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And my husband, who I loved deeply, was plunging more and more into alcohol abuse. My loneliness was becoming overwhelming. I found myself regularly going through catalogues and ordering clothes for my kids and husband, or things for our home, trying to fill the emptiness I felt. It was great at the time, but once the items came, so did the guilt. And then it turned from catalogue shopping to gambling. I had been going to bingo for a few years and loved the buzz I got from it. I ended up discovering a bingo website which became addictive.

The site offered bingo, slot machines and other games. Each week my allowance would be spent on online gambling. This went on for months until I got us into real financial bother. Before long we had no money to pay the bills! I became so depressed, but also scared in case my secret came out. I used to wait until everyone was in bed before I would go online. And if the children ever saw me on a gambling site, I would tell them not to tell anyone.


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There was no option but to confess what I had been doing. He was supportive but obviously angry. I felt ashamed and depressed. A few years before all this I had decided to become a Christian, and I gave my life to Christ. At my lowest point in my struggle with addiction, I began to realise I needed Jesus back in my life. I made a phone call to my parents. They were in Cambodia at the time, teaching people about Jesus.

I was at the end of myself. My parents were amazing and prayed with me. Lots of tears were shed! This was the start of my journey to freedom. It was a road of healing. He is just and merciful to forgive me and heal me. God is awesome and has, and still is, doing a great work in me! But the truth is that healing took a while. I had to say sorry to my kids and my husband.

Also I had to deal with the depression which caused me to turn to gambling in the first place. When I was a little boy, way back in the nineteen hundreds, I remember singing the song in cradle roll,. For the Father up above Is looking down in love. Oh be careful little eyes what you see.

You may remember that the song went on about ears being careful what they hear, and hands being careful what they do, since we all know God is watching us. When they opened their bag they realized that instead of it being filled with French fries and burgers, it was filled with over two thousand dollars in cash! I mean, do we only do good because God is watching? For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.

I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.

Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you? I am compelled to believe that not only did these people not have a clue they were helping Jesus, but I also see from their response that they were helping the needy with no thought of reward. Then you can eat later. So my question is do we only do good because there is a God? I would say yes. Should we do good if God doesnt exist? Whats the purpose of that? If there is no reward of an afterlife then there is no need to do good.

God promised us a reward for being faithful. Because we love him, and because he died for us, thats our motivation. When I do good i know it pleases God, otherwise there would be no point in doing "the right thing" At that point situational ethics would be prevalent. Maybe im missing something but it sounds like ur saying even if God doesnt exist we should have integrity or are you saying if God isnt watching we should still have integrity. I think of it like this. A woman usually yields herself in marriage of course to a man who is loving, kind, romantic and so on.

A rude and offensive man wouldn't even get the time of day. However, while there's nothing wrong with the good man looking forward to that moment with her again in marriage , or in being motivated by the fact that loving men usually find success with women, there would be something seriously off if that same man only did what he did for Intimacy is cheapened if it's treated as an exchange of goods. As the woman gives her "reward" in marriage to the man who shows her love for its own sake, so Jesus will reward those who loved Him for the sake of it. Are you saying Jesus only rewards those who love Him just because?

Then what is the reward you are talking about?


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Salvation is a gift to us not because we love Him but because He loved us. And because He loved us and sacrificed His life for us, I personally am drawn to that and that is why I love Him. Romans 3 tells us that no one is righteous vs. So I am just making sure the comment is about blessings and not about salvation.

When we respond to Jesus love and follow His commands, He tells us that we are rewarded with blessings from the Father. But this is not about salvation. Yes we are saved by faith in Jesus alone, and we keep His commandments because it's just good to be good for goodness sake, and all such people be brought to Heaven. Nothing to be confused about. Lawrence, your question takes us in a different direction.

If there were no God, would we even exist?

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The rest of your comment sounds a bit as though the only reason to do good is because of the rewards in the next world. I don't think this is true. I believe that God only asks us to live in a way that is best for us. Thus even in this world and in the worst of circumstances, those who truly trust God will always have more peace and joy than those who do not. I find that reading how others found God to be faithful strengthens my own faith. But I believe there's more to it: When we truly get to know Jesus and allow Him to change our hearts to be like His, we will love like He does, regardless of who is watching.

It will be part of our nature, as it is part of His. I would add to Lawrence's thought that if God is not watching, He is not God as He has presented Himself to fallen mankind. That He watches is emphatically pointed out in scripture. It is to lead us to consider our ways and to "fear the Lord". Joseph gave his reason for fidelity when tempted to "sin against God". Solomon's solemn "conclusion of the whole matter" in the last two verses of Ecclesiastes reminds us of God's close watching of every word and deed. To those with faith, this is encouraging, to sinners, a warning. Our motives are not to be fear of punishment, for I will predict that NONE will be in heaven who "obeyed" from fear of flames.

So what is our motive? Sinners, whom He has provided with the Propitiation, that He might grant us life eternal and peace today. When we "see" His goodness we repent. No one truly repents because of the flames. But the flames are promised, as warning to lead us to seek what God has offered as an escape from the inevitability of the flames, and to encourage us that justice will be done at last. About the surprise of those in the parable of sheep and goats; was Jesus aware that He was doing His Father's appointed work?

Were the servants in the parable just before the sheep and goats aware of what they were doing? We work with purpose, not by accident. We should know daily if we are serving the Lord or not. The Holy Spirit is given to convict us of such things so we can find help in time of need. If we daily seek to know and follow God's will, there is no surprise. Also, the reward already promised is not the motive, instead the motive will be the Love behind the giving of the Gift of Life to all who believe.

