23: 50 Days of 3:16

When the entertainment industry portrays God is some faceless entity who shines bright, long white hair and beard, don’t forget he has the white robe and sandals. He generally is mild-mannered and like your grandpa might have been like. We see this and may get the wrong image of who God really is. If we read back to Genesis 1 and 2 we get a glimpse of what God is and that is revealed in who we are. God created Mankind in His image, Psalm 8:5 even speaks of how we were made only a little lower than God. So, if we were made in the image of God we would reflect who God is. Our emotions mirror the emotions that God portrays.

 

The Lord’s voice will roar from Zion
and thunder from Jerusalem,
and the heavens and the earth will shake.
But the Lord will be a refuge for his people,
a strong fortress for the people of Israel.

Joel 3:16

 

God displays Joy, Genesis 1 talks about when he created the world he looked at it and it was good. God was saddened when Adam and Eve disobeyed him. He was angry with mankind when they did wicked things over and over again. Here in Joel is a prophecy of God displaying His mighty roar in anger over the way the nations are treating His people.

 

Do not be fooled. One day God will have had enough and just like when Noah was called to build a boat, God will call those who have chosen to accept Jesus home, triggering the events that will lead to the cleansing of sin from the earth. Just as Noah was spared from the destruction of the flood, those who have accepted Jesus will be spared. Those left behind must deal with the consequences of inaction. Many will have had the opportunity to receive Jesus from their experiences and had rejected him. Others will have used the excuse, I will have time, let me live my life first. Some may have never heard, others sucked into the lie of atheism. It is debated if some will have the choice to accept Christ during the seven-year tribulation, but in reading the bible it seems that many will come to know Christ and be heavily persecuted for their choice. It will be nothing like accepting Jesus now. They will be branded traitors of the state and turned in for execution, families will turn on one another in the cry of self-preservation.

 

There will be many earth-shaking events that Joel, Daniel and John write about in their books. Too much that I cannot go into detail in this blog. When the seven-year tribulation is over sin will be bound for a thousand years and Jesus will come an establish His kingdom on earth, sin contained and the enemy locked away. For some reason unknown to us the enemy will be released once more to cause mischief, but he will be caught and tossed into the eternity of hell, never to be heard of again. Here is the kicker, all those who never accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will join him. The is no second chance after death. No pray from the living can alter eternity. Many groups have this mantra that they can do good things or pray the right prayer to change their deceased loved one’s destiny, this just is not the case. The choice you make here and now will ultimately decide your eternal fate.

 

When God’s voice cries out with a roar will you see it as destruction or a cry of victory? Have you accepted the gift of salvation freely offered by the death of Jesus on the cross? He died so that you may have life in Him. He rose from the dead so that you could have a relationship with God free of sin and the bondage that disconnects. Do not wait another day, choose life, choose God.

 

Father, many reading this may be on the fence about faith. They may be thinking, I have another day, it can wait. But I pray right now that they don’t push this decision off another minute. They need to experience your relationship and realize that their whole life was meant for so much more. If they would only pray ‘ Jesus, I am a sinner, I have been running for so long but I am done, I give my life over to you, forgive me of my sins and make me new. From this day forward I want a relationship with you.’ At that moment they will have changed their life. I pray God, that many will take a  moment today to cry out to you. Bless them in there choice, guide them to believers who will walk alongside them so they will grow strong in their decision. Help us as believers today to share this message of life with others. Amen

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19: 50 Days of 3:16

The bible is full of prophecy, things that will come to happen insights into the future that no one could even imagine happening. The restoration of Israel that happening in 1948 was foretold in the Bible. Make no mistake, there is more to happen the Bible prophecy is not yet complete.

 

In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land,” declares the Lord, “people will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the Lord.’ It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made.

Jeremiah 3:16

 

We have come to the point in society where God is an afterthought. Many would claim that their country was built on Christian foundations but when we look at them now we often wonder what happened. God in Jerimiah made a promise that when all hope was thought to be lost he would bring his people back together. There is a promise that Jerusalem will be known as ‘The Throne of the Lord’ that the people will return to worship God.

Jeremiah 3, is a verse that reminds me of a loving Father calling his children to forgiveness. He is not oblivious to the sins they have committed, but he loves them nonetheless and is calling them to humble themselves and repent so He can bless them. That is the issue that many in this world today cannot accept is the acknowledgement that they have sinned. They believe they are good people and that they have done nothing wrong. Until their sin is revealed to them they don’t even know there is anything going on.

