Glorify God • Magnify Him in this World!

What Is More Important?

Scripture
21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he was very rich.
Matthew 19:21-22 NET

Observation
The young rich man deeply wanted to know what he had to do to receive eternal life. He wanted a checklist. Jesus asked him to be all in, sell everything and follow Him.

It was too much for the young ruler. He couldn’t let go of his wealth. It was his identity, his comfort. What would he be if he didn’t have his wealth?

Application
What are you holding on to that you’re not willing to give up for Jesus?

As long as there is something else that is more important, He can’t be your Lord. There will always be a tug on who or what is important.

Jesus and His ways have to be the number one priority in your life. If not, Jesus is just a good guy, a motivational speaker, a guru type…but not Lord.

Anything else but making Jesus Lord of your life is not enough.

Prayer
Lord, help me to identify anything in my life that I have set up before You. Help me to move it aside and worship You alone.

Peace
Todd

Judging Others

Scripture
Therefore you are without excuse, whoever you are, when you judge someone else. For on whatever grounds you judge another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge practice the same things.
Romans 2:1 NET

Observation
Judging is wrong when you judge as in the place of God, without judging like God judges.

Let me explain.

A judgement that is final and condemns in totality is wrong. Like if someone you knew was living in sin and you judged that person as a lost cause forever because of that sin.

God judges, but until that last day, offers the opportunity to the sinner to repent. Verse 4 of Romans 2 offers some insight here.

…”yet do not know that God’s kindness leads you to repentance.”

We are called to make judgements everyday. As Believers, we should make sure that our lives are aligned with the Word of God.

And we are able to recognize when someone’s life doesn’t line up with the Word of God too! But, we shouldn’t just leave them to be a lost cause.

We should instead be moved to pray for them, so that they will choose to repent while the kindness of God is available and while this world awaits the return of Jesus.

Application
This is a heart issue. Are you too good for others? Are you at a higher class?Are you a better Christian under your own power?

Remember that you experienced the love, grace and mercy of God. Those who live in sin, judged and condemned to an eternity without Jesus, still have time.

You are no better than them in yourself. You are saved because of Jesus.

Check your heart and pray for those around you, those who don’t know Jesus. Pray for those who are dirty, full of all kinds of sin. Let your heart break for those who choose to live in sin and will go to Hell if they don’t accept Jesus.

Because until the trumpet sounds and the sky breaks open to reveal the Second Coming, there is still time.

Judge. Pray. Reach out. Preach. Share, while there is still time.

Prayer
Lord, help me to have Your type of heart and desire, one that doesn’t shun and turn away those who need Your love and mercy. Give me opportunities to reach out with Your love and share Your kindness with an unbelieving, dying world.

Peace
Todd

The Blame Game

Scripture
Gideon said to him, “Pardon me, but if the Lord is with us, why has such disaster overtaken us? Where are all his miraculous deeds our ancestors told us about? They said, ‘Did the Lord not bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to Midian.”
Judges 6:13 NET

Observation
Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress, hiding from the Midianites. He was trying to keep what little he had.

He questioned the Lord, “Where are all his miraculous deed” from before?

It was simple. The Israelites disobeyed God. In return, He sent a foreign army to get their attention. It took seven years of oppression for them to cry out to God.

Instead of walking in obedience, they chose to live the way they pleased and then play the blame game. This was the pattern over and over again.

Why can’t people just walk in obedience? God’s promises are always true! Even the ones where He says He will punish disobedience.

Application
God doesn’t discipline or rebuke us for the thrill of punishment. He’s not waiting in Heaven to send down thunderbolts on you.

He disciplines us, sends trouble, so that we will turn back to Him.

You see, the Father knows the best place for His children is to be right in the center of His will. He is always wanting the best for you, to get you back in His will.

Are you feeling far away from God? Are you feeling like nothing ever works out, but remember times when God was there blessing you?

Then maybe you are out of His will, choosing to do things your own way and not listening to the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit.

Life will continue to be a drag until you come back to the Lord with your whole heart and submit yourself to His plan for your life. Don’t blame anyone else, it’s not anyone else’s fault. Take responsibility and turn back to God.

Prayer
Lord, forgive me when I take matters into my own hands and don’t choose to walk in obedience to Your commands. Help me to know and choose Your desire for my life.

Peace
Todd

Horses and Chariots

Scripture
Some trust in chariots and others in horses, but we depend on the Lord our God.
Psalms 20:7 NET

Observation
It is in our nature to trust what we experience with our five senses. We don’t have to have faith, we can see, touch, hear, smell or taste it.

But God is Spirit. We don’t experience the spiritual in the same way as we experience the natural world. We need to have faith. We need to trust in the Lord.

