"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1
This morning, as I was getting ready to come to the church to meet with some men, I got to thinking about the fear many Christians are feeling right now. In my prayers over this, I kept thinking "If you are afraid to lose your life, or if you're afraid to lose anything in this life, do you really trust the Word of Jesus about the next life??" It struck me hard! Consider what Jesus says in Matthew:
"“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?" Matthew 16:24-26 This world doesn't benefit us. Anything good in it, we have because of God. Yet if we try to preserve or even to worship the gifts and blessing that God gives us in this life, we risk losing our reward in the next. This world has nothing for us. We're promised no more time than what we have today. We should use what time we have for the Glory of God! To cower in fear at what is to come goes against everything Jesus and the Apostles taught. they said it WOULD get hard. There WOULD be floods, and fires, and famines, and pestilence, but we should remain faithful! To try and preserve this world is fleshly. to recognize we are pilgrims here is to focus on the things of God. Keep your eyes on Him! Do not be tempted to preserve what is perishing, but seek what is eternal! Hebrews 13:7-16 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.