It’s all fun and games until God shows up

Daniel 5:3-6 Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken from the temple of the house of God which had been in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone. In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked against each other.

Belshazzar the king was having a great feast with 1,000 in attendance. The wine was flowing freely and everyone was feeling merry. But wine has the habit of moving you from merry to foolish in a nanosecond and that’s what happened to Belshazzar. He called for the golden vessels from the temple to be brought and they continued their party, drinking their wine from God’s holy vessels. They were laughing and talking, having a good ole time…and then God showed up.

God showed up and the arrogance of the king vanished like a morning mist. All the lightness and frivolity disappeared in a moment, replaced with the sobering reality that something unexpectedly fearful was happening. That very night Babylon was overtaken by the Medes and Persians, and King Belshazzar was put to death.

King Belshazzar had no idea when he woke up that morning that it would be his last day. He continued in his blasphemous wickedness without a care, believing that he had many more days before him. But there were no more. He lived the last moments of his life mocking the God that he would soon stand before in judgment.

It’s a sobering story. It’s the same story that countless numbers of people are currently living this very day – careless of their spiritual state, not knowing that they have an unavoidable appointment with God.

If that describes you, then please stop everything you’re doing and get right with God. If you don’t know how to get right with God, leave me a comment with your email address and I’ll contact you.

The greatest tragedy of all time is that anyone would die in their sin and go to hell, when no one has to.

Resting from our labors

“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not be works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7

Sometime it is so difficult to grasp the concept of grace. Maybe because we live in a culture where those who work hard are rewarded and where achievement is praised. Maybe it is the stubborn willfulness of the 2 year old that remains in us throughout our lives that continues to cry “I can do it myself!” Maybe it is a deal that seems too good to be true. Infinitely too good.

Religion and works have traditionally gone hand in hand. And in our natural way of thinking, it seems right that it should be so. While I admittedly have a limited knowledge of other religions, I believe I would be correct in saying that Christianity is the only one where works are excluded as having any merit in relation to obtaining righteousness.

Don’t miss this word —– excluded. There is nothing I can ever do to make myself more accepted by God or more righteous in His sight once I have trusted Christ for my salvation. The imputation of Christ’s righteousness to me the moment I believed has been and forever will be my only basis of righteousness. How ridiculous (and even insulting) it is to the Lamb of God when we attempt to add our own puny efforts to the work of the cross.

What perfect, holy blood and what a perfect, holy life was poured out on Calvary. So wonderfully complete was this sacrifice that it suffices for all who call upon His name for the duration of time.

Whiter than snow. A new creation. This is what I am now because of Jesus.

The labor was His. The benefit is mine. So I will rest in His labors and rest from mine.