Glorify God • Magnify Him in this World!

God’s Interests

Scripture
But after turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but on man’s.”
Mark 8:33 NET

Observation
Peter had just shared a great revelation about Jesus, that He was the Messiah. But when Jesus mentioned that He would have to die, Peter took Him aside and rebuked Him.

Jesus responded by calling him Satan and telling him to get behind Him.

What a contrast! In a few verses Peter goes from being used by the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus’ identity to being rebuked.

Why?

Because Peter started looking at things from an Earthly or man’s perspective.

We often tend to do that, look at spiritual things from an Earthly perspective. But we shouldn’t.

God’s ways are not our ways. We might have a good idea of how something should play out, but God sees beyond our feeble minds. He is all knowing and all powerful. He has no limits. He created everything.

He knows how things will play out. He knows their purposes. He sees it all! What we need to do is trust Him.

Are you trusting that God has you right now? Commit yourself to Jesus and His ways and let Him guide you. He already knows the outcome.

Application
To understand what the Lord has for you, you need to know Him well.

Trusting Him without fully committing yourself to Him or His ways is not what Jesus had in mind.

You know Him because you spend time with Him. You know His ways because you have read His Word. You understand where He is taking you because you are led by the Holy Spirit.

The more you press into the Jesus, the closer you are to Him. It is that simple.

Don’t get caught by the thinking that you can be Earthly minded and spiritually minded at the same time. They are not compatible. One is focused on this world, the other is focused on eternity.

Prayer
Lord, thank You that I have an opportunity to know this world and eternity. Thank You that I chose Heaven, because that is where You are.

Peace
Todd

In the Midst of Your…

Scripture
“For Israel and Judah will not be forsaken by their God, the Lord who rules over all. For the land of Babylonia is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel.
Jeremiah 51:5 NET

Observation
Jeremiah, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote a long list of prophecies against surrounding nation’s during the time leading up to the Babylonian exile.

One of these nation’s that would be judged was Babylon itself. The Jews would be exiled there because of their disobedience, but later, God would judge the nation of Babylon too.

In all of the discipline, anxiety and fear, God still wanted the Jews to know that He was with them. He wanted them to know that He was still paying attention. He wanted them to know that He still had a plan.

Your situation might look bleak. It might look like there is no end in sight. It might look desperate. But in the middle of your situation, remember that God doesn’t forsake His people. He won’t leave you alone!

But He does want you to depend and trust in Him. He does want you to live an obedient life based on His Word. He does want you to accept Salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ.

In the midst of whatever you are going through, turn to Him!

Application
It is not very easy to snap back to the things of God when you are going through a difficult time if you are not already walking close to Him.

When you do have a close relationship with the Lord, your heart and mind are in tune with His will. You more easily go to Him for help.

Remember, Jesus didn’t promise us a trouble free life. He did promise that He would never leave us or forsake us (Matt.28:20). He did promise that He would send us the Holy Spirit.

You have all the spiritual blessings in the heavenlies (Eph.1). So stay in His Presence so you realize they are yours for this life here and now.

Prayer
Lord, thank You that You are always with me. I pray that I never allow anything to be more important than You.

Peace
Todd

What Is Your Response?

Scripture
22 To the weak I became weak in order to gain the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that by all means I may save some. 23 I do all these things because of the gospel, so that I can be a participant in it.
1 Corinthians 9:22-23 NET

Observation
As a Christian, you have a responsibility to share the Gospel. Paul took his responsibility so seriously that he didn’t want anything to hinder someone hearing the message and being saved.

So he was willing to forgo what he wanted, even things that he could expect, so that others would come to salvation in Christ.

Do we think like that? Or do we assert our rights? Do we ask others to conform to us? Or do we meet them where they are at?

The issue here is eternity in Heaven or Hell.

How do you respond if God wants to interrupt your day or put you in a certain situation, maybe even one you’re uncomfortable with, to share the Gospel?

Application
When we stay sensitive to the Holy Spirit, because we are spending time in His Presence, we are more willing to respond to the needs of others for the Gospel. We are more willing to go out of our way and be disruppted for His cause.

When we get caught up in the things of this world, we have a harder time identifying the things of God because we are giving our thoughts and heart to worldly things.

This translates to the spreading of the Gospel and divine appointments the Lord might have for you.

Don’t be so busy or focused on the world that you are no use to the Father.

Prayer
Lord, help me to stay sensitive to Your Word and calling. Help me to stay sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Help me to win souls for You.

Peace
Todd

One Day

Scripture
Certainly spending just one day in your temple courts is better than spending a thousand elsewhere. I would rather stand at the entrance to the temple of my God than live in the tents of the wicked.
Psalms 84:10 NET

Observation
There is no comparison to the real Presence of God! Nothing in this world even comes close!

