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 37: 50 Days of Impact

Have you ever had someone tell you that there are many roads to God? They may rationalize it and say something like ‘well if God is so big why wouldn’t he diversify’. If God had many options for his followers to find him why then are other religious groups killing Christians? If we are all serving the same God would not killing his followers be counterproductive?  They are killing Christians because they are not serving the same God. They are following a fallen angel whose main objective is to keep people from sharing the truth about God. The truth is this, there are many roads to hell, but only one road to heaven.

“There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!””

John 14:2-7 NLT

 

One day I had an encounter with a wanderer. During our conversation turned to spirituality and he expressed that he believed in a creator whomever the creator may be. There is a very unbiblical thought movement among some believers that there are many roads to heaven. We as followers of Christ believe that Jesus is God. And if Jesus is God, then what he says must be true. Because if you claim he was only a great teacher, then looking at the words above without the divinity behind it would make him out to be a crazy man.

 

So, if we believe what he says to be true, then how can as believers think that without an acceptance of Jesus in the life of a person would allow them to enter the presence of the Father? We can’t, to do so goes against what we say we believe. Jesus spoke the words ” no one comes to the Father except through me”. That is a pretty cut and dry statement. He made this even before he made the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus knew the plan he had come to fulfill and was preparing his people for this choice they must make.

 

So, we as believers need to see people in this world as they truly are, lost. Were we not lost? Are we not sinners who are redeemed, yet we are still living in s a sinful world that still affects us daily? They may do good things, they may be good people, but without Jesus they are suffering the same fate as every mediocre or bad person out there. They may follow another faith that has a man or deity at its head, but don’t be fooled that man or deity is dead and not doing anything for them, they will suffer the same fate of any man or woman not following Jesus.

 

But don’t despair for your friends and family. We have a mission from Jesus too. As I have been writing for weeks now. They matter to God, so let’s show them they matter to us. Jesus told us to go into the world and reach the lost making disciples of all men. We need to be the ones who share the love of Jesus with these good people, we need to reach them for Jesus. Works cannot get us to heaven. A relationship with Jesus is the only way.

 

Seize every opportunity that is given to you to share Jesus. You will win some, you will lose some, but if you don’t try you will lose them all.

 

Jesus, I pray again today that you will give me and the readers opportunities to reach the lost, put random people in our paths or purposefully put someone we love in a place to reach them for you today. Give us the words to speak and the love to share to make an impact in their lives. If it is a simple invite to church, sharing your testimony or a full out gospel message, I pray you will give them courage to do something. Let every opportunity they receive become growth in their walk with you. Let them experience your joy and peace as they do your will and work towards accomplishing the mission. Amen

 

#50daysofpray

 

 

Day 35: 50 Days of Impact

What comes out of our mouths reflects who we are on the inside. I am sure you have heard the phrase ‘garbage in, garbage out’ well I believe the same can be said about your faith, ‘Truth in truth out’. What we take time to invest into our lives is what’s going to be our passion. How you spend your free time, what you spend your extra dollars on, these things will drive your life. If you investing in the kingdom you will reap the benefits, lives will be changed. You will make an impact in the lives of those around you.

 

“Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”

Ephesians 4:15 NLT

 

 

“The way of the godly leads to life; that path does not lead to death.”

Proverbs 12:28 NLT

 

 

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.””

John 8:32 NLT

 

 

Lately at our weekly church weekly prayer meetings there are only 2-3 people who attend. This can be discouraging but God is always there. It is amazing how God shows us things when we pray. I was praying for the community, asking God to use us to reach them. What got me excited was he was showing me that if the believers would stand up, speak the truth the church would become a buzz word in the community. It would get people curious and excited about what is happening. Not the building itself but the people and the lives changed because of the truth of Jesus love for them. I saw lives changed, people healed, freedom from addictions, dark sins of abusers and rapist hearts being given over to Jesus, dealers leaving their stuff at the alter giving their heart to Christ.

