Day 37: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 37: How we carry ourselves says a lot about who we are. If I was going around telling people about the beautiful apples I had to offer yet never shared them or produced any, what would people think of me? Probably start calling me a sham or scam artist. If we as believers claim to love Jesus and truly love those around us then let’s start acting it as well. People believe what they see.
DAY THIRTY-SEVEN
“If you grow a healthy tree, you’ll pick healthy fruit. If you grow a diseased tree, you’ll pick worm-eaten fruit. The fruit tells you about the tree. (Matthew 12:33 MSG)
Jesus was telling this story, talking about believers as trees. Jesus used a lot of metaphors in His ministry. But in essence, this is saying if you just put junk and sin into your life you won’t do much for the kingdom of God. You actually cause people to reconsider what you believe as what you are offering isn’t very attractive. But if you cultivate your life, producing tasty fruit and the love of Christ exudes everything you do, then people love to try good looking fruit.
Ever notice in the grocery store how the fruit gets picked over and in most cases, the good fruit will be chosen and the damaged is left behind. We are looking for good fruit.
Have you ever bought or bitten into a beautiful piece of fruit to find out that it was rotten just under the surface? There are many people out there who offer things that look great and beautiful on the outside but the core of what they are giving is rotten. Sin corrupts the best of intentions if the heart is not focused on giving glory to God.
Are you producing good fruit? Examine your life, what are you fertilising your life with? It will tell you a lot about the fruit you produce.
Dear Jesus, I pray that You will help us examine our lives to see what kind of fruit we are producing. Help us to prune any dead limbs or non-producing areas away so that we can be a tree that produces awesome fruit. amen

Day 36: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 36: One of my favourite quotes that I like to use is ” You can’t soar with eagles when you’re hanging with turkeys.” Unknown. Eagles were made to soar high and be a majestic bird, powerful, something to be noticed. Turkeys, on the other hand, stay low to the ground, nothing special about them except how tasty they are.  You become a product of your environment, where you invest your time and efforts is what you will become. As a believer, if you spend all your time with non-believers don’t expect your spiritual life to flourish. I am not saying to cut yourself off from the world as a believer, that would be foolishness to recommend, what I do suggest is that how you spend your time is where you need to seriously look at. Who is influencing who?

DAY THIRTY-SIX

They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. (1 Peter 4:4 NIV)

After work, your co-workers invite you out for a drink, or the boys want you to come to the strip club, you respectfully decline but you know that they are surprised you won’t join them.

If you haven’t seen favouritism for the ones who join the boss for a sociable after work then you’re lucky. They work hard and play harder and if you don’t join in you’re a lame duck who doesn’t know how to unwind.

It frustrates me because I see the destruction that lifestyle is to them, I see the scars left behind. But unless they are ready to hear it, they won’t accept your views on the subject.

We are told to stand apart, not to be like the world, and in doing so we will be mocked by it. Persecution comes in many forms.

Today’s challenge is to flee from evil. Don’t get sucked into reckless things that lead to the path of destruction, praying for those who would really take you there as well.

Dear Jesus, we all know someone who always us asking us to do something contradictory to our faith. Give us the strength to stand apart and continually refuse the temptation to join our friend into sin. Help us to be a light to them and to be there for them so when they need a fall apart and all others turn their back on them, we will be there to help them pick up the pieces and lead them to the healer. Amen

Day 33: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 33: Marketing our faith has seemingly become the standard these days. One must have a spin to convince people to attend your particular church or event. This may catch the odd few, but what is the heart behind your mission? Is your mission to reach the lost or have the latest and greatest ministry? I wonder if Jesus was around today what his slogan for his ministry would be? Would he even have one?

 

16 March 15

DAY THIRTY-THREE

“Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honour to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege. (Matthew 7:6 MSG)

WWJD, P.U.S.H., Jesus Freak, Jesus take the wheel, I could list many other slogans that have come around through the years, but the question I have is do people flock to these because they were cute or because they lead people to Christ. I mean if Nike hadn’t taken “Just Do It” would that not fit our desire for unbelievers to come to Christ?

Now I am not saying the slogans above were wrong, but at some point, they were all over merchandised because someone somewhere knew there was money in these statements. Now, these slogans are just catch phrases that don’t carry much weight and are used by unbelievers as much as believers but thrown around flippant in humour or distaste.

