Glorify God • Magnify Him in this World!

Take Courage

Scripture
I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage—I have conquered the world.”
John 16:33 NET

Observation
Jesus looked out for His disciples and He will look out for you too! He cares for you. He loves you more than you realize.

Jesus tried to get the disciples to understand that they would have a time where they suffered, but that soon the suffering would turn to joy.

And that joy would be forever because He has conquered the world!

What a great blessing to be a follower of Jesus! What a great blessing to know that THIS isn’t all there is.

There is a world that Jesus has conquered. Where He is King. Where He reigns forever.

Application
Is your focus all about this world? Or do you live this life in anticipation of the next?

Jesus said to “take courage” because He has overcome. This is an action that should be renewed in our lives.

The Devil and the world will throw everything at you to discourage you. They will do this daily! That is why it is so important to stay close to God.

Take courage in Him. Let Him fill you. Understand that you are not relying on yourself, but all the power and glory that resides in Jesus!

Prayer
Lord, thank You for strengthening me when I waiver. Help me to come back to You, so I can always take courage.

Peace
Todd

Maturing

Scripture
On this topic we have much to say and it is difficult to explain, since you have become sluggish in hearing. For though you should in fact be teachers by this time, you need someone to teach you the beginning elements of God’s utterances. You have gone back to needing milk, not solid food.
Hebrews 5:11-12 NET

Observation
You should be growing as a Christian. The sad fact of today’s Christian is that they are not!

We have all had experiences being around someone who wasn’t very mature. We ask, either out loud or maybe just to ourselves, “what is wrong with this person?”

Depending on their level of immaturity, it might even cause us to avoid them.

When we encounter an immature person, it is eventually evident.

The same happens to Christians. Eventually, their maturity in the faith comes out.

Immaturity in the faith delays and dwarf what God wants to do in you and through you. He has a plan for your life. He wants to use you.

Will you grow so He can use you more?

Application
Growing in God is intentional. You should desire it with you while heart.

This means that going to church on Sunday isn’t enough. What would your physical health be like if you only fed it once a week?

We have so many resources in our modern age to help us learn and grow in the Lord. But first, you should be reading the Bible. You should pray. You should spend time in Christian fellowship.

You should stretch your faith and trust in Him. You should tell Him you want to grow spiritually. Then be prepared for what He wants to do.

Your physical health is valuable here. Your spiritual health is valuable here and in Heaven.

Prayer
Lord, help me to grow in You. Let me look back on where You have taken me and how I have changed for You.

Peace
Todd

Approaching

Scripture
Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.
Hebrews 4:16 NET

Observation
Try walking in to any throne room on Earth, just walking in. You will be met with force as security guards remove you.

But that is not the way it is with Jesus. He invites you in to His throne room. He wants to know what is on your heart and what you need. He wants to help you in your time of need.

The question is not if Jesus is approachable. The question is, will you approach Him.

Approaching Him means that you are submitting to His Lordship, to His ways.

Do you take the time to know His ways? Do you take the time to approach Him?

Application
How do you approach Him?

Take time to get still. Pray. Listen. Read His Word. Listen more.

Tell Him what is going on in your life. Tell Him your fears. Share your heart.

He wants to spend time with you, more than you realize.

The more you spend time with Him, the easier it is to recognize His voice.

What is keeping you from seeking the Lord? Whatever it is, it won’t compare to Him.

Prayer
Lord, thank You for always being there. Thank You for accepting someone like me.

Peace
Todd

Responding in Anger

Scripture
They made him angry by the waters of Meribah,and Moses suffered because of them,for they aroused his temper, and he spoke rashly.
Psalms 106:32-33 NET

Observation
Psalms 106 recounts the Exodus of the Israelites and their journey in the Wilderness. The author mentions how the Israelites didn’t fully obey God and continued to have problems because of there disobedience.

Their disobedience even pushed Moses over the edge one time and caused him to respond in anger. His anger caused him to make a bad decision, in which he didn’t fully obey the Lord either.

