The kind of person whose word is their bond. Scripture says it like this: “Let your yes be yes and your no, no.” (Matthew 5:37) Can people look you in the eye and believe that what you say is true? Or do you waver – keeping your word when it’s convenient but breaking it when it might cause you discomfort, sacrifice or even pain?
As one business leader said, “In a world filled with “busy” people, one of the most important characteristics I look for in others is follow through. Anyone can make a commitment – very few complete what they promise.”
Of course, Jesus is our model of trustworthiness. After the Fall in the Garden of Eden, God made the promise to one day send a Savior to reconcile us back to Him. Jesus committed to complete that promise for you and for me, and did just that when he said “it is finished” on the cross. (John 19:30)
We need humility today perhaps more than ever. We’ve become consumed with a “me” centered mentality. Stats estimate that the average person will take 25,000 selfies in their lifetime. Life is not about you! Instead, the world is crying out for God-honoring servant leaders – leaders like John the Baptist who understood that only Jesus was worthy of all honor, praise and glory, acknowledging that, “He must become greater. I must become less”. (John 3:30)
The following song lyrics by Franchesta Batistelli remind us to put God on display, not ourselves: “I don’t need my name in lights I’m famous in my Father’s eyes. Make no mistake. He knows my name. I’m not living for applause, I’m already so adored. It’s all His stage, He knows my name.”
Too often, we’re content with mediocrity. Colossians 3:23 reminds us of our responsibility: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”
As a passenger on an airplane, we want the pilot to be excellent. We don’t want to him to be decent, okay or average. Equally when we visit a mechanic, a doctor, a dentist. We want to know that we’re getting their very best. Proverbs 21:31 says: “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord” In other words: Do your best – prepare for the worst – then trust God for the outcome.
Pursue excellence, but know that you WILL experience failure; it’s unavoidable – critical even to your personal growth. But it doesn’t have to define you. As Henry Ford said, “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently”.
Solomon says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7) and James tells us that, “If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault” (James 1:5)
As we make our way in the world, we’ll accumulate lots of information, facts and figures. We’ll be inundated with new ideas, trains of thought, and if we don’t guard our heart and mind, we’ll run the danger of being pulled away from the truth of God’s Word.
We must hold tightly to our faith. God’s Book, the Bible – not our textbook, our notebook or our checkbook – God’s book – holds the answers to all of life’s questions. Wisdom – the skill of Godly living – is tragically missing in the lives of many people today.
Be willing to own up to our mistakes and our sins, and say these difficult, but critical words. “It was my fault. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. It won’t happen again” Being accountable requires vulnerability and transparency. It’s allowing another person to speak truth into our life, even when it hurts. Proverbs 27:17 tells us that, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”
It’s important to have someone you’re “doing life” with. This is not the same as friends or followers on social media. It’s having close fellowship with a brother or sister in Christ. As Elinor Rosivelt said, “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends leave footprints in your heart.” A true friend will grab your heart because they love you enough to hold you accountable.
Choosing our Friday night friends carefully is not just an old cliché – it’s an absolute must! We’re told in 1 Corinthians 15:13 that: “bad company corrupts good character” and in Proverbs 13:20 that: “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
A Pastor once said, “Jesus saved my soul, but the church saved my life.” Quite literally, being around fellow believers was his lifeline as a young man. Godly counsel and accountability enabled him to say “no” to the trappings and temptations of this world. So the importance of getting plugged in to a local Bible believing church cannot be over-stated. Hang out with those who love Jesus because typically, we become like those we follow.
Just say yes…to God: Anytime. Anywhere. With anything!
Our goal is not to be a people pleaser, but a God pleaser. Paul put it this way, “If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10) Ultimately, we’ll demonstrate our love for God by following His commands, remembering that we never know what’s on the other side of obedience.
In John 14:6, Jesus tells us that HE is “The way, the truth and the life, and that no one comes to the Father except through Him” (John 14:6). Peter agreed: “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Only by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone can a person receive eternal life. Being a Christian is not something we earn and certainly not something we deserve. It doesn’t depend on our church attendance or affiliation, or however the world might define success. It’s all about Christ – what He has done for us – not what we do for Him.
INVITATION: IT’S AS SIMPLE AS A-B-C!
If you you’re not certain of your salvation, why not invite Jesus Christ into your heart today – giving you freedom from the past, peace in the present and hope for the future.
Without resting on the firm foundation of Jesus, we’ll find ourselves on a constant treadmill of worldly success and failure.
But with Christ as our anchor, we can not only enjoy and embrace seasons of favor, we can also withstand the storms and valleys of this thing we call life, knowing that He is with us, and that the best – eternity in His presence – is yet to come!
A – Admit
Admit what you have done wrong and ask forgiveness.
- Romans 3:23 All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
- Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death.
- I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
B – Believe
Believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again as a payment for your sins.
- John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.
- Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
C – Confess and Choose
Confess and choose to allow God to the be in charge of your life
- Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
- Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
- Romans 10:13 Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.