—by Pastor Don Weeks, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church
I have a simple reminder for you today. But before I tell you what the simple reminder is, I want to ask you a few questions:
- Are you saved?
- When were you saved?
- Where were you saved?
- Have you trusted, and are you trusting now, in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?
- Is Christ your everything?
- Do you believe that He died on the cross—not just generally for the sins of the entire world—but for your sin personally? Did you repent of your sin, ask forgiveness, and turn to Christ?
- When did you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead?
- If you died today, do you know for sure that you will be present with the Lord, in that day when you are absent your body?
These are the big questions, aren’t they? If you are not sure about Jesus, or sure about your salvation, there’s good news. You are still alive, and God is still after you. He is not willing that you or anyone else should perish.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
You don’t find these questions a lot in devotional type literature because the assumption is that the readers know Christ. As a pastor, I have experience that tells me not all readers of Christian literature are Christian. Maybe we have not done such a good job of stressing the crisis. A person without Jesus is lost, really lost.
I know it sounds far-fetched, but I believe we should have emergency hotline numbers like 911 for people with spiritual emergencies. If you are listening and need a number like that right now, here’s mine. It’s (304) 208-7415. Call or text. Seriously. I know, I know, it’s not very devotional, but honestly, there have been times in my life I needed a number like that.
Anyway, I said I had a simple reminder for you today, but I wanted to make sure that you were a believer in Jesus and knew Him personally. Well then, here’s your reminder:
You are responsible to act. You can increase Christ in your world at will, but you must do it. You must act. You can increase in His love, in your nearness to Him, and in your devotion to Him. God has put the responsibility to act squarely on your shoulders. Some want to argue about this, and say that they can do nothing without Christ. Of course, we agree. We cannot do anything without Christ! That is what the battery of questions was all about in the beginning of this devotion.
Please allow me to read a battery of Bible verses and establish this fact that you and I as believers are responsible. As believers, you and I must execute. We can increase in Christ at will. God has given us the freedom to act, and we are responsible.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
James 4:8-10 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.  Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Jude 20-21 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
God gives us the freedom to act, so let’s act. Yes, we should pray. Yes, we should follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Yes, we should have pure motives. Yes, yes, yes. But let’s agree today that whether in word or deed, Christ will increase. Let’s make sure our good intentions get transformed and fleshed out into actions. Today, let’s not get sidetracked. Let’s not get distracted. Let’s exercise the freedom to do God’s will that Christ may increase.
There’s our simple reminder. You and I are responsible to act. We are accountable to God.
Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
HE MUST INCREASE