As a result, he didn’t get to enter the Promised Land with the generation that was allowed.

Responding in anger doesn’t bring about the desired outcome. God still holds you accountable for your actions.

Application
You need to know yourself and how you respond when you’re angry. If you need to walk away or take a breather, do so.

You don’t want your anger to move you into disobedience and hinder what God wants to do in your life.

When you weigh the things of God vs the things of this world, you realize that nothing on this Earth is worth losing your focus on God.

Prayer
Lord, help me to always see things from Your perspective. Help me to always respond in a way that is pleasing to You.

Peace
Todd

Adjust When You’re Struggling

Scripture
For since he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.
Hebrews 2:18

Observation
There is a tendency to think that when you go through something rough, no one else understands. It’s easy to isolate yourself and feel sorry for your sorry lot in life.

But you are not alone in your trouble. You are not alone in your suffering. Jesus knows exactly what you are going through.

And He died so that your lot in life won’t be the end all, be all of your time on this Earth.

He died for you so that you can have eternal life. So you can be with Him in Heaven for all eternity.

There, you won’t have a miserable lot in life. You won’t struggle. You won’t hurt. Heaven is the most perfect place. Nothing on Earth can remotely compare.

When you’re struggling, do you think about Heaven or does your struggle speak louder than what Jesus has prepared for you?

Application
This life is a preparation for the life to come. Are you prepared?

Many people are not. Many people don’t know what the Word of God says. Many don’t spend time with the Lord.

They let this world speak louder than the things of God. Why?

Adjust your life to Jesus. Take out the junk that you allow and replace it with the Bible, prayer, church and Christian friends.

Jesus has done His part. It’s time for you to do yours.

Prayer
Lord, I desire all that You have for me. Help me to adjust my life to You.

Peace
Todd

In this Lifetime Opportunity

Scripture
19 Pray for me also, that I may be given the message when I begin to speak—that I may confidently make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may be able to speak boldly as I ought to speak.
Ephesians 6:19-20 NET

Observation
Paul’s request should be ours too! We should ask for help so that we would be given the message to speak at the right time.

This is our duty as Believers. We are to share the message of Christ.

Unfortunately, man Believers leave this to the “paid clergy.” But the Bible doesn’t say anything like that!

Paul also asked for prayer so that he could be bold in his message about Jesus. He lived in a world where many would fight against the message of salvation. They would threaten, intimidate, beat, whip and even stone Believers. They lived in a pre-Christian world.

We live in a post-Christian world. The world doesn’t like the message because it reminds them of their sin. Many are hostile to Jesus, just like in Paul’s day.

But how will they hear the Good News if someone doesn’t share it?

Application
It takes boldness and faith to get out and share the Good News with others. That is why Paul asked the Church at Ephesus to pray for him.

We need the same prayer today! We need to ask the Lord to fill us with the power of the Holy Spirit so we can be His witness here on this Earth.

When Jesus returns, it will be too late. We won’t ever have that opportunity again! This is a lifetime opportunity to make a difference for the Kingdom of God!

Will you share His Good News?

Prayer
Lord, give us opportunities, setup by Your hand, to share the Good News with others. Help us to be bold as lions!

Peace
Todd

Rewarded

Scripture
(Look! I am coming soon, and my reward is with me to pay each one according to what he has done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end!)
Revelation 22:12-13 NET

Observation
Do you live anticipating the return of Jesus? Many don’t! Why? Because they get so caught up in this world.

All the things of this world easily distract us from focusing on the most important event in the history of everything ever known!

But He will return. Do you care about the things He cares about? Do you prioritize the things of God in your life?

On that day, nothing else will matter: your car, your job, your money, your achievements, your house, nothing!

The Scripture says He will return to pay everyone back according to what they have done. What does that mean? He will pay everyone back according to what they have done according to the things of God.

How do you know the things of God? They are written in His Word!

Read, study and apply His Word to your life!

