Are You Worthy of God's Love?

Brother Samuel Oree, Jr.

Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Having a Perfect Heart Toward God

The key part of the Scripture text is found in verse 33: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Notice that Jesus gave prerequisites. He said to seek first the Kingdom of God. In seeking the kingdom, do you make yourself worthy of what God has offered you? The Bible says the lilies of the field do not toil or spin, but they obey God and grow. However, you must do something. God sent His Son to save you; therefore, salvation is a free gift. However, you cannot be as the lilies of the field and not toil. You must pay a price, and that price is good, sound, Christian living.

Sometimes people seem to forget what good, sound, Christian living is. One may say, "Well, the Lord saved me many years ago, and I have been serving Him ever since." The question is, Have you taken care of everything you should have taken care of? You may say, "I have been saved for a long time. I know that I'm okay. I'm a good Christian." However, some things might have happened in your life. Perhaps you said something that you should not have said but never went back and asked forgiveness for it. That could be held against you at the Judgment. Maybe you told a little joke that you should not have told, and you have not asked God to forgive you. That could be held against you at the Judgment. You may say, "God understands that we are human and that we will make mistakes. After all, no one is perfect." Well, if you are not perfect, you are not going to Heaven.

You may say, "God makes allowances for us, so why should we worry? If we do a little thing, that's okay." Let us see if God will accept a little imperfection in our lives. Some religions preach, "No one can live perfect." However, God instructs you to be worthy of the things that He has given to you, and He also said you must be perfect.

Second Chronicles 16:9 states, "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth [why?], to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is [almost perfect? No.] perfect toward him." To be perfect toward Him means that you do not commit any conscious or known sin. If you have lived perfect today, you have not committed any sin. If you did not commit a sin yesterday, you lived perfect yesterday. If you have not committed sin and you are serving God and doing His will, you are living perfect. Therefore, you need to quit telling people that you cannot live perfect because you have something to improve upon. We always have room to improve upon something. Being saved is a continuous process of improving. As Christians, we should show the world how a continuous process of improvement works by the way we live.

Living a Life of Perfection

What are some things that can keep people from living perfect? We read in Colossians 3:12, "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering." Friend, the Word of God says if you do not love your brother, how can you love God whom you have not seen? Some say, "Well, I am still striving. Pray for me, because I have a hard time with that person." If you have that kind of attitude, God is having a hard time with you.

When God looked at Jesus, He said, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." He said that because the Son did what His Father asked Him to do. Parent, if your children do what you ask them to do, you are pleased, are you not? So it is with our Heavenly Father if we do as He says. You may say that you are a child of God, but if you hate your brother or your sister, if when he or she walks down one aisle, you go to the other aisle, God is displeased. Therefore, you are not worthy to receive His blessing. As a Christian, you should live so that God can say, "I am well pleased."

In the story of Job, when God called in the sons of men to present themselves to God, the devil came among them also. God asked, "What are you doing here?" and he said, in essence, "I am walking to and fro, seeking whom I may devour." God asked, "Hast thou considered my servant Job?" Why did God ask that? He knew that Job would stand the test. Saint, as God looks upon your life, does He see that you can stand the test? Or when the devil comes against you, is he saying to God, "I told you that he or she could not make it"?

Saint of God, in living a life of perfection, you must have long-suffering and forbearance (grace to handle the pressures of life). Colossians 3:13 says, "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." Do you know what forbearing is? It means to put up with. If someone chews gum in your ear or sits behind you and taps constantly, you should not become so irritated that you turn around and say something sharply. If you feel that people are always talking about you, remember that they talked about Jesus. They nailed Him to the Cross. Has anyone nailed you to a cross yet? You may say, "Well, that's different. I'm not Jesus." However, God's Word says if you are a son of God, you have to be like Jesus. God's eyes run to and fro, taking care of those whom He knows are perfect toward Him. If you are unable to forbear and forgive others, then you are not living a life of perfection.

The Need to Think Soberly

God wants to be pleased with you. He does not want to be sorrowful. When the devil says, "I want to try your servant," God should be able to say, "Go ahead, because I know you cannot move him." The devil should not be able to tell Him, "I told you so." A problem that some people have is that they are not in a position where God can say to the devil, "Try that person."

You may ask, "What do you mean try?" Through every little thing that someone does against you, the devil is trying you. You may say that you are saved, but do you commit willful sins? The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:1-4: "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks."

The word jesting caught my attention in this Scripture. The word jesting means "making fun or creating a situation for someone to laugh." Solomon said in Proverbs 26:17-19: "He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears. As a mad man who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, So is the man that deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?" We may not hurt someone intentionally, but let us be careful.

