The Valley of Decision

There are many, many people in the valley of decision. The day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

Joel 3:14 GW

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all his angels are with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. The people of every nation will be gathered in front of him. He will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right but the goats on his left.

“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, my Father has blessed you! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me into your home. I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’”

Matthew 25:31‭-‬36 GW

“The king will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant ⌊they seemed⌋, you did for me.’”

Matthew 25:40 GW

You can only think one thought at a time.

Are you thinking thoughts of judgment or thoughts of compassion?

We are admonished not to judge.

There is only one righteous Judge.

Mercy will be shown to those who show mercy.

Grace will be shown to those who show grace.

Love will be shown to those who show love.

His children know His voice.

It’s the voice that says think of others as better than yourself.

It’s the voice that says observe the times and seasons.

Time is short.

Our King returns soon.

Sooner than you could ever possibly think or imagine.

Stay awake.

Don’t fall asleep and slip back into sin.

The righteous live by faith.

The finish line is within sight.

It’s time to make one final push.

Every day counts.

Every soul counts.

No matter how unimportant they may seem, the Lord loves them.

People perish for lack of knowledge.

Without knowing the Gospel truth and acting on it, people continue to live like goats.

They are stubborn and self-willed.

They endlessly consume and contribute nothing to the greater good.

When people are awakened to the truth, they get adopted into God’s family.

They become sheep with a Good Shepherd.

They live lives of service.

The good works we do for others are like pure, white wool.

Brothers and sisters, in view of all we have just shared about God’s compassion, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you.

Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect.

Romans 12:1‭-‬2 GW

The Valley of decision is close at hand.

The Day of the Lord is near.

He will decide.

He will decide who inherits the Kingdom.

He will decide who will eat the punishment they deserve.

We are saved by grace.

That grace should transform our lives.

Let your light shine in front of people.

Then they will see the good that you do and praise your Father in Heaven.

May God’s grace abound in your life.

In Jesus’ Name I pray.

Amen.

Faith works.

A New Commandment

“I’m giving you a new commandment: Love each other in the same way that I have loved you. Everyone will know that you are my disciples because of your love for each other.”

John 13:34‭-‬35 GW

Dear lady, I’m now requesting that we continue to love each other. It’s not as though I’m writing to give you a new commandment. Rather, from the beginning we were commanded to love each other. Love means that we live by doing what he commands. We were commanded to live in love, and you have heard this from the beginning.

2 John 1:5‭-‬6 GW

Pay your debts as they come due. However, one debt you can never finish paying is the debt of love that you owe each other. The one who loves another person has fulfilled Moses’ Teachings.

Romans 13:8 GW

The heart of the Gospel is the message that God loves us.

This love was revealed in Jesus Christ.

He died for us while we were yet sinners.

He has given us the ministry of reconcilation.

God reconciled us back into relationship with God by sacrificing the sinless One in our stead.

The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.

The veil was torn, from top to bottom, when Jesus died.

It was a sign that it was God who removed the veil between us and Him.

It’s God’s intention that all people be saved by faith in Christ Jesus.

Faith comes by hearing.

And hearing by the message of the Gospel.

The revealed Word of God.

The message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.

But it’s the unequivocal truth.

What motivates us to preach the Gospel?

Love.

Do you remember what it’s like to be lost in sin, with no hope?

Do you remember how it felt when you first received the Good News?

It was like a weight had been lifted.

It was like the lights came on.

Finally, everything made sense.

Knowing the truth will set you free.

The Gospel needs to be demonstrated with power.

An intellectual understanding of Christ will not save you.

You need to encounter God.

And once you encounter Him, you need to follow Him.

If you don’t follow Him, then where are you going?

When Jesus called His very first disciples what did He say?

As he was going along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew. They were throwing a net into the sea because they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come, follow me! I will teach you how to catch people instead of fish.” They immediately left their nets and followed him.

Mark 1:16‭-‬18 GW

Jesus invites you to follow Him.

He invites you into a new way of life.

And He teaches you how to evangelize the lost and make disciples.

Those who respond reap the reward.

God initiates the relationship.

If you love Him, you will follow Him.

You will obey His commandments.

And He will lead you into all truth.

The truth is, God is love.

He loves us so much, He sacrificed Himself so that we could stay in relationship with Him even though He is holy and we are jars of clay.

Jesus fulfilled the Law of Moses.

And then He gave us a new commandment.

Love one another, as I have loved you.

Wash each other’s feet.

Remove the stains of the world from each other.

Be sanctified.

Be made holy.

Be perfect as He is perfect.

He didn’t give us an impossible task without giving us the means to accomplish it.

He gave us the Holy Spirit.

The power of God.

Living inside of us.

Preach the Gospel.

Cast out demons.

Heal the sick.

Make disciples.

Any questions?

Knowing Jesus

“You know the way to the place where I am going.”

John 14:4 GW

Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 GW

Brothers and sisters, because of the blood of Jesus we can now confidently go into the holy place.

Jesus has opened a new and living way for us to go through the curtain. (The curtain is his own body.)

We have a superior priest in charge of God’s house.

We have been sprinkled ⌊with his blood⌋ to free us from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with clean water. So we must continue to come ⌊to him⌋ with a sincere heart and strong faith.

We must continue to hold firmly to our declaration of faith. The one who made the promise is faithful.

Hebrews 10:19‭-‬23 GW

Jesus is the way to Heaven.

Jesus is the way to the Presence of God.

Jesus is the way into the Holy of Holies.

I was mulling over some ideas and concerns in my head this morning and the Lord spoke to me, “You have access to the Father.”

That gave me pause to reflect.

As a doer of the Word, sometimes I get so caught up in doing, that I fail to slow down and rest in God’s holy Presence.

I need to remember that He is the One that does the work.

My job is just to be obedient.

That takes a lot of the pressure off of trying to figure out how to wake everybody up and get them on mission.

I want to charge ahead.

But we only have a remnant army.

The masses are sleepwalking through life, hypnotized by the cares of this world.

I couldn’t care less.

All I care about is serving God and pleasing my Master, my Lord, my Savior.

He set me free from a life of sin.

Sometimes I forget where I came from.

What He brought me out of.

Last night, I contemplated the cry of the evangelist’s heart.

A voice crying out in the wilderness.

There is a better way.

Love one another.

That’s what He commands us to do.

Why do we feed the homeless?

Because it reduces the crime rate?

No, that’s a side effect.

Because they’re human.

And if you’re human, you know that being hungry isn’t a good feeling.

You don’t want anyone to be hungry if you’ve got a heart.

I feed them because I want them to live another day.

Maybe today.

Maybe tomorrow.

One of these days, God’s going to work a miracle in their hearts and minds and clean them up and set them free.

But if we don’t feed them and keep them alive, they may never live to see that day.

We would be robbing them of God’s blessing.

I don’t want to be the guy that does that.

Scripture tells us again and again to take care of the poor.

It’s good for them and it’s good for us.

Love everyone equally all the time.

That’s the heart of God.

But you cannot love unless you know God, because God is love.

And the only way to get to know God is by knowing Jesus.

God already knows everything about you.

Your past, present, and future.

How much do you know about God?

God is infinite and eternal.

There is no end to God.

And yet, someday we’ll fully know Him as He fully knows us.

That day will be in Heaven as we forever dwell in His Presence, abiding in His love.

Jesus,

Save me.

Save me from myself.

You’re all I want.

You’re all I need.

You’re all I ever want to be like.

Make me more like You.

Empty me of myself.

And fill me with Your Holy Spirit until it overflows and gushes out of me like rivers of living water.

In Your Name I pray.

Father, make it so.

Amen.