50: 50 Days of 3:16

As we conclude this 50 Dyas of 3:16 we see that many of these verses all lead us to the same thing. That God loves us and desires to know us more.

 

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

1 John 3:16

 

The words teach us how to live as believers.

 

Keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

1 Peter 3:16

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Colossians 3:16

Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

Philippians 3:16

These words teach us how to be bold in our faith.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.”

Daniel 3:16

 

It reminds us that sometimes we must wait on the Lord but that he will speak to us.

After seven days the Lord gave me a message. Ezekiel 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness

2 Timothy 3:16

Remember that God is always with you seeing what is happening and waiting for the right moment, our ways are not his ways.

“Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you.“

Exodus 3:16

 

Take some time to study your bible. Grab hold of a scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to connect you to God through it. You will find that he can speak to you through his word. There is truth in the scriptures that will help you manoeuvre through this life and become effective in reaching the lost.

 

Father use us to be a people who want to hear from you. Holy Spirit gives us boldness to step out of our comfort zones and share our faith with others. Bind our fears and help us to be great witnesses and fishers of men. Use me. Amen.

 

Thank you for following with me through his 50 days. I will be back in September with a new series.

 

 

 

 

 

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49: 50 Days of 3:16

 Our journey through the 3:16’s of the bible is drawing to a close. It has been a busy summer for me and I apologize for the inconsistency of my blog postings. On a personal note, my wife’s grandfather returned home to be with Jesus at the age of 91. It was not unexpected, but we are thankful that he in just in recent years he had given his life over to Jesus. We will see him again, there is that hope. So, in writing this today I want to remind you that there is hope for those around you. God doesn’t count people out. We hear all the time of those who we would not expect to be forgiven choosing life in Jesus. John 3:16 continues to remind us of hope that is available to our loved ones, neighbours, enemies and strangers.

 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. NIV

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. MSG

For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He[even] gave His [One and] [a]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. AMP

For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift.[a] So now everyone who believes in him[b] will never perish but experience everlasting life. TPT

For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life. VOICE

 

I have given these different translations to remind you that not everyone you meet is the same. How we reach out to those around us needs to be driven in such a way that we understand that the cookie cutter methods does not always work. We can pick up books upon books or watch a multitude of videos on how to reach the lost. These are a good starting point, but they cannot be the only way we evangelise. The Holy Spirit is available as your mentor and friend to help you each and every time you step out in faith to love someone and share with them the truth about Jesus.

It all comes down to believers actually doing something. We cannot be lazy in our faith, we must make a stand and be bold in sharing what we have found. To find a treasure and not share it is to live a lonely life. Why if we are living in joy and freedom would we not want to share this with everyone we meet? Why have we accepted the lie that people are just not interested in what we have to say? The enemy has convinced us that the truth is okay for us but would not be accepted by others and that they might even resent us for sharing it. We need to be bold, break this lie in our mindsets and push the enemy out of our lives. Trust the Holy Spirit to defend you from the lies that the enemy throws at us, remember greater is he who lives in us then he that is in the world. The devil is defeated and is working a last-ditch effort to drag as many as he can down with him. If he can convince you not to share what you know then his plan is working. Will you tell the world that God loves them?

 

Father forgive us for believing the lie of the enemy. The people around us matter to you, none are discounted or discarded. We are called to reach them and tell them of your love. Holy Spirit gives us boldness and encouragement to step out of our fear and into the light of sharing our story and the truth. Give us daily opportunities to be a witness of your love and help us to open our mouths with the love you have for them. Provide us wisdom in that we can meet those who need you right where they are. Use us. Amen.

48: 50 Days of 3:16

The church has come to a place where they need to decide where they stand in the world. Many have split and split again each time becoming something that suits the needs of the people. Inherently this leads to unbiblical foundations sneaking there way in and undermining the faith. The traditions and rules become the way of living and attendance almost feels more important than the relationship with God.

