Day 13: 50 Days of Impact

People all around us are searching for purpose. We accept so many counterfeit ideas that claim to give us purpose in life. We see this all the time in our world where people feel their purpose is something us “normal” people find disturbing. Whatever it maybe they fight hard to show people that what they believe is truth, they expect others to join them in their purpose. The thing about all these purpose driven lives is they are rooted in sin, and sin doesn’t care how many people get hurt along the way. They honestly believe what they are fighting for is truth. God created us with a purpose. You can read about our purpose in Genesis. It was to have a relationship with God. Sin divided us from having this God sent Jesus to restore this relationship. We need to help people see what our purpose is.

 

“For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die.”

Philippians 1:20 NLT

 

Paul in this story was in prison for preaching the gospel of Christ. He was torn between reaching the lost and just going home to be with Jesus. I don’t believe at any time was Paul contemplating suicide, but the fact that he understood if for some reason he was to die while in jail, he knew where he was heading and was okay with it.

 

We are called to be bold for Christ. Not to be ashamed of the gospel. To share the love of Christ and make disciples as commanded in the great commission. Yet we sit in our own prison cells waiting for death. I say wake up and walk out the door, if you have Jesus as your saviour you are free and the door to your prison us side open. You no longer need to be sitting in it dwelling on the past of focusing on your sins. Jesus has set you free, and in that freedom, he asks you to share it with others. He commands you to share with others.

It says Jesus stands at the door to each and every person on earths heart and is knocking.  What in the world does he need us for? I believe our mission in sharing Jesus to the lost is not to save, for that is a choice they must ask for, ours is to focus the person to hear Jesus knocking. Leading them to the door and letting them know who is on the other side.

 

Dear Jesus, we are called to go and make disciples. Sharing to gospel if Christ to all people. I pray that we don’t become complacent expecting others to do the work for us. Missionaries have their place, but we don’t want to be funding them so we can sit back and say well my work is done. We are called to share with others. Holy Spirit equip us to share, guide us, motivate us out of our comfort zones. We want to tell others about Jesus love to them and the relationship he desires to have with them. Amen

 

Day 13: 50 Days of Impact

We look at other countries or even our own and wonder who put this person in charge. Are the even qualified to run this place? There are different ways to deal with this; 1) There are those who actively oppose them either with protesting and in some cases violence. 2) Those who just take it, they know it will pass and although they may not like it what can they do. 3) lastly there are those who flee for their live.

We need to flee into the arms of Jesus. Then and only then can we actively oppose the enemy that is destroying this world. We are not called to be passive, but to fight the enemy from within is hopeless. Only free people can free people.

 

“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.” Psalms 5:11 NLT

All over the world there are millions of displaced people’s, we call refugees. Driven out of their homes by wars or cruel dictators and their armies. They flee in hopes of a new life somewhere else where things can be ” normal”.

Non-believers are living a life full of internal wars, and living a life lead by a mad dictator whose only desire is to keep them from finding the truth that they are heading towards destruction. These people need to have their eyes opened to the sin that infects their lives. As believers, we need to share the love of Jesus who is offering them not just refugee status but citizen status for anyone who would cry out to him for help. He came to rescue them from the path to destruction.

This mad dictator who is running their lives has convinced them that they are good enough, so much so that even when presented with the truth of Jesus they dismiss it as something for the weak person and not for them. We need to work even harder to break this chain of complacency in the lives of those around us. We need to display a life of joy and peace that can only come from Jesus.

Jesus, soften the hearts of those who need you, give us words to displace the lies that the enemy has build into their lives. Give us wisdom to use the right words at the right time, things that we would never know without the discernment of the Holy Spirit. We want to bring people to know you and to be free from the path of destruction. They matter to you and they matter to us. Amen

 

Day 11: 50 Days of Impact

Things are happening daily in this world that we would easily describe as tragedies. Others are not so much tragedies but purposeful acts of evil that no one can explain away. They will point the blame and blame a group of people but they never truly understand what is the cause behind it all. Sin, it is the backbone of the evil in this world, its goal is to confuse, constrict and keep people so distracted to who God is. How will our reactions as believers impact those watching?

