Thoughts on Day 36: One of my favourite quotes that I like to use is ” You can’t soar with eagles when you’re hanging with turkeys.” Unknown. Eagles were made to soar high and be a majestic bird, powerful, something to be noticed. Turkeys, on the other hand, stay low to the ground, nothing special about them except how tasty they are. You become a product of your environment, where you invest your time and efforts is what you will become. As a believer, if you spend all your time with non-believers don’t expect your spiritual life to flourish. I am not saying to cut yourself off from the world as a believer, that would be foolishness to recommend, what I do suggest is that how you spend your time is where you need to seriously look at. Who is influencing who?
They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. (1 Peter 4:4 NIV)
After work, your co-workers invite you out for a drink, or the boys want you to come to the strip club, you respectfully decline but you know that they are surprised you won’t join them.
If you haven’t seen favouritism for the ones who join the boss for a sociable after work then you’re lucky. They work hard and play harder and if you don’t join in you’re a lame duck who doesn’t know how to unwind.
It frustrates me because I see the destruction that lifestyle is to them, I see the scars left behind. But unless they are ready to hear it, they won’t accept your views on the subject.
We are told to stand apart, not to be like the world, and in doing so we will be mocked by it. Persecution comes in many forms.
Today’s challenge is to flee from evil. Don’t get sucked into reckless things that lead to the path of destruction, praying for those who would really take you there as well.
Dear Jesus, we all know someone who always us asking us to do something contradictory to our faith. Give us the strength to stand apart and continually refuse the temptation to join our friend into sin. Help us to be a light to them and to be there for them so when they need a fall apart and all others turn their back on them, we will be there to help them pick up the pieces and lead them to the healer. Amen
Thoughts on Day 35: Having a child or loved one walk away from their upbringing is heartbreaking. To invest your time and love into them and show them the truth and love only God can bring and see them turn it down can almost be a slap in the face to how you raised them. What did I do wrong? The answer is simply this, nothing. Every human must make a choice themselves what path they choose in life. As parents we are entrusted for a small about of time, maybe 1/5th of their life to introduce them to who we are, what we believe and our moral standards. But at one point they will have to make these choices on their own. What you invested into their lives we pray becomes the foundation of who they are.
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV)
I would think this scripture would be in the top ten for most parents. It is one that gives hope as a vast majority of children these days walk away from the church at the first opportunity. Why if the child really had an experience with his/her maker would they walk away? Why, why, why?
I have a couple theories,
1) the world is an easy tempter of pleasure,
2) a child leaves home and a circle of believers and moves to a place and doesn’t join another for either lack of trying or maybe a hard time joining a group,
3) influence of girl or boyfriend, and friends.
Don’t be discouraged if your child has walked away. God has not forgotten them even if they seem to have forgotten Him. Keep praying that God will reveal Himself to them daily, through His creation and by bringing people into their path showing the love of Christ. Don’t give up on you Child, God hasn’t, and the Holy Spirit is working on them daily.
Dear Jesus, if we have a child who has walk away from You and are living a life we would call sinful we ask You to bring them back. Holy Spirit send people into their lives to show them the love of Jesus, remind them of the creator. Give us a peace that You know what you’re doing in this situation and no matter how long it takes we won’t give up on our loved ones until they have come back to Jesus. Amen
Thoughts of Day 34: Some faith groups have taken today’s verse out of context and concluded that to be saved you must confess your sins to a clergy who then can offer forgiveness for your misgivings. He or she then gives you something to do or say that will compensate for the sins you have committed. As we learn today this isn’t the point of what was written many years ago. Confessions of sins is something we can bring right to Jesus, and leave it at his feet and he will forgive us every time as he has paid it all on the cross.
17 March 15
Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. Elijah, for instance, human just like us, prayed hard that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t-not a drop for three and a half years. Then he prayed that it would rain, and it did. The showers came and everything started growing again. (James 5:16-18 MSG)
So do you have someone or multiple people in your life that you can confess your sins with?
Well according to James 5:16 this should be common place in your life.
Why not? Why do we keep our confessions of sin only between us and God? Why would we need to confess our sins to fellow believers?
One reason I believe is that if we confess our sins to others we create a bond of accountability. It allows our close friends to hold us accountable for our actions in the future calling us out on sin. For example, if you confess to your friends that your looking at web sites that are inappropriate and ask for forgiveness from Jesus, then they should step in and hold you accountable, whether it’s giving them permission to search your browser history at random or just being there to help you out.
You can’t live the Christian life alone, you need a church family, you need a bible study group, you need accountability partners. Jesus had his group of friends he trusted, and they learned to trust each other.