So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

Revelations 3:16

 

Our relationship with God needs to be the driving force in our lives. We see here in today’s verse one statement that has been used by many ministers to hopefully motivate the congregation to action. The sermon preached and the all to action accepted but the follow-up is lacking. If we want to see the church come alive we cannot expect it to happen without follow-up. Expecting Sunday services week after week to grow a church might happen but there are a few key things that need to happen;

  1. Believers must spend time in prayer and read their bibles,
  2. Connecting with fellow believers in fellowship, accountability, and study, and
  3. Putting faith into action and taking the love of Jesus to the world around them.

 

Lukewarm tends to be comfortable. We were never called to live comfortable lives. Jesus promised us a comforter, he sent a comforter because our life in Christ isn’t meant to be comfortable. If we are living a comfortable life it may be time to asking ourselves where we stand in our relationship with God. A fire engulfs and consumes things around it. It is unafraid to share itself with others. We sing many songs that ask God or the Holy Spirit to send the fire, why? Because we need to have a life that is willing to be shared with others. Our faith needs to consume us and positively influence those who need to experience the love of Jesus. We are called to be the light, light gives off heat. Cold is the absence of heat. There is heat in life, God is calling us to live a life full of the light.

 

Father, set me on fire, help me to move past an apathetic kind of faith. I want to be more then an attendee and experience what you have for me. Let me be willing to share my faith with those around me. Give me boldness to step up in my faith, not being comfortable in where I am now. Use me. Amen

47: 50 Days of 3:16

The world desperately is looking for love. People have an ingrained desire to connect and have a relationship that foundation is so much deeper. Not just the superficial love in which we fall in and out of, but a love that will stick around when times get tough. Hollywood has become a love-generating machine showcasing fantasies of how man and woman might fall in love. It rarely continues the story and focuses on the deep love that keeps us connected.

 

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

1 John 3:16

 

Have you ever been in love? How many times would you say that this feeling of love has overwhelmed you to the point of telling the person? It is to bad that we have this one word overused to the point where in our conversations we throw it around cheapening the meaning. I love this hamburger. I loved that movie. I love this music artist. I love, I love, I love. We have truly lost the meaning of what it means to love. No wonder it is difficult for people to understand the love that Jesus has for us. If the acquaint love of Jesus with the love of superficial things it becomes non-important. Something we say when we enjoy something, yet it is really not going to become the centre of our lives. We may love the burger, but we do not embrace it in such a way we change our lives for it.

 

Here we see love explained in such a way that we must be willing to give up everything as Jesus did to showcase that love. This act of love asks us to change for the betterment of what we love. Jesus asks us to love him and follow him, giving up our old habits and burdens. His love for us is more than superficial love, so much that he was willing to die to show us how much he loved us. We often hear people say would you take a bullet for someone else, this is exactly what Jesus did for ever single person on earth, past, present and future. But we are called to do the same for our brother’s and sisters. Do we love them like that? Would you be willing to lay down your life so that someone else would live?

 

Hearing about these random shootings around my country, USA and the world, I often wonder why we don’t hear much about those standing up to take down the shooter. We are a people with a self-preservation instinct that gives us a flight or fight mentality and we tend more often than not to run. Love is stepping into the fight and preparing to lay down your life in love, not to be the hero, but so that others may experience the love of Christ. It has been said that love isn’t loving until you give it away. Laying down your life can also be sacrificing something that is important to you so that someone else can grow. It could be time, money, talents or many other things.

 

Father, thank you for sending Jesus and his sacrifice of love so that we could show love to others. We ask for boldness and faithfulness to show this love to others as Jesus did for us. Let our lives reflect a love that would be willing to be laid down for our brothers and sisters. Let our love be deeper than the word that is thrown around. Empower us to reach the lost. Amen

44: 50 Days of 3:16

Bigger, better, faster, stronger, cooler, more exciting. These are just some of the things we see that other people have a desire to obtain. Many call it keeping up with the Jones. If your neighbour buys a new car well then we had better buy a new car, they upgrade something in their house, must be time for us to upgrade. Your friend buys the latest phone, you can’t have that and buy a better phone. All these things lead us into debt and jealousy. A place where we just want to be better, instead of just being happy for the person and their success we need to one-up them.