Application
You apply yourself in so many things. Shouldn’t knowing the Word of God be the most important?

Are you spending time being PURPOSEFUL in learning and knowing the Word of God?

A Bible Reading plan should be something you do on a regular basis. You need to read the whole Bible, just not what you like to read.

There needs to be a way for you to look up and get answers to questions you have as you read the Word.

There should also be ways for you to adjust your life to what you are learning. You are not just reading and studying for knowledge. The Word of God is transformational.

One day, only what God determines important will remain. Get on the right side of that!

Prayer
Lord, thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the Holy Spirit that allows us to understand and apply it to our lives.

Peace
Todd

Your Reach

Scripture
But they overcame him
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
and they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.
Revelation 12:11 NET

Observation
Your story, in the story of God, is important. God uses what He has done in your life to help others understand who He is. You are a walking, talking example of how God wants to bless others in this world.

Your story needs to be told! You need to share it! You need to tell others what God has done for you.

This verse says they overcame by the blood of the lamb AND the word of their testimony.

Can you verbalize what God has done for you?

There are people, in your circle of influence the Lord wants you to share your testimony with. You are perfect to share the message with them. You are perfect to let them know how much God loves His children.

Share what God has done for you!

Application
You might want to take some time to jot down your testimony. You might want to be able tell it in a concise manner so when you get the chance to share it, you are ready!

You might think you have nothing much to say. Don’t think that way! There are people out there who have the same types of experiences as you and can identify with your life.

It is part of what God wants you to do! He wants to use you to reach people around you. Be ready!

Prayer
Lord, thank You for opportunities to share how You have blessed me. Let me be ready!

Peace
Todd

Erased

Scripture
The one who conquers will be dressed like them in white clothing, and I will never erase his name from the book of life, but will declare his name before my Father and before his angels.
Revelation 3:5 NET

Observation
The letters to the seven churches and the rest of the Book of Revelation usually gets little more than a “reading to get through” the Bible.

Pastors don’t usually preach from it and Christians don’t try to understand it. But here, in this verse, is something everyone should understand…

Names can be erased from the book of life.

Some people believe that once you say a little prayer, you are good to go…go to Heaven. They believe this regardless of how they live.

But Jesus speaks here of conquering and being dressed in white clothing or righteousness.

There is something more here. You need to live victoriously! This is not casual living for the Lord! Armies are not victorious without a fight.

Your eternal life is too important to play games!

Application
You conquer when you know God’s plan for battle. His plan is the Bible.

It can not be said more plainly…

You need to live obediently to the Word of God. This mean you need to read it and know it. Inside you will find how to live for God.

Don’t depend on some preacher. Don’t depend on your parents or some weekend you had at a camp. Don’t rely on yours or other’s opinions.

You can know God’s Word. He has made it so available to you today!

Prayer
Lord, You are more important to me than anything else. Let that be so apparent in the way I live out my faith on this Earth.

Peace
Todd

Guard Up!

Scripture
Little children, guard yourselves from idols.
1 John 5:21 NET

Observation
John’s statement is to the point, guard yourself! In other words, be very purposeful. Put up a defense. Make sure you know the enemy. Be ready to fight!

He knew how easy it was to allow junk in our lives and his advice was to becareful what we allow. We can easily get swayed by allowing things to be more important than Jesus.

When we allow “things”, whatever they might be, to be more important than Jesus, we show the world and God that Jesus isn’t enough.

If that happens, then we didn’t truly get who Jesus is. When you can so easily replace Him with something else to guide, help, provide you with meaning for your life, you are in a very desperate place.

Jesus must be ALL to you!

Application
Be free enough to not allow anything on this Earth to have a hold on you and cause you to not put Jesus first.

Would you willingly leave everything else behind?

Nothing else you can ever have compares to the value of knowing Jesus. Give your heart completely to Him… And don’t try to take it back!

Prayer
Lord, help me to keep my eyes completely on You. Help me to never compromise my belief and trust in You.

Peace
Todd