sufficient. To inherit salvation in God’s Kingdom, we must do God’s will, as Jesus clearly stated.
Getting right with God and receiving His gift of eternal life involve much more than just belief. Our conviction that Jesus is our Savior who died for us must be more than just a comforting feeling or intellectual idea. It means actively doing God’s will in our lives, which starts with surrendering our lives to Him, studying His Word and praying regularly so we can understand how He wants and expects us to live.
Matthew 19:16 records how a wealthy young man asked Jesus a crucial question: “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” Christ’s reply might shock those who think Jesus came to do away with the law or that He taught that obedience to God’s law is unnecessary. Jesus responded, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (verse 17).
Jesus didn’t tell the young man that all he needed to do was believe. Jesus told him he must obey the commandments of God. How plain! And then, to clarify which commandments He meant, Jesus listed as examples several of the Ten Commandments plus another summary commandment God had given through Moses. Jesus then told the young man to reorder his priorities in life to become a committed follower of Christ (verses 18-22).
In Mark 16:16, Jesus revealed another condition we must meet to receive God’s gift of eternal life: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Baptism—being fully immersed in water—is a symbolic act representing the death and burial of the person we formerly were, with our rising from the water signifying a resurrection to begin a new life committed to serving God and striving to avoid sin (Romans 6:1-23).
Scripture shows that baptism is to be followed by the laying on of hands by a true minister of Jesus Christ, through which we receive God’s Holy Spirit and truly become His (Acts 8:17; Romans 8:9). Unless we surrender our lives to God through baptism and the laying on of hands to receive His Spirit as shown in Scripture, we fail to meet this requirement for receiving His gift of salvation.
So returning to the question at the beginning, is your way of life “good enough” for God? In these passages you have seen the beginnings of His answer. And as Jesus states in Luke 14:33, “No one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me. (New Living Translation 1996).
Read the articles in this issue to learn more about what God expects from your life!" From: https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-magazine/is-your-life-good-enough-for-god
Repentance: What Does Repent Mean?
“A major message of the Bible is a call to repent and change. This isn’t popular, but it’s vitally necessary. What is repentance? Why does God require it?
According to the apostle Paul, God “now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30 ).
Repentance is not a popular subject in most of the religious community. Seldom is a modern-day religious audience exhorted to repent.
Yet Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, vigorously preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” and told his audience to “bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:2, 8). Soon after John’s martyrdom, Jesus Christ continued the same theme by preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17).
Within weeks following Jesus’ crucifixion, the New Testament Church was founded. Peter’s inspired words to an audience of thousands of devout Jews were, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
What does repentance mean? Is it required for salvation? How important is this subject to you? Read more about what the Bible says about repentance in the related articles.” See: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/change/repentance/
AmericanTorah: Applying the same scriptures that Jesus & the Apostles used to real life in America.
“Pride is acting and/or depending on an assumption that could be easily verified.”
Identifying pride in your own life and ridding your life of it.
“Pride. I had a native German for a friend and mentor in the electrical field. We met when he was newly arrived. He spoke very little English and we worked together every day. He understood electrical very well and always carried around a translation dictionary so he could communicate with others on the jobsite. We got along very well and after a bit he made me a deal: if I helped him with English he would help me learn electrical better.
We talked during the day while we worked and at lunch. We were gossiping one day about the way others worked and how we cared about our work while most didn’t seem to. I remember saying, “It is like others do not take pride in their work.” He stopped me there and wanted to know what word I had used. He didn’t understand the word pride. I tried to explain it as he looked it up in his dictionary. When he found it, his reaction was memorable to say the least. “No! No! No! Danny this is no good.” He explained that this was not a good word in German. I tried to explain that there was a positive and negative use of the word in English, but he would not have it. No, he told me, it is no good.
I had never really thought about pride, and his reaction to the word stuck with me. Pride had always been mostly negative for me, I mean the sense of the word. I felt many people were prideful in my family and the phrase, ‘take pride in your work’ never really set well with me. I could not think of a reason why, except that pride seemed so negative. I never saw myself as prideful though. Others had called me arrogant and prideful before, but they just didn’t know the whole story, in my view. It was the way I understood pride that kept me from seeing it for so long.
The clearest way to describe what I understood pride to be is to watch Disney’s animated version of Beauty and the Beast, particularly the scene where Gaston sings his ballad. That has always been what I thought of as pride. Pride meant thinking highly of yourself and overestimating your abilities or knowledge. That was not me; I hated myself. How could I be prideful?
Let me illustrate what I mean.
Let’s say I assume my wife will want flowers, so I stop at the store to pick some up. I don’t want to ask her because I want it to be a nice surprise. Not being prideful here. I buy some flowers, her favorite, assuming, again, that she didn’t change her mind since the last time we talked about it. I start to go home and on the way I envision her response, she is going to be so happy, she is going to think I am a good husband and she is going to want to have some alone time latter to thank me.
See the husband has now built on the assumption, he is now depending upon his original assumption for the rest of his assumptions. The wife is now hopeless unless she can read his mind. He gets home, she just finished with the bills and they have little money. She thinks she is allergic to those flowers now and she just started her period. Needless to say, she is not thrilled about the flowers, and all of his plans have come crashing down. This may be a fight now from what was supposed to be a very kind act.
If the husband had not built on his original assumption he would have come home and gave the gift, listened to the new information from his wife, thrown the flowers out, and went on with the evening. She may have seen his caring heart and, though the situation was a bummer, they now know each other a bit better. I plan to give more examples, but I hope you can see what I mean by ‘acting and/or depending’ on an assumption.
Lastly, what I mean by “easily verified” is that we take an assumption and build upon it when we could, with very little proportionate effort, verify the assumption.” Continued... Read the rest at American Torah!
My van and a truck “kissed” and so now there is a bit of fiberglass repair needed on my van. Also an apartment managed by the same company has become available in Cleveland, TX. But the available apartment is exactly like this one which faces west, so I have blinding sun in the kitchen all day and really bright sun in the afternoon. I had to install really thick pull down shades because it hurts my eyes so much. I won’t be able to look at the apartment until mid-January, so maybe a more suitable one will be available by then.
At least Cleveland has a Kroger grocery store, a health food store, a Walmart, a senior center, the church that I like, and lots of places that Navasota doesn’t. Here you have to drive to another town for any of those things. So I am going to wait on getting the van fixed until after I have moved. Cleveland is close to Conroe, and I know where to get things done there having lived in that region for 40 years. I won’t feel so lost there.
The ophthalmologist examined my eyes, and now I have to go for more eye surgery next week. I hope that cures my “light blindness”, because it is getting worse. Even wearing good sunglasses, I am blinded by the sun. This is one reason why I don’t travel outside of Navasota to the neighboring towns. The open freeways here, with no trees, are so blinding. In Cleveland it will be great to be able to get everything I need without having to get on a freeway to another town.
On Friday, Sherry, June and I had our usual Bible study and good discussions about it, ready for the Sabbath School the next day, but I went there alone because Sherry was feeling very tired. June never goes there, she “Zooms” with her previous congregation.
On Saturday, when I returned from Sabbath School, June and I were driven to another town for the Torah Bible study in Paige TX, by some residents of Brenham. It is 75 miles each way! That was so great for us because neither of us can drive in the dark and we didn’t get home until way after 7 pm that day.