Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Morning Moments with God: Day 83

                    Image result for Book of Matthew
Day 83: Heaven or Hell?

Please read the Bible verses for today:
Matthew 19:16-30

The Rich and the Kingdom of God

16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” (Mathew 19:16)
Growing up in the Catholic faith, this was a question I always asked. What do I have to do to make it into heaven? It seems like I had to be practically sinless just to make it into purgatory and I knew that I was not close to being sinless. There were times where I was really scared. I couldn't imagine going to hell, but there didn't seem like there was any hope to make it into heaven and purgatory was a place outside of heaven where you had to go to work out all your sins from earth and that seemed scary too. This man is asking about works- what works can I do to earn heaven? 
17 Why do you ask me about what is good? Jesus replied. There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:17)
I love Jesus' response-  There is only One who is good." God is good. We cannot be good without Him. We cannot do 'good things' without God. Eternal life has nothing to do with 'being good,' but everything to do with knowing the Father. We cannot earn heaven no matter how good or perfect we think we are. 

18 “Which ones?” he inquired. (Matthew 19:18) 
I'm not really sure what this guy was fishing for- Jesus just said, "If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” There are ten commandments- keep them. 
Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 19:18b-19) 
I love how Jesus begins to list the Ten Commandments from Moses and then adds..."love your neighbor as yourself." No one that I have ever met, and I know some really sold out people for Christ, have loved their neighbor as themselves. Some have come close, but there is no way this command could be obeyed without Holy Spirit. We are inherently selfish and self-centered and without submitting our lives to God, there is no way one can obtain this law. 
20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” (Matthew 19:20)
Okay, let us look at the Ten Commandments as a refresher:
1. I am the Lord thy God, no other gods before me
2. You shall not make any graven images
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain
4. Keep holy the Sabbath day
5. Honor thy mother and thy father
6. You shall not murder
7. You shall not commit adultery
8. You shall not steal
9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor
10. You shall not covet your neighbor's house, wife, servant, donkey or anything that belongs to him.

I know I haven't kept the Ten Commandments perfectly. I do not say it with any pride, I just cannot keep them perfectly. I am a sinner who needs a Savior.
But can you believe this guy? He is saying, "I am perfect, Jesus, so come on you can say it, in front of all these people, say it- "My boy, you ARE perfect and you shall be the first one to enter into through the pearly gates!" His pride is sinful and he doesn't even see it. He may work hard at being good and obeying all the commandments, but he forgot about his own heart of pride and arrogance. The sin of the heart. God isn't about works, He is about humility. He is about surrendering your life to Him and allowing Him to be Lord.  
21 Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)  
This man could not see that he needed Jesus, His Savior. The only way for this man to see that is by removing his money, his god, and follow Jesus. This man, in my opinion, had a god already and it wasn't Jesus, it was money. God must be our only God. 
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
26 Jesus looked at them and said, With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:22-26)
And there is your answer! We cannot earn heaven- we cannot. No amount of good deeds will get us there, BUT with God all things are possible. With God it is a one way ticket to eternal life- heaven, with no stops to purgatory! Hallelujah! 
27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”
28 Jesus said to them, Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first." (Matthew 19:27-30) 

Thinking about eternal life used to be very scary for me because I didn't know where I was going, but now I am not afraid. I know my name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and I will be welcomed into heaven. And it is not because I am a good person, that I read my Bible, and that I write a blog on the Scriptures- it's not. All I do for Jesus comes from an overflow of love for Him. I want to do what He asks me. I want to read and journal the Scriptures because I love Jesus and want to know Him more. It's not about works and being good. It's about surrendering my life to Jesus, allowing Him to be Lord of my life, forgiving me of my sins and making me new. It's about knowing Him and having a relationship with God. 

If you would like to ask Jesus to be your Savior and have the assurance of heaven, Pray with me:

Dear Lord Jesus,

I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross for my sins and rose from the grave to give me life. I know You are the only way to God. So now I want to quit disobeying You and start living for You. Please forgive me, change my life and show me how to know You. In Jesus' name. Amen.
If you would like more information and help beginning your walk with Jesus click on the link: Prayer of Salvation

Pray with me: 

Lord Jesus, forgive me for trying to life without you. Forgive me for not surrendering all the things in my life to you and asking you to guide me. Forgive me for being controlling. Help me Lord, to surrender everything. Help me to trust you. Help me to know you and see you as you really are- a loving, compassionate, forgiving God who wants to know me. I love you Jesus and give you my life. I will fear nothing for you are with me. In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

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