Tag Archives: Hebrews 10

3 Reasons I think People Don’t Feel Saved

For  many years if you’d have ask me if I was saved I’d have said yes. Largely because of shame and because I couldn’t admit that I didn’t even understand that concept. Most people who knew me assumed I was saved for no other reason than because I went to church. That was it. That was all it took.  Not because there was any evidence of it in my personal walk with Christ. Which I didn’t have.

So yesterday, as I was blessed to sit in church and hear a convicting message of the gospel; and by convicting I don’t mean I felt like a dirt dog, because I’ve been in those sermons too. But by convicted I knew there were areas in my life that needed more commitment.  And one of those areas was my Monday morning video “Not Another Manic Monday.” I had lost sight of what I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to draw people closer in their walk with Christ.

So today’s topic is one that I believe every child of God has an occasional if not consistent struggle with. The assurance that you’re saved, and three possible reasons that I think will help in winning that battle.

People Don’t Read Beyond the Norm

So what’s the norm? Unfortunately, I think people rarely, if ever read the word. I think that because that’s who I was in my previous church life.

Hebrews 10:22 ~ Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

A preacher friend of mine (and I’ve used this illustration so many times) said that the Word of God was like a spiritual “warsh” cloth. I know it’s wash cloth, but that’s how he said, and I love that memory.

It’s a phrase that has stuck in my head because I know it to be true. And it’s one of the primary reasons people lose their assurance of salvation. Because they don’t understand the importance of reading the word of God.

Prior to salvation, my idea of reading the word of God was, #1~ it was the preacher’s job. # 2 ~ it was there if I felt troubled. But the problem with the second notion, is at that time I wasn’t saved. So it was like reading the owner’s manual of a product I didn’t have. It made no sense what so ever. 

But once I became saved, and the Spirit of God came into my heart that changed and I was blessed with an immediate desire to soak in the word of God in every form. Spoken, written and recorded. I know I’m not the norm and many people may not have the time that I spend in His word. But the writer of Hebrew spoke a great truth when he said

…  having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

That evil conscience (that causes us to doubt our salvation) is covered by the blood. But without the reading of the word to remind us of that, we lose the feeling of being clean.

There is one thing I can tell you with bold assurance because I’ve lived it and I’ve failed at it; without the reading of the word of God, you will forever battle the assurance of salvation.

When the writer of Hebrews wrote 10:22, and when my preacher friend was inspired to say “warsh cloth” it was because both of those men had a relationship with the Lord beyond the norm.

People Don’t Live Beyond the Norm

1 Thessalonians 1:5 ~ For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

God has blessed me with some amazing Spirit filled saints in my life. People who live out the faith. They’re not perfect, but they’re living in the perfection of Christ.

By Spirit filled I don’t mean that they have more of God in them than the average saved person. When we get saved we all get all of God. 

Ephesians 3:19 says And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

When I think of the fullness of God I think of it like shaking a soda pop. When you do the carbonated bubbles explode to the surface. Well that’s what it’s like when you’re filled with the Spirit. It’s not that you have any more of God that anyone else. But rather the Spirit in you begins to bubble up with excitement because of the work God is doing in your life. And when it bubbles up and out, it’s evident to not only you, but the people around you.

At those times, nobody can tell you you’re not saved. Because you’re living it. And while we can’t live on the mountain all the time, if we’re serving God enough, those experiences will leave very little room for doubt in your eternal state. Not for you. Or for the people around you.

I was successful in my early walk with Christ because the people around me bubbled with excitement. And I wanted it too.

People Don’t Attend Church Beyond the Norm

Colossians 2:2 ~  That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

Growing up I thought that faith was a Sunday morning thing. Sunday night and Wednesday Night Bible Study was for the blue hairs and old men. And most churches are still like that today, if they even have a Sunday night or Wednesday night service.