What can we do as believers to show those around us that God loves them and is eagerly waiting for them to come to him? If we read one verse earlier we see that God is preparing and using shepherds who have the heart of God. They will be used to guide others in the truth with wisdom and understanding. You have been given the mission of reaching the lost by Jesus himself, you have been given the Holy Spirit to provide wisdom and understanding. God has prepared or is preparing you to be a shepherd to guide his people into freedom. Are you allowing God to mentor you in being the shepherd to the people around you? They have forgotten who God is, and many don’t even care to know. How will they know they need a savior if no one tells them?

 

Father, prepare us to be shepherds to those around us. This means having wisdom to know when they are hurting, when to speak words of encouragement and eyes to see when they are hurting. Let us not ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit in these experiences. We want to be effective in sharing your love in this world. Show us what we need to do next, we turn from all our evil desires and follow you. Amen

18: 50 Days of 3:16

All to often people will refer to God as all loving and will stop at that. This is why when bad things happen they often will use the statement ‘why would a good God let this happen to good people(like me)’. The main problem with this is that God is so much more than a ‘good’ God. We learn from the beginning He is a just God, jealous of his creation wanting them to serve Him and not the creation.

 

The Lord says,
“The women of Zion are haughty,
walking along with outstretched necks,
flirting with their eyes,
strutting along with swaying hips,
with ornaments jingling on their ankles.

Isaiah 3:16

 

We see this just characteristic of God over and over again in the lives of the Israelite people. Just read the Old Testament and you will see this in their lives, they reject God to worship man-made images to be cool like their neighbours and to be accepted.  Quickly and consistently they forget about the God who did miracles and provided them with an abundance, more than they ever needed to survive. He freed their ancestors from slavery, He gave them a land flowing with milk and honey. Really what more could they ask for?

 

They forgot what God had done for them. They either didn’t want to listen to the stories of old or they were distracted by the new and what their neighbours had. As we see here in today’s verse the woman had taken on the traits of the outlying cities. If we read a few verses up we see the youth were in the uprising as they thought they knew best, not listening to the advice of the elders. They lead the people down a path which was against what God had called His people.

 

The just nature of God had enough with the peoples dance with the enemy and foretold that they would reap what they had been sowing. Destruction would come to those who were rebellious, for the woman who were prostituting themselves out. The whole community would be affected by this judgement as they were all the people of God and they should have stood up and said something instead of letting this get out of control. This can easily happen in our lives. If we call ourselves children of God, we have made the stand that we are serving the Creator. We must avoid the leanings to serve the creation. Jesus was clear you cannot serve two masters. You will either love on and despise the other.

 

Where are you standing today? Are you serving the creation or the Creator? Think long and hard about this as the answer may surprise you. Some believe they are serving the Creator but come to realize the god they are serving is man-made and not the Creator. Are you following the newest trend and craze in hopes that it will lead you to the creator? Be careful because many will have the look of the creator but will be wolves in sheep’s clothing ready to bring you down and away. If today you find that you are following the creation and not the creator it is not too late to change, God loves you and is waiting for you. He is just and deals with sin accordingly, but He is also a forgiving God who accepts you as you forgive you. You can start afresh in Him, sins forgiven.

 

Father, as we see in the life of the Israelites, they sinned, and you forgave, but in their sin, they were dealt with justly. We thank you that you sent your son Jesus to die on the cross so that we could be freed from the sin that separates us from your love. Without that act of love, we would be lost and serve the creation vice the Creator. Provide us with the wisdom to share this hope of freedom with those we come in contact with every day, we ask for boldness and strength to overcome our fears. Help us to show them they are serving the creation which will only lead to death, bit that there is life in the Creator. Amen

15: 50 Days of 3:16

Many people would know who Job of the bible is, a man who went through great hardship because of his faithfulness to God. This man was blessed by God for his faithfulness, he had a healthy family and was well off. In the book of Job is one of the few times we see inside the court of heaven and see Lucifer asking God for someone to torment. God points toward Job showcasing his most faithful man on earth at that time. Lucifer sets his sights on making this faithful child of God reject the one he serves. Losing everything here in chapter three we see Job lamenting his misfortune.

