You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder. James 2:19
Belief in a god is very common all around the world. At least half of the people of the world believe in at least one god, many will believe in more than one. Others believe in the possibility of a god existing, but are not absolutely positive.
Most of the people leave their level of belief at just that level, just believing and nothing more. It does not have much of an effect upon their daily living.
As James talks about doing good deeds and faith, he tells the people that it is good that they believe in one God, but it is not enough, because even the demons do that–and shudder.
Believing in one God is an easy thing for a person to do, but very commonly it does not change the way a person lives, thinks, acts or speaks. Even though they believe, they do not realize the authority and power of God, and thus believe with a flippant attitude. The demons know who God is and are fearful.
Sadly, this type of belief in God is a common occurrence within the church. People go to church, sing the songs, hear the sermon, then go home back to their sinful lifestyles with no thought about God in their minds or actions.
Actions are what proves a belief. A person can believe that a chair will hold him, but if he never sits on it, he really does not believe.
One must believe in what Jesus did to be saved, but then he must act upon that belief by doing good deeds out of love for Jesus and what He did and love for others. He must realize that without working for God, there will be a judgement against him in the end.
If you have chosen to believe in Jesus that is great. Now ask yourself what are you doing with that belief.
Do you realize who God is and the power and authority that He has over your life and this temporary world? Or do you think that He is just the good man upstairs?
Allow who God is to change you from the inside out. God has great works for you to do, if you will trust Him and obey Him, not just believe in Him.
True belief will bring about change and action.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will know who God really is; that you will know God’s authority and power; that you will obey God with all of your life; and that you will be changed by knowing who God is.
And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name. Acts 22:16
Advertisements bombard people every day as being very urgent and that one needs to act upon it right now. Often they say that one has to call within the next few minutes to get the deal. Or they say that you must come in and get the deal now, before it goes away.
Many different things call for priority of immediate action. Passing on doing something, may mean that it is lost forever.
As Paul is talking about his conversion experience, he tells the people that after Ananias had told him about Jesus, he asked what he was waiting for. Then he told Paul to be baptized and wash away his sins calling on Jesus.
Going through life, there are times that there are things that need immediate action. Most often the things that need to fastest action are when there is an emergency that can cause harm or death. In reality, outside of a life and death emergency, most things can be held off on acting upon it.
One thing that many people see as a non-emergency is believing in Jesus and being saved. Although life appears to be good and one feels he can accept Jesus later, one thing he does not know is the exact moment he will die. Once a person dies, there is no hope of being saved, if he has not chosen to follow Jesus while alive.
Knowing that one could die at any moment, means that believing in and following Jesus is the highest priority of action one can ever make in his life. It is an action that will effect today and throughout all of eternity. There is no time for waiting to make a decision.
If you have already made a decision to follow Jesus and make Him your Lord and Savior, that is great. However, if you have not made that decision, today is the day to make it. In fact, right now is the time to decide.
Waiting only increases the odds that it will be too late and you will die in your sins, being condemned for eternity, exiled from God for eternity.
Now that you have heard the message of Jesus Christ, today is the day to make that decision to follow Him.
What are you waiting for?
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will choose to believe in Jesus; that you will choose to turn away from all sins to follow God; that you will not wait anymore in following God with all of your life; and that you will pass the gospel message on to others who need it today.
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. Luke 3:8
Talk is easy to do, but action following the talk is much more difficult and rare. People are quick to talk about big things that they are going to do or who they are, but rarely will follow it up with their actions.
Most often this big talk comes from a position that a person is in or because of a person that one is connected to, nor from personal actions.
John tells the people to produce fruit with their repentance. They were claiming Abraham as their father. He also tells them that God could raise up children from the stones if needed.
Saying that one is sorrow for doing something wrong is an easy thing to do. Following that statement up with action is much more difficult. The follow up action will reveal where the heart truly is.
Without any fruit, repentance does not really mean anything. Many people are quick to repent of sins, but refuse to produce any fruit. They do not do the work of God at building up His kingdom. They do not change their ways of living, striving to be holy as God is holy.
Some ‘believers’ claim they are believers because their parents were, not because they truly are in their hearts. Their actions, or rather lack of actions, reveal where their heart really is.
When a person repents, he must change his ways. There should be fruit in his life of the change in his heart and mind. The fruit of the Spirit must be revealed in every area of his life.
Without the fruit, the believer is false.
As you are willing to repent of your sins, you must be willing to follow it up with action. Live your whole life sold out to God. Do what God has called you to do–to leave a life of sin and be His witness in all of this world.
If no one can see a marked change in your life, then you must question yourself if you really do believe in God and have you really repented.
Do not live just by words, but also by action. Prove your faith by your actions.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will repent before God of all sins; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sins; that you will produce fruit in keeping with your repentance; and that the world will see you truly believe in and follow Jesus.
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:15
With a lot of excitement people look forward to a coming, exciting event. Each day as it gets closer, the amount of excitement grows with anticipation of it. Once the day finally arrives, they will quickly act upon it and let everyone know regardless of who it does or does not involve.
The reason that people will let others know, is that they they are excited because it is good news to the one being affected. It is time for action, not ignorance or avoidance and they want as many involved as possible.
Jesus had grown up waiting for the day to come to start His ministry. Finally the day had come and it was a day for everyone to repent and believe.
The day has come has not changed since Jesus had proclaimed it nearly two thousand years ago, yet, people try to ignore it or put it off. Many in the world refuse to want to believe in Jesus today. They want to wait until a better time.
In the same way, many in the church do not want to fully repent and turn from certain sins and fully believe God’s word. They want to continue in some sin, while claiming to believe in and follow Jesus. They want to put off the repentance until a later, more convenient time.
The problem is no one is guaranteed the next moment. Each person may die within the next second. The time for repentance and belief in the gospel message is now. Not tomorrow, not in a while, but right now. Every person must put off all procrastination and repent and start believing right now, instead of waiting until it is too late.
Only you and God knows exactly where you are with Him. It is easy to claim with your mouth that you have repented and believe, but it needs to be done from the heart.
If you have been putting off obeying God’s word, today is the day to begin. Right now is the time to begin obeying with repentance and belief. This goes with repentance of sin and with obeying God’s commands to you. What is God calling you to do? Today, right now is the time to begin, not later or tomorrow, which may not come.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will repent before God of all sins; that you will believe God’s word now; and that you will not put off God’s commands to you anymore.