Day 45: 50 Days All In

We all have a vital role to play in the world. We may not know it but the choices we make will deeply impact those around us and future generations. Ruth made the important choice of standing by Naomi even after her husband, Naomi’s son died, this decision can be seen rippled throughout the Bible as Ruth was the Great Grandmother of King David. If you know your bible you will all know that Jesus bloodline is from David. So the choice, however small at the time, doesn’t always affect us but could be world changing. As we grow in an all in relationship with God we need to put trust the directions God gives us in the choices we make, even if they don’t make sense at the time.
 
But Herod said, “I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?” And he tried to see him. (Luke 9:9 NIV)
 
Jesus was a man who caused a lot of people to take notice. Herod was a man who ran the country and did as he pleased, only to satisfy himself and Rome. Herod heard about Jesus and made an effort to see the man who was doing amazing miracles and teaching profoundly. Herod once was interested in John the Baptist teachings, only killing him to please his daughter as per her mother’s request. He saw something in John that stirred his heart, but his position and pride were more important than his soul. This same Herod, would not meet Jesus until the day he was dragged before him to be crucified. And when he finally got to talk to Jesus, ask him questions, Jesus remained silent. Once again Herod could have saved Jesus, just as he could have saved John, but pride and position played their role. He didn’t find anything worthy of killing him but gave him over to be killed none the less.
 
Herod’s choices like Ruth’s created a ripple throughout history. How Herod dealt with Jesus was unfair and self-serving, yet where would we be if Jesus had not died? Herod played a role in bringing salvation into the world. Knowingly or not he fulfilled the will of God in sending Jesus to the cross. We have no idea if Herod ever repented of his choices and accepted Christ.
 
What role are you playing today? Are you being obedient to the mission Jesus has called you to? We make the choice to share our faith, we cannot always see the impact we are making in the world. The story of the man praying in a field, overheard by a young man had no idea that the cry for a man of faith would be within earshot. How could he have known that Billy Graham would rise up obedient to God’s call and touch countless lives? It was his choice and obedience to pray echo the same faith of Ruth. If we want to grow in our all in relationship we need to listen to God’s callings and share our faith. How many lives will be changed because you listened and obeyed?
 
Father, thank you for examples like Ruth who show us that every choice we make can change history. Thank you for men like Billy Graham who were obedient to your call and impacted a multitude. We pray for the strength to obey your calling in our lives. Help us to recognize that our choices impact each other, and we don’t always see the end result. Use us to reach this world with your love. Give us a renewed vision and hunger for those who need to know you. Grow our all in relationship with you. Amen
 

Day 48: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts of Day 48: Who doesn’t want control of their own lives. As teenagers we fight for control of our futures, many rebel, runaway and hope to get away from the restrictive parents who we believe don’t have our best interests at heart. Then we get jobs where we want to be our own bosses, we get married and realize that it is a combined effort, not a ” I’m the boss” scenario.  So why then as a people would we want to let Jesus be the center and let him lead our lives? It sounds so opposite of how we live. Those things we run from are put in place to help us grow and become who we are meant to be. Our parents leadership is meant to mold us so when we get married we know how to work as a team. Running away leads to solitude and even homelessness. Jesus doesn’t want to lead your life to cause you grief, but to give you purpose and life. If you feel otherwise you have been feed a bunch of lies from the devil whose only goal in life is to keep you from experiencing this relationship with Jesus. he is jealous, Jesus is the choice, he is the default.

 

DAY FORTY-EIGHT

Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? (Matthew 16:24-26 MSG)

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? (Matthew 16:24-26 NIV)

Self help, the art of fixing yourself. Grapefruit, milkshake, starvation, subway are all diets that are self help motivated. Proper eating and exercise take self sacrifice when done right.

Our spirituality can be very similar. If we jump on every book, or teaching on Christianity, and just read the book, trying to apply it but not plugging into the source then it is just another book. We as Christians don’t need anything else but the Bible. Other resources are useful, but if the bible isn’t your daily go to book then it needs to be.

If you accepted Jesus into your heart then you must take up your cross daily, but what does that mean? I like the way the MSG puts it is that Jesus is the driver of your life. If you love your car, it isn’t easy to let someone else drive it. They could crash it. But Jesus says that He needs to be the driver of Your life. It is saying, I will love my enemies, I will help the poor and needy & I will share the love of Christ to the lost.

How many times have you seen men or woman of faith who “sell their soul”. The devil shows up with a contract and the person just signs away usually for something they could have done without. Money tends to be the main factor but sex has a way to a mans heart as well. If you are a believer in Christ, you already signed your soul over to Him. Why would you want to take it back only to throw it away for things that are going to fade away?

 

If you haven’t sold out to Jesus, let me make this clear. You may not be worshiping the devil on purpose, but the path you’re on belongs to him. Don’t be mistaken, to reject Jesus, or dismiss his sacrifice and salvation is to accept the other alternative. But there is hope. You can change course and do a 180. Turn your life over to the Son of God, who can bring you out of the grip of the enemy.

Dear Jesus, I am yours mind, body and soul. I want You in control of my life. Help me to carry the cross daily. Love my enemies, help the poor and powerless, and share the gospel to the lost. Thank you for who You are and what You have done for me. Forgive me of my sin and wash me clean. Take the driver seat of my life. Amen