Notice that Paul mentioned jesting right along with fornication. Jesting is another form of foolish talking. Jesting can sometimes be a lie. God said that a liar shall not tarry in His sight. So, we see that jesting is not conducive to being able to say, "God, I am worthy of the blessings that You bestow upon me." It is not conducive to saying, "God, I have lived a perfect life today." To jest is to poke fun at someone. Are you guilty of that? You need to make sure that you understand clearly what it is to be worthy of God's grace and goodness.

We read in James 2:22, "Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" Friend, your decision not to go to church is not a work of faith. Your decision to skip the duty that you know you ought to do is not a work of faith. Your decision to ignore what the pastor or a preacher tells you that you ought to do is not a work of faith. Some people say, "I hear what he is saying, but I don't agree with it." God gave your pastor the message to speak to you. He made him for your soul. He is to watch for your soul. So when he tells you something that God has revealed to him, you should pay very close attention to it. If you cast off his counsel, that is not a work of faith, because you do not have faith in the pastor or in the leadership that God has set before you. Also, when you do not have the work of faith, you lack perfection. You lack the ability to say to God, "I am worthy of the blessings that You are bestowing upon me." Additionally, you have given the devil the opportunity to say to God, "I told You so."

Child of God, you must be very careful when you disagree with things. If you disagree with something, you should never stand up in church and say, "Pastor, I disagree with you!" If you have a problem, when church is over, then you can take your Bible and go talk to the pastor. You may be surprised to learn that he was right after all. Sometimes people have the attitude, "I have been saved for a long time. I know the Scriptures, so what can you tell me?" That is not the right attitude. Paul said in Romans 12:3, "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Why did Paul give this warning? Lest we fall. Many people say, "I have done everything I am supposed to do. I am doing well. I have been saved for many years, and I haven't sinned." God said not to think too highly of yourself, because you might be heading for a fall. When you think too highly of yourself, you are not living in the grace of God, in the bond of perfection that you should to receive the blessings that God is giving to the loyal Christian.

True Christian Living

Christian living is a blessing, an honor, and a pleasure. It is something that you should want to do. If someone has to drag you to church, then you are not enjoying the pleasure of Christian living. Not everyone expresses joy in the same way, but in the heart and mind of the Christian is joy. God's church is in us. As people look upon you, they should see the Church of God. A Christian ought to look like a child of God; He looks like his Father. I look like my earthly father. I cannot say that I am not Samuel Oree, Sr.'s son, because I look so much like him. So it is in the spiritual. If you are a child of God, if you say, "I am saved and living a perfect Christian life, and I am worthy of God's blessings," then you ought to look as though you are. It is going to show in your face and in everything you do. If you are in a line at the supermarket and something goes wrong, people will see that you are a Christian, because you are going to deal with it in a pleasant manner, no matter what happens.

Today we have something called "road rage." Road rage often occurs when someone is cut off in front of another car. Well, no Christian should be guilty of road rage when someone cuts him or her off; that is not Christlike. God knows your heart. If you have vengeance in your heart and want to do something to get back at someone, that will keep you from enjoying perfection and being worthy of God's blessings.

I do not like long lines. If I go to the supermarket, somehow I often pick the line where someone has a problem with something. When that happens, I have to control myself. I say to myself, "Sam, you made the choice, so don't get angry." So I must smile and be pleasant. If I am pleasant in my soul, it is going to show on my face. Friend, your facial expressions often give away what is inside your heart. If you watch people's faces when they are under duress or stress, you can almost tell what they are going through. Your facial expression is one way to show how strong you are in God. When pressure comes, your face shows it. If you have God in your life, it is going to show. Sometimes you may go to church and not feel well. You may look as if you do not feel well, but you should not look mean. There is a difference between looking mean and not feeling well. Such things can keep you from living a perfect life.

The Law of Sowing and Reaping

Let me take it one step further. When my children were small, I bought them a bicycle from the store, but I could not put it together. Finally, I became so frustrated that I threw the bike in a corner. When my son saw me, he said, "Daddy, why did you do that?" I felt very small, because I was supposed to have been a Christian, but in a fit of rage I did something that I should not have done. I did not show myself as being what I should have been. Should you discover that you have done something like that, you need to repent. If you do not, those things will hinder you. Do you need to straighten up some things? Galatians 6:7 says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." It may come in a different form, but you are going to reap it. You may say, "God is a loving God, a God of all grace, a God of all glory. When He forgives, He wipes everything away." Well, we cannot do away with the part that says, "Whatever you sow, you are going to reap."