 

Believers we need to wake up and rekindle our fire. If your cold in your faith it is time to put your coal back in the fire of Gods love. We need servants of God who burn red hot and are willing to reach the lost. Because they matter to God they matter to us, we can’t wait for someone else to do it. That someone is you. Be the man or woman God has called you to be, start working the mission of reaching the lost. Rise up men and women of Faith. Spread the truth to all around you.

 

 

Jesus, burst forth in excitement in your believers, show the truth to those around us. Wake up the sleepers. The time is now for your believers to get out of their comfort zones and spread your truth. I want to spread your truth. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen

 

Day 34: 50 Days of Impact

We all love a good movie where the hero sacrifices himself for the greater good. There are tears for the ones we know will never come back alive, or there is twangs of hope that they may return unscathed from the point of death.

What is amazing is that we have that very story in our lives if we know it or not. Jesus sacrificed himself for the greater good of mankind. He died so that might be free from sin. He also returned not unscathed though, his scars remained as a remined of what he has done for you. Yet many hear this and think that can’t be true, or that’s not for me.

 

“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

John 15:12-13 NLT

 

“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9 NLT

 

 

Would you be willing to lay down your life for a friend? Jesus did for you. And he did it for your friends and family, the strangers you meet everyday, your coworkers and your enemy. He died so that we might live amazing lives sharing to other what he came to earth to do. The even more amazing part is he rose from the dead and invites us into a relationship with him. No other religion leader is alive, so they can’t have a relationship with their followers. That is what makes Christianity so real, it is also what makes it so offensive because it is the truth, and the truth can be scary.

 

If we could see ourselves the way God sees us in our sin we would crumble and hide in shame. I think that is what a lot of people do when they start thinking about God and Jesus. They run from their true selves and try to mask what they really are. For all the good things they do, the feel if they just continue in their good ways that they will earn heaven. No, they may not say it out loud, but how many times have you heard “but I’m a good person.”

 

If you haven’t noticed yet I have been focusing for awhile now on the mission. We need to be better at reaching the lost people for Jesus, or for bare minimum inviting them to church. At the men’s ministry I lead, I made a board that reads ” if they matter to God they should matter to us” and on it I asked the men to start writing names of people they want to see come to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. This visual list of names not only puts them out in the open it shows us that we know many many people that need Jesus and we have a huge impact on their lives. I told the men that I want us to start taking names off the wall as we reach them and they make commitments to follow Christ. As we add names we need to be removing some too. I am excited to see God work though about prayers and these men.

 

So today I ask you, do you value those around you to lay down your life for them. Is their fate and eternity priority for you, or do you care that one day they will be burning in hell? If it does then you need to do something, the benefits of reaching them outweigh the cost it may take. Stop storing up treasures on earth, let’s start storing up treasures in heaven. I would rather someone thanking me in heaven for telling them about Jesus then someone in hell wishing I had.

 

Jesus, we are called to share your love. I am not sure exactly how we come to this point where it has become taboo to us your name. People are offended and almost angry when the name of Jesus comes up on social media. But when you get them one on one, away from the veil of a computer, and open up to them sharing your love, something starts to happen. I ask Holy Spirit you will give us opportunities today to do just that, sharing the love of Christ. Encourage us, rekindle our fire and excitement in sharing our faith. We are free because of your love and free people can free people. Let them matter to us as we know they matter to you. Amen.

 

 

 

Day 32: 50 Days of Impact

There are many in the world that label themselves Christian. Christianity has become a label of people who attend a church that is founded in following Jesus. Yet attending a church does not make us a Christian anymore then going to a farm makes us a farmer. It takes a commitment and change to truly understand what it means to be a follower of Jesus. If those who claimed to be Christians all had a personal relationship with Jesus, I can only imagine what kind of world we would be living in. Are you ready to share your faith and make an impact?

“Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.”

