"Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there's
no getting around it. Unscrupulous con men will continue to exploit the faith.
They're as deceived as the people they lead astray. As long as they are out
there, things can only get worse. But don't let it faze you. Stick with what you
learned and believed . . ." (2 Tim 3:12-14, MSG)
If we are not founded in the truth of our Heavenly Father, we will easily be misled by "unscrupulous con men" who will seem legitimate, but are not. These con men will use the Scriptures and turn them to their own advantage. Interestingly enough, these con men are quite prideful. The evil one would do anything to thwart God's Message, and far too many follow his lead. No wonder we are in trouble (See John 15:19b-20)!
We have to stand firm on the Gospel message from Jesus Himself as described in the New Testament: "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born." (1Cor 15:3-8, NIV2)
To summarize this, we are saved by what Jesus did for us. Nothing else can save us, not our actions, nor our endeavors, not our behavior. Jesus is our only Savior. We are not our own saviors! Sadly, many doubt their salvation as they believe in a twisted version of the gospel message, where works are emphasized above anything else. This is not the Gospel message. On the contrary, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast." (Eph 2:8-9, NIV2)
Interestingly enough, when we take Jesus' message to heart and accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we will be able to face adversity with a smile. Peace will reign in our heart. "(Jesus promised) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you." (John 14:27a, NIV2) At the same time, we don't doubt about our salvation, as we trust solely on Jesus! "Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father.' So you are no longer a slave, but God's child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir." (Gal 4:6-7, NIV2)
We either trust in Jesus or we trust in ourselves. One guarantees salvation, the other brings doubt. If that inner peace does not reign in our hearts, it may be time to meet the Risen one, only He can give us that delightful gift.
Peace is a reality in my life. Let me give you an example: I love teaching. One day I had recess duty. Somehow some first graders succeeded in stealing my keys. Boy they certainly were fast. No way would I be able to catch them. It didn't matter, some students from my class noticed what had happened. They went after those first graders without hurting them in any way and brought my keys back with a big grin.
Even among the big kids in grade 8, I never have to be worried. Truly though, my Father is orchestrating all of this. No wonder I enjoy teaching. My Heavenly Father reveals Himself in amazing ways.
Have you lost your keys? Don't worry. Trust in our Father, He will lead you to them!
The Illustrator: This daily newsletter is dedicated to encouraging everyone to look towards Jesus as the source of all the solutions to our problems. It contains a daily inspirational story, a Bible verse and encouraging messages. HTML and plain text versions available.
The Nugget: Published three times a week, this newsletter features inspirational devotionals and mini-sermons dedicated to drawing mankind closer to each other and to Christ.