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

 

Day 16: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 16: Submitting to Jesus will ultimately give you a more satisfied life than any other option. Sure there will be tough days, but we were never promised rainbows and puppies. We were promised joy, love and hope. These can only be truly achieved in a relationship with the Savior.

 

DAY SIXTEEN

It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom. (Galatians 5:19-21 MSG)

So have you given your heart to Christ but do not want to change how you live? Do you continue to do the same things you did before you gave your heart to Christ? The freedom given to us through Jesus sacrifice is a freedom that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

If we don’t make wise choices in what we do we are destined to spend a life in continual pain and suffering. Stand up and walk away from the things that will damage your life. Stop watching the TV shows or movies that glorify sin. Destroy the things in your home that are pornography. Stop listening to music that will consume your heart with sex, lies, and evil.

God has so much better things for us if we only stop falling back into what we know. He wants us to trust that His gifts and blessings are abundantly better then the world has to offer. Are you ready to shake off the idea that the world offers more then God?

Dear Jesus, help me to see you in everything. Help me to be repealed by evil, instead of drawn to it. God I want to focus on You and only want to please You. I am done worrying about pleasing my flesh. Amen.

Day 50: 50 Days of Change

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”Romans 12:2 NLT

I would say this is the hardest thing for any believer to do, new or weathered. To fall into the patterns of thinking like those around us is so easy. Party, drink, sleep around, cheat on taxes, wanting what your neighbour has, revenge, and the like. 

We are called to be better then that. We are called to avoid copying the ways of our old life. It isn’t easy to stop the things you did before, but it can be done. If you want a meaningful relationship with Jesus it is something you need to strive for. 

When you work at breaking the old ways patterns then we become more like Jesus, we become more effective in our faith. Others will see us as changed and become interested in what has changed us. If we don’t change outwards but our words change what will people think of our witness. All talk, nothing else. Don’t be discouraged if you make mistakes, we all will stumble, pick yourself up wipe off the dirt ask for forgiveness and keep pushing forward. Even Peter, a faithful disciple, told Jesus he would never eject him nor leave him, ran away when he was arrested and denied knowing him three times. Yet he was forgiven and did amazing things for Jesus sharing the faith its thousands of people.

Let’s work at changing inside and out. Let’s love them because God loves them. Let us not be a reason they don’t accept Jesus, but be a reason they do .It is time to change.

Jesus, I pray we will be changed. Help us to walk away a from the things that will lead us away or lead others away from you. We must make this choice individually, but those who do I pray you will give strength, joy and wisdom. Thank you Father for loving us. Help us to remember that they matter to you so they should matter to us. Amen

Day 49: 50 Days of Change

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

We are a people who like to try to control our own lives. We would rather live our lives as we are reading a ‘choose your own adventure book’ then to submit to someone else’s plans for our lives. We believe that we know what is best for our lives, our families and everything that we are in contact with. 

Have you ever owned a gps? A navigation tool that helps you get to where you need to go. I have had one and when you enter your destination it expects you to follow it. But as stuburn humanity I believe that the gps is wrong and doesn’t want to take me the most effective route, so I take turns that go against what it tells me. The machine itself gets frustrated and recalculates, it keeps redirecting me as I get lost by trying to control how I get to me destination.

Do we sometimes do this with God? We ask him for a path to take and when he shows us we then decide to make our own way. We see an alternative that should get us to the same desired result, but n the end it cause us much pain, discomfort and detours. We are called to trust the Lord, not just a little but with al our hearts. To submit to him is to know him, then to press in and seek his will for your life will reveal which path to take. 

So are you following his lead or are you trying to forge your own path? Maybe just maybe it is time to trust him and see where he will lead you.

Father, all to often we try to guide our own lives down roads that ultimatly lead to nothing. Sometimes the end is harmless but other times they can cause much pain. I pray that we start trusting you more in our descisions and life choices. Holy Spirit reveal to us the path to follow and choices we must make. We want to reach people for you, we want to build the kingdom, they matter to you so the matter to me. Amen

Day 48: 50 Days of Change

“And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:14-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬

So many times we have read this verse and many other just like it and expect that God will give us anything we ask for. We more often then not skim over the four words ‘anything that pleases him’, in favour of ‘anything that pleases us’. Where did the confidence that John was writing about here come from? If you were to read the previous part of this chapter you would read about what it means to have faith in the Son of God. It also tells us what it means to truly love God. 

Yet so many ask for things that are just not pleasing to God. He knows what the results will be if he was to give you every desire of your heart. If he had answered your teenage prayer to date that high school crush, or given you all the answers for the test you forgot to study for. Maybe you prayed for money or stuff, he understands we need money but asking him to be rich is not something that pleases him, money can corrupt. 

But as often the case, people walk away from God because he doesn’t give them everything they prayed for, the job, the perfect spouse, status. They become bitter and angry at God because he withheld something they really wanted like a spoiled child not getting what they asked for. As a parent I know that my kids won’t always agree with the decisions I make, they will ask for things and I will have to say no. This isn’t because I am trying to be mean, it is because I believe I know what’s best for their development. 

What I love about kids compared to adults is that they get over the NO. They may have a fit but it is only temporary, they in general will not try to walk away from you if you say no to them. The may stamp around, cause a scene, say somethings they may regret, but at day’s end they will be back for a hug, tell you they love you, moving past the NO. 

