Monday, June 4, 2012

GRATEFUL

A. Dockery

Job 1:20-22: Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.

It seems that with each passing week, Jesus’ prophecies concerning the last days are speaking louder and louder. We can see with our own eyes the unveiling of the final days and the fulfillment of Jesus’ Words. However, we must also remember that Jesus warned His disciples what would happen before His return. He foretold end-time events to them (and to us) so that when these things come to pass we wouldn’t be offended by them.

The prophet Hosea tells us, in no uncertain terms, that God’s people can be destroyed if they don’t know the truth. Ignorance of Christ, what He requires of His disciples, and what it will cost to follow His teachings in a fallen world can prove to be disastrous. If we are ignorant of these truths, but we still seek to follow or obey Christ, then Satan will exploit our ignorance and bring an offense. Offense means: to stumble or cause to sin. Peter warns us in his epistle that Satan is going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Therefore, it is incumbent on us to know what the Word of God says about being a true disciple of Christ and to know what Christ requires of us, lest we become offended and return to sin.

Furthermore, we must also realize the same truth that Job knew when he served God . . . we “own nothing.” If we understand that God has allowed us to steward His possessions on earth in order that He might know whether we can be trusted with eternal riches and glory, then we will gain victory over the offenses of Satan. Job didn’t charge God foolishly; neither did he sin against God because he had a good understanding that God had given him everything. Therefore, he could say without malice in his heart, “The Lord has given and the Lord has taken.” Jesus told the disciples, “Freely you have received, freely you are to give.” If we should love anything or anyone more than Christ, it will open up the door for Satan to bring an offense and cause us to stumble.

Satan knows his end is drawing closer with each passing day. Consequently, he is like a raging and roaring lion. His desire is to take out as many of God’s warriors as he possibly can through the “door or avenue” of offense. We don’t have to fall prey to Satan’s devices because we have the Greater One living within us; we are not alone. John tells us in his epistle not to love the world, neither the things that are in it. If we love the world, then the love of the Father is not in us. He goes on to warn us that this world will pass away, and the lusts of it will also, but only those who do the will of God will live forever.

Our focus as Christians in these last days must be on what God has already done for us on the cross. We must not fall in love with this world to the point that we disobey God’s will. What will it profit us if we were to gain the entire world, but have to forfeit our souls in the process? We must live by faith like never before. We must hold on to our faith and love God more than ever. By these, we will be able to keep the faith and overcome this world for Christ. Then we will have a great and eternal reward awaiting us in heaven. There’s nothing as fulfilling as the goodness of God to a grateful heart.

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