Dear Jesus, show me who my close friends are, the ones who believe in You and I can trust to be accountable to. Help me to lay any sins before them in humility asking for their help in avoiding them in the future. If I am living a life full of sinful desires I pray that you will forgive me of my sin and help me to walk with you. Thank you that your word encourages accountability and not a solo life as a Christian. Amen
Thoughts on Day 33: Marketing our faith has seemingly become the standard these days. One must have a spin to convince people to attend your particular church or event. This may catch the odd few, but what is the heart behind your mission? Is your mission to reach the lost or have the latest and greatest ministry? I wonder if Jesus was around today what his slogan for his ministry would be? Would he even have one?
16 March 15
“Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honour to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege. (Matthew 7:6 MSG)
WWJD, P.U.S.H., Jesus Freak, Jesus take the wheel, I could list many other slogans that have come around through the years, but the question I have is do people flock to these because they were cute or because they lead people to Christ. I mean if Nike hadn’t taken “Just Do It” would that not fit our desire for unbelievers to come to Christ?
Now I am not saying the slogans above were wrong, but at some point, they were all over merchandised because someone somewhere knew there was money in these statements. Now, these slogans are just catch phrases that don’t carry much weight and are used by unbelievers as much as believers but thrown around flippant in humour or distaste.
We as believers need to focus on what the bible says, what Jesus taught us and following His call for us to make disciples. I see us teaching someone WWJD, but failing to take the time to show them in the scripture what Jesus actually did, expecting a new believer to just know. Not what we were called to do, we are called to make disciples, we are not supposed to lead them to Christ and walk away. We can’t teach them Pray Until Something Happens but not take the time to show them what the Holy word says about prayer and the examples of God answering prayer. How can we expect them to be a Jesus freak when we don’t show them what it means to love Jesus so much that you would be willing to die for Him?
Slogans work great for a season, but the word of God lasts forever. I don’t expect to see slogan t-shirts in heaven. So, don’t get caught up in the latest Christian slogan, focus on what God wrote for us. Just do it.
Dear Jesus, help us to focus on Your teaching and calling for us. To make disciples is our desire. It is to easy to be caught up in the next Christian hype, but Jesus we want Your kingdom to grow and that none shall perish. Help us to get that embedded into our hearts. Thank You for giving us a guide on how to live. Amen
Thoughts on Day 32: We become a people who will eat anything? Remember there was the group of confused people a few years back who we know use the phrase “drinking the kool-aid” or the reality shows that encouraged contestants to eat weird and gross food for money? If you are told something should taste right over and over again you will start to think it really does taste good. If you were to truly take the time to understand what you’re digesting you may have second thoughts.
Of course, I am not really talking about food, but the reality is we have in general starting accepting things that really aren’t healthy for our world. Until we wake up and accept that the truth of Jesus love and sacrifice we can only expect it to get worse.
16 March 15
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat. (Matthew 5:6 MSG)
I mean who likes to eat, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a good meal. We work hard preparing and cooking the best meals for our friends and family. We wouldn’t serve just anything, would we? Ever come to the table, sit down to what looks and smells amazing, but you have a hard time eating because you spent the afternoon eating junk food? You were busy all afternoon satisfying your body’s craving for sugar, not anticipating what was going to be on the table for supper.
This is what we do to ourselves every time we come into Gods presence. Whether it be on Sunday’s, small groups or your own devotional time. We fill our space between these times with sugary treats that provide enjoyment to our bodies and then when we come for substance that God provides we aren’t that hungry for His awesome meal that He has prepared.
Today’s challenge is to put down some of your “sugary treats” and start getting hungry for “God’s meal” that He has prepared for you. Don’t be satisfied for things that won’t satisfy.
Dear Jesus, grow a hunger in us for the food You provide. Show us that the things we feed ourselves though enjoyable in the moment may be poisoning us in the long run. Your food is pure and will give us the necessary energy and nourishment we need to survive each day. Thank you for this. Amen
Thought on Day 31: This day reminds me of Francis Chans Video on the Rope. We think our ropes are really short, but the rope (life) is an eternity, we just don’t see past our daily lives and our dreams. When we open our eyes to see that there is more to life we can understand the importance of telling others about Jesus.
15 March 16
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. (Matthew 5:3 MSG)
This seems like a contradiction compared to how we throw around the phrase end of our rope. Jesus saw it as a teaching tool, to tell us that when we feel like this that God is there to help us out. That although we see our rope at its end we don’t see that the rope is longer than we would ever know and God has a firm grip on it all. We don’t see how much He is helping us with our problems.
Dear Jesus, help us to trust that the end of our rope isn’t anywhere near the end of the rope You are holding with us. Don’t let go, cause without You, things will pull us around. Thank You for being with me every step of the way. Amen.