Daily Devotional for Saturday March 8, 2014
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, when we accept the Lord as our personal Savior and still sin, even though we don't mean to, will we still be judged for those sins? This is very confusing to me and I know it is for others like me.
ANSWER: Christ paid the price on the cross for ALL of our sins. However, when we sin, we forfeit the peace, joy, and abundance we should enjoy, plus, whatever consequences there as a result of our sins. The Bible talks about crowns in Heaven. Little is known about those crowns and rewards, other than they will be for our faithfulness and obedience. We don't lose our salvation, but we probably forfeit some crowns and rewards.
"The word of the Lord came to me: "Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: 'When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone's life, that person's life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.' Ezekiel 33:1-6
When I committed my heart and life to go into full-time ministry over 22 years ago, I accepted God's challenge to become one of His watchmen. In ancient days, the watchman was the person who occupied a tower overlooking the city and its walls. It was his job to announce to the city when the enemy was preparing to attack. The majority of the Old Testament prophets felt that as spiritual watchmen to the people, their warnings were for the most part ignored. They lamented the fact that the people never listened despite their prophetic insight and warnings from God.
I am sure that many of today's spiritual leaders feel like those Old Testament prophets, as they sound the warning from God for people to turn from their sin and embrace God. That message, of course, is largely ignored. Early in my ministry, after feeling that same frustration, God showed me that it was not my job to "make people change." It was my job to share with them the fact that God loves them, that there is everlasting life through Jesus Christ, and that the answers they are seeking are found in Him. Period. I was to sound the alarm, blow the trumpet . . . that was my job. Only God can change a person's heart. That is a Divine work, one only He can accomplish.
Once I came to that realization, it became easier for me to focus on what my job was and to do it to the best of my ability. God told me that I was to be a loud, and bold watchman in this new medium called the Internet that is able to reach more people, quicker than anything that has been known to man. My friend, I try my best each day to be a "watchman" here on the Internet. I will continue to tell those on the Net that God is real, He is alive, and it is only through His son Jesus that we can enjoy a purposeful life here on earth and know God's free gift of everlasting life.
I love you and care about you SOOOOO much!!! Let me encourage you today. Everyone that knows Christ as their Savior has been called to be God's watchman. Just remember, God has given you the job of sharing His love and the truth of His Word. That's it. The changes, the miracles, those will all come from God himself. You are His instrument to touch a person, He is the one that actually does the work.
Think about that today and take the pressure off yourself if the person you have been praying for isn't getting healed, or won't accept Christ, or their marriage isn't restored. God is the one who will bring about the actual change. We are simply called to be faithful to share His message of hope and love in Jesus Christ.
Be one of God's watchmen in these last days!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,