Why Keeping the 10 Commandments Can Keep You Out of Heaven

As a kid, memorizing the 10 commandments was a big deal. Get em all down and in order and you got a ribbon. Maybe a sticker. Maybe even a prize.

And if you lived by them, wow! You were all that!

But that’s all.

If you’re into rule keeping, Christ didn’t die for you.

Well, actually he did, but he did so unnecessarily because you’re trying to make yourself “right” with God instead of relying on the “work” Jesus did on the cross to make you “right” with God.

Let me explain.

If you’re living by the 10 commandments expecting that to pay your way into heaven, you’ll only end up with a cute little ribbon on your chest. Cause even if you’ve memorized them perfectly, you sure can’t live them perfectly. No one can. And it won’t gain you any brownie points with God, so quit trying. If you use that man made system to get you into heaven…you won’t get in. Ouch!

Want to know what you can do to be saved and get into heaven?

Trade your man-made system for a God-made system. Here’s how the Apostle Paul describes it in Galatians.

Galatians 2:16:

We know very well that we are not set right with God by rule- keeping but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. How do we know? We tried it– and we had the best system of rules the world has ever seen! Convinced that no human being can please God by self- improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah so that we might be set right before God by trusting in the Messiah, not by trying to be good. (MSG)

Galatians 3:13-14:

But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same c blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. (Bold text by the author.)

How do you receive the blessing of Abraham, a.k.a. “salvation” and everything that comes with it?

Faith. Not works. Faith. Not keeping the commandments. Faith.

Faith In Christ’s work, not your own! (Because your works just won’t do the job!)

Most Christian believers haven’t been taking advantage of the gospel (The New Covenant). They’ve been living under the Old Covenant, abiding by rules and laws to make them right with God. That’s basically living as if Jesus hadn’t come to save them and set them free from all those rules and work-related righteousness. If that’s you — give it up!

Discover what you have in Jesus Christ. It’s not about what commandments or rules you keep. It’s not even about how much work you do for the kingdom. It’s about the work Jesus did on your behalf. Let him save you. Cause you’re not good enough to save yourself.

Whew! That’s a relief!

Isn’t it amazing when God stitches a theme into your day? You just know He’s trying to get a message to you when everywhere you turn, you bump into the same information. It blows my mind that he cares enough to keep trying over and over again to get it into our thick skulls!

Early this morning, a friend sent me a tiny audio snippet of a pastor from Pennsylvania sharing a devotional about the name of Jesus. Then when I went to read my Bible this morning, my eyes fell on scriptures talking about the name of Jesus. And when I opened up the book I was reading, guess what it was talking about on the very page I left off at? Yep – the name of Jesus. Then I turned on my iPod. Guess what the first song spoke about? You see where this is going, right? Yes, Jesus.

With this theme stitched into my day, I was thanking Jesus for what his name means to you and me. I began putting his name above everything I could think of. Take a moment and go with me here, I encourage you to read this out loud. We can do it together and it will stir your faith:

Jesus, the name above all names…

Jesus, the name above loneliness.

Jesus, the name above chest pain.

Jesus, the name above a bad habit.

Jesus, the name above a toxic relationship.

Jesus, the name above a horrible toothache.

Jesus, the name above stress.

Jesus, the name above childcare struggles.

Jesus, the name above thyroid issues.

Jesus, the name above no food in the fridge.

Jesus, the name above fears.

Jesus, the name above cancer.

Jesus, the name above relationship problems.

Jesus, the name above unpaid bills.

Jesus, the name above excess weight gain.

Jesus, the name above a broken air conditioning system.

Jesus, the name above disappointment.

Jesus, the name above horrible work environment.

Jesus, the name above a flat tire.

Jesus, the name above unpaid child support.

Jesus, the name above sin.

Jesus, the name above death.

Jesus, the name above PMS.

Jesus, the name above poor grades.

Jesus, the name above a tornado.

Jesus, the name above a stock market collapse.

Jesus, the name above a house fire.

Jesus, the name above failed tests.

Jesus, the name above betrayal of friends.

Jesus, the name above your dryer breaking down.

Jesus, the name above no gas in the car.

Jesus, the name above depression.

Jesus, the name above aggravation.

Jesus, the name above bitterness.

Jesus, the name above a cold or allergy.

Jesus, the name above divorce proceedings.

Jesus, the name above _________________(Your turn.)

Jesus, the name that everything on heaven and earth bows to.

Philippians 2:10 says, Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

“Jesus” – his name means savior. He saves you from all this above and more.

Lifeguards Have The Will to Save 

I heard about this guy who is a lifeguard. He was asked if he’d saved many lives this summer, and he reported how many lives he had “saved.”

