I struggled for years searching for a sure way into Heaven. As a Catholic I tried to earn my place. When God’s will was revealed to me in the Holy Scriptures I immediately signed on. Being saved by God’s grace was something I would never have considered. I said the prayer and then I made a personal commitment to study the Bible and try to understand why God would want to save a dog like me. The more I read the more I loved my Lord. He died for me because He loves me. He didn’t seem to be too concerned with all my sins, He is focused on me and my new life with Him.
2 Corinthians 6:1
We beseech you, that you receive not the grace of God in vain.
God has made His grace available to ALL men. Some accept it and are saved, some neglect it and remain lost and others accept it for only a season. Grace is a wonderful gift, but it is not unconditional. God gives grace to the humble. Do not be deceived, grace is not an insurance program that will insulate us while we fulfill the lusts of the flesh. God gives us His grace because it’s the only way HE can deal with our old animal nature. If we won’t accept it or try to misuse it, He has offered it to us in vain. The word vain means empty. The word grace then becomes just a word with no significant meaning.
Be diligent lest any men fall from the grace of God, lest a root of bitterness defile you.
If we receive the gift of grace by faith it will deal with our heart and we would have no root of bitterness. When God imparts His grace there is a responsibility that comes with it.
Grace is a seed planted into the heart of a man. God has a right to expect some fruit to come forth. We are empowered to keep the weeds off His seed. If we choose otherwise we defile ourselves. If God offers to clean your house and you choose rather to live in filth, you have defiled yourself. God is offering us a place in Heaven with Him for eternity, why would anyone choose something else?
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him.
The Spirit of the Lord didn't come to dwell in us because He has to, He came because He wants to. When a believer forgets that he is the temple of the Lord, the devil will come and try to lead him into mischief. When we don’t habitually acknowledge the Lord, the devil views us as unclaimed freight. Man was created to worship. God deserves it but the devil demands it. We must be determined to hold fast to our connection with the Lord and His gift of eternal life. We will all stand before the judgement seat of the Lord. This must not be a surprise to us. If you have been faithful Jesus will confess you before His Father and the ministering Spirits. Pay close attention to the rewards from on high, they are forever and eternal.
Pastor Jerry Lamping
Born and raised in Helena, MT, has been a Pastor for over 20 years.