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 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 44: 50 Days of Impact

In his last hours of his life Jesus continued to make an impact on those around him. He didn’t make excuses or complain on what was happening to him. We see the same compassion for those who needed forgiveness right up to his last breath. Jesus embodied the mission, and he calls us to do the same.

 

“Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.””

Luke 23:42-43 NLT

 

“In times of trouble, may the LORD answer your cry. May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.”

Psalms 20:1 NLT

 

 

Picture this, Jesus, beaten by the Romans, mocked by the Jews, his friends had left him, and now he is hanging on the cross. Now to top it off as he is hanging their, the two criminals next to him start talking. One openly mocks Jesus. This criminal who is sharing the same penalty as Jesus, who deserved his fate, was mocking Jesus who was innocent. The other criminal goes to defend Jesus. He knows something is going on and eagerly and openly defends Jesus the innocent.

 

When he finishes rebuking the other criminal, he turns his attention to the one he was defending. This criminal may have had the importance of Jesus revealed to him either by the Holy Spirit, or maybe he had heard Jesus talking earlier in his life. We won’t know exactly what compelled him to ask the dying man next to him to remember him in heaven.

 

But an awesome reminder of Jesus forgiving power is displayed here on the cross. This criminal called out to Jesus, and Jesus didn’t ignore him, he didn’t make him say a prayer, he didn’t make an altar call, he answered his cry. This displays the awesome forgiveness of Jesus. King David wrote that the lord answers are cries in times of trouble. This criminal may have remembered this as he hung on his cross and knew of the psalm as a child, but for whatever reason he cried out to Jesus to remember him, the point to remember is that Jesus answered his cry.

 

So today those around us who are hurting, dying, depressed, out of work, angry, they all need Jesus. He is right there waiting for them to cry out to him. It is never to late for someone to come to Jesus.

 

Dear Jesus, I need to keep sharing your love with those around me. Help me this very day to invite friends, coworkers and family to experience the love of Jesus. Give me the boldness to invite people to church this Sunday. Let your messages all over this world from in the hearts of those who may only attend church once or twice a year. Break hearts and change lives this weekend. Amen

 

Day 42: 50 Days of Impact

Ask around, would those you know prefer a Big Mac, or their Mom’s best homemade _____. Mom always makes it better. I am sure we have all used the phrase, it is good but you should try my Grandma’s recipe. They may even ask you to get it so they can try it for themselves. With this enthusiasm, we need to be telling others about our faith. Let them see that we are not just pushing something we haven’t truly experienced ourselves. They need to see joy of our salvation and relationship and desire to experience the love that we have. They need to ask for it.

 

“Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!”

Psalms 34:8 NLT

 

I woke up with this though running trough my head, ‘ taste and see that the Lord is good.’ If only those around us would taste and see. What are we offering those around us to taste? If we are living our life like them then we have nothing to offer them, do we? Are we showing them something different? I liken it to the world is living off fast food spirituality. Just like fast food, it is quick to get at, smells great, satisfies quickly and will destroy you slowly from the inside out.

 

As followers of Jesus, we are given the word of God. The bread of life, fresh home cooked made from the heart of God food. Not chemically enhanced and machine formed, God made us a unique and amazing food to enjoy. Spiritually the word of God will heal us from the inside, just like changing your eating habits will cleanse your body. The more we eat of his word the stronger we become, the more attractive we become. Think of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, when offered rich salty and fatty foods during their training, they asked to be put to the test and eat only whole fruits, veggies and grains. When the test was over they were the healthiest of all the students.

Do people ask you what your eating? What is it that makes you different? If you can live your life to make others ask questions on why you are the way you are then witnessing would be easy. When people ask a question, they expect an answer. If you try to force an answer on people who have yet asked a question how effective will you be?

 

Jesus, I want to be sharing your word with others, I want others to see what you are doing in my life, ask questions and let them taste and see that the Lord is good. I want to life a life of health living and without the junk food that destroys. They matter to you so they matter to me, let them ask the questions, Holy Spirit give me the answers let me be ready to share the faith. Amen

 

Day 39: 50 Days of Impact

I am sure we have all looked at someone and judged them based on their appearance. If we had the power to judge the world on our own standards what a confusing place that would be. I am so glad that God doesn’t ask my opinion on who should receive his mercy. No matter the size, gender, sexuality, artwork they have, piercings or colors God doesn’t separate them on these outward values. He looks at the heart and what their relationship status is with him.