His friend said, “Your job must be exciting!”

The lifeguard said, “Nothing’s more exhilarating or terrifying or fulfilling than plunging into cold water, knowing someone’s life depends on me,” he said. “Nothing makes my heart pound like that. It’s the best feeling in the world, to burst through the waves with all my strength to pull people to safety, sometimes even against their will if they’re panicking. I wish I could do it all the time.”

Jesus, Your Personal Lifeguard

Know what? There is nothing more exciting to Jesus than to “save” you from your day or “save” you from your circumstances, and especially “save” you from your sin. He’s standing by. He’s a life preserver and will “save” you from everything nipping at your heels today.

So, what will you do with the Name of Jesus?

Put it above everything else!

 

As I was getting ready this morning my mind floated back to a care-free childhood. Ahhh, those were the days. Rest came easy. Not a care in the world. I had complete and total trust in my parents. They took care of my every need. I had a roof over my head, a really nice one (with biggest yard on the block!), nice clothes, plenty of toys, and lots of love from mom, dad, and my little bro. That was the life.

But then it ended.

It ended when I grew older and started “seeing”.

Seeing. It can cause us problems we didn’t have before we could see.

See what? See that my parents really didn’t have it all together. And that yes, there were times they walked through financial hardship and were smothered with stress. It’s just that as a kid, I had no clue. No clue meant it didn’t rock my little world. I continued to believe blindly therefore I was at rest.

Something happens when we begin to “see”. We stop believing in what the the Word of God says because we begin to “see” what circumstances say.

IRS: You owe the government money.

Word of God: God shall supply your every need. (See Phillipians 4:9)

Boss: You’ve made a mess out of this.

Word of God: Anything is possible for those who believe. (See Mark 9:23)

Doctor: You have an incurable illness.

Word of God: You have been healed. (see Isaiah 53:5)

Spouse: I don’t love you. I want a divorce.

Word of God: With God, anything is possible. (see Matthew 19:26)

Now, let’s connect this to my story. Regardless of my circumstances, I believed in my parent’s ability to provide for me and this gave me great peace. I went to bed every night completely confident that all was well. And it was simply because I believed.

Belief will help you rest easy.

It didn’t matter that my parents didn’t always have everything we needed. I believed they did, therefore I was able to rest.

There’s the key to resting like a child. Believe that you are taken care of and you will be at rest. It didn’t matter that they couldn’t always make ends meet. I thought they could. Therefore my reality was trust. And trust led to rest.

Now, imagine this scenario…

You really do have a heavenly father that has it all together. He owns everything on the planet. Nothing is out of his reach. He could slap a million bucks on you right now if he wanted to. There’s no need to worry. He has an unlimited supply.

So, then – we have a lot more to believe in, don’t we? Knowing God won’t fail us gives us even greater belief. And if you believe, you will rest. Rest in him. He really does have it all in the palm of his hand. You included.

The Word of God says: “Anything is possible for those who believe”. Not: “Anything is possible for those who see“. In fact sometimes the more you see, the less you believe.

Close your eyes.

Believe & you’ll rest.

 

15 Ways to Achieve Bravery and Grab Your God-Given Victory

Ralph Waldo Emerson said this, and I LOVE IT:

“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.”

5 minutes.

Sometimes that’s all it takes to make or break your God-given victory.

Think about it:

  1. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Staying in peace rather than slipping into frustration.
  2. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Loving someone who just ripped you to shreds.
  3. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Holding your tongue and not having the last word.
  4. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Saving your tithe instead of spending it.
  5. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Staying a tad bit longer to finish the job.
  6. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Sticking around to have that awkward conversation you’ve been avoiding.
  7. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Not taking that second look at the babe who just waltzed by.
  8. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Keeping no record of a wrong.
  9. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Refusing to get angry.
  10. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Turning the other cheek.
  11. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Not giving in to the temptation.
  12. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Refusing to retaliate.
  13. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Passing up the liquor store on your way home.
  14. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Continuing to pray and press through till you feel a release.

Galatians 6:9 AMP:

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.

15. Being braver 5 minutes longer could mean: Reaping all that God has for you!

 Don’t miss out. Be braver – hang in there five minutes longer. You’re God-given victory is just around the corner!

If you enjoyed this post, 15 Ways to Achieve Bravery and Grab Your God-Given Victory, then you’d also like: How to Keep Fighting When You’re a Bloody Mess.


Find Out if God Thinks You’re Good Enough to Get into Heaven

Find Out if God Thinks You’re Good Enough to Get Into Heaven

A gal named Carry went to heaven. She was really smug and certain she’d get in because she had been a very good person on earth. Peter met her at the gate and asked, “Carry, what makes you worthy to enter into heaven?”

Carey answered, “I’m a really good person.”

“Hmm, O.K. You need 50 points to get into heaven. Tell me what you’ve done.”

“I memorized Bible verses growing up. In fact, I have a ribbon for memorizing the most scriptures out of anyone in my Sunday School Class.”

“Great, that’s worth a half a point.”

“Half a point?”

Peter said, “Yep, half a point.”

“O.K. Let’s see, I never missed church on Sunday’s or Wednesday’s. I was there every time the doors were open unless I was sick or out-of-town. I was so committed to church, I’d drag myself there even if I were half dead!”

“Wow, You were committed. Nice. That’s worth 1 point.”

Carry was beginning to feel hopeless. Would she make it in?

She searched her brain for memories of good deeds and faithfulness, figuring she needed to build a stronger case.

“I tithed on all of my income, and gave to the poor and oh, yeah, the church building program! I also washed cars to raise money for missions around the world.”

“Sweet! That’s good for another point.”

Carry listed five or six more items she had done, but had only racked up 7 points. She threw up her hands in desperation and yelled, “With this system, I can’t get in unless it’s by the grace of God!”

“Bingo!!!” That’s worth 50 points. Come on in.”

Grace. That’s all you need.

Yet, how often have you been duped into believing it’s all about you and what you do? Me too.

You think doing all kinds of good deeds and living out the ten commandments perfectly will get you into heaven? Not so fast. And what about the other commandments listed in the Bible. Have you been able to follow those perfectly? Me either. Truth is – we can’t.

The Law Was Given to Shut You Up!

The law was provided so that you would come to the conclusion that there is no way you’d be able to keep it. Then feeling hopeless, you’d cry out in desperation for God to save you and let you into heaven.

Romans 3:20 NLT:For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.

You Can’t Save Yourself. That’s God’s Job.

Romans 3:23-25 NLT:For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s g glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.

Does God think your good enough to get into heaven?

Nope.

You’re not good enough to slide your way into heaven.

You can’t do enough to pay for your sins.

Enter Jesus. He paid the price because the cost was too much for you.

Aren’t you relieved?

 

 

Have you ever prayed for something that wasn’t God’s will?

Me too!

How do you know what’s appropriate to ask God for and what’s not?

Last Sunday morning I had the privilege of joining Latrica Willis, host of the Healing Touch Radio Broadcast for a live radio interview. I’ve got a little video vignette of it for you right here so you can see how conversation with God can help shape your prayers.

In this short video you learn how prayer shaping begins with thought shaping. We don’t always know what to pray for but God does.

Get this down and you’ll be fine-tuning your prayer requests & BOOM! You’re prayers will be answered![youtube id=”g9iSS5lUk3k?fs”]

This information came from the newly revised and expanded edition of my book, “Grabbing God’s Attention: The Art of Praying Like a Pro”. If you would like more information about the book or want to order it, click here. It’s now available in PAPERBACK as well as the newly revised Kindle edition on Amazon.com.

 


How to Keep Fighting When You’re a Bloody Mess
I heard a story of a boxer who was getting the tar beat out of him. At the end of the round, he stumbled back to his corner. Dazed, he plopped down on his stool pooped and weary. But then something amazing happened.

A bunch of guys surrounded him. One took a bucket of water and started sponging the blood off his face. Another guy leaned in and checked his eyes, which looked like they’d pop right out of his sockets with one more blow. And another guy squirted water in his mouth. As they were working on him they were all talking to him – pumping him full of encouragement.

Their comments went something like this: “Come on, you can do this, you can’t give up now.” “You’ve got this!” “You can take this guy, you’re better than he is.” They kept it up until something within the boxer shifted.

In an instant, the guy who looked half dead and about to quit, jumped up on his feet, and yelled, “YEAH! OH YEAH! I GOT THIS!” He ran back into the ring and everything changed.

Guess who won the fight? The guy who was about to give up in the sixth round. He won the fight and won the prize!

Yes, there was blood everywhere. Yes, he was in bad shape. Yes, it looked like he had no chance of winning.

But he did.

How?

Because in the sixth round he made a decision.

He decided NOT to quit.

That’s all it took to shift his situation.

When he made the decision to win – he won.

You can do the same.

You may be in the fight of your life right now. Life may be beating the tar out of you. You get up in the morning and you look like you’ve been in one too many rounds. But may I encourage you?

Can you allow me into your ring for a moment?

Picture me there with you. I’m wiping the blood off your face, squirting water in your mouth, and looking you in the eyes right now.