This is where many people miss it. They want to experience God like they experience everything else in the world. So, they gravitate to experiences that meets the needs of the senses. Christianity becomes Christian entertainment. Faith becomes rules. Trust in God becomes trust in man or an institution.

If those who seek God don’t do it in the Spirit, by the power of the Holy Spirit, they will miss what God wants to do in their lives.

Application
It is important to remember that God’s ways are not our ways. He doesn’t operate or is limited to the natural world.

And this needs to be our understanding. We need to remember that God has the ability to work in our lives and the world around us any way He sees fit.

This means that the limited resources you have available to you, won’t stop the work that God wants to do in you or through you. He created the world out of nothing! Surely He can come through for you.

The key here is to make sure you are in His will. Look for where God is moving and join Him in His work. Adjust your life to him. He will supply all your needs.

Prayer
Lord, I thank You that whatever You call me to do, wherever You call me to do it, that You will provide everything I need. Help me to depend on You and not on my own skills, abilities and resources. I trust in You.

Peace
Todd

Not Left Behind

Scripture
Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 NET

Observation
This day will be one for the history books, for as long as the Earth has left. Imagine all Christians everywhere, being raptured to meet Jesus in the air.

The original language here implies a violent, forecful event. Christians won’t be floating up in the air. It will be done in a split second, a blinking of an eye.

The powers that be will try to calm everyone. Excuses will be made why believers were “taken away” but many who were left behind will know the truth. Why?

The answer is in the previous verses of 1 Thessalonians 4. God has called us to live holy lives. Holy means separated. Many people, even those claiming they are Christians, don’t want to live separated lives. They want everything the world has to offer and everything God has to offer, including Heaven.

Don’t be left behind.

Application
This will be scary for those of you reading this who doubt what kind of life you’re living. But it doesn’t have to be.

It’s scary because you’re still holding on to this world and the lusts of the flesh. That just means that Jesus isn’t truly your Lord. He is there for comfort. He is there for Hell insurance. He is there for an emotional high. But He is not your Lord and Savior, the one who rules your life.

You have to remember that this world is temporary. Yes, many people live along time, but it is not even a drop in the bucket compared to eterntiy…forever and ever.

When Jesus truly comes into your life, you are a new creation, the old things have passed away. There is a change that happens on the inside that changes all of your desires, wishes and hopes.

Take time to seek God right now and see where you are with Him. Adjust your life to Him. Don’t ask God to adjust His life to you! He will help you. He has given you the Holy Spirit. He loves you and wants the best for you.

Prayer
Lord, there is nothing that compares to You. Help me to keep my eyes focused on holy, spiritual, eternal things. I look forward to that day when Your people are caught up in the sky. Until then, help me to live pleasing to You.

Peace
Todd

Empowered

Scripture
The Lord’s spirit empowered him and he led Israel. When he went to do battle, the Lord handed over to him King Cushan-Rishathaim of Aram and he overpowered him.
Judges 3:10 NET

Observation
I’m sure that Othniel had seen the lack of obedience to God all around him. He was Caleb’s (12 spy fame) younger brother and came from a family that honored God.

The lack of obedience and sin must have weighed heavy on his heart. But he still didn’t do anything, until the Spirit came on him.

The Lord’s Spirit empowers His people with supernatural ability to face the enemy in this world.

The Spirit was given to a few select people in the Old Testament. But after Pentecost, the Father has blessed every believer with the Holy Spirit. Jesus even told the disciples that He would come.

Wrap your head around this – The Holy Spirit is God Himself in you! The same Spirit that empowered Othniel, King David, the prophets, Jesus and the Apostles, is in you.

Application
We are so self-reliant. In many ways we forget the power of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit available in our lives.

We measure. We strive. We know our limitations. And we compute all of this information to help us make decisions and navigate through life.

But we also belong to God. And we don’t always operate on what we see and feel. We are to walk by faith. We are supposed to trust the Lord.

We can’t live effectively for the Lord on our own devises. We need to rely on the power of God and the Holy Spirit.

Maybe it’s time you took time to study and learn about the Holy Spirit that lives in you. We don’t want to get to eternity and realize that we weren’t effective in this world because we tried to do it all on our own strength.

Prayer
Lord, help us to trust in You. Help us to know that You have taken up residence inside of us. Help us to understand the leading, power and strength that the Holy Spirit provides for us daily.

Peace
Todd

Finding Courage

Scripture
But although we suffered earlier and were mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of much opposition.
1 Thessalonians 2:2 NET

Observation
Courage is what’s missing today! The Apostles weren’t afraid of what people thought about them. They were more concerned what the Father thought.

In their heart, they were more afraid of not telling someone about the Gospel because that meant eternal damnation for them.

