Day 49: 50 Days of Impact

Ever put together something with instructions in hand. Do you read them or do you let your pride take over and try to go at it without? Or maybe you skim over and only take our what you feel is necessary to get the job done. Doing things out of sequence will never result in a properly assembled piece of furniture.

Many have done the same in their approach to faith in Jesus, and Christianity. The think they know what to do yet they are missing a vital step. Some believe that if they do enough good things then Jesus will accept them. Others, all I need to do is call out to Jesus, give him my life, then go on living however I want.

 

“Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works.”

James 2:26 NLT

 

Faith must come first. Good deeds come as a result of faith. Because of the gift of God, life, we want to share that with others. Like a plant who grows and gives off seeds can only do so if it is first alive. A dead plant can’t give off seed.

 

There are faith groups that believe if you do enough good you will cancel out the bad, which may or may not depending on the gods mood on the issue get you to the afterlife. There is no hope that doing good will actually get you where you need to go, but it couldn’t hurt were doing good right?

 

As believers in Jesus we don’t need to do good works to get to heaven. The reason we do good works is because we are going to heaven, it is an outpouring of gratitude for what we have been given. We desire to share the hope and joy that we have been given to all mankind.

 

What are we doing to express our faith to the world? I might also add good works without prayer is like trying to drive your car without any gasoline. You don’t get far, not very effective. Might look nice on the outside but no oomph to keep going the distance.

 

So, have you accepted Jesus as your saviour? Have faith in his everlasting promise of life? Then are you doing good works? If not then you need to find a church that will use you. Ask them how God can use you in the church. You are important and play a special role in reaching lost people. Be an effective Christian. Being a Christian isn’t only about accepting Christ, it is about changing your life and moving toward in a relationship with him. Repentance is about doing a 180 degree turn and leaving the areas that will bring you back into sin. And one sure fire way to keep on track is getting involved in kingdom work.

 

Jesus, if any readers aren’t active in kingdom work I pray today that you will put a burning passion on their heart to get involved. Show them an area where they can be used, however it may be. Bring them in to not only strengthen their faith but to provide them with the joy of doing good works. We know there is no retired or reserve Christians. We are all to be active in reaching the lost. Holy Spirit encourage us daily to be working towards this goal. Amen

 

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Day 48: 50 Days of Impact

“I love it when a plan comes together” is a well know A-Team quote. I imagine that this is something God might be thinking sometimes. Think of Joseph, Ester or even Jesus. Many factors try to subvert the plan of God, the enemy wants nothing more then for it to succeed. But the plans of God are here for good and those types of plans will always prevail. God isn’t surprised when things happen, I believe he has all variables thought out and has a firm grasp on what outcomes will happen.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

 

This passage was written when Israel was being held captive by Babylon and God promised to free the from their oppression. Their sin had placed them in captivity, their disobedience and idolatry. When reading the bible, you get the imagery of the Israelites trust God only for a season at a time as they needed Him, but when the threat was over they were like “we got this” and started to do things in their own strength again forgetting who brought them there.

 

It was never the ultimate plan for the Israelite’s to be taken, yet they chose to sin and ignore God’s laws he had given them. This cycle kept leading them into trouble.

 

We were held captive by our sin. God made a plan that was for good. Jesus was the answer to the captivity of sin. There is a future and hope for all those who choose Jesus and follow God’s plan of salvation. We like the Israelites get into cycles of telling God “we got this”. It is in those times that we get sent back into times of trouble.

 

God has so much more for you. If only we could listen to Him when He tells us I have so much more for you if you would trust me, in the good times and the bad. I want to use your passions and your abilities to reach the world with my love.

 

People need to hear of this plan. Have you told anyone about it? Have you invited anyone to church to hear about it? Let’s start today and change the world one person at a time. You can be an instrument of change. You can impact your world.

 

Jesus, your plan is a good one. Your path to walk is the right one. This cycle of trusting you and trusting myself needs to stop, I will trust you in all that I do. Help me to follow you with excitement to share this truth with others. Holy Spirit create in me a clean heart and pour into me daily so I can reach others. They matter to you and they matter to me. Amen

 

 

Day 47: 50 Days of Impact

How many movies have we seen where the heroes run into a room and barricade the door in hopes to stop whatever is on the outside from getting in. After a while and things settle down someone gently knocks on the door and they then have to move all the items they put in the way to verify who is waiting on the other side. We have put up a barricade in our lives, but Jesus is on the other side asking you to open the door to the truth and life he brings.

