Sunday, February 26, 2012

Acts 16:14-15, Proverbs 27:17; Saved to do good works not by good works.

Acts 16:14-15
"Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." So she persuaded us."

Dear JoAnn,

As we see in Acts 16, Lydia was not saved by good works, but saved in order to do good works.

Once saved, Lydia began to fellowship with other Christians. You see, it is the responsibility of every Christian to be in fellowship with other Christians. Fellowship helps you in your faith, and it will help other believers in their faith.

The author of Hebrews says, "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching" Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV.

The word used for 'stir up' also means to 'provoke'. It is like going to the dentist...stay with me here. When you go for a check-up, the dentist uses a sharp tool to poke around at your teeth, right? It is not until he pokes the one tooth that makes you jump that you discover you've got a cavity. Once you know that you have a problem with your tooth, you can take steps to fix it. It's not pleasant, but it's necessary as it keeps a small problem from turning into a big problem.

Interaction with other believers may not always be comfortable. Someone may see our sore spots - areas where we are weak or where we fail to glorify God. We may even get 'poked' in those spots. Sometimes we are not aware of the sore spot and the 'poking' brings to our attention the need to repent and change. Other times we are covering up the sore spot, and it takes encouragement from a brother or sister for us to make a change. Now, I'm not saying that you should nitpick all your friends until you find something wrong that you can point out to them - not at all! Rather, it's a natural part of fellowship with other believers. Solomon put it this way:

Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend." NLT

When you grind two pieces of iron together, you may get sparks, but it's not just one piece of iron that is sharpened; both pieces benefit from the process. Don't ignore this vital part of your Christian walk! I'm probably poking someone in a sore spot right now (poke!).

Life Lesson: We should fellowship or hang out with people in the church.

Dear Father,
Thank You for loving me. Thank You that I am not alone in this Christian walk. Please forgive me for the times when I have neglected fellowship. Please give me a desire to fellowship with my family in Christ. I pray this in Jesus' name, Amen.

Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee

My Comments: So often I see people who call themselves Christian trying to please God with good works thinking if they are good enough or do enough they will go to heaven. Loved ones we are assured of heaven the moment we truly accept the salvation of Jesus Christ by the blood He shed on the Cross and believing in Him. He came to earth to take away our sins and when that happens because we accept His gift then we want to do good works because of our love for Him.
A good indication of one who is saved is the way they live their lives for Jesus by serving others. Not because they have to. Because they are filled with His love and want to do things for others because He has done so much for them.
Doing good works will also come back as treasures in Heaven from our Abba yet this is not the reason one who loves Him does good works. Not as a child who is earning gifts from a parent but as a child who loves to please their parent because they love them.
We praise You Abba for the gift our Your Son and His Salvation. Thank you for your love and help us to work diligently in Your Kingdom for Your glory. May our works be pleasing to You who have done so much for us. May our works be blessed and be the light to bring many to the righteousness You offer to all. We know doing good works does not save us and we thank You for the good work You are doing in and through us. Amen

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