Right after I got saved our church began a Wednesday Night Study called “Journey to the Heavenlies.” It was a study on the book of Revelation. A pretty heavy topic for a new believer. And while I certainly didn’t understand all of it, I understood enough, because of an excellent teacher. I was fascinated about the prospect of Heaven and no longer feared the end times.

That understanding helped inspire me to read and live beyond the norm. And it gave me the desire to come back again and again to learn more. I was so thankful for the truth of God’s word being taught to me that I wanted to live and do more for my Lord.

When Paul wrote to the Colossians he hadn’t been with them for a while. But they were holding on to each other and it multiplied their assurance.

That’s what attending a church does and why it’s crucial to your assurance.

When I got saved I was attending every revival around me. I couldn’t get enough church, be it mine or someone else’s. I just wanted to be with God’s people. I still do.

I know that in being with God’s people, I’ll not only be encouraged, I’ll be accountable. We need people in our lives that will keep us from slipping in our faith which causes doubt.

Last night the preacher told the story of some old time saints in a remote village. They didn’t have a closet to get into for prayer, but realizing the importance of spending time alone with God they would carve out a path in the woods. Each would have their own.

But if someone’s path started having grass grow on it, it would be evidence that they weren’t spending time alone with God. And one of their friends, in a nice tone would say, “Friend, your path has grass on it.”

They were letting them know that they were concerned that their friend wasn’t spending enough time with God.

So that’s my question for you.    Friend, does your path have grass on it? I hope not. And I don’t stand in judgement. Because my path any day could start growing grass because I’m just flesh and blood.

That’s why I go to church, read the word and live beyond the norm. Because I’m not normal.

That should get a big amen!

3 High Mileage Lies

chick lie

When I think of Satan (and those in this field of work will just have to forgive me) I often think of him as a used car salesman. One of those in the polyester suit, with a cheap toupee, wreaking of cigar smoke and more gold on his fingers than a television preacher. They may not be the father of lies but they might be the grandchildren. (John 8:44) I hope my words painted the scoundrel image I was after, but the truth is Satan comes in whatever form he needs to in order to get your attention. 2 Corinthians 11:14  says “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

What light has he shined into your world lately? Every day I hear of someone buying into his cheap lies. He did not come to them in his tacky car salesman garb; no, he was dressed in the exact apparel that he knew would cause them to give him credence in their life. He’s so very good at deception.

Here are 3 (of the many) lies that he desires you to believe.

# 1 You are unworthy of forgiveness

It’s such an easy lie to buy because most of us don’t live like we should and we’re faced with those saints that just look so good! They walk it and talk it and you just know that if you followed them home their perfect life would continue as their family gathered around the dinner table in prayer, no one argued, children did their homework without being asked, all the beds were made and the dishes done promptly after dinner, followed by devotions at the hearth with Daddy and a kiss on the cheek good night. Turn that show off, it is not reality TV. But neither is the garbage on television that we have inundated our minds with as acceptable living. The fact is we’re all imperfect. Are their saints that live closer to the cross than you and I? Yes! But they struggle too, it’s just in private and in ways that Satan chooses for them. He likely tells them too that they are unworthy.

So what’s the answer? You need to take a bath every day. It’s good hygiene for the body, but its much better for the soul.

Hebrews 10:22

 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

All that dirt Satan heaped upon you today will wash away with the blood of Jesus, and through His cleansing you are worthy.

#2 You are unheard

Usually that feeling too comes from the feeling of unworthiness. We revert back to childhood in that if we were good we were rewarded, and if we were bad we were punished. So… if I’ve messed up today, God assuredly knows it and will not answer my plea for help. Praise God He is not like us!

1 John 5:14 says this: And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

Perhaps we think our prayers are unheard because they were not answered as we desired. But our desires may or may not be what’s best, they usually aren’t because they’re created from our earthly viewpoint. We can have confidence, glory to God, in His will. God wants to hear your desires just as we want to hear the hopes and dreams of our children. But when your child at age five comes to you and says, “I want to be a teenage mutant ninja turtle when I grow up,” you don’t start looking for toxic waste to dip your child into. That’s not healthy. And God, Who from eternity’s standpoint we look like five year olds, hears our prayers they’re likely just as silly… and toxic! And just because our imperfect children get into trouble and let us down we still do not grow tired of listening to their petitions, and God never grows weary of listening to ours. But He too wants to be heard. You have to stay in His word to keep your confidence up.

