Day 9: 50 Days of Passion

 

Charles Stanley this week made a clear distinction on the way we hear from the Holy Spirit and the Enemy. After we have accepted Christ into our lives we are still prone to sin, but we have Jesus promise to forgive when we ask. The enemy will condemn us for this and try to convince us to either ignore it or that God would never forgive us. The Holy Spirit works differently, he never condemns, he lets us know and reminds us that Jesus will forgive. If we can heed the promptings of the Holy Spirit then we will be able to push forward in our faith and our passion will show.

 

“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT

 

Do you ever do things that afterword’s you feel real awful about. Maybe it is something you know is wrong but in the heat of the moment it feels so right? Sin is like that. Sin aims at hitting at all the right pleasure points, creating a sense of entitlement. But sin is like a cancer, it spreads and works its way to your heart.

 

The Holy Spirit calls you to repentance, he sees everything you do. As a believer we still sin, but we are called to repent and move away from what causes us to sin. The Proverb says, ” as a dog returns to his vomit” well if we keep doing the same thing over and over each time we are repenting of it, are we repentant or just looking to feel better about our sin?

 

Repentance of out sin is to do a U-turn from what caused the problem in the first place. Get out of the situation, put up safe guards, get accountability, tell someone, do something. But the key is you must want to change. Freedom from sin is a choice you must make daily. Jesus told Peter that we will be forgiven 70×7, not to say after 490 times he stops, but that we will always be forgiven if asked. But it would be so much easier if we changed after the first time.

Is your sin dragging you down, is it stifling your passion? It is hard to be passionate about your faith when sin has not been dealt with.

 

So, are you living your life as to glorify God? Or are you living it to pleasure yourself?

 

Jesus, I want to live my life glorifying you. I don’t want to be like a dog returning to my own vomit. Forgive me of my sins. Help me to u-turn away from them. Let this day be a new day. Let me be able to reach others with you love because they matter to me. Move in this city. Move at my work. Use me. Amen

 

 

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Day 8: 50 Days of Passion

We have people in life that just don’t like us. They don’t like the look of us, the way we act or what we believe. They are either jealous or for some reason we have just never connected. This can happen in your church, this can happen with other believers, this can happen to us.

 

It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, Philippians 1:15-18

 

Paul wasn’t in total isolation when he was in jail. From accounts he wasn’t a considered a dangerous criminal and most likely had visitors or at least letters telling him the churches and places he had been. How else would he have heard of those teaching out of envy and rivalry?

Human nature has become a lifestyle where you have to outdo the other person to get a head. This thought pattern creates that envy and rivalry that Paul is talking about here. If their church has 100 seats, mine will have 200. If they send money to missions will send more. There bringing in this special speaker, will bring this better one.

Paul here takes a different view on it, he almost shrugs it off and says ‘whatever’. He knows that at least at the end of the day Christ is being preached. What could Paul do to change the motives of man? That change is something the Holy Spirit can do but not us.

So, we see Paul here telling us to rejoice that Christ is being preached. Not to get caught up in trying to fix their issues. All to often we get caught up in trying to fix their issues, point out their problems, spend hours talking about it or joining them by ‘fighting’ back. Maybe instead of doing all this we need to take an approach like Paul. Rejoice.

We need to rejoice when other churches are reaching the lost, we need to rejoice an be encouraged that no matter the motives Christ is preached. Pray for those churches that God will keep working in them. He will show them the change they need, not our job to fix them.

Do you want to see your passion flourish? Start praying for the whole Church. We are the body of Christ; all parts are important. Let’s pray that God is preached in the whole body.

Father, we pray today for the Whole body of believers. God we have separated into different circles of believers but we all belong to your Church. Although we may have different viewpoints we pray that they be continuing to preach the love of Christ. Help us not to get caught up in pettiness and become more loving to all our family, rejoicing when Christ is preached and people saved. Ignite our passion help us to grow in you, Amen

Day 43: 50 Days of Impact

Do you know anyone who has the power to help others but doesn’t seem to? Sure, it is easy for us to look at someone else and critique how they do things, but we don’t always see the full picture nor do we know what they may be doing in secret to help others. What about you? What are you doing to help others? It is not always about money, it may be the time you spend with the little old widow two doors down that receives no visitors. Maybe you notice something that needs to be done across the street, and instead of complaining about it you did something to fix it. Making an impact with our neighbors is as simple as following Jesus command to ‘love your neighbor’

 

“Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them. If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.” Don’t plot harm against your neighbor, for those who live nearby trust you.”

Proverbs 3:27-29 NLT

 

You must have heard the phrase don’t put off till tomorrow what you could do today? It continues that tomorrow never comes. If you can, help you neighbour now and if it causes you to be late for something then be a good neighbour and help. Being late normally won’t be a problem, call and let whomever know your running late. Don’t let opportunities pass you by because you’re in a hurry to always be somewhere.

 

Intentionally set time aside each day for Gods work. You want to be know in you community as a man or woman of integrity, willing to help if needed, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to talk to and someone who genuinