Daily Devotional for Monday July 2, 2012
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I read your Daily Devotional every day. I have read about where you had made a profession of faith but later got involved in things that were not of Christ, went to prison, later turned your life around? Do you believe that if you had died in that period while you were doing your own thing away from Christ that you would have gone to heaven?
ANSWER: Absolutely, however, there is always a price to pay for sin. While you can't lose your salvation if you are truly saved, you do forfeit the peace, the joy, the abundance you should enjoy because of your rebellion, not to mention whatever consequences you face. The prodigal son never stopped being his father's son, nor did his father ever stop loving him. However, he faced the consequences for his rebellion in addition to losing the peace, joy, and abundance he could have enjoyed if he had continued to be obedient.
One of the things that I lack more than anything in my life is patience. I have done better as I get older, but it is still something that I have to pray about and work on almost every day. Many of the problems that I read about in people's lives each and every day can be traced back to a lack of patience. How often do we jump out, do something without really thinking it through or praying about it...and then not wait on God to see if it is something that He wants us to be doing....and end up in a major mess?
It doesn't matter what the issue is. Finances, relationships, where we should be working, living, recreating, going to school, everything we do in our life should be done with careful thought, prayer, and leading by the Holy Spirit.
Often I speak about hearing from God. Obviously, this is where patience comes in to play. Now this doesn't mean we are to just sit in our room, praying, fasting, and waiting for God to speak to us from the heavens. To be very honest with you, I really hope that never happens to me. I'm comfortable hearing from God in the normal ways like through His Word, through prayer, through that "still small voice." We just can't be paralyzed, we need to live our lives.
As we are making those key important decisions of life, we need to think them through, ask ourselves what does the Word say and what would God want us to do. I can tell you, almost every decision we make during the day can be made using those two questions as your guide. In the bigger decisions, those that will affect our life in a major way, we need to exercise patience and see what God wants us to do.
Don't ever forget, He has a plan and purpose for your life already drawn up. He will show you the way and give you direction on those important key decisions. He won't be silent. The big problem becomes our desires when they aren't His desires. We often try to see what we want to see and ignore God when He is obviously closing a door in our life, or perhaps opening one.
One reason we often don't have much patience is because we may already know what it is God wants and it isn't really what we want. It is called rebellion, and it will cause you pain and heartache every single time. Maybe not right away, but trust me, when you are doing it your way and not His, there is ALWAYS a price to pay.
I love you and care about you a great deal. It is no accident you receive these Devotionals every day, and I never take lightly the opportunity God has given me to encourage you, challenge you, and stand with you as He continues to make you the man or woman of God He intended, as He speaks to you and leads you into the service he has planned for your life each and every day.
I will be praying today for you to have patience, to wait on God during those critical decisions you must make at times in your life. I will be praying that you hear Him clearly and then follow His directions..not rebel, but obediently follow Him in the direction He wants you to go. During this 4th of July holiday, with all that may be going on with cookouts, fireworks, and time with family and friends, learn to be patient and wait on God. Remember, His timing is ALWAYS perfect!
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,