Glorify God • Magnify Him in this World!

When He Answers You…

Scripture
‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’
Jeremiah 33:3 NASB

Observation
Some people view God the Father as a Zeus type character. He’s someone “up there” waiting for us to make a mistake so he could throw thunderbolts at us. That character only keeps people around for his amusement.

But God the Father isn’t like that. He is a God who cares AND listens. He looks down on us and comes close to us if we desire Him to. He never forces Himself on us. He doesn’t make us love and serve Him.

He does want us to call on Him. And when we do, He promises to show us some great and mighty things.

How could that not appeal to us? Here is the God who created everything, letting us know that if we call to Him, He will show us some awesome things. Why wouldn’t you want to call on Him? Why wouldn’t you want to know some great and mighty things for your life? The life of your family? The life of your church? The life of you relationships? The life that is so general or crazy, that knowing what God thinks would blow you away!?!

Application
Jeremiah prophesied that we should call on Him. This is not a nice thought or something the preacher does. This is something you do, in your personal time with Him.

This won’t happen if you’re not intentional. Don’t expect God to show you great and mighty things in your one minute prayer between your vehicle and the front door of your job. 

Give Him the honor and respect He deserves as a God who will show you great and might things. Expect it! But this means that you need to spend time with Him!

That was the problem in Jeremiah’s day. Everyone wanted the blessings of God, but no one wanted to honor and spend time actually calling, listening and obeying Him.

Try it today!

Prayer
Lord, forgive me for not honoring and respecting Your time. I desire to know You more intimately and desire to know Your great and mighty things.

Peace
Todd

Crazy Passion for God

Scripture
 “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not destroy the sons of Israel in My jealousy.
Numbers 25:11 NASB

Observation
So what did Phinehas do to turn away God’s anger and how was he jealous? Phinehas, as well as many others, cause this was done in the open, saw an Israelite go into his tent with a Midianite woman. Phinehas grabbed a spear and ran it into both of them. 

This Israelite man took this woman into his tent while people were weeping at the “Tent of Meeting” cause God was dealing with them.

You see, the people turned from God and started sacrificing and worshipping to Baal. This was a widespread thing! It was so blatant, that this one guy didn’t even care about hiding his sin. He brought this Midianite woman into his tent in broad daylight.

Phinehas shines in the eyes of God because he became so passionate for the things of God and hated to see the sin running through the Israelites camp, that he made a move to “get rid” of the sin from among them.

Because he was passionate for the things of God, God blessed him. (see Numbers 25:12-13)

Of course, some people might have a problem with saying that someone was passionate for God by killing two people. And of course we wouldn’t do it today. But there are two things here.

First, Phinehas was so close to God that seeing this blatant sin was too much. Sin bothers the true follower of God. It causes them to want to do something about it. 

Today, the true believer sees sin and it breaks their heart, or it should. They see people far away from God and know that if they don’t repent, they are going to everlasting damnation.

Second, Phinehas cared about the rest of the children of Israel so much, that he didn’t want the sin that was being blatantly committed in front of them to spread.

This verse says that Phinehas turned God’s wrath away from the people with this act.

Application
As you look around at this world, does it break your heart that people are living far away from God? If they allow sin to rule in their lives, that means that when they die, they will go to hell.

What can you do about it? 

Are you praying for them? Are you being a friend? Are you listening to their concerns? Are you sharing the Gospel with them?
God still looks down on us and finds those that are passionate about Him. He will use a person that is passionate about Him! 

Prayer
Lord, give us a passion for You that nothing else comes close. We know there is nothing else that compares to you.

Peace
Todd

The Hopelessness of Temporary Things

Scripture
And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”
Matthew 24:2 NASB

Observation
The disciples pointed out to Jesus the temple structure. It was great and glorious. It was painted so that it would shine brightly in the sun. It was high so that the inhabitants of Jerusalem could always see it. 

Surely it was a point of pride and honor for the Jew to have it to look at. Not to mention that it was understood that it was the place where God dwelt, where He would meet His people.

