Pastor Joe’s devotion below is in the White House Connection Newspaper this week!
Make 2018 a BLESSED and HEALTHY Year;
It is Your Choice and Decision!
“These things have I spoken unto you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have deprived the world of its ability to harm you.”
John 16:33 (AMPC)
“For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to make it safe and sound.” John 3:16-17
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Acts 3:19
“All these blessings will chase and overtake those who walk uprightly. “ Deuteronomy 28:2
Knowing and walking with God ALWAYS produces a positive outcome, not only when we leave this body and earth, but while we are here we have the opportunity to experience the blessings of God, Psalm 103. However, there is a requirement to experience those blessings, we must practice His Word, 1 John 3:7. In James 1:22 it says that we must be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only. There are many scriptures that tell us if we practice or do the Word it will bring health, healing, prosperity, life, victory, peace, etc… Proverbs 3:8, Matthew 4:4, Isaiah 26:3, Proverbs 14:30, Joshua 1:8.
This year (and every year) we all have the opportunity to experience God’s blessings in our lives. However, it requires us to know, believe and do His Word. Not just say we believe, but prove our belief with our actions. In previous times if someone said they believed, it generally meant their actions lined up with their beliefs. In other words, what they believed, they did. However, in recent times, people say one thing and do another. Many people give mental assent to information and say they believe, but their actions are not in agreement. That is not belief. That is just acknowledging or giving mental assent to that information. That can be dangerous! Take smoking for example. We know that smoking is a major cause of lung cancer. (Smoking accounts for 30 percent of all cancer deaths and 87 percent of lung cancer deaths; the risk of developing lung cancer is about 23 times higher in male smokers compared to non-smokers; smoking is associated with increased risk of at least 15 types of cancer. And 100 percent of smokers will experience some form of emphysema. Source: Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even though some people who smoke say they believe those statistics they still choose to not change their behaviors. Therefore, they either do not truly believe those statistics, or they are in hopes that it will not affect them. If they believed, they would, most likely change their behaviors. People who truly believe this type of information, most often change their behaviors. When your behaviors line up with what you believe, then you can say you are “a believer” in that information, otherwise you are only aware of or giving mental assent to it. Just like with smoking, in the Spiritual world there are consequences for not believing and following God’s Word. If you believe and do God’s Word you will reap the benefits of it. However, if you say you believe it, but do not do it, you will not reap the benefits God has provided.
Jesus communicated this point in John 14:21, “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” The bottom line is that if I really love God, I will do His Word, if I just give mental assent to His Word, I will not be a doer of His Word and am deceiving myself into thinking I am a believer and I am not. This is what 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”
Many people say they love God, but they do not keep His Word. Therefore, they are deceiving themselves and following their own ways in this life, John 14:12. That is why many people who call themselves “believers” are not healthy, not blessed and do not know God’s plan for their lives. God does not lie, when He says in James 1:22 that if you are a doer of the Word you will be blessed in all his ways. He means what He says. When He says in Proverbs 4:20-22, “My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.” In John 10:10 He says that “the thief comes to steal, to kill and to destroy, but I have come to bring life and life abundantly.” And then in 2 Peter 1:10, He says “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.”
God does not lie, Numbers 23:19, but if you just give mental assent to what He says and not do it, you will not truly know Him and your life will not be blessed. In fact, you will fulfill what James 1:8 says about that person who knows what to do and doesn’t do it, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” Make a decision today to be single minded and be a doer of God’s Word so you prove yourself to be a true believer and your life can be BLESSED in 2018 and beyond.