Speaking of the heart, Jeremiah 17:9 declares, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Verse 10 goes on to say, “I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” In Matthew 15:19-20, Jesus said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man…”
In Romans 3:10, Paul quotes from Psalm 14, “There is non righteous, no, not one.” Then, Romans 3:23 lets us know that all have sinned (broken God’s laws) and come short of fulfilling what God demands of man, His creation. Ignorance of His requirements, whether willful or unwitting will be no excuse when we face God as He judges our choices—to diligently seek Him or not, to believe what He has provided in the Bible, and to obey the Scriptures.
Many people coming through our three homeless shelters will make the claim that they are Christians but the fruit of their lives is far from convincing any observer that they belong to Jesus. While we may not judge another’s heart, we are allowed to do some “fruit” inspecting. The thing is, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” and once the words are out there, they are fruit for the inspecting and a reflection of what is in our heart in abundance. So, check what is coming out of your mouth. Is it evidence that in spite of what you may speak to the contrary, your heart is declaring, “There is no God,” or, that He is not relevant to your life.
There is a big difference in the words one speaks and heart belief. If we are not “doers of the Word” (James 1:22), we can even deceive ourselves, thinking we are “okay” with God when we are not known by Him (Matthew 7:20-23). The end of that scenario is too horrible to contemplate, having been told to depart from the presence of God and incredulously dropping down, down, down into hell to suffer bitter regret for believing a lie and settling for a little comfort here on earth, not to mention the unending, excruciating pain and torments—no second chances.
All this was said to introduce this month’s insert, “Practical Atheism” by Tony Woodlief. His premise is that it would be better to abandon the Christian label than make it meaningless. Bro. June often counsels our shelter residents who claim to be Christians to either live up to the name or quit calling themselves a Christian. (“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain.”)
Real Christians have the power to live the way God requires. He is faithful to make a way for us to escape every temptation we face. If we sin it’s because we choose to. Our choice to obey is wise because God rewards faithful service.
Please, for your sake and that of the Kingdom of God, make sure of your salvation and live it — or quit claiming to have something you really don’t.
I must take time to acknowledge the great job JF Peachee is doing on the grounds at the Nacogdoches mission. They have never been kept so green, bug-free and tidy as he does. Thank you, Fred.
Gospel Music Reminder
Bro. June and the Gentry Family have recorded 10 Gospel Music CDs. You can find a listing of them on our web site (www.godtel.org) and clicking on Productions. At that location you will also find a list of Christian books and literature by various authors including Manley Beasley.
Ads, Churches, Gutters
What do advertisers, churches, and Gutter Guys have in common? They are volunteering to spend time cooking for and feeding the homeless at GODTEL in Nacogdoches. We are so very thankful for the many volunteers from two businesses, Hancock Advertising Agency and Gutter Guys who come once a month with delightful meals to feed our residents and guests. The churches who come are First Christian, New Hope, Holly Springs, and Victory Life. Thank you one and all.
Our Livingston mission is blessed to have Barnum Baptist Church from Chester, Calvary Baptist Church from Woodville, and Grace Baptist from Fred, TX coming monthly to feed our folks there. We are very thankful.
Joe Sager (Livingston) is back in the hospital undergoing tests to see if they can determine the cause of his latest problem. (He is unable to stand due to no strength in his legs.) We, and he, would appreciate your prayers for him.
David Joe Martinez (Nacog-doches) has been released from Lexington Place and has moved into Apartment 208 at Northway Landing. He is still mostly in a wheelchair but is in good spirits and looks ever-so-much better than he has since before last Thanksgiving. Prayers for him would also be valued.
Believe It or Not
Many people question the reality of God, the truth of the Bible, and the importance of believing what God has revealed about Himself. Unfortunately, some will not choose to believe until they see Jesus coming in the clouds and then it will be too late for that belief to do them any good. According to Romans 14:11-12 (which is a quote from Isaiah 45:23) there is coming a time when every single person will bow their knees and will declare the truth: God is the Creator, Jesus is God, and we are answerable to Him.
The Jewish Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) begins on September 30th this year and ends at sundown on October 1st. This could be the year that feast is fulfilled and the Church (made up of all true believers) is “harvested” out of this world. The possibility of this thrills my heart.
Now is the time to believe what God has revealed to us in the Bible and in nature. Today is the day to make certain we are secure in Christ. Time is running out. The choice is yours.