Tag Archives: faith

Worse Than and Infidel

1 Timothy 5:8

8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

Before we look at what this all means, we must first look at the word “infidel”. According to Webster an infidel is “someone who does not believe in religion of adheres to a religion other than their own”. This is commonly what we think about this word when we come across this verse. We think Paul is saying this person is worse than an unbeliever, and in many ways that is true. But it is not necessarily someone who does not have any religion, or even who adheres to another religion. This same Greek word, apistos, is used when talking about Thomas doubting that Jesus was alive. It is used by Jesus when talking about Christians who reject the true faith. In other words, we are looking at a person who doubts the Gospel and the precepts outlined therein. He does not place his faith in the truth and therefore is labeled an unbeliever.

Are there things in the word that you doubt? Or do you adhere that everything in the Bible is completely accurate, without flaw. How about the creation account? Do you doubt that God created the world, the universe, and all that is therein in 6 days and then took a day off? Do you adhere to some of the different explanations of the “6 days”, like each day is a thousand years, or even a million or billion? Or is there a huge gap between Genesis 1:1-2 and verse 3? Or does the use of the word day constitute the limited understanding of Moses so he just made it up? Do you doubt creation?

Do you doubt Genesis Chapter 3 and original sin? Do you doubt that because Adam sinned, his seed was passed down to all men, and that seed was the seed of sin? Do you adhere to the wisdom of man that says everyone is born good and right with God? Do you think sin comes from each of us doing the wrong things, or saying the wrong things? Do you think some people can go through life without sin and therefor not need a Savior? Do you doubt original sin?

Do you doubt the 1o plagues that hit Egypt and the resulting Exodus? Do you doubt that manna came from heaven, or that God write on tables of stone, or that millions of quails came from nowhere to feed the children of Egypt? Do you doubt that God parted the Red Sea, thinking instead that it was some strong wind or an earthquake which is the wisdom of man? Do you doubt Abraham would have sacrificed his son, or that the walls of Jericho fell with a shout, or that Daniel escaped from the lion’s den unharmed?

What part of the Bible do you doubt? There Are So many outrageous stories in there it would be easy to doubt a few of them, wouldn’t it? I mean, after all, what fish could swallow a man? What man could aim a stone that good with a slingshot? What kind of person could kill a thousand others with the jawbone of an ass? There is so much we could doubt.

But when we start to doubt just one little thing, it is easy to doubt a second thing, and a third. It is easy to start questioning the Bible and its precepts and commands, instead deciding to just believe the promises and ignore the laws. I will take all the blessings of Deuteronomy 28 and just ignore the curses because a loving God certainly would not allow any of that to fall on me. A loving God would just take everyone to heaven, wouldn’t He? Who cares if the Bible says many will call Him Lord, Lord, but he will say depart from me. Jesus died so we would all go to heaven, right? I don’t have to do anything or say anything.

Just because God says that a man lying with a man is an abomination doesn’t make it true. God is love. He loves everyone, and we should not be against two people who love each other. Who cares that God says marriage is between a man and a woman? If two people love each other that’s all that counts. Who cares that God says he formed us in our mother’s womb and that he has known us since the day we were conceived? That fetus is not living so a woman should be able to destroy it anytime she wants. Right?

Do you start to see how much doubt there is in the world today, and even in the church? Do you start to see how we have justified holding onto man’s wisdom and putting aside God’s wisdom through His word? After all, if the Bible is not true, I don’t have to be responsible to an almighty God. Even if one part is not true, I can easily start justifying that other parts might be untrue as well. The church is starting to latch onto things that we are told are wrong by the Word of God. We have lost our fear of the truth and replaced it with our own version of truth and out own wisdom.

If Thomas was an infidel (the same word was used here), then are we not the same if we do not believe God’s word is truth? If we don’t believe, are we not unbelievers as well? I challenge you today to examine yourself. Examine your thoughts. Examine what you truly believe? I pray you find yourself believing the truth of God’s Word and not the lies of the enemy, or even of your fellow man. As Paul so wonderfully pout it in Romans 3:4 “Let God be true and every man a liar”

This verse tells us that we are to provide for our families or we are worse than someone who does not believe. Men have become so lax in our society. They produce babies and then just walk away. They are irresponsible and self-centered, having only their own interests in mind. It is a scourge on our society and is at the heart of all the violence we see in our country. It is not just about money and provision in a material way. It is about providing spiritual, emotional and mental guidance as well. If you are lacking in any of these areas, ask God to help you. Be the best father you can be. Lord knows we need good, strong men in our world, and we need Godly fathers even more!