But Jesus told the disciples that they shouldn’t put their trust in a building. He shared that one day it would all be destroyed.

It is the same with everything else we put our trust in that is based in this world. Structures, organizations, man made objects and ideas will all one day pass away. The things that will remain are spiritual and eternal.

Unfortunately, there will be many people surprised in the last day because they put their faith, trust and hope in temporary things. They looked towards earthly things instead of the spiritual things that last forever.

Application
Where does your hope really lay? Is it in a certain pastor? Is it in a church structure? Is it in a governing party? Is it in Science? Or is it in the one true God, the I Am? 

You’ve always heard, You can’t take it with you.” How true! When we die or Jesus comes back, we won’t turn around and pick up our “stuff” to go. Why would you? All the stuff in this world is junk compared to what Jesus has waiting for you.

You will take your relationship with the Lord. You will take with you your love for Him. You will be with your spiritual family. You will also see the people you shared the Gospel with, who gave their life to the Lord.  These things are eternal. They will last forever. 

Put your hope in eternal things. When was the last time you took time to think about eternity? When was the last time you thought about Heaven and what being there means? Take a moment and think about eternal things. Ask the Lord to help you focus on what is truly important.

Prayer
Lord, thank you for Your goodness and grace. Thank You for helping us to know what is truly important in this world. Help us to be a part of the things that are eternal and help us to share Your Word as we are led by the Holy Spirit.

Peace
Todd

When God Says No

Scripture
Then Balak said to Balaam, “Please come, I will take you to another place; perhaps it will be agreeable with God that you curse them for me from there.”
Numbers 24:27 NASB

Observation
Balak presummed that another view or another location might change the fact that Balaam couldn’t curse the Israelites. Balaam went through this ordeal three times, and all three times, the word was the same.

God isn’t like man. He is loyal to care, support and love His people. The Israelites had His divine protection, and nothing, not another view or different time would change that.

Application
How often do we go to the Lord, hoping He has changed His mind, or will give us another answer?

Like children, we come over and over again, trying to change the mind and decesions of God. But He knows best. He knows what is right for us.

Are you satisfied when God says no? Can you understand that if God says no, it is for a good reason. He sees the future. He knows what will happen. He loves you and knows what is best for you.

There might be a little dissapointment at times because you don’t get what you want. But this fades quickly when you learn to trust and obey Him. As you grow in the Lord, times like these will become less and less.

Prayer
Lord, thank you for times You say no to us. Help us to trust and obey you. Help us to know in our hearts that you have the very best for us always.

Peace
Todd

He Speaks, Your Choice

Scripture
10 “For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.
Jeremiah 29:11 NASB

Observation
God spoke through Jeremiah the Prophet. God spoke specifics through him to the Israelites, the ones in exile in Babylon and the ones still left in Jerusalem. This word that Jeremiah delivered was the basis for Daniel coming up with the 70 weeks and realizing that God would soon return the exiles to Jerusalem.

The problem is that most didn’t believe Jeremiah. After he was proven true so many times, he still wasn’t honored, respected, or listened to. 

People have choices and they are able to live life however they like. But by doing so, they might be living contrary to what God wants. They will have to deal with the consequences of it all. But no one will be able to say that God hasn’t told them what He expected. He makes it plain and clear.

Application
Are you paying attention? Are you truly listening to what God wants for you? Don’t be stubborn and choose the temporary joy of this life over eternal life with Jesus.

Jeremiah walked closely with the Lord. He was obedient! Although he knew he would be mocked and hated and even hurt physically, he still obeyed the Lord. 

Are you walking closely with the Lord? Do you know how to walk closely with the Lord? This is your call. This is your turn to be obedient like Jeremiah. Be strong and full of faith, knowing the temporary setting we live in will fade away and we will one day be with Jesus forever! 

Prayer
Lord, help me to be obedient. Help me to walk in Your ways and to trust in You. Help me to see past the things of this life and look forward to eternity with You.

Peace
Todd

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