IS GOD YOUR BODYGUARD?

   I was recently reading Leviticus 26 and came upon one of the many places in the Scripture* where God echoes the theme of promised blessings for those who trust in Him verses the inevitable punishments that come to those who disregard their Maker. Over and over, God vows to protect those who obey His Word - in other words, HE WANTS TO WATCH YOUR BACK!!

   However, if you are just out there doing your own thing, well, -- you're on your own -- and that's a scary place to be! But it is YOUR CHOICE.

   Am I saying that God guarantees His people a "cushy" life, with no problems? No, actually the Bible says quite the opposite. Those who believe in Christ will often get the same kind of treatment from this world that it gave to Christ. I Peter 4 says that your former friends will make fun of you when you quit your sinful lifestyle. God promises to be with us in good times and bad, and if we continue in our faith, we will be cleansed by the blood of Christ and receive eternal life and peace with Him. But those who continue in sin will face the consequences!

   I am also NOT saying that God never blesses unbelievers because He is God and can do whatever He wants to do. And God is full of mercy and love and grace. But I WILL say that those who are currently ignoring God are on very thin ice!

   So, how can I be sure that God is my Bodyguard?

1 - Be SURE your are committed to Jesus. Have you repented of your sins and asked Him to come into your heart and life? In John 3, Jesus says that we can't even SEE the kingdom of God until we are born again, and we are born again by believing and receiving the Son of God into our hearts.

2 - Have you been baptized? Baptism symbolizes the death of your sinful past and the new life you have received in Christ. We know that baptism is important, not only because Jesus commanded us to be baptized, but also because Christ Himself was baptized, even though He had no sins to be washed away. Also, baptism shows that you are willing to be publicly identified with Christ and His Body. In Mark 8:38, Jesus says that if we are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of us when He returns to this earth.

3 - Begin to take in God's Word, through regular Bible reading and study, as well as through listening to gifted and anointed teachers. The Bible is your spiritual food and it will make you strong in your faith, just like physical nourishment strengthens your physical body. Without it you will be weak and become an easy target for the enemy of your soul. (I highly recommend reading a modern translation)

4 - Find a group or church of Bible-believing Christians to fellowship with and grow in your faith. The Word of God refers to Christians as the Body of Christ, and says emphatically that we ALL NEED EACH OTHER. We all need others who have the same faith as we do to help us learn more about the Lord and the truths in Scripture. The truth within God's Word is much more than the human mind can absorb all at once - it takes TIME and THE HOLY SPIRIT to teach and reveal the truth to us.

   I believe with all my heart that a spiritual world exists that many people have never experienced and know nothing about. Satan is very much on the move in this world today, through music, movies, television, books, etc., etc., etc., trying to put all kinds of obstacles in your way to keep you from the truth of God through Jesus Christ. But, IF you WANT to know the truth, and IF you will open up your heart and give Christ the chance, the devil cannot stop you -- no matter how hard he tries!!!

  If you have questions - please ask and I will do my best to help you find the answers you need or recommend others who can help. If you live in the Circleville area and would like to join us at our House Church, please send me a comment (see bottom of page).

* --- (Scripture references) Leviticus 26:1-17; Deuteronomy 4:32-40; Deuteronomy 7:9-11; Deuteronomy 11:13-17, 26-28; Isaiah 40:31; Lamentations 3:25; James 4:8; II Chronicles 15:2; Jeremiah 29:11-13; Zechariah 1:3; Malachi 3:7; Psalms 145:18,19; Proverbs 2:1-5; Proverbs 8:17; Psalms 50:15; Jeremiah 33:3; John 14:21; Matthew 11:28-30; John 7:37,38; John 11:25,26; Jeremiah 6:16,18,19, Jeremiah 12:17, Deuteronomy 28

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