Weekly Wisdoms for the week of May 28, 2007
Complaining is one of the worst traps that many Christians fall into. A complainer thinks, "I can't stand my boss. If she would only treat me better, I'd be happy. I hate this traffic. Why can the government improve traffic flow with all the tax money I pay?" This is a deceptive trap because it leads one to believe that life would be better if something would be different. However, it is far more productive for to believe that God can change the situation than to doubt him.
This trap of complaining is the same trap that the Israelites fell into. They were not satisfied with what God had given them and they continually wanted more. Psalm 106:12-15 is a great example of what happens to people who are unthankful and always want more: Then they [Israel] believed his promises and sang his praise. But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel. In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wasteland they put God to the test. So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease upon them.
That passage refers the Israelites' persistent request for food, water, and other basic resources. They didn't trust God; they doubted his ability to provide and tested him. So, because of their doubt, God sent a wasting disease upon them. Furthermore, for forty years God withheld the promised land from them. Their doubt caused them to live without.
You have probably encountered a few people who hoped that they would get into Heaven because they have lived a good life. Indeed, there are many people in the world who think that all the right things they do will get them into Heaven. However, Paul knew that "There is no one righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10).
Fortunately, God loved us so much that He provided an answer: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Furthermore, 1 Peter 3:18 tells us that "Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God."
Therefore, it is no wonder Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).
Notice that nothing in any of those verses refers to our ability to reach Heaven. That's because it is impossible for us to reach Heaven on our own strength. Remember, "There is no one righteous, not even one." Therefore, our salvation must be based entirely on what God has done. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The only requirement for getting into Heaven is believing in Jesus as your Savior and Lord. "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved" (Romans 10:9-10).
There is nothing that you can do to earn salvation. Jesus is the only way to Heaven. That's because getting into Heaven is not about what you've done; it's about what God's done.
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