Listen to me: “You can do this!” You can’t give up now.” “You’ve got this.” “You can take this enemy because you are better than he is.”

How do I know? Because God’s Word says, Greater is He (Jesus) that is in you than he that’s in the world. You can do all things through Christ. And if His eye is on a tiny little sparrow, I know He see’s you too!

Now, you have to do your part.

Make the decision to win. Once you do that, you will have won your fight. There may be blood everywhere, but under that blood is a champion named Jesus. He’s already fought your fight. And he’s already won. Now you get out there and make it real.

Connect with me, email me your story. I want to hear how you’re doing. I want to hear about your fight. And yes, I want to hear about your win! Here’s my email, get there! drlinda@lindatravelute.com #IamFinishing


Activate God’s Promises in 2 Steps – No Waiting Required!
You’ve probably noticed there are promises in the Bible that are in past tense. If they are in past tense it’s because they’re already available. There’s no waiting required. All you have to do is activate them. Let me show you how you can activate God’s promises in two easy steps.

First, here are a few examples of God’s promises that are in past tense as if they’ve already been given to you:

  • Ephesians 1:5 – God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing
  • Colossians 1:12 – God has made you worthy
  • Psalms 5:12 – God has surrounded you with favor as a shield

Here’s how you can activate those promises:

1. SPEAK LIKE YOU HAVE IT

My husband, Ted used to bring the mail in to me and say, “Here’s a letter for Dr. Linda Travelute.” What’s crazy about that is when he stared saying saying it I wasn’t a doctor yet. I hadn’t even begun my postgraduate school program. But he was speaking it. He knew some day I would have my PhD and he was activating it by his words. He took it by faith and believed it as though I already had it. And every time he said it, hearing it helped me believe it. And today, I AM Dr. Linda Travelute. Activate what you know to be true with what you say.

You can say, “God you said in your word that I am blessed. You said I am favored.” Even if your circumstances don’t yet agree or you don’t see it, keep speaking it. Speaking it is a key to activating it.

God speaks of nonexistent things as if they already existed. Because to him, they are. They just have to activated. You are encouraged to imitate God so activate those promises by speaking them as if they already existed.

Ephesians 5:1 NLT

“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. “

Speak it until you see it!

2. ACT LIKE YOU HAVE YOUR BLESSING

When Ted and I first got married we used to hang out in the lobby of fancy hotels even before we could afford staying there. We’d get all dressed up, use valet parking, and then enjoy the scenery. We’d walk the beautiful properties and sit in the entrance way and talk. Why? Because it helped us see ourselves in the future. It encouraged us. We knew that someday we would be staying at fine hotels. And know, what? Now we do! We practiced seeing ourselves having the resources to stay in beautiful places.

See It Until You Can Taste It

Tap into what Christ has already done for you by acting like you already have your blessing. Yeah, I’ll take some hits for this, but it’s kind of like “Fake it till you make it.” That’s faith. You believe in it so much that you act like it’s yours even before you have it.

Even the World Recognizes This Principle Works

Gobs of books have been written about it. This is the premise behind books like, The Secret, and Napoleon Hill’s, Think Rich Grow Rich. It’s the same principle; they just don’t attribute it to God being the power behind the faith.

If you will envision yourself in a place of blessing, it will help you to eventually get to that place of blessing. It will stir you to believe for something you’ve only yet tasted in your mind’s eye.

The Bible Says Faith Without Works is DEAD

That’s why some of God’s promises may be DEAD in your life. Yikes! Bring them to life by speaking to them. After all, the Bible says that life and death are in the power of the tongue. That means that you can resurrect what is dead or non-living in your life by telling it to take shape.

So, if you are serious about activating God’s promises, use these two steps:

1. Speak like you already have it.

2. Act like you already have it.

If this post, Activate God’s Promises in 2 Steps, has been helpful to you, check out this one: Stop Waiting to Receive Your Inheritance As a Believer – Get it Now!

 

The idea that you have to be right with God in order to worship him is bogus! You don’t have to search your heart for every trace of sin before you worship Jesus. Relax, and come to God just as you are.

Did the woman caught in adultery ask forgiveness before she gained an audience with Jesus?

Nope.

Did Zacchaeus, the sinful tax collector and thief get his life cleaned up before he and Jesus talked about their dinner plans?

Nope.

Did the sin-entrenched woman with the alabaster jar get her life straight and ask forgiveness before Jesus allowed her in his presence?

Again, Nope.

I love what Joseph Prince said:

“You don’t have to worry about your sin because you are worshiping your forgiver.”

