Am I Doing Enough?

Blog #63 July 29, 2023

Did you ever question your place in God's Kingdom? Is it something you wonder about or does it even cross your mind. Are we all evangelists? Probably not, because sadly we realize that in today's world the very mention of God, church, or religion gains us a very dubious notoriety in our social circle. The truth is that most of us save all of our "God" discussions for Sunday and Church. Is that a good thing? No, I don't believe so, but what are ya gonna do? The world is a hard place and sometimes just surviving a day with our faith intact is a major achievement. Believe me Brethren, I understand, but I also understand the angst it causes each one of us when we ask ourselves, "Am I doing enough to be worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven"? 

I contend that the very best hope we have is God's love for His children. Is it enough? I believe it is a beginning. With that mindset, I would like us to share today just how much God loves us.

Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Romans 5:7-8
5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Luke 12:35 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Yes, God does love us, but we have to temper that idea with the fact that He loves us like a Father. Why the qualifier? Consider if you will the love that a parent has for their child and how it grows and changes over time. In the beginning a parent is delighted with this cute little bundle of joy that has blessed their world. After 5 or 8 weeks of two o'clock feedings the love we have for this child is cemented in our hearts, but the very nature of our love has matured. We come to realize that each time our child's awareness of the world around them grows this complete love we feel for them grows, too. I can't tell you the joy I felt when each of my children gained the ability to hold their own bottle. This communion of parent and child took on a whole new meaning when I realized that I was no longer holding a creature that was completely dependent on me for its life. I was now teaching a new human being how to care for themselves and others. And, it just got better and better each day we are alive together. Their growth became a blessing in my life. As a Father, I think God feels the same way. Each time our actions reflect those attitudes He hold dear we know growth and He knows joy.

Colossians 1:9-11
1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness;

The Apostle Paul brought to the relationship of God and humanity a concept that is foreign to the ways of man and most any other religious or belief system the world has to offer. God's love for us is free. It cannot be earned it can only be accepted or rejected.

1Corinthians 2:12-14 
2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

God gave us authority over all the information He offers us. From the Ten Commandments to the Gospel of the Kingdom, we have the ability and the right to both choose what we will embrace or what we will disregard. Of all creation only humanity has that gift. Used properly, choice leads us to a freedom that last forever. Misused it opens our life to bondage. The difference between the two is the willingness to know, the desire seek understanding, and the diligence to apply this new wisdom to the life we live. 

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding.

Such is the nature of the scriptures, fellowship of people of like mind, and the communion of prayer with God through His Holy Spirit. With that in mind let's use His scriptures and seek out an understanding of our place in God's kingdom based on His love for us 

John 3:16-21
3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish; but have everlasting life.

In verses 16-17, God offers all His children His love and the gift of eternal life. Notice I said gift. There is no mention of a price, a cost, or an offer to barter for something of equal value. Our God-given authority is a choice. We either willingly accept it or throw it away. We have no other authority over the love offered by God. In fact, God pointed out that any who accept this wonderful gift have no right to judge or condemn those who refuse it.

3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John then went on to explain the full nature of the gift offered.

3:18 He who believeth on him is not condemned; but he who believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed on the name of the Only Begotten Son of God, which before was preached by the mouth of the holy prophets; for they testified of me.

God seeks to give us a deeper understanding of the importance of our choice to accept or refuse the gift He offers. With our choice we reveal to God not only our ability to grow in His ways, but also our desire to be a part of His labor and His Kingdom. In essence there is no need to judge or condemn. Our actions bring to the situation a clarity that can't be hidden.

3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.
3:20 For every one who doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
3:21 But he who loveth truth, cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest.
3:22 And he who obeyeth the truth, the works which he doeth they are of God.

Yes, God's love is there for us to have. It's free and it last forever. The greatest attribute of God's love is that it can't be taken away. It can be ignored, but it will be ours forever as long as we want it.

Romans 8:38-39
8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There are belief systems in this world that are amazed and doubtful of this promise God makes to His Children. It seems as if the world wants God's love to be tenuous, based on whether or not we do what is right. As if our mistakes can cause God to hate us. Does that mean that we can be forced to live without God's love? God assures us that only we can make the choice to lose God's love. His love is not something that goes away. We have to ignore it and make believe it doesn't exist. Even if we succumb completely to the lust of the world, God's love is an unrealized constant that we are choosing to ignore. This constant is the foundation on which repentance was born. In essence lust and the sins of the world have no more power over our lives than what we choose to give them. Repentance and redemption are the path by which our sins can be washed away. Through God's Spirit once again we and all of creation can recognize God's love as the constant it is in the life of all God's children.

Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, who need no repentance.

God's love for us is real and it waits on us always. Even after years of ignoring His love and allowing worldly lust to turn our hearts to stone, we can be renewed.

Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

The work of redemption begins with repentance. In times past humanity relied on animal sacrifice to accomplish the work of repentance, but King David knew there was more to it than that.

Psalms 51:16-17 
51:16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it; thou delightest not in burnt offering.
51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

For us to truly open our lives to the love of God we must change. God knows and we must accept that blood sacrifice is a ritual that requires no change within our hearts. In truth modern day temporal sacrifice offers little more than a convenient attempt to hide our sins from God and the world. When we attempt to hide our sinful nature we only fool ourselves. God knows. He also knows that when we allow our heart to be led by Him we will change. We will begin to recognize not only our sinful state, but also His never-ending love for us. When we come to Him with a heart broken by the knowledge of our sins and a spirit frustrated, contrite, and ready for any remedy, He makes us aware of the love from Him we have ignored for so long.

Psalms 34:18 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Matthew 11:29 Then spake Jesus, saying, Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

As hard as it is to know, repentance and renewal are both a dynamic part of growth. I am thoroughly convinced that the closer I get to God the more I will appreciate my ability to repent and His willingness to forgive. Like it our not, our ability to make a decision and our authority to choose are God's greatest gift and potentially our greatest burden. That which stands between our peace of mind and the living hell of indecision is God's Holy Spirit.    

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer with meekness and fear to every man that asketh of you a reason for the hope that is in you:

This then is our first labor with God and begins to define our place in His Kingdom. We must be a witness before the world of God's love for His children. We must show the world that the love of God is a beautiful enduring truth that never ever changes. It is a gift that can't be earned. It can only be accepted or rejected. It is also a gift that never goes away. It is always with us and can only be appreciated or ignored. 

I can only hope that reading this blog has been as much a revelation for you as writing it has been for me. Now I know God loves me. How do we let God know that we love Him? That is a whole other testimony I hope to share soon.

Wear God's love with all the joy and reverence it deserves.




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