Tomorrow May Come

Matthew 6:34

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

”One day at a time sweet Jesus
That’s all I’m asking from you.
Just give me the strength
To do everyday what I have to do.
Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine.
Lord help me today, show me the way
One day at a time”

These words from the gold gospel song “One Day At A Time” express this verse very well. The truth is that we are not promised tomorrow so why do we spend so much time worrying about tomorrow? One of my favorite authors, whom I simply know as Fenelon, says “Don’t insult today by looking for a better tomorrow.” But we tend to do this all the time.

First of all, this verse does not give us liberty to waste all our resources and not plan for retirement. In today’s world, there is a need to put something back for our older years. Social Security just does not quite cut it unless you have no debt whatsoever. We are living longer and it takes more resources to live all the time. I have been one who has been slack in planning for my retirement so most likely I will be working for many years hence unless God brings in funds by some miraculous means.

At the same time, Jesus warns against building up our own riches for ourselves. In Luke 12:16-21 He tells the story of a rich man who has a good harvest. He builds bigger barns to store the harvest in. But God comes to Him and tells Him that his life will be taken that night. All that is in his storehouse will go to someone else, not him. This is told as a reprimand that we should not store up things for ourselves.

I believe God will supply for us as we continue to do His work. God has given me new tasks as I grow older. I had to stop working when cancer interrupted my career. Now my fatigue level is still too high so I can’t drive out of town. But God has brought other ways for me to earn income. I update land maps for a local company which brings in some income. I just published a book which is selling slowly but surely. Social Security is helping. I do not have a nest egg to fall back on, so I have to keep busy. But I believe God will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory (Proverbs 4:19).

On top of that, I know that God has a plan for me that will bring me peace and give me an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11). He will only do good for me (Romans 8:28) and He will finish the good work He has started in me (Philippians 1:6). I may not know what His plans are or where they will lead because His thoughts are much higher than mine (Isaiah 55:8-9). In every case, I will trust Him implicitly (Prob 3:5).

When we remember these things, we will not worry about tomorrow. We will not be alarmed when things do not go as planned. Our plans are putty in His hands. He is the potter, we are the clay (Jeremiah 18). Yield yourself to God and He will form your days before you. We do have to make certain plans like doctors appointments, business appointments, birthdays, holidays, vacations, etc. However we should never be disappointed if these plans go differently than we expected. God might have other ideas on how those days should go. He always knows what is best for us. Believe it!

Concentrate on today! God has only given you enough grace for this moment. He will give you grace for tomorrow’s situations when tomorrow comes. There is so much we can do today for Him, why look ahead to tomorrow. Let’s all concentrate on what he has for us today.

In the book of Haggai, the people were busy building their own houses and letting God’s house just sit in ruins. It had been sitting there for almost 100 years when Haggai showed up on the scene and said “Consider your ways.” He reminded the people that they were building their houses for themselves and disregarding God’s house. As a result, their crops were not growing and money was slipping through their fingers. They were too busy building their own kingdoms and ignoring the kingdom of God,

The people took the warning seriously and began to build the foundation of the temple. In Haggai 2:18-19 we read the following:

18 Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid, consider it.
19 Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.

At first God was telling them to consider their ways because they were building their own kingdoms. Now, as they have started to build the kingdom of God by laying the temple foundation, He tells them to consider something else. They have planted seeds, but seen no harvest yet. God tells them that from this day forward, He will bless them.

I believe this is a word from the Lord for 2019. Have you planted seed? Have you witnessed to souls, hoping they will accept Christ? Have you been praying for healing, finances, deliverance, or anything else? From this day, God will bless you! There is nothing you can do to bring a harvest out of seeds you have already planted. Oh, you can water them and provide light, but you cannot grow the seed itself., That’s God’s job. He is going to start growing those seeds.

Don’t give thought about tomorrow. Don’t worry about what it holds. Put your hand in the hand of the one who stills the waters. Trust and obey for there’s no other way. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. What have I to dread. What have I to fear. I’m leaning on the everlasting arms. There’s victory in Jesus, my Savior forever. The songs just keep on coming. We sing them all the time. Let’s now take the advice of these great songwriters. Let’s leave tomorrow in God’s hands and do all we can for Him today.

Be Perfect

Matthew 5:48

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

I would guess that there is not a single person reading this who has ever looked at this scripture and said “No problem.” Actually quite the opposite has always been true with me. How can I ever live up to this? Perfect, as God is perfect? Jesus must have misspoke. He didn’t really mean what He says here, did He? But then again, Jesus always meant what He said. I also don’t believe Jesus ever told us to do something that was beyond accomplishing in our lives, including this verse.

