Just as Job, we all know, there is a “Price Tag” on absolutely everything. In other words, anything we have or whatever we do has a consequence attached; it will cost us something. Simplistically speaking, being a criminal will cost you time in prison, the lack of your freedom for a period of time. As the saying goes, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” Yet, as easy as this is to say, too few remember the results. It begs the question, who is your God?
Even the most unthinking of people know “Right from Wrong.” They know when they are in error. So then the question becomes, what will they do about it? Will they endeavor to “Right their Wrong” or just “let it ride,” as they like to say in Las Vegas. As we all know, there is a Consequence for every action, remembering too that action comes as a result of a Thought.
The Bible uses the phrase, “Intent of the Heart.” Ultimately, we must all consider the fact that our thoughts are the beginning of our actions. I realize that extreme poverty can result in a person stealing food for survival, yet we will look at that and wonder…to what degree is that a crime? It is very much the opposite when a wealthy person is caught officiating a “Ponzi Scheme.” Am I not correct?
The Bible has stories of people that “Feared” (respected) the Lord God, despite their position in life, like Job. Job (in chapters 1—42) tells the story of how Job “feared” the Lord. Satan told the Lord that “If Job lost everything he had, he would curse the Lord to HIS Face!” The Lord allowed Satan to take all that Job had, even his 7 Sons and 3 Daughters. Still Job would not speak against the Lord. Satan even afflicted Job with boils all over his body, but Job never spoke against the Lord.
Job said “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Praise be the name of the Lord!”
Job 2:9-10 “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”
How unusual for Job’s wife to tell Job to say such a thing against the Lord! Even Job’s three friends came to him and marveled that Job kept his integrity and never spoke against the Lord. Yet never once did they advise Job to Praise the Lord despite Job’s problems. In the end, the Lord held this against Job’s three friends, yet Job prayed for them. What would their lot be had Job NOT prayed for them?
In the end, the Lord gave Job twice as much of everything than before, as well as sons and daughters, to include grandchildren, simply because Job was willing to “Fear” the Lord!
Please read the chapters of Job for yourself and then spend some time thinking about what you read. That story puts into perspective what our lives contain and how important that is, or how important it should be. Other passages of Scripture come to mind as well, yet their importance increases in light of the story of Job. Who or what is your God? Is the Lord your God? Or dare you make wealth, money and possessions your God? How would you react if you lost all of it, as did Job?
It is vital to each of us that we NOT jump to conclusions, but think and ponder that story…in our lives. As I have stated before, we live very short lives; even 80 years is not very much when considered against the length of Eternity. And again, all that is here on earth stays right here, even our bodies. Understanding that, of what use is wealth or power? Would it not be better to consider the Lord and HIS Eternal destiny for us? Suddenly…wealth dims in comparison, and power was never ours; it belongs to the Lord God and only HIM.
Have you ever wondered why being wealthy or powerful is such a bother; the problems will eventually consume you. People have lost family and friends in its acquisition. Was it worth all of that?
It is evident that Job was not concerned with wealth or power; his concern was being “upright and reverent before the Lord.” Thus the Lord dearly Loved Job! This alone should put wealth and power in its proper perspective in each of us today. Yet, as we look around ourselves, we see that the world is more concerned with wealth and power than they are with the Lord.
We must be vigilant in how we live our lives and how we think (Intent of our Heart), which is always followed by our actions. We must realize that everything in our lives is being recorded by the Lord, and one day we will stand before HIM and be held accountable for everything.
It is truly wonderful to have a complete life: a nice home, a good job, healthy and happy, family and friends; but I must warn everyone that there is a consequence for all of it. Does our life represent the Lord and HIS Blessing to us or will our actions consume us, to mire our efforts to show whether we follow the Lord…or the world? These are some big questions, and yet the result could go either way depending upon our choices. This shows the importance of reading and following the Holy Word of God. In other words, would you like to be like Job or not?
