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

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49: 50 Days Freed

We often wonder how God could even care about who we are. I mean 7.6 billion people on earth currently and He cares about me, seems a little out there. That’s what makes this faith and relationship so amazing. God does know you, He wants to connect with you and all 7.6 billion of His children. He is so big that His love encompasses all of them. Yet we get stuck up in a lie that there is no way He could every love everyone let alone me. Breaking out and being free of this lie is a big step forward in experiencing what God has for you.

 

 

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

 

This passage was written when Israel was being held captive by Babylon and God promised to free them from their oppression. Their sin had placed them in captivity, their disobedience and idolatry. It was never the ultimate plan for the Israelite’s to be taken, yet they chose to sin and ignore God’s laws he had given them. God had done some amazing things for the Israeli people, yet time and time again they lost the fact He loved them and tried to find love in all the wrong places. They would adopt the gods of their neighbours who had no power to do anything let alone love them. It wasn’t like God had not given them any promises of hope. Over and over again He told them if they followed Him, He would bless them and make them a great nation.

 

We were held captive by our sin. God made a plan that was for good. Jesus was the answer to the captivity of sin. There is a future and hope for all those who choose Jesus and follow God’s plan of salvation. Over and over again God tells us that if we follow Him, He will bless us. He will never leave us in need. Yet we see people walking away from their faith to follow hollow gods who promise things we don’t need.

 

People need to hear of this. Have you told anyone about it? Have you invited anyone to church to hear about it? Let’s start today and change the world one person at a time. We need to keep reminding them that God loves them. He has a plan for them. He wants to meet their needs. He wants to bless them. He wants to free them.

 

How can you do this? Make the point of speaking to someone today about the love of God. Make a post on your social media telling others that God loves them and wants to have a relationship for them. Share this blog with others to rally them in sharing the freedom found in Jesus.

 

Father, your plan is a good one. Your path to walk is the right one. Help me to follow you with excitement to share this with others. Forgive me if I have followed any other gods. I choose to follow you with all my heart. I trust your plan, I trust your ways. Thank you for sending Jesus as my way to freedom. Holy Spirit create in me a clean heart and pour into me daily so I can reach others. They matter to you and they matter to me. Amen

 

 

48: 50 Days Freed

All too often we think of freedom as something we must earn to have. Slaves had to have in many cases have someone fight for their right to be free and even in others, wars and battles were fought to make them free. An innocent man who is wrongly convicted requires someone on the outside fighting for them. We can then understand why mankind has this notion that the freedom that Jesus offers must be earned. Battles must be fought and wrongs made right before freedom can be achieved. Jesus defeated sin and death on the cross so we could experience freedom, there is nothing else we can do, he offers freedom for any who would just ask for it.

 

“Fear of the LORD is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.” Proverbs 14:27 NLT

 

Living without Jesus is an eternal death certificate. There is no other way to escape this sentence then through Jesus. Sure, many people will say there is, but in reality, they are snake oil salesmen who just want to make a quick buck and are in the same situation as their customers. When we add strings to salvation we risk tripping ourselves up and falling flat on our own strength. Anyone who tells you that you need Jesus PLUS_________ is selling you a phoney faith. As the song reminds us ‘Christ is enough for me.’

We need to provide our families, friends, co-workers and strangers with the free gift of life. A way to remove the eternal death sentence that everyone has. A lot of people think it is just too good to be true. That Jesus has strings attached. Well, it will cost you everything that is attached to that death sentence. But the exchange for life is more valuable, they need to see in you what the love of Jesus produces. Love joy peace. Some say that they will have to change who they are as a person, Jesus made you the way you are for a reason, your personality and traits are what makes you who you are. To think that God wants to change that is absurd, he uses each individual talents and traits to reach the world. If we were all the same, it wouldn’t speak well of the creative God we serve.

If you claim to follow Jesus but are bitter, mean and cranky all the time, gossiping, not being trustworthy, do you think that is the life they want to be living? Of course not. They are watching you. Are you displaying Jesus? We need to daily represent the love that is growing inside us, given to us with the forgiveness we received through salvation. If we want to share the mission of freedom to those around us we need to start acting like we are freed. How we react to situations might need to change, forgiveness, mercy and love should flow freely from us. We need to be Jesus.

 

Father, we need to love others like you love them. Help us to be more like you. Let out old ways that may discourage others from following you be set aside and replaced. We need to be instrumental in helping others come to know you. Daily. Let our lives reflect your life-giving fountain. Use me to show others the freedom in you. Amen

 

47: 50 Days Freed

As we near the end of this 50 Days Freed journey you may have noticed that the last few posts have been aimed at freedom from sin. Each one with a call to repent and to accept the relationship that God desires to have with you. This is no accident. If you have been reading daily and do not have this connection with God, ask yourself why you keep coming back? It is probably not because of my amazing writing skills but a desire to meet with Jesus.

 

Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty, is divided between God and the world.