 

“People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy.”

Ecclesiastes 9:12 NLT

 

Tragedy comes to everyone. Cancer, death, strokes, car accidents, suicides, murder, job losses, unexpected expenses, theft, and many other things constitute tragedy. These things can hit the beloved and unbeliever alike.

 

We as believers take these life events no less hard. It is all in how we react to them that will determine how we survive them.

We grieve when we need to grieve. Fight when we need to fight. But the awesome reality is we don’t do it alone. We have a father who comforts us and a family we can come to lean on.

 

Let us be that comfort to those around us who don’t know Jesus. Show them the love in the tragedy. Be the friend they need. They need to see us as friends and not enemies.

Sin is here to keep people away from God, it is our nature to enjoy those pleasures, but our purpose is to connect with the creator. Until we do that we will never be satisfied with life.

If today you are wanting to surrender to Jesus, asking him to forgive you of sin and free you from its bondage, I encourage you to just talk to him. There is no magic prayer, no mantra you must repeat. It is your heart he is looking at when you talk to him. If you make this change I encourage you to find a church that is invested in God and plug into a family of believers.

 

Jesus, we all know people who are hurting, help us to share your love to them in their grief and despair. Let them know they are loved by you and your family. Jesus, I am sorry for the things I have done, forgive me of my sins, I surrender my life to you. Amen

 

Day 2: 50 Days of Impact

How we live our daily lives impact those around us. How we respond and how we treat others can greatly affect our witness. Not all Christians actions match their words but if we as believers want to make a change in those around us we need to show them how important it is to us.

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT

Love never gives up. That is the motto of my marriage. Never give up, never lose faith, endure through every circumstance. I wish I could say this was true of all my friendships, coworkers or even the connections I have with some of my family. I want it to be but it seems easier to just give up, and let the “wind of fate” prevail.

But we are reminded here that if we love others as Jesus loves others, then we should never give up on those we love. They still matter to God no matter how we feel towards them. Our love we share with them no matter what the circumstance, stands as an example of who we are and what we believe in.

So today if you feel like someone you have been talking to or sharing your faith with is a lost cause, give your head a reset and remember love never gives up. God hasn’t given up on them so neither should you. Love them. Pour your life into them and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

Jesus, help us to never give up loving our brothers and sisters. There are so many people in this world who need to know you Jesus. There are no lost causes. Holy Spirit I will do my part so to help you do your part. Give me opportunities to show the love of Jesus with those around me, even today. They matter to you, so they matter to me. Amen

 

Day 49: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts of Day 49: Ever have that one friends that you really enjoyed being around but wouldn’t dare let them hang out with the rest of your friends? You and they get along fine, but you know that they just wouldn’t fit in with the rest. I am sure that if you took the time a patience they would have no issues with your group of friends, but why take the chance. Closet friends. Is that how you treat Jesus?

DAY FORTY-NINE

“If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I’m leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendour of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38 MSG)

So how’s your day going? That’s a question most people are asked multiple times a day. We answer with good or living the dream, or with whatever catch phrase we have.

But would you be willing to change that up and start really telling them how things are. Would you be willing to say, things are great, God’s doing something awesome in my life or I am having a terrible day and I think need some time in prayer.

A lot of Christians tend to separate work and their walk with Christ. Maybe even their relationships outside church don’t even know that you are a follower of Christ. Jesus takes a huge stand on this in Mark 8. Just like we don’t like to be ignored by our friends, neither does He. He wants us to lift Him up in front of everyone no matter where their hearts are.

So, don’t be embarrassed to talk about you walk with Jesus, I challenge you this day to make a point of telling someone about something God is doing in your life. Be proud of who you are in Christ. He is proud of you.