 

For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

James 3:16

 

Jealousy is not a New Testament concept. It first popped its ugly head up back with the first two recorded offspring of Adam and Eve. Cain and Able were both adept at what they did, one a hunter the other a gatherer. They offered some of their respective hunts to God and God was more pleased with Ables offering than Cain’s. Cain could not control his jealousy and recorded the first murder ever. If only Cain had been happy with his brothers offering, things might have been different. He could have learned from him, Able had given the best of the best. One might assume that Cain had not given of the best, maybe he had added a few pieces of fruit that had already fallen off the tree, being lazy he offered God bruised fruit in hopes that it would not get noticed. His selfish ambition to one-up his brother was his downfall. It might have also been a case of Able seeing his brother about to give a sacrifice, not to be left out decided to give one as well and gathered things in a hurry not to glorify God but to make himself look good.

 

How are you living your life? Are you content in what God has provided for you or are you always looking at what others have, desiring to upgrade your life so you are living like them? Is your self-ambition overpowering your desire to serve others? Working hard to be seen by others so they take notice of you and shower you with praise? Being recognized for things you do is not a problem, but when we work looking only for the praise it leads to cutting corners and stepping on others in our quest for this recognition. God honours those who work diligently in their jobs, the mission and church that push forward knowing what needs to be done, doing it and not boasting about it. I have heard it said that if all you desire is mans praise for the works you do here on earth then that will be the blessing you receive. God promises to give us crowns for our faithfulness here on earth, I would prefer those then mans praise. Let us not let our jealousy and self-ambition lead us to a road of disorder and evil.

 

Father, thank you for loving us. If we have been envious of others in our lives I pray for forgiveness. Help me to be satisfied with what I have. Let me take time to pray and be wise in the things I do buy so not to be keeping up with the trends. I want to work to glorify your name, if I have been working for man’s praise, forgive me, I want to work to show my faithfulness to you. Let us be a witness to those around us, working hard and consistently. Give us wisdom and boldness to be a light in the world around us sharing your love with others. Speak to us today. Amen

43: 50 Days of 3:16

In our Christian circles there are a group of believers who have the perception that once you have accepted Jesus, they are free to live life however they see fit. They give their life to God in a moment and in the next take it back trusting in themselves over what God has planned for them. Even when God removes them from a life that was full of pain and suffering they look back seeing the good in the bad, not looking forward to the hope that God has promised for those who wait just a little longer. Just like the people Moses freed from slavery and oppression, even at the first obstacle of the Red Seas they were prepared to go back and accept their old life.

 

Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt?

Hebrews 3:16

 

Those who accept Christ yet choose to focus on how they used to live are going to keep stumbling in their faith. The Israelites who kept looking back at Egypt with false fantasies never stopped. Even after God split the Red Sea, allowing them to walk through and wipe out their oppressors. Even then after walking for many years they asked to go back, food was lacking, yet God provided food. They kept dwelling on the old ways and their old life. God continued to provide for the stubborn people, bringing them to the promised land. Sending spies to scout it out the people refused to take the risk in their own strength to go into the promised land. This rebellion or refusal to go where God had called them kept that generation from experience God’s promise.

 

As believers in Christ, we need to keep our focus on what God has for us. When we run after our own desires without seeking God we tend to revert back to our sinful ways. Like a leaf in the wind, we go where ever the winds take us, which can lead us into trouble. If you have been in any church setting long enough you will have seen believers walk away from the faith, maybe you have as well. It doesn’t seem to take much for one who once lived a vibrant life to set aside the life God has given. They face some opposition or oppression and focus on the moment just like the Israelites, only seeing the problem not the plan of God. The moments in life that hurt us or take a loved one away from us, are moments where we need to grow in our faith, trust God is in control and move forward. Many see these as a judgemental God taking things away from us. No hero in history ever was able to become the hero they were called to be without adversity.  They have to choose to push through the pain and overcome it to become who they were destined to be. We are the same as believers when the hard times come who we overcome and trust God in those moments will define who were are, as we go forward.