James 4:8

 

Here is James it is laid out quite simply what must be done to be free from the prison of sin. Everyone is born in this prison, Jesus broke the door and made a way for everyone to walk out of this prison, yet in our stubbornness, we refuse to accept his help. What a promise written here, ‘come close to God and he will come close to you’. What is clear is that it doesn’t put a list of things you must do first. It does not read, get your things in order and then God will come close to you. No, come as you are, stains, rips, brokenness and shame. Just like the Father watching for his son who had abandoned him, he saw him a far way off, ran to him and embraced him as he was. That seems like an okay response, but think about where the son just came from; he had been working with the pigs sitting in their pens, and he had just made a very long journey to return home. He would not have smelled very clean, he most likely didn’t stop to freshen up as he had no money left. But his Father embraced him as he was.

 

The second part of this verse is for those who have accepted Jesus as their saviour yet feel they can be living life in sin with no consequences. We as believers are called to separate ourselves from our old sinful ways. We cannot serve two masters. Washing our hands is symbolic of when Jesus washed the feet of the disciples. Peter in the moment asked Jesus to wash his whole body, yet Jesus told him he only needs to clean the dirty part. When we sin, we need to remove the dirt from our lives, clean the area where sin has invaded so that it does not infect the whole body.  Some believe that once you have accepted Jesus you can walk in sin and it does not matter as Jesus has forgiven all our sins past, present and future, so we now have a free pass. This lie from the enemy is there to divide us, again you cannot serve God and the world. Make your choice.

 

Sin is a prison we need to be freed from. Inside the prison of sin separates us from God and leads to a death sentence separated from God. Do not despair, there is hope, Jesus came and died so you can be free and have that death sentence removed. Not only is it removed but replaced with a hope of eternal life living with the creator. The choice is yours, are you happy in your prison of sin, disguised as life or are you ready to experience a relationship with the one who created you?

 

Father, today there is someone reading this that needs to experience you. They are tired of living life in sin and the bondage it has on them. Show them that there is life in you. Use your believers to reach out and share the love of Jesus with them. Help them to understand what he has done so they can live. Help us as believers to be outgoing witnesses of your love. Opening our mouths to tell others about you. We want to be effective in helping free others. Amen

46: 50 Days Freed

We hear of natural disasters that cause buildings to collapse and displaces people from their homes. I cannot fathom what it must be like for the families who cannot locate one of their loved ones. As they figure out one is missing the search fort hem begins with the hope that their loved one will be found. In many cases, buildings are moved and large pieces of rubble are shifted just to find those who are lost. Those imprisoned by this mess when rescued thank their rescuers. They are freed from an almost certain death.

 

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

Luke 19:10

 

Mankind is eager to assist in the times where people are lost and hurt due to natural disasters. They rally around a family of a missing child and form groups to go search and hopefully rescue them. Helping others is built into our being, the ingrained desire that no man woman or child should be lost has driven us since the creator placed us in the garden. Some suppress this desire as they let the sinful nature lead their lives, but in general, we always want to help find someone who is lost. It could come down to the ‘golden rule’; do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. Whatever the reason the fact remains we have the desire to help lost people.

 

Our faith is no different. We are called to reach those who are lost. In our context the lost are those who have yet asked Jesus to forgive them of their sins, repent and begin anew in him. It could be helping those who once had a relationship and walked away come back home. If we are to have the heart of Jesus and want to be like Him then we must have the same mission as Him. He came to seek and save the lost. Bring freedom for those weighed down by sin, covered in rubble. The big difference between seeking a person affected by natural disaster and the mission is that many people will not accept that they need help. They do not see the danger they are in and that the rubble of sin is keeping them from experience life more abundantly. They are satisfied living in sin. It is only when they recognize that the sin has trapped them that they will accept or ask Jesus for help.

 

Maybe today you are feeling trapped by sin. Lost in the rubble of life it is overwhelming and you, no matter how hard you try, cannot climb out. I want to let you know there is hope. There are people out there who want to help you. Even now Jesus wants to help you out of the rubble pile and into a life He has set apart for you. Jesus promised that he would leave the entire herd just to find one lost sheep. This means he is looking for you to help you, to bring you home. Ask Him today why he would do such a thing, do not be surprised when he tells you. What are you going to do about it?

 

Father, I pray for those who want are seeking to help the lost. Give them direction on where to look, words to speak and an unexpected open to what they are sharing. Soften the hearts of family, friends and coworkers to hear about the God who loves them and is actively seeking them to forgive them. If anyone reading this has not accepted you Jesus as their saviour I pray today that they come to accept your grace and they become found and freed from what is holding them down. Thank you for all you do for us. Amen

45: 50 Days Freed

There are many out there using the name Christian who out imprisoned by rules and regulations that have been created to keep followers ‘in line’. Over the years men have added to the bible and just like the Pharisees of Jesus day, they have made it hard for anyone to be able to live up to their expectations of what it means to follow God. Jesus made it quite simple when he was asked what the ‘rules’ were ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbour as yourself.’ If we do these things everything else will flow naturally. Yet many are working hard to ‘keep’ their faith as if it was something they lose the moment they make a mistake.

