Romantic love is wonderful, but it is not nearly so amazing as God’s love. His love is expressed as a choice to benefit others at His expense, rather than an emotion. That lets me know that Jesus was not “swept up” with warm, kindly feelings for mankind when he went to the cross at such a great sacrifice to Himself. Rather, He chose to suffer physical pain, ridicule, and the travesty of being falsely accused, condemned, and rejected by those He came to provide a new, wonderful, eternal life for. He chose to endure it all that we might have the opportunity to become adopted into the royal heavenly family. Amazingly, He loved us before we loved Him.
I fear too many people are counting on the hope that, because God loves them, they will automatically go to Heaven when they die. The truth is, it is not enough that He loves us. We must return His love. We must trust and obey Him. As James 1:22 instructs, we are to be doers of the Word of God, not just hearers, giving mental assent to the truth of it. If the depth of our faith does not go beyond mental assent and emotional desire, on to right acting, we are deceiving ourselves. As James 2:26 tells us, “Faith, without accompanying works of obedience, is dead.” Matthew 7:21-23 lets us know that not everyone who calls Jesus, “Lord,” goes to Heaven. Read it.
During Bro. June’s daily Bible teachings and sermons at GODTEL’s three homeless shelters, I cannot tell you how often I hear him say something like, “You must trust Jesus to become a Christian and be on your way to Heaven.”
So then, what does trust mean?
Most people have an idea of what it means to trust someone or to be trustworthy themselves but when it comes to trusting Jesus for salvation, there is more to it than believing He tells the truth and can be counted on to do what He says He will. As I searched the definition of trust on the internet, I found the following: Trust: firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something; to have faith in, to put/place one's trust in, to have (every) confidence in, believe in, pin one's hopes/faith on, rely on, depend on, bank on, count on, be sure of, be convinced by, swear by, and confide in.
A Feb. 20, 2006 entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says, “Trust is important, but it is also dangerous. It is important because it allows us to form relationships with people and to depend on them—for love, for advice, . . . or what have you—especially when we know that no outside force compels them to give us such things.”
Wikipedia had this to say, “In a social context, trust has several connotations. Definitions of trust typically refer to a situation characterized by the following aspects: One party is willing to rely on the actions of another party; the situation is directed to the future.
After finding all these definitions of trust, I looked up faith and found this definition: complete trust or confidence in someone or something. So, trust is faith. (Not to forget the Hebrews 11:1 definition of faith: “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”)
After stating the supreme value of love and defining it, 1 Cor. 13 ends with “Now abides faith, hope, and charity/love but the greatest of these is love.” Faith is choosing to believe the words of the Bible with trust and confidence. Hope is depending on God to deliver the reward He has promised—to those who love Him. Love, the greatest of these qualities, is obedience—the outworking of faith. In John 14:15, Jesus is quoted as saying if we love Him, we will do what He says (even when we don’t feel like it).
In John 6:28-29, the disciples asked Jesus what they must do to work the works of God. His answer was, “Believe on Him whom God has sent.” As we have seen here, the end result of believing on Jesus means submitting to His authority and obeying Him and His Word. God’s children are to let His love flow through us to those in need around us.
Please search your heart and life and ask yourself this question: “If Jesus were to return today, would He welcome me into His rest, or would He sadly turn me away declaring that He does not know me.”
This Month’s Insert
At the end of each year we total up the number of people who have been ministered to at each of our shelters during the previous 12 months. Our insert reports those figures in a different form than those given here in this newsletter. Also included are other bits of information and a brief history and description of GODTEL.
Bro. June on YouTube
Just a reminder that Bro. June’s weekly sermons are available on YouTube. Also, Gospel music CDs by the June Gentry Family, studies about the scientific evidences supporting Creation, teachings on Faith by Bro. Manley Beasley, and other literature which can help with spiritual growth can be ordered directly from GODTEL.
The knitted caps and scarves, along with the gloves and mittens we received at Christmas have been very popular with our residents and we are most grateful to the donors of these and other items who are showing the love of God to the people we minister to. Each month we have guest cooks coming on a regular basis providing special meals and sharing God’s love as well. Our sincere thanks to you all.
May God abundantly bless each one of you who helps in any way for choosing to be a part of this ministry to the poor, homeless, and hungry people of East Texas. May He protect you from the evil one and give you clear guidance day by day as the return of Jesus Christ draws ever nearer.