Approaching the Communion Table Dirty

People are even afraid to come to the communion table without first searching their hearts. The following scripture is so misunderstood:

1 Corinthians 11: 28 – 32 NLT:

So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

This passage is not about repenting and trying to find every little sin that we have forgotten. It’s about searching our hearts to believe that Christ paid for our sin. It’s about believing we’ve been forgiven. If we haven’t accepted Christ’s forgiveness through his sacrifice on the cross, then what’s the point of taking communion?

Communion is to remember what Christ did on the cross. That’s what we are examining at the communion table. You examine the cross. If we believe that he died on the cross to forgive us our sins, we won’t be judged. There is no reason to judge someone who’s sin has already been wiped away.

Examine What You Think About the Cross

If you examine your heart and find belief that Christ paid for your sins, you will not be condemned. You’re dirt free! His death paid not only for your sins, but also for your healing. So again, by examining what he did on the cross, you will find no reason for your body to be sick or weak.

The idea that you have to be “right with God” to worship puts the whole deal on you. 

It nullifies the work of the cross. Newsflash: you’ll never be perfect. That’s why you need a savior. You are “right with God” because Christ made you right. His death paid for your cleanliness. So anytime you come to him, he sees you clean. He sees you righteous. He paid for your past sin, your present sin, and yes, your future sins. It was ALL taken care of ONCE.

Look at the “continuous” cleansing we are promised as believers:

1 John 1:9 AMP:

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

Believers Are on “Continual Wash-Cycle”

See that word, “continuously”? It’s like God throws us in a washing machine the minute we believe and we are on a “continual wash cycle”! Awesome! That’s why Jesus on the cross, said, “It is finished.” He forgave you once. That’s all it took.

So if anyone tries to make you feel guilty over your lifestyle, remind them that there is no condemnation in Christ. If they try to tell you that God won’t let you in his presence to worship if you’re messed up and still trying to get your act together, don’t believe them. Just quit behaving that way and enjoy the continuous cleansing. The more and more you believe that God has made you righteous, the more and more you’ll start behaving “right”.

Don’t let your imperfection keep you from worshiping God. He loves you unconditionally. (I Cor. 13) Nothing can separate you from his love (Romans 8:39). He even saved you while you were still a sinner (Romans 5:8).

Believe in his saving power and you will always be allowed in his presence. It’s not about you being right, it’s about his righteousness. That’s the key to worship! Remember that, and you will always have an audience with the king!

If you’ve enjoyed this post, “You Don’t Have to Get Right with God to Worship”, give this one a read: “If You’re Feeling Far Away From God Here’s How to Get Back.”

 


Is it God Speaking to You or the Devil? How to Tell
Some people can’t tell whether it’s the devil or God speaking to them, but wouldn’t it be great if you knew how YOU could tell the difference? Read on and I’ll show you!

I was at a restaurant called, “Pollo Tropical” one time, and I noticed a lady sitting at a nearby table all alone. She was minding her business eating her Tropi-chops. I wanted to mind my business and eat my Tropi-chops! But guess what? God was speaking to me…and he wanted me to say something to her.

He said, “Just tell her I love her.”

That’s it. Just one line.

I didn’t want to! He said again, all I want you to do is, “Tell her I love her.” That’s it. So I started to wonder…. is this really God speaking to me or is it the devil putting this thought in my head? After all, if I approach this lady and tell her, “God said…” She might think I’m crazy.

So I’m sitting there arguing with God and myself. And I said, “What if this is the devil telling me to do this?” Then God said to me in a deep inner way, “Do you actually think the devil would ask you to tell someone God loves them?”

Hmm, probably not!

What I learned is that even if it’s not God’s voice, but it’s a good thing, just do it anyway, cause 9 times out of 10 if it is a good thing – it’s God’s voice.

Because I sat there so long, the lady got up and left. I lost my chance to encourage her and let her know God cared. All because I took too long trying to figure out if it was really God speaking to me.

Remember, according to John 10:10, the devil’s M.O. is to kill, steal, and to destroy. So, if what you hear is killing, stealing, or destroying in any way, then it’s not God.

If what you hear is:

  • doubt
  • unbelief
  • discouragement
  • fear
  • failure
  • evil

It’s the devil.

God NEVER talks about: 

  • doubt
  • unbelief
  • discouragement
  • fear
  • failure
  • evil

If you feel that God is speaking to you, and the thought is loving, positive, kind, full of mercy, or grace, it’s probably God. Measure the thought against what you know about God. Does the thought agree with his character? If so, it’s probably God, so go with it!

If you’ve enjoyed this post, “Is It God Speaking to You or the Devil? How to Tell”, You will enjoy this post, A Sure Way to Know if Your Steps Are Ordered by God”.