NUMBERS 23:10b KJV 10 Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!
How we face death is an important part of life. It is important to die right.
It bothers me to see those who claim to believe in Jesus Christ acting like they are afraid to die and go to Heaven.
I am not afraid to die. I look forward to it. It will be wonderful to be with Jesus in Heaven, after my job here is finished.
It bothers me to see people who have already lived a full life spend a fortune trying to prolong their life on earth, like they have no hope of Heaven.
How can we expect the world to believe, if we don’t act like we believe?
Your death is part of your testimony. If you approach death like those who have no hope, it is a bad testimony.
PROVERBS 14:32 KJV 32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.
Too many “Christians” act like there is no Heaven when it comes time to die. For a true believer in Jesus Christ, nothing could be better than to go be with our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ.
PHILIPPIANS 1:21 KJV 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Should we leave this life kicking, screaming and dragging our feet — if we believe we are going to Heaven to be with Jesus?
Although we pass through death to leave this sin-infested planet, it will not hurt us. Jesus defeated death for us and removed death’s sting so it cannot hurt us. We need have no fear of death. Death cannot harm a believer!
We don’t have a choice whether we will die, but we have a choice about the manner in which we die.
I desire that Christ may be glorified, not only in my life, but also in my death.
The best ways to die are to either die as a witness for Jesus Christ, a martyr, or to die a natural death in old age, after living a full life of victory.
I am not advocating giving in easily to death before it is time. But we all must eventually face death, so when the time comes, let us face it without fear.
ECCLESIASTES 3:2 KJV 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
There is a time to die, a time when it is best. A time when you have finished your course on earth, and you are ready to go be with Jesus. Until then, you should resist death. But you should NEVER fear death.
Plan and purpose that your death (as well as your life) will bring glory to God. Pray that your home-going will be glorious and point people toward faith in Jesus Christ.
EPHESIANS 4:13-15 ESV 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children . . . . 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Ultimately, God plans for you to grow up in every way into being like Jesus Christ.
But no one is born mature and fully developed — either physically or spiritually.
When we receive Jesus Christ, His life enters our inner being, causing us to be born again as a child of God (John 3:3). We enter God’s family by pure grace, not because of any effort or virtue of our own.
The moment we are born again, we have all the rights and privileges purchased for us by the death of our wonderful Lord, Jesus Christ.
But we have to learn who we are, what is ours, and how to walk in it. We must learn to use the authority God has given us. (The only reliable source of this information is the New Testament.)
When we are born again spiritually, we are born equipped with everything we will ever need, just as a human child is born with a brain and all the muscles it will ever have. Yet, no baby can write textbooks or win athletic events. But we understand that they have that potential, needing only time and nutrition to grow and mature.
1 JOHN 5:4 ERV 4 because everyone who is a child of God has the power to win against the world.
We are born again spiritually with everything in place. We don’t need to beg God to give us something else to put us over. We just need to grow and develop what God has already put within us.
2 PETER 1:3 ESV 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
God has already given His children all things that pertain to life and godliness. So we need to learn to walk in what God has already provided for us.
2 PETER 3:18 ESV 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Christianity is not just about being born again and going to Heaven. Being born again is just the first step. God intends for us to grow and mature.
1 PETER 2:2 NKJ 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.
1 TIMOTHY 6:10 ESV 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
Many think the Bible says money is evil but it does not. What it actually says is the love of money causes evil. The meaning is that when people love money they will do evil things to obtain it.
While not all evil is caused by the love of money (rape is an example), there are many different kinds of evil that have the love of money as their true motivation.
Money has deceived many. They think it will bring them happiness, but it disappoints.
Money cannot buy happiness or real love. Money will never love you back.
1 TIMOTHY 6:17 ESV 17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.
Our Father God is our true Source who will never fail us. He alone deserves our love and our faith. But money has a history of disappointment and failure.
HEBREWS 13:5 ESV 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
As children of God we do not have to place our hope in money to take care of us, for we have the promise of God that He will always be with us and provide for us. We should not allow doubt to rob us of this blessing.
MATTHEW 13:22 ESV 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
Please notice it is not riches that choke the Word, but the deceitfulness of riches. Believing lies about riches is what chokes the Word and keeps it from producing good fruit in people’s lives.
ACTS 20:35 AMPLIFIED 35 In everything I have pointed out to you [by example] that, by working diligently in this manner, we ought to assist the weak, being mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, It is more blessed (makes one happier and more to be envied) to give than to receive.
Here is a truth too few have learned: happiness is not achieved by getting, but rather by giving. No matter how much you accumulate, it will never satisfy you. You will always want more. But when you recognize that God is your Source and you can give without worrying about your own needs, you can enter into great freedom and joy.
Can you be a lover of money and also be a continual giver? No! Those who love money are not willing to part with it. Although they may part with some for the purpose of gaining more money, they will never focus on giving, for they are interested in getting, not giving to others.
