Gloriously sick!

“This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” - John 11:4

What Jesus said about sickness is often taken by people to mean that when you are sick, you are sick for the glory of God. God is never glorified by sickness but through it He can be glorified.

If it be true, that God is glorified by sickness, then many more people should become sick so that He may be greatly glorified.

“I become sick so that in going to hospital I may minister and testify to the nursing staff and patients,” someone says. Well, you can go and be a witness in the hospital without getting sick.

Sickness is not the will of God, just like sin is not the will of God. God is not glorified by a person being sinful - sin and sickness are like twins - they go together.  But Jesus forgives all our iniquities and heals all our diseases.  

How can God be glorified by us continuing in our sins or to be continually ill?

The Bible says that the people glorified God when Lazarus came back to life. There was no glorifying of God while he lay in the tomb dead.

God is glorified by our healing and deliverance. Do not allow doubt to rule your mind. If you are sick He is both willing and able to heal you. Trust Him to do it for you and let Him be glorified by your healing today.  

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for making Your will clear in the matter of healing. Forgive me for my doubts and unbelief – I now thank You for my healing, which shall bring you honour and glory.

Beware of Robbers

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.   But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.” - John 10:1-2

The word ‘pastor’ simply means ‘shepherd’. Jesus is our chief shepherd and He has appointed ‘under- shepherds’ to take care of His sheep.

Jesus says He is the door and the only way into the kingdom of God is through Him. A church is like a sheepfold where His sheep can be protected and cared for. The pastor is a shepherd, who knows the sheep by name and leads them to water and grazing. He represents the chief shepherd in caring for the sheep.

There are those who desire to shepherd and fulfill the roll of a pastor but have never come through the door which is the Lord Jesus. These people, warns Jesus, are thieves and robbers. They do not raise their own sheep but steal and rob them from other folds.

It is important that you have a church where you are committed in fellowship, a place you can call your spiritual home, a place where you can grow spiritually, be trained and equipped to do the work of the ministry.

Jesus says He is the good shepherd who gives His life for the sheep.  Pastors who are called of God will be willing to lay down their lives for their congregations.

The church where you surrendered your life to Christ is the place where you need to stay and mature in God. The family you are born into is the family that you are part of. Respect the local church, find your place in it and fill it. Find a need and fill it, find a hurt and heal it. Be a blessing and be willing to submit under those who are shepherds of the sheep.

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for calling me, leading me and bringing me into the safety of a church - a sheepfold where I can be cared for, mature and serve.

How not to Die

“Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” - John 8:51

Jesus again, and again, emphasizes the importance of His words. His words are right from the heart of God and are powerful. By His words the forces of nature were calmed. By His words demons cringed and fled. By His words the dead were energized and brought back to life.

What a privilege we have to have a record of His words in the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. What a privilege we have to be able to go to church each week and hear God’s word preached.

But it is of little benefit if we only hear His word. We have to live it out and become doers to make His words a reality in our daily lives.

Hearing alone will not bring results. It’s like sitting on a beach and hearing a Tsunami warning and being told that a monstrous wave is on its way and that terrible destruction is expected. The warning is useless if you remain on the beach. You have to act on what you hear.

The power of Jesus’ word is awesome. In keeping His word you defy death and stand in its presence unafraid. Death is a universal leveler, it comes to all, young and old, rich and poor. In keeping His word, it is not that you will not die physically, but you shall live eternally in His glorious presence.

Because of His word we never need to live in any kind of fear.

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for Your word, which is spirit and life.   Help me today not only to be a hearer of Your word but also a doer or Your word.

Free Indeed

“Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” - John 8:34-36

The desire of anyone who has been enslaved is to be set free. To be bound and held in captivity is miserable, degrading and depressing. Rev Martin Luther King, the great activist for the African Americans, championed their cause for freedom and equality.

Many who were taken to America as slaves lived in abject poverty and misery. Finally they were free but there was still repression and discrimination.  A long, bloody battle scarred the southern states of America as Black Americans fought for their basic civil rights.