 

 

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”

Revelation 3:20 NLT

 

I believe Jesus is knocking on the hearts of every human being on earth. His desire is that none shall perish. So why is it that so many people ignore the knocking? I think that 1) they just honestly don’t know who is on the other side. Or 2) they have placed so much junk in front of the door that they just can’t hear the knock anymore.

 

Some people just are living in such isolation that they never have heard the message of Jesus. Others have grown up in a home where God was not spoken of so although they aren’t isolated from other people, they were separated from the truth intentionally or unintentionally. Many have been grown up with other beliefs that don’t point towards Jesus and have bought into something that doesn’t lead to God the Father. Yet others just plain refuse to accept that God even exists. They will fight to tell you but will not take the time to even investigate for themselves.

 

We can’t just kick down their door and let Jesus into their lives. We need to build relationships to let these people know that it is Jesus on the other side calmly and patiently waiting for them to open their lives to him. We can work with them to help move aside the junk they have put in front of the door to block or defend what is on the other side, as they have been misinformed by the enemy that Jesus just wants to take their fun away.

 

We know that isn’t the case. Jesus wants to bring life. Who doesn’t want life? They matter to Jesus, that’s why he is knocking, they matter to us so we should be letting them know whose there.

 

Jesus, help me to show others who is on the other side of the door. Keep my eyes open for opportunities to build relationships to share your love. Let me be strategic in my witnessing and be an encouragement to those around me. They matter to me. Amen

 

 

Day 46: 50 Days of Impact

I had the privilege of seeing Ted DiBiase “The Million Dollar Man” this weekend where he was speaking to a group of men. One point he made was that “We are judged by our obedience and our hearts.” This is so true and fits into todays blog as it is our obedience in being the light and our hearts response to the light that brings us to a relationship with Him. Many will claim to be in the light yet live in the darkness, many are attending your churches.

 

“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So, we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.”

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

 

Are you living in the light? Are you fellowshipping with other believers? Only on Sunday’s? Do you talk about Jesus outside of church with anyone? Believers or non-believers?

 

We need to be the light, we need to share the light. Jesus said what good are we if we are the light but hide in a bucket? We need to be on a hill, a beacon for those around us to see. We need to be set apart, different. We are all unique in our personalities, which is awesome. Being like Jesus and the light does not change that, it enhances who we are and displays a change in behaviours, attitudes towards certain activities that are contradictory to the light.

 

Don’t hide what you are lighting up. Don’t purposefully be putting yourself into situations which will cause you to sin. Our earthly bodies are still prone to sin and it will happen but remember Jesus promised to cleanse us of our daily transgressions. He will restore us to be the lights we are called to be.

 

We need to share the love of Jesus to those around us, the matter to him so they matter to us. Let us be the light to them.

 

Maybe today your heart isn’t where it should be, or that you never truly had a relationship with God. Jesus is the only way to a relationship with God. Asking him to clean your sin up, removing it completely, committing yourself to following him. Then asking him to help you do a 180 in your life and start living in the light. Find some Christians who will hold you to account, they will guide and mentor you. I encourage you to not delay and make a choice to follow Christ today.

 

Jesus, I want to be the light you have called me to be. Holly Spirit let me burn ever brighter as to reach the people around me. Even at the points where I am just doing my job at work, I want to be someone whose integrity and compassion for people shines through. Burn in my heart that they matter to you so they should matter to me. Amen

 

 

Day 45: 50 Days of Impact

Don’t be fooled. There is a choice to make in this life. Don’t let anyone try to convince you that there are many roads to God. In fact, the truth is there are many roads to hell. But there is only on way to God. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the light. ANYONE who wants to come to the Father (God) MUST come through ME.” If we want to impact our world with the truth then we must be telling the truth, sharing the truth and confronting the lies. It may feel uncomfortable, it may put you into strange situations, you may get persecuted, but when you stand up for the truth of Jesus you will see lives changed.

 

 

““Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.

 

You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life.””

Deuteronomy 30:15-16, 20 NLT

 

Even back in the Old Testament God desire was for us to have a relationship with him. We always had a choice to make. Follow his commands and live a righteous life. In the New Testament Jesus provides a new way to have a relationship with God through him. He made the ultimate sacrifice creating the way for us to meet God.

 

But we must make the choice. We as believers keep making choices in our life. We choose to keep following or let go. We choose to be active in our faith or be lazy. We choose to share our faith or keep it to ourselves.

 

We are shown in the verse today that if we choose to walk in the ways of God we will prosper. I wonder how many of us are in the situations we are because we have chosen are ways over Gods ways?

