- For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 KJV)
- We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. (Romans 8:28 AMP)
- For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
We begin the fourth message in this series, and while it’s been a very difficult one to write about…I believe that we’ve gotten some really good scripture and learned quite a bit about how God views the subject of suicide.
I know most would have you to believe that suicide is some kind of unpardonable sin, but the only unpardonable sin I can find in the Bible is rejecting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to your dying breath.
I realize a lot of what I write flies in the face of organized religion, but I’m not a part of any particular sect or denomination…I am strictly about Jesus and the Word of God. I don’t care what the Baptists or Pentecostals or Word of Faith or Prosperity Preachers have to say…I am not of any of those particular groups…I belong to Jesus…and I have a mandate from Him to write what He tells me to…by inspiration of the Holy Ghost. I do have some leeway when it comes to my beliefs and opinions, but what I don’t have and what I won’t give you is some watered down religious view…I’ll give you the truth…regardless of what denominations argue with me.
I’m not here to argue I’m here to preach (or in my case write) what thus saith the Lord…period.
So…let’s get into today’s message…and see what the Lord would speak to us today.
Today’s Message: “You Are Destined For Greatness”
For a moment, for as long as the Holy Ghost will allow me I want to speak on this idea that suicide is the unpardonable sin. As I mentioned in the introduction…the only unpardonable sin I found was blasphemy of the Holy Ghost…and basically what the Holy Ghost wants is for all of us to come to saving knowledge of the Cross, and confess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior so that He can come into our lives and fill us until the Lord’s return at the sound of the trumpet.
So, while I understand that taking your own life isn’t something that God wants any of us to do…what it won’t do is automatically send the successful suicidal person to hell…it will if they deny Jesus as Lord with their last breath…but if they’re believers and they succeed then my Bible says that when we’re absent from the body…we’re instantly present with the Lord.
All of this stuff about this sin being worse than that sin is hog wash. I am stunned at how many people don’t understand that when God says He is no longer imputing our sins against us (and this is for those of us who are new creations in Christ…you can find all of this in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21) then that’s exactly what it means.
Let me say this as clearly a way as I can think…and this is Holy Ghost right here…ready…
My sin was judged on the Cross…all of it. There’s not one sin…that Jesus didn’t die to forgive and His blood doesn’t cover. The Cross was a PERFECT sacrifice and IN FULL PAYMENT for my sin debt. Now that I am the righteousness of God IN Christ Jesus…I’ve believed and therefore I have eternal life (He who has the Son has eternal life).
So, my whole point in writing all of this is because I want to deal with those of you who are so condemning and judgmental. Suicide may get someone to heaven or hell faster, but it doesn’t determine their final resting place. If they’re not saved…they will go to hell when they die. If they’re saved…they will go to Heaven when they die.
Okay…now that we’ve taken care of that I feel like we’re ready to move on and get into this message. That was a free side journey…and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Do you worry a lot about the future? Do you spend a lot of time wondering if things will ever get better, or if life will always be this difficult?
Actually, for me it was the exact opposite. I never cared about the future because I never thought that I would amount to anything or do anything worth while. I never really believed until God came into my life that I had any earthly good to do, and therefore I never really made dreams or goals or any of that stuff because I never really believed that anything would ever get better than what I was living in.
The truth is life on life’s terms broke me. It broke me down so much that I began putting my self-worth in the hands of people, and the more they came and went…the worse I felt about myself, my life, and my future.
To be honest, I still have a hard time looking past tomorrow. I still haven’t really sat down (and I’m almost 40) to write down some kind of 5 year plan or anything like that…but my reason for that is different today…still…in a way I guess they’re not reasons…they’re excuses.
I think about how close we are to the trumpet sounding, and that gets me to think that making plans for the future is ridiculous because Jesus could literally come back tomorrow. I mean, every day there’s the truth that trumpet could and would sound at any moment…but I admit it…I use that as a reason to not look into the future.
The other excuse is that I tend to literally live my life one day at a time..,maybe at times one week at a time…but never much past that…and the truth is I don’t really know why that is. I try to make it sound spiritual…but it’s not…it’s just an excuse to not really think about anything beyond the next couple of days.
I’ll admit even further that there are things I’d like to do for and with this ministry. I used to be a list maker, but these days…I am content with just living for today…and leaving the results to the Lord. I guess that’s not really a good reason, but hey…this is the truth…and this is really me speaking honestly…no one writes these messages for me…I write each and every one of them…so this is real, this is genuine, and it’s authentic…I write from the heart not from all kinds of online research to make an article that’s not really anointed…they may be well researched, but I want my readers to hear from my heart…and from the heart of God.
