Does the Bible predict the future?

What about the future of the saved?

God’s View of the Future

We don’t have to search very hard to discover what God thinks of the future, as Isaiah the Prophet writes, “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done” (Isaiah 46:9-10). Who else can declare the end from the very beginning? Only God can because He is obviously omnipresent (all-present), and this means He has been in the past, is in the present, and has already been to the future. He knows what’s in the future because He has ordained it, so it must come to pass. We can predict who wins the Super Bowl or if it’ll rain or not, but we have no power to make that happen, however God has knowledge to predict and the power to fulfill what He prophecies through His holy prophets of old. We have seen many of these prophecies already come true, but as we will read, many are more yet to come.

Fulfilled Prophecies

There are hundreds of Bible prophecies that have already been fulfilled, like the Prophet Micah naming the tiny village of Bethlehem as the birthplace of Israel’s Messiah, 700 years before Christ was born (Micah 5:2). Zechariah the Prophet prophesied of Jesus being betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (Zech 11:12-13). David and Zechariah both wrote about a form of punishment that had not yet been invented, called crucifixion (Psalm 22 and 34:20; Zech 12:10). Jeremiah the Prophet predicted the land of Edom (today, in Jordan) which had an abundant water supply at the time, would someday become a barren, un-inhabited wasteland (Jer 49:15-20; Ezk 25:12-14), which it is today. To show us that God is in history because it is “His-story,” Jesus proves that He was the fulfillment of the Messiah by telling His disciples, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44), and of course, all of them were fulfilled prior to or at Calvary. Does the Bible predict the future? The answer is absolutely yes. Not one prophecy has ever missed and none ever will.

The Future Kingdom

We have at least four different views of the Millennium and we are not going to be able to cover each of these views exclusively, so instead, we can look at what we know will happen when the kingdom of God comes down to earth in the form of the New Jerusalem, and with that, a new heaven and a new earth will arrive. The Apostle John wrote “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God” (Rev 21:1-3). Now that God dwells directly with mankind, God does something that humanity has been waiting on for a very long time and that is God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:4). Perhaps the greatest thing about the coming of the kingdom is being in the very presence of God. What can compare with seeing Jesus Christ for the very first time?!

The New Jerusalem

In the final chapter of the Bible, which doesn’t get any better than this, we see John write, “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Rev 22:1-2), and then there will “No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads” (Rev 22:3-4). Once more read that God will be with us and we “will see his face” for the very first time. After salvation, I think the greatest reward of all will be to see God’s face, in Jesus Christ, for the first time in our lives.

Conclusion

Does the Bible predict the future? Absolutely yes! We can trust what God has promised in the future through His written Word, the Bible. Isaiah chapters 65 and 66 also give us a hint about what it will be like once the King of kings rules the earth and it is very much like Revelation 21 and 22 where Isaiah writes “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind”(Isaiah 65:17), and then “I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress” (Isaiah 65:19), and “No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the young man shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed” (Isaiah 65:2)  as “the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands” (Isaiah 65:22b). This will come to pass because not one word will ever fail that comes from the Word of God

3 easy ways to receive comfort from God.

His Word

There are times when I am so overwhelmed about things in life; home, church, or work, that I fall down before God, and then I open His Word, and find comfort in the Book of Psalms. It seems that the psalmist has been through a lot, and what he’s writing is often just what I feel. Maybe it’s because the psalmist endured so many hardships that the psalms make sense to us, and after reading even a few of them, it’s almost as if he’s read our minds. In Psalm 103, the psalmist writes, that “as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him” (Psalm 103:11), and His steadfast love means, “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). He is compassionate and tender with us because “he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14). And in our personal relationship with Him, it is “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13). Haven’t you found some comfort in those four short verses? I have…many times! When you are wearied by life and circumstances, run to the Word, camp out in the Psalms, and be comforted by God.