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God freely and graciously declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”

Romans 3:23-24 NLT

 

Isn’t it amazing to see that we are really no different then those around us who don’t know Jesus love. We make the same mistakes and live our lives day to day in the same world that they do. What we have is that we accepted the gift of salvation free given by the father through the cross.

 

Seems so simple. So easy. Once you get it and understand it, it doesn’t make any sense why those who are wandering through life don’t. But it shouldn’t make us feel superior to those who haven’t yet accepted Christ. We need to see those people as Jesus sees them. Lost, alone, hurting, dying and in need of Jesus saving grace.

 

We are called to reach them, we are called to tell them about the grace that we have been given. Jesus says, “I stand at the door and knock”, well he is knocking on every door of every person. Our job and mission is to let the people know who is on the other side so they will realize that it is safe to open the door to him.

 

I wish some days that we could open the door for people and push Jesus into their lives, it would make everything easier. But we all know that that kind of oppression isn’t what Jesus wants.

 

So, I ask you again today, do people matter to you? Do the lost and hurting people you meet everyday matter to you? Have you been given grace? Why aren’t you sharing this grace to others? Because they matter to God the should matter to you. Because they are loved by God they should be loved by you. Don’t expect someone else to do the mission you were called to do.

 

Jesus, I am asking you to keep opening my eyes and heart to the lost, I want to speak love and mercy to those around me. I want to daily reach others for you. You are coming back soon and I don’t want anyone to spend eternity in hell crying why didn’t he tell me about Jesus. Let me be a light to one around me, let me open my lips to speak the truth. Jesus you are what the people in this world need. Use me, even today. Amen

 

 

Day 38: 50 Days of Impact

Lately in times of disaster we often see people rushing to their social media accounts and posting prayers for _______. I guess the question we really need to ask is what else are you doing about it? |Prayers are important, but what are you practically doing about the situation? If you are willing to take the time to post about it you should have time to do something about it. It could be a simple as sending money. You may have a particular skill that could help in rebuilding or disaster relief. In your prayers are you asking God what you can do to help this need?

 

“One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’” “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?””

Luke 10:25-29 NLT

 

“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”

1 John 3:17-18 NLT

 

We are called by God to be a people who truly love our neighbours. If you were to pick up your bible and open to Luke 10 and continue to read you will see Jesus response to the question he was asked ” who is my neighbour?” Jesus didn’t spout off a list of qualities that quantify who your neighbour is, he told him that helping those in need defines who your neighbour is.

 

Well I come to tell you this, everyone we know has a need. Either being the need of the basics of life or spiritual needs, they all need something. 1 John is quite clear that we need to showcase the truth that lives in us by our actions. If we say we have the love of Jesus in our hearts but act selfishly then who will want what we have.

 

People respond to acts of generosity, look at the way the country is pulled together to help the people of Fort Mac Alberta, or more recently Florida, Houston. Christians should be at the front lines ready willing and able to assist in anyway possible. I have to assume that we are, one way or another. Just look at what Franklin Graham and Sarmatians Purse are doing, reports say they are doing more then FEMA. Love and generosity is contagious.

 

It comes down to this very question, why should we love our neighbor? I know when you read the answer you will say Kurt why are you pushing this again, but we need to change our mindset of how we live our daily lives.

 

If they matter to God, then they should matter to us!

 

Let’s live our lives like the people around us matter, let’s love them enough to share Jesus with them. Let’s see them as Jesus sees them, lost hurting and in need of a saviour. If not they are going to hell. There is no other way to heaven, we have the truth, and it isn’t meant to be bottled up or hidden, share it. Lets impact our world.

