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                 SHORT and POINTED                             Time to Waste or A Waste of Time        Posted 8/15/18

Time to Waste or A Waste of Time
Short and Pointed 8/12/18

 

 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.                      
 Hebrews 3:12

 

    While listening to our local Christian Radio Station I was blessed with the truth of God's Word. The pastor on the radio was teaching from Hebrews and while he was teaching, a thought came to me that I knew was meant to expound upon.
    The Hebrew or Jewish people, the nation of Israel, took two years to get to the edge of the Promised Land but because they did not believe God was able to give them that land they were sent back into the wilderness for another 38 years. They wandered about never getting anywhere. God provided for them because of their young who would in faith eventually enter into the Promised Land. But they themselves would not be given that final promise.
   40 years they wandered until all who had doubted God had died. This left a new group of believers.
   We often think as we read of this event that all of the elders died and all of their children took their place as representatives of God's chosen people. We view a whole new generation for God's purpose. A generation who was born and raised in the wilderness.
    Well that is not quite right.
You see there were already children among the nation of Israel who were not part of the doubting and defiant elders and adults. They were not among the responsible adults who were to represent the presence and power of God as His chosen nation and children. They were not of age but they had witnessed the power of God and knew of his promises.
29  Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me,
Numbers 14:29
The adults exhibited all of the exterior qualities of the chosen people of God, but their faith was still in their own abilities and inabilities. Repeatedly God gave them everything they needed for their welfare and His glory, but when it came time for them to give back in faith for God’s glory they doubted the abilities of God to deliver them and give them everything they would need to do so.
You see it’s easier to be known as something than to actually be something.
God’s blessings are for everyone but only the faithfully obedient disciples of Jesus Christ are able to bless God. An exterior, make believe, relationship with God through religious affiliation and activities is a waste of time. But many so called Christians today believe they have time to get serious later, as long as they have made some effort to be Godly beforehand.

   Time to waste---- as in; I'll get serious about serving God one of these days. I know God is in heaven but I need to take care of things here and now!
As long as I confess my sins before I die I'll go to heaven, right?
I'm just not ready to totally commit to that sort of thing, but I'm sure I will someday.  
    Well my friend you may have already been denied access to the Heavenly Kingdom. You may have been called to rise in faith for the glory of God and you have made your excuses and proclaimed your doubts. You may have already been cast off to finish your days in the wilderness just being called a Christian.
     Just as the adults in the nation of Israel were turned away and left to wander in the wilderness until they all passed away. All who had an excuse for not committing themselves to trust in the Lord with all their hearts were still known as the children of God but they never entered the Promised Land.
    Listen folks, even if you have confessed you are a sinner and risen to follow some religious group or church in order to head in the right direction, when you have finished your life here, you may well discover that you also died in the wilderness.

 
8  Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9  When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
10  Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
11  So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)  
12  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
Hebrews 3:8-12


     In the Book of Numbers, chapter 14 we find where Israel is repulsed from entering into the Promised Land. They rose up against God in unbelief and were cursed to die in the wilderness. Everyone from 20 years of age and up except Joshua and Caleb who did not stir up the people in fear and unbelief.
    Now, look if you will at these people and then look at yourself as a modern day Christian.
You are called and supposed to be a child of God.
Do you walk in faith or live in religion?
Are you ready and willing, completely reliant on the power of God in and around you to guide you and direct you, provide for you and protect you?
Are you looking forward to living in the promises of God? Do you even know what that means for you now?
     Living in religion can certainly help direct you to a better life but it will not open the doors of heaven to you. Only faith in Jesus Christ through repentance and confession followed by a commitment to obedient discipleship will usher you into the presence of God even before you leave this world.
    Yes, that is right!
There is a big difference in believing there is a God and believing in God.
Religion is about believing something Godly.
Salvation is, believing in God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ, whom He gave for us to follow to our Promised Land.
There is no doubt in my spirit that God has already prepared a place for me in heaven. I no longer wander in the wilderness of certain death and separation from God. I look forward to the preordained work He has for me as I sojourn in this world. I look for His glory on every path He leads me on as I walk in His promises.
    To walk any other way would be walking in doubt. It would be walking in fear that God will not or cannot finish the good work He has begun in me.
6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Philippians 1:6
To walk any other way is a waste of time.
The good work God began in me was His calling me to humble myself in repentance unto faith. The good work He has, is and will perform in me is sanctification unto glorification. That means, by grace through faith God will change me into the image of His Son, from glory to glory, until I reach the Promised Land.
    I thank God every day I no longer wander and wonder through various religions or doctrines. I thank my Lord and Savior for the well lit path of faith and obedience that I joyfully walk each day. I thank the Holy Spirit for being the power and the presence of God in and around me for God's glory.
My God is able to deliver me from the hands of mine enemies (who are the servants of Satan in this world) and give me all He has promised in love through Jesus Christ, our living Word of God.
  Where do you walk?
Are you still wasting time walking with the appearances of faith through religion or are you taking the kingdom of God with an unshakable faith through your personal love and commitment in and with Jesus Christ, the living Word of God.
   There is no time to waste!
Total faith and commitment is now; not when you get to the Promised Land!
Good intentions are not a commitment.                                  Total faith, is believing God’s grace will bless you for His glory.                            
Obedience, is rising to do the will of God by His direction and in His strength.
 Anything else is a waste of time!

 

Short and Pointed
Pastor Steven Freede
Cornerstone Independent Church
8/12/18

 

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