Let us look at the life of Paul. Before he was converted, he thought that he had a license to kill Christians; thus, he was a murderer, a mass murderer at that. You may say, "Well, surely when God forgave Paul, everything was okay, because God forgave Paul of his sins." Nevertheless, Paul had a price to pay. We can see that when we read what God told Ananias to tell Paul in Acts, Chapter 9. (Keep in mind that Paul was a man whom we hold in high regard.) Verses 15-16 read: "But the Lord said unto him [to Ananias], Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake." Paul did not escape the reaping. If he did not escape it, what makes you think that you are going to escape it? You cannot escape it, because whatever you sow, you are going to reap.

There is one beautiful part about God's grace. Paul had a thorn in his side for quite a long time, but he conquered it and still paid his debt for the things he had done. How? God gave him grace to deal with it.

No matter what you might have done while you were in sin, once God saves you and you are living in perfection to what you know, when the reaping comes, God will give you the grace to deal with it in a Christlike manner. Nevertheless, you still should be careful of what you sow, because you may find the price hard to pay. If you are not careful, the price you will have to pay may keep you out of Heaven. When the reaping time comes upon you, if you do not have the love of God in your heart as you should, you will not have the grace of God to deal with the problem.

One of the most difficult things to do is to return to Christ from a backslidden state. Do you know why? Because that person has been running from everything that reminds him of when he was a Christian. Often it takes something drastic to cause a person to come back to God. God may put that one on a sick bed to bring him back. He may allow that person to have a stroke or to break a leg. Others may end up in jail before they return to God.

Backslider, why do you remain in a backslidden state, waiting for a traumatic situation before you return to God? You need to give your heart back to God while you are well or before you are incarcerated, while you can do something for Him, while you can spread His Word to others. Too many wait until they are down and out, unable to do anything else, and then they decide to get saved. I have a friend who smokes, drinks, and does whatever he wants to do. I said to him, "You really ought to think about giving your heart to God."

He said, "When I know I can't do anything else, then I'll call on God to save me. That is how He saved my mother."

I told him, "You may not get the chance. A truck could hit you or you could go to sleep at the wheel and go into eternity instantly."

Too many people think they have a charmed lease on life. They feel, "That would never happen to me. Those things only happen to the other guy." There are graves in the cemetery of those whose lives were very short and others whose lives were long. Babies die, older people die, and all ages between.

The Danger of the Little Foxes

No matter how young you are, you cannot afford not to lead a perfect life. You cannot afford to let the devil say to God, "See, I told You so." It hurts God when the devil comes to try the Christian and he fails the test. Christian friend, no doubt you would not commit fornication or steal; however, the danger to the Christian is the little foxes. Friend, if you tell little off-color jokes or little "white lies," those things will keep you out of Heaven. The Word of God says that broad is the way that leads to destruction. Nevertheless, narrow is the path that leads to eternal life, and only a few are going to make it. Now, of all people who say they are Christians, when Christ comes the second time, only a few are going to make it. How can you guarantee that you are going to be one of the few? By good, solid, consistent Christian living.

Child of God, you need to live so that when the devil goes to God and says, "I want to try this brother (or sister)," God can say, "Go ahead," and in the end, the devil will have to hang his head and say, "You were right." Will God be able to say about you, "I was right" or will the devil say, "I told You so"?

Another thing that will keep you out of Heaven is, if you have a problem with someone and you start talking to people about it. If you have a problem with someone, first you should look at yourself. Next, you need to leave it in God's hands. Too many take things upon themselves and say, "Well, I am going to help this brother." I have learned that if I am having a problem with someone, before I try to deal with that problem, I should first look at myself and say, "Maybe I caused the problem." I have had to do that. Now, that is hard, because no one likes to say, "I have a problem." That is just part of human nature.

You do not want to say, "I have a problem," especially when someone has really hurt you. You may say, "She has the problem, not me." Well, is there something that you did to provoke that person? You need to stop and examine yourself. You might find that you did something to provoke that person's actions. I am not saying that what the other person did was right. Perhaps it was not right at all, but you may be part of the problem.

When people get up in the morning, few people get up and go out without looking in a mirror. One way to check your Christianity is to look in the mirror of God's Word. You need to ask yourself, "Have I done anything that I need to go back and apologize for? Have I done something that prevents me from being in the Kingdom of God?" Sometimes when you ask yourself these questions, you may find that you have to go back and make corrections. That is difficult for the flesh to do, but the grace of God can enable you to do that. It is only by God's grace that we are saved, and it is only by God's grace that we have life.

Becoming Heavy Laden With Cares

Another thing that can keep one out of God's Kingdom is going to pieces when something catastrophic happens. The Bible says to rejoice in tribulation. How can you rejoice in tribulation when your house has just burned down and you have lost a loved one? The Word of God says to rejoice in tribulation, yet how can the Christian do that? Let us say that you have two grandchildren, and one was burned and the other was not. You should rejoice that one was saved. I used to wonder, "How can I be joyful when something bad has happened to me?" Do you know why I can be joyful? Because it could have been worse. There is joy in the fact that it could have been worse. You can say, "I thank God that it was not any worse than it was."