Colossians 1:22 NLT

If you have accepted Christ into you heart, asked him to forgive you of your sins this verse is for you. We who have repented (turned a 180 from our old lives) now are holy and blameless as we stand before the holy God. Amazing that we can be called children of God.

Children still get dirty, but we should be wise and know when to ask for forgiveness, and strive to work with the Holy Spirit to steer clear of those things that will cause us to sin and damage us (potholes).

We matter to God. Those around us who don’t know God, let me tell you a secret. They matter to God. Even thought they are sinning and doing evil things, even thought they are dirty and want nothing to do with spiritual matters. Even if they call themselves atheists, Muslims, liberal, homeless or addicts, they matter to God.

The mantra I am now focusing my life and ministry on is based on Jesus mission to us.

If they matter to God, the should matter to us.

We are called to seek and save the lost, to make disciples who will in turn go out and seek and save the lost. Let’s start working at helping people that matter to God reconcile with the saviour so we don’t become selfish in out faith thinking it is only for us or the select few. For God so loved the World. Not a select chosen few. He displayed his love on the cross when he took ALL mankind’s sins.

Today, right now if your reading this and don’t know Jesus, maybe you know of Jesus, but you have never had a relationship with him. You never asked him to forgive you of your sins, come into your heart and cleanse you, I encourage you to call on him right now. Or you have walked away from him, thinking you can play both sides and one day repent, the problem with that is that one day might not give you a chance. Don’t delay. Let’s pray,

Dear Jesus, if today someone reading this, or someone shared this and someone who doesn’t know you is reading this, I pray they will call of your name. Jesus come into my heart, I know I am a sinner and I can’t get to heaven without your sacrifice. Come into my heart and make me clean, I want to change and follow you. Help me do a 180 in my life. God, you are so awesome. You promise if anyone calls on your name they will be saved, so help us to turn our lives around and share the message of your grace to all those around us. Because if they matter to you then the should matter to us. Amen

If you prayed to Jesus for the first time or maybe for the fifth time, I encourage you to tell someone you know who loves Jesus. Why? Because it will help you in more ways then you can imagine, they will help you in your new relationship with Jesus. Don’t wait tell them today. Find a church and plug in, the family of God will build you up. I would love to hear from you to, feel free to contact me. God bless.

Day 30: 50 Days of Impact

Who doesn’t like to start a new project. The thrill of creating something from noting is exhilarating.  Maybe it is a novel that has been racing around in your mind, perhaps your renovating a house that you found that is a diamond in the rough. There is a certain joy in the work to complete the task, butt he true moment is when you can finally see the finish line and be able to cross it confidently saying it is finished.

 

30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John 19:30 (NIV)

 

Here in this moment we see Jesus, having endured much pain, anguish and humiliation alone and on a cross. By the outsider looking at what is happening, you might see just another man enduring the punishment he solely deserved for the crime he committed, like the men on his right and left. I am sure for the disciples and people who knew Jesus this was a very confusing moment for them, for Jesus had done nothing deserving of this type of death.

Had those who had been by Jesus side listened to his words telling them that this would eventually happen to him, they may not have been as shocked or scared. But they had all left him when he was arrested, very few brave enough to come back and see what was happening to their friend and teacher.

Jesus knew that this was going to happen to him, in the garden he prayed for another way, yet yielded to the plan that was set in place before even time began. For redemption of mankind and restoration of relationship between man and God, this final sacrifice had to take place. So there on the cross Jesus completed the plan to provide freedom for sin for man. Jesus took all sin and bound it, taking control of sin and death.

Now the choice is yours. Will you accept the sacrifice Jesus made on your behalf on the cross? He died for you, and what is even more exciting is that three days later he rose again. He is ALIVE. He wants to provide you with the freedom from sin and a life in relationship with God. We were made for more then just living our lives without purpose.