 

Why wasn’t I buried like a stillborn child,
like a baby who never lives to see the light?

Job 3:16

 

I have been teaching and presenting information to my coworkers and staff about mental health. Here in Job, we see one of the first cases of depression. He just lost everything and for no reason that he could ascertain. His wife is no help at all, so he sits in the square wrapped in the clothes of the mourning, crying out to God asking why this has happened to him. Many would expect in these moments that Job would curse God and reject him for these random events that have killed his children, his livestock and inflicted him with unknown sores and pain. Not one of his friends would have expected any less from someone who looked like he had been segregated from God. But Job in all his misery just kept asking questions contemplating what he must have done never finding an answer, thinking maybe he would have been better off if he had not been born.

 

Job in his depression is asking God to show him why he even exists if all this pain and sorrow was thrown at him. We are doing the same thing, but I wonder how many of us have the strength and endurance to ask God without cursing God for the pain? We may not experience to the degree what Job did but we do go through tough times where we often wonder what we did that lead us here. As we see in Job sometimes we have done nothing. The enemy is working diligently to find a way for us to reject the one who gives us life, hope and truth. His desire is to separate us and bring us down. When we are depressed we become ineffective in sharing our faith and focus on things such as ‘why were we even born’. We may even turn to unhealthy coping to bring us through this time instead of relying on God.

 

How then can we strengthen ourselves to overcome depression and attacks when they come our way? What can we do to prepare? As we never know when this may hit we need to learn to heed warning signs. Anxiety, bitterness and unforgiveness can lead us down this path. Preparing ourselves by reading the word of God daily, hiding it away in our hearts, reminding ourselves that God loves us. Taking time to pray for others as well as ourselves, outing God at the centre of our lives can give us the strength to ride through the tough times. There will be tough times, the enemy will attack but how we respond to those attacks will be the true test of your faith.

 

Father, we like Job will are enemies of the devil who wants to bring us down. We pray for strength and wisdom to persevere through these attacks and come out victorious, stronger than ever. I pray we recognize when our brothers and sisters are being attacked and rally behind them encouraging them to keep the faith. Work through us to reach those in desperate need of your love. Amen

 

12: 50 Days of 3:16

This verse today is the start of one of my favourite Old Testament accounts. King Solomon had been asked by God to request anything he wanted. Most would have expected him to ask for power, riches or a multitude of other things. But we learn that Solomon asked for wisdom.  God was pleased with this request and gave him the wisdom he was seeking and in turn many of the other things we would have requested. This account tells of Solomon using his wisdom given to him by God. As King, he would use his wisdom to deal with matters that the people had that could not be resolved on their own.

Then came there two women, that were harlots, unto the king, and stood before him.

1 Kings 3:16

 

If you take the time to read the tale of these two women, it is the classic case of he said she said. It is also known as there are three versions of the story, her story, his story and the truth. Firstly, these two women were harlots, not the higher-class citizen, they lived a life in the sex trade. What type of King would deal with such woman? A wise one who wanted the people to know that his wisdom was from God and available to all.

 

To summarize their story the two women each had a child, we would assume these were children born of their job. Very shortly after they gave birth one accidentally killed her child in her sleep, but in her grief switched the child with the other mother. She was hoping the mother wouldn’t recognize that it wasn’t her own child. Any mother can tell you that this was a foolish act as what mother wouldn’t recognize their own child? As you can imagine this became an argument that must have been brought into the streets and eventually made its way to the king’s court as no other official was able to resolve whose child was whose. Remember this is back before DNA testing, they had no ID or hospital bracelets to help decide whose child was whose.  Let’s throw another possibility in the mix, as these were sex workers it isn’t outside the realm of possibility that the father was the same man. So, the children could have looked very similar.

 

Here they are in front of the King, giving the same story they have probably told countless others in their quest to receive closure and judgement. One woman desperately wanted her child back, the other secretly hoping she could keep the child she had taken in her grief. How could any man make a judgement call that was wise? Solomon had the wisdom given to him by God, after hearing their cases he called for a sword. He would have the child divided in tow so that both women could be satisfied. In his wisdom, he knew the real mother could never let this happen and would submit to the other. Then and only then would he truly know who the real mother was.

 

Have you asked God for wisdom? He has promised that if we would ask for wisdom he would provide it. We all to often ask for riches power and many other things but forget that those who asked for wisdom and used it for His glory were often blessed in other ways because of it.  Take some time today and pray for wisdom and opportunities to use it and watch God use you to reach other people.

 

Father, we pray for wisdom today. Use us to reach others with your love. Give us insights and words to let them know that they are loved by you and that they there is hope. Many are ready to give up and end the pain that is hurting inside, you can provide the relief they need. Let your love flow through us and let the mission of reaching others be our heart. Amen

10: 50 Days of 3:16

What do we do when God gives a message? Paul was adamant that all believers should be praying for prophecy or divine revelations from God. He set them as the most valuable resource that we can access in our faith journey. Many believers are not seeking wisdom to be able to share with others, they work in their own strength. If I was a paperboy delivering 50 papers but I refused or was oblivious to use the bag they provided to help me carry them my job would not be as effective as it could be if I would only use the bag to carry my papers. When we use what God provides sharing our faith with others becomes a lot more easier

 

But Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”

Samuel answered, “Here I am.”

1 Samuel 3:16

 

Here in today’s 3:16 we see the morning after Samuel had his first conversation with God. If you read the whole story we come to find that God called Samuel in his sleep and three times Samuel went to his boss thinking it was his voice calling out.  I interpret that as God was using the voice of Eli to speak to Samuel. After the third time being awoke,n, Eli realizes that this must be God calling Samuel telling him to respond and listen. Samuel being an obedient person responds to God receiving a message. The message Samuel received was not one he would have expected and was a promise that God would punish Eli and his family for what his boys had been doing. This would be an example to the people of what would happen if they played games with God. The boys who were priest were doing wicked things which were contradictory to everything the priests were called to do.

 

Eli, being a follower of God and trusting him, wanted to know what Samuel had heard from God the next morning. Samuel was scared that if he told Eli that he would be looked at unfavourably and maybe even called a liar. Eli made it quite clear to Samuel that if he was not to share what God had told him it would be worse off for him to keep it to himself then to share it. Samuel revealed his conversation with God to Eli who understood all that was going on and responded, ‘let Him do what is good in His eye’s’. Eli showed a divine respect for God and understood that God is good, and evil was not permitted to go unpunished.

 

God will reveal many things to us to share with others. They will not always be words of judgement, but more words of compassion, love and revelation of things that you should ought not to have known. He reveals the secrets of their hearts to you so that you can connect with them and show them God’s love for them. We are called to give that word and message to them, keeping it to ourselves does not do us any good other than giving into our fears of rejection. There is freedom in obeying God and sharing his words of love to others. If we want to grow in our faith we need to start telling God ‘Speak Lord, for your servant is listening”.

Father. Speak for your servant is listening. Give us wisdom today to share your message of hope with others. Give us words to share that can only be revealed by you. Help us to push past our fears and open our lips giving the messages you have for us to share. Use us as a might force to change this world and showcase your love. Let me be the light in the darkness the salt in this decaying world. Amen

9: 50 Days of 3:16

 

Ruth was a foreigner in a foreign land. She had married Boaz son in he homeland but he had died. She returned to Israel with her mother-in-law even after she tried to get Ruth to stay behind. Two widows alone returning to a place they were not well known, who would take care of these ladies?

 

And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her

 

God had placed the practice of gleaning for the people who could not support themselves. This practice allowed widows and the poor to follow behind farmers and pick up any crops left behind during the harvest at no cost. This was the farmer’s way of helping the poor as God had called them to do. Naomi sent Ruth out to this practice so that they would have something to eat. But Naomi had an alternative thought that maybe a suitable husband would be found for her daughter-in-law.

 

Ruth ended up in the field of Moab, this was no accident as Moab had no wife and all indications point to that he had no one lined up either. As Ruth gleaned the fields of Moab we read that he took notice of her and started to ask questions. Then he instructed his harvesters to drop extra grain for her to pick up. This created a buzz in Boaz house, she recognized right away that something was happening. Here in today’s verse, we get to hear her asking a simple question of ‘how was your day?’.  I think she already had an indication of what had happened, she would have been praying for this.

 

If you continue to read on in Ruth it tells that Moab and Ruth do end up marrying and we learn that they are tied to the heritage of Jesus. They are part of the bloodline of the redeemer. All because they were obedient and trusted the provisions that God had set up. Ruth used the provision of being a gleaner, Moab allowing the poor and widows to glean. Ruth not abandoning her mother-in-law when all had been lost. Moab marrying her was an act of redemption. Are you being obedient to what God is calling you to? Are you trusting that His plan for you may not be obvious to you right now but that He knows what He is doing?