First, let’s look at this word perfect. Our human concept is that it means flawless or without any blemishes of any kind. Our human concept is that it is impossible to attain perfection because we will never be flawless. Our flesh is always messing up, making mistakes and marking us with sin. Day after day we struggle to stay above this sin filled world, but we slip and fall and have to repent once again. Our flesh will never stay perfect and for that reason we will never see ourselves as perfect in God’s eyes.

But there is more to the Greek word than that. In the Greek, this word means brought to its end, finished or lacking nothing necessary for completeness. This is an entirely different picture of the word. I think of the potter. He molds and shape the clay until it forms the vessel he is trying to make. He smooths the clay, works it with his hands and applies the water to smooth it out. Once it is in his desired shape he will fire it in the kiln and allow it to harden. When done it is perfect in his eyes. To is complete and ready for his use. There may be small imperfections in the vessel, but the potter ignores them because he knows the vessel is ready to meet his use, so that is all that matters to him. He sees it as perfect.

I never want to think I am perfect. If I do, pride will rise up within me that I have accomplished something and I am something special. I have been there before and I don’t want to go back. When the spirit moved on a service, I would think I put together the perfect worship service. When many people came to the altar for prayer after a message, I would think I delivered the perfect message for that day and gave the perfect altar call. I did this or I did that. Perfection will never come from within me, nor will I probably ever produce perfection. There is just too much flesh covering my life that I can’t get away from its imperfections.

We have to look at this word differently. Jesus is not saying we have to be perfect in our own eyes. He is saying we have to be perfect in God’s eyes. The difference is huge! God knows where He wants us to be and what He is trying to accomplish in our lives. Only He knows when we are perfected to the place He wants us. We might still see all our flaws and failures, but He may see us as perfected for the purpose He has for us today. That perfection will change as we grow and mature in Christ. God is the one who sees us as perfect.

“How do we get there?” has to be the next question. The journey starts with our salvation. The sin stained life of Adam must be covered with the redemptive life of Jesus Christ. 1 John 2:2 says Jesus is the propitiation for our sins. That means he covers our sins so that God does not see them. In fact, God removes them as far as the East is from the West (Psalm 103:12). He tells us that though our sins are scarlet, He will make us white as snow (Isaiah 1:8). He says if we confess our sins, He will forgive us and cleanse us (1 John 1:9). Our sin must be removed before we can even think about being perfected by God. That is the starting point.

There are many verses in the Bible that talk about the Lord purifying us like gold and silver is purified. This points to a process of perfecting us by removing the things that hinder us in our spiritual walk. Malachi 3:2-3 tells us God will purify the sons of Levi so that they may present the Lord righteous offerings. We are the spiritual priesthood and God wants to purify us so that our works are righteous and pure before Him. Psalm 66:10 says that the Lord has refined us like silver. He has taken away the dross and left those things that are pure before Him.

But how does He do this? This is the thing we must grasp onto. He does the purifying through our trials and tests. Those difficult things God allows into our lives are the very things that remove the dross and imperfections from our lives. Isaiah 48:10 tells us He has tried us, but not like silver, because He has tried us in the furnace of affliction. 1 Peter 1:7 tell us that our faith is more precious than silver or gold and it is tried by fire. Our faith is tried and purified by the fire of afflictions that come into our life.
The key verses to me are James 1:2-4:

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Perfect and entire, wanting nothing. There it is again. James tells us that this is attainable. We can be perfect and entire before God. This is not the kind of perfect that has no imperfections! It is not someone who does absolutely no wrong, who is what we would call “squeaky clean.” It is not a person who says the right things and does the right things all the time. It is not a perfection of this world. It is a perfection in God’s eyes.

James tells us first to be joyful when troubles and trials come out way. Sounds impossible, but it is not. This is the Fruit of the Spirit joy that is always there no matter what things may come. It doesn’t laugh uncontrollably or leap for joy or shout for joy. It’s a joy that knows God is doing something good and will rejoice because He is working in us, right at this very minute. The trials we go through are going to exercise my faith. We all know that exercising something will make it stronger. Our trials make our faith stronger.

As our faith grows, so does our patience. We learn to wait on God. We learn that the answer does not always come within the time frame we are hoping for. We learn that His answer always comes at the time appointed by Him, not us. So we have to wait, not really knowing when the answer comes. We have to continue to extend our faith in expectation of that answer, knowing He will answer our prayer because He promises He will. We also have to have wisdom to know when the answer comes because His answer is not always what we expect. He will send His perfect answer, where we always want what we want!