His Arms

God is Spirit (John 4:24), and Spirit does not have arms, legs, or other body parts, but God uses these words to describe what He does for us and how He is toward those who have trusted in the Son. Just before Moses was about to die and pass on the leadership to Joshua, the people must have been anxious, and perhaps even Joshua, so God inspired Moses to tell the people of Israel, “The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms”(Deut 33:27). Naturally God does not have arms of flesh, but it is a way that God speaks so that we can understand what our relationship with Him is like. I’m a father and grandfather, and if my children or grandchildren run to me when they’re hurting, I gladly embrace them in my arms. I am there to try and comfort them and protect them from hurt, if I can, so in an infinitely greater way, God is our refuge, our shelter, and our dwelling place, and if we are in Christ, we are already in the everlasting arms of God. Thankfully, that embrace does not depend on our perfect behavior, lest we’d all lose it, but it’s based upon God’s promise that He never leaves us or forsakes us (Heb 13:5). Again, Moses writes of this loving embrace in language they, and we can understand, writing, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deut 31:6).

His Love

I don’t even know where to begin here. There is a lot about love in the Bible, and much of it is most perfectly displayed in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. The Apostle John was the “disciple whom Jesus’ loved” (John 13:21-30, John 18:15-18, John 19:26-27), and he later wrote that “we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1st John 4:16), but John doesn’t describe love as a feeling, but “the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him” (1st John 4:9). The love of God was displayed, not by words, but by actions…at the cross. Love is a verb…it is what you do, and Jesus did the most anyone could do, even dying for us while still enemies of God (Rom 5:10). What a radical love that is! It is an agape love that dies for one’s own enemy. We can’t fathom the depths of such love…we can only read about it the Bible. God has clearly showed His love for all the world to see and read for themselves in the often quoted verse, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”(John 3:16), but a point so often overlooked is the following verse, which tells us that “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17). Next time Jesus comes, He will come to judge the world in righteousness, but for those who have already trusted in Christ, their judgment has been placed upon Christ at the cross. There is no more condemnation, but only peace with God (Rom 5:1, 8:1), but no one can have the peace of God unless they are at peace with God, and that peace with God comes only through Jesus Christ. There is simply no other way to the Father (John 6:44; Acts 4:12).

Conclusion

If you are in need of comfort, the Word of God always comforts the afflicted, but on the other hand, it afflicts the comfortable. That’s because the Word cuts us down to where we live, looking into our hearts, thoughts, and even our motives (Heb 4:12-13). Nothing can be hidden from it, so by examining the Word of God, the Word of God examines us. It may cut us, but it cuts in order to heal…or it may comfort us from an already existing wound. God gives comfort to those who are afflicted, and is close to those who are crushed and of a broken spirit (Psalm 34:18). If you feel discomforted by life, come to the Lord and camp out in the Psalms or the Gospel of John. Take some rest in the Word, and let the Lord take every burden and every care from off your shoulders. They were never meant to take such a load anyway.

Powerful Ways To Spark Your Prayer Life

Pray Back His Word

There is nothing better, I believe, than to pray back God’s Word to Him.  We know that the psalms contain many prayers in the form of songs and David’s psalms are really prayers that were put to music.  Why not use some of these praise and prayer psalms as part of your prayer life like in Psalm 3 which says “I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill” (Psalm 3:4) or Psalm 84 “My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God” (Psalm 84:2).

Write out your Blessings

I challenged someone once who was going through a dark night of the soul to write out on a piece of paper everything that God has blessed them with.  They came up with a list that contained (first and foremost) their being saved, a job, home, family, food, and so many other things.  I believe that if we start counting our blessings and write them down one by one it will be easier to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess 5:18).

Pray Whenever/Wherever you Can

Going back to 1 Thessalonians in chapter 5 verse 16-17 it says “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing” but how can we pray without ceasing?   The Greek wording used for “without ceasing” is “adialeiptōs” and it means “without intermission, incessantly” which means that we can pray throughout the day like when we are waiting in line or in traffic, when we are showering, when we are driving or just about any time you can think about it.  I start my day with prayer and devote certain times where I can be alone and pray in private so don’t leave out this type of praying but when Paul said to “pray without ceasing” I believe he meant that we can pray throughout the day so that we can be “be constant in prayer” as Paul writes in Romans 12:12.

Find a Prayer Partner

I love to have others pray for me but I also exchange prayers for them.  It is one thing to be praying for yourself but what a privilege to have others prays for you.  Find a prayer partner and keep in touch with them on a regular basis.  Ask them to pray for you for certain things during the week and vow to pray for them for their spiritual and physical needs.  Having a prayer partner is like having an accountability partner.  Commit to pray for them and for them to pray for you and you may be more committed to prayer.