 

I see so many hurting and lost people that are torn up inside, the ones I am thinking of are the mentally broken, they keep looking to man and medication to fix the brokenness inside, yet don’t realize that Jesus can change them from the inside. But the must make the choice to ask him. This is not always instant fix thought. I can’t explain why believers can choose Christ and not be freed from there anguish, or are hurting mentally and physically. Paul talked about an ailment he kept asking to be cured of, but it didn’t happen. Trials and testing are part of the Christian walk. Maybe we endure these so we can connect with people who are lost with similar situations. Only God knows his plan.

 

I ask you today to firmly commit yourself to Jesus, trust his ways what ever they many be. Wake up each morning with a desire to ask the Holy Spirit ‘What can we do together today.’

 

Jesus, we need to make a choice to follow you and to daily continue to follow you. Thank you for giving us the freedom to make the choice. Let us be a light to those around us who are making unwise choices. Help those who are hurting mentally, depressed and reliving memories of past hurt. Let us see the world through your eyes and remember they matter to you so they matter to us. Amen

 

 

Day 44: 50 Days of Impact

In his last hours of his life Jesus continued to make an impact on those around him. He didn’t make excuses or complain on what was happening to him. We see the same compassion for those who needed forgiveness right up to his last breath. Jesus embodied the mission, and he calls us to do the same.

 

“Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.””

Luke 23:42-43 NLT

 

“In times of trouble, may the LORD answer your cry. May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.”

Psalms 20:1 NLT

 

 

Picture this, Jesus, beaten by the Romans, mocked by the Jews, his friends had left him, and now he is hanging on the cross. Now to top it off as he is hanging their, the two criminals next to him start talking. One openly mocks Jesus. This criminal who is sharing the same penalty as Jesus, who deserved his fate, was mocking Jesus who was innocent. The other criminal goes to defend Jesus. He knows something is going on and eagerly and openly defends Jesus the innocent.

 

When he finishes rebuking the other criminal, he turns his attention to the one he was defending. This criminal may have had the importance of Jesus revealed to him either by the Holy Spirit, or maybe he had heard Jesus talking earlier in his life. We won’t know exactly what compelled him to ask the dying man next to him to remember him in heaven.

 

But an awesome reminder of Jesus forgiving power is displayed here on the cross. This criminal called out to Jesus, and Jesus didn’t ignore him, he didn’t make him say a prayer, he didn’t make an altar call, he answered his cry. This displays the awesome forgiveness of Jesus. King David wrote that the lord answers are cries in times of trouble. This criminal may have remembered this as he hung on his cross and knew of the psalm as a child, but for whatever reason he cried out to Jesus to remember him, the point to remember is that Jesus answered his cry.

 

So today those around us who are hurting, dying, depressed, out of work, angry, they all need Jesus. He is right there waiting for them to cry out to him. It is never to late for someone to come to Jesus.

 

Dear Jesus, I need to keep sharing your love with those around me. Help me this very day to invite friends, coworkers and family to experience the love of Jesus. Give me the boldness to invite people to church this Sunday. Let your messages all over this world from in the hearts of those who may only attend church once or twice a year. Break hearts and change lives this weekend. Amen

 

Day 43: 50 Days of Impact

Do you know anyone who has the power to help others but doesn’t seem to? Sure, it is easy for us to look at someone else and critique how they do things, but we don’t always see the full picture nor do we know what they may be doing in secret to help others. What about you? What are you doing to help others? It is not always about money, it may be the time you spend with the little old widow two doors down that receives no visitors. Maybe you notice something that needs to be done across the street, and instead of complaining about it you did something to fix it. Making an impact with our neighbors is as simple as following Jesus command to ‘love your neighbor’

 

“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.” Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you.”

Proverbs 3:27-29 NLT

 

You must have heard the phrase don’t put off till tomorrow what you could do today? It continues that tomorrow never comes. If you can, help you neighbour now and if it causes you to be late for something then be a good neighbour and help. Being late normally won’t be a problem, call and let whomever know your running late. Don’t let opportunities pass you by because you’re in a hurry to always be somewhere.

 

Intentionally set time aside each day for Gods work. You want to be know in you community as a man or woman of integrity, willing to help if needed, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to talk to and someone who genuinely cares. But if you don’t get out of your house and meet your neighbours then they will never know.

 

That is my personal. I need to be a better neighbour. I need to meet my neighbours, I need to care for my neighbours. Why? Because they matter to God so they matter to me.

 

Father, show us how to be better neighbours. Helping those in need and shining the light of your love in our communities, let us be salty enough that they crave what we have, let us connect so we can be effective. Thank you Father for putting us where we are and show us how we can be effective. Let us not be so busy as to miss opportunities to share your love. Amen.