Day 22: 50 Days of Passion

I happened to be listening to Joyce Myers cd the other day and she said something that hit the nail right on the head. She was telling about a conversation about lady who was complaining about her job. She was the only Christian that worked at the job and just couldn’t stand working there any longer. Joyce then asked the lady if she had not just had a conversation and prayer a few months earlier for opportunities to minister to people.

 

“Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.”

Ecclesiastes 9:10 NLT

 

Whatever you do, do well. Do you work at restaurant as a cashier? Do it well. Stocking shelves for a living? Do it well. Adding numbers? Do it well. Managing people? Do it well.  Working for a volunteer organization? Do it well. Whatever you do with your life, whatever aspect, your work, your family, volunteering, whatever it may be, when you are there give it your best.

 

Many people who are unhappy in life simply aren’t giving their all into what they are doing. They are more concerned about what others have and that they don’t. What a miserable life to live when we focus on what others have. If we stop looking outward and notice what’s around us, we are a bless people here. Work for the most part is there for those who are willing to work and work at it their very best. Sometimes we have to settle on a job before finding the job we really want but we must still give it all in the job we have while we wait for opportunities. Trust that God will motivate you in the job you have preparing you for more responsibilities.

 

We ask God for things to increase our ministry, our passion or to give us motivation and joy, yet when He does we don’t stop and realize it. We are focused on our own happiness and our situation. Its like a child asking for an allowance and then complaining about the amount they receive.

Are you happy in your job today? Is it the job or is it something else? Why not focus on doing the job you have well and trust that God will grow you in it. The bible says if we are faithful to God he will give us the desires of our heart, so be faithful in what you have now and see what happens. More then likely God has you where you are for a reason.

 

Jesus, if there are people reading this who are unsatisfied in their current job, I pray you give them a new perspective. Help them to work hard and start seeing their job as an opportunity to grow. Let new opportunities come there way as a result of this attitude change. Let their coworkers see a change and question them on it, becoming a fantastic in to share your love with them. They matter to you Jesus, so they matter to us. Amen

 

 

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Day 21: 50 Days of Passion

We read about people petitioning for peace or hear of people striving for world peace, but I come to wonder what it is that they are actually looking for? Do they even really understand what they are striving for? Is it even possible?  With all the turmoil in the world today one could wonder if it is really an option.

 

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

 

 

This verse gives us a taste and a formula on how to experience God’s peace in our lives. I take from here that peace is a confidence that you are walking with Jesus, that he has you no matter what life might throw your way and your okay with that. So here is my break down on how one might experience Gods peace.

  1. You must be living in Christ Jesus – a relationship with Jesus is essential, accepting his sacrifice on the cross. This is paramount, for with out this nothing else matters.
  2. Thanksgiving – be thankful for your life, and everything in it. The good times and the not so good times. God has already done so much for you, life itself.
  3. Pray – ask God for what you need, and pray for others. Nothing is to small or insignificant for you to ask him.
  4. Don’t worry- this can be the biggest challenge as we tend to be concerned all the time on how things will turn out. To let it go and trust God is key to receiving peace.

 

It is only when we as humanity find peace with God will we then be able to finally have world peace. I look at the bumper sticker and wonder how much truth is in those simple words.

‘No Jesus, No Peace. Know Jesus, Know Peace.’

We can’t expect those reading a sticker to understand but as believers we need to be open and willing to share our faith and help people know who Jesus is. It isn’t just knowing about Jesus either, it is about surrendering and truly knowing who he is.

 

I pray that even today you will apply these to your life, and will experience God’s peace in your life. That will protect your heart and mind from the enemies’ attack, and that you will have confidence to boldly share the peace and love you have received in Jesus.

 

Jesus, thank you so much for everything you have given us, your blessings are more then we realize. As we apply this scripture to our lives we ask that you protect us from the attacks of worry and restlessness and provide us with peace. Let us walk boldly in your peace and work to share your love with those around us. They matter to you so they matter to us. Amen

 

 

Day 20: 50 Days of Passion

Have you ever had anyone call out your faith? They are looking for anything they can do to disprove that your faith is real. Are they doing this out of spite? Out of jealously? Or are they looking for an excuse not believe? We need to be strong in our faith as to be a witness to those around you.

 

“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practising the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.”

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

 

When it comes to being Jesus to those around us let me tell you something that you might already know. If you are a Christian expect those around you to be watching you, they will be looking to see if your version of Christianity is as ‘hypocritical’ as they have thought all along.  We are being watched, judged on our actions, words and lifestyle.

 

That is actually a good thing, I know it is hard to believe but it is. We can become powerful witnesses of our faith if we work at showing the light that we follow. No, we don’t have to be perfect, and yes we will do things that contradict our faith, but it is in those moments the way we deal or handle it is how we will be seen.