Patience eventually takes over. We no longer worry or fret when the answer will come. We just know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has everything under control. We wait and pray, knowing God will bring the best answer at the right time. Patience with God is a critical thing. Patience with ourselves is also a by-product. Patience with others is a result of it all. Being able to endure when things aren’t going exactly the way we want is patience. Being able to hold your tongue is patience. Allowing your life to be led one step at a time is patience. It is when patience is completely working in every part of our lives that we are perfected. That’s is when God looks at us and sees a perfect vessel ready for the Master’s use.

When I first saw this truth, I was blown away. Knowing that patience is so critical in our walk with God will change our perspective. It sure did mine! I realized that all those trials I have gone through, and am still going through, are God’s perfecting agents for my life. That is why I can have joy in the midst of every trial and test. I know He is brining me closer to perfection in His eyes. I know that this trial is bringing me to the place where I am perfectly ready to fulfill His call on my life.

Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect. Not in your own eyes, but in His eyes. He sees our heart, we see our flesh. We see an imperfect vessel, He sees a perfect heart if we have come to that point. Allow yourself to be perfected by God, and be perfect.

Fruit of Faith

Galatians 5:22-23 KJV

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

When I first saw that faith was list as a fruit of the spirit, I thought that this was some other form of faith than the one I practice every day. After all, there is a gift of faith, and that is a gift is a faith that surpasses a normal every day faith in God, right?

The gift of faith is an actual infusion of the faith of the Holy Spirit into our souls to believe God for what our human mind would have a very hard time believing God for. Then that gift if Faith, since it has no doubt and does not waver, accomplishes what the bearer of the gift asks. This divine infusion may then stay until the prayer line is done, or it may leave after that particular person – it does not stay with the believer at all times. At least that is how I perceive the gift of faith.

But the fruit of faith – is that something different than our own faith? The faith we used to accept Christ, the faith we used to believe God for things during our walk with Him, the faith we practiced when believing God for healing? The answer is no! The fruit of faith has been with us since even before we were saved, because it is the faith that was given to us by measure from the time we were born (Rom 12:3). If not for this seed of faith, no one would come to the Lord! No one would have that faith it takes to accept His grace. It is a gift, a seed planted at the time we were conceived. It has operated in us while we were children believing for the tooth fairy to come at night. This faith is what we have relied on all our lives.

The fruit of faith may have grown in us before we accepted Christ. Some have more faith when they are children and can pray with the sincerest elder saint in the world. Then, as they grow older, they neglect this fruit and wander away from faith, and the fruit starts to whither on the vine. This would describe my walk. My faith withered, but a friend started to water that seed, and nurture it, and the fruit of faith once again started to grown within me. I finally accepted Christ at 24 years old. I thank God my faith did not fully wither away.

For others, their faith just grows on a steady curve because they stay in the word and practice their faith. They keep it active and alive through worship, prayer and the word. They understand that their faith grows and is tested when trials come. They know that the greatest victories come out of the worst trials – their faith tells them this. The fruit of faith just keeps growing, and as a result, we plant seeds of faith in others and cultivate and water those seeds. Their fruit produces more fruit and becomes fruitful. This is a glorious fruit indeed!

The most wonderful thing about this is that if you don’t have the faith you would like to have, you can rest assured faith can grown in you because that is the nature of fruit! Fruit grows and multiplies. As you take little steps of faith and believe for the smallest of things, your faith can grow (Matt 17:20 says all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed). As you recognize God is delivering you from one thing after another instead of giving credit to luck or circumstance than your faith can grow (Proverbs 3:6 says acknowledge Him in all your ways). Then there is this:

Romans 10:17
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

As you read the word, take note of all the acts of faith that are recorded there. Take note of all the miracles, all the healings, all the times of deliverance, all the obstacles overcome, all the divine prophecies that come true. All of these things happened by faith. Read Hebrews 11 – the faith chapter – and see all the works of faith. All these things are in His word to help build your faith! Spend time in the word of God and you can’t help but have your faith built up.

We all have gone through times when our faith is stronger, and when it is weaker. It is in these times that God will direct us to His word or will bring about situations in our life where we have to extend our faith. He will put us together with people who have less faith so we can see our faith working. These are the times we must take note of because these are the times our faith will grow and be fruitful. Never doubt for a minute that God wants this fruit to grow in you.