Conclusion

For sure we should pray for God to be glorified for God always seek to glorify His name. When we pray, focus on God’s will and we know for certain that it is always God’s will for His name to be glorified. Pray that prayer every day because we know that is always His will.

Anxiety Management.

Here are three simple ways to reduce the anxiety in your life.

Be Thankful

Reduce your anxiety today by being thankful. Wait, that sounds too simple, but Paul wrote “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil 4:6). Paul said the way to reduce anxiety is to be praying about those things that bring anxiety but make your prayers also a prayer of thanksgiving. It is very hard to be anxious when we’re giving thanks to God. When we thank God, even in anxious times, we tell Him we trust Him and are content with what we have. Maybe you can write out a list of things to thank God for; Jesus Christ, His mercy, His forgiveness, your salvation, your wife, your children, your freedom to worship, a roof over your head, a job, food in the frig, and the list goes on. Praying with thanksgiving gives you an attitude of gratitude and that’s an awesome weapon against anxiety.

Live in the Day

What I mean by “live in the day” is that we shouldn’t borrow trouble by worrying about tomorrow when we’re still living in today. The late pastor Adrian Rogers said that 85-90% of the things that we worry about never come to pass and the other 10-15% is about things we can’t control anyway so why worry about something that might not happen and waste time worrying about things you can’t change? What a waste of energy and I ought to know, I’ve done it. Jesus reminds you and me; “do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt 6:34) because “which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life” (Matt 6:27). The answer is “none of us can.”

Simplify your Life

A cause of stress and anxiety can be due to our cluttered life. I admit not being able to find my own desktop so I must throw myself under the bus on this one; however I have learned more recently (the hard way) to learn how to say “No.” You can say it nicely of course, but you can also say it firmly. Another thing that works for me is I make a list of “to do’s” and prioritize it and do the hard stuff first, that way there’s hopefully less anxiety about getting other things done that week and I have more energy for the less demanding stuff as the week progresses but I have also restricted times and dates of commitment when we have designated family time. For example, every Friday night we go out to eat at an Italian pizza buffet and so that time if off limits to any other ministry work but I must admit that I still have a daily battle with knowing when enough is enough!

Conclusion

If you can help us with other ideas, please leave them in the comments. I know exercise, music, and sometimes just taking a nap can help so please tell us what you think would help. For me, memorizing certain Scriptures can calm my anxieties down like during times of financial difficulties, I can remember Psalm 37:25 which says “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.” Isn’t that a great promise and a destroyer of much anxiety?

BIBLICAL PEACE.

Here are three biblical facts about peace that every Christian should know.

Jesus Gives Peace That Remains

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).  The peace that Jesus gives us settles troubled hearts.  The peace that Jesus gives us calms fears.  This is not the peace that the world gives, which is not permanent and doesn’t remain.   When Jesus gives us something, He doesn’t take it back.  Trust Him because you can take Him at His word. When a fierce storm terrified the disciples in the middle of the night near the center of the sea, “he got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm” (Mark 4:39).  Still don’t think when Jesus says “peace” He can’t bring it about? Think again!

From Fear to Peace

When the disciples were in hiding shortly after Jesus’ crucifixion, they believed that they were next. Don’t be too hard on them because we might have felt the very same way. They felt that what the Jews did to Jesus would be done to them!  In fact, in John 20:19-20 it says, “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.”  Maybe by this time the disciples finally understood that death couldn’t hold Jesus because He was sinless (Acts 2:24).  To prove it He showed them his nail-pierced hands and feet.  When they saw them, they were overjoyed.  That’s why after Jesus entered He said, “Peace be with you!” since they were terrified at the time.  The disciples’ fear mentioned in John 20:19was from the Hebrew word “phobos,” from which we get the English word “phobia”; but it’s really much worse than that. The word means “dread, terror” or “that which strikes terror.” So you could really read this verse like this: “The disciples were together, with the doors locked being terrified of the Jewish leaders.”  Why else would the doors be locked?  So when Jesus says “Peace be with you,” the Hebrew for peace is “eirēnē,” which means “a state of tranquility.”  Having your sins forgiven has a way of doing that but also knowing that since Jesus survived, they could too.

Peace With God

Romans 5:1 is one of my favorite memory verses because it says, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  We have peace only because of Jesus’ death for us.  I only have to look in the mirror to prove the fact that “Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6b).  This means that “we have now been justified by his blood [so] much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God” (Romans 5:9). When a person is saved, what exactly are they saved from? Hell?  In a sense, yes. Our sins?  Partially.  But the main thing we are saved from is the wrath of God (John 3:36b, Romans 5:9).

