Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Don't Be Left Behind--Seven Ways to Be with God Forever

  1. Believe: God made each of us with a void only He can fill. For too many years my lust for life led me to fill the emptiness with other things. Nothing, however, satisfied my cravings—not until I believed what Jesus did on the cross was for me. I cried His name from a pit of despair, and He heard me. It was as if He put His arms around me, kissed me and said, “I’m here for you.” I never wanted to be without the warmth of His presence again so I began reading His word. Every verse seemed to speak directly to me.
  2. Be Joyful: Life has its ups and downs, but Jesus promised He would never leave or forsake me. That is reason to be joyful. I began to live my life with purpose and found the joy of the Lord to be my strength (Nehemiah 8:10). My joy makes people wonder what’s happening, and I have a chance to tell them what God has done for me.
  3. Be Watchful: Five wise virgins in Matthew 25 made sure they had oil for their lamps in case the bridegroom came in the middle of the night. We live in exciting times when world events point to the second coming of Jesus. I don’t want to be caught off guard like the five unwise virgins, so I  read God’s word to recognize the signs of the times and not be deceived by any false statements I hear.
  4. Be Faithful: Two out of three tenants in Matthew 25 demonstrated faithfulness, not by thinking of themselves, but about how they could serve someone else. Like them, I want to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
  5. Be Merciful: Jesus showed us mercy in the way He interacted with people. He healed the sick—made the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk and the mute talk. The Good Samaritan showed mercy when he cared for the beat-up man on the side of the road. I look for similar opportunities to show mercy, whether it’s giving a smile, a word of encouragement or a helping hand.
  6. Be Generous: The widow in Luke 21 will be remembered in all generations because Jesus commended her generosity. Her gift meant more to Him because she trusted God with her life and gave out of her poverty. It has taken a lifetime for me to become debt-free, so I can be generous with God’s gifts. Acts 4:32 says the believers were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of his possessions was his own. I want to learn to hold onto my things loosely, so I can model what this verse means.
  7. Be Ready: I am setting my mind on things above. In my longing for our Lord’s appearing, I will follow the exhortation in 1 Peter 4:7-10, “Let us love each other deeply. Let us offer hospitality to each other without complaint and let us use whatever spiritual gifts we have to serve each other faithfully.” 

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