Archive | November 2019

Jeremiah 29:7 ” Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you will prosper.”

Everyone wants to live a successful, satisfied, and secure life…but what if yours is anything but.  Maybe you’re unhappy in your workplace with a overbearing Boss and back-stabbing co-workers?  Have you ever considered praying for them?  I Timothy 2:1-2 tells us to pray for all of those in authority over us that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  Your intercessory prayers can change the atmosphere at work, and they can change people’s attitudes…yours included.  Are you unhappy in your marriage or with family relationships?  Would you be willing to start praying on behalf of those who are causing you pain right now?  For again, your prayers can change situations, family dynamics, and bring peace into those difficult relationships.  Because anytime we start praying for someone, our perspective changes about them…for we take on God’s view, not ours.

Acts 8:4 ” Those who had been scattered preached the Word wherever they went.”

The early Church was forced to disperse after the stoning of Stephen, “for on that day a great persecution broke out against the Church at Jerusalem.” (Acts 8:1)  Because they no longer had the support and encouragement of the Body of Believers around them they could of given up, gone into hiding, and denied their faith…but they didn’t.  For it tells us in this verse that wherever they went they declared the Word of the Lord to those around them.  They refused to allow persecution to silence them, and instead became Itinerant Evangelists sharing the Good News of Jesus.

Proverbs 12:1 ” Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.”

The Writer of this proverb was pretty blunt…if you’re opposed to God’s correction in your life, you’re dumb!  We know that God disciplines those He loves (Proverbs 3:12), but until we can realize it’s for our benefit not detriment…we’ll continue to rebel against  His correction.  Proverbs 9:9 says, ” Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.”   Greater wisdom and understanding can only be found in the “education” of God’s discipline.

Mark 6:7 ” Calling the Twelve to Him, He sent them out two by two…”

In another Chapter of the Gospels, Jesus appointed seventy-two others and sent them out two by two ahead of Him to every town and place He was about to go. (Luke 10:1)  But why did Jesus send them out in pairs?  There are several places in the Old Testament that speak to the need for at least two witnesses with mutually confirming stories in order for a man to be put to death. (Deuteronomy 17:6 & Deuteronomy 19:5)  So the first reason was accountability and responsibility.  The second reason was protection.  In Billy Graham’s autobiography, “Just As I Am”, he talks about the Modesto Manifesto, or the Billy Graham Rule…and I quote, ” We all knew of evangelists who had fallen into immorality while separated from their families by travel.  We pledged among ourselves to avoid any situation that would have even the appearance of compromise or suspicion.  From that day on, I didn’t travel, meet, or eat alone with a woman other than my wife.  We determined that the Apostle Paul’s mandate to the young Pastor Timothy would be ours as well.” (II Timothy 1:22)    Dr. Graham determined to always have a chaperone with him, not just for propriety but for his moral protection… and history goes on to show us a world changing ministry that was at all times above reproach.

Isaiah 42:6 ” I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand.”

Elsewhere in Isaiah we find, “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)  God will never call you without first making a way.  He will never choose you for a specific work without equipping you with everything you need prior.  Finally, God will always take into consideration and use your strengths…your gifts, talents, passions, and heart.   In other words, God uses the very best of who you are to further His Kingdom.  So never shy away from what God is calling you to do…for in His eyes, you are the very best person for the job!

I Corinthians 15: 13-14 ” If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”

The foundation of Christian faith is this, “We believe that Jesus died and rose again…” (I Thessalonians 4:14)  But stop and think about this for a minute.  How absurd does this really sound?  You actually believe that Jesus was crucified, died on a cross, was buried…but 3 days later rose from that grave alive?   How delusional can you be?  And if you do truly believe this “fairy-tale”, you must be living in a fantasy-world!   But this is exactly how the world views the Gospel Message…some far-fetched implausible story.  Except, within this story is something that all of mankind is constantly searching for… peace, hope, and freedom from guilt and shame.  For the resurrection of Christ is the basis of our hope as Believers, and it is only by our faith that we are set free from the penalty of sin and death.

Ezekiel 33:7 ” Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from Me.”

It was not unusual for God to speak to Old Testament prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Ezekiel… by beginning His warning with, ” Stand up and speak to the people.”  That’s what the job of the watchmen was all about…to keep guard and then to lift their voices when danger approached.  Fast forward to today.  As a follower of Christ, do you realize you too are a watchman to this broken world?  The Lord has called you to stand up and speak to the lost, warning them of the impending danger if they continue to ignore Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation.