Day 50: 50 Days of Change

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”Romans 12:2 NLT

I would say this is the hardest thing for any believer to do, new or weathered. To fall into the patterns of thinking like those around us is so easy. Party, drink, sleep around, cheat on taxes, wanting what your neighbour has, revenge, and the like. 

We are called to be better then that. We are called to avoid copying the ways of our old life. It isn’t easy to stop the things you did before, but it can be done. If you want a meaningful relationship with Jesus it is something you need to strive for. 

When you work at breaking the old ways patterns then we become more like Jesus, we become more effective in our faith. Others will see us as changed and become interested in what has changed us. If we don’t change outwards but our words change what will people think of our witness. All talk, nothing else. Don’t be discouraged if you make mistakes, we all will stumble, pick yourself up wipe off the dirt ask for forgiveness and keep pushing forward. Even Peter, a faithful disciple, told Jesus he would never eject him nor leave him, ran away when he was arrested and denied knowing him three times. Yet he was forgiven and did amazing things for Jesus sharing the faith its thousands of people.

Let’s work at changing inside and out. Let’s love them because God loves them. Let us not be a reason they don’t accept Jesus, but be a reason they do .It is time to change.

Jesus, I pray we will be changed. Help us to walk away a from the things that will lead us away or lead others away from you. We must make this choice individually, but those who do I pray you will give strength, joy and wisdom. Thank you Father for loving us. Help us to remember that they matter to you so they should matter to us. Amen

Day 49: 50 Days of Change

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We are a people who like to try to control our own lives. We would rather live our lives as we are reading a ‘choose your own adventure book’ then to submit to someone else’s plans for our lives. We believe that we know what is best for our lives, our families and everything that we are in contact with. 

Have you ever owned a gps? A navigation tool that helps you get to where you need to go. I have had one and when you enter your destination it expects you to follow it. But as stuburn humanity I believe that the gps is wrong and doesn’t want to take me the most effective route, so I take turns that go against what it tells me. The machine itself gets frustrated and recalculates, it keeps redirecting me as I get lost by trying to control how I get to me destination.

Do we sometimes do this with God? We ask him for a path to take and when he shows us we then decide to make our own way. We see an alternative that should get us to the same desired result, but n the end it cause us much pain, discomfort and detours. We are called to trust the Lord, not just a little but with al our hearts. To submit to him is to know him, then to press in and seek his will for your life will reveal which path to take. 

So are you following his lead or are you trying to forge your own path? Maybe just maybe it is time to trust him and see where he will lead you.

Father, all to often we try to guide our own lives down roads that ultimatly lead to nothing. Sometimes the end is harmless but other times they can cause much pain. I pray that we start trusting you more in our descisions and life choices. Holy Spirit reveal to us the path to follow and choices we must make. We want to reach people for you, we want to build the kingdom, they matter to you so the matter to me. Amen

Day 48: 50 Days of Change

“And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:14-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So many times we have read this verse and many other just like it and expect that God will give us anything we ask for. We more often then not skim over the four words ‘anything that pleases him’, in favour of ‘anything that pleases us’. Where did the confidence that John was writing about here come from? If you were to read the previous part of this chapter you would read about what it means to have faith in the Son of God. It also tells us what it means to truly love God. 

Yet so many ask for things that are just not pleasing to God. He knows what the results will be if he was to give you every desire of your heart. If he had answered your teenage prayer to date that high school crush, or given you all the answers for the test you forgot to study for. Maybe you prayed for money or stuff, he understands we need money but asking him to be rich is not something that pleases him, money can corrupt. 

But as often the case, people walk away from God because he doesn’t give them everything they prayed for, the job, the perfect spouse, status. They become bitter and angry at God because he withheld something they really wanted like a spoiled child not getting what they asked for. As a parent I know that my kids won’t always agree with the decisions I make, they will ask for things and I will have to say no. This isn’t because I am trying to be mean, it is because I believe I know what’s best for their development. 

What I love about kids compared to adults is that they get over the NO. They may have a fit but it is only temporary, they in general will not try to walk away from you if you say no to them. The may stamp around, cause a scene, say somethings they may regret, but at day’s end they will be back for a hug, tell you they love you, moving past the NO. 

So today will you become like a child and move past the no? God is a good father and wants to give you good things, not everything we ask for is good for us. Trust that even though we may not agree with him he has our best in mind. Why would we not trust the God who created us? Loves us? Saved us from sin. Don’t stop asking, keep praying, trust he will give you the best answer.