So today will you become like a child and move past the no? God is a good father and wants to give you good things, not everything we ask for is good for us. Trust that even though we may not agree with him he has our best in mind. Why would we not trust the God who created us? Loves us? Saved us from sin. Don’t stop asking, keep praying, trust he will give you the best answer.

Father, it is hard for us to understand why you would say no to things we ask for. Sometimes they are request that will harm us other times we don’t see how they wouldn’t be answe. Help us to continually trust that you know what’s best for us, as you created us, one might assume you have a good understanding what we need. I ask father you will guide us in reaching the lost. Holy Spirit give us wisdom and opportunities every day to share the love of Jesus with our friends, family, coworkers and anyone who will listen. They matter to you so the matter to me. Amen

Day 47: 50 Days of Change

“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:21‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It is hard to fathom why one who has a relationship with God would replace him with something else. But we hear of believers, elders and even leaders walking away from him all the time. One might make the assumption that these believers never truly believed, as some have the notion that salvation cannot be discarded. What has truly happened is these folks have given up their relationship. Somewhere along the line sin got a hold inside and slowly but surely took them down a path away from God. 

God didn’t abandon them, he didn’t leave them, but at some point they left him. They pushed aside the truth and the counsel of the Holy Spirit for an idea that what te wanted was right and for them. One of the startiling things that I see is leaders who drop out of leadership not only abandoning their church but in many case leaving their spouses. This is so heartbreaking as it can be a domino effect on those who admire and have been mentored by these leaders. They should know better but we don’t know what is going on in their lives and hearts.

This is where we as believers are failing each other. If we were more involved in each other’s lives personally we would become more intune to our brothers and sisters needs and troubles. Maybe we would be able to see things in the early stages and cut them off before they decide to walk away from God completely. It would be so much easier if we knew what was going to happen with a time machine, but we pray and hope that the issues we resolve early will allievate any big mistakes down the road. Ultimatly it is between the person and God, but he can and will use us to build each other up, like iron sharpening iron. 

This could be you, you maybe testing the waters of sin and not sure where the undertow is. But if your testing one day it will pull you under. I beg of you ask for help, cry out to God to pull you out now, send brothers and sisters of the faith to help you through this time of confusion. We need to ask for help, push past our pride, se that we are failing and need assistance. What we do with our lives as believers does not only affect us. It affect all around us, don’t be fooled that it’s my life and what I do doesn’t affect others.

Father, if anyone reading this is tempting their relationship with you by flirting with sin, I pray that right now you will show them the consiquences of their actions. Holy Spirit surround them with believers who will hold them accountable in love, building them up and loving them. It is not to late for them to cry out for forgiveness and change their behaviour, let them se that their actions affect others. God we ask that we will be used by you to reach others who may not know you at all or maybe did but have replaced you with something else. Give us the words to speak and wisdom to share with them your love. They matter you you God so they matter to us, amen. 

Day 46: 50 Days of Change

““And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭28:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I have been listening to Andy Stanley’s series ‘Who Needs God’ on yourmove.is, in the last segment of the series he makes the quote ‘when we realize that our unbelief in God isn’t in his existence but our resistance.’ (Paraphrased) So many unbelievers and those who claim that there just isn’t a God, are living a life of unfufilment. We have a ingrained thought that there is more to life then just eating, sleeping and existing there has to be something more.

Our moral compass that we follow surely leads us to do the right things, but sin corrupts and causes us to go in directions we had never believed we would ever go as children. A child one would hope would never grow up with a life goal of murdering and raping people. These actions are the results of sin and sinful acts done towards that child or sinful opportunities the child has participated in. Sin then evolves and the moral compass is lost under mounds of sin. 

Those who cross the line into atheism have taken the  time to forsake the one who has created them by imagining that he doesn’t exist. Just like Christian tend to use the gap theory as an answer to questions that can’t be answered  ‘ it’s a God thing ‘ atheists tend to do the same using natural selection to fill in their gaps ‘it’s a natural selection thing’. To forsake the truth and make excuses to justify makes it harder to reconcile with God as their hearts are hardened, they are not completely lost, but much pray and humility is required to reach them with the love of Christ. They need to first reject the theory that there is no God and start to seek him.

Those who seek him will find him. This promise is used many times in the word of God. Why? Because it is truth, God doesn’t play games, this isn’t hide and seek . He promises if you seek he will reveal himself through Jesus. The Holy Spirit is working in those who are seeking putting them in the right place and right time to meet and talk to believers. We must be prepared at all times to share the love of the Father, let us not be asleep when he is calling us to reach someone. I wonder how many opeertunites I have missed due to my pride, fear of humiliation or laziness. 

We need to change our attitude in reaching the lost. The Holy Spirit uses us because we are called to reach the lost, trust he will give us opportunities to share Gods love daily. Are you ready to be used to reach the lost? 

Father, forgive me for missed opertunities. I pray that you will open my eyes to moment where I can reach those around me. I do not want to be the reason someone isn’t following you,  use me. Holy Spirit provide me wisdom and words to speak when talking to those around me, open the hearts so you can speak through me. Father you love this world and all the people in in, I should love them too so I pray you will put this love in my heart. They matter to you so they matter to me. Amen