 

Those who reject this and become bitter and hardened take it out on the very one who is offering to help them. Instead of embracing the help they push them away and for lack of a better term become enemies to the one who wants to bring them through it into a better life. This opposition does not need to be permeant. This is what makes God so much defend than any other god that the world has to offer. Other gods might forgive you, if you do all the right things and make all the right sacrifices, he may look at you in favour and forgive you, but you might never know if it was acceptable. The God we serve, the Alpha and Omega, is waiting like a Father to embrace you once again. All we need to do is ask for forgiveness, no need to do anything else. He accepts us as we are, where we are, whatever may be and welcomes us back. Together after restoration, He will work with you to bring you out of the life you were living into a life more abundantly. Come back to God, He loves you. He wants to have a restored relationship.

 

Father, many of your children have walked away. I pray that even today they will come back to you. It does not have to be a traumatic event to bring them back, but a revelation that you love them. Whatever the situation they are going through use your people to remind them that you love them. I ask that you will use us to reach the world around us, boldness to share our faith. Help us to continually trust in you, especially when things get tough and it doesn’t seem like you are there. Remind us that you are and that you have a plan, give us the strength to endure the storm knowing that what’s on the other side will be worth the rocky moments. We will trust your plan. Amen

42: 50 Days of 3:16

There are those who argue that that Bible is nothing more than the writings of an ancient culture with no relevance to us today. If they would only take the time to read and connect the relevant information they would find things in the Bible that the writer would have no knowledge of. The age of the Bible is not in dispute, but the content gets pushed aside as nonhistorical by many. For the believer, it is the Basic Instructions Before Leave Earth, and the more we dig into the more we discover.

 

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness

2 Timothy 3:16

 

Have you ever said to yourself ‘why isn’t God speaking to me?’, or ‘what does God have planned for me?’ If we want God to meet us where we are at we need to be digging into the His scriptures He left for us. Inside we find stories and information on so many issues. If you are going through something more than likely there was someone in the Bible who went through something very similar. Of course, it will not be exactly, but the struggles remain the same. Jonah struggled with fear, David had an affair, Job asked the question ‘why do bad things happen to good people’, Paul had an infliction that wasn’t being healed, Jacob had problems with his in-laws and it goes on and on.

 

We often easily go to the scripture that says judge not lest you be judged, yet here we see that we are to use the scripture to not just teach but to rebuke. Rebuking is defined as ‘express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions.’ We have become a church who have forgotten how to do this properly. Some churches have taken this to the extreme and have been a bad example of what the church is meant to be. There is a difference between rebuking and correcting. When we find someone, who is brother or sister in the faith who is sinning we bring it to their attention that it is wrong, we teach them the way to forgiveness in Christ and help them through it if they refuse to turn from their sin then we should consider rebuke, this is not something anyone should rush into. New believers will spend much time in the correcting part of their faith. Most if not all believers would never need rebuking, but there are cases that are ignored and maybe should have been addressed.

 

We need to be in a consistent mentorship with each other. Every believer should be a mentor and have a mentor. A mentor is someone, who will show you things from experience and what scripture is showing them about the Christian life. The mentor is someone you can ask the hard questions and provide gentle correction and guiding. They have the heart to help you grow in your faith and life a life of righteousness.  The next verse confirms why we need the scripture ‘God uses it (the scripture)  to prepare and his people to do every good work’.

 

How are using the scriptures? Are you using them at all? Have you given them much thought throughout your day? Take some time today to read your bible and think about what it is saying to you, what it was saying to the people of the day and how you can apply it in your world.

 

Father, thank you for the word. This scripture has been influential in so many lives and I cannot understand how it is ignored by so many people. I pray that anyone who picks up a bible and reads it to try to disprove it will have a change of heart and experience your glory turning to your love. You have given this scripture to us to teach others, rebuke, correct and train in righteousness and I pray we will be able to do all those things not leavening any out for the sake of acceptance. Help us to love those around us and reach them with the truths delivered in the word. Let us be light and salt to this world. Amen