Day 17: 50 Days of Passion

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

Kurt Arnold

 

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Day 49: 50 Days of Impact

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

 

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 steal 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 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 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 14 : 50 Days of Impact

Have you ever talked to someone who is so opposed to Christianity that it makes them hard to be around? We begin to wonder if they will ever be freed from the sin that oppresses their lives. Sometimes we write them off as lost causes, so far gone that even a miracle seems hopeless. Yet we know that even the hardest case isn’t lost when it comes to Jesus. Saul is a perfect example of opposite person accepting what he was fighting and becoming new. So new in fact he even changed his name to Paul.

 

“Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.”

Colossians 4:5-6 NLT

 

So lately some of my posts have been focused on reaching the lost and our mission set forth by Jesus himself to go into the world and make disciples. Why is that so important to me right now? I think the question we need to be asking us why isn’t it important?

 

Outside of North America in places that we call the mission field, people are joining the faith in massive numbers. The amount if people they estimate to be converting everyday is something I find unbelievable and yet amazing. Why? Because I look around and don’t see hardly anyone coming to know Jesus where I am. How come people are flocking to Jesus elsewhere but not here in North America?

 

I don’t have the final answer. But one thing we need to do is repent for not following our mission. We as a church have become lazy in our mission. We give to missions, technically hiring others to reach the lost, and forget about the lost right outside our doors. Now not every Christian is doing this, but in general most are. I was one of them, I am working to change that.

 

To do this I am working at apply scripture such as the one above, my life motivator, a call to arms. I find I have opportunities but my body is weak and the pride I have holds me back. Not wanting to look stupid or say something to offend. But the fact is the cross is offensive to those who are lost. The devil does not want us sharing our faith with the lost.

 

The truth of Jesus’s saving grace may seem bitter at first, but it becomes sweet to those who believe.

 

Dear Jesus, forgive us as a whole and individually for not following your command to reach the lost. I don’t want to ignore those in need of a saviour anymore. I want to open my lips and speak the truth to others no matter what they think of me. Easier said then done, but with the Holy Spirit by my side I pray that I put my pride aside and move forward sharing Jesus with the lost. Amen

 

How are you impacting the world around you? I would love to hear your stories of reaching those who are lost. This will help encourage others to fulfil the mission.