Glorify God • Magnify Him in this World!

Don’t Lose the Awe

Scripture
17 And He began to teach and say to them,“Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers’ den.”
Mark 11:17 NASB

Observation
Jesus always wants you to get closer to God. That’s why He came in the first place, to be the ultimate sacrifice, for the forgiveness of sins, that would make us right in the Father’s eyes.

We should desire this too! We should desire to get close to God. We should desire to pray, truly pray…take the time.

Would Jesus get upset with our form of godliness? Would he accept how we spend time with God or would He see it as a joke? Would he turnover the “money changers” tables in our hearts? Or would He smile and welcome you as a true believer?

Don’t be deceived! God looks at your heart…deep within your heart. Excuses might work with others, but God knows. He is calling you to something more, deeper, don’t reject His call to come and worship, pray, fellowship with Him.

Application
It is so easy to get into a routine that you miss the awe of entering the presence of an awesome God.

If you’re not careful, you start to turn your time with God into something else…a gripe session, a give me session, a money changers session…a time devoid of true humility and worship.

It takes a constant reflection on the things of God and a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Don’t lose the awe. Your ability to enter the presence of God was paid with a high price!

Prayer
Lord, thank You for the opportunity to come into Your presence. Help me to never take it for granted, but desire it more and more everyday.

Peace
Todd

The One Thing Holding You Back!

Scripture
21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.
Mark 10:21-22 NASB

Observation
The hope is that no one is truly like the rich young ruler. We might justify it by saying that we are not rich. But the fact is, this isn’t about money.

The rich young ruler walked away saddened because there was one thing in his life that he wasn’t willing to give up for Jesus. One thing!

From the outside looking in, the rich young ruler looked like the perfect disciple recruit. He had flowed the law and done well under the Jewish religion. But to go deeper with Jesus, he had to give up the thing that had a hold on him, his money.

What one thing are you holding back from Jesus? If Jesus asked you to give it up, would you do so willingly, or would you go away saddened because it was more important than Jesus?

Application
Everyone wants to believe that they could give up anything for Jesus if they really had too.

It might be a good idea to take time to evaluate those things close to you and reflect on what kind of hold they have on you or if you are able to let it go.

We shouldn’t put anything before our relationship with Jesus. When Jesus is truly #1, you can easilyet go of anything you need to.

Prayer
Lord, I desire to live so close to following You. Help me to always put You first. Help me to always be thinking about being free to honor You.

Peace
Todd

When God Changed His Mind

Scripture
2 And it came about, when it had finished eating the vegetation of the land, that I said,

“Lord God, please pardon!
How can Jacob stand,
For he is small?”
3 The Lord changed His mind about this.
“It shall not be,” said the Lord.
Amos 7:2-3 NASB

Observation
God is a merciful God. Even though He chooses a course of action, He will respond to His people’s prayers. In this case, Amos saw a vision of destruction on evil Israel, but he prayed and God changed His mind.

There are two very important things to remember as a result of this passage. The first is that the people of God need to be in close communion with God. This means that we are reading His Word, praying and walking in the leading of the Holy Spirit. If we don’t stay close to God, we won’t know what is going on spiritually.

The second thing is that we need to be people who are praying and asking God to move in our lives, the people around us and the circumstances we all find ourselves in.

God answers prayer and changes His mind, not because He doesn’t know what He is doing, but because He is a loving, kind, merciful Father.

But it is important to remember, although God did change His mind twice, He finally does go through with judgement. He has to deal with sin and disobedience if people don’t change their ways.

Application
There are people all around me who are going through situations. I need to be aware and go to God to intercede for them.

I should be interceding for my nation, the politicians and any other things too. Amos’ prayer was for God to change His mind to bring judgement on the nation of Israel. We find ourselves in the same situation today.

Prayer
Lord, thank You for Your mercy and kindness. I pray that You would be merciful on those who are far away from You. Convict them of sin through the Holy Spirit and let them come into a right relationship with You.

Peace
Todd

Everything Hinges On This!

Scripture
29 And He continued by questioning them,“But who do you say that I am?” Peter *answered and *said to Him, “You are the Christ.” 30 And He warned them to tell no one about Him.
Mark 8:29-30 NASB

Observation
It boils down to this right here! Everything waits on the sidelines until this gets taken care of. Who is Jesus to you? The answer makes all the difference!

If Jesus is anything else to you than Lord and Savior, you are wasting your time. He’s not your friend, or a good man, or some great historic person. This world has known many of those. He is Jesus Christ the Son of God. There is none like Him!

Many want Jesus to save them. They don’t like the idea of burning in hell. But many won’t allow Him to be their Lord. That would mean that they have to submit to His way.

There is a way to truly live, under the Lordship of Jesus. Do things His way, and you won’t be disappointed. In Him, you will find true meaning, peace and joy.

Application
Is there an area of my life that I haven’t given over, completely, to Jesus? Is there something I’m still hanging on to? Is there something that I think is more important than following Him 100%?

I need to let Him have it all. It’s hard to let go, but it must happen. He can do so much with a life that is completely surrendered to Him.

Prayer
Lord, reveal to me anything that I have held back from you. I know that You deserve everything and that I shouldn’t put anything before You. Help me to do this by my actions, and not by my words only.

Peace
Todd

Persistent with Jesus

Scripture
28 But she answered and *said to Him, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.”29 And He said to her, “Because of this answer go; the demon has gone out of your daughter.”
Mark 7:28-29 NASB

Observation
The Syrophoenician woman was initially put off by Jesus. He had come first to the Jews and He asked her to wait for her daughter’s healing. Many would have been OK with that. But this mom persisted.

She persisted in humility. She was willing to call herself a dog, begging at the table, to see her daughter healed.

How many of us would be willing to humble ourselves, bow low and persist in prayer to see the Lord move in our situation?

But she also had a strong faith to believe Jesus meant what He said. When He said her daughter was healed, she left to find her healed! She sought Jesus, prayed, persisted and believed.

Application
There is always a situation that I need to persist in prayer for. The problem is the persist part. The problem is the humility part. When I pray, does God see me coming to Him in persistent humility? Or am I throwing up some words to the ceiling, hoping God will catch some?

God will answer. He has proven that He will.

Prayer
Lord, spending time in Your presence is the most important for me. Help me to come humble of heart, knowing that I am in the presence of a Holy God.

Help me to rely on You. Grant me a special measure of faith when I am weak and tired. Help me to remember Your faithfulness.

Peace
Todd

It’s So Simple…

Scripture
6 Come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you would hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
As in the day of Massah in the wilderness,
Psalms 95:6-8 NASB

Observation
Obedience, respect and reverence, are all things we struggle with. American Christianity resembles more the “American Way” of worshipped individuality vs. submitting to the one true God.

It is all very simple though, maybe too simple for us. Worship God, kneel before Him, submit to His desires, listen to Him…we want to make it hard. But God wants us to submit to Him and place Him first. He is a loving God. As a result of our submission, He pours out His blessings on us.

If we don’t though, He allows us to face it all on our own. You don’t want to harden your heart. You don’t want to go it alone. History is full of people who tried.

But we have His blessings here and in eternity. Start your eternal life now!

Application
Do I long for the presence of the Lord, or do I come to Him out of duty, tradition, fear?

Can I make a little bit more time for God? Could I give up something that in the light of eternity is meaningless?

Could I worship Him without constraint?

Prayer
Lord, I want more of You. I pray that the desire of my heart would always be You. Grant me times of refreshing in Your presence. Grant me times of overwhelming peace…so that I won’t want to leave.


Peace
Todd

God Doesn’t Do Surprises

Scripture
Surely the Lord God does nothing
Unless He reveals His secret counsel
To His servants the prophets.
Amos 3:7 NASB

Observation
The Father doesn’t surprise His children, His people. God has always let His expectations be known and what He requires of those who desire to live according to His ways. And even when His people have veered way off, He warns to get them back on track.

How? He has given us His Word. He speaks to us through His Word. We know what the Father requires, how to relate to Him, how to live according to His blessings, and what will happen if we don’t live rightly.

When was the last time you read the Word to just spend time with Him? Do you know His promises? Do you seek Him or crack open the Bible only when you want to be comforted or need something else from Him?

If you are not reading the Bible on a consistent basis, you are missing out! You are missing the opportunity to know AND grow in the Lord.

Application
After reading the Word, I need to pay attention to how God wants me to respond to Him. It’s not just enough to read, but His Word requires a response. How will I respond to God’s Word today? Everyday?

Prayer
Lord, thank You for Your Word. As I read it, help me to understand what You are saying. Help me to apply it to my life. I want to walk in Your ways and follow You in everything. Grant me the joy of knowing You more.

Peace
Todd

When Thorns Do More Harm than Just Prick You!

Scripture
18 And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, 19 but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Mark 4:18-19 NASB

Observation
How many people will hear the Word of God this week, but it won’t do any good? What a scary thought!

The Word of God is powerful. It will grow inside of you and bear fruit. But it has to be sown, will come back to that, in good ground!  

So, there is an effort on the ground, or hearer, to be good ground.
This means that worry, lusts and desires need to be dealt with. How? By putting more of the Word in you than that other stuff. You have to prioritize and surround yourself with the things of God! Its that simple, but we make it hard because we don’t put God first.

Choose to spend more and more time with God. Read the Bible consistently, go to church regularly, be careful what you watch and listen to and live purposefully. God will bless a life that seeks Him!

Application
As I spend regular time with the Lord, is there something that still has a hold on me? Is there something that I would have a hard time giving up for God? If so, I need to deal with it. I don’t want anything to have any type of hold on me, other than Jesus!

Prayer
Lord, I want to know You more. As I read Your Word, let it be sown in my heart so that it would bear fruit. Help me to identify anything in my life that is not of You. Help me to be free, free to worship You completely.

Peace
Todd