Thursday, 28 March 2019

Bucket List

Scripture: Psalm 15 v 1 - 5: "A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 
 2  He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
 3  He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 
 4  In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
 5  He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved."

Galatians 5 v 19 - 21: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
 20  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
 21  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

We make our bucket list of all the things we would like to achieve before we meet our Maker, but too many people have no idea what His list for us consists of!  He has given us many different lists in His Word, I have chosen two passages of scripture to get us started.

The psalmist, David, asks, who is going to make it to Heaven?  The Lord answered: 
1. Walking uprightly i.e. not crooked, bent, or criminal. 
2. Working righteousness i.e. doing good things, being an example to others. 
3. Speaking the truth in his heart i.e. not lying to yourself and allowing yourself to be deceived i.e. not giving in to temptation.

4.  No backbiting  i.e. demeaning others through careless words.  
5. Don't do evil to your neighbour i.e. your neighbour is not just the people on your street but everyone you connect with.  Be kind, helpful and honest. 
6.  No reproaches against your neighbour i.e. don't get into negative or harmful discussions against other people.
7.  You may condemn those who are vile.  
8. Honour those who love our Lord Jesus.  
9.  If you make a promise or commitment to someone, keep it even if circumstances change and you are hurt by it. 
10.  Usury is excessive interest on your investment and its a trap.  Never take reward against the innocent and justify it by thinking you are smarter.

In Galatians there is a list called the works of the flesh.  These are all bad and those who indulge in them forfeit their right to Heaven.  If you are guilty of any, repent i.e. change your mind, be remorseful and quit doing them.  We never know when our name is on a bullet or some other less invasive life terminating event, so we must make sure our spiritual bucket list is up to date.

11. The first four, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, are all sexual sins pertaining to sex outside of marriage, pornography, paedophilia, and immoral behaviour.  Whatever lie people justify themselves with, God will override. 

12. Idolatry.  God hates idolatry above all else.  The first commandment is Thou shalt have no other gods before Me!  Whatever we put on a pedestal and make more important than Jesus or Father God, is an idol.  Jesus saved our lives from eternal fire and must be our first love.

13. Witchcraft.  This is more common than most people realise.  It's older than Christianity and was prevalent before the Flood.  It is in our schools and communities today.  The definition of witchcraft is the use of any spirit, other than the Holy Spirit, to influence any person or situation.  

Witches and wizards call up or evoke spirits to enforce their own will on others.  Hypnosis is a form of witchcraft. The nature of a witch is to control everything, manipulation, intimidation, power trip, possessiveness, blackmailing, demanding, tantrums.

1 Samuel 15 v 23: "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king."

14.  Hatred, strife and wrath go together.  Racial hatred stirs up strife and releases wrath.  It gets very ugly.  Murder happens too.  1 John 3 says no murderer has the love of God in him.  Without God's love we are lost.   We hate what we fear and it builds within us until we lash out in anger.  

15. Heresies are false doctrines, false religions, or an opinion or teaching contrary to Christianity.  There is much of this in the church today causing many divisions and sects.

16.  Sedition is unlawful conduct or language directed against Government authority leading to commotion, protests and riots.  

17.  Envyings lead to covetous behaviour like keeping up with the Jones's!  Or stealing another man's wife.  Or stealing from the poor as corrupt governments do.
Zechariah 5 v 3 - 4: "Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it. 
 4  I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof."

18.  Drunkenness is a choice.  Then it gets a grip on you and you become an alcoholic.  Every alcoholic believed that he or she could handle alcohol just fine.  They never factor in the demon that invades and controls to ultimately destroy the person, the family, the business and the life of the victim.

19.  Jesus said we must be born again to get into Heaven.  Confess your sins to Him, repent and be remorseful.  Forgive those who have hurt you.  Ask God to cleanse you with The Blood of the Lamb.  Open your heart and invite Jesus in.  You are now born again.  Your name is written in the Book of Life.  You have been forgiven and cleansed of all sin.

20.  Acts 2 v 38 - 39: "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
 39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."

Be baptised in water and in the Holy Spirit.  Your sinful nature is buried with Jesus under the water, you receive the righteous nature of Jesus, the Holy Spirit.  After this you should receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the gifts which give you power to witness about Jesus to others.  The first is the indwelling Spirit of God which produces fruit like joy, peace, love, patience, Faith.  The second is the power to do miracles, healing, prophesy, speaking in tongues, extraordinary faith, to discern spirits of good and evil.

Acts 19 v 2 - 6: "He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
 3  And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
 4  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
 5  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
 6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied."

When you have ticked numbers 19 and 20, all the others become easy to achieve.  You can overcome all things when Jesus is alive in your heart to help.  He plans to change you into His likeness and if everyone was like Him what a wonderful world this would be!

Prayer: Heavenly Father we need to know what's needed to spend eternity with You.  There must be no doubt or guessing about it.  If we follow Your bucket list for us and fulfil all 20 items we will be absolutely sure of making it safely home.  I pray, Lord, that one day I will meet and rejoice with everyone who reads this message, in the courts of Heaven.  In Jesus' name. Amen.