Dear Jesus, give me the freedom to talk about what You are doing in my life with my friends and coworkers. Use it to be a witness to them. I am not embarrassed to be a follower of Christ. Let my actions and my words show this to be true. Amen

Day 48: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts of Day 48: Who doesn’t want control of their own lives. As teenagers we fight for control of our futures, many rebel, runaway and hope to get away from the restrictive parents who we believe don’t have our best interests at heart. Then we get jobs where we want to be our own bosses, we get married and realize that it is a combined effort, not a ” I’m the boss” scenario.  So why then as a people would we want to let Jesus be the center and let him lead our lives? It sounds so opposite of how we live. Those things we run from are put in place to help us grow and become who we are meant to be. Our parents leadership is meant to mold us so when we get married we know how to work as a team. Running away leads to solitude and even homelessness. Jesus doesn’t want to lead your life to cause you grief, but to give you purpose and life. If you feel otherwise you have been feed a bunch of lies from the devil whose only goal in life is to keep you from experiencing this relationship with Jesus. he is jealous, Jesus is the choice, he is the default.

 

DAY FORTY-EIGHT

Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for? (Matthew 16:24-26 MSG)

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? (Matthew 16:24-26 NIV)

Self help, the art of fixing yourself. Grapefruit, milkshake, starvation, subway are all diets that are self help motivated. Proper eating and exercise take self sacrifice when done right.

Our spirituality can be very similar. If we jump on every book, or teaching on Christianity, and just read the book, trying to apply it but not plugging into the source then it is just another book. We as Christians don’t need anything else but the Bible. Other resources are useful, but if the bible isn’t your daily go to book then it needs to be.

If you accepted Jesus into your heart then you must take up your cross daily, but what does that mean? I like the way the MSG puts it is that Jesus is the driver of your life. If you love your car, it isn’t easy to let someone else drive it. They could crash it. But Jesus says that He needs to be the driver of Your life. It is saying, I will love my enemies, I will help the poor and needy & I will share the love of Christ to the lost.

How many times have you seen men or woman of faith who “sell their soul”. The devil shows up with a contract and the person just signs away usually for something they could have done without. Money tends to be the main factor but sex has a way to a mans heart as well. If you are a believer in Christ, you already signed your soul over to Him. Why would you want to take it back only to throw it away for things that are going to fade away?

 

If you haven’t sold out to Jesus, let me make this clear. You may not be worshiping the devil on purpose, but the path you’re on belongs to him. Don’t be mistaken, to reject Jesus, or dismiss his sacrifice and salvation is to accept the other alternative. But there is hope. You can change course and do a 180. Turn your life over to the Son of God, who can bring you out of the grip of the enemy.

Dear Jesus, I am yours mind, body and soul. I want You in control of my life. Help me to carry the cross daily. Love my enemies, help the poor and powerless, and share the gospel to the lost. Thank you for who You are and what You have done for me. Forgive me of my sin and wash me clean. Take the driver seat of my life. Amen

 

Day 45: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 45: We all have someone in our lives that we don’t particularly like and that in itself makes it hard for us to show them love. Loving someone and liking someone are different. Jesus didn’t like the ways the people were living and how they were acting, yet he loved them. He didn’t mix the two up, nor should we. We will always have people in our lives that we just don’t get along with, but we need to love them as Jesus loves them, even if we disagree with them. Attacking them and gossiping about them is not loving them. How can we love someone we just don’t like?

 

DAY FORTY-FIVE

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.” (Matthew 5:9 MSG)

Have you ever been in a church where everyone is getting along? Awesome isn’t it. You can feel the love of God moving among the people.

Now imagine a church where the people are fighting one another or the pastor. Maybe it doesn’t take much to get an image as you have seen it before. No growth, and the church seems okay on the outside but falling apart in the inside.

Jesus tells us that we need to cooperate. It’s not always easy when you put a large group of people together and expect them all to go along with the party line. Cooperating does not mean blindly following either.

Now cooperation doesn’t always mean agreeing with everything that is going on, but it is being able to put your opinions aside if needed to share the vision of the group. You have the right to present your opposition in love to the appropriate people, but when you stand up and start outright opposition is when the hard time and fighting would begin.

Are you a cooperative member of your family? Or are you a fighter?

Dear Jesus, I want to discover my place in my family. I want to be used by You and help further Your kingdom in my community and my home church. Show me how to cooperate with others in the global church family.
Amen