In a memorable speech in Washington in 1962 Rev King said, “…I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Unfortunately civil liberties cannot break the bondage of sin. Jesus compares sin with slavery. When you sin you become a slave to sin, bound by its power.   Trying to break free from its power is seemingly impossible. Sin holds you captive and you are its slave

Jesus was taken captive, falsely accused, whipped, beaten and nailed to a cross.  By His sacrificial death He overcame the devil.

We had been sold into slavery by the sin of Adam and Eve, but Jesus paid the price with His blood to redeem us and set us free. And that is what happened on the cross. The price was paid to buy back from the devil’s control every single person born on planet earth.

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for taking my place on the cross and dying for me. Forgive me and cleanse me from all sin and set me totally free today. Let me never ever become a slave to sin.

Know the Truth

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” - John 8:31-32

Deceit and lies repulse us and we endeavour to steer clear of liars.   Jesus said He is the way, the truth and the light. The Bible says let God be true and every man a liar. They accused Jesus of being a deceiver and a liar, but Jesus emphatically says that He is truth and all that He said was true, but He was continually declared to be a liar by the religious leaders of His day.

To know the Lord Jesus Christ is to know truth and truth sets you free. It is necessary to abide in Him, and in so doing you abide in His word because He and His word are one.

The devil, by his nature is a liar and he is the author of all lies. One of his names is the “Deceiver” and of course, if one believes a lie they will be misled.

Many people chase after other religious experiences, but need to beware that they could be led astray and out of the way of truth.

Following Jesus means accepting everything He said as the ultimate truth. It’s not open for debate.

It is true that He gives those who believe on Him the authority to be the sons of God. It is true that He said He came from God, and is the Son of God. It is true that He came to earth to destroy the works of the devil. It is true when He claimed that after death He would rise again, and ascend back to the Father, and that He will come again.  

He stated the truth when He said no one can come to God except through and by Him. He said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me he will be saved.”

“Those who believe in me” He said, “shall never die”. “I am the resurrection and the light”. 

Never doubt Him for He is the very embodiment of truth.

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for Your love, goodness and grace. Today I trust Your word completely and I know that it will never fail me.

The Light of Life

“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” - John 8:12

Jesus boldly declares Himself to be the light of the world.   Everyone who is not following Him is walking in darkness.

John, the beloved disciple of Jesus said that if we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.

He further said that the person who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Those who love others abide in the light. Without the Lord Jesus as Lord of our lives we are in darkness. To know Him and have Him within you is to be in the light and to have light.

Walking in darkness means that you are in the kingdom of darkness, which is the devil’s domain, and ultimately to be banished from the presence of God forever. 

A blind man sat outside the city of Jericho begging, but when he heard that Jesus was passing by he shouted out, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”

Jesus stopped and the man was brought to him and received his physical sight. If you are in spiritual darkness today, call out to Jesus and He will bring His divine light into your life.

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for this day and all the opportunities it affords me. I choose today to follow You and have You as the light of my life.

If Anyone Thirsts

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

- John 7:37-38

Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit as water. Water is necessary for life. No plant, animal or human being, can live for long without water. It is one of the important essences of existence for us.

God says, “I will pour water on him that is thirsty, I will pour floods on the dry land”. The Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, quenching the spiritual thirst of 120 believers who had been waiting patiently until that glorious moment when they were baptized in the Holy Spirit.

They were waiting, praying and worshipping, drinking at a fountain that never ran dry. Suddenly a river began to flow as they spoke in other tongues. There was an inflow of drinking and then there was an outflow of speaking in other tongues as the Holy Spirit gave utterance.

Those who believe in Him will experience an outflow of new experiences. The Holy Spirit has many gifts and these gifts flow like rivers from an individual who is filled with the Holy Spirit. They flow to bring life, healing and deliverance to others.

Jesus invites you to come to Him and drink. To have your spiritual thirst quenched and satisfied, then in turn, out of you, will flow blessing, joy, and healing to many.

The Dead Sea in Israel has an inflow from the river Jordan but there is no outflow and the result is that there is no life in the Dead Sea. That’s why the Christian lifestyle involves continual giving because the more we give out; the more God fills us again.

Dear Father in the name of the Lord Jesus I thank You for the Holy Spirit who has come to help me, empower me, lead me and make me a blessing to others. Let the rivers of living waters flow through me.

The Will of God

“This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

- John 6:39-40

When Jesus began His earthly ministry He called 12 men to follow Him. He taught them by word and example and they became His disciples. They, in turn, were sent by Jesus into the world to make disciples of all nations.

There would be many who would see Jesus in them and believe in Him and receive everlasting life. The promise of the Lord Jesus is that He will lose none of those given to Him, but will raise them up at the last day.

Those given to Him are those who, convicted and drawn by the Holy Spirit, respond and come to Him, experiencing the new birth. They belong to Christ, having been purchased by Him through His precious blood.

The only way Jesus can be seen in the world is in those who are His followers. Jesus said, “Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father”. Likewise, anyone who sees a follower of the Lord Jesus should see Jesus Christ.

Are you His and is He yours? Be sure that there is this union between Him and you today and that you walk in the spirit of humility and love, reflecting the nature of Jesus.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus to take my place on the cross and die for my sins. Thank You that I manifest the fruit of the spirit in my daily life so people will see Jesus and be drawn to Him.

The Dead will Hear

“Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live…do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice…” - John 5:25, 28

 When Jesus came face to face with death He merely spoke a word and the dead responded and came alive, for He is the resurrection and the life. When He stood at the grave of Lazarus He said “Lazarus come forth” and he came out bound with grave clothes after being dead for four days. He said to the little girl who had died “arise” and she blinked her eyes and came back to life.

The people, naturally, were amazed and glorified God. He stopped a funeral procession on their way to bury the son of a widow and raised him back to life. The dead heard His voice and came back to life.

Jesus said all the dead would respond to His voice at a given hour. Paul, the apostle, said that the hour is coming when Jesus will return with “the shout of the archangel and the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ will arise first and we, who are alive, will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air”. His voice will be heard by all the dead when He says “come forth.”   

There is an order established for the resurrection from the dead. First it will be those in Christ who are born again, and then later everyone, who has died outside of Christ, They will all appear before Him to be judged according to their deeds done in the flesh while here on earth.  

Those who are in Christ will not appear at this great judgement but will appear before Him, to be judged and rewarded, prior to the final reckoning of those not saved.

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for Your faithfulness, goodness and mercy and for Your blessing that is new every morning. Help me continually to be very sensitive to Your voice and to live in obedience to Your will.

The Thirst-quencher

“Whosoever drinks of this water will thirst again. But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” – John 4:13, 14.

A German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer observed something in the 1800’s that was to become a common affliction of the rich in the celebrity-crazed world we now live in. He wrote, “Wealth is like seawater; the more we drink, the thirstier we become; and the same is true of fame.”

Jesus, of course, recognized this unquenchable thirst that man has when he spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well. The woman thought that Jesus was just talking about ordinary water from the well. Yes, it would quench a natural, physical thirst, but Jesus used it as a powerful spiritual analogy.

Many believe that fame and fortune will bring everlasting satisfaction. But as so many have found all the money, cars, planes and yachts still don’t bring the peace of mind that people desire.

People bury themselves in their work, hoping that “job contentment” will bring the contentment they long for. But somehow it eludes them.

The fact is that inside all human beings is a spiritual “switch”. The wave of new religions and so-called alternative life styles are all part of humanities quest to find happiness and complete fulfillment. The happiness may last for a while, but eventually it wears off and the search for satisfaction and contentment starts again.

Jesus offers the solution. Drink of the spiritual waters of the new birth and the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the spiritual switch flips on.

Materialism blinds many people and often stifles the growth of Christians. Allow the word of God to saturate your life. The promise of Jesus is that with the quickening of the Holy Spirit it will become “a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

Dear Father I thank You for the authority of Your word to guide me and to strengthen me to meet every challenge that I may have to face this day.

 

Look and Live

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life”. - John 3:14-15

Jesus relates the incident in the life of the people of Israel when many were dying of snake-bites. A plague of venomous snakes had invaded the camp. Moses asked God for a solution to this deadly invasion of snakes. God instructed him to make a snake from brass and lift it up on a pole in the midst of the people, and whoever merely looked at that brass serpent would be healed. This was their salvation from the plague.

Jesus predicts that He, like the brass serpent, will be lifted up and whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. The serpent is a symbol of a curse, for it was the devil in the form of a serpent who first beguiled man to sin and brought mankind, the earth, its vegetation and the animal kingdom under a curse.  

Humanity is under the curse of sin, sickness, disease, poverty and spiritual death. Jesus, on the cross, became a curse for all who are under the curse that whoever believes in Him may be free from the curse.

You cannot look to religion, a particular church or individual, for salvation from the consequences of sin – the bite of the devil. There is only one solution, “look and live”- look to Jesus, He is the way, the truth and the life. His death, on the cross, paid the full price for our deliverance for body, soul and spirit.

In the days of Moses a simple look saved a person from physical death. A look at Jesus on the cross and believing in Him saves you eternally. Never take your eyes off Jesus nor focus your attention on circumstances, people or things that will distract you from serving Him.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your provision of love by Jesus being lifted up on the cross for my salvation. I truly believe with all my heart that He is my Saviour and He guides me in my daily walk.

Born Again

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God…do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”. - John 3:3, 7

Nicodemus, a Pharisee, who was a prominent leader among the religious Jews, came to Jesus late at night and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, we know you’re a teacher from God, because if you were not, then you could not perform the miracles that you do if God was not with you.

Jesus then gave him a private theology lesson on the way salvation would be appropriated by people.

He explained that you cannot see the kingdom of God, or enter it, unless you are born again. In fact, it is imperative.  You may ask, “Why must I be born again?” Naturally thinking, the question is, how? “Can I enter a second time into my mother’s womb and be born again?”  What is this new birth? How does it happen?

To explain Jesus referred to the action of the wind upon the trees. You can see the effect of the wind, you can feel the effect, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes and “so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

There is this mysterious, miraculous, operation of the Holy Spirit upon an individual who truly repents and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. He is born again miraculously through the power of the Holy Spirit. A newly created person takes shape within, which is formed by something you can’t see or touch – the Spirit.  Your spirit becomes a living spirit. There is a new nature, the nature of Christ which is imparted to you by the Holy Spirit.

Because of Adam’s sin in the beginning, mankind, as a whole, received a sinful nature. When you are born again you receive the nature of Christ. There is a change of life-style when Jesus comes into your life and you are born again.

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for making the new birth possible by Your obedience to die for me. I believe, with all my heart that you are Lord. I renounce the devil and all his works and submit to You. Create in me Your spirit that I may live according to Your will and that the Word of God will be my guide

The Promise

“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” - Luke. 24:49

  Before Jesus finally ascended to the Father and to heaven He said He would send something of great importance to His followers. This Promise is the Holy Spirit. He is not an impersonal force or power but a Divine Person with all the attributes of God. He is the One who convicts and draws us to Jesus, making us conscious of our need to become a child of God.

He is the One who changes us and makes us understand who God is when we become born again. This change of heart and direction is brought about by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In becoming this new creation you receive eternal life and you are justified before God. When you receive the Promise of the Father you receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the creator so when you accept Jesus into your life “He” the Person of the Holy Spirit will come and live within your body permanently. 

The disciples, in obedience to the Lord Jesus, went to Jerusalem, prayed and worshipped God for a period of ten days.

Then on the day of Pentecost while they were praying in an upper room there was a sound of a rushing wind and the Promise of the Father came in the form of tongues of fire upon each one, and they all began to speak in languages that they had never learned before. This was the evidence that the Holy Spirit had come, not only upon them, but had come to reside within them.

When you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, pray that the Holy Spirit will come upon you and within you, so that you can resist the devil. Secondly, that He may be our teacher, guide and comforter. Thirdly, that we may be empowered to be a testimony and fourthly, that Jesus and the Father may be real in our spirits.

Have you received the Holy Spirit since you became a believer?

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your promises. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I yield to the Holy Spirit and His influence in my life today, in Jesus name.

Jesus is Alive

“Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your heart? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Handle me, and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” - Luke 24:38

The disciples of the Lord Jesus were frightened by the appearance of Jesus after His death. He had risen from the dead and they thought that it was a spirit that now appeared to them and felt troubled and in doubt. Jesus shows them His hands and His feet that bore the marks and imprints of the nails, which were used to impale Him, to the cross. “See” He says, it is I, a spirit does not have flesh and bones as I have.

Why be in doubt about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus? Upon this fact the entire structure of Christianity either stands or falls. This is the corner stone of the Christian faith. Take the resurrection of Jesus away and there is no hope beyond the grave. Christianity is but another pointless philosophy, preachers are false and deceivers.  

Jesus came back from the dead and we shall all be raised from the dead, but everyone in their own order. In Adam, the first man, all die, but in Christ, all live.

Because He lives, we who have been born again shall also live and our bodies will be the same as Jesus. We shall have immortal, incorruptible bodies and we shall be like Him and live with Him throughout eternity. We shall always be reminded of His sacrifice on Calvary by the prints of the nails in His hands and His feet.

Dear heavenly Father, I do believe that you rose from the dead and once again I am reminded of the wonderful fact of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and because You live I shall live forever.  Thank you today for this glorious assurance.

A Thief in Paradise

 

“Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” - Luke 23:43

Jesus was crucified and put to death, with two criminals on each side of Him. One of them joined the mocking crowd in his ridicule by saying to Jesus, “If you are the Christ bring yourself down from the cross and save us also”.

The other thief, however, saw something more in Jesus than just being a fellow thief or criminal who had been sentenced to death. He looked beyond the blood-soaked body, the matted hair and swollen face. Although crowned with a crown of thorns he saw a king, and asked, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.”

Just a simple prayer brought immediate forgiveness and assurance to the thief.  Paradise was the place where all the saints of the Old Testament went upon death. Jesus referred to it as a place of comfort where they would be in Abraham’s bosom.

When Jesus died He first descended and then ascended far above principalities, powers and rulers of darkness. He went to Paradise with the thief upon death and He took those who were there out of captivity and with them ascended to where Paradise is now located in the third heaven.

Paul, the apostle, says in II Corinthians 12 that he was taken to Paradise in the third heaven and saw and heard things that were indescribable. Paradise or heaven as we call it now, heaven, is located above the atmospheric heavens, the stellar heaven. The third heaven, where no astronomer has ever probed, is where the throne of God is, and all those who have been cleansed and redeemed through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and myriads of angels.

Jesus said to the thief “today” not someday. The moment of death ushers you into the portals of heaven – if you have received Jesus.  If you have not done so yet don’t put it off another moment.

Dear heavenly Father, I know without You I am lost, but in and through the Lord Jesus I can be saved, forgiven and have eternal life. I receive Your forgiveness and cleansing through the blood of the Lord Jesus. Help me today to be a living witness to the love of God. 

The Best Insurance

“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” - Luke 21:36

Jesus prophesied and predicted that the time preceding His coming again would be a time of awful calamities. Paul, the Apostle, wrote, “Perilous times would come.” Many other prophecies warn of wars, rumours of wars, nation fighting against nation, earthquakes, plagues, with signs in the heavens.

Watching the television news and reading the newspapers, we realize that these are happening around us already. Jesus is urging us to keep our attention on Him.

In uncertain times we need to be watchful and prayerful. Yes, we have our daily tasks, looking after families, holding down a job and handling the unexpected things that happen, but in all of this keep Jesus first in your heart and mind.  

God says, in Psalm 91, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.’ Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from, the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings you shall take refuge.”

 “His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night nor of the arrow that flies by day. Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High your dwelling place. No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways in their hands. They shall bear you up lest you dash your foot against a stone…”

Now, that is an insurance policy that no earthly broker could ever offer you!

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the promises in Your Word.  Help me to intimately abide in You and know the safety and security of Your daily presence to comfort, care and protect me and my loved ones, in Jesus name.

Your House Guest

“Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”

– Luke 19:5

Imagine if you met the Lord Jesus in the street and He asked to come home with you to your house. Would you be comfortable if Jesus sat in your lounge and started to read your magazines? Would you have to hide some things from Him?

How would you speak to your spouse? How would you respond to your children? Would your behavior be the same?

Sometimes we live our lives as though the Lord does not see everything that goes on in our homes, in our private lives, in the office, or when we are on holiday.

Become more God conscious and you will be surprised how some of your behavior will change. Just imagine Jesus at your side when you are about to shout at your children. Would Jesus handle the matter by losing His cool?

Our behavior is so important in the home when we have young children. They are easily impressed and if parents fail to be the light that they should be it can become a stumbling block to the children.

You don’t have to be perfect because none of us are, but be real. When you do slip up and say or do something that is “unchristian” confess it and explain to the children that your reaction was not right. That kind of role model will bear much more fruit than putting on a hypocritical mask.

Dear Father, thank You for being in my life. Help me to live in Your presence, knowing that You walk with me each day of my life. Thank You for being my guide and my protector.

A Good Steward

“Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house, or parents, or brothers, or wife, or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive, many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.” - Luke 18:29-30

The importance of the kingdom of God cannot be overstated. We are to seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and life’s necessities will be added to us. We are not encouraged to seek things first and then the Kingdom of God.

This kingdom has a place above material things, such as houses and land. It has an emotional attraction, which, in our lives, should be above, deeper and closer, than our affections for our loved ones.

That may sound hard at first. Our family, as important as they are to us, should not be held so tightly that they have priority above the kingdom of God.

In being willing to leave all that is near and dear to us in this life for the sake of the kingdom of God will result in receiving much more, both in this life, and also in the age to come.

We tend to hold tightly to material things, but if we saw ourselves rather as stewards of material things, then we would not allow them to take a hold over us. A steward is someone entrusted to look after another’s possessions. That’s the way we should see ourselves in regard to the material blessings that we receive. They all belong to God.

The kingdom of God is too important to allow our securities, such as houses or family ties to push it out of focus into an inferior position.  We do not lose by placing the kingdom of God first - we gain much, much more.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the joy and privilege of being in Your kingdom and serving You, in Jesus name.

Mission Impossible

“The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

-  Luke 18:27

We know that there is nothing that is impossible to God. He can do anything He chooses to do. He is the creator and upholder of all things by and through His word.  His abilities and resources are unlimited.

Humanity, on the other hand, is limited in natural abilities and resources. Nevertheless, when we consider what can be achieved by man it is amazing.

People could never have believed that one day men would walk on the moon and that huge jet planes would fly thousands of people across the earth each day. The wheel was once considered the peak of all inventions and must still rank somewhere in the top list, but the greatest modern invention is the electronic chip.

This brilliant invention has enabled man to build mini computers and a host of electronic devices that were impossible 50 years ago. The advances in the electronics field have been breathtaking.

We have cell phones that are as powerful as a computer that used to fill a room a few decades ago.

Finding a cure for cancer or AIDS is still impossible for medical science. But it is not impossible with God.   When Israel faced the Red sea they were in despair. But God made a way. When the disciples didn’t know what to do with five loaves and a couple of fish, Jesus multiplied them to feed a few thousand hungry people.

Man stands limited in certain situations and concludes that his predicament is impossible.

But no believer should ever conclude that about their situation, no matter how bad because we serve a God of the impossible.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your love, grace and faithfulness. I surrender myself, and my will to Your word. Help my unbelief and let my faith increase as I submit to the authority of Your word. I believe that nothing is impossible today, in Jesus name.

 

Don’t be Two-Faced

“But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.” - Matthew 23:5

The word from Jesus today is one of warning against hypocrisy.   The example set by religious leaders of His day was one to be seen and heard by others. Their works were done to draw attention to themselves and to show off their so-called piety to others. Their religious practices were extreme and exaggerated, all with the purpose of exalting themselves. It was a boastful attitude of self-righteousness; “look at me, look how good and righteous I am, I am fulfilling all the requirements of the law”. It was all an attempt to show off to others how good they were.  

Listen to Jesus today and take note of the fact that He looks at the heart “for as a man thinks in his heart so is he”. Make sure that what you do is not just to be seen by others and to receive the praises of others. Are you a man pleaser or a God pleaser? Why am I doing what I do? Is it merely to draw attention to myself and does it show how religious I am or does it bring praise to the Lord Jesus Christ? Just professing Christianity is not enough to merit eternal life and a place in heaven.

There must be a change of heart that will show itself in a life style that exemplifies the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. “For if any man is in Christ he is a new creature, old things have passed away and all things have become new.” 

 Dear Father in heaven hallowed be Your name, may Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. May Your life of purity and holiness be seen in me today and may my works show forth Your love and goodness, in Jesus’ Name.