Glorify God • Magnify Him in this World!

Trusting in a Lie!

Scripture
15 Then Jeremiah the prophet said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen now, Hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, and you have made this people trust in a lie. 16 Therefore thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This year you are going to die, because you have counseled rebellion against the Lord.’” 17 So Hananiah the prophet died in the same year in the seventh month.
Jeremiah 28:15-17 NASB

Observation
For all sakes and purposes, Hananiah looked and said things that would make people think he was a real prophet of God. The problem though, is that he was not anything of the sort.

Although we are not sure of his true motivation (money, power, fame), when someone speaks in the name of the Lord…”thus says the Lord,” we should never take it lightly.

What he claimed never came true. And although Jeremiah prophesied correctly that he would die that year, this false prophet did a lot of damage. Jeremiah said he made the people trust in a lie and counseled rebellion against God!

Application
If you were living in Jeremiah’s day, could you tell which prophet was the true prophet of God? Would you want to follow Hananiah because he prophesied a positive message? Or, would you see the world around you, know enough of the Word of God, put into effect spiritual discernment and know that Jeremiah was the true prophet of God?

What is different today? Some things never change. You can look out towards the Church today and see all kinds of “messages” being portrayed. Which one is correct?

In order to discern correctly, you need to know God’s Word. It is our standard! The Bible is His Word to us. You can imagine like Jesus is across the table taking to you as you read it. That’s how much you should understand that it is His Word.

Our problem today is that no one really reads their Bible. They don’t know the Word of God. They rather watch a movie, watch a YouTube video, listen to a song that touches them or live their spiritual life dependent on social media memes. I will tell you, there is no substitute for knowing the Word of God.

Make a plan to read the Word and stick to it! We have so many resources available to us today that people just a few years ago would have loved to have!

Your ability to discern false prophets, false religion, false anything that says “thus says the Lord,” is dependent on your knowledge of the Word and being led by the Holy Spirit.

Are the things of God important enough to you?

Prayer
Lord, help us to read, study and know Your Word like never before. Give us a love and hunger for Your Word that is unsatisfied. Help Your Word come alive in us. And help us, through the Holy Spirit, under what You are saying to us in this time, the time in which we live.

Peace
Todd

Christian Success

Scripture
26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Matthew 20:26-28 NASB

Observation
The Christian life is so vastly different than what the world believes to be important and successful. Jesus said that if you want to be great, or successful in the Kingdom of God, you had to be a servant and a slave.

Many won’t do that. I mean many in the church won’t do that. It is so contrary to how we were brought up and what this country values.

Luckily, we have the example and model of Jesus. He came as a servant. The Son of God Himself…came to serve and to be a ransom for many.

The important thing is to realize that this life is temporary. We only have a short time to impact the Kingdom of God. And so because we love Him and we know what He did for us, there is nothing else we other than further His Kingdom on His terms.

Application
Where do you serve Him? How do you serve Him? Have you been caught up in the ways of this world and the desire to become someone big, to receive your reward here on Earth?

Where do you serve Him? How do you serve Him? Take some time to think through if you truly have a servant’s heart, or if you go through the motions.

Prayer
Lord, help me to focus on what is truly important in this life. Help me to willingly serve others to further your kingdom.

Peace
Todd

Is He a God of Wrath?

Scripture
2 “Thus says the Lord, ‘Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah who have come to worship in the Lord’s house all the words that I have commanded you to speak to them. Do not omit a word! 3 Perhaps they will listen and everyone will turn from his evil way, that I may repent of the calamity which I am planning to do to them because of the evil of their deeds.’
Jeremiah 26:2-3 NASB

Observation
God and His prophets in the Old Testament get such a bad wrap. God is always called a God of Wrath and His prophets are Prophets of Doom! But this so far from the truth!

The Father wanted His people to be blessed. He brought them out of slavery in Egypt and set them up in a “land flowing with milk and honey.” 

THE KEY, and it was always like this (see Dueteronomy 27-28), was obedience! When the people obeyed the Lord, they prospered. When they disobeyed, He sent discipline and correction. This is the way He operates! He told the Israelites. It was plain as day…spelled out!

The Father wants us to obey Him. That is what He desires. He sends warnings to get His people to turn from their ways. But if they don’t, He has to do what He said He would do in His Word, because He is a God of His Word. And, He does this because He knows what is best for us, and that is to live rightly in His presence!

Application
Are you feeling the correction of the Lord for some reason? Check your obedience. Are you walking in the way that He desires?

Spend time seeking Him. Ask Him to show you any area in your life that you’re not being obedient in. Get right with Him. That is what He really wants! 

But if you don’t, He will discipline you. He will get your attention. Just like a good Father disciplines His son/daughter because he knows it will be better in the long run, is the way the Father deals with us.