 

Father, thank you so much that you complete what you start. Thank you that you provided a way for us to return to the relationship once lost in the garden. We know that you are going to come back and rescue us before setting up a new kingdom here on earth. Give us push to share your love with those around us who need to know you. They are loved by you so we should be loving them too. Amen

 

Day 28: 50 Days of Impact

Trouble, it is something we can expect in life. Anguish is something we can’t avoid. Pain is inevitable to those living in this world. How we respond to these things is something we have control over. Jesus was no stranger to pain, anguish and trouble. On the cross and leading up to it he had many opportunities to use his birthright to reign down judgement on his oppressors, yet he didn’t. He showed compassion, forgiveness and even quoted scripture to let us realize that there is a way to get past the hard times in our lives.

 

46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[c] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). Matthew 27:46

 

Here in the final hour before his death Jesus cries out one of the most used words from the cross. Maybe you have heard preachers or others say that in this moment it was when the weight of all sin was set on Jesus and God himself couldn’t look at him any longer due to the sin.

If we look at Jesus upbringing we would know that he was taught the scriptures of old and would have been well versed in the Psalms. Psalm 22 starts with the phrase,

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?

 

Was Jesus in this moment reminded of this Psalm, maybe he didn’t have the strength to continue reciting all of it, but if you take the time to read the whole Psalm you will quickly realize that it was all about Jesus, his life, death and resurrection.

How then can these words impact our world and our lives? Well as believers of the living God, we believe that he is the trinity, God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Spirit. To separate any from God is to go against what Jesus taught us and the bible explains. So, when Jesus was on the cross, God experienced the cross. So, God couldn’t have looked away as he was part of the experience and plan.

To tell others about this truth can be something that sounds out of this world and fantasy. But for them to understand that God never left Jesus on the cross, can help remind them that he loves them just as much and is not going to leave them in their times of anguish, troubles, and pain. We go through these experiences to either mold us into who we were meant to be or to draw us close to a relationship with God.

You can either run away from God during your times of trouble, get angry with him, or ask him to guide you through it, to give you direction and hope for what is to come. How will you respond to the trouble when it comes? Will you let your response impact those around you in a positive way?

Father, thank you for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. I know you were there right with him during that hardship and were behind the plan of salvation from the beginning. I pray that we as believers will come to you in our trouble and ask you to mold us into who you desire us to be. Let our lives impact those around us. Let them see you in us. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen

 

Day 25: 50 Days of Impact

I wonder how we would lives if we found out that our last seven sentences were being recorded before we died. Then these seven sentences would be shared with all humanity as the defining perspective of who we are. Would this change how we treat one another?

 

“When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.”

Luke 23:33-34 NLT

 

Jesus according to scripture had seven words spoken from the cross. The first being this account in Luke 23.

 

Jesus had just been whipped, mocked, beaten, striped of his cloths, humiliated, questioned by authorities, and nailed to a cross. He didn’t defend himself, he didn’t try to weasel his way from the cross. He didn’t curse or condemn those who were attacking him. No, he forgave them.

 

Imagine such grace and compassion for the world, could we be like this in our daily walk? Could we stay calm even when the world around us is trying to destroy us? Can we accept what ever is coming to us and then forgive those oppressing us? Trusting that God has a plan and knows that in the end he will be glorified? Would you be able to stand firm in your faith even to death? Would you be able to forgive those who your executioners as they killed you? I pray God would give me such strength.

 

Jesus even in this moment as he forgave them the guards below him were mocking him by gambling for his clothing. Yet he didn’t change his views, he still forgave them. He is still forgiving those who are willing to come to him. The gift of salvation he bore on the cross is freely available to all mankind.

 

We need to put into action the forgiveness of Christ. He forgave others even at the point of death and we need to share his forgiveness now while we are alive. Don’t wait until we are at the point of death. Jesus commanded us to seek and save the lost and make disciples.

