Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Prone to Wander

My people are determined to turn from me.  Even though they call me God Most High, I will by no means exalt them.  Hosea 11:7

What is it that makes a brother or sister in Christ, prone to wander?  Why do we wander away from our Savior and LORD, the one who gave His life to save our souls?  Study throughout Scripture and we see times when the Israelites wandered far from God.  There was no faithfulness to their Heavenly Father, no love or acknowledgement of Almighty God and His faithfulness towards them.  Hosea 4:1 - Hear the word of the LORD, you Israelites, because the LORD has charge to bring against you who live in the land:  There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land.  We too, when we wander, lack faith and love towards our Savior and LORD.  

Often when we become satisfied in what we have obtained and accomplished, we might find ourselves wandering from our LORD.  We begin to think that what we have obtained, what we have accomplished, is all because of what we have done.  We choose not to acknowledge our LORD as the giver of all good things.  James 1:17 - Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  We often forget it is God who has given us the blessing of accomplishment.  Let's guard our heart from pride and acknowledge all the blessings our LORD has bestowed upon us. 

We wander from our Savior and LORD when we look to others for approval or acceptance.  We wander from God when we seek to find our identity in our jobs or relationships.  The Israelites wandered away from their true identity - people chosen and loved by Almighty God.  They turned to idols to try to gain an identity.  Prayerfully search your heart.  Where are you trying to gain your identity?  If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and LORD, you are a child of Almighty God.  You are chosen and loved by Him; that my friend is your true identity.  When we wander away from our Savior and LORD, we wonder who we are.  Our identity will never be found in this world and worldly things.  Turn to Almighty God and allow Him to reveal to you your true identify. 

We wander from our Savior and LORD when we allow the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life to consume our heart and mind.  When our focus is on the lust of the flesh, we become consumed with gratifying our physical desires.  Our thoughts are far from our LORD.  We become a very selfish person.  Our world revolves around us. 
We wander from God when our primary focus is on accumulating things.  We are bowing to the god of materialism.  The things we own become our idols.  We begin to worship our things other than the only One worthy of worship - Almighty God.  The lust of the eyes will carry us down a dangerous road far away from God where we are attempting to gain contentment and satisfaction in things that were never meant to provide us with contentment and satisfaction. 

We wander from our Savior and LORD when we become obsessed with our status or our importance.  Pride is sneaky.  It will sneak into our hearts before we realize what has taken place.  Our daily prayer must be for Almighty God to guard our hearts from the pride of life. 

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life will cause us to wander away from the Savior of our souls.  1 John 2:16 - For everything in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - comes not from the Father but from the world. 

Let us remember, we are chosen and loved by Almighty God.  Jesus Christ shed His precious blood to save our souls.  Prayerfully ask Him to help you be aware of times when you are prone to wander.  Stay in a close intimate relationship with your Savior and LORD.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the beautiful gift of salvation.  Forgive us LORD because we are prone to wander.  Help us to always seek You through prayer and the study of Your Holy Word.  In Jesus Name I Pray.....Amen.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Poor Man Becomes Rich

Do not be overawed when others grow rich, when the splendor of their houses increases;  for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendor will not descend with them.  
Psalm 49:16-17

Many people think they are rich.  They consider themselves wealthy because they have money to spare and possessions that others envy.  They are considered rich in the eyes of the world.  But if they have no relationship with Jesus Christ, they are poor.  Money and possessions will have no baring on where a person will spend eternity.  A person's money and possessions will not follow them into eternity.  1 Timothy 6:7 - For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 

Zacchaeus was a man who had great wealth - "he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy" - Luke 19:2.  He was a chief tax collector who worked for the Roman government and gained his wealth by gouging the Jews.  He was a Jew by birth and chose to work for Rome and thus he was considered a traitor.  But on this day this traitor, this rich man despised by many, heard that Jesus was passing through Jericho.  Scripture tells us Zacchaeus wanted to see who Jesus was but because he was short he could not see over the crowd.  So what did he do?  He climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see Jesus.  What are we willing to do to get a better glimpse of Jesus? 

Zacchaeus considered himself wealthy and by the worlds standards, he was wealthy.   By Almighty God's standards he was poor - a lost soul without a personal relationship with Jesus headed to an eternal hell.  On this day Zacchaeus truly became rich.  Jesus called out to Him.  Luke 19:5 - When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately, I must stay at your house today."  Jesus is calling out to many today seeking to save their souls.  God desires all to be saved.  He sent His Son to save sinners.  1 Timothy 2:3-4 - This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 

No one is outside of God's grace and mercy and beyond the reach of His offer of salvation.  Zacchaeus was wealthy and was considered a cheater, but Jesus loved Him.  Jesus called out to Him, and on this day the life of Zacchaeus forever changed.  He accepted the precious gift of salvation that Jesus offered.  Luke 19:9-10 - Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." 

In our world, certain groups of people are considered beneath others - untouchable.  The cause of this could be their political views, their immoral behavior, or their lifestyle.  Then there are others we may consider above us because of their financial wealth or their status in life.  We must remember that Jesus loves them, all people, and desires us to carry the Gospel Message to their lost souls.  Regardless of a person's background or their previous way of life, Jesus loves them and desires to save their soul.  We must take our God given responsibility seriously and take the Good News - the Gospel Message to the world. 

On this day Zacchaeus truly became rich. 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the free gift of salvation.  I pray that no matter the earthly status of others, we as Christians willingly share with them the Gospel Message.  Help the lost world to see that they need a Savior and that You Jesus are standing their with open arms.  In Jesus Name I pray.....Amen

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Our Friends Need Jesus

Actions, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends.
  George Washington

What are we doing to bring our friends to Jesus?  We can't make our friends accept Jesus as their Savior and LORD, but we can do much with our words and through our actions to introduce them to the love of Christ.  As Christians, we must look for opportunities to bring our friends to the living Christ.

In Luke 5:17-26, we read about a group of friends that had a great desire to bring their ill friend to Jesus.  These friends knew that Jesus completely changed the lives of those He met.  A relationship with Jesus Christ is life changing.  These men were determined to bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus.  They carried him to the roof top of a house, tore apart the tiles, and lowered him into the presence of Jesus.  When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus - Luke 5:19.  What persistence and concern they had for their friend.  How fortunate this man was to have friends that ministered to his needs and had a great desire to bring him to Jesus. 

We have lost friends and family members.  How are we ministering to them and leading them to Jesus Christ?  He is truly our only hope.  1 Peter 1:3-4 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.  This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.  Maybe you had friends who led you to Jesus.  Thank Almighty God for blessing you with friends who cared about your spiritual condition.  We need to have an urgency about us in regards to bring our friends and family members to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. 

We notice in Scripture that these friends had faith that Jesus would heal their paralyzed friend.  They had faith in Jesus Christ.  Luke 5:20 - When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgive."  In addition, their love for their ill friend united these men to work together to bring him to Jesus.  They did not allow the crowd at the door to discourage them.  It is a sad situation when people stand in the way of others who want to meet Jesus Christ.  Let's never allow ourselves to be a stumbling block to those coming to meet Jesus. 

On this day, Jesus healed the mans physical body but also the man received spiritual healing.  His sins were forgiven, his soul was saved. 

We are living in the last days.  We do not know when Christ will say, "Come home my child."  Let's be concerned for our friends and for their eternal souls.  Bring your friends to Jesus. 

Dear Heavenly Father, place in our hearts an urgency to bring our friends to Jesus.  Guide us in our actions and our words, Father.  I pray we never become a stumbling block to those without Christ.  In Jesus Name I Pray.....Amen.