Romans 5:1 King James Version (KJV)
5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Justified by faith. I have heard that word justified described as meaning “just as if I’d never sinned”. I like that! It is by faith we accept the sacrifice of Jesus as a replacement for us. We are the ones who sinned and deserved death, yet by faith we acknowledge He is our substitute. It is only by faith we can take that step. Our logical mind will never comprehend it. Faith is what brings that truth inside us.

In fact, our whole salvation experience is by faith. Yes, we can explain what happened to us, and all that Jesus has changed in our life, but in the end, it is faith that attributes all those things to Jesus being alive in our life. That is why the secular world just doesn’t get it. They want physical proof – science – to explain everything. If science can’t explain it, it can’t be true. It may indeed be true to us, but not to them and their logical mind. Creation, original sin, virgin birth, Red Sea parting, Jordan river parting, Holy Spirit infilling – all of these and many more are by faith. Your and my salvation is at the top of that list.

James 1:5-7
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

Whether it is wisdom or healing or deliverance or any other thing, we must ask in faith. It is our faith that makes these things become a reality to us. Remember, God always knows what we need. But He wants us to verbalize it so He knows that we know what we need. The story of blind Bartimaeus is a perfect example. It was obvious to everyone the Bartimaeus was blind, yet Jesus asked Him what He desired. God wants us to recognize the needs in our lives, and then come to Him with those needs. This fruit of faith then does its work.

However, if we truly expect a response, our faith must not waver. It must not stop at the request. It must not give up if the answer does not come right away. Our faith must be steadfast, immoveable and resolute. The fruit of faith must remain through every test and trial it faces, through every prayer that does not get answered immediately, through every persecution the world would bring when prayer is not effective for them. This fruit continues to bloom as we acknowledge God in the littler mercies He gives us amidst the bigger prayers and requests. We keep it growing by knowing He is at work at all times. Make sure your faith is always working, always growing!

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

When our faith is truly engaged, we can see the answer before it comes. We can know beyond a shadow of a doubt our request will be answered. Why? Because our faith makes it a reality in our life. Faith extends beyond the circumstances and brings the result into our mind, and we walk toward that result by faith. Our prayers are given substance by our faith, and our mind realizes then evidence.

My cancer is a prefect example. When I was diagnosed, I prayed a simple prayer – that God would use it for His glory. I asked God for complete healing, to be stronger when I finished than when I began. I knew He would grant that request. I could feel it and see it in my spirit. I could sense the testimony of healing that would come out of this disease. I just trusted Him all the way through, because my faith had been extended, and the substance of that prayer of faith was and still is a reality to me. I am close to normal again. The neuropathy in my hands legs and feet is about all that remains of the cancer (from treatment). I know that will be gone as well – by faith.

1 John 5:4
4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith

Our faith enables us to overcome this world. We can try to hide from it, to fight against it with words or actions, or to do it in our own strength. But in the end, it will be our faith that will bring us victory. It is faith that gives substance to our prayers of deliverance out of any bondage that would still remain within us. It is faith that allows us to rest comfortably when others would panic. It is faith that brings us joy when our world is crumbling apart. You cannot just summon these things up. It is faith that they are there that will bring them to the forefront.

Overcoming the world is serious business. There are so many attractions, so many things to lure us away from Christ, so many thigs that can capture us and our imaginations. But through faith, all of these allurements can be overcome. All of them can be put behind us. We just have to believe that and then act upon it. It takes a faith that will reach out every day, every moment of every day. A faith that will listen to the voice of truth and not the leis of the world. A faith that never wavers and never ceases. This fruit of faith brings us the victory – and we overcome!

Romans 4:21
21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

I put this verse in last because even though it does not mention the word faith, it is all about faith. Being fully persuaded means that we have been brought to a place where we are convinced of something. There is no doubt in our mind. This takes faith! His word will fully persuade us if we spend the time in that word to search out the truth. We must take the time to learn about this faith, this marvelous fruit, that He has given us. When we understand the depth of faith he wants us to display, then we can work toward cultivating this fruit to that place.

Once our faith has come to it’s full state, we then are persuaded that He will do what He says He will do. That means every promise in the book is mine! Do you know what he has promised you? He has promised healing, deliverance, wisdom, blessing on your family, flocks, career, home, land, etc., and so many more things. They are all yours when you become fully persuaded – when your faith is engaged.