Father, it is hard for us to understand why you would say no to things we ask for. Sometimes they are request that will harm us other times we don’t see how they wouldn’t be answe. Help us to continually trust that you know what’s best for us, as you created us, one might assume you have a good understanding what we need. I ask father you will guide us in reaching the lost. Holy Spirit give us wisdom and opportunities every day to share the love of Jesus with our friends, family, coworkers and anyone who will listen. They matter to you so the matter to me. Amen

Day 47: 50 Days of Change

“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It is hard to fathom why one who has a relationship with God would replace him with something else. But we hear of believers, elders and even leaders walking away from him all the time. One might make the assumption that these believers never truly believed, as some have the notion that salvation cannot be discarded. What has truly happened is these folks have given up their relationship. Somewhere along the line sin got a hold inside and slowly but surely took them down a path away from God. 

God didn’t abandon them, he didn’t leave them, but at some point they left him. They pushed aside the truth and the counsel of the Holy Spirit for an idea that what te wanted was right and for them. One of the startiling things that I see is leaders who drop out of leadership not only abandoning their church but in many case leaving their spouses. This is so heartbreaking as it can be a domino effect on those who admire and have been mentored by these leaders. They should know better but we don’t know what is going on in their lives and hearts.

This is where we as believers are failing each other. If we were more involved in each other’s lives personally we would become more intune to our brothers and sisters needs and troubles. Maybe we would be able to see things in the early stages and cut them off before they decide to walk away from God completely. It would be so much easier if we knew what was going to happen with a time machine, but we pray and hope that the issues we resolve early will allievate any big mistakes down the road. Ultimatly it is between the person and God, but he can and will use us to build each other up, like iron sharpening iron. 

This could be you, you maybe testing the waters of sin and not sure where the undertow is. But if your testing one day it will pull you under. I beg of you ask for help, cry out to God to pull you out now, send brothers and sisters of the faith to help you through this time of confusion. We need to ask for help, push past our pride, se that we are failing and need assistance. What we do with our lives as believers does not only affect us. It affect all around us, don’t be fooled that it’s my life and what I do doesn’t affect others.

Father, if anyone reading this is tempting their relationship with you by flirting with sin, I pray that right now you will show them the consiquences of their actions. Holy Spirit surround them with believers who will hold them accountable in love, building them up and loving them. It is not to late for them to cry out for forgiveness and change their behaviour, let them se that their actions affect others. God we ask that we will be used by you to reach others who may not know you at all or maybe did but have replaced you with something else. Give us the words to speak and wisdom to share with them your love. They matter you you God so they matter to us, amen. 

Day 46: 50 Days of Change

““And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭28:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I have been listening to Andy Stanley’s series ‘Who Needs God’ on yourmove.is, in the last segment of the series he makes the quote ‘when we realize that our unbelief in God isn’t in his existence but our resistance.’ (Paraphrased) So many unbelievers and those who claim that there just isn’t a God, are living a life of unfufilment. We have a ingrained thought that there is more to life then just eating, sleeping and existing there has to be something more.

Our moral compass that we follow surely leads us to do the right things, but sin corrupts and causes us to go in directions we had never believed we would ever go as children. A child one would hope would never grow up with a life goal of murdering and raping people. These actions are the results of sin and sinful acts done towards that child or sinful opportunities the child has participated in. Sin then evolves and the moral compass is lost under mounds of sin. 

Those who cross the line into atheism have taken the  time to forsake the one who has created them by imagining that he doesn’t exist. Just like Christian tend to use the gap theory as an answer to questions that can’t be answered  ‘ it’s a God thing ‘ atheists tend to do the same using natural selection to fill in their gaps ‘it’s a natural selection thing’. To forsake the truth and make excuses to justify makes it harder to reconcile with God as their hearts are hardened, they are not completely lost, but much pray and humility is required to reach them with the love of Christ. They need to first reject the theory that there is no God and start to seek him.

Those who seek him will find him. This promise is used many times in the word of God. Why? Because it is truth, God doesn’t play games, this isn’t hide and seek . He promises if you seek he will reveal himself through Jesus. The Holy Spirit is working in those who are seeking putting them in the right place and right time to meet and talk to believers. We must be prepared at all times to share the love of the Father, let us not be asleep when he is calling us to reach someone. I wonder how many opeertunites I have missed due to my pride, fear of humiliation or laziness. 

We need to change our attitude in reaching the lost. The Holy Spirit uses us because we are called to reach the lost, trust he will give us opportunities to share Gods love daily. Are you ready to be used to reach the lost? 

