Are You a Sheep or a Goat?

Our current political environment is separating out the goats and the sheep? Read Matthew 25:31-46 for an example of who God says are the sheep and the goats. Hatred and intolerance abounds within the church, schools, universities, and communities. Why is this? The devil is working hard to sow division, dissension, destruction, and deception in our hearts. Where you see these things, you see the devil at work. Read more in Part 1: How to Achieve Genuine Goodness? and Part 2: How to Overcome Evil with Good.

People who identify as a “Christian,” do not always display the character of Jesus Christ. The character of Jesus and God is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. How does your thinking, actions, and words line-up with these characteristics? Ephesians 4:22-24 states, “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” No one is perfect, so we should daily renew our minds to line up with the character of God. Your mind determines what you think, perceive, feel, and believe, which then influences your decisions and behaviors. My book on my website will help you find the hurt and offenses in your life that block your ability to be like Jesus. 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories.

So how can you know who the true Christian’s are?

Though, no one knows the heart of another person except God, the Bible says in John 13:35By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Also, 1John 3:10 states,By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” It does not matter what church you go to or what political party you are affiliated with, if you do not love you do not know God, nor can you give grace to a person you disagree with. 1John 4:8 states, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”  I claimed to be a Christian for years but could not love because of the offenses in my heart. It is my life’s goal to purify my heart and be like Christ.

Here is the test. If you believe you love like a true Christian, rate your reaction to the following terms: Trump, Liberal, unborn baby, Antifa, Trump supporter, Nancy Pelosi. Do you feel hate, love, disgust, or anger? Someone said, President Trump (hard to say) claims to be a Christian, I cannot judge, and it is irrelevant, we all will stand before God and give an account for how well we love. 2 Corinthians 5:10 states, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

What is the role of a Christian in Politics?

As I said already, no one is perfect, and you will not be in perfect agreement with everyone, which is why God gave us grace, so we can give it to others. Politicians are far from perfect because they all stretch the truth or evade parts of the truth to create their own narrative to get us to believe what they want us to believe. On the other hand, a true Christian is an ambassador of the Kingdom of heaven. 2 Corinthians 5:20 states, “Then we are ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as God exhorting through us, we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” And, Ephesians 2:19 explains, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,” The first allegiance of a true Christian is to God and to obey Him. Second, we are to love each other and do what is right in God’s sight. Third, we are to care for those in the church, the orphans, widows, and those in need. Last, true Christians support the politician that seeks to advance the love of God and country we are ambassadors in.

The most important thing true Christians can do is pray. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 states, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people (even enemies), for kings (presidents) and all who are in high positions (government officials), that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3)  This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Let us pray for the salvation of those who are not leading peaceful and quiet lives, and who are not godly and dignified in every way.

Grace and Peace to you,

Joyce

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What Is Required to Stand Before God?

What matters at the end of your life? What will God say to you when you stand before Him? What if God says, ‘I never knew you; depart from me.’ (Matt. 7:23)? The subject of this post is heavy, but necessary to ponder because we all will stand before Him someday, maybe today. Will He say, “Well done good and faithful servant.” (Matt 25:21,23)?

Jesus said in His first sermon in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” What is the will of God? The will of God is to obey His instructions in the Bible and do what we know He has called us to do. God has called each of us to invest what He has given us into other people and not hide it.

Disclaimer: Our salvation and eternal destiny with God are not because of what we do or by our works but is by the grace of God. Ephesians 2:8-10 states, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Once we have received salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit seals us, and then we must work out our salvation by renewing our minds and doing His will.  See the blog posts called Forgiven and Saved? Now Renew Your Mind (Part One) and Three Steps to Renew Your Mind (Part Two).

What does God require of us?

Moses, the first leader of Israel, writes the requirements from God in Deuteronomy 10:12-13:

1. To fear God

2. To walk in all His ways

3. To love Him

4. To serve Him with all our heart and with all our soul

5. To keep the commandments of the Lord and His statues for OUR GOOD.

Micah 6:8 states, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

At the end of King Solomon’s life, he said in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14) For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. King Solomon did not always fear God or keep God’s commandments because he married foreign wives who led him to worship their foreign gods. In the end, King Solomon realized his error.

What does it mean to fear God? 

The Bible says in 2Corinthians 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

The fear of God is to have deep respect, love, and awe that we demonstrate by doing good and obeying His instructions (Deuteronomy 6:2; 10:12; and 1 Samuel 12:14). The following verses describe how we are to fear God and the benefits:

Psalms 22:23 states ”You who fear the Lord, praise Him! …glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him, …”

1 Samuel 12:24 states, “Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you.”

Proverbs 3:7-8 states, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. 8) It will be healing to your flesh (body) and refreshment to your bones.”

Proverbs 28:14 states, “Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity (the pit).”

Psalms 115:11 also states; “You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.”

Psalms 34:9 states, “Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear Him have no lack!

Fearing God is easy when you keep your mind focused on seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  See the blog post called How do you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? for more details.

How can I be assured God will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

The Apostle Peter’s instructions in the next passage give us hope. Peter tells us to be diligent, which means to apply ourselves to accomplish something. Meditate on the words of 2Peter 1:3-11:

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,

by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises,

so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature,

having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire (lusts).

5) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, virtue (moral excellence; right action and thinking; goodness of character), knowledge, self-control, steadfastness (perseverance), godliness, brotherly affection (kindness), and love. (my paraphrase)

8) For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9) For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

10) Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities, you will never fall.

11) For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

A promise is an assurance we depend on. Verse 10 promises we will never fall if we practice faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, kindness, and love. Verse 11 promises we will enter the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ. Verse 8 promises if we have these qualities we will not be ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. How fantastic is this!

Conclusion:

Our life on earth is but a blink or breath compared to eternity (Ps. 144:4). So, being mindful of the day of judgment and what God will say to us, should be considered. In this post you learned that you are eternally secure when you do the will of God, fear Him, and diligently seek to add to your faith; moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.

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All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, then please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom. 

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayer topics are: the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

P.S.: Experiencing a lasting change in your life depends on having a right relationship with God the Father through believing in His Son Jesus Christ and obeying His command to love (1 John 3).