Conclusion

If we have repented and trusted in Christ, then we are justified by Jesus’ own blood and we have peace with God.  We no longer have to worry about God’s wrath.  This means that we can lay our heads on our pillows tonight and calm our fears.  Our fear moves to peace because Jesus gives us peace, and that peace remains since we now have peace with the Father.  These are three very important things we should know about peace.

Wow! God Might Be Working Through You.

Here are five amazing ways you might not even know how God is working through you.

Loving One Another

Jesus defined how we can identify who His disciples are. He tells us in John 13:35 that it is “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” They won’t know you by your ministries, your giving, your perfect Sunday school attendance, but they will only know you by your love for one another. The word, “By this,” is Jesus saying,“Here’s how people will know your My disciples,” so if we’re not loving one another, how will they ever recognize us as His disciples? The fact is, they may not.

Giving to Others

There are ways that God may be working through you and other believers that you’re not even aware of, like when you find yourself in a spot where you really need to buy a couple of new tires, but you can’t afford it right now. Then, your friend, who knows you better than most, steps in and offers to help pay for your tires. He knows you well enough to have seen your tires, because it’s connected to you. That happened to me. I thought about what I should do, so I just prayed and didn’t ask anyone for money. God answered that prayer and God was glorified in it, but the point is that God will often use you as a means to help others, just like my friend helped me.

Answered Prayer

Most of the Christians I know put themselves last in their prayer requests. They set a good example of putting other’s interests ahead of their own. That is a very Christ-like attribute, so if you are praying for your friend or co-worker or family member, then God is working in you by means of the throne room of heaven. That’s only possible because of our Mediator and our Intercessor, Jesus Christ. Don’t think prayers are “not much.” Tell that to Elijah.

A “go to” Friend

What I mean by that “go to” friend is that everyone should have a friend that they can go to when things get rough, but it’s also important that we be that kind of friend. Don’t have a friend? Find a friend and be a friend. Whoever is a friend can stick closer than a brother (Prov 18:24). Be that brother or sister who sticks closer than their own natural brothers and sisters. We do have the same Father.

Not Judging Others

I believe we don’t do a very good job when we begin to judge others because we might have something in our own eye. I have learned, over time, to give people the benefit of the doubt (1st Cor 13:7), and that has often turned out right. The times when I got in trouble are when I assumed the worst, and it was just the opposite. God can work through you by being a friend of sinners like Jesus was. I’m not saying run with them, but I am saying, be a light for Christ. This is even more important within the church. We have one judge; and we’re not Him.

Conclusion

God can do marvelous things through you, such as loving others; by giving to others; by praying for others; by befriending others; and by not judging others. Notice the theme here; it’s all about “others” and not about us. I like that.

Dialogue of Salvation.

CHALLENGE: Time n again I’ve read that through God’s grace we are saved. Does that mean that our good works n deeds doesn’t matter? Does that mean that even f we commit mortal sin we are saved because of God’s grace? Does that mean that even if commit mortal sin in the future we are already saved through God’s grace? If this the case, what’s the use of being a good person. These questions really nagged my mind. I hope I can be enlightened on this. My religion is different from but I know you are well versed on these matters.

RESPONSE: salvation is a one time event, where Jesus’ payment on the cross is inacted on your behalf and our gracious Lord “gives” salvation to you. It is ALL of God and none of you (God is doing all the work and you are doing nothing). After salvation you are commanded to do a few things. Grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus and do good works. Growing up in Christ is a partnership with Jesus. Someone committing sin is like breaking a covenant of Salvation again and again whenever he committed the sin, and remember, when you are in a partner with someone, whenever you disappoint that person the deed of that partnership I mean the rules and regulation of that partnership is broken and you need to apologize and or face an internal penalty, it’s the same thing that happened when a Christian turn back to God and said lord I am sorry forgive me. The question is there will be a day that you will be looking for a chance to repent or to apologize it may not be possible it might be a time that you are not granted the grace and you become a backslider. God will help us. As you obey God’s word you grow up in Christ. The good works you do have nothing to do with salvation and has everything to do with obeying the Lord because of the salvation He provides. It’s called decipleship. Salvation and decipleship are two totally different things. One is God doing everything and the other is you doing something BECAUSE of what God did for you. As Jesus said, IF you love Me you’ll obey my commands.

