46: 50 Days of 3:16

Peter in writing his letters did not water down the faith and what each and every believer was responsible to do. This made it frustrating for those who wanted the express version of faith. They didn’t want to take the time to study his letters and see how they should apply it, they wanted the three easy steps. They would twist his words to satisfy their own version of Christianity.

 

He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

2 Peter 3:16

 

The bible is clear about not twisting the words to satisfy our own version of Christianity. Yet even today there are people doing just that. It can be confusing to a new believer or someone exploring faith to run into two men telling them that they are Christians, yet their beliefs are not based on the teachings of Jesus. In truth, Jesus isn’t even close to the centre of their faith. I wish I could say all those who have done this are outside the Christian faith, but there are those inside who are teaching things that contradict the bible. The prosperity gospel is one message that is out there that many believers get caught up in. Yes, God will bless you and takes care of you, but we were never called to work towards being rich. If this was so would have not Judas been a more prominent disciple as his desire was riches? Jesus downplayed money and its importance in the life of a believer. He promoted character building over material wealth.

 

As followers of Christ, I encourage you to take hold of what you hear and read from others in the faith. Challenge what you are inputting into your life against the Holy Scriptures. Is what you are listening to following the truths that the Apostles wrote about, does it align with what Jesus taught? If we take the time to examine the sermon of the Sunday past during the week it will help cement the teaching and confirm what they were teaching is the truth. We tend to treat Sunday sermons like fast food, eat it and think nothing else of it. But if we think of it as fine dining, which we truly enjoy we would be talking about it for days about how good it was. How many of you can remember what was talked about last Sunday at your church?

Take some time and study scripture, it is okay if some things are hard to understand. Ask God to reveal what it means through the Holy Spirit. He is there to be the wisdom you need. Find someone in the faith who will guide you in your questions. We do not have to go through the Christian walk along, nor should we.

 

Father, thank you for the Scriptures. We thank you for the faithfulness of those who wrote them. Reveal to us the wisdom and knowledge we need to strengthen our lives and walk in faith. Give us boldness to go out into our world and share this with others. We want to be a light in the darkness. Amen

 

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42: 50 Days of 3:16

There are those who argue that that Bible is nothing more than the writings of an ancient culture with no relevance to us today. If they would only take the time to read and connect the relevant information they would find things in the Bible that the writer would have no knowledge of. The age of the Bible is not in dispute, but the content gets pushed aside as nonhistorical by many. For the believer, it is the Basic Instructions Before Leave Earth, and the more we dig into the more we discover.

 

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness

2 Timothy 3:16

 

Have you ever said to yourself ‘why isn’t God speaking to me?’, or ‘what does God have planned for me?’ If we want God to meet us where we are at we need to be digging into the His scriptures He left for us. Inside we find stories and information on so many issues. If you are going through something more than likely there was someone in the Bible who went through something very similar. Of course, it will not be exactly, but the struggles remain the same. Jonah struggled with fear, David had an affair, Job asked the question ‘why do bad things happen to good people’, Paul had an infliction that wasn’t being healed, Jacob had problems with his in-laws and it goes on and on.

 

We often easily go to the scripture that says judge not lest you be judged, yet here we see that we are to use the scripture to not just teach but to rebuke. Rebuking is defined as ‘express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions.’ We have become a church who have forgotten how to do this properly. Some churches have taken this to the extreme and have been a bad example of what the church is meant to be. There is a difference between rebuking and correcting. When we find someone, who is brother or sister in the faith who is sinning we bring it to their attention that it is wrong, we teach them the way to forgiveness in Christ and help them through it if they refuse to turn from their sin then we should consider rebuke, this is not something anyone should rush into. New believers will spend much time in the correcting part of their faith. Most if not all believers would never need rebuking, but there are cases that are ignored and maybe should have been addressed.

 

We need to be in a consistent mentorship with each other. Every believer should be a mentor and have a mentor. A mentor is someone, who will show you things from experience and what scripture is showing them about the Christian life. The mentor is someone you can ask the hard questions and provide gentle correction and guiding. They have the heart to help you grow in your faith and life a life of righteousness.  The next verse confirms why we need the scripture ‘God uses it (the scripture)  to prepare and his people to do every good work’.

 

How are using the scriptures? Are you using them at all? Have you given them much thought throughout your day? Take some time today to read your bible and think about what it is saying to you, what it was saying to the people of the day and how you can apply it in your world.

 

Father, thank you for the word. This scripture has been influential in so many lives and I cannot understand how it is ignored by so many people. I pray that anyone who picks up a bible and reads it to try to disprove it will have a change of heart and experience your glory turning to your love. You have given this scripture to us to teach others, rebuke, correct and train in righteousness and I pray we will be able to do all those things not leavening any out for the sake of acceptance. Help us to love those around us and reach them with the truths delivered in the word. Let us be light and salt to this world. 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 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.

 

 

Day 20: 50 Days of Impact

How easily do we throw around the word love? Oh, I love that outfit, I love their food, I love the way you hold me, I love that show, I love, I love, I love. We have watered down the word love to the point where we don’t even recognize what it truly is. So then how can we expect them to believe that God loves them? Does God love them the way they love their puppy? Their food? Or just maybe we need to relearn what true love is. If we look at love through the lens of what God has done for us then and only then will we experience love in the way it was intended.

