IT’S PAYBACK TIME

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IT’S PAYBACK TIME

No, not really. The title was just to get your attention. And now that I have your attention, here’s a question for you. How do we repay our Father for all that He has done?

Now, I’m not saying that we have to. God does not demand it from us. In fact, there is nothing that we have that He could ever want. After all, He did say,

“I will not take a bull from your house,
Nor goats out of your folds.
For every beast of the forest is Mine,
And the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the mountains,
And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.” Psalm 50:9-12

And when asked, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” John 6:28

“Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”” John 6:29

What our Father really wants is worship from the heart. Not merely from the hands, that is to say with our earnings from our effort and toil, though it is right that we should contribute to the service of the Lord; nor merely from our lips, that is to say our audible worship and praise, though that should always fill our lips. But as it is written,

“My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.” Proverbs 3:1-2

Work and worship without the heart is really not what our Father wants. So how do we repay Him for all that He has done for our lives? Live well.

“Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 [AMPC]

Clearly I do not mean that we should take advantage of the situation and live in vulgar excess, nor do I mean that we should punish ourselves for making Jesus suffer and live in abject deprivation. What I mean to say is that we should be aware of our actions, the way we treat people and the example we are setting for those around us.

Think about it. We Christians sometimes get it a little tougher than others. When we profess our faith, those around us suddenly start holding us to a higher standard of morality. Whether this is right or wrong, just or unjust, the fact remains. And if we trip up, there is hell to pay through the moral guilt trips that our critics put us on, even though they who speak against us will never hold themselves to the same standards that they do us. Those of us with pre-believing mother-in-laws will understand what I mean. Just kidding.

But when that happens, take it like how Paul took his imprisonment.

“I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered. All the soldiers here, and everyone else, too, found out that I’m in jail because of this Messiah. That piqued their curiosity, and now they’ve learned all about him. Not only that, but most of the followers of Jesus here have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever, speaking out fearlessly about God, about the Messiah.” Philippians 1:12-14 [MSG]

Because when we live well, when we are watchful and mindful of our actions and how they bring glory to our Father, would we not win over those around us who are looking on? At the very least, our actions would shut them up wouldn’t they?

But more than that, when we live well, we are appreciating the gift and honoring the giver. We are showing our gratitude to Jesus for His act of sacrifice on the cross and telling Him that we appreciate the suffering He had to endure on our behalf. For make no mistake, beloved, when Jesus said,

“For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:28

He meant every word. That is why

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

And that means exactly what it says.

“As a Christian I may do anything, but that does not mean that everything is good for me. I may do everything, but I must not be a slave of anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12 [PHILLIPS]

For “Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims.” 1 Corinthians 6:12 [MSG]

Indeed beloved,

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9

“And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11

There was literally hell to pay for our sins and Jesus paid it all when He took them on the cross. So now that we who believe have received such a priceless gift, how can we do anything else but honor it?

So live well, beloved. In the words of Kenny Rogers, ‘walk away from trouble if you can.’ But if you find you’re weak and you can’t turn the other cheek,

“And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.” Philippians 1:6 [AMPC]

“for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13

He will sort out the areas in your life that you have trouble getting a hold of, for because you have put your faith in Jesus,

“…sin shall not [any longer] exert dominion over you, since now you are not under Law [as slaves], but under grace [as subjects of God’s favor and mercy].” Romans 6:14 [AMPC]

Beloved, live each day reflecting your awareness of just how saved and loved you are by our Father. He has already given you the best that Heaven has to offer. So

“He who did not spare His own son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him, also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32

Live well, and let your actions be the indication of just how well you are living.

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