 

Father, thank you for redeeming us through the sacrifice of your Son Jesus. We trust that the plans you have for us are good and we want to follow them. Guide us in our steps so that you are glorified in everything we do. Use us to reach those who need to know about you, give us the wisdom to speak life into their lives. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

Photo cropped from an image at frankyansacramento.com

 

Ruth was a foreigner in a foreign land. She had married Boaz son in he homeland but he had died. She returned to Israel with her mother-in-law even after she tried to get Ruth to stay behind. Two widows alone returning to a place they were not well known, who would take care of these ladies?

 

And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her

 

God had placed the practice of gleaning for the people who could not support themselves. This practice allowed widows and the poor to follow behind farmers and pick up any crops left behind during the harvest at no cost. This was the farmer’s way of helping the poor as God had called them to do. Naomi sent Ruth out to this practice so that they would have something to eat. But Naomi had an alternative thought that maybe a suitable husband would be found for her daughter-in-law.

 

Ruth ended up in the field of Moab, this was no accident as Moab had no wife and all indications point to that he had no one lined up either. As Ruth gleaned the fields of Moab we read that he took notice of her and started to ask questions. Then he instructed his harvesters to drop extra grain for her to pick up. This created a buzz in Boaz house, she recognized right away that something was happening. Here in today’s verse, we get to hear her asking a simple question of ‘how was your day?’.  I think she already had an indication of what had happened, she would have been praying for this.

 

If you continue to read on in Ruth it tells that Moab and Ruth do end up marrying and we learn that they are tied to the heritage of Jesus. They are part of the bloodline of the redeemer. All because they were obedient and trusted the provisions that God had set up. Ruth used the provision of being a gleaner, Moab allowing the poor and widows to glean. Ruth not abandoning her mother-in-law when all had been lost. Moab marrying her was an act of redemption. Are you being obedient to what God is calling you to? Are you trusting that His plan for you may not be obvious to you right now but that He knows what He is doing?

 

Father, thank you for redeeming us through the sacrifice of your Son Jesus. We trust that the plans you have for us are good and we want to follow them. Guide us in our steps so that you are glorified in everything we do. Use us to reach those who need to know about you, give us the wisdom to speak life into their lives. Amen

 

Ruth was a foreigner in a foreign land. She had married Boaz son in he homeland but he had died. She returned to Israel with her mother-in-law even after she tried to get Ruth to stay behind. Two widows alone returning to a place they were not well known, who would take care of these ladies?

 

And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her

 

God had placed the practice of gleaning for the people who could not support themselves. This practice allowed widows and the poor to follow behind farmers and pick up any crops left behind during the harvest at no cost. This was the farmer’s way of helping the poor as God had called them to do. Naomi sent Ruth out to this practice so that they would have something to eat. But Naomi had an alternative thought that maybe a suitable husband would be found for her daughter-in-law.

 

Ruth ended up in the field of Moab, this was no accident as Moab had no wife and all indications point to that he had no one lined up either. As Ruth gleaned the fields of Moab we read that he took notice of her and started to ask questions. Then he instructed his harvesters to drop extra grain for her to pick up. This created a buzz in Boaz house, she recognized right away that something was happening. Here in today’s verse, we get to hear her asking a simple question of ‘how was your day?’.  I think she already had an indication of what had happened, she would have been praying for this.

 

If you continue to read on in Ruth it tells that Moab and Ruth do end up marrying and we learn that they are tied to the heritage of Jesus. They are part of the bloodline of the redeemer. All because they were obedient and trusted the provisions that God had set up. Ruth used the provision of being a gleaner, Moab allowing the poor and widows to glean. Ruth not abandoning her mother-in-law when all had been lost. Moab marrying her was an act of redemption. Are you being obedient to what God is calling you to? Are you trusting that His plan for you may not be obvious to you right now but that He knows what He is doing?

 

Father, thank you for redeeming us through the sacrifice of your Son Jesus. We trust that the plans you have for us are good and we want to follow them. Guide us in our steps so that you are glorified in everything we do. Use us to reach those who need to know about you, give us the wisdom to speak life into their lives. Amen

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