by Bro. Matthew Abney
I study people all day. I see people judging the poor, following the crowds to the bar, looking at the ladies and commenting on the way they look. I see how people live and what is expected. One can follow the crowd or lead the crowd. However, people have a tendency to follow, doing as the crowd does or says. They say, “GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME, AND ALL THE TIME GOD IS GOOD”. They go through the formalities, but do they believe? I would like to inform you that the perks of believing are way better than before in the world. There is peace of mind, confidence, and comfort in knowing what the outcome will be. I have found, through talking with my brothers in Christ and attending church that even the smallest sin can make you unclean. That means that the chances of getting into heaven are technically slim, but thanks to Jesus the chances are not impossible. Thus, how we live our lives is not to be of the world, but to be set apart. Anyone who loves the world hates GOD. The book of James states this clearly.
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of HEAVEN, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in your name?’ and then I will declare to them I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness! (NKJV)
There are trials and temptations as I live a holy life. I used to fall because I didn’t see certain sins, like lying, drinking, and smoking, as “that bad”. Like a wind out of nowhere I’d find myself back in a sinful place and wonder how I got back there. I know when I mess up; I have to get to a place of true repentance just as David did in Psalm 51. I spend time talking to God, asking for forgiveness. I even will read Psalm 51 over and over until it speaks to me. This stood out to me because I have been to some churches where “Once saved always saved” was taught, but from reading the Bible it isn’t the case. Salvation is an ongoing process. I fast on Tuesday and Friday until about 2 which is great when it comes to denying your flesh of those worldly cravings – you become stronger spiritually without even knowing it!
I know something that will make a difference in someone’s day, as doing this has truly helped me put God first. When I open my eyes, I thank God for the day; I pray and read a scripture before my feet even hit the floor. I then sing and praise Him, but most importantly I read the same thing, knowing that I am making it a part of my heart. This all allows me to do more throughout the day, clothes wise, work wise and it helps me in setting my goals for the day. I have found this practice to be a great indicator in whether my day is good or bad. At the end of the day, I do self-examination of my day, even though sometimes I am tired. No matter what I can at least check off that “Today was a good day!”. By doing this at night it allows me to remember those things that I may have overlooked, such as the smaller stains like the pen from the bank that I added to my collection. Oops! Still, I feel joyous and that gives me strength to praise Him. It also helps if I wake up the next morning and am running late and don’t have time to read because I know that I was in good standings with God when I closed my eyes.
At first living saved was a challenge, and I would make lots mistakes. As I continue to grow in the Lord and spend more time in Holiness Tabernacle with my brothers and sisters in Christ, I find them to be encouraging to me and I have many more good days than I have of bad days. There is still a fine line to walk daily, but knowing Jesus Christ as your LORD and SAVIOR and connecting with Him every day lets you know you are LOVED. You will be blessed in all that you do if you allow the HOLY GHOST to lead you. It is the best choice I ever made. I hope you make it too! Psalms 1:1-2: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night (KJV).