# 3 You are untalented

This is my personal fave! I listen to Satan tell me that lie every day. And even if he comes to me in that cheap suit, wreaking of cigar, I buy it again. Satan doesn’t have any new lies, that’s why he reminds me of a used car salesman. He just keeps selling me the same lie over and over again. It certainly has high mileage!

What could God possibly do with me, my mediocre abilities and broken life?  I’m always shocked at the answer… anything He wants to. But first I have to put my hand into His and say, “Lead on Lord.” I’ve seen so many dreams and desires  come to fruition;  sometimes in the same mediocracy I gave it to God in and other times it was far beyond what my mind could have imagined. Experiencing God’s goodness first hand gives me the ability to boldly say “God can use anyone.” It’s not up for debate. There is a talent within you, and you know it. I don’t believe it when people say “I have no talent.” Usually I can already see what it is. But even if I can’t, it’s still there because God gave every one of us purpose. And that purpose is a talent within that only you can do.

Isaiah 46:9-11

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

God said to remember… He has purposed it, and He will do it. Don’t let someone else do your job, put your hand in His and say, “Lead on Lord!”

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Too Stressed for Rest?

stressed

This morning found me taking a nostalgic trip back to a simpler time in my life when all the cares and weight of the world laid upon the backs of my parents who were more than capable of handling the load. My Dad went to work and my stay at home Mom labored to keep heart and home in check throughout the week. Saturday’s came, and for me it meant cartoons on the couch or an occasional chore, but for my mother it meant preparing as much as possible ahead for Sunday. The Lord’s Day. Not just any day but a day of rest. Saturday was preparation day so that after church, even Mom could rest a minute.

Today Saturday’s are filled with housework, yard work, trips to the store or weekend getaways and preparation for Sunday begins at 9 a.m. Sunday morning for most families as they rush to get ready for church, if they’re even going. I’m not throwing stones, just stating a fact (one for which I lived out for many years prior to salvation.) Sunday for me was the day of guilt. I was raised better than to stay at home on Sunday, yet the freedom of adulthood allowed me that privilege and I took advantage of it at every possible opportunity. After all, I was in the workforce now, I needed the rest; and well, Sunday was better than Saturday, because Saturday I had things I wanted to do – like play. Ahem…. I’m preachin’ now!

I’m not a preacher, but King Solomon was when he penned the words in Ecclesiastes 12:10 ~  ”The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.”

Solomon searched to find words that would be both acceptable in the ears of man and right in ears of God that would encourage the congregation of the Lord. Words of truth. I seek those same words this morning as I write in hopes of encouraging a believer (or non-believer) to reconsider the purpose of the weekend.

I know lives are busy… hello… look at my own! I have something practically every day and evening of the week. So I get why someone, especially a young parent says, I need the rest. But the problems come when they miss the rest. The rest is Sunday, in the Lord’s house. The rest is what comes from hearing the preaching of the Word of God which puts balance into our lives. Even the babies as they go to Sunday School class and interact with other families of faith realize that there’s a purpose in Sunday. And bit by bit seeds are sown into the entire family that makes life better Monday through Saturday.

It’s my prayer as you read this, that it stirs your heart for Sunday morning and today you’ll begin preparing and determining that there will be a difference in Sunday. It will be set aside for rest for the body and soul. Perhaps you’ll even share it with someone else that you know has been to stressed for rest.

Here it is, you likely knew it was coming if you’ve ever heard the verse… Hebrews 10:25 ~ “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Exhortation! Encouragement! Who doesn’t need it? Hope to see you in church tomorrow!