Daily Devotional for Monday July 23, 2012
Praise God for the Boy Scouts and Chick-Fil-A
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, my question is two-fold as follows: 1) When a person says the "sinner's prayer" to receive Jesus as their Savior but goes on living in sin (fornicating, drugs, etc.), are they really saved? 2) If such a person continues openly sinning, should they still be baptized?
ANSWER: Jesus said if you love me, you will obey me, meaning His Word. Only God knows for certain, but while a person may struggle with sin in their life, they can still be saved. I think the key is if they are struggling with sin or simply have given in to sin and don't care. In the end, only God knows a heart, but it is difficult to think a person who has truly committed their life to the Lord can blatantly sin with no remorse. As for baptism, as 1 John states in talking about Believers, if we say we don't sin we are liars. Sadly, we ALL fall short, and that should not stop a Believer from making that symbolic profession of faith thru baptism.
I want to take a moment today to stand up and APPLAUD the Boy Scouts of America and Chick-fil-A. It is so rare in this day of being politically correct and compromise, to see anyone take a bold and principled stand for Biblical Truth. In this day of gutless pastors like Joel Osteen and Rick Warren, modern day Judases like David Barton, John Hagee, and James Robison, it is refreshing to see that not everyone is afraid to take a stand for God's Truth!!!
The Boy Scouts and fast-food chain Chick-fil-A have both taken a Biblical stand against the sin of homosexuality. As anyone who takes such a stand in the year 2012, they have faced incredible backlash. However, despite lawsuits, threats, being labeled as hate mongers and bigots, they have refused to compromise their beliefs. Sadly, this type of courage is a rarity in these last days, which is one reason why the church is so weak and ineffective, having virtually zero impact on our culture any longer.
Someone else who took a stand for what he believed and wouldn't be intimidated into backing down was the late President Ronald Reagan. Whether you agreed with his politics or not, the fact is President Reagan was a leader in every sense of the word. A leader is a person with vision, the guts to stand up and declare that vision, the ability to inspire others to follow, the fortitude to persevere despite whatever opposition there may be, and the patience to see that vision become a reality. I want to use the stand against the sin of homosexuality by the Boy Scouts and Chick-fil-A, as well as the life of President Reagan today to challenge you in your personal life to make the most of each day God gives you.
As I have shared with you often, our life on this earth is so brief and over so quick. James calls it a "vapor." The Bible clearly teaches that tomorrow is promised to none of us. That is why we must make the most of each and every day. There are no do-overs. When this journey is over, it is over, we are not coming back. This is our one and only shot. Understanding that, it should become the desire of each of us to make each day count and live it to the fullest.
Very few people in their life will have the opportunity to become the President of the United States or the leader of a nation. However, EVERY PERSON has the ability to make a difference in this world no matter what you have been called to do. I don't care if you are 15 or 115, rich or poor, male or female, what color your skin is, YOU can make an impact on this world with your life.
God gives each of us passions, things that we develop a love for throughout our life. God gives each of us gifts, special abilities that come naturally to us. Throughout our life God opens and closes doors. It is through these passions we have, through the gifts we have received and developed, and through the opportunities that life presents us, that each person can make an impact on this world during the course of their life.
You see, God needs His children in every area of life. He calls His children to be teachers, doctors, scientists, astronauts, pilots, police officers, fire fighters, secretaries, bank tellers, garbage collectors, janitors, nurses, homemaker, car dealers, mechanics, farmers, politicians, entertainers, lawyers, writers, stock brokers, and any other profession you can name. Throughout the course of a person's life, God may call someone to do many different things. The point is, whatever career or profession you are in, you can make a difference. The key is to do your very best each day and realize that your life matters.
Of course, no matter how much we may accomplish in our life, our greatest legacy will be those lives we touch for Christ along our journey. You see my friend, no matter what your passions may be, what your gifts may be, what career or occupation you have, we all have the same purpose in this life. That is to serve and glorify God with our lives. All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify Him. The money we accumulate, the property we own, all of the things of this world will one day pass away, but those lives we impact for Christ will last for eternity!
I love you and care about you so much. Over their history, the Boy Scouts have impacted millions of lives in a positive way. Chick-fil-A has been a pillar of the communities where they have restaurants and has never backed down on their commitment to close on Sunday in respect for God's Word that teaches a day of rest once a week.
President Reagan had a full life and used his life to make a difference in this world. The example from his life I want to challenge you with today is that YOU can make a difference in this world too. You may never become President of the United States, but you can make a difference in whatever career or occupation you are in. The key is to wake up each morning, do the very best you can, and as God opens doors in your life be bold enough to walk through them. Don't compromise your Biblical beliefs no matter what pressure you may come under!
Of course, never forget that no matter where God may have you working during each season of your life, He has placed you there as His ambassador. You are not there by accident, but God has placed you where you are at in life to share with others you meet along your journey the hope and love of Jesus Christ and the truth of His Word. That will be your real legacy when this brief journey is over, those lives you impact for Christ.
The reality of this life is that one day, sooner than any of us expect, it will be over. At that moment we will be instantly in the presence of God our Creator (2 Cor 5:8). At that moment, God is not going to be interested in the name of the church you attended, what your job was in this life, even if you were the President of the Untied States, how much money you have, or how many buildings have your name on them. No my friend, the only thing God is going to be interested in is do you have a personal relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. For those who do, God will say, "enter into my rest." AMEN!
My word to you today is this. Go out and make an impact in this world in whatever God has called you to do with your life. Make your life matter! Stand tall for God's Truth and never back down or compromise! Along the way, never forget that you have been called to serve and glorify Him with your life and your lasting legacy will be those lives you touch for Christ along your journey!
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,