Day 5: 50 Days of Passion

Now when we read about Paul in chains in a dank cold jail cell we put him up in a place of reverence because he endured this hardship but continued to serve God. I am sure if you were sitting right next to him your thoughts on the situation would drastically change. I would hope I would have the desire and passion Paul has to continue encouraging believers outside the walls of his cell.

It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.  God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:7-8

 

I think if Paul was experiencing his time in jail these days he may have used the term ‘if life you gives you lemons, ask Christ to give you strength to make lemonade.” I know that’s a little tongue in cheek, but Paul made the best of his situation.

He continually wrote encouragement to the Churches in hopes they would grow and learn from his suffering. He wanted them to understand that he must have known they were praying for him, that he was praying just as hard for them. He was locked up, they were many. He was in chains, they were free to spread the love and continue the mission.

If Paul decided that this jail cell wasn’t the right place for him and started throwing a pity party, that would have been the end of the letters. We wouldn’t have the encouragement and teachings that build foundations in our Christian lives.

Many believers hit opposition and jump right into a pity party, woe is ne, what can I do about this. How can I dig my way out?

We need to lay our issues out before God, then trust he is in control. ‘God I don’t know why this is happening to me but I leave it in your hands’ That can be your daily prayer, but it can’t be the only one. Then start praying for others. Let God work in your life through your prayers for others. If you journal, write down your prayers.

Your passion level will increase as your prayer life increases. As you give your time away praying for others you will be encouraged, as you will hear rumors and news of answered prayers. Trust God that he is working in your life.

 

Father, all to often we center on the problems in our lives, spending our majority of prayers focus on us. I pray we have a mind shift to praying for others. I ask that those who read this daily or for the first time are encouraged to grow faith. I pray for the one reading this that doesn’t have a relationship with you, I pray that they will experience your love and forgiveness even today as they read this. Jesus you love them, you died for them, you rose again that they can be free from sin and have a relationship with you. I pray for healing of bodies and minds, let your Holy Spirit work to build up your kingdom. Amen

 

 

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Day 47: 50 Days of Impact

How many movies have we seen where the heroes run into a room and barricade the door in hopes to stop whatever is on the outside from getting in. After a while and things settle down someone gently knocks on the door and they then have to move all the items they put in the way to verify who is waiting on the other side. We have put up a barricade in our lives, but Jesus is on the other side asking you to open the door to the truth and life he brings.

 

 

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.”

Revelation 3:20 NLT

 

I believe Jesus is knocking on the hearts of every human being on earth. His desire is that none shall perish. So why is it that so many people ignore the knocking? I think that 1) they just honestly don’t know who is on the other side. Or 2) they have placed so much junk in front of the door that they just can’t hear the knock anymore.

 

Some people just are living in such isolation that they never have heard the message of Jesus. Others have grown up in a home where God was not spoken of so although they aren’t isolated from other people, they were separated from the truth intentionally or unintentionally. Many have been grown up with other beliefs that don’t point towards Jesus and have bought into something that doesn’t lead to God the Father. Yet others just plain refuse to accept that God even exists. They will fight to tell you but will not take the time to even investigate for themselves.

 

We can’t just kick down their door and let Jesus into their lives. We need to build relationships to let these people know that it is Jesus on the other side calmly and patiently waiting for them to open their lives to him. We can work with them to help move aside the junk they have put in front of the door to block or defend what is on the other side, as they have been misinformed by the enemy that Jesus just wants to take their fun away.

 

We know that isn’t the case. Jesus wants to bring life. Who doesn’t want life? They matter to Jesus, that’s why he is knocking, they matter to us so we should be letting them know whose there.

 

Jesus, help me to show others who is on the other side of the door. Keep my eyes open for opportunities to build relationships to share your love. Let me be strategic in my witnessing and be an encouragement to those around me. They matter to me. Amen

 

 

Day 42: 50 Days of Impact

Ask around, would those you know prefer a Big Mac, or their Mom’s best homemade _____. Mom always makes it better. I am sure we have all used the phrase, it is good but you should try my Grandma’s recipe. They may even ask you to get it so they can try it for themselves. With this enthusiasm, we need to be telling others about our faith. Let them see that we are not just pushing something we haven’t truly experienced ourselves. They need to see joy of our salvation and relationship and desire to experience the love that we have. They need to ask for it.