 

In this section of 1 John, I read it saying your not perfect, but that’s okay, Jesus is there to help you get through it, to grow towards the life he has for us. I don’t think those around us watching us are expecting perfection. They want to see someone real, experience something real. We can be that with Jesus, we can show that we are just normal people saved by grace.

 

How we live our lives will reflect who we are in Christ as well. We need to be mindful of what we are doing, because our actions and words can help or hinder our witness. The bible has boundaries we should look at maintaining, and I am not going to go into them that is your responsibility to ask God through the bible. These boundaries are not to keep us from having a ‘good’ time or from experiencing life, God gave us these boundaries to keep the evil out of our lives. If we commit to staying inside the boundaries we will start to recognize sin more easily, and it makes it easier to avoid.

 

Today I challenge you to be a light for your faith, be real and don’t just put on a show that will eventually crumble at the first sign of trouble. Invite someone to church to experience what you believe. Share your faith.

 

Jesus, forgive give me for my sins, cleanse me anew today. Let me be a light to my coworkers, my friends, my family and to anyone I come in contact with either in person or online. Jesus let me be real in my faith, I want to reach others and share your love and mercy. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen

 

 

Day 17: 50 Days of Passion

Think about batteries. When you go to the store and buy batteries do you buy the cheap brands or the name brands. If you want power you will choose the brands that are trusted and know will last a long time. The cheap ones have quick power but generally don’t last as long as the tried and true name branded battery. Now I am not comparing God to a battery but why do we keep choosing cheap imitations when we have access to the real deal?

 

“So be careful not to break the covenant the LORD your God has made with you. Do not make idols of any shape or form, for the LORD your God has forbidden this.”

Deuteronomy 4:23 NLT

 

In this day and age, we don’t generally make idols out of gold and precious medals to worship. Yet we quietly set up our secret idols that sometimes we don’t even know we are doing. Idols are not always physical object either, we can make an idol out of our ideology and religion.

 

The most familiar one I can think of is the phrase “my god wouldn’t” assigning God the word ‘my’ most times shows that the god they are speaking of is one they have created and adapted to fit their own personal needs. This becomes an idol and we as the people of God must start stepping up to the plate and addressing these issues.

 

We see many people passionate about their gods. They may look it on the outside but inside they are missing the truth. It won’t satisfy forever and they will begin longing for more. Some times believers start off worshiping God, but along the way they listen to those with strange ideas about who God is and they go from following God to my god. It isn’t easy to have passion for my god has he has no power to back himself up.

 

Study your bible, find out who God is and let him reign fully in your life. Be ready to question someone who has or makes weird ideas about who God is. Be able to show them the true God and not the image they are connected with.

 

Jesus, we need to be aware that there are people who have warped who you are. Help us to study your word and to know you, so we may reach those who are wandering around lost. Let us point them back to the true God and smash all idols that hold them back. They matter to you Jesus so they matter to me. Amen

Kurt Arnold

 

Day 16: 50 Days of Passion

Sin is present here in the world, there is no doubt in its existence, as we see the effects it brings on the news daily. Yet we also see the effects of sin in our own lives and community. It may not be as rampant as what we see on the news but it is there. Sin came from disobedience, it doesn’t matter if it was Adam or Eve who sinned first. Who knows what may have happened if Adam and Eve had just admitted their sin right away instead of trying to hide their guilt. Instead they cowered in shame and we are now all paying the price for their united disobedience.

 

 

“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.”

Romans 5:12 NLT

“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.”

John 3:18 NLT

 

 

The word sin is not used very often outside the church if ever. I wonder why that is? It has been around since the beginning of time. Yet mankind has kept its use in the shadows of the church. The enemy knows that if it is exposed as the root of the worlds problems it will lead people to Jesus and he doesn’t want that. So, he does everything in his power to keep it as a word that just not be spoken. So now we attach other word to replace sin, mentally ill, sick, broken, things that sound medical but not spiritual.

 

We need to call a spade a spade. People are stuck in sin. Nothing we can do in earthly terms can cleanse us of this ingrained parasite that plagues us all from birth. We are condemned from birth to die and go to hell if we don’t find a way to treat this.

 

Fortunate for us, God the Father had a solution to this sin issue in his son Jesus. He sent his son to die, John 3:16 so beautifully shares this plan with us. I call it the Coles notes of Christianity. It is everything a person needs to see that Jesus is here to remove sin from our lives.  He wants to cleanse us from this disease. But until you realize your sick why would think you need the saviour?

 

We need to expose sin for what it is. I am striving to learn how to do that effectively with out coming of ‘ judgmental ‘, but when eternity is at stake does it matter? This conflict between serving Jesus and his mission and our comfort is hold many of us back. We only see the here and now and forget that this time in our lives is all we get to reach others. Let us punch out of our comfort zones to confront sin for what it is and reach the lost.

 

Until we get past the stigma of offending others we keep dancing around the truth. If we want to have a renewed passion in our lives for God and for reaching the lost, we need to ask God to show us how He truly sees people. Only when we see them as loved by God, and the desire He has that they be free from sin, will our passion be restored.

