Saturday, February 28, 2015

To Love is to Obey

In fact, this is love for God:  to keep his commands.  And his commands are not burdensome. 

1 John 5:3


We demonstrate our love for our Savior and LORD by being obedient to His calling and His commands.  Are you walking in obedience to your LORD?  We are blessed to have God's Word to lead, guide, and direct our walk of obedience.  God did not leave us in the dark.  Be intentional about reading God's Word and allowing Him to direct your walk of obedience.  Prayerfully ask God to open your eyes and reveal wondrous things from His Holy Word.  Psalm 119:18 - Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. 


God clearly tells us in His Word that His commands are not burdensome.  His commands are not heavy in weight, severe, or cruel.  God never places upon us a burdensome or a grievous load of legalism.  Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light - Matthew 11:28-30.  Dallas Willard once stated, "One of the lies about the spiritual life is that it is hard.  No, no.  It is not hard.  It is the easy way.  What's hard is the other way, and that is what you see when you look at the world." 


If we love God, we will obey Him.  God will provide us the strength and the ability to walk in obedience.  Philippians 4:13 - I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  The power we receive in union with Jesus Christ is sufficient to do His will.  Prayerfully ask Jesus to help you walk in obedience to His will and His ways.  We are incapable of walking in obedience in our own strength.  Call upon Jesus.  His grace is sufficient.  My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me - 2 Corinthians 12:9. 


Choose today to walk in complete obedience to Almighty God.  If we love God, we will desire to demonstrate our love through our obedience.  Choose today to live as Jesus lived.  Obey God's teaching found in His Holy Word and follow Jesus Christ's example of complete obedience to God.  1 John 2:5-6 - But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them.  This is how we know we are in him.  Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 


Run in the path of God's commands today.  Psalm 119:32 - I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free. 


Dear Heavenly Father, we desire to walk in Your will and Your ways.  We love You.  Help us to walk in obedience to Your calling upon our lives.  Lead and guide us as we read and study Your Holy Word.  Allow us to hear Your Word clearly.  In Jesus Name I Pray.....Amen.





Saturday, February 21, 2015

Steadfast Faith

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.  1 Corinthians 15:58

How do we remain steadfast in our faith?  A study of Scripture reveals many that remained steadfast in their faith.  They endured faithfully.  They had a heavenly perspective and we must do the same.  Turn your eyes toward heaven and acknowledge that Jesus Christ has won the ultimate victory.  We must continue to serve the LORD faithfully, even when we do not see good results from our efforts.  Continue to serve your Savior and LORD with a steadfast faith in the work He has called you to do.  Any and everything we do for our Savior and LORD will have eternal results. 

Scripture reveals Noah exhibited steadfast faith.  God commanded Noah to build a huge boat in the middle of dry land and although God’s command seemed foolish to the human eye, Noah chose to obey God.  He experienced taunts and rejection from his neighbors but remained steadfast in his calling by Almighty God.  Your obedience to God’s will make other’s disobedience to God stand out.  You may even face taunts and rejection as Noah did but remain steadfast and allow God to empower you to carry out the calling He has placed upon your life. 

In Daniel 3 we read about three men, when faced with being thrown into a blazing furnace they remained steadfast in their faith.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego committed to serve no other gods other than the One True God.  They were pressured to deny God but remained steadfast in their faith.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego chose to remain faithful regardless of the consequences.  If we (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” – Daniel 3:17-18.  Choose today to remain steadfast in your faith no matter the consequences.  The eternal rewards will be worth any suffering we may endure upon this earth. 

In the Book of Genesis we read about Joseph and how he remained steadfast in his faith even though his life was filled with difficult circumstances and events.  Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and eventually sold again to the official of the Pharaoh of Egypt.  He was accused of committing a crime he did not commit and placed in prison.  Because of Joseph’s steadfast faith in Almighty God, he was given a top-ranking position in Egypt that eventually saved the lives of his family.  Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.”  When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt!  And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you”- Genesis 45: 4-5.  Joseph remained steadfast in his faith even when his brothers attempted to get rid of him.  God used the evil actions of Joseph’s brothers to fulfill His ultimate plan.  Joseph came to realize that God had sent him to Egypt, to at a later time, save the lives of his family, the people of Egypt, and to prepare the way for the beginning of the nation of Israel.  Will you choose to be like Joseph and remain steadfast in your faith, even under difficult circumstances?  With empowerment from Almighty God, we will be able to remain steadfast in our faith. 

In 2 Timothy 4:7-8  we read these words written by Paul – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.  As Paul neared the end of his life, he could confidently say that he had been faithful to his call.  My prayer is that we too will be able to say we have been faithful to the call our LORD has placed upon our life.  Continue to walk steadfast in the faith. 