 

Jesus, let us be awesome neighbours, caring for those around us, loving them enough to tell them that they need a saviour. If that comes from helping them in their time of need, then push us to be there for them. If it is through times of mourning, then let us be a pillar of strength they can lean on. If it is through the daily walk of life, then let them see you in us and give us the words to share your saving grace with them. They matter to us because they matter to you. Guide us even today to share Jesus with our neighbours, Holy Spirit push us out of our comfort zone and let’s get to work. Amen

 

 

Day 36: 50 Days of Impact

Back in the 90’s a band by the name of Audio Adrenaline put out a song that was call “Some Kind of Zombie”. Back then I knew it had catchy lyrics but never quite understood what it was doing on an album of this Christian band. Zombies aren’t something I am truly interested in, nor care to be. Yet I see now a correlation and connection that maybe the band might have been trying to make. I don’t think we have a word for it but it is almost like when we receive Jesus and his forgiveness we ‘un-zombie’, or he is the cure we are looking for. Before Christ we are aimlessly going through life without purpose. God intended us to have a relationship with him, it was his original design and even though Adam and Eve were patient zero, he made a way that we can restore our hearts.

 

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”

Ezekiel 36:26 NLT

 

How’s your heart condition these days? Is it alive flowing with the love of Christ? Or is it hardened to the ways of the world? Maybe parts are starting to be hardened again from the things we allow to enter our lives freely.

 

We are promised a new heart, one that isn’t covered in sin, one that is tender, responsive. That’s awesome. Think about a person who has actually received a new heart via transplant. I am sure they don’t go on living the way they had in the past leading up to their first heart failing, No, they try to live life to the fullest getting ever use out of this gift that was given them.

 

So, how are you responding to your new heart? Are you listening to the Holy Spirit guiding you? He is there with you wanting to help you, showing you how to get the best results from this new heart you have. He wants you to reach others so he can provide them with new hearts. The world is full of zombies walking around with hard hearts. Jesus died so we could be alive. God wants to restore the relationship that was broken back in the garden. What are we waiting for?

 

What is holding you back from sharing the love of Jesus with others? We have the heart cure, we know what ails them we know the surgeon who can fix them, we also know it is a free operation. Let’s not keep this cure to ourselves, we are called to let the whole world know.

 

Dear Jesus, thank you for giving me a new heart. Thank you that you offer this to anyone who asks for it. Holy Spirit guide me to not keep this to myself but I want to be bursting at the seams to share this with others. Funny thing is the more we share the bigger our hearts become and the more we will want to share. So, give us a passion to share your love with the lost and tell them of what you did for them. Amen

 

 

 

 

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 31: 50 Days of Impact

One thing I have learned on my little time here on earth, it that people will easily lay blame instead of accepting what is happening to them. We get in a car accident and we are looking for who is to blame, hopefully we are checking to see that everyone is alright first.

Here on the cross we see Jesus, hanging, bleeding, thirsty, experiencing something that no man can endure. It was an execution. In this moment Jesus could have exploded in anger at God, asking him “Why me?  Why now?” I think that most of mankind in the same situation would ask those questions. Instead Jesus shouted, “I trust you”.

 

“Then Jesus shouted, ‘Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!’ And with those words he breathed his last.” (Luke 23:46 NLT).

 

Here we see Jesus trust God’s plan to the very end. His words are reminisces of Psalms of old coming to life. “Into your hands I commit my spirit: You have redeemed me O LORD God of truth.” (Ps. 31:5 NKJV) As the people around the cross hear this finally cry from Jesus as he breathed his last breath alone, a Roman centurion, which all the Gospels account for, realizes the truth of whom they just crucified. R. Alan Cole suggests “The Lord demanded little knowledge and much faith as initial steps, in those who came to Him – witness His dealings with the dying thief – so that the centurion may have well become a true believer ultimately.”

Our actions and our deeds are on display for those around us to witness. Jesus was a prime example of a man whose actions spoke louder than words. His actions of surrender and humility changed the centurion’s life that day. Our daily actions will define who we are in Christ and we must be willing to commit our lives to God.

Today are you able to trust God? If Jesus in his last breath and his last minutes continued to trust God, what is stopping you? In his last moments, he continued to make an impact. We make an impact in how we respond to our situations. People are watching you. Will your words and actions draw them to a loving God, or will it help solidify the wall they have put up between?

 

Father, to see the plan of salvation unfold in the bible is a feat of wonder. How you used your Son to save the world is unlike any other truth out there.  Thank you for the impact Jesus made on the cross. Thank you for the impact He is making daily in my life and the life of others. Show me how I can touch the hearts of those around me. I want to bring people to you and help them experience life in a relationship with you. They matter to you God, so they matter to me. Let me make an impact. Amen