This is probably one of the easiest fruit to grow within ourselves. I could cite many more scriptures, but I want to wrap this up with a quick reference on how to make your faith more fruitful. It’s not hard at all!
1) Read the word of God and recognize all those things that faith accomplishes.
2) Acknowledge the hand of God in everything that transpires in your life
3) Realize that prayers are answered all the time, and give thank for those answers
4) When answers are taking longer, recognize the little mercies along the way
5) Don’t allow anything to minimize your faith – let it be unstoppable.
6) Trust God in everything and give Him praise for everything that enters your life

If you follow these simple steps, you will see your faith growing steadily. The results will amazed you!

Redeemed From the Curse

Galatians 3:10-18 KJV

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

One of the things that becomes very obvious if you really look at the law that was given to Moses is that we are all cursed under the law because we cannot keep it. And the law specifically says that anyone who does not keep the words of the law is cursed!  Here is some of what the Word says about that in Deuteronomy 28:

15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.
17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store.
18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
20 The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.

Pestilence, fever, consumption, a botch, hemorrhoids, scabs, itch, blindness, madness – all these are listed in just 14 verses of the chapter – there are 29 more describing what happens to those who do not follow all the law completely!  God is serious about following the law!

But we are not under the curse of the law.  Jesus Christ gave His life so we would no longer be obligated to the law.  Paul says Jesus became a curse for us, taking our place.  Deuteronomy 21:23 tells us that cursed is everyone who hangs in a tree.  When Jesus hung on that cross, bearing all our sins, He reversed the curse of the law and made us all free from that curse.

The law was all about works, not faith.  You could not fulfill the law by faith.  The law was all about the things that the people did to show their worship, repentance, and awe toward God.  That is the Old Covenant.  The New Covenant which Jesus brought is based on belief in Him and His sacrifice.  If we decide we want to live by the law, then we have to do the whole law – not just parts of it.  Why would I ever choose the law over grace?

This also applies to our works.  Grace is what saves us – the grace of God.  We extend our faith to accept that grace.  It is not our works.  I know I keep repeating this fact, but we must understand that God has done all He needs to do to save us.  We cannot add anything to it, and so many do!  So many say works are a requirement for heaven.  Don’t fall back under that trap!  

On another note, in verse 16 Paul mentions that the promise was made to Abraham’s seed.  This is a singular form of the word seed.  The promise of blessing was not to his offspring, which would be seeds.  The seed is one – the seed of faith.  The faith that God counted to Abraham for righteousness.  That seed is in everyone who believes God.  We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born to take away our sins, died on a cross to redeem us and rose again to grant us eternal life.

If you ignore the fact that God promised this way before the law was given, then I can understand why one would think works are needed for redemption.  That is why this is so important!  God’s promises are true, throughout the Bible.  The law does not negate the promise to Abraham any more than the law negates the promise through Christ. 2 Cor 1:20 says For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.  Through Christ, all the promises are ours!

I will be the first to say that once we get saved, we must be about the Father’s business.  We have so much work to do in this world.  There are so many hurting people and each one of us can touch a soul each day.  It is imperative that we do all we can to spread His love to all we know. God has entrusted His grace to us so that we can show grace to others.  How do we do that?  By being a blessing to them!

Here’s a short list from a website called moreradiance.com.

  1. Smile and say hello to others
  2. Give up a parking space for someone else
  3. Pay for someone else’s meal
  4. Be kind and patient towards your waiter
  5. Leave a generous tip with a gospel tract
  6. Hold the door for others
  7. Let someone else go in line ahead of you
  8. Share coupons at the store
  9. Pick up things that have fallen off the shelves
  10. Be kind and patient towards the cashier
  11. Say “thank you”
  12. Give a stranger a sincere compliment
  13. Put extra change in a parking meter
  14. Pick up trash
  15. Wave others on at a stop sign

For the full list of 100 things, you can go to https://moreradiance.com/100-little-ways-bless-others/

It does not take a grand gesture to bless someone.  We pass on grace with a smile, a handshake, a good deed, a shoulder to cry on.  These works are necessary to work out our salvation (Phil 2:12).  In the end, we will be judged on how well we performed these works of grace.  We will all stand before the judgement seat of Christ!  Second Cor 5:10 says “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”  Don’t think that just confessing Christ as your Savior will get you there!  If you make that confession and then turn away and just do your own thing, this verse is a warning!

Works does have a place, not in initial salvation, but in refining and molding us into our salvation.  Salvation is an ongoing experience. We keep growing in the grace of God – or at least we should.  If you are not growing, please take a hard look at why and correct it.  Do what the Father asks you to do.  Your eternal life depends on it!