So, in truth I don’t worry a whole lot about the future because I never really think about it other than the fact that Jesus’ return draws near every hour of every day. Hey, it’s an excuse…I realize that…but it’s my excuse.
I will say one thing, however, I was wrong about life never getting better because it has gotten a thousand times better than I could’ve ever imagined. I can honestly say that I have never been happier, and what that makes me do is think back to all those times I wanted to die…and thank God that He didn’t let me because I’d have missed out on a lot of good stuff. Sure, there was A LOT of hurt and pain that I endured along the way…much of it self inflicted…but as Romans 8:28 says…all of that stuff I went through has turned out for good…and I’m confidence in saying that this is just the beginning of the good things that God has planned for me…as Jeremiah 29:11 says.
Even when life seems bleak or you feel like the greatest failure, God is still working behind the scenes to make you into a champion!
Before you tell me that I don’t know your situation and don’t understand how you feel…let me remind you of the truth that I was once in YOUR shoes…and I am very much aware of how it feels to not want to live anymore. I know how it feels to feel like you’re life has no value, I know what it’s like to feel completely alone, and I know what it feels like to wonder if anyone really loves you and would miss you if you weren’t alive.
I know that what you’re going through may be different, but when you reach the point of thinking that you don’t want to live anymore…I have a sense that it generally feels the same way…there’s a lot of hurt, a lot of emptiness, and a lot of feeling like you are invisible. I know what it’s like to feel like you merely exist. I know what it’s like to feel like your dead even though your alive. I know what it’s like to shut off all your feelings, and walk around numb to the world.
How do I know…because I have been there. I have been in the place where I felt like I was anything but a champion…and I want you to know I felt that was AS A CHILD OF GOD. I even know what it feels like to think that you’re life was so invaluable that even Jesus didn’t want you because you asked Him time and time again to take you home…but you kept waking up…and eventually you wonder if even God wants you.
I know what that all feels like because I have felt it…I have walked through it…and I have come through it on the other side alive…and just like God was in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego…I know He was with me…and I came through all of that alive, knowing who God was, and fully convinced that not only am I valuable to God…but that He loves me.
You can have that same assurance…and that’s what this series is really all about. It’s about me telling my experiences along with what’s written in this devotional adding to it what the Holy Ghost wants me to say, and of course the Word of God. All of this is designed to not just show me how far I’ve come, but to let you know that if God can do this in my life…He can and will do it in yours too.
Remember. God is no respecter of person…so what He’s done for me…He will do for you and even greater if you’ll let Him. The thing of it is…we may get to a point where we feel like we can’t go on…we may get to a point where we feel like we can’t take anymore…but that’s exactly the point we need to get to…so that we can look up and realize that God is our only hope in turning things around…and if we will get out of His way…He will do what Paul writes in Romans 8:28 and take all those things that satan meant to harm us…and use it to mold us into people who will shake the very foundation of hell because we’re called according to His purposes…and once we understand that all those things we went through were for us to be molded in to Holy Ghost filled people who have the power to make hell tremble…we emerge with a new-found boldness and confidence because we really know God is for us.
You see Romans 8:28 really does work, but we have to get the heck out of God’s way…and some times the only way we can do that is to hit rock bottom and get to the end of ourselves…and once we’re there cry out to God knowing that He’s our last hope…and once He takes over…you’ll see those things begin to be turned around for our good…and you’ll see God begin to use those things to mold you into the person He destined you to be before the foundations of the world…and then He will use you to shake all of hell…like He is me.
I don’t know about anyone else, but the best part of coming through all that I’ve come through is knowing that God is using me to impact His Kingdom. Satan lost. He wasn’t ever able to kill me or take my life…and I’m excited to spend the rest of my days making sure that I take as many people out of his kingdom as I can…Amen!?!
The Bible tells us that God didn’t create us to be victims or to suffer, but to do good works and to prosper. This doesn’t mean that life will always be easy or that things will always go your way; it just means that even in the hard times, God has a plan and is orchestrating everything to your good.
Another good thing I understand now is that I am God’s workmanship, and I still see plenty of things that aren’t where I’d like them to be. However, one of the greatest things I’ve come to understand is that God’s still just getting started…He’s not finished with me yet…and won’t be finished until I am reunited with Him forever spending eternity with Him. I still go through stuff, but the difference is I know that with God’s help I will get through it.
There’s a misperception that if you experience turmoil in your life as a Christian that you are lacking in faith, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is, the Bible says that we grow in our faith as we see God bring us through the turmoil, trials, and things that we face. We need these experiences to help us to grow, to mature, and most importantly see God’s power bring us through them.