Father, forgive me for missed opertunities. I pray that you will open my eyes to moment where I can reach those around me. I do not want to be the reason someone isn’t following you,  use me. Holy Spirit provide me wisdom and words to speak when talking to those around me, open the hearts so you can speak through me. Father you love this world and all the people in in, I should love them too so I pray you will put this love in my heart. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen

Day 45: 50 Days of Change

“You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.”Hebrews 3:13 NLT
There are some people in our lives that no matter what we do or what we say will convince them that Jesus is the answer for them. They have truly become deceived in their sin and hardened towards God. We may then feel that it is just best to give up on them and move in to someone who is ready. Why waste our time and energy if it is impossible for us to get through.
God is the God of the impossible, we must never forget that. When we experience a person so hardened by sin and God, there is only two things we can do. First we continue to love them showing them the .ove of Christ though who we are. Second we need to pray for them earnestly. If you have written someone off as unsalvageable then that is the person you need to be on your needs petitioning God for. Not we can only do two things but God can do much more.
God can work at breaking down the walls that was placed up. Or he can show us the cracks and how to show Christ love through those holes. He can also provide Saul moments where he reveals himself to the person in a real way. There is no limits on how God can work in the life of those who need to meet him. Pray certainly has been shown to increase probability of amazing things happening. I wonder how many of the early church were praying that Saul the persecutor would meet Jesus? And repent turning from his evil ways? 
Don’t give up on those who are hardened. Give it over to God and keep pleading for them. If you have someone like that we would love to join you in your pray. Add a comment with their first or last name and we will pray for them. United in prayer we can move mountains and release the ‘Paul’ inside those around us.
Jesus, in our strength we are lost, but we come to you in our weakness asking for strength to reach those who are hardened to your call on their lives. We know from your word that you are knocking on the hearts of all, waiting for them to open the door to the truth of salvation. We want to be used to help them get to at point. Let us not give up on anyone who is not a believer, let us instead fall to our knees and petition them before your throne for a miracle. Jesus the lost matter to you, they all matter to you, so they matter to us. Use me. Amen

Day 44: 50 Days of Change

“Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Really when it all boils down the commandments are not something new to us. They are incorporated into our laws and sometimes feel like they are ingrained or programmed into us from childhood. One would assume that all mankind has a inherient view that killing someone is wrong. That being said, sin has become so intrenched in our lives that it stifles out any connection we may have to the Holy Spirit. Like a massive fog we lose touch and the things that are inherient wrong don’t look so bad. 

Why shouldn’t I just take what I want? It won’t hurt anyone, they won’t even notice it is gone. I deserve it. If I manipulate the story with a few choice words, sure they aren’t true but no one will ever know. We love each other, it doesn’t matter that I’m married, that relationship is over, she doesn’t fulfill my needs, I have fallen out of love. Did you see his new sports car, man I really need one of those. Excuse may make you feel like what your doing is justifiable but it isn’t right. 

Striving to follow the commandments by themselves is impossible. If there isn’t a relationship with God though the sacrifice Jesus made, then your obedience tho honorable will not get you anywhere. Without the relationship we are stuck in sin and will continually fall prey to its lure and deception. But if we have accepted Jesus as saviour and given him our lives we then are empowered by the Holy Spirit, and are in a relationship with God himself. In this relationship we can strive effectively to avoid sin, following the commands of Jesus which encases the commandments. Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor, by doing these two commands the rest will, come naturally. For one does not steal from one he love, one does not murder one he loves, one does not hate one he love, nor jealous of what they have.

Have you accept Jesus as you lord and savoir? Are you struggling to follow the commandments with out him hoping being good will get you somewhere? I ask today that you seriously look into what Jesus himself said about this. He told us that ‘I am the way, the truth, and the light, no one comes to the Father(God) but through me’. So if you expecting to get to heaven by being ‘good’ don’t be surprise when you finally get there it isn’t what you expected. Look into who Jesus is and what he has done for you.

Father, thank you for sending your son to die and rise again so that we might have an opertunity to have a relationship with you.  I pray father that anyone reading this who doesn’t know you that even right now o stir up their hearts with a desire to know you. Reveal to them the truth in your word, send someone their way to tell them about your love and gift of life. I pray you will use me to reach people around me that need to know you, let me be a light in the darkness. The people in this world who don’t have a relationship matter to you so they matter to me, it is time to get busy sharing our faith. Amen