By Keith Boutte
A Christian is someone who decided to follow Jesus no matter the cost, knowing that trials and tribulations will come. What makes a person so bold in their faith is their understanding of God’s plan. Eternity’s promise outweighs temporal fleshly desires that cause pain to themselves and others. Our flesh would be more comfortable with every need met in life plus just a little more for extra wants and of course more stuff. As Americans it seems we are edging closer to having our needs met by government than by God.
The United States of America was formed according to God’s Word, and our Government is without any doubt based on Biblical guidelines. These basic guidelines of law and order are to guide citizens to be mostly self-governed. For centuries the plan for mankind was to keep the law, yet as humans we all fall short of doing so. But before time as we know it began, God’s plan was fulfilled for our salvation.
As the Word says in Ephesians 1:3-5 NLT, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”
God the father planed for His only Son Jesus to suffer terribly at the hands of His creation mankind, in order to pay the cost to free mankind from the bondage of selfish destruction. As it says in Hebrews 2:14-15 NLT, “Because God’s children are human beings-made of flesh and blood-the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.”
Fear is the absence of faith, and faith in God through Jesus is our pathway to deliverance from our sin and selfish nature. The Bible is our instruction manual for life on earth. It teaches and guides us to the understanding of where we came from, how we got here, how we should live life here on earth and where we are going. The Bible is the complete perfect proclamation for life, liberty and eternity. It along with Holy Spirit guidance leads us to God the father of all creation.
As our Father, God guides us by Holy Spirit in this life all the way into eternity. “For God wanted them (us) to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” (Colossians 1:27)
This Blessed Assurance from God is free to all who would choose to believe Him at His Word. Sometimes free things cause us humans to wonder why it’s free. Is it too good to be true? Is there some sort of cost once we buy into this free thing? The answer is YES! Yes, it comes with a price and that price is turning ourselves completely over to God’s plan for our lives.
We see that cost in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” And Mark 12:29-31 NLT “Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
Jesus is our assurance that life doesn’t end at the death of our temporal bodies and the choice of where we spend eternity is completely our own choice. Holy Spirit is our guide from the inside. God knows every thought we have; He knows our hearts desire and He desires our heartfelt commitment to Him. I assure you the only way to defeat death is accepting Jesus at His Word. This old saying rings throughout our time on earth, “All things in life shall pass but only what’s done for Christ will last.” Ephesians 5:1-2 NLT says, “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us a and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”
May we never forget the greatest of all things in life, “Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever— faith, hope, and love— and the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:12-13 NLT)
I assure you if you love Jesus it’s because He first Loved you. His request for loving us? “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.” (Matthew 5:43-47 NLT )
Assurance promised, assurance kept. Cost? All of you for all of Him, ETERNALLY!
Keith resides in Lafayette with his lovely wife Christy, and they have four children and four grandchildren. He has a passion for people, our city, and seeing the Lord lifted up as a light and hope to others.