We as believers need to focus on what the bible says, what Jesus taught us and following His call for us to make disciples. I see us teaching someone WWJD, but failing to take the time to show them in the scripture what Jesus actually did, expecting a new believer to just know. Not what we were called to do, we are called to make disciples, we are not supposed to lead them to Christ and walk away. We can’t teach them Pray Until Something Happens but not take the time to show them what the Holy word says about prayer and the examples of God answering prayer. How can we expect them to be a Jesus freak when we don’t show them what it means to love Jesus so much that you would be willing to die for Him?

Slogans work great for a season, but the word of God lasts forever. I don’t expect to see slogan t-shirts in heaven. So, don’t get caught up in the latest Christian slogan, focus on what God wrote for us. Just do it.

Dear Jesus, help us to focus on Your teaching and calling for us. To make disciples is our desire. It is to easy to be caught up in the next Christian hype, but Jesus we want Your kingdom to grow and that none shall perish. Help us to get that embedded into our hearts. Thank You for giving us a guide on how to live. Amen

Day 32: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 32: We become a people who will eat anything? Remember there was the group of confused people a few years back who we know use the phrase “drinking the kool-aid” or the reality shows that encouraged contestants to eat weird and gross food for money?  If you are told something should taste right over and over again you will start to think it really does taste good. If you were to truly take the time to understand what you’re digesting you may have second thoughts.

Of course, I am not really talking about food, but the reality is we have in general starting accepting things that really aren’t healthy for our world. Until we wake up and accept that the truth of Jesus love and sacrifice we can only expect it to get worse.

 

16 March 15

DAY THIRTY-TWO

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat. (Matthew 5:6 MSG)

I mean who likes to eat, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a good meal. We work hard preparing and cooking the best meals for our friends and family. We wouldn’t serve just anything, would we? Ever come to the table, sit down to what looks and smells amazing, but you have a hard time eating because you spent the afternoon eating junk food? You were busy all afternoon satisfying your body’s craving for sugar, not anticipating what was going to be on the table for supper.

This is what we do to ourselves every time we come into Gods presence. Whether it be on Sunday’s, small groups or your own devotional time. We fill our space between these times with sugary treats that provide enjoyment to our bodies and then when we come for substance that God provides we aren’t that hungry for His awesome meal that He has prepared.

Today’s challenge is to put down some of your “sugary treats” and start getting hungry for “God’s meal” that He has prepared for you. Don’t be satisfied for things that won’t satisfy.

Dear Jesus, grow a hunger in us for the food You provide. Show us that the things we feed ourselves though enjoyable in the moment may be poisoning us in the long run. Your food is pure and will give us the necessary energy and nourishment we need to survive each day. Thank you for this. Amen

Day 29: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 29: We sometimes wonder how on earth the Jews were supposed to follow all the decrees and laws that were put in place. To make matters worse they kept adding to them and making them even more unattainable. The purpose of all those laws wasn’t meant to have them fulfil them all but to put their trust in a God who would love them. Jesus turned that all in and said love God, love your neighbour, accept my sacrifice and work at telling others about me. Are you focused on rules or are you working on your relationship with God and reaching others?

 

DAY TWENTY-NINE

If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” (John 5:46-47 NIV)

There are some who believe that the Old Testament is irrelevant and not required for Christian living. I make the case that even Jesus knew the Old Testament scriptures were a valued part of His ministry.

In the above verse, for example, Jesus was explaining to the people that if they couldn’t believe the teachings of Moses how were they going to grasp His.

The OT is filled with lots of life lessons, and we do see all the laws that seem overwhelming that were given to the Jews. God gave those to His chosen people to help them to be set apart from the normal. If they lived a lifestyle that God had shown them they would have never been defeated so many times. Their health would have been amazing, their love life with their wives would have been the envy of every outside man. They (and I can only assume this) would have become the greatest nation on earth and would still be around today.

But they didn’t, so Jesus said if You can’t even follow the teachings of Moses, how are you going to follow mine?

Pick up the bible, study a book of the OT, dig deep and see what truths you can find that lead you to Jesus. Apply them to your life and grow.