Dear Heavenly Father, enable us to walk in steadfast faith.  Thank You for the calling You have placed upon our lives.  Fill us sweet Jesus with everlasting faith.  In Jesus Name I Pray…..Amen.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Embrace Your Place

Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them…..1 Corinthians 7:17

God has called us to a mighty work.  As His children, we are called to carry the Gospel Message to those we meet each and every day.  Reflect a moment on the place where Almighty God has placed you.  Have you embraced your place?  Are you serving your LORD with gladness and in His power and His strength?  God has equipped each of us to serve him in a specific place for a specific season.  There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens – Ecclesiastes 3:1.  To live at peace in the place God has assigned us, we must come to accept and appreciate God’s timing.  If we choose not to embrace our place and accept God’s perfect timing, we might fall into despair and choose rebellion by stepping out of our assigned place.   It is time for us to stop comparing the work our LORD has called us to with the work of other Christians.  God has a unique position only you can fill.  I encourage you today to embrace your place. 

God chooses where He places us.  He is always preparing us for the future and for future service.  If we choose not to fully embrace our place and the molding from the hand of our Father, we will not be prepared to step into future service which our LORD has specifically planned for us.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do – Ephesians 2:10.  Author Christine Caine states in her book Unstoppable, “To embrace your place means that wherever you are in life, no matter what season you are in or what circumstances you face, you see yourself as an important member of God’s divine relay, and you accept and do God’s will today in light of his plan for all eternity.” 

As children of Almighty God, we are members of the body of Christ.  Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it – 1 Corinthians 12:27.  You and I are the visible representation of an invisible God to our family, our friends, our neighbors, and the world.  Are you representing your Savior and LORD well?  Do others see Jesus Christ in your life?  The place where you currently are serving might be difficult but we are still called to be faithful to our calling, and to do that we must embrace our place.  We must remember God has a specific purpose and place for us to serve and often it is for a season.  Seasons change and God will move us in His perfect timing.  If we leave our place - our position - before God moves us, we forfeit many blessings from our Heavenly Father.  We must also remember God is always preparing us for our next assignment, our next season.  Embrace your place.  Stay faithful in your pursuit of Almighty God an allow Him to work in and through you. 

You are not here in this place and at this time by accident.  Embrace your place and choose to give God your time, your gifts, your resources, and your talents and He will use them to have an impact on this world.  No matter your place, when you surrender to Almighty God you will impact this lost and dying world.  Embrace your place and allow God to prepare you and train you for your next season, your next place.  Our here and now is God’s preparation for our future.  Remain faithful, committed, and loyal to your Savior and LORD even when you can’t see the outcome.  Often God will require our obedience before our understanding.  Choose to be obedient to Almighty God today.  Trust God, because His timing is perfect. 

Dear Heavenly Father, help us to embrace our place.  Lead and guide us to be faithful servants.  LORD we recognize life is brief, help us to impact our world in a godly way.  In Jesus Name I Pray…..Amen. 


Saturday, February 7, 2015

LORD - Listen, Forgive, Hear, and Act

Lord, listen!  Lord, forgive!  Lord, hear and act!  For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.  Daniel 9:19

Daniel 9 gives us a glimpse of Daniel pleading with God to bring about the promised return of the Israelites to their homeland.  The Israelites had been taken captive by the Babylonians nearly 70 years before.  Daniel knew from the study of Scripture that this time of captivity was drawing to an end.  He knew of the prophecy spoken by Jeremiah that God would deliver his people from captivity at the end of a 70 year period.  This whole country (Israel) will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years – Jeremiah 25:11. 

Daniel gives us a beautiful picture of prayer.  In Daniel 9:4-19, we see Daniel praying completely surrendered to his LORD.  He prayed with complete openness asking for forgiveness of his sins, as well as the sins of the people.  The captives from Judah had rebelled against God and because of their rebellion they were given over to captivity.  Daniel 9:4-6 – I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed:  Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong.  We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.  We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land.  When we plead with our LORD for forgiveness of our sins, our God is merciful.  When we confess our sin and return to God and His ways, He is merciful and forgiving.  God desired for His people, the Israelites to return to Him.  When we stray from our Savior and LORD, He desires for our return to Him and His righteous ways. 

God had sent many prophets to speak to His people through the years but they chose to ignore their message and continued to live in disobedience.  Many today are choosing to ignore God’s message.  God speaks to us clearly and accurately through His Holy Word.  We must take the time to listen to God’s message before our disobedience leads us into captivity. 

It is very clear as we read Daniel’s prayer that he was greatly concerned for his nation and his people.  Daniel begged for mercy from Almighty God.  You and I must take our prayers about our nation and the people of our nation to the throne of God.  Our nation has turned away from God.  We must pray for mercy and pray that we become a nation that looks to Almighty God for salvation.  Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of our servant.  For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary.  Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name.  We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy – Daniel 9:17-18

Dear Heavenly Father, we approach Your throne of grace asking for mercy upon our nation.  We have turned from You, LORD.  Forgive us of the many sins we have committed.  I pray that we will look to You for salvation and leadership.  In Jesus Name I Pray…..Amen.