Rom. 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Receiving a gift is a privilege not a right. Likewise salvation in Christ is a privilege not a right. God has offered the privileged to us all, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11). Yet, not all will accept the privileged gift. What is the gift? The gift is Jesus Christ. His payment for all your “wages of sins” is demanded. Unless you allow Christ to pay your “wages of sin” you will be held personally accountable to pay for your own sins in death for all eternity. How does one accept this gift? One accepts God’s gift by admitting their need of payment for sin and trusting Jesus to pay the payment of sin in full. Yet one must realize there is much more to the gift of God than redemption. There is also the removal of blindness of spiritual sight in knowing, understanding, and comprehending the Word of God to live life well (1 Cor. 2:6-14). There is also the ability to grasp emotions which spin out of control (Matt. 11:29-30). There are as well deep, dynamic relationships opened unto you which cannot be held nor enjoyed outside the gift of God (Ps. 27:19, Rom. 5:8, John 15:13, James 2:23). There is true satisfaction and fulfillment of life which cannot be had outside the Gift of God (Col. 2:10). God’s gift of Christ not only provides eternal life, but also that which is needed to overcome the struggles of life as a victor and conquer regardless of the sorrows they face (Rom 8:28-39). The gift of God through Jesus Christ is the most awesome Gift one can receive, yet one must truly humble themself to receive it, and then continue in this humility to enjoy it. This is why few have the gift, and even fewer enjoy the bountiful unlimited riches therein. Do you have this gift? Are you enjoying this eternal gift of God?
Isaiah 45:22, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Let us begin with “look unto me.” Here we have an exclusive look. One cannot look anywhere else than to Jesus Christ. The Hebrew word which is translated “look” in the English literally means turn your heading unto me or change your direction unto me. It is not a mere glance, but a steady look in which your heart, mind and soul, and body have turned to step out and follow where the eyes have been fixed upon the Lord Jesus. Hebrews 9:28b tells us, “unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” Scripture is clear only Jesus Christ can provide eternal life, for Jesus is the way to heaven (John 10:9; 11:25). Look again at the first part of Isaiah 45:22, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.…” Not only is Jesus the way to be saved, but the way to be saved is open to any and all who will look. All are included in the phrase “all the ends of the earth.” Salvation is inclusive (available to all) those who will fix their gaze (heart, soul, mind and body) upon Christ. Notice the same truth is stated in the New Testament, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Tit 2:11). Finally, look again at the last phrase of Isaiah 45:22, “and there is none else.” This phrase is repeated five times in chapter 45 of Isaiah. The Lord is telling us there is no other way to live life. There is no truth except Christ, and there is no other life worth living other than living for, with, and in Jesus Christ (John 14:6). The road of salvation is limited, yet the road of salvation is open to all who will place life’s trust in Jesus Christ’s hands. Wow! What are you waiting for? Look unto Jesus Christ, be saved, and live the life you were meant to live now and for all eternity.
Jeremiah. 9:23-24, “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.” The summing up of these two verses may be accomplished with the phrase “unending loyalty to Christ, the Lord and Savior.” There is a difference between those who speak of loyalty and those who live with loyalty to God. Those who live loyalty boast or “glory” in Christ, not in self. Those who live the loyalty of God have incorporated three characteristics: “lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness” of God. The word “lovingkindness” is rooted in the idea of loyalty. It may be translated as “steadfast love,” which is the kind of love that will lay down one’s life for another (John 15:13). The word “judgment” is the Hebrew word for justice. “Judgment” conveys the idea of right choice making or correct decisions made regardless of consequences to self. The third characteristic is “righteousness.” Righteousness is not just right actions, but being right according to God’s holy standard and values, not man’s. None of these characteristics may be had or lived without Jesus Christ (John 3:16-18, 14:6), for they are only obtained through faith in the work of Christ. These three characteristic may only be lived by continuous, active, living faith/trust in Christ. As noted in the verse, these three characteristics are live out not by self, but by the power of Christ as one personally grows to know Him greater. Is God delighted with you and your living? If not turn to Christ and surrender to living the Word (Rom, 2:4, 11:29, 12:1-2, Gal. 2:16, Eph. 5:26, 2Cor. 7:9, Titus 3:5-6).
Heb 6:12, “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” The beauty of God’s Word is that it is not only inspiring, but also transforming. Here God calls us to imitate or be “followers” of the Godly (“them.”) Yet we must be careful and only imitate that which is true godliness. In order to accomplish this, one cannot be “slothful,” for they will not know who or what to imitate and will end up with a heart of deficiency with a lack of receptivity to God’s truth. The Greek word “slothful” means one with deficiency of heart who is lacking the motive to learn and grow. Being slothful is being lazy towards profoundly learning God’s Word. It is the laziness of the heart which cause dullness toward the truth and receptiveness of His truth, thereby, accepting that which sounds good and feels good, rather than that which is actually righteous. Slothfulness does not look beyond the outward appearance of actions or traditions, while true imitation digs deeply and searches steadily into the depth of living “faith” and active “patience.” Living Faith is the rock-solid trust of continuing to learn, know, and grow in Jesus Christ, while active patience is the strengthening of the inner soul to deal with the overwhelming, hurtful costs and even deeper, various struggles of heart. The who and what of Living Faith and active patience are what we are to be imitators or “followers” of. In so doing we will live the inherit promises of God. So what are you watching and following? The difference will be seen in your example being set as others view you living life.