They were beaten, stoned and all but one was martyred for the cause of Christ.

They stood in the face of opposition because what they believed was everything, not their reputations, jobs, feelings, money, etc…

We are so afraid to offend nowadays that we refrain from walking in the courage needed to share the Gospel.

If we don’t, we miss divine opportunities that might not come again. We need to be Gospel and Kingdom focused.

Application
It’s hard to always be Kingdom and Gospel focused in this world. You have to stay in the Word and surround yourself with the things of God because, life happens. We need to be purposeful.

The most important thing to remember as we go out into the world is to be aware. We don’t need to be so self-centered. Instead, we need to stay aware of the human condition. The world is lost and going to Hell without Jesus.

The world won’t hear if courageous Christians don’t share the message. Pray for courage! God has people in your circle of influence He wants you to share the Gospel with.

Prayer
Lord, grant us courage to share Your Word boldly. Help us to be ready at all times as we face a hostile world. Help us to move people from the way that leads to destruction, to the narrow way.

Peace
Todd

Modern Day Decisions

Scripture
13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and it was restored, as healthy as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted against him, as to how they could assassinate him.
Matthew 12:13-14 NET

Observation
The religious leaders questioned Jesus in a desire to trap Him and accuse Him of breaking “the law” to get rid of Him.

He knew exactly what they were thinking and what they were trying to do. He did the right thing anyway. He healed and restored this man to wholeness.

Jesus wasn’t concerned about what man thought. He was more concerned about doing what His Father in Heaven wanted.

How many people miss out on what God has for them because they are afraid of what others might say or think? How many Christians miss the blessing of knowing that God used them?

Application
If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, then what He says to you, through His Word and the Holy Spirit, is more important than anything else that influences your life.

Is He the authority in your life?

If not, why?

The life you live on this Earth, even though it might be 80-90 years, is not even a drop in the bucket compared to eternity. Learn to obey Him now! Be bold for Him now! Imagine Heaven knowing you as a person who was faithful to God, even in the midst of uncertainty.

The blessings of a life that is obedient and serves God, cannot compare to anything else in this world.

Prayer
Lord, even when we will encounter persecution,help us to be faithful and obedient. Your will matters more than anything else that would impact our lives. Strengthen us to stand strong for you.

Peace
Todd

Jesus in Your Midst

Scripture
The Lord your God is in your midst;
he is a warrior who can deliver.
He takes great delight in you;
he renews you by his love;
he shouts for joy over you.”
Zephaniah 3:17 NET

Observation
God comes close to His children, His people. He’s not sitting on some throne in Heaven, looking down on us , waiting for us to mess up so He can throw down thunderbolts.

He loves His people. He wants to be around them. He wants to help them, encourage them, rejoice with them.

Are you His people?

Application
Do you live your life with Jesus in your midst? Is He a big part of your everyday life or is He a passerby on Sundays?

He wants to do life with you. He wants to be where you are and to be active in your life.

Recognize Him in your very midst today. Have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Lord would say to you. Know that He wants the very best for you.

Nothing, no one compares to Him.

Prayer
Lord, in my daily coming and going, be the Rock that is higher than I. Be my constant. Lord, that I know no matter what is in front of me, that You are to my left, to my right, behind and all around. The days are hard and how can anyone face this time without You? Thank You that I know the truth and that I can trust in You.

Peace
Todd

Struggle on the Inside

Scripture
16 But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other, so that you cannot do what you want.
Galatians 5:16-17 NET

Observation
There is a struggle inside of every believer. Because we are made of the stuff of Heaven and the stuff of Earth, there is a struggle to which nature is going to rule the day to day activities of your life.

The things of God are opposed to the flesh and the flesh is opposed to the things of God. Paul urges us to live by the Spirit. That means that there is purposeful action taken to live for God. If not, the flesh will easily win out because the flesh involves our five senses that we are so easily pursuaded by.

Beware in thinking that a little of “the Spirit” will suffice to keep you living the spiritual life. A little of Jesus here and there doesn’t counter the time we spend surrounding ourselves in the ways of the flesh.

Application
There is only one way to effectively live in the spirit. You have to be purposeful. You have to seek Him with all of your heart. You need to read and know the Word of God. You should be praying. You should be going to church and you should be surrounding yourself with people who will encourage you in the Lord.

Some would say that the above sounds like a do and don’t list. The point is that you need to surround yourself with the things of God. You’ll get the world automatically, but the flesh will keep you from the Spirit if you don’t actively seek Him.

What do you need to do today?

Prayer
Lord, the world has nothing to offer compared to You. Help me to stay sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Help me to live always desiring more and more of You.

Peace
Todd