For the last 48 days we have been working to increase our passion in our faith. We have looked at many aspects such as prayer, church, relationships and our own personal relationships. When we boil it all down passion for Jesus needs to flow from our relation ship with God himself. How we see Him will ultimately generate the passion we have. A disconnected God doesn’t encourage passion. Our God is connected, interactive and loving, when we truly realize this and let the Holy Spirit, who is God, work in us, our passion will come naturally. There will be times where we find ourselves in a lull, but we can come back to God and ask him to reignite the passion, he promises He will give good gifts to his children. We get distracted from the mission, but he can give us focus.
“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”
Ephesians 3:17 NLT
We are promised if we give our lives to Christ, wholly and freely, he will come make a home in our hearts. This relationship aspect of Christianity is one of the major things that sets it apart from any other religion or idea out there. Most other faith based groups provide a deity who is so far way that you must work hard to get its attention. But not Christianity.
The bible shows us that Jesus is at the door of every heart waiting to be heard. His message is clear, I have died for you, so you may live, invite me in, confess your sins and I will forgive you, then let’s work to live a life with me. No other group offers this relationship with the creator. They work hard to make you feel you aren’t good enough to be forgiven, that you must continue to do more and more to be free. I heard of one faith where if you sin and ask for forgiveness you may or may not be forgiven, but you can’t know for sure if your offering was acceptable.
We can be assured that if we stumble and sin and bring it to our saviour Jesus Christ he is just and will forgive us our sins. Just like he forgave when he was walking the earth he continues to tell us your sin is forgiven, go and sin no more. He doesn’t let us walk away back to sin, his desire is we walk away and change, so we don’t keep doing the same things that we just asked forgiveness for. But that doesn’t mean he will turn away from us if we do it again. But here is what we must remember, if we truly repent we must be ready to do a 180 from what brought us to our repentance. Stop hanging out in a mine field hoping that we won’t step on a mine, it will always lead to you getting hurt.
Our relationship with Jesus will be what leads other to follow. They will see how we live our lives, and it will be attractive. You will want to share your faith. You will want to do things not to be forgiven but because you are forgiven. Are you ready to grow your roots deeper? Trust him and see where he will take you.
Jesus, I pray that those reading this today have a relationship with you. If they don’t I pray right now that they will ask you to come into their lives and forgive them of their sin. As we move forward in our faith I pray Jesus, that we put our faith into action. Let our works be because of forgiveness not to earn it. Let us be an example to those round us. Let them see you in us. Give us moment where we can tell them about you and what your forgiveness is all about. They matter to you Jesus and they matter to me. Amen
Whatever you do, do well. Do you work at restaurant as a cashier? Do it well. Stocking shelves for a living? Do it well. Adding numbers? Do it well. Managing people? Do it well. Working for a volunteer organization? Do it well. Whatever you do with your life, whatever aspect, your work, your family, volunteering, whatever it may be, when you are there give it your best.
“Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.”
Ecclesiastes 9:10 NLT
Many people who are unhappy in life simply aren’t giving their all into what they are doing. They are more concerned about what others have and that they don’t. What a miserable life to live when we focus on what others have. If we stop looking outward and notice what’s around us, we are a bless people here. Work for the most part is there for those who are willing to work and work at it their very best. Sometimes we have to settle on a job before finding the job we really want but we must still give it all in the job we have while we wait for opportunities. Trust that God will motivate you in the job you have preparing you for more responsibilities.
Are you happy in your job today? Is it the job or is it something else? Why not focus on doing the job you have well and trust that God will grow you in it. The bible says if we are faithful to God he will give us the desires of our heart, so be faithful in what you have now and see what happens.
All to often we go through the motions and one work as much as needed with out going the extra mile, working the extra 5 min or taking on the volunteer task. If you look hard enough you will see that in most cases it is those who show interest and some passion in their job, if they like their job or not, that move ahead.
The same can be said about our involvement in church ministries and the mission of reaching the lost. The effective workers in the church are those who dive in, not dependant if the passion is there or not. They get involved in things because they know they want to see things happen in the church and the world around them. If you are not experiencing any passion in your faith maybe it is time to some self evaluation and see what you are putting into your faith. Pray that God will show you how you can use your talents and gifts to be an effective part of your church family and reach your world.
Jesus, if there are people reading this who are unsatisfied in their current job, I pray you give them a new perspective. Help them to work hard and start seeing their job as an opportunity to grow. Let new opportunities come there way as a result of this attitude change. Let their coworkers see a change and question them on it, becoming a fantastic in to share your love with them. Maybe they are unsatisfied on their Spiritual life. I pray that they will look to you to seek out opportunities to grow in their church and the world around them fulfilling the mission of reaching the lost. They matter to you Jesus, so they matter to us. Amen
‘I remember it like it was yesterday, the minister had his altar call and before I knew it I was at the altar, crying and accepted Christ as my savior’, ‘Oh it was a the best day of my spiritual life, the day I experienced the power of the Holy Spirit.’, If you grew up in church do you remember hearing testimonies like this, accounts of peoples lives? I know I did, but the fact was the same people would get up and recount the same story every couple of months. I feel like I should have gotten up and asked ‘but what has he been doing lately?’ Their lives were lit with only a pilot light just waiting to be ignited if only they would step out in faith.
“Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the LORD has helped us!””
1 Samuel 7:12 NLT
Samuel had just lead the army of Israel in the defeat of the Philistines. God had supernaturally confused the army to the point they were easily overcome. Samuel then took the time to set up a reminder to the people of Israel of what God had done for them.
We all need to put reminders in our lives of what God has done for us and in us. These reminders aren’t there to look back on and live in, but are there to remind us that what God has done in the past and that he is still doing amazing things today and tomorrow. To many people set up reminders and then base their whole lives on what happened in that moment in time. These believers become closed to the new things that God is doing around them, wishing that the good old days where things were happening.
The phrase Samuel stated was ” up to this point” which tells me that there is hope for more as the future for Samuel and the Israelite’s was just beginning and they had many more events to live through.
Now some people ignore the reminders as seen not one chapter later when the people of Israel cry out to Samuel for a king. They started believing that a human king would be better suited to watch out for them then the God who was protecting them and giving them victories in battles.
So today I pray you examine your heart and answer this question. What are you doing with your reminders? Living in the past, forgetting them, or looking back reminding yourself that what happened then is just a hint of what can happen today. Are we living in the experiences we had or are we seeking for new ones? The Holy Spirit will ignite your passion if only you will humble yourself and ask for renewal. Let your testimony be fresh and exciting so others will want to hear of what God is doing with you and through you.
Jesus, let us not get lost in the memories of what happened yesterday, we thank you for it, but we ask for more today. We want to see you move in awesome power in our communities. Let us be great witnesses to those around us. Give us vision to reach the lost, knowing that you love them, they matter to you and they matter to us. Amen
Think about batteries. When you go to the store and buy batteries do you buy the cheap brands or the name brands. If you want power you will choose the brands that are trusted and know will last a long time. The cheap ones have quick power but generally don’t last as long as the tried and true name branded battery. Now I am not comparing God to a battery but why do we keep choosing cheap imitations when we have access to the real deal?
“So be careful not to break the covenant the LORD your God has made with you. Do not make idols of any shape or form, for the LORD your God has forbidden this.”
Deuteronomy 4:23 NLT
In this day and age, we don’t generally make idols out of gold and precious medals to worship. Yet we quietly set up our secret idols that sometimes we don’t even know we are doing. Idols are not always physical object either, we can make an idol out of our ideology and religion.
The most familiar one I can think of is the phrase “my god wouldn’t” assigning God the word ‘my’ most times shows that the god they are speaking of is one they have created and adapted to fit their own personal needs. This becomes an idol and we as the people of God must start stepping up to the plate and addressing these issues.
We see many people passionate about their gods. They may look it on the outside but inside they are missing the truth. It won’t satisfy forever and they will begin longing for more. Some times believers start off worshiping God, but along the way they listen to those with strange ideas about who God is and they go from following God to my god. It isn’t easy to have passion for my god has he has no power to back himself up.
Study your bible, find out who God is and let him reign fully in your life. Be ready to question someone who has or makes weird ideas about who God is. Be able to show them the true God and not the image they are connected with.
Jesus, we need to be aware that there are people who have warped who you are. Help us to study your word and to know you, so we may reach those who are wandering around lost. Let us point them back to the true God and smash all idols that hold them back. They matter to you Jesus so they matter to me. Amen
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
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.
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.