Psalm 84:4 “Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.”
As I walk around some large stores on occasion, I always like to see who I believe is really happy. Even here in the more “Christian” South, I see very few people who appear to be happy, although some have a genuine appearance of being happy. Being that there are so few disappoints me greatly.
The Bible verse for today starts with the word “Blessed.” This is another word for “happy.” I have no idea how many people in those stores actually go to church, or are saved, but I strongly believe there is somewhat of a correlation between being happy and worshiping the Lord.
David, by experience, knew that being around God and the people of God in regular worship leads to a joyous heart. Of course, this assumes that the individual is willing to forsake sin and truly worship God from the heart.
David said it like this, in Psalm 16:11: “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” He found incredible joy from really being in God’s presence – which is different from merely being in a church building.
I find that this Bible promise is still true. I enjoy being around God’s people, and worshiping and fellowshipping with Him. So do true Christians.
Some Christians, or some people who like to think they are Christians, apparently have not found this to be true – or they have forgotten it. This must be one reason so few have real joy in their hearts.
What David is saying in the verse for the text today is that if you will continue to serve and honor God in church, you will be enabled to still have a song in your heart that honors God. People will never be perfect and may disappoint, not even pastors.
If you, as a Christian, have lost your joy and praise for God, is it because you stopped going to church? If for some reason there is a problem at a particular church, find another one. Don’t be a defeated and unhappy (unblessed) Christian any more. If you are saved, love God, and prove to yourself and to the world that He is still worth serving! Find that blessedness of dwelling in His house again! Praise His eternal Name!
I trust that you will be in church this morning – or perhaps tonight or next Sunday. Don’t put it off. May our Lord bless you as you are faithful to His place of worship – with the people of God. Be one of those that others can tell are genuinely happy; and when they ask what makes you happy, be sure to tell them!
Psalm 23:2 “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.”
Once saved, the child of God has promises from God that He will provide the needs of His own. This Psalm continues to use the illustration of God’s people being sheep who are led by a loving Shepherd.
This verse tells us that God leads His sheep to “green pastures,” which simply refers to a place of sufficiency. Plenty of grass for them to eat. Our shepherd is concerned that we get enough to eat. It may not mean steak everyday, but we will have what we need.
This Bible verse also tells us that He will lead us beside “still waters.” This is a reference to the fact that literal sheep are afraid of rapidly moving water. They need to be able to drink out of still water, where they will have calmness of mind and heart. Christ the Shepherd does the leading to the things we need, we just need to be sure that we are following closely.
Many people believe that God offers salvation to those who work hard for it. This concept is taught by a large number of religious leaders all over the world.
The idea, some think, is that if the good deeds outweigh the bad, then God will overlook the sin and receive them into Heaven. While most people believe this, this way of salvation is not found anywhere in the Bible.
Part of the problem as to why it is believed is because so few people actually care enough about their soul to discover the truth – Bible truth. So, they leave it up to religious leaders to present it to them – and they hope the leader really knows. Unfortunately, when the blind lead the blind…
Now, I am not trying to be overly critical, but I do want you to know the truth that can save your soul. The Bible does make it very plain to those who really want the truth. This is why Jesus said, in John 8:32: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
This freedom that Christ spoke of is not some fleeting feeling or mere religious idea that has no real value in this life. Instead, it is a real knowledge that your sins are forgiven because of a very real transaction that took place between you and God.
What is the truth that sets you free from sin and its eternal penalty? There are several elements to it, but it is not difficult to understand. After all, God has told us that He wants to save all people.
The first essential truth that must be understood is that God tells us we all are sinners. There are no exceptions. The Bible says: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10); and “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Of course, this includes both me and you.
The next thing to be understood is that sin sends the sinner to Hell. A holy God cannot let sin into Heaven. He also is just and the Judge of all. His Word, in Romans 6:23 tells us: “For the wages of sin is death…” The word “death” in this verse is a reference to eternal death, or Hell.
The sin of every human is written in God’s books. There is no sin left out. In Matthew 12:36, Jesus tells His disciples that: “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Jesus told them that even the “idle words,” the words carelessly spoken are all written down!
The next thing to know is that no good work can erase a single sin! It does not matter what type of work it is – religious works included! It needs to be realized, that if salvation could be obtained by being good, then it would have been totally unnecessary for Christ to die on the cross!
The Bible makes it clear that no one has ever been saved by being good. Sin condemns us all! We are told in Ephesians 2:8,9 that: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Did you see that part where it says “not of works”?
When God sent Christ to die for us, it was because there was no other way to erase our sins and let us go to Heaven! Our sin demanded both physical and spiritual death. The next important truth is to understand that Christ’s blood was the payment for what we owed. The sinless Son of God became our Substitute, and His sacrifice was sufficient to obtain our forgiveness and freedom from such a penalty.
Christ died and rose again to not only pay our debt of sin, but also to reveal that the debt was fully paid! If not, He would not have come out of the grave!
Now, I mentioned a “transaction” earlier in this post. Here it is – don’t miss it. Christ’s payment for sin is not to be taken lightly. God offers forgiveness to those who are sorry for their sin and want to turn from it.
The final truth necessary for salvation, which will make you“free”, or “saved,” is that you need to personally go to God in prayer and admit to Him your sin and sinfulness. Confess that you are worthy of His wrath and damnation, but that you know that Christ paid for your sin. Ask Him to forgive you and to save you right now on the basis of what Christ did for you, and He will save you this very moment!
Consider these verses:
Romans 3:24 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
John 3:16,17 “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. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
By making salvation so easy to obtain, anyone can get saved. God loves you and He wants to save you. This is, however, the only way.
Have you asked Him to save you today? I hope and pray that you have. The freedom comes because you know your sins are forgiven and that you are on your way to Heaven.
Or, if you already are a believer and would like to learn more about Christ and how to serve Him better, I invite you to look at these Christian eBooks and other materials that will help you grow spiritually.
Have you seen these other posts about Bible salvation?
Being that today is Sunday, I am sure that many people will be going to church. This is a good thing, and I hope that many more people will go, too, even those who have not been in a church for a long time.
The thing that I want to focus on this morning is the issue of “why” some people go to church. Of course, many people have been brought up in church. They plan on going and are often faithful to every service. Again, I think this is a good thing.
For those who may look at going to church as a part of going to Heaven, however, I want you to pay attention to this post. Salvation does not come to people through the local church.
Don’t get me wrong. It certainly can be valuable in showing people how to go to Heaven – but it cannot confer the gift of salvation to you.
I have met a number of people who have gone to church all their lives. They thought they were saved and on their way to Heaven, but one day they discovered they were wrong. What brought them to this conclusion?
A number of them just thought it was kind of automatic. They knew the lingo, the songs, were faithful and some had even been serving actively in the church for years. Others around them thought they were saved, too.
The plain truth, however, is different than that. You see, just because you go to a pool or lake and start swimming, does not at all make you a fish. Walking into a garage won’t make you a car either. Likewise, going to church, no matter how often, will not make you a Christian.
The Lord Jesus tells us how to be saved. He said in John 3:3 that every person needs to have a new birth. We were born into the wrong family and our sin proves it. We love to go against the laws of God. Every one of us is guilty of breaking His laws. God’s Word tells us: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). Because of our sin, we all are on our way to Hell: “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
The only way this situation could be changed was for God to do something about it. He loved us, and proved “his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Notice that Christ, the Son of God died for us. Not the church.
Participating in religious ceremonies and services cannot wash away sin. Only the blood of Jesus can do that. It can wash away all your sin.
In order to be saved, you need to come straight to God. You must confess your sinfulness to God and be willing to turn from it. There is no one else Who can save you: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5).
The reason the church members I mentioned earlier were not saved is because they realized they had never actually asked God to forgive them and save them. They had been baptized, joined the church, and did more – but this cannot save you.
Salvation comes only by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. This must be a deliberate decision on your part and it takes places at a specific point of time. Have you deliberately chosen to trust Christ to be your Savior. Can you point to a time when you did that? Consider what Christ said: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).
I hope and pray that you have called on Him for salvation – or will do it now.
Evangelist Mike Valles
P.S. – If you have still questions about salvation, I encourage you to download my free eBook: How to Be Saved and Know It and read it carefully. It will answer many questions.