 

 

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16 NLT

 

We sing a lot of songs at church on how much God loves us and us him. Oh, How I Love Jesus, He Loves Us, Jesus Loves me, Jesus Loves the little Children. I could go on and on with examples. But the question I have for you today is do you know that God not only loves you but he loves the whole world? Everybody?

 

We get caught up in singing these songs and forget that there is a world out there full of people just like us who don’t know that they are loved by the creator. He is jealous for them, he loves them too. We need to start being more intentional in our sharing that live to others and letting them experience that love that we sometimes hoard. There is more then enough to go around and them some.

 

John 3:16 uses a word that should encourage you to share your faith more, the word is “everyone”. God wants everyone to believe, that means there is no such thing as a lost cause. So, don’t give up on someone just because they rejected you. Pray for them continually, be Jesus to them.

 

The mission is to go into all the world seeking and saving the lost making disciples of all the world. When was the last time you shared your faith? If you have to think about it then you are not invested in the mission. We all need to repent or our lack of mission focus.

 

Jesus, we need mission focus. God thank you for loving us, thank you for loving not only us but everyone in the world. I pray that we can realize that your love isn’t just for us and start sharing the fact you love everyone. We ask forgiveness for not being mission focus and failing at reaching others for you. It is very selfish of us to keep you to ourselves, and we no longer choose to do it. Holy Spirit give us strength and opportunities to share the cross to someone even today. Amen.

 

 

Day 18: 50 Days of Impact

What does it mean to be a good or pure person? I am sure that most people you ask will tell you that they are good people, they compare themselves to other “good” people or even “bad” people and if they hit the mark or consider themselves better then they are good. We have incorporated this into how we daily communicate with one another, “how’s your day?” “good”, “how you doing?” “good”, or “how’s the family?” “good”. We have ingrained into our hearts that if we don’t lie, cheat, steal or murder and we follow the laws of the land we must be good people. I mean I don’t do what they do.

So, with this though pattern as the basis of their lives, when we bring them the good news of Jesus and the salvation he provides, they often are confused as why they need him. The are already ‘good’ people. The may say why wouldn’t a good God let me into heaven I am a good person. They truly don’t understand the big picture of being good or pure.

 

“People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives.”

Proverbs 16:2 NLT

 

What’s your motive for what you do today? Are you living your life to pleasure yourself? Or are you focused on the great commission of reaching and saving the lost?

 

We get so caught up in out lives that our focus is so far off track. Honestly, I have been there. I know where I need to be but for so long I have been focused on me that I need to stop and focus on Jesus. Sure, it is easy to say but super hard to do. We are bombarded daily by things that continually tell us the focus needs to be on us. Things we can do to make us pure, things that give us pleasure, things to take the pain away.

 

But if we can turn our eyes to Jesus, set our motives back to doing his will and focusing our attention on our task of fulfilling the great commission, how much more will our lives be satisfied. There will always be a cliff hanger at the end of a tv show, there is always a sequel to your movie, the next drink in only a bottle way, but Jesus can satisfy you in ways material things can’t.

 

So, I challenge you today to refocus your motives back to sharing your faith with other, tell them about Jesus. Let your relationship with him be a sweet aroma, something they desire. It will satisfy more then anything else.

 

Dear Jesus, I no longer want to be just seeing myself pure in my own eyes. My motives have been for me. I no longer want that, I want my focus to be on you and telling people about you. Holy Spirit help me to get over my barriers that I have put in place and reach others with the love of Christ. Let my life be a reflection of your goodness so others can see you in me, show them that their “good” isn’t good enough that they need you. Amen

 

 

 

Day 15: 50 Days of Impact

Lately if you have been reading my posts you will have seen a trend of making an impact in our world through sharing the truth about sin and salvation. I am hoping that this is connecting with you and motivating you to move forward in sharing your faith. The amazing thing about this avenue is I have no idea who may be reading this and how it may be showing them the truth. Wouldn’t it be awesome for one day when I am walking on the new earth to have somebody come up to me and tell me that they are there because of something wrote. What you do effects so many people, will what you do be positive and work towards leading them to a relationship with Jesus, or will it hinder them from finding him?

 

“This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.”

1 Timothy 1:15-16 NLT

 

We sometimes come into a place as Christians where we have been so comfortable in our salvation that we forget or overlook that we were once sinners in need of a saviour. Then we become complacent in our sharing the love of Christ with the list, and become pew sitters.

 

Many of our eyes are blind to the lost people around us. We know their lost but for some reason, apathy perhaps, we don’t care. The calling to reach those who are lost needs to be our life focus, not with a sense of guilt leading it, but a genuine passion to share Gods love with this broken world. The joy that comes when someone receives Christ for the first time is unexplainable, the roar of rejoicing in heaven echoing in our hearts.

 

Dear Jesus, I need a passion for the lost. I am failing in the great commission and want to turn that part of my life around. Holy Spirit give me words to speak, help me past my pride and ego to share your love. Amen
How can I help you today? Do you need prayer? Do you have questions? I would love to help.