The proof is in the pudding

Pr. 21:3:  “To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”

I know what God means.  Last week my daughter got in trouble.  She said she was sorry.  🙂 Very nice.  The next day, it happened again.  The next day, again.  Those words, “I’m sorry,” sure lost their meaning.

I explained to my daughter that she could tell me she was sorry 1,000 times and it wouldn’t mean anything unless I saw her making different choices.  Her actions were contrary to her words, and the actions were the ones that ultimately counted most.

James tells us that faith without works is dead.  Certainly, we are not saved by our works.  It is Jesus’ death and our belief in Him that saves us.  However, our actions sure speak loudly of who we really are.

We can say we trust God’s word to be true, but just like in the case of my daughter, our actions speak much louder than our words.  Do we show we believe God’s word to be true by the way we behave and the choices that we make?

When we see needs around us, do we respond, or just walk by thinking God will use someone else to provide?

Does our trust in God show up when we need something we cannot provide for ourselves?

When we commit sin, do we tell God how sorry we are and then go right back to that sin, or do we show Him that He is more important, by making the choice to stop sinning and run to Him?

Do we obey the Lord’s voice we He tells us to do something?

When we fail to be obedient to the Lord, does our regret cause us to be obedient next time, regardless of our doubts or concerns, or do we do the same thing over and over again?

Like it or not, our actions show who we really are.  Just like my daughter, I sometimes forget this truth.  It’s great to be a believer in Christ, it’s even better to prove it.

This one stung a bit,

jamie

 

 

Which way to heaven?

Pr. 2:13:  “From those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness;”

We just spent the weekend deep in the mountains of West Virginia.  My family is blessed to have some land where we can reunite and unwind.  A few years ago some of my cousins made a new trail in the woods up on the mountain behind our house to mark the property line.  The trail they cut out is wide enough for a 4-wheeler or my cousin Mark’s off-road vehicle called ‘the mule.’

All the kids love to ride on Mark’s mule, and they made several trips on that trail over the weekend.  My dad was taking the kids for one of the rides and I joined them.  This was my first time on the trail and I saw there were some smaller paths leading off to the side.  I noted that my dad always took the path to the right and he confirmed that the main trail went to the right.  He said the smaller paths were dead ends that were made for other purposes.

This verse reminds me of that trail and those other paths.  If you got on that main trail for the first time and didn’t know which way to head, you could easily wind up on the wrong path.  Instead of an hour long walk down a path that’s been laid out, you could wind up hitting every dead-end there is, and spend several hours just trying to find where the trail lets out.  (View of trail’s exit below)

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Almost Heaven, West Virginia

The Lord has a path clearly laid out for us all, and you can find the directions in the Word.  Without knowing or heeding the Word, we often try to take those paths off the main trail, but they are dead ends that only lead to darkness, sin, pain, and ultimately death.  We don’t have to create new paths or take the paths towards darkness.  Keeping the word in our hearts, we can stay on the path of uprightness, which leads to eternal life.

Stay on the path today and do not let yourself be lured by the paths of darkness.  Those smaller paths will ensnare you, trap you, and will not let out in heaven.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  If you need to know the way, His name is Jesus.  He was in the beginning with God:  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  If you know the Word, you know Jesus, and you will get to the Father through Him.”  (John 1:1)  Continue to the right.  Heaven awaits!

Trusting in Jesus,

jamie