What Do You Think of Jesus Christ?

Being Good Doesn’t Get You To Heaven

Did you know being good doesn’t get you to heaven. Being “saved” does.

Here’s my story of “being saved.”

On July 11, 1977, my life changed. If you look up that date in history, you will find nothing historically significant happened on that Sunday. It was a noteworthy day to me. That day was the watershed event in my life.

July 1977 found me on active duty as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. I was serving as Battalion Maintenance Officer, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington.

Life was good.

Life was good. I had a beautiful, intelligent wife. I had a new son born in January that same year. I had just gotten a commendable rating during an annual general inspection in maintenance. It was the first commendable rating since the division had returned from Vietnam. Named an Outstanding Junior Officer of the Ninth Infantry Division because of the commendable rating, I received an offer of a regular army commission. My career was going great.

I always tried being the best I could be, and doing what was right. I was a detail-oriented perfectionist, high-achieving, and a workaholic. I excelled at most things I did. However, after all of this, I still had an empty, unsatisfied, void, and alone feeling. Beginning in my college years I tried drinking adult beverages, women, materialism, partying, and hanging-out with the right crowd to fill this unexplained need I had. I knew something was missing from my life.

I was also attending church. At my church I noticed a group of men my age that seemed to have what I was missing. I attended a Bible study with them. Here I found that God has given us an important manual for life — the Bible. He has the answers to the problems and emptiness we may face. I found out I was here for a purpose, and not by accident. I learned Jesus loves me, and desires to have a personal relationship with me. However, sin separated me from Him.

I realized I had a sin problem.

The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23 But no one is perfect! Not even a perfectionist. We have all sinned and therefore cannot save ourselves by simply living a good life. Why?

I learned there was a penalty to be paid for my sin.

The Bible says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23

I learned God gives us a promise.

The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

I learned that God made provision for me.

The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. – Romans 10:9-10

I prayed to accept the gift of eternal life through Jesus.

I prayed, “Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I believe that You died for my sins and rose from the grave so that I might have eternal life in Heaven with You. I willingly repent of my sins and ask you to come into my heart and life. Take control of my words, thoughts, and actions. I place all of my trust in You for my salvation. I accept You as my Lord and Savior, and this free gift of eternal life. Amen.”

What came next?

Since then my life has not been perfect. It’s been far from it. I have messed up from time to time, sometimes failing miserably in my decisions and choices. However, I have had direction and purpose in my life. I know where I am headed. I have the Bible to give me the principles for daily living. I am never alone. I have had real peace for the last 44 years.

How about you? 

Have you ever been “saved”? You can do like I did. Romans 10:9-10, 13 tells us, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. … For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

True Peace

peace

How To Have True Peace of Mind

Do you want peace of mind?

Everyone wants peace of mind. All seek a life of rest, no worries, and being able to enjoy life, family, friends, work, church, hobbies, entertainment, etc. We want to be able to enjoy ourselves and not be burdened down with worries that rob us of vigor, life, and purpose.

Sometimes when we can’t find peace of mind. We get depressed. We often get angry. At times we even lash out at God or someone else near to you.

What do you do to get peace?

I mean real peace in your life. Where do you start? What do you do?

The place to start is with God.

In the Bible in the book of Philippians, chapter 4:6-9 teaches how to have true peace in your life.

Philippians 4:6-9 (NIV) tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Point one – God wants you to have true peace by having you not worry – about anything (the act of thinking)

Worry shows you are not trusting in God. God says in verse 6, “Do not be anxious about anything.”

That means don’t worry.

The word for “anxious” in the Greek here means to be troubled with cares He hasn’t given you that command without you being able to carry it out.

He said to the man with the withered hand, “Stretch forth your hand” (Mark 3:5)

But the man could not–yet He obeyed and did it!

Because the Holy Spirit is in you, you are able to live by faith, and not worry…no matter what happens. Because the Spirit empowers you to be faithful, to trust, to yield to the Lord’s will. With the Spirit, you are able to trust God beyond your ability to know what will happen in your life.

Matthew 6:25, 27, 31, 33, 34 teaches, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? … Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? … So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `What shall we wear?’ … For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. … But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. … Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety (same word) on him because he cares for you. (NIV)

John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. (NIV)

God doesn’t want you to worry because worry means you do not trust God that you are not taking Him fully at His word. God has been providing for you all along – look at the cross. God wants you to have true peace by praying – about everything (the act of doing). v. 6 “But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

All things in your life are of concern to God.

The big and the small: where to move, who to marry, what job to get, even your hobbies, and leisure times. The peace that God gives you will guard your minds. The peace that God gives you will strengthen you.

Because of the cross, you have access to the throne of God. We are to approach it “with thanksgiving,” because of the cross, the proof of God’s faithfulness. In the presence of God, there is peace.

Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Psalm 16:11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Practice the presence of God – pray!

Prayer transforms you. By praying, you intern want to think about holy things. That is why…(next point)

Point Two – God wants you to have true peace by meditating on what is holy (the act of thinking)

Your minds have been set free from slavery to sin.

Romans 8:6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; (NIV)

God wants you to fill your heart with what is good.

Philippians 4:8, “whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent worthy of praise. Let your mind dwell on these things.” (NASB)

God wants you to think, to meditate on truth, purity, and excellence.

Psalm 119:78 “…I will meditate on your precepts.”

The precepts of God, the Word of God, is truth, purity, and excellence. Meditate on the Word of God so that you might be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Point Three – God wants you to have true peace by putting into practice what you have learned. (the act of doing)

He wants you to… trust Him for everything.

Philippians 4:6a, “Don’t be anxious for anything.”

Pray to Him for anything.

Philippians 4:6b “but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (NIV)

Meditate on what is holy.

Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. (NIV)

Conclusion

These things are written to you so that the God of peace will be with you. Not simply peace…but the God of peace will be with you.

Ultimately this is about God dwelling with you. He wants you to be holy, pure, and right.

Will you trust Him and not worry? Will you pray about everything in your life? Will you meditate on the Word of God? And finally, will you practice, will you do, what God calls you to do?