LUKE 6:45 WE 45 A good man has stored up good things in his heart, so he says good things. A bad man has stored up wrong things in his heart, so he will say wrong things. The mouth will say what is in the heart.’
What you say locates you.
When you speak freely, you expose (to yourself and others) what you actually believe.
You may have told others — or even yourself — that you are walking in faith, but what your mouth says locates you and exposes what is really in your heart.
If you speak words of doubt, you are not strong in faith.
If you speak words of hate and criticism, you are not strong in love.
You cannot see what is in another person’s heart. But if you listen to their conversation you will know what is in their heart. Obviously, this only works when they let their guard down and speak freely.
If someone is putting on an act, they could say anything and not really mean it. But in times of pressure and crisis, people usually don’t take time to think before speaking, so what they truly believe comes out.
This message is not meant to condemn you but to wake you up to reality. If you are speaking anything contrary to what God says in the Bible, you need to realize you are not in faith in that area. So you should take steps to remedy the situation by feeding on God’s Word to build up your faith.
PSALM 18:30 NIV 30 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
Have you ever wondered what God is really like? I can tell you. He is perfect!
If you want to get a clear picture of what God is really like, just stop and imagine someone who is perfect.
1 JOHN 1:5 NIV 5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him.
Perfect love describes God. He is someone who never has, and never will, do one selfish, self-centered, self-serving act that would harm anyone else.
1 JOHN 4:8 NIV 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
God is a perfect expression of love. So 1 Corinthians 13 describes what God is like.
1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-7 NIV 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Just imagine a perfect God — and that is what God is. This is why the Kingdom of God is good news. Because He is the perfect King, the perfect ruler. Imagine having someone in charge who is perfect in every way. Someone who does what is best for everyone, never acting selfishly.
Everything God does is a perfect expression of unselfish love for others — for all those He has created.
DEUTERONOMY 32:3-4 NIV 3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! 4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
Every good thing we have or enjoy is because of God and His love.
Our lives and this world are not now perfect, because mankind has turned away from God and rejected Him and His loving ways. We fell for a lie, and turned against God. Only as we all turn back to God will things turn back to perfection.
God is perfect and we are not yet perfect. (But because of His grace, we will be eventually.) That is why we need to trust Him and follow His instructions, instead of trusting in our own ability and knowledge.
God is not trying to get people to obey Him because He is insecure and needs to be worshipped. God is trying to get you to do what is best. God’s way is perfect. Why go any other way?
ROMANS 8:29 NIV 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
Just having people go to Heaven is not God’s only interest. God is working to make us like Jesus.
In fact, God has determined that we will be like Jesus, when we grow up.
EPHESIANS 4:15 NLT 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
God is raising a family, causing us to mature and grow up into being like Jesus Christ.
Too many people think they just need to get “saved” or born again, and then they can just go on living without giving much thought to God, while they wait to die and go to Heaven.
No! God desires to be involved with every minute of your life.
The Gospel is not just about going to Heaven. It includes the privilege of knowing and walking with our Creator every day.
God wants to teach you and train you in many things.
God is your Father and He will not shirk His responsibility to raise you, train you, and provide for you.
LUKE 10:19 NKJ 19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
If you will accept it and believe it, here is a promise of Jesus that will protect you from everything harmful.
The choice is yours. You can choose to believe it, and allow God to bring it to pass in your life. Or, you can refuse to believe it, live in doubt, and shut the door on what God desires in your life.
Someone might say, “But I just had an accident and my finger was cut off and it really hurt me.”
No, the real you, is still intact. The real you is not really harmed. For the real you is not your body. The real you is the person who lives in your body.
So even if you were killed because of your testimony for Jesus Christ, the promise would still be true: it would not hurt YOU. You would simply be promoted to Heaven to be with Jesus.
(It would be wrong to limit the promise of Luke 10:19 to only our spirit, for our body certainly is important for our earthly activity. Yet it is also wrong to be too body-centered in our thinking. We are much more than just a body.)
We must believe this promise of Jesus for it to work fully in our lives. God does not force His blessing and help on us. We must cooperate by believing His Word.
But when we accept this promise, embrace it, and fully believe it, then God’s power is released to protect us from everything that would hurt us.
God has made the provision. Jesus paid for your protection. Now you must (actively) receive it. You must believe it! Then God will bring it to pass.
If you will actively believe, confess, and stand on this promise from Jesus, your life will be protected from many evils that would otherwise harm you.
Whatever happened to you in the past, whether you understand it or not, just let it go. Forgive the past, then forget it. It is time to move forward. Choose now to believe this promise of God and change your future for the better.
MARK 16:17-18 NLT 17 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. 18 They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
If you were asked what humans can do, you might say humans can do things like walk, talk, sing, and even reproduce.
And you would be correct. Yet babies cannot do even one of those things, and they are human beings!
So when God says these signs will follow believers, we have been told the truth. But that does not mean it will happen automatically and instantly.