The Bible Predictions about the future.

Does the Bible predict the future? What about the future of the saved?

God’s View of the Future

We don’t have to search very hard to discover what God thinks of the future, as Isaiah the Prophet writes, “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done” (Isaiah 46:9-10). Who else can declare the end from the very beginning? Only God can because He is obviously omnipresent (all-present), and this means He has been in the past, is in the present, and has already been to the future. He knows what’s in the future because He has ordained it, so it must come to pass. We can predict who wins the Super Bowl or if it’ll rain or not, but we have no power to make that happen, however God has knowledge to predict and the power to fulfill what He prophecies through His holy prophets of old. We have seen many of these prophecies already come true, but as we will read, many are more yet to come.

Fulfilled Prophecies

There are hundreds of Bible prophecies that have already been fulfilled, like the Prophet Micah naming the tiny village of Bethlehem as the birthplace of Israel’s Messiah, 700 years before Christ was born (Micah 5:2). Zechariah the Prophet prophesied of Jesus being betrayed for thirty pieces of silver (Zech 11:12-13). David and Zechariah both wrote about a form of punishment that had not yet been invented, called crucifixion (Psalm 22 and 34:20; Zech 12:10). Jeremiah the Prophet predicted the land of Edom (today, in Jordan) which had an abundant water supply at the time, would someday become a barren, un-inhabited wasteland (Jer 49:15-20; Ezk 25:12-14), which it is today. To show us that God is in history because it is “His-story,” Jesus proves that He was the fulfillment of the Messiah by telling His disciples, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44), and of course, all of them were fulfilled prior to or at Calvary. Does the Bible predict the future? The answer is absolutely yes. Not one prophecy has ever missed and none ever will.

The Future Kingdom

We have at least four different views of the Millennium and we are not going to be able to cover each of these views exclusively, so instead, we can look at what we know will happen when the kingdom of God comes down to earth in the form of the New Jerusalem, and with that, a new heaven and a new earth will arrive. The Apostle John wrote “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God” (Rev 21:1-3). Now that God dwells directly with mankind, God does something that humanity has been waiting on for a very long time and that is God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:4). Perhaps the greatest thing about the coming of the kingdom is being in the very presence of God. What can compare with seeing Jesus Christ for the very first time?!

The New Jerusalem

In the final chapter of the Bible, which doesn’t get any better than this, we see John write, “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (Rev 22:1-2), and then there will “No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads” (Rev 22:3-4). Once more read that God will be with us and we “will see his face” for the very first time. After salvation, I think the greatest reward of all will be to see God’s face, in Jesus Christ, for the first time in our lives.

Conclusion

Does the Bible predict the future? Absolutely yes! We can trust what God has promised in the future through His written Word, the Bible. Isaiah chapters 65 and 66 also give us a hint about what it will be like once the King of kings rules the earth and it is very much like Revelation 21 and 22 where Isaiah writes “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind”(Isaiah 65:17), and then “I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress” (Isaiah 65:19), and “No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the young man shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed” (Isaiah 65:2)  as “the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands” (Isaiah 65:22b). This will come to pass because not one word will ever fail that comes from the Word of God.

5 Signs You Are Maturing as a Christian.

What are five signs that you are growing and maturing as a Christian?

A Contentment in Christ

There is such a sufficiency in knowing Christ. Everything might be falling apart around us, but if our focus remains on Christ, we have all we need. Besides, Jesus promised that if we seek the kingdom first, He will supply all of our needs (Matthew 6:33), but that means seeking the King of that kingdom first and foremost. Paul said, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Philippians 4:11-12), and “if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (1 Timothy 6:8). God told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Hunger for the Word

The psalmist puts it so beautifully when he wrote, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1). I live in deer country, and you can see the deer often running near dusk, their chests heaving for air as they head for the river to satisfy their thirst. This should be something that Christians have: an internal hunger and thirst for God. Since we can’t see God, as He is Spirit, we must see God in His Word, for there He is. Jesus is called the Word (John 1), and we must abide in Him and in His Word (John 15).