Dear Jesus, your whole word is important to us. Help me to take time daily reading your scriptures, I ask You to reveal Yourself to me in everything I read.
Amen

Day 27: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 27: A lot can happen in two years. We are seeing today that people in prominent positions find it very hard, to tell the truth. What makes it, even more, eye opening, is when they start to tell “the truth” and the story is more confusing than the lie. How can we trust those who we should be trusting? Jesus never lied to you. He loves you. God loves you, you can take that to the bank.

 

11 March 16

DAY TWENTY-SEVEN

“Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God’s way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming-it has, in fact, come-when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter. “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself-Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself-Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” (John 4:23-24 MSG)

Are you engaging your spirit in the pursuit of truth? Discerning the motives being some movements and groups can be daunting. We don’t always know what motivates certain groups or individuals. On the outside, it may seem like a valid Christian organization or a harmless not for profit. But are you taking the time to ask God what He thinks about it first?

Truth is something we as humans crave. It seems that we so easily lie to each other. In the end, all we want is the truth. But once you have been lied to over and over the lies start sounding like truth. That is how people get caught up in cults or get pulled into scams. They just stopped pursuing truth long enough to be caught up in a fairy tale.

Don’t get caught in this trap. Pursuit truth. God wants to engage your spirit in truth through worship. Take some time to just praise God for who He is asking Him to continually reveal truth in the world.

Why then if we as humans crave the truth, desire it, when told about the love of Christ and what Jesus did for them do they get their backs up and put up walls against it? Like I wrote earlier, the world has been living a lie so long that the truth has been manipulated so much that it is now considered a lie. The enemy doesn’t want the world to see the truth so he has corrupted the worlds view of the truth.

Dear Jesus, the truth will set us free, as a believer I know this, but help me to realize that free people can free people. Help me to pursuit truth in my life so I will be able to show the truth in You to others. Please work on those around me who have a corrupted view of You, so when I talk to them about You they will see the truth of Christ though me and in a new light. Amen

Day 26: Original 50 Days of Pray Revisited

Thoughts on Day 26: It sometimes blows my mind when I write these, a thought that has been running through my head comes to life in the scripture I read. Today I awoke to an FB notification that someone had commented on a link I had shared. It was an article about Gay pride, the responder to my post let me know his thoughts that the article was narrow-minded and the like. I write this not to go off on this topic but to connect that many people out there have opinions on so many issues. The facts are now so muddied that no matter what we say it won’t matter. Tolerance and freedom of expression have been lost in a world where everything can be true. The truth of it all is this, Sin corrupts and once corrupted it is impossible to return it to normal without Jesus.

 

11 March 16

DAY TWENTY-SIX

Prudent people don’t flaunt their knowledge; talkative fools broadcast their silliness.
Proverbs 12:23

If you’re like me you don’t have a Facebook full of just Christian believers, your friends are a mixed bag of both. Do you ever see a post by your non-believer friends that make you shake your head and wonder why would they believe that?

Maybe it is their latest post about LGBT rights or how some university is evil because of its views on the matter. Maybe it is their view on abortion or Dr. assisted suicide. Drinking to access or use of illegal drugs are flashing on my screen. What about attacking the government or her services? Or just plain using the Lords name in vain.

Did the author of Proverbs know FB was coming when he wrote this verse? If he didn’t then he had some good foresight. People write some very foolish things on here. And they throw their support behind some very silly and destructive things.

We as believers today, in this day and age, needed to be prudent in how we respond to such posts. Some days I would love to respond to all these types of post, but I don’t want to end up being the fool. We are living in the era where if we disagree with someone’s opinions we can be labelled intolerant, our beliefs in Christ has now been taken away and the value is gone in our society.

So, what should you do if you see something and you feel compelled to respond? Think first, don’t respond to quickly, at least not in anger or opposition. Pray to God for a loving response, get your facts straight, find a verse to add that defends your side of the argument. Going into battle without your sword will get you killed. If the Israelite’s had sent someone right away to attack Goliath when he first hurled an insult the story would have ended differently, but they were scared and didn’t know how to respond so they waited for God to answer for them.

The right word at the right time sent by the right person can be the blow to slay a giant.

Dear Jesus, help me to be prudent in all I do. When something of offence comes my way I as that you guide my tongue or my fingers. Give me the right word at the right time so I may slay a giant in Your name. Amen