Glorify God • Magnify Him in this World!

The Influence that You MUST Consider!

Scripture
4 For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites.
1 Kings 11:4-5 NASB

Observation
The Bible says that Solomon was very wise. This was because God asked him what he could do for him when he became king. Solomon asked for wisdom. As a result, Solomon was also very blessed because God was pleased that he asked for wisdom to rule His people.

So, what happened to his wisdom? In his old age, Solomon worshipped other gods. He even built temples so his many wives could worship there. He also worshipped there. Solomon did not finish well!

The reason? He was disobedient to the Word of God and married foreign women and brought in concubines from foreign nations who didn’t worship God! He surrounded himself with things that were not from God!!!

Application
We are influenced by the things around us! It doesn’t matter how smart or how much willpower we have. The things that are continually in our heart and in front of our eyes will influence us.

If we surround ourselves with the things of God, it will go well because we will be encouraged and reminded about God and His live for us. If we fill our time and attention with junk, it will show through in our relationship with God.

Don’t live a mediocre life for God. This world has nothing to offer that is lasting in the sense of eternity. Focus on God and make Jesus Christ your LORD and you will always be on the right track. Let the things of God be your biggest influencer!

Prayer
Lord, thank You for making Yourself real to us. Thank You that You are always willing to accept us and draw near to us. Show us the things that are influencing our lives that don’t come from You. We desire to live our WHOLE life to please You. When we breathe our last and the final beat of heart is gone, we want to be known as people who always put You first.

Peace
Todd

What Are You Putting In The Dirt?

Scripture
18 The wicked earns deceptive wages,
But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.
Proverbs 11:18 NASB

Observation
Many people are far removed from gardening or farming nowadays. I believe if more people worked the dirt, they would understand this powerful truth more clearly.

When you put a seed into the ground, you are placing in the dirt potential. That seed, at the right time, will germinate, grow and produce fruit. One seed will produce a lot of fruit!

So when you sow righteousness (being right with God) in the proper time, it will bear much fruit. Consequently, if you sow wickedness, it will bear much fruit too!

Application
If you take a long hard look at your life, what fruit are you seeing? Are you seeing fruit that comes from righteousness or fruit that comes from wickedness?

Remember, take a LONG hard look. Seed takes a while to germinate and grow BEFORE you see the fruit. Your life right now can be a result of seed you sowed long ago.

If the fruit that you are producing doesn’t glorify God, what are you willing to do to change that? What are you willing to sow now for a righteous harvest in the near future?

Look around. Be a fruit inspector. Throw out the bad fruit and start sowing good seed.

Prayer
Lord, we thank You that Your promises are true. Help us to stand on the promises and sow the seeds that bring about righteous results. When everything is counted, we know that You alone are the most important in our lives.

Peace
Todd

Details, details, details

Scripture
29 Then he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved engravings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, inner and outer sanctuaries.30 He overlaid the floor of the house with gold, inner and outer sanctuaries.

31 For the entrance of the inner sanctuary he made doors of olive wood, the lintel and five-sided doorposts. 32 So he made two doors of olive wood, and he carved on them carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold; and he spread the gold on the cherubim and on the palm trees.
1 Kings 6:29-32 NASB

Observation
Solomon put a lot of detail into building the temple. In those days, without all the modern technology, you can just imagine how difficult and how long this took. But he spared no expense and spared no details.

Solomon was building the temple to glorify God and to show His majesty. In reality, nothing can compare to God, but Solomon wanted the temple to be as beautiful as it could be here on this Earth. When people walked in, they were awed and amazed at the beauty.

Application
The Apostle Paul said that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. If so, what do others see in you?

Our salvation is not based on effort, but your passion and desire for the things of God should be very apparent to others.

Christians shouldn’t look like the rest of the world! If Jesus is Lord of our lives, His Lordship in our lives should be a thing of awe and beauty in the sight of the world.

Maybe there is some ugly details that you have allowed to be displayed in your life that you need to take down and replace with the picture of mercy that God has displayed in you! Let your light shine! Let God be displayed in you!

Prayer
Lord, thank You for sparing no expense on us. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, when we didn’t deserve it. Help us to make our joy in You apparent to the world we live in, so that everything glorifies You!

Peace
Todd

Walk this Way!

Scripture
14 If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days.”
1 Kings 3:14 NASB

Observation
Solomon was already richly blessed as King over all Israel. But God reminds him about walking rightly towards Him. If he does, he would be rewarded with long life.

God is active in our lives. He is looking down from Heaven and observing how we live in this world. He then responds to our faith and trust in Him. God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him!

Application
Would the Lord say that you walk in His ways? The way to make sure is to know His Word! He has revealed Himself and how we should live there!

When we walk in His ways, we know that we are being pleasing to Him. There is no second guessing. It’s all black and white…and red.

We don’t love God because of the benefits, but they are many. He is a good Father who loves His children.

Prayer
Lord, help us to know Your Word so that we can live lives that are pleasing to You. There is nothing more important in this world than being right with You. Show us Your ways.

Peace
Todd

When You’re Outside of God’s Will

Scripture
3 But Joab said to the king, “Now may the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see; but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” 4 Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab and against the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army went out from the presence of the king to register the people of Israel.
2 Samuel 24:3-4 NASB

Observation
David chose on his own to number the people of Israel. This was not the Lord’s doing. This was his pride. This was him operating outside the will of God. He paid dearly for it!

This happens when we don’t stay in that close relationship with God. This happens when our relationship becomes routine and we go through the motions, not embracing the awe and wonder it is to live for and worship and awesome God.

Application
It’s so simple to say, stay in the presence of God. There seems like there is more we should do. Shouldn’t we sell everything we have and move to Africa? Yes and No!

Yes, you should move to Africa, if that is what the Lord is giving you to do. No, if He hasn’t said anything about it.

We make bad moves spiritually when we do it from our own thinking. If you rationalize it, figure it all out, have the perfect plan to execute every little detail, but haven’t heard from God, don’t do it!

Take the time to stay close to God and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. When you walk closely with the Lord, you will experience a sensitivity to the leading of God that is unlike anything else you have experienced.

It takes time and effort. I’m not talking about your salvation. I’m talking about spending time with the Lord and effort to not put anything before Him.

Prayer
Lord, thank You for sending us the Holy Spirit to guide and lead us in Your will. Help us to prioritize our life so that you are always first. Help us to seek Your will in everything we do. We desire to be pleasing to You.

Peace
Todd

A Word to the Men

Scripture
13 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NASB

Observation
At the end of his letter, Paul gives very important advice and encouragement to the men of Corinth and all those who would read his letter.

Be alert – Don’t get distracted. Focus on what is important. Don’t let your guard down. Be at the ready to do what needs to be done.

Stand firm in the faith – Be planted and rooted. Don’t let the little things move you from your place. Know what you believe and why you believe. The focus is the faith. You can stand firm in many things, but make sure you stand firm in the faith!

Act like men – Be brave. Take the lead. Make the right decision. Be up front. Be the example.

Be strong – The God you serve makes you strong. Use what God has given you, not only your physical strength, but the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Do it in love – Love is not all about hugs and kisses. Many times, love causes you to make hard decisions and tell the truth, even when it is not going to be taken well.

None of this works correctly if it is not done in the will of God, following the Word and being led by the Holy Spirit.

Application
The world would say that true masculinity has a certain look and feel. But the way of the world is contrary to the ways of God.

The church is lacking men who walk rightly in the ways of God. Many think that it is weak to believe in a God and live for Him. It is not! It takes someone strong and disciplined to live the life of faith and trust. In the end, it is always a matter of life and death.

Prayer
Lord, I pray for men in the church to stand up and be bold. I pray that they will be strong, stay alert and strive to walk in Your ways. Give them insight into Your Word and help them to be led by the Holy Spirit.

Peace
Todd

In A Twinkling Of An Eye

Scripture
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:52 NASB

Observation
There will be a day, a last day of this current world. You will wake up like every other day, drink your coffee, go about your business…but then IT will happen!

A trumpet will sound, the sky will split open and we will see Jesus! Your plans for the day, for the month, for your life, will mean nothing at that moment!

The only thing that will matter is your relationship with Jesus! Who is He to you?

Application
Doesn’t it make sense to live right for Jesus now? Why would you not? If the Bible is correct, everyone who does not belong to Jesus will be judged and go to Hell.

Do you know what it takes to “belong to Jesus?” This is a matter of ALL ETERNITY! Please don’t waste another second!

Close your eyes and pray to Jesus to come into your life. If you have done that already, evaluate your heart. Have you been living for Jesus?

Then, there is the issue of all your family and friends knowing Jesus to! Have you shared the Gospel with them? One day it will be too late!

Posts and conversations like this might make people feel that you have become fanatical. The reality is, we know what Hell will truly be like. And we don’t want anyone to go there!

Prayer
Lord, we want to be ready for that day when You call us home. We also want our loved ones to be there too. Help give us the words to say, with the perfect timing, to share the critical need of salvation. Grant that one more soul enter the Kingdom of Heaven because of our obedience.

Peace
Todd

Hearing the Truth is Tough

Scripture
5 Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “Today you have covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who today have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines, 6 by loving those who hate you, and by hating those who love you. For you have shown today that princes and servants are nothing to you; for I know this day that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased.
2 Samuel 19:5-6 NASB

Observation
David had to flee Jerusalem because His Son wanted to kill him and take the throne for himself. After David’s men defeated and killed Absalom, the only thing that David could do was weep. A day of great victory turned into a day of great mourning.

It would have been bad for David if Joab wouldn’t have given him some much needed advice.

David was heartbroken, understandably. But he should have also been grateful for everyone who put their life on the line to protect him and the rest of his family.

Application
Sometimes we don’t realize that we are off course. It is good to have people in your life that will tell you what you need to hear, even if you don’t like it at the time.

Be grateful for those people. Choose to listen with an open mind and be led by the Holy Spirit to see if what they are saying is from God. If it is, make the change, change your course.

The other side of this is that there might be someone in your life that needs to hear something that might upset them. Pray and ask God if it is something you should say. Then pray that the Lord gives you the right words to say.

Prayer
Lord, thank you for bringing people in our lives that are willing to tell us the truth. Help us to prayerfully consider what they say and help us to not be so into ourselves that we can’t identify You speaking. Also, help us to be that person for others. Give us insight and the words to say, that we would be a blessing and help someone get back on track with You.

Peace
Todd

Looking In The Tomb

Scripture
11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb;
John 20:11 NASB

Observation
What do you see when you glance into the tomb? It might be a weird question, but your response might mean the difference between Heaven and Hell.

Some look into the tomb and see the place where Jesus was laid. The fact that He is not there doesn’t bother them. They know that someone has come and removed Him. Jesus is just another myth or legend.

Others look into the tomb and see the final resting place of a wise man. It doesn’t matter that He is not there, His teachings of love and being a good person remain in all of us.

Some look and see the empty tomb as a confirmation of Jesus’ coming as the Son of God. The empty tomb means He died and rose again. Now everyone who believes and confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior can be saved.

Application
What do you believe? Your belief dictates the way you will live here on Earth.

But look at it from the other way. Does the way you live tell others what you believe?

For the true believer, the empty tomb also reminds us that one day, we will be resurrected too.

Come Lord Jesus!

Prayer
Lord, thank You for allowing us to know the mysteries of the Gospel message. Thank You for allowing us to be forgiven and saved. Help us to live our lives in a manner that reflects the overwhelming joy of being called Your child.

Peace
Todd