 

Jesus, help us to forgive others and share your forgiveness to them. Help us to show them your love and that you desire to have a relationship with them. Give us guidance in speaking to reach them where they are, and to say what they need to hear. Give us boldness and courage to be great witnesses for you. If you could forgive those around you on the cross we prayed you will pour the same desire for the lost to us for those we meet each day. Amen

 

 

Day 24: 50 Days of Impact

 

 

Growing up we have some sort of education, it could be that you never had official schooling yet you learned from the school of hard knocks. Or you may have had a grade 1-12 education, whatever the circumstances we all had to learn how to be a person. Our parents in, most cases, showed us right from wrong and we then decided how we would apply those principles our lives. Years go into becoming who you are. Then one day you accept Christ and become reborn in the faith, how can we expect new believers to know what it means to be a Christian?

“A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away.”

Proverbs 22:15 NLT

 

 

This verse today I feel can be applied to the new Christian. Youngster referring to someone who is new to the faith. I don’t write this in judgment, just as an observation. Maybe a place where us ‘older’ Christians are failing as mentors.

 

I see new believers who accept Christ, yet aren’t taught the foundations of Romans 12:1-2. And yes, I understand that it takes time for a new believer to purge themselves of their old lives. Repentance defined is to stop what your doing and turn around. Now this isn’t the case of all new believers, some accept Christ and nothing is the same. Yet others accept Christ and continue to live their lives as nothing has changed. Yes, they have had a heart change, but the outward you would never know.

 

I think as mentors and believers we need to be bringing these new believers under our wings and discipline them as Jesus called us to do. They don’t generally know where to look or what scriptures show them how to live a life honouring to God. We don’t accept Christ and poof we have an expanded understanding of the bible and what it teaches. It takes time, and if they don’t have good mentors, they will continue in the same lifestyle they had before eventually wandering away from the faith, filling their lives with everything but Jesus. I don’t want to be responsible for that.

 

So as believers in Christ Jesus, those who have walked with him for years, let us be disciplined to share what we now and mentor the younger, so they won’t stumble and fall.

 

Dear Jesus, help us to be better mentors and disciples. We need to step up to the calling and love our younger believers showing them your word and guiding them in their new faith. Thank you, Jesus, for all you do for us, and all the people you are calling. We want to do your will. Holy Spirit guide us in this we pray. Amen

 

 

Day 21: 50 Days of Impact

No more then ever we are coming to realize that words have more harmful effect then some generations told us. The old saying “sticks and stones may break our bones but names will never hurt us”, was the mantra of my generation as a kid. We now come to see mental illness and other problems arise due to low self esteem and low self worth due to the way people have been treated. Sticks and stones will break you bones, but they heal. Words cut deeper and leave scars that are harder to heal. Jesus is the ultimate healer and he can heal your hurt from the words that have cut you deeply.

 

“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”

Proverbs 18:21 NLT

 

The tongue is the most powerful weapon we have. It can destroy and build up. As the proverb reads ‘bring death or life’. But how can words bring death? Mean words that hurt people based on their appearance, mannerisms or disability has lead to many suicides or even mass shootings from an angry individual(s) looking for revenge and answers. How many women have chosen an abortion because they were talked into it? Our words can lead us down roads we never want to be on.

 

But in contrast our words can bring life. Not only our words. The words of Jesus bring LIFE. He taught us how to live life. He showed us what it means to use words to build others up.

 

Words are only useful and powerful in the giving of life if we open our mouths and use words that bring life. We can sit and talk to our friends about everything from weather, to news, politics and sports. But when it comes to the import things in life like a relationship with Jesus we treat those words like poison.  We think, sure it is honey to our lips, but sharing it they will only be bitter to theirs. Rejection is what we fear. But if we don’t try then we will never know.

 

We need to break these preconceived notions that people are always going to negatively respond to the message of Jesus. If we believe the words that Jesus spoke about life then we need to believe that Jesus not only loves us but he loves everyone and they need to hear about his love for them.

 

Dear Jesus, to often we fear that you will be reject if we speak about you. Prove us wrong. Holy Spirit guide us and show us who to share with giving us the words to speak. We are not given a spirit of fear, so help us to live that way, proud of being a Christian wanting to share the love of Jesus with others. Amen