If you need to, turn to Him today. It is the best place to be, in His presence!

Prayer
Lord, we want to be obedient and follow hard after You. Forgive us for our disobedience. Draw us closer to You and let Your hand of favor and blessing fall us all the days of our lives.

Peace
Todd

Walk In To Eternity Free!

Scripture
33 Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’

Matthew 18:33 NASB

Observation
In the verses that follow the one above, the servant had been forgiven a huge amount. The servant would have never been able to repay the debt if the master hadn’t forgiven it. 

His life changed in one instant! He went from a man who he and his whole family were going to be sold into slavery, to a free man. But it didn’t take long for the feeling of freedom to wear off and he was demanding paymemt from someone who only owed him a fraction of what he previously owed.

He was found out and the initial debt was reinstated. He was going to spend time…all eternity, thinking about how stupid his behavior was and how he missed out on a different life because he couldn’t forgive.

The servant received total forgiveness of his debt, but he wasn’t grateful. He easily forgot what the master had done for him. He squandered the gift of forgiveness he had been given.

Application
How sad when we forget how much the Father has forgiven us. We had a debt so huge that we would have spent all eternity in Hell because we wouldn’t have been able to pay it.

But Jesus paid it all! And we can walk into eternity free from sin and death. That revelation alone should completely change our outlook. That revelation should cause us to live differently! 

Be grateful! Understand what Jesus has done for you. And as a result, forgive those who have hurt you. Let forgiveness make a full circle.   Forgive those who have offended, said mean things, lied to you, hurt you. It isn’t worth holding on to those things.

Walk into eternity free!

Prayer
Lord, help us to understand the magnitude of what You did for us when You forgave us. Help us to free give that to others to. Help us to let go of every offense, like You did.

Peace
Todd

Conventional Wisdom

Scripture
5 “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans. 6 For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not pluck them up.
Jeremiah 24:5-6 NASB

Observation
Conventional wisdom would say that the people that were left behind in Jerusalem would be the people that God would take care of and use. But He had already talked to the people through the prophet Jeremiah and told them that those who went with the King of Babylon would live.

Those who chose to stay behind in Jerusalem were disobedient. They didn’t listen to the Word of the Lord and instead wanted to hold on to what they wanted.

Application
Are you listening and obeying God’s voice? It’s there, in the midst of all the other voices wanting your attention. You have to learn to identify His voice!

When God speaks, listen! Don’t just assume. Don’t just assume because you know how to hear His voice that you’re good. Don’t assume that because you call yourself a Christian that you’re good.
His people always obeyed His Word. Are you listening and obeying?

Know that He only wants the best for you. What He tells you, what He requires of you, is good.

Prayer
Lord, help us to know Your voice. Give us the strength to be obedient and stand in faith at all times.

Peace
Todd

Will You Stand Between?

Scripture
47 Then Aaron took it as Moses had spoken, and ran into the midst of the assembly, for behold, the plague had begun among the people. So he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. 48 He took his stand between the dead and the living, so that the plague was checked.
Numbers 16:47-48 NASB

Observation
The people of Israel didn’t seem to verify learn their lesson. After seeing Korah and the people that were with him swallowed up in the ground for coming against Moses and Aaron, the very next day, the children of Israel started grumbling against them again. 

As a result of their sin, the Lord sent a plague against them. Moses told Aaron to fill his censer with incense and make atonement for the people.

Aaron ran to follow Moses’ instructions and stood between those who had died by the plague and those who were still living. He made atonement for their sins and saved lives.

Application
Their is a plague of sin running rampant in the world today. People are dying in their sins and they don’t want to hear anything else about it. Are you willing to stand for them in prayer?

God listens when His people pray. He will listen to you when you intercede for those who are dying in their sins. They need to repent and accept the forgiveness that Jesus has offered through His atoning blood. 

It means you take time to pray for people who are unappreciative, people who have no clue what you are doing. But will you do it?

Prayer
Lord, thank You for answering our prayers. Thank You that You are merciful and will forgive those who turn to You. We pray for those who need salvation. We pray that they will turn their hearts and minds to You.

Peace
Todd

A One Track Mind

Scripture
27 But she said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.

Matthew 15:27-28 NASB

Observation
There are so many things that vye for our attention. But this woman couldn’t be swayed by anything, even after being insulted. She was seeking help for her child and was going to press through until she received it.

Jesus saw in her a faith that wouldn’t give up. She knew Jesus could heal her daughter. She had heard the stories, she might have even seen it first hand. So when it came down to her daughter needing a healing, she knew what to do and where to go.

The key though is that nothing pursuaded her to stop. She continued on. She was determined! 

Application
How man times do we give up when God doesn’t answer our prayer the first or second time? 