If you understand nothing else, know this… We are here on earth, in this life, to make choices and nothing more. Yet…these choices begin as a thought. The Bible calls this “Intent of our Heart,” and we need to be very careful in our following actions. Our actions show whether we follow the Lord or not, and that is where we are judged by the Lord.
We can stand there when no one is watching and think about simply taking (stealing) that piece of candy or we can “cowboy-up” and pay for it. Does this make any sense to you? We have a thought in our heart and it is always followed by an action; therefore, whatever we think is a sin, or not! I hope and pray that makes sense to you.
Jeremiah 17:10 “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”
There is your answer, in Black and White, straight from the Word of God! We are not able to hide anything from the Lord, because every thought or idea is KNOWN by the Lord and recorded. One day we will stand before HIM and we will be held accountable for what we thought, unless…all our sin is covered by the Blood of Jesus Christ from HIS Cross on Calvary. Then again, we would not want to commit that sin to begin with…am I not correct?
Point is, we all will still commit sin, yet the answer is in the Love of the Lord for us and HIS willingness to forgive us our sin…IF we ask HIM to. That, my friends, is the difference! Job prayed for his friends, being that Job was upright in the eyes of the Lord, and the Lord did not hold their sin against them. How much could our prayers benefit others?
I do not believe this story about Job is special…because I believe that each of us has the ability to be just as Job was. Here’s the difference… “Do I believe I can be just like Job?” Makes you think a little.
Nowadays, we are able to be many things; yet to be like Job is minute to minute, hour to hour and day by day! It begs the question, what are our thoughts like…and are they pleasing to the Lord? To be like Job requires the Lord being every thought we have. In the beginning it will be difficult, but with earnest prayer and a strong will we can persevere and finally learn what it takes.
How much better would this world be if more people read the Bible and tried to be like Job? That is more than my little brain is able to conceive! So then, what if everyone at least TRIED? It begins with ME and the Lord!
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?“
Why must we be this way? Was it not enough that Jesus Christ was wrongfully judged and then Crucified, when that should have been you and me? Without HIM…there still would be NO forgiveness of our sin…that required HIS Blood! Still as yet, the equation has not changed one bit—whom do we want to rule our hearts and lives? That, my friends, is your choice to make! Please realize that your Eternal home will be according to your answer.
If there are still questions in you, may I propose reading Luke 16:19-31, the story about a “Rich man and a Beggar, Lazarus.” It tells us where the Heart is; there also is the Soul (Spirit), one’s Treasure! It shows the result of living for oneself or for the good of others.
Matthew 6:19-21 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
All of us have so much to be thankful for, and yet I wonder how many are Thanking the Lord for everything in their lives? It never matters if we’re sick or healthy, rich or poor; we should be Thankful for all Blessings…like the next Heartbeat and Breath of air. As mortals, we know one day we will be called home; so then the question is…where is YOUR HOME? It is ONLY one of two places, my friends.
Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be NOT conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.“
This life does not have to be drudgery and filled with problems; you can change it. Not everyone thinks they are having problems, but the question of YOUR HOME brings into mind questions like… do you know where you will spend Eternity? Where are you headed to after this life here on earth – to Heaven or Hell…and even worse…do you care to know? Trust me; if you have NO ANSWER to that question…that is your answer. Not wanting to commit to an answer…IS an answer…you do not care!
As with everything else in life, you must choose one way or the other…there is no “Sitting on the Fence.”
I am hoping and praying that this story of Job helps anyone to understand how we should be thinking and how we should be living our lives. It is already difficult enough to simply live here on earth; there is no other choice…than Death. Then again, Death takes us to our Judgment before Jesus Christ. And the direction of our lives, how we lived our lives, then comes into plain view. We do not have any other way to be, simply because the Lord God is the one that set everything up to begin with!
All we have is a choice to make…FOR HIM…or AGAINST HIM. That is the deciding factor, and it’s all in the Bible…has been for better than 4,500 years…since God first wrote it.
Obviously….this will require some serious thought…by everyone.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.“
All Scripture comes from the King James Version of the Bible.
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