 

“Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!”

Psalms 34:8 NLT

 

I woke up with this though running trough my head, ‘ taste and see that the Lord is good.’ If only those around us would taste and see. What are we offering those around us to taste? If we are living our life like them then we have nothing to offer them, do we? Are we showing them something different? I liken it to the world is living off fast food spirituality. Just like fast food, it is quick to get at, smells great, satisfies quickly and will destroy you slowly from the inside out.

 

As followers of Jesus, we are given the word of God. The bread of life, fresh home cooked made from the heart of God food. Not chemically enhanced and machine formed, God made us a unique and amazing food to enjoy. Spiritually the word of God will heal us from the inside, just like changing your eating habits will cleanse your body. The more we eat of his word the stronger we become, the more attractive we become. Think of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, when offered rich salty and fatty foods during their training, they asked to be put to the test and eat only whole fruits, veggies and grains. When the test was over they were the healthiest of all the students.

Do people ask you what your eating? What is it that makes you different? If you can live your life to make others ask questions on why you are the way you are then witnessing would be easy. When people ask a question, they expect an answer. If you try to force an answer on people who have yet asked a question how effective will you be?

 

Jesus, I want to be sharing your word with others, I want others to see what you are doing in my life, ask questions and let them taste and see that the Lord is good. I want to life a life of health living and without the junk food that destroys. They matter to you so they matter to me, let them ask the questions, Holy Spirit give me the answers let me be ready to share the faith. Amen

 

Day 41: 50 Days of Impact

The global Church is made up of many groups of churches. All those who have accepted Jesus salvation call and are living for Him are part of this global Church. Jesus told his disciples and ultimately us that we are to go and share his story, making disciples of the entire world. I wonder what it would have been like if Jesus had added “and keep track of who you have reached, he who has the most disciples’ wins.” But he didn’t and nor should we live in our churches like that, we should be living like the disciples did working together to reach the lost.

“It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.”

1 Corinthians 3:7-9 NLT

Sometimes believers who are part of a denomination become consumed with reaching people not just for Jesus, but only to grow their church. But the bible doesn’t really get into denominations, that is a man-made thing where along the way minor things have created different flavours of churches. But we as believers in Christ need to understand that we are all one body, no matter what label or church we attach ourselves to, and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what label a new believer attaches or church they start attending, as long as they have a relationship with Jesus.  The reward is given for the hard work of reaching the lost.

We as believers need to break these lines that a lot of the time separate us. We need to start working together as not to ” reinvent the wheel”. Partnering with other churches or organizations that are working in our communities will help strengthen them and us.

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT

We are better together. Think about the impact we can make when we work together.

Jesus, help us as believers to work together no matter what denominational label we give ourselves. Let your command to reach the lost be our binding inspiration. Let us become a community of believers with one focus. We know they matter to you, so we will work together because they matter to us too. Amen

S

Day 31: 50 Days of Impact

One thing I have learned on my little time here on earth, it that people will easily lay blame instead of accepting what is happening to them. We get in a car accident and we are looking for who is to blame, hopefully we are checking to see that everyone is alright first.

Here on the cross we see Jesus, hanging, bleeding, thirsty, experiencing something that no man can endure. It was an execution. In this moment Jesus could have exploded in anger at God, asking him “Why me?  Why now?” I think that most of mankind in the same situation would ask those questions. Instead Jesus shouted, “I trust you”.

 

“Then Jesus shouted, ‘Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!’ And with those words he breathed his last.” (Luke 23:46 NLT).

 

Here we see Jesus trust God’s plan to the very end. His words are reminisces of Psalms of old coming to life. “Into your hands I commit my spirit: You have redeemed me O LORD God of truth.” (Ps. 31:5 NKJV) As the people around the cross hear this finally cry from Jesus as he breathed his last breath alone, a Roman centurion, which all the Gospels account for, realizes the truth of whom they just crucified. R. Alan Cole suggests “The Lord demanded little knowledge and much faith as initial steps, in those who came to Him – witness His dealings with the dying thief – so that the centurion may have well become a true believer ultimately.”

Our actions and our deeds are on display for those around us to witness. Jesus was a prime example of a man whose actions spoke louder than words. His actions of surrender and humility changed the centurion’s life that day. Our daily actions will define who we are in Christ and we must be willing to commit our lives to God.

Today are you able to trust God? If Jesus in his last breath and his last minutes continued to trust God, what is stopping you? In his last moments, he continued to make an impact. We make an impact in how we respond to our situations. People are watching you. Will your words and actions draw them to a loving God, or will it help solidify the wall they have put up between?

 

Father, to see the plan of salvation unfold in the bible is a feat of wonder. How you used your Son to save the world is unlike any other truth out there.  Thank you for the impact Jesus made on the cross. Thank you for the impact He is making daily in my life and the life of others. Show me how I can touch the hearts of those around me. I want to bring people to you and help them experience life in a relationship with you. They matter to you God, so they matter to me. Let me make an impact. Amen

Day 15: 50 Days of Impact

Lately if you have been reading my posts you will have seen a trend of making an impact in our world through sharing the truth about sin and salvation. I am hoping that this is connecting with you and motivating you to move forward in sharing your faith. The amazing thing about this avenue is I have no idea who may be reading this and how it may be showing them the truth. Wouldn’t it be awesome for one day when I am walking on the new earth to have somebody come up to me and tell me that they are there because of something wrote. What you do effects so many people, will what you do be positive and work towards leading them to a relationship with Jesus, or will it hinder them from finding him?

 

“This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.”

1 Timothy 1:15-16 NLT

 

We sometimes come into a place as Christians where we have been so comfortable in our salvation that we forget or overlook that we were once sinners in need of a saviour. Then we become complacent in our sharing the love of Christ with the list, and become pew sitters.

 

Many of our eyes are blind to the lost people around us. We know their lost but for some reason, apathy perhaps, we don’t care. The calling to reach those who are lost needs to be our life focus, not with a sense of guilt leading it, but a genuine passion to share Gods love with this broken world. The joy that comes when someone receives Christ for the first time is unexplainable, the roar of rejoicing in heaven echoing in our hearts.

 

Dear Jesus, I need a passion for the lost. I am failing in the great commission and want to turn that part of my life around. Holy Spirit give me words to speak, help me past my pride and ego to share your love. Amen
How can I help you today? Do you need prayer? Do you have questions? I would love to help.

Day 39: Original 50 Days Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 39: So many groups claim that what we do and how we do it will bring us closer to God. When really there is nothing, outside of acceptance of Jesus gift of salvation, that we can do that will bring us any closer to him. There is nothing we can do to drag people into heaven either. No quick gimmick, sales pitch or magic prayer. That is the role of the Holy Spirit to show them their need for a savior. We are to share about you to the people around us, show them the truth and pray that the Holy Spirit will move in their lives.

Day Thirty-Nine

Really! There’s no such thing as self-rescue, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. The cost of rescue is beyond our means, and even then it doesn’t guarantee Life forever or insurance against the Black Hole. (Psalm 49:7-9 MSG)

The psalmist was a man who sure had an insight into what is going on today. Self-help is all over the place, people thinking it is what I do that gets me into heaven. If only I am a good person. Jesus Himself debunked that theory with the rich young ruler, who wanted to follow and was doing everything right, but when asked to give up what was most precious to him could not do it.

I sometimes wonder where the doctrine of once saved, always saved came from. The Bible I read doesn’t say that. Jesus gave the command to the people He healed, “go and sin no more” He didn’t want those who He saved from their sickness to go back to their sinful ways. Jesus also tells us to daily wash our feet as we do get dirty. I use this as the symbolism of sin, we need to ask forgiveness for our sins daily as we are still human and are prone to make mistakes.

But in saying that there are those who neglect to wash their feet daily. There are those who completely deny the love of Christ they once knew. The stop coming to church, they stop interacting with the family of God and the friends who love them, and they start living a life contradictory to what Jesus taught us.

Jesus isn’t a fire insurance salesman. He is so much more.

Pray for those who have walked away from the faith. The Holy Spirit can lead them back to Jesus. Don’t give up on your friends and family. They may be lost but not forgotten. Just like the prodigal son’s father God is patiently waiting for your return to him.

Dear Jesus, I can’t understand how someone who has experienced You love and mercy can walk away from you. My thoughts are it is not you who they have walked away from but an experience with a church member or rule in place that caused them to leave. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to encourage them to return to You. Bring people into their lives who will share the love of Christ with them. Bring them back to You. Amen