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.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

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

46: 50 Days of 3:16

Peter in writing his letters did not water down the faith and what each and every believer was responsible to do. This made it frustrating for those who wanted the express version of faith. They didn’t want to take the time to study his letters and see how they should apply it, they wanted the three easy steps. They would twist his words to satisfy their own version of Christianity.

 

He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

2 Peter 3:16

 

The bible is clear about not twisting the words to satisfy our own version of Christianity. Yet even today there are people doing just that. It can be confusing to a new believer or someone exploring faith to run into two men telling them that they are Christians, yet their beliefs are not based on the teachings of Jesus. In truth, Jesus isn’t even close to the centre of their faith. I wish I could say all those who have done this are outside the Christian faith, but there are those inside who are teaching things that contradict the bible. The prosperity gospel is one message that is out there that many believers get caught up in. Yes, God will bless you and takes care of you, but we were never called to work towards being rich. If this was so would have not Judas been a more prominent disciple as his desire was riches? Jesus downplayed money and its importance in the life of a believer. He promoted character building over material wealth.

 

As followers of Christ, I encourage you to take hold of what you hear and read from others in the faith. Challenge what you are inputting into your life against the Holy Scriptures. Is what you are listening to following the truths that the Apostles wrote about, does it align with what Jesus taught? If we take the time to examine the sermon of the Sunday past during the week it will help cement the teaching and confirm what they were teaching is the truth. We tend to treat Sunday sermons like fast food, eat it and think nothing else of it. But if we think of it as fine dining, which we truly enjoy we would be talking about it for days about how good it was. How many of you can remember what was talked about last Sunday at your church?

Take some time and study scripture, it is okay if some things are hard to understand. Ask God to reveal what it means through the Holy Spirit. He is there to be the wisdom you need. Find someone in the faith who will guide you in your questions. We do not have to go through the Christian walk along, nor should we.

 

Father, thank you for the Scriptures. We thank you for the faithfulness of those who wrote them. Reveal to us the wisdom and knowledge we need to strengthen our lives and walk in faith. Give us boldness to go out into our world and share this with others. We want to be a light in the darkness. 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

40: 50 Days of 3:16

Turmoil rages in the lives of the believer and unbeliever alike. We tend to focus on the turmoil and work to achieve some relief by any means necessary. Many times, we tend to treat the symptoms of the problem with our dealing with the root cause. In most cases, the solution to our needs is a peace that can only come from God himself. This reminder from Paul could be the answer to many of our troubles. A reminder that God gives peace.

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

2 Thessalonians 3:16

 

Many cultures do not use the term ‘goodbye’. They just don’t have a need for the word. They have come to understand that in life or even death that it is not the end and the hope is that one day they will see their loved ones again. Goodbye is an indication that you may never see the person again, how many times have you heard someone use the phrase when they have lost someone close ‘I never got a chance to say goodbye’? This saddens me as I feel there is a hope of reunion for those who are part of the family of God. But for those who reject or ignore the call of God in their lives, it is final, there is no such reunion. The enemy has deceived the world into believe that a party awaits those who reject God and that heaven is a lame place to be. You see this in many depictions of the afterlife. This could be further from the truth but how can so many people be deceived?

 

It boils down to is that those who tend to believe in nothing will believe in anything. They chase after whatever it is that fills the void and gives them a warm and tingly feeling, yet it never lasts, and they have to go on to another and another.  Each time their resistance to the Gospel of Jesus grows harder feeling that even Jesus cannot have the cure to what haunts them. So instead of going to the source of truth, they continue living in sin using poison after poison looking for peace that is unattainable outside of God’s love. They sacrifice their children to other god’s and wonder why our God does ‘bad things to good people’. They live their lives immorally and in sexual perversion and then ask God’s people not to judge them in their sin. Yet if a murderer was to ask for the same he would be not given the same. The world lives in a constant double standard if not multiple standards.