(There is no Biblical justification for anyone trying to prove they can do things like handle snakes or drink poison without harm. The context is about believers going into all the world to proclaim the Good News of Jesus. As they do, the promise of God is that nothing can stop them, not demons, dangerous animals, or dangerous food and water. Paul shaking off the snake in Acts 28:3-6 is an example of how to understand this passage correctly.)
A human parent might say “When I have children, they will be able to do what I do” and we would have no trouble believing that. It seems God has done a similar thing, saying, in effect, “This is what my children will be able to do.”
Should we call God a liar just because on the first day they are born all of His children don’t do everything He says His children will be able to do?
It’s always a mistake to argue with God. Instead we should accept what He said and learn how to walk in it.
We are born again (spiritually) with all the capability of children of God, but we must grow, develop, and learn to walk in the authority we have been given.
JOHN 14:12 CEV 12 I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things that I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father.
Jesus even said we would do the same things He did! But it takes faith. So until we believe, it won’t happen.
1 JOHN 5:4 CEV 4 Every child of God can defeat the world, and our faith is what gives us this victory.
1 PETER 1:8 ESV 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
Being a Christian believer is not supposed to be a burden but a delight. You are supposed to enjoy your salvation.
Our enemy, through his lies, tries to give us a different picture.
This does not mean we will never face tests or trials, but the promise of God is that we can have peace and joy even when we face trouble, because the Lord is with us and taking care of us.
JOHN 16:33 ESV 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Joy is an important part of God’s provision for your life to be what it should be. Just as God has provided air for you to breathe, God has provided joy for you. Joy should be the atmosphere in which you live.
ROMANS 14:17 ESV 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
In God’s kingdom, joy is present. God’s kingdom is wherever He is allowed to rule. So if God rules in our life we should be carriers of joy.
This will not happen if you focus on your circumstances. It requires that you look at all Jesus has done and is doing. We must focus on Jesus to keep from having our joy stolen from us.
Our spirits have the joy of the Lord. But we must choose to rejoice and allow the joy that is in us to flow out. The choice is ours.
JOHN 16:24 ESV 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
The joy of the Lord is given to us by His grace. It is not something we earn or achieve. But, like everything we receive by God’s grace, it must be received by faith. That means we must choose to actively receive it — to take it.
ROMANS 5:2 ESV 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Instead of allowing our human feelings and circumstances to rule us, we should choose to rejoice in the Lord. Then we will experience His joy flowing.
We must choose to rejoice — to let joy flow from our lips in worship
JOHN 15:11 NLT 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!
The Word of God has been given to us so that we may have the joy of the Lord. God’s Word (the Bible) was not given to put you into bondage, but to make you free (John 8:31-32).
Life is not meant to be a constant struggle, but a joy. If this does not describe your life, then you are missing out on the full provision God has made for you.
TITUS 3:2 GWN 2 Believers shouldn’t curse anyone or be quarrelsome, but they should be gentle and show courtesy to everyone.
When we fail to show courtesy to all people the reason is always the same: pride. We think we are better than they are. Otherwise we would treat them with respect and courtesy.
But remember that true Christianity is not based on keeping a set of rules (such as: show courtesy to all people). Instead it is a relationship with God through being united with Jesus Christ. With His life in us, we can and should act differently.
When our mind is renewed to the truth, we realize the life and love of God is inside our hearts after we receive Jesus. As we allow that inner life to dominate, we will fulfill the will of God by doing what the Bible says we should do.
So it is going to take more than a decision and will-power for you to always show courtesy to all people. You will need God working in and through you for it to happen.
One thing you can do is ask the Lord to show you how He sees people. When you realize how much God loves people and how precious they are to Him, you will be much less likely to mistreat them.
TITUS 3:1 GWN 1 Remind believers to willingly place themselves under the authority of government officials. Believers should obey them and be ready to help them with every good thing they do.
This verse, which comes just before the one we started with above, says to “remind believers” to do these things. It is not a law we must keep in order to be right with God or to have God love us. Instead it is what we should be becoming as we grow in Christ by allowing His life and love to dominate and flow through us. It’s a matter of maturing and growing up. Just as we grow up as physical beings, we also must grow up as spiritual beings.
TITUS 3:3-7 GWN 3 Indeed, we, too, were once stupid, disobedient, and misled. We were slaves to many kinds of lusts and pleasures. We were mean and jealous. We were hated, and we hated each other. 4 However, when God our Savior made his kindness and love for humanity appear, 5 he saved us, but not because of anything we had done to gain his approval. Instead, because of his mercy he saved us through the washing in which the Holy Spirit gives us new birth and renewal. 6 God poured a generous amount of the Spirit on us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 As a result, God in his kindness has given us his approval and we have become heirs who have the confidence that we have everlasting life.
God is working in us! Living the Christian life is not just a matter of will-power and dedication. It is yielding to God and trusting in Him. We must decide to yield to God’s will, for God never forces us, but we can’t make it happen by ourselves.
PHILIPPIANS 2:13 NLT 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.