 

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them.”

Hebrews 13:8-9 NLT

 

I am so thankful that I follow a saviour that stays the same. I know I am saved and don’t have to worry that he somehow changed the Boundaries he set in place.  There are many groups of “believers” out there that are outside the boundaries. They are following a split off of Christianity that at some point in the past has added strange new ideas to what the bible says, added books and made a list of rules and regulations to ” complement” the bible.

 

The problem is they don’t complement the bible they corrupt those who decide to follow that sect. It causes division in the body of Christ as they begin to confuse true believers in these strange and somewhat attractive ways of living. They may look good from all outward appearance but at the heart is poison.

 

So how do we know if something is wacky or not in line with what the Bible teaches? Well, we have the best resource which is the Bible. Read and study it, as to know what it says, you’re not going to be able to remember everything, but key verse and themes can permeate your life.

 

Another useful tool is the Internet, not perfect by any means but believers who have studied false religions and sects and share their findings online. You may have to do some digging and research until you find the truth but if you take what you find and pair it up with what the Bible teaches it should help.

 

Lastly, you have your pastor and elders of your church. They may have experienced things like this and should be willing to talk with you about things that are caused for you to question ” am I following the right path”

 

A relationship with Jesus needs to be the main message of any church that claims to be Christian. The cross, the resurrection, are key in this relationship. If you think you are being taught strange new ideas that don’t correspond with the Bible, pray and ask Jesus to guide you through it and possible out of it.

 

If I ever present a strange new idea here on this blog, I pray that you would call me out on it so we can talk and see where I am wrong.

 

Dear Jesus, thank you that your word is clear and complete. I thank you that we don’t have to add anything to make it better. I ask that you protect your followers from the traps laid by the enemy to lure believers into falseness. Strengthen your believers to see the truth, decipher the tricks of the enemy and move forward in reaching the lost for you. Let us speak the truth to the confused, show them that Jesus is the reason and that he wants to rescue them. Even today Jesus, let us be a witness for you. Amen

 

#50daysofpray

 

 

 

43: 50 Days Freed

We live in fear that if we are to share our faith bad things will happen. That may be understandable in a country where Christians are jailed for their faith, but in a free country what ‘bad’ could really happen to us. This fear we have is all about us and how people will think about us. Our reputations as the way others see us has become more important to us than our faith. This is a form of prison we are in that holds us back from experiencing the blessings of God.

 

Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good?  But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.  But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!

 

1 Peter 3:12-17

 

At my church yesterday, our pastor spoke on ‘fake news’ and that it has been circulating for ages. It is not new, it was warned about in the bible. People are willing to accept many strange things they are taught about the Christian faith. There is an abundance of fake stories out there that have been told for so long they are now considered truth by some. When we dig into them we find out that they are based on lies and ultimately were created to separate us from God not draw us closer. A really good example is the quote attributed to St Francis Assisi; “ Preach the Gospel always, if necessary use words”. Of course, this is a fake quote rewording the man of God. Francis was a man who spoke often about reaching the lost, but he used many words. Take a look above at the verse again. We are called to ‘always be ready to explain’. I can’t explain something without words.

 

Why then are we so casual about our mission in reaching the lost? What is it that holds us back from spreading the truth to others? Does it even matter as a believer if I share my faith or just sit back and let the Pastor do it for me? Isn’t that why we give to missions? Each and every individual believer is called to share the love of Jesus with the world. The world being where ever you are. We are not all to travel abroad to make a difference, some may be called but in reality, we can do the same work right where we are. Unless you live in some gated Christian community where you never interact with anyone else, we all have someone who needs to experience Jesus. Do the people around you know that there is hope to be found in Jesus? Does your life reflect it, words express it, body language impress it? We are ambassadors of Christ. Are you ready to break the bondage of fear and be freed to share the love of Christ with others?

 

Maybe today you don’t know Jesus and are reading this asking what does this mean? You know many people who claim to be Christians and their lives and actions are not very nice, they do not act any different than me. I am sorry for the version of Christianity they are portraying. Jesus came to give mankind life and life abundantly. He sacrificed himself so that you may live free of the bondage of sin. Sin separates us from God. Ask God to show Himself to you today, pick up a bible, or download the BibleApp. Check him out for yourself, don’t let someone else version of Christianity keep you away from the truth. Seek it out yourself.

 

Father, as we work towards reaching the lost and fulfilling the mission, give us the strength to overcome the fear that holds us back. Help us to see the freedom in sharing your love with others. It is empowering and brings much joy to heaven. If there is anyone reading this who does not yet have a relationship with you I pray that even now you are speaking to them and showing them the love you have for them. Let us become better ambassadors for you and bring us freedom from fear. Amen