My former pastor told a story once of a lady who was sitting beside a window peeling potatoes and crying, "Lord, this is all I have to eat." The potato peels were falling out the window onto the ground. She heard a noise and looked down. There was a lady picking up the potato peels and saying, "Thank You, Jesus! Praise the Lord for these potato peels." Now, one lady was crying because all she had to eat was potatoes. However, another lady was giving thanks to God for the potato peels.

Too often people let calamity and the cares of the world block the things that they should do to maintain perfection with God. They let things cloud their minds. That is because they have not learned how to say, "I am going to put it in God's hands and let Him work it out." When you do that, you are as free as if someone has lifted a big load off you. If I see my brother struggling with a package and I come along and say, "Let me help you," he would be glad. He would say, "Well, thank you!" God is the same way. If you have a heavy load on you, you ought to give it to God. God's Word says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). Sadly, too often people do not give God a chance to do it, because they want to try to struggle with it. Some individuals say, "Well, I can make it. I know I can do it."

Sometimes you just have to say, "Lord, help me with this burden." When you give the burden to God, you should not take it back. Oftentimes when people give the burden to God, they think He does not work fast enough, so they take it back and struggle with it some more. Then they give it to God again, and then they take it back. That is no good. Once you have given it to God, you should leave it there. A song says, "Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there." Then you can say, "Lord, I have done all that You asked me to do." When you struggle with things and just keep going on in yourself, the thing that is burdening you is keeping your mind off God. Also, it is leaving room for the devil to step in. Some become so burdened with what they are trying to deal with that they forget God. They forget to pray and read the Bible, and they begin to miss church. Therefore, they need to give it up and give it to God and let Him work with it.

Can You Stand the Test?

Some people would like to give it to God, but they do not have the faith. We can read the story about what Abraham did by faith. By faith the children of Israel went through. The lack of faith can bring condemnation. Lacking faith means that one cannot trust God. Often people trust in their fellowman. However, our fellowman can let us down. God will never let you down! If you have lived as you should, God will not let you down.

Again, 2 Chronicles 16:9 says, "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars." Friend, if you are perfect in your heart toward God, He is going to care for you. There is nothing that He will not do for you. Now, He will not always give you what you want, but He will take care of your needs. Jesus told the people of His day to quit worrying so much. He told them to look at the lilies of the field and the birds. Look at all these things and see how God takes care of them. Child of God, if you are perfect in your heart toward God, then He will take care of you. You may say, "Well, I know that, but trusting Him is so difficult for me." The reason it is hard is that there is not enough of God down in your heart. The Spirit of God must dwell in you. If He is in you, then you have the love of God in your heart. There is no place for any doubt; there is no room for anything but what God wants you to do, and that is to serve Him and give Him your undivided attention. God does not want half your attention, but He wants your total, undivided attention.

I used to teach high school drafting classes. When I taught the classes, I wanted the undivided attention of the students. If I did not have their attention, they were going to miss something, and then they would be asking me, "What did you say?" Friend, what if God is trying to tell you something, but your mind is on something else? Then you will say, "God, what did You say? I wasn't paying attention." He might be trying to tell you, "Get ready to die." That is what He told Hezekiah. Suppose Hezekiah had not been paying attention when God told him that? Then Hezekiah would not have turned his face to the Lord and pleaded with God to spare his life. Because Hezekiah heard God and pleaded for his life, God added fifteen years to his life.

In closing, are you living where God can say to the devil, "Try him, and you will find that he will stand the test"? When there is a problem in your life or a burden on your heart, you need to give it all to God. He will lighten that load and you will feel happy; then you can sing and shout and enjoy the blessings that God gives to you. If a catastrophe should happen to you, do not think the worst of it. You need to thank God and realize that it could have been worse. Do you want to be a perfect Christian? If there is a problem, look at yourself and say, "Lord, am I the problem?" Then give it to God and let Him handle it. He is much better at taking care of it. The most complex things of man appear simple to God. Many prayers are not answered because some are not doing what they ought to do.

James 5:16 tells us, "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." If you are not righteous, do not think that your prayers are going to be answered, because they are not. If you have anything in your life that prevents you from being perfect, you are a sinner. Friend, you are either a saint or a sinner. No man can serve two masters, and there is no gray area. There is a definite line of demarcation. Either you are saved or you are unsaved. Either you are living a perfect life for God or you are not. If you are not living perfect, then you are not a Christian, but you are a sinner. If the message has found you lacking, I trust that you will ask God to help you.

(Cassette C-4025A)

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