Our faith in God's promises will transform us and the motives for our righteous deeds will be the same as Christ's: We will love our fellow man as God has loved us.

Zoe: “When I look back, God has brought us through so much!”

Our motive will be from within as we behold those in such need as we were before we believed. It will be a joy to lift up the fallen, pointing the lost to Jesus, the Way, the Truth, the Life. The parable of sheep and goats teaches a truth, but not a reality. Does that make sense? Not sure if I can explain it adequately here, but look at the story prayerfully and ask for help to understand it's meaning for you. That God is watching so closely cheers His sons and daughters in this life.

It brings hope, strength and faith. I think it fits. Robert there is not doubt God is watching, and I see nothing in this posts that questions that fact.

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The post is just a simple hypothetical question to help us examine our motives. William, your post has made many good points, yet it leaves me with some questions concerning what you are actually saying. If so, isn't that very legalistic and works-orientated — to only do good so long as there is a God Who is watching and waiting to reward our good behavior and punish our bad behavior? I feel something isn't right. It's as if keeping God always before us Ps Yet it almost seems to suggest it as I read it. God wants us to know this.

As I wrote above, it seems almost urgent that we never forget. Could our natural weakness be the reason God gives this "incentive" such emphasis? The other part about the sheep being surprised I addressed above. These are my only questions concerning your post. Perhaps I have just misunderstood what you mean. I agree with you that the sheep are motivated out of love for those around them in need.

They seek to uplift their fellow man out of genuine desire to help. This is the result of being transformed by the renewing of their minds by taking the yoke of Jesus and learning of Him. One thousand Amens to this post! This I believe is the most simplest argument to the old "why do we need works if we're saved by faith" question.

No need for a complicated breakdown of the difference between justification and sanctification. Just simply tell them "it's just good to show love for its own sake. I believe those who make it through the time of trouble will be strict followers of the commandments. Not because they want to be "ready" when Christ returns or found "spotless" after the close of probation. But because they can't live with the thought of hurting their God or other people whom they love dearly. This strikes at the heart of both legalism which seeks reward and cheap grace which seeks to justify hatred.

Heaven will be populated by people who are strict about good works because anything less is to justify someone else's mistreatment. Lastly, am I the only one who cringes whenever someone from the pew to the pulpit declares that we should "finish the work" so we can go to heaven already?

Tom Waits - Georgia Lee

As if the reason we should share the gospel is not to populate heaven with as many new friends as possible, but to get ourselves out of this sin sick world. Do we not think that people can read our efforts as seriously self serving? I believe that when we share the gospel out of a deep love for people, to save them no matter how long it takes, Jesus will return. Not because He saw our efforts and sped up the clock, but because as the old maxim states, time flies when your having fun.

Suppose God Wasn’t Watching you? Would You Still be Good? – Sabbath School Net

Thanks Lawrence and Bensheh for your comments. The point is simply God appreciates when we do things out of love and not because He is watching to reward us. This is a wonderful perspective indeed. Reminds of Enoch when he walked with God. Spirit of prophecy reveals that though he did not see a difference between the fate of the wicked and the righteous he remained upright nonetheless.

He did good because he loved to do right, he loved the way of truth and so he was doing good because it was good and not merely because he was seeking a reward. May we all live our lives in this way! Chris, read Psalm 73, and understand that Enoch saw the reward of the faithful and prophesied it. Enoch was not omniscient. He was shown the reward, yes, however, having to be shown something means there was a period of time when he was ignorant of this knowledge.

It also means that in spite of his ignorance Enoch served God and did good for the sake of it. Chris's point still stands. Robert, thanks for those scripture references. They are poignant ones. In addition to my initial comment, kindly see the spirit of prophecy quote I was referring to in my last comment:. It had seemed to him that the righteous and the wicked would go to the dust together, and that this would be their end.

He could not see the life of the just beyond the grave. In prophetic vision he was instructed concerning the death of Christ, and was shown His coming in glory, attended by all the holy angels, to ransom His people from the grave. He also saw the corrupt state of the world when Christ should appear the second time—that there would be a boastful, presumptuous, self-willed generation, denying the only God and the Lord Jesus Christ, trampling upon the law, and despising the atonement. He saw the righteous crowned with glory and honor, and the wicked banished from the presence of the Lord, and destroyed by fire.

If you read the preceding few paragraphs that come before this paragraph you will see that Enoch had indeed grown from strength to strength in his faith DESPITE this lack of understanding regarding the fate of the righteous and the wicked until such a time as it was revealed to him. Chris and Bensheh, we have to consider certain facts: Before the flood, Eden stood with the angelic sentinel guarding the way to the Tree of Life.

Death and it's apparent finality was obviously a test of faith for Enoch until his seeking the truth was rewarded. Yet the hope of Jesus soon return inspired their faith in the promised return for the righteous and the wages of sin for the unrepentant. This is how it is with us isn't it? We find the light, but it will never be the whole light as we must advance by faith. Enoch knew the Law of God, of creation, the fall, forgiveness through the sacrifice of the "Lamb" and the promise of restoration through a coming Redeemer.

It seems that the reality of death created a problem while they expected redemption at any time. Eve's hope in the birth of her sons reveals this. Before the resurrection truth was presented, imminent salvation was still their hope. Yes, with it's rewards for the righteous and unrighteous. My devotional "Christ Triumphant" shared this today: And how did Enoch walk with God?

He educated his mind and heart to ever feel that he was in the presence of God, and when in perplexity his prayers would ascend to God to keep him. He refused to take any course that would offend his God. He kept the Lord continually before him.