Have you ever thought about the word “if’? It’s a tiny little word that isn’t normally thought provoking. However, we have been told numerous times by our Pastor that every word in Scripture matters. Therefor, where Bible study is concerned, even the word “if” bears importance.
When you read a statement that includes the word, it implies that one statement is contingent upon another. For example, you will be a successful athlete if you put in the time that it takes to develop your skills and proper technique.
In other words, by using “if” you are establishing one or more conditions to achieve a desired result.
I was doing a little research this morning about a specific prayer need and suddenly became acutely aware that “if” is mentioned numerous times in the Word.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
How many times have you seen believers experience burnout? You see them serving tirelessly in various ministries. Everything they do is for the Lord & His people and suddenly they throw in the towel, dive headfirst into sin and embrace the world’s mentality of me, me, me. In doing so they forfeit their blessing. They grew tired of doing what was good. The living for Jesus thing no longer seemed worth it because they had yet to reap their harvest. This verse reminds us that in order to live a blessed life, we must endure hardships, failures, exhaustion and the like. And beyond that, we must see ourselves as being blessed even when our circumstances would dictate otherwise.
“He has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard”
So you want to stand before the Lord on judgment day and hear him say, “well done, my good and faithful servant”….isn’t that what every believer longs for? The question is, are you wavering in your faith? Do you flit from one set of beliefs to another? Do you find yourself believing this part of the Bible but saying this part over here is open to interpretation because it messes with the lifestyle you’d like to live? An antonym for steadfast is disloyal. Ouch. If you are doing anything other than holding steadfast to the gospel, you are being disloyal to God.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
(1 John 1:9)
This, I love. God is ready, willing and overjoyed to remove our sins as far from us as East is from the West. The only thing we are required to do to receive this free gift is admit we have sinned and fallen short of His glory. I like to think of it in regards to any relationship. No healthy partnership is one sided. Each party does their share to make it work. Life with God is no different. He does His part but expects us to do the work too. Lucky for us, He does the hard part. All we have to do is fully submit our lives to Him, trusting that His infinite knowledge of our innermost workings makes him qualified to be ruler of our hearts and minds.
You know where there is one place that “if” is not used in the Bible…the part that says He loves us. Even if we are not living for Him, He loves us. Even when we fail Him, he loves us still. Even when we run hard and fast away from him, his love never quits, never runs out and never gives up on us.