Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you.
1 Samuel 12:24
The Bible is clear in its teaching that the Lord is faithful to His Word and promises. (2 Timothy 2:13, Deuteronomy 7:9, 2 Thessalonians 3:3, etc.) The real question for each of us is “how do we respond to God’s grace and faithfulness to us?!” Do we live by our faith in such a way that we are faithful/devoted/committed to Him in all we do? The greatest commandment in the Bible is for us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. (Mark 12: 30) It seems many today want to take God’s grace, so freely poured out to us, and use it as an excuse to dishonor Him and give license to do what offends Him. With reasoning like “my sins are forgiven and no one is perfect” as guides to life, people forget God’s call to give Him our best and to resist sin knowing His honor is at stake in our witness and walk for Him.
To be sure, we cannot earn salvation by our efforts, as this is impossible for sinful beings like humans to accomplish on our own; but once we are saved by putting our faith in Jesus Christ, and God’s Spirit inhabits us, we now have power to overcome and be faithful in the ordinary ways of life that we all must face. Do we see how we talk, eat, drink, do our work, relate to others, use our money and time, etc. as ways to honor God and be faithful to Him? If we are not living faithfully to Him in these areas of life, be assured we are not living faithfully. As important as Sunday worship and being part of a church body are, it is how we live when we are not at church that really is the tell of our walk with God. He must be #1 in every area of our lives, not just in our religious beliefs. If we call Jesus our Lord and Savior, we are then called to “live by faith” in Romans 1:17; if we fail to do so, we cannot please God. (Hebrews 11:6) Our faith must permeate every area of our life to be a transforming faith that honors God; beware of compartmentalized faith that is only good for certain parts of your soul and activities! As we begin 2019, I hope it is our desire to honor God and be faithful to Him as He deserves nothing less than our best. We do this by beginning each day in total surrender to Him and His will in our prayers, letting His Word, the Bible, be our guide for all we do, and letting His Spirit use us in all our relationships and activities. It is a daily choice that only we can make, but it is the way to live a pleasing life to our God!
Love in Christ,
Pastor Gary Houdek