Sunday, March 2, 2014
March 2: Persistence in good vs. self-seeking
He will reward each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by perseverance in good works seek glory and honor and immortality, but wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition and do not obey the truth but follow unrighteousness. There will be affliction and distress on everyone who does evil, on the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, for the Jew first and also the Greek. For there is no partiality with God. (Romans 2:6-11 NET)
Though eternal life and salvation are gifts of God and can never truly be earned or deserved, following God does not come without effort. Following God demands perseverance, and seeking the good things in life above everything else. Though we can never merit salvation, and can only receive it by faith in Jesus’ work on the cross, true faith and belief go far beyond empty declarations and church attendance; true belief in God triggers a radical change in our lives that places Him at the center.
The big difference between people is what they seek. When we seek our own will, do as we please, try to satisfy all our own desires, and make ourselves the center of everything—we bring the wrath of God down on our heads, and walk down a path that leads to every kind of evil, and to destruction. But when we seek God and His will, try to follow Him by means of His Son Jesus, endeavor to forget about ourselves and help others—this is good and leads to immortality and glory.
Life and death are standing in front of us; every person chooses his or her destiny. God wants all of us to be saved and to have eternal life, but He will not force us to accept and follow Him. You must make that choice for yourself not just once, but every day of your life. If you choose to do evil, are self-seeking, and rebellious toward the truth, you will experience the wrath of God. But if you trust Jesus as your Savior, and devote your life to doing good, there will be glory, honor, and immortality for you.