 

We need the peace of God in our lives. We need to share this peace with the world around us. They need to hear us as believer sharing our faith no matter the opposition and persecution it may bring. As believers if we truly believe that death isn’t the end for those who are in Christ why are we satisfied that it is the end for those who have not accepted him? Our hearts should be broken for those dying in their sin. We can no longer sit on the peace given to us, it is not for us to hoard but to share. I share with you the same words that Paul shared with the church as we go into our day today. Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

 

Father, help us as believers to share this peace that you offer to those around us Let us not be content to sit in our faith and with for the end. We are called for so much more. You have called us to be witnesses to the ends of the earth which includes our neighbours, family and coworkers. Not one of us can say that we have no one we can talk to about Jesus, you give us moments daily. Give us the strength, wisdom and boldness to actually do it. We pray that when we take this step of faith it will empower us in a way that we have never experienced and encourage us to keep going. Even if it feels like we have not gotten through to that person we were talking to I pray Jesus that we plant a seed that will one day bud and grow. Use us, help us to share the peace that only you provide. Let us show the world that there are no Goodbyes for believers only see you soon. Amen.

 

38: 50 Days of 3:16

We all have our physical limits. As someone who has no hardship when it comes to running, I also know that I have limits. The more I run the higher that limit becomes as I am training my body to respond to that kind of distance or speed. To try to run the 100-yard dash at speeds beyond my capabilities would tear at my body and cause me pain. Running a marathon without any training would be unobtainable. If my mind was set on these tasks yet I was unprepared I may be devastated by my results. Paul likened the Christian faith to a race, and he knew we must strive to the finish line, yet he also was quite aware that we all are moving at different paces.

 

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

Philippians 3:16

 

We train spiritual very similar to how we would train for anything else. Sure, I would love to walk out my door and run as fast as Usain Bolt or Andre De Grasse, but I can’t and to obtain their speed I would need years of training. I know that I can run around 5 km without any trouble, that is what I can attain. We tend to walk out our doors and set unattainable goals for our lives. This sets us up for failure. For me to walk outside and plan a 10 km run when the best I have done in the past is 5 km will set me up for failure. Once I have hit my 5 km I start to see the goal as a far way off, I may push an extra 1 km out, but I start to slow down and lose sight of the goal. I may just quit, why bother.

 

We do this in our faith as well. Maybe your prayer life is lacking and the sermon on Sunday invigorated you to spend more time in prayer. That is awesome we all need to be motivated. But we set unrealistic goals that truly are unattainable in our current state. We walk out saying we will spend 1-2 hours a day in prayer focused on God when just the day before we were lucky to have spent 5 min. This jump from min to hours will drag on a believer and make them feel like they just don’t have what it takes. Instead, they need to gradually work their way up. Adding more time each day or adding smaller sessions to break it up. God isn’t looking at the act of prayer but the heart behind it, I can pray for an hour but if my heart is elsewhere then was it worth the hour? Same as reading the Bible, many will jump in and start reading many chapters in a day but that too will fade if they are not used to it, they will miss a day and feel defeated. Joining a plan on a bible app or buying a plan at the store can help focus your thoughts and provide the training to increase.

 

I do not believe Paul is telling us to settle for where we are at in our faith. As we read in just a few verses earlier he reminds us to ‘press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus “ 14. What I believe he is trying to tell us is we need to prepare ourselves to do what is next. One cannot expect to become a believer one day and preaching to a congregation the next. Even Paul took time alone with God, two years or more, preparing himself to go where God called him. How is God preparing you in your race? What is he calling you to do? Are you preparing yourself? Have you been comparing yourself to others in the faith only to fall over and over again? Look and see how God is using you, how your race is different than any other and that you are growing. Use your training to reach others with God’s love. Using what you know will propel you to grow even more.

 

Father, many times we try to outrun what we know and are prepared for. I pray today that you will show us how to reach people with what we know. We are not all at the same level in our faith but what we know about Jesus love and grace is enough to change the world. For those discouraged, I pray that they will see that you love them where they are at and that you don’t play favourites with your children. Propel them forward in their faith, help them to grow at a pace that will starch them but not break them. Let us take what we know about you and reach those around us that need to experience your love. Amen