Many get discouraged and give up, missing out on what God wants to do in their life.

Why does God tarry? Why doesn’t He answer prayer the first time? There could be many reasons. But know that God is continually working in you. He is making you and molding you to be the person He desires. Unanswered prayer isn’t a sign that He loves you less or that He doesn’t want to come through for you. Instead, it is a training opportunity, a time to build trust and faith.

Don’t give up! Jesus loves to see great faith and preserverence. Trust that He knows what is best. 

Prayer
Lord, when our faith is shaken, give us Your strength to stand. Help us to press on and never give up. Help us to trust in You and in Your ways. For Your ways are so much better than ours.

Peace
Todd

When Prayer Changed God’s Mind

Scripture
20 So the Lord said, “I have pardoned them according to your word;
Numbers 14:20 NASB

Observation
God was done with the Israelites. He had brought them all the way to the land of Cannan. The spies had gone in and confirmed it was a land flowing with milk and honey. But 10 out of the 12 started telling everyone that the inhabitants were too big for them to conquer. Of course, they never thought that the God who performed all the mighty miracles in Egypt and the Wilderness would also help them conquer the land too.

Immediately the people started grumbling and complaining. They even said that  they should appoint a leader and go back to Egypt….Back to slavery! What in the world!

God had enough and was ready to wipe out the Israelites. He told Moses that He would start over with him and make him into a great nation.

But Moses, being the intercessor that he was, immediately started interceding for the Israelites. His prayer changed God’s mind. And God relented from destroying the Israelites.

Application
Moses was a man who walked very close to God. He didn’t just throw up casual prayers every once in a while. In fact, he was so close to God that God told Aaron and Miriam that He communicated face to face with him.

Prayer is powerful. God loves to move in the lives of His people. But we need to make sure that He isn’t some cosmic Santa Claus that we go to when we want something. We commune with Him, we spend time with Him because we love Him. And like a good Father, He wants to give us good things, including answering our prayers.

Are you developing a true relationship with God or is it a la carte? That won’t work with Him. Give God your all! Make Him the most important relationship you have. Everything else will fall into place.

Prayer
Lord, thank You for being active in our lives and even answering our prayers. Help us to stay in Your will and consitent with what You desire for us.

Peace
Todd

Tares and Wheat

Scripture
30 Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
Matthew 13:30 NASB

Observation
Believers look at the craziness of the world and ask how can God allow all of this wickedness to continue? But why is it God’s fault?

God created everything and said it was good (see Genesis 1). It was the devil who tempted Adam and Eve. It was the devil that planted evil in this world.

So until the end of the age, when Jesus comes back to take His people to Heaven, we are here in a world where the things of God and the things of the devil are around each other.

But one day, Jesus will come back and separate the wheat from the tares. The tares will be bundled up and thrown into the fire.

Application
Two things here. First, as we are waiting for the end of the age, as we are around those who are influenced by the devil, we have the opportunity to share the message of Jesus Christ. Unlike a tare, that is a tare forever, people who don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Savior can come to know Him.

Second, we need to be different. A tare and wheat are distinguishable. Christians need to shine so the difference is apparent. The problem today is that the world can’t see a difference between believers and non-believers.

How will you be different? How will you shine?

Prayer
Lord, help us to understand that we have a finite amount of time to make a difference in this world. Help us to understand that we are responsible for sharing the Gospel and pointing others to You.

Peace
Todd

He Is the Potter

Scripture
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me saying, 6 “Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.
Jeremiah 18:5-6 NASB

Observation
God asked Jeremiah to go to the Potter’s house to receive a word. When Jeremiah arrived, he saw an item in the hands of the potter that didn’t turn out right. The Potter decided to start over with it.

The picture can be a negative or positive one. It is dependent on the actions and obedience of the item that is being formed. 

We are the item! We are being formed! We are in the hands of the Potter! How we choose to live for the Lord will determine how He responds to us. If we are obedient, He is faithful and His hand is upon us. If we are disobedient, He will deal with us. He is the Potter, we are the clay.

Application
Why wouldn’t anyone want God to form him/her? We don’t because we are selfish and only want what we seek. But if you seek Him, the life you live will be unparalleled! Not in riches, material goods, etc. It will be unparalleled because there is nothing else that resembles a life that is completely in tune with God.

Let Him form you, make you, remake you if necessary. He is all powerful! He knows exactly what He is doing. And God doesn’t mess up! Trust Him! Draw close to Him.

What does God need to reshape or start over in your life? Will you let Him do it? 

Prayer
Lord, thank You that You take such an interest in us. Thank you that you want the best for us. Help us to trust You, so that we allow You to do exactly what you desire to do in our lives.

Peace
Todd