Listen, if we have nothing but good times in life…what is there to grow our faith. How are we to cast our cares upon God if there aren’t any cares to cast upon Him? If you became a Christian under the belief that life would be all better…then you need to go back and read the Bible because it promises us that perilous times WOULD come…it didn’t say perilous times “might” come or “could come because we don’t have enough faith” or any thing else…the Bible says they WILL come…and the only way to get through them is to lean upon our faith. Faith in what? That God will see us through.
Look at Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego…they went into the fire trusting God. They had no idea what God would do while they were in the fire…they just trusted Him. How many of us are able to trust God in the fire of our lives?
Listen, even I as a pastor knowing of God’s provisions can forget that God didn’t even allow them to get the smell of smoke on them. I can forget that there’s nothing that God won’t walk with me through, and there’s times that I choose (like a dummy) to walk through the valley’s alone…and when I do…I have to understand that the results of what happens in the valley are my own doing…because I chose to go there without God.
You know what, though. I’ve learned that even when I make a willful choice to go through the valley on my own…God is STILL walking right beside me…that’s for some of you…no matter where you go as David writes…God is right there with you…and He may not be able to help you…but He is always there…and I’ll even go further to let you know that many times His hand is on your life anyways…because there’s times that I know God had His hand on my life when I had no idea. I had no idea until I looked back on my life, and recognized many of the times He had His hand on my life. It’s true that some times hindsight really does help with foresight and even current sight.
You may be thinking, “But how could He possibly turn my misery into something good?” Maybe one day you’ll be able to help someone through the same situation you’re going through right now. Maybe God wants you to fully rely on Him during this time in a way that you never have before. Whatever His reasons, you can rest assured that God’s plans are always greater than your own, and that if you let Him, He will one day utilize your talents, passions, and burdens to change the world. You are destined for greatness!
There are still days when I wonder how in the world God can do anything good with my life, and that’s when He says…because I AM and I can. Romans 8:28 isn’t in the Bible just because…it’s there because God really can take our mess and make it a message…and our test and turn it into our testimony. He can take us from the miry clay and set our feet upon the Rock. He can take what satan thought would destroy us, and turn it around to bring Him the greatest glory.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said or written that God’s taken what I’ve been through in my life just for the simple fact that I can say that if He can take me through all I’ve been through, and turn my life around to use it for something that will bring Him glory…He can and will do the same thing for you in your life.
That’s the simplest punch line to everyone’s testimony. God can do in you life what He did in mine, but you have to be willing to allow Him to do it. Once you get out of God’s way, and allow Him to take over…then be ready to have your socks blessed off.
Again, that doesn’t mean that everything is going to go from clouds and rain to sunshine and rainbows…it just means that you will learn to know that whatever storm comes…what ever valley you’re walking through you have two choices…walk through it with God…or without Him.
It goes back to the basic choose this day whom you will serve. We can choose to trust God or we can choose to trust ourselves…but when things go wrong and we choose to trust ourselves…we cannot blame Him for the results…Amen!?!
God, thank You for creating me with a divine purpose. You’ve known since the beginning of time what my life’s calling is, and I thank You that even the tough times are part of Your plan for me. Please help me remember Your promises in Scripture–that You’ll bring me through this season of life to something great, and that my future is full of hope. I trust You with my life, God, and pray that You would use it to accomplish something incredible for You. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.
I never really believed that I was destined for greatness until I began to be able to see where I came from, and where I am today. The old cliché about not being where I want to be, but thankful I’m not where I used to be doesn’t even come close to being able to describe what God has done in, with, and through my life.
The truth is…in and of myself…there’s nothing great about me, but when God came into my heart and changed my life…His greatness has overtaken my life. I’m great because of the Great I AM…and from here on out…I will walk in the victory that was purchased for me on Calvary’s Tree.
If you or someone you know needs help…here are some resources that can help you get them the help they need. Don’t wait one more day…you may not get another opportunity…so if you know of someone…get them help NOW.
Call and talk with someone who’s ready to listen 24/7: 1-800-273-8255 (USA only)
Log on to Church Online at http://live.lifechurch.tv and click the Live Prayer button under the video to chat and pray one-on-one with someone who cares.
For outside the USA, find resources in your area: click here.
Reach out to a Church Online volunteer to pray with you via email: click here.
Blessings & Grace to you.
Pastor Bryan J. Kizer
Christlike Ministries NWA
“My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.” (1 Cor 16:24)