Nothing Offends Them

This is one of the truest signs of a Christian maturing, and it is recorded in Psalm 119:165, which says, “Great peace have they who love your law; nothing shall offend them.” If someone is very easily offended, they may be a new Christian or they may not be Christian at all. I can remember several men being severely treated and disgracefully spoken about in their street evangelism, but they responded with grace. They never acted offended in any way, ever! That’s because they must have loved God’s law, which gave them great enough peace to take no offense over anything. If someone’s that easily offended, they must not love God’s law; therefore, they have no peace and are easily offended over almost anything.

Scriptural Memory Bank

When I started to witness to people, their questions would make me go back to the Bible. After a while, I realized that I needed to start memorizing Scripture. If you’re in the Word of God every day, a result of having a hunger for the Word, then you’ll start memorizing Scripture without even knowing it. I’m sure the Spirit helps us with this, as He brings the Word back to our memory. But a sign of a growing and maturing Christian is that they can start to recall chapter and verse in increasing numbers without having to find a Bible.

Deflecting Credit

When people start saying good things about me, I stop them and ask, “Isn’t the moon beautiful at night?” Of course, they agree that it is. I ask them, “Where does the light come from?” They acknowledge that if comes from the moon. “There you go,” I tell them. “You’re giving credit to the wrong heavenly body.” The sun should get the credit because that’s like telling the moon “oh, what beautiful light you have” when truthfully the moon has no light source of its own. Therefore, the sun deserves all the credit. The point is, we must give glory to God, for we reflect only what the Spirit of God has done in us. Any beauty in our character is fully attributable to God, the source of all good and all light, and He is responsible for any fruits we bear (Galatians 5:22-23). Without Him, we can’t do anything (John 15:5). Without God, we’re like the dark side of the moon. As a matter of fact, it’s all dark but for the sun. It’s the same way with us: But for the Son, we’d still be in darkness.

Conclusion

I hope this encourages and doesn’t discourage you. Every Christian should be growing. The fact is, if a plant stops growing, it dies. So make your election and calling sure (2 Peter 1:10), but just as with plants, every Christian is going to grow at a different rate. We’re all heading into the maturity that will come to completion on the day of Jesus’ return or after our death.

4 birthmarks of a true Christian

There are more than 4, but here are four that seem to reflect genuine regeneration.

A Forgiving Spirit

Whoever has been forgiven much should truly seek to forgive others for less. That should be the position of every Christian. They have been forgiven such a great price that they could never pay or repay and had a wrath removed (John 3:36) that they had coming to them. In the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matt. 18:21-35), the unmerciful servant had been forgiven of an unpayable debt, but a smaller debt he would not forgive. Jesus said, “If you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matt. 6:15). Shouldn’t Christians be the most forgiving people of all because we’ve been forgiven of all?

A Loving Heart

Can anyone say they’re a brother or sister in Christ and then not love their brothers or sisters in Christ? Someone might tell God “I love you God, but I don’t like your children” and will have an issue with the Father of those children. First John 4:7-8 tells us, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God. He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.” We are told, “… through love serve one another love” (Gal. 5:13) ,and love is what it should look like.

A Righteous Life

Don’t let that subtitle worry you because none of us are righteous. It is only Jesus’ righteousness that has been declared for us (2 Cor. 5:21). However, a life of practicing sin in a regular, consistent manner might create doubts about someone’s salvation and probably for good reason. One birthmark should be a growing in grace and the knowledge of God (2 Pet. 3:18), but another is a growing pattern of overcoming sin. The Apostle John writes, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4), and in 1 John 3:6, “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.” None of us will ever be sinless on this side of glory (1 John 1:8, 10), but we will sin less, just as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

A Hungry Life

I met a young man named Ben who was really eager to learn how to serve others and to live a life of obedience. I told him that he was blessed, and when he asked why, I reminded him of Jesus saying “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matt. 5:6). Just like the psalmist, you’ll have this same desire: “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1). That will be a hunger for His Word (the Bible), for His purpose (Matt. 28:19-20), and for Him (in prayer).

Conclusion

Nobody has every attribute of a Christian down perfectly, so don’t be overly anxious over these birthmarks. The Word gives us a good idea about who a believer is and who may not be. Only God knows the heart, but almost every Christian I meet seems to be forgiving. Most believers I know have loving hearts. A great number of the born-again that I know live like Christians, and some I meet have a hunger to learn more about God. No believer can claim sinlessness, but we should claim we sin less.