Two Paths

Two Paths

In life, there are only two paths to choose from.  Please, recognize this statement for the truth that it is.

We may choose to live for God and the Kingdom of righteousness; or we may sink to serving satan who is the enemy of God and the enemy of all that is good and true, peaceful and holy.

The ancient Hebrew word for satan means “accuser” or “adversary.” Why would we want to serve the being who is named “accuser”?

My heartfelt question is “Why would anyone choose to serve the kingdom of darkness?”  Let’s look at what the Scriptures have to say.  I’m going to put the Bible verses in categories to help to clarify this study.

About the Kingdom of God & Jesus

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace . . .  (Gal 5:22 NKJV)

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  (Joh 10:10b NKJV, emphasis added)

. . . and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  (Phil 4:7 NKJV)

For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.  (1 Cor 14:33 NKJV)

About the Kingdom of Darkness & satan

For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.  (Jas 3:16 NKJV)

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  (Joh 8:44 ESV)

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  (Joh 10:10a NKJV)

Warnings from Scripture

Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  (Eph 6:11 ESV)  We have to protect ourselves with the spiritual tools that the Lord has given to every believer.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  (1 Pet 5:8 NKJV)  We believers need to be vigilant and review our lives on a fairly regular basis so that we don’t allow even the smallest entry for the devil.

Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.  (Rev 12:20 NKJV, underscoring added)  Know that the enemy will surely receive his eternal punishment which is described here.

Conclusions

The Bible informs us of key things we should know about the enemy and his realm.  In the kingdom of darkness, the atmosphere is full of envy, self-seeking, confusion, lies and every evil thing.  The beings who populate that realm enjoy killing, stealing, lying and destruction.  The future holds a grim reality for satan and for all who choose to serve him: 

The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.  (Rev 20:10 NKJV)  This is an eternal, never-ending punishment. 

The Bible informs us that Jesus came to impart life not only here on earth, but for all eternity to those who accept Him as their Lord and Savior.  That is why John 10:10 says “more abundantly.”  When we serve Jesus and His Kingdom, we experience love, joy and peace.  We become a member of the family of God.  And lastly, when we become a child of God we experience the peace that passes all understanding.  (Phil 4:7)  Glory to God most High!

Loving God’s Law

Loving God’s Law

Should we really love “God’s law” (synonymous with “God’s Word”)?  Yes, we should be devoted to God’s Word and regard it as precious to us.  This also means that we choose to live according to and in obedience to God’s Word.

Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.  (Ps 119:165)  In this verse, the word stumble means to be offended.  Studying God’s Word and obeying it will mature us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.  What a beautiful blessing.

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.  (Isa 26:3)  As we focus on the Lord and His love and goodness, He allows His peace to flow into us and to fill us with assurance. 

Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.  (Pro 3:17)  This verse is referring to Wisdom, and 1 Corinthians 1:24 reminds us that Christ is the wisdom of God!  The ways of Christ are peace-filled and pleasant.  Praise His Holy Name!

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.  (1 Joh 5:3)  This verse reminds us that when we love God, we obey His Word—and do not consider His Word difficult or oppressive.

The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.  10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.  (Ps 19:8-10)  This passage from the Bible points out that God’s Word blesses us in many ways.  It:

  • Gives us joy,
  • Illuminates concepts of faith for us, and
  • Is better than gold and sweeter than honey for us.

The entire 119th Psalm is all about God’s Word and how it is a blessing to all who love it and obey it.  Study this Psalm and seriously meditate upon its riches.  God bless you!

Why Was I Created?

Why Was I Created?

We were created in the image of God. (Gen 1:27; Col 3:10)  We were—each and every one of us—created by God to have and to enjoy a vital relationship with Him.  We have the choice of entering into a relationship with Him or not. 

The Bible reminds us that every human being has sinned (Rom 3:23).  Because God loves mankind, He provided a Savior for us.  (Joh 3:16)  Jesus is the Savior that God gave us.  (1 Joh 2:2; 4:10; Gal 2:20)

The Bible also reminds us that we have the free will to make this choice, even to reject our Savior.  (Joh 1:11; 2 Tim 2:12)  God has given us the freedom to make our own decisions.

But whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.  (Mt 10:33 ESV)

However, when we accept Jesus as our Savior, He gives us salvation:  abundant life as well as eternal life.  (Joh 3:16; Rom 10:13)

Jesus said about Himself:  The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  (Joh 10:10)  The life that Jesus provides is an abundant one, full of blessings and benefits.  (Ps 68:19: 103:2; 116:12)

The Lord desires to have a daily relationship with each one of us where we experience His presence and trust Him for wisdom, courage, and strength in all situations. With every step that we take, decision we make, conversation we have, and thought that we entertain, the Lord wants to glorify Himself through each one of us. He desires to shine in our lives—with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control illuminating our unique talents, traits, and personalities as we walk in obedience to Him.  He wants to live in each one of us and through each one of us.

Read your Bible, pray, worship the Lord along with other believers, and obey the Scriptures.  As you do these things, the Lord will lead you and teach you how to love Him, serve Him, and to walk in His ways.  Listen for His voice, and be sensitive to Him—even as you would be to your spouse—for your relationship with the Lord is your most crucial relationship.

So we were created:  1) for an intimate relationship with the Lord through Jesus Christ; 2) to glorify God through our lives; and 3) to be loved by God and to give Him our love in return.

This is a life of harmony and unity with Jesus Christ—where He is the Captain of our souls.  He lovingly charts our journeys, decides on the ports of call, and brings us safely to our destination.  All glory to God!

No Neutrality

No Neutrality

He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.  (Lk 11:23)

He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.  (Mt 12:30)

In spiritual matters, neutrality [detachment; objectivity; nonalignment] is impossible!  We must choose whom we will serve.  (Josh 24:14-15)  We should be willing to declare our allegiance to Jesus and to His Gospel under all circumstances.

Now, what had precipitated this remark in Luke 11:23 and Matthew 12:30 by the Lord?  It was the occasion of Jesus casting out a demon from a man who had been made blind, deaf, and mute by the demon.  Jesus performed a miracle and healed the man completely.  The multitudes were amazed and began questioning how this was possible.

The Pharisees heard about the healing and about the questions of the crowd, and speculated on the miracle.  One stream of thought was that Jesus had received power through demonic association.  But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said: 

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. 30 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”  (Matt 12:25-30)

Another view took a wait-and-see attitude.  They thought that there might be a “sign” from God about this event.  Clearly, a vast number of people were not convinced that Jesus was under any demonic influence.  The one thing that was NOT in doubt was the fact that something supernatural (a miracle) had occurred

Jesus response to the Pharisees (see verses above) is a way of stating that He is not alone in this ministry.  He has apostles and disciples—and He was looking ahead to the future, to us.  Jesus clearly says that if He drives out demons by the power of the Almighty God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon them.

We know that the Kingdom of God has come upon us, and through the power of the Spirit, has anointed us for service to His Kingdom.  Don’t believe that you can serve the Lord, and be neutral.  It’s not possible.  In the verse above, Jesus tells us that “if we’re not FOR Him, we’re AGAINST Him!”

God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”  (1 Cor 1:28-31 NIV)

Choose

Choose

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life, and death, blessing or cursing; therefore choose life that both you and your descendants may live . . . (Deut 30:19)

In this passage of Scripture, God reminds us that He has given us the power to make our own choices.  We can choose life or death; we can choose blessing or cursing; we can choose to obey God or not.

As Christians, many of life’s seemingly inconsequential choices are simply opportunities to live as disciples and followers of Jesus Christ—or not . . . !

Think about the importance of such things.  It’s kind of mind-blowing when we view our lives from this perspective.  Each and every day, we have so many choices to make.

We must choose:

  • Whom we will serve (Josh 24:15)
  • What type of words we want to speak (Job 15:5; Pro 8:8; 21:23; Jas 3:6-9)
  • Not to be an oppressor (Prov 3:31)
  • Our friends wisely (Prov 12:26)
  • The good and refuse evil (Isa 7:15)
  • To bless God (Ps 33:1;146:2; 147:1; Heb 13:15)

We each have one life to live.  We each have millions of choices to make throughout the course of our lives. 

Take time to consider which kingdom you are serving with each and every choice that you make.  God bless you.