Imagine what it was like for someone to travel to the first tabernacle or enter the first temple that Solomon made. They were beautiful, adorned, organized with specific places and locations where ministry was performed.

But you had to travel there!

If this was the system today, you would have to get in a plane and travel to Jerusalem to worship in the temple.

But today, you can be in the Presence of God anywhere at anytime! When you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit comes and makes His home in you. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit according to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

So then, there is no excuse, spend time with God today! Spend time with God right now!

Learn like the Psalmist that there is no other place you would rather be than in the Presence of God.

When you truly experience the Presence of God, there is no comparison.

Application
Spending time with God is hard for many. Sometimes, prayer seems to get old and reading the Bible, especially if you’re reading a section that is hard to get through, can seem unfruitful.

But you can’t rely on feelings when you are operating in the spiritual.

Although God has given us feelings, they are very subjective. God is not like feelings. He is constant. He never changes.

So, His Presence never changes either. Getting there should be a high priority for us, because there we find help in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Spend time in His Presence daily. Stay in His Presence through the power of the Holy Spirit. There is no other way to live.

Prayer
Lord, let me find my joy in Your Presence. Help me to desire it more than anything else.

Peace
Todd

Are You Looking Forward to the Resurrection?

Scripture
35 But those who are regarded as worthy to share in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 In fact, they can no longer die, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, since they are sons of the resurrection.
Luke 20:35-36 NET

Observation
Heaven is a great place. The Book of Revelation describes it (Chpt.21). But there is a prerequisite to get in, you have to be found worthy.

And that’s the rub… You will never be worthy, not ever! So, you really have two options…

1). Live your life anyway you want to in this age and at the end of your life, be found unworthy. Then, you will go to Hell. Hell is a real place, an eternal place of torment prepared for the devil and his angels. You don’t want to go there!

2). Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and live for Him now in this age. At the end of your life, you will be found worthy, not because of anything you did, but because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Heaven is a real place too, prepared by Jesus for His people.

The real issue is one of worthiness. Are you worthy to enter into eternal life? You can’t do it on your own merit. Just one sin takes you out of the running. You need Jesus’ blood to cover all your sins.

This is the most important decision that you will make…ever! Your decision has eternal consequences.

Give your heart to Jesus today and start living for Him!

Application
What role does the Christian play in sharing the Gospel? Plenty!

Not only are we supposed to share the Gospel message with others, we are supposed to live it out in front of others.

If you found something so great that it changed your life, you would want to share it with everyone!

Look around you for ways that the Lord will want you to share your faith. He is always working around you and there are always opportunities. You just need to ask Him to open your eyes.

At the very least, live your life in a way that glorifies Him so others can see Christ in you.

Prayer
Lord, help me to see opportunities to share the Gospel. Help me to live my life worthy of the life you have given me.

Peace
Todd

But Give Me Jesus

Scripture
4 The Lord told Jeremiah, “Tell Baruch, ‘The Lord says, “I am about to tear down what I have built and to uproot what I have planted. I will do this throughout the whole earth. 5 Are you looking for great things for yourself? Do not look for such things. For I, the Lord, affirm that I am about to bring disaster on all humanity. But I will allow you to escape with your life wherever you go.”’”
Jeremiah 45:4-5 NET

Observation
Baruch was Jeremiah’s assistant or secretary. The poor guy had to write down all the words of doom and destruction that God gave Jeremiah.

Hearing all of that can probably be pretty depressing, even if you are the secretary to the prophet of God.

But Baruch apparently wasn’t just taking to heart what he was writing down. Apparently, he wanted something more for himself, something greater. Here, Jeremiah gives him a message from the Lord directly, which he still happened to write down.

God told him that he would experience the destruction of Jerusalem, but he would still survive and be able to go where he wanted.

When it is all said and done, what is important to you? Are you only happy with all the trappings of life, or is your relationship with God the most important thing?

Someday, this world, all its riches and glory will fade away. But Jesus will always stay the same. And those who have made Him Lord, will be there with Him.

“Take the world but give me Jesus.”

Application
When your life is so wrapped up in this world and the desires of this world that Jesus isn’t first, you have a problem.

You have a bigger problem if you use your relationship with Jesus to gain those earthly desires in some way.

You have to trust Him! You have to trust Jesus more than anything! You need to know that if everything in your world fell apart, that you still have EVERYTHING because you still have Jesus!

Draw close to Him today and everyday.

Prayer
Lord, help me keep my eyes on You. When I am overwhelmed and frail, help me to find comfort and rest in You. I trust You Lord with my life.

Peace
Todd

Not Afraid

Scripture
And he said to them, “Why are you cowardly? Do you still not have faith?”
Mark 4:40 NET

Observation
The wind and waves raged as the disciples, some of them expert fisherman who knew their way around boats and the sea, panicked and were afraid for their lives.

Where was Jesus? He was asleep in the boat.

How could He be asleep at a desperate time like this?

He knew who He was, what He was supposed to do and where He was headed.

Jesus knew He was the Son of God. He knew His purpose and what the Father wanted from His life. And He knew that when everything was said and done, He would go back to Heaven.

What about You?

Are you a child of God? Really?

Do you know what God has called you to? Really?

When it is all said and done, and this life is over, do you know where you are going? Really?

Take care of this today… so you won’t be afraid.

Application
Although Jesus was the Son of God, He spent time with the Father in prayer. This is where it all happens!

This is where we build that relationship and where our confidence in who He is, is found.

You don’t have to live in fear! God has a plan for you and it is better than you can imagine! Draw close to Him and you will know it for yourself.

Prayer
Lord, thank You for regular times when I can spend with You. Show me Your ways that I might walk obediently to You.

Peace
Todd

New Dough

Scripture
But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person.
1 Corinthians 5:11 NET

Observation
We often hear the saying, “don’t judge.” In fact, Paul says in verse 13 that God will judge those outside the body of Christ. But inside the body of Christ, Paul states that we should separate ourselves, which requires a judgement call.

Why?

We are to live holy lives. Holy means separated to Him.

Prior to this verse, Paul admonished the Corinthian Church to “clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch of dough.”

Yeast was always looked at as sin. Paul was saying get rid of the sin in you and around you.

This is purposeful, because leaving a little yeast (sin), will affect the whole dough. A little sin has a way of multiplying and affecting your relationship with God.

And that’s what it is all about…how important is your relationship with God? Hopefully more important than anything this world has to offer.

Application
This is really hard. But it is a must!

It is hard because you are deliberately moving away from people you know and care about, because they have chosen to allow blatant sin in their life.

The hope is that by not interacting with them, they feel convicted and repent and get right with God.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. In today’s modern world, they just go to another church and find “new” Christian friends.

But your responsibility is clear. Talk to them. Share the Word with them. Pray for them. But if they choose to continue in their sin, remove yourself.

Don’t allow sin to hover around you.

Prayer
Lord, help me to stand for You. In this world where sin runs rampant, help me to honor You with my life.

Peace
Todd

His Presence

Scripture
We give thanks to you, O God! We give thanks! You reveal your presence; people tell about your amazing deeds.
Psalms 75:1 NET

Observation
God the Father reveals Himself to us. He can be known. He wants to be known because He wants a relationship with His children.

When you draw close to Him, you get to see all of His greatness. You are reminded that He is amazing and there is none like Him.

Those who don’t know God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, truly miss out in this life and the next.

He wants to show you His goodness and grace here, as well as in eternity. Nothing compares to knowing Him.

Take some time with the Lord, just to talk to Him like you would a friend. Check you heart, mind and spirit afterwards to see if you’re not in a better place.

You can’t not be in a better place after spending time with Him.

Application
The Lord loves you and wants to spend time with you. He will make Himself known to you.

But it’s not just to give you a warm fuzzy feeling. He does so to change you. He does so, so you can live a holy life, given over to Him.

When you truly get a taste of His Presence, you don’t want anything else. Everything else is junk!

Practice His Presence and see what happens in Your life.

Prayer
Lord, all my desire, all I want is You. Help me to draw closer to You everyday.

Peace
Todd

He Deals With It

Scripture
But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to be king over us!’
Luke 19:14 NET

Observation
In the parable of the Ten Minas or coins, the nobleman leaves his country to receive the kingship of his country. It’s kind of weird because we don’t usually see something like that.

But the Scripture says that people from his country followed him and said they didn’t want him to be king.

The nobleman didn’t do anything at that point. He becomes king, goes back to his country and deals with his servants and the coins.

However, at the end of the parable, verse 27, he calls for these citizens to be slaughtered for opposing his rule.

This is a picture of what will happen on the last day!

Jesus has been made King, not from people on Earth, but from Heaven. He will come back to reward His servants, the ones who did His will. He will then deal severely with those who rejected His rule.

It’s all right there.

Where do you fall in all of it?

Application
There are two things to apply here.

One, are you accepting the rule of Jesus Christ? Have you truly submitted your life and heart and live obediently to His Word? This is the most important.

Second, are you walking in His will? He has a plan for you, just like the servants. He wants to bless you! Don’t sit around wasting time. Seek His will.

Prayer
Lord, thank You that I’m found counted as Yours. Reveal to me Your will so I can serve You fully.

Peace
Todd