 

Jesus, sin for a long time has disguised itself. Help us to expose it for what it is. Show us how to reach those who need you be exposing the sin and providing them with how to be cleansed through you. We have no power ourselves but you have all the power to cleanse sin. Holy Spirit  ignite a fire so we may be effective in reaching others. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen

 

 

Day 15: 50 Days of Passion

Ever have someone tell you that you are missing out because you are not participating in an activity or habit that they enjoy? As a military member I have heard so many times that I need to start drinking as I am missing out. Or the challenge that they will have me drinking soon enough. Time and time again I will just laugh and say sure that’s not going to happen and I thank God that I never went down that road. But unfortunately, there are many who have succumb to the lie that they are missing out on something.

 

 

 

But whatever happens to me, remember always to live as Christians should, so that whether I ever see you again or not, I will keep on hearing good reports that you are standing side by side with one strong purpose—to tell the Good News fearlessly, no matter what your enemies may do. They will see this as a sign of their downfall, but for you it will be a clear sign from God that he is with you, and that he has given you eternal life with him. Philippians 1:27-28

 

 

If only there was a book out there with simple and hard fast ways for a person to live as “a Christian should.”   Well fortunate for us there is, it is called the Bible. It doesn’t give us examples exactly how in our current era, but it gives us the basic principles of what it means to follow Jesus. To live a life as a Christian should is not boring, it is actually quite exciting. If you want a dangerous life look at Paul, he ended up in jail for sharing his faith, he was killed for loving Jesus.  You may not live in a place where your life is at stake for following Jesus, but God will use you for amazing things.

 

How then according to the bible should a Christian live? Jesus told his followers that they should ‘love one another’, he said to “go to the ends of the earth and tell others about him making disciples of all nations’ as well as “go and sin no more”. Paul tells us to “pray with out ceasing” and “to tell the good news”.

 

Not all believers live as Christians should, maybe that’s one reason their passion is low. These are not to be confused as rules that once broken God hammers down on them punishing them for their disobedience. Completely opposite, God in his fatherly love for us works to draw us back to him with love, promptings and grace. God never removes himself from us, it is us that move away from him. He is always there with arms wide open.

 

We can’t expect the non- believer to live as Christians should. This is one hinderance that those outside the church see as a turnoff to the faith. But they are watching us and seeing how we react to one another, what love we are showing those we call “family”. If we are not walking side by side with our they will see it and it will not be something that draws them in.

 

So are you ready to live as a Christina should, explore your bible, see what it says. Ask God to reveal areas that may be a hinderance to your faith. Ask for a renewed passion for sharing the good news to the lost. Let your life be an example of the love of Jesus.

 

Father, we come to you today asking for a renewed passion. We pray that if there is anything in our lives that is holding us back, show us so we can give it to you to remove. Forgive us for not being untied with our fellow believers. Let our words match our actions. Set a fire in our hearts to reach the lost. They matter to you so they matter to us. Amen

 

Day 14: 50 Days of Passion

I had a boss once who explained my experience as a military man like this. At the floor level we only see about 25% of the picture, we experience what is happening immediately around us but don’t have an understanding completely of why, yet we must complete the job. At the supervisor level we learn a bit more and might get us to 45% and then as a manager closer to 60%, as you continue up the levels to the top still no one knows 100% of the truth because the truth of any story has three sides, theirs, yours and what actually happened.

 

“All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.”

1 Corinthians 13:12b NLT

 

 

I say all this because we don’t know the whole plan of God for our lives, we don’t know what he has in store for us, nor do we know why certain events or situations occur. God points us, with prompting from the Holy Spirit, in a direction he wants us to go and we as faithful workers should go. Yet many times we expect a full plan laid before us before we make the first step. This is never going to happen. If God gives you a direction take the step of faith and move towards it. One day when you meet face to face he will open your eyes to your life, let you see the whole plan as it unfolded what a highlight reel that will be.

 

Our passion is linked to our faith to step into the plan that God has for us. No matter what % of the plan you understand, if you prompted and confirmed that this is where God is sending you then you should take on that plan. It takes a lot of faith to submit to God’s plans. He tends to put people in areas they are not comfortable with, this is to help you grow as a person as well as spiritually. It is when we continually ignore the plans and callings that our passion or fire starts to fade. I don’t believe God calls us to just tread water and stay in one spot in our faith.

 

Do you want to look back and see that you avoided the plan your whole life? Or would you love to have the Father watch with you and see the proud look on his face when he says, ‘well done good and faithful servant’? Let focus our lives on following Gods plan for our lives and work to fulfill the mission we have been given.

 

 

 

Jesus, I want to walk your plan, even if I don’t know all the variables and details. Show me what I need to be doing to fulfill the mission. Give me the tools and resources required as I can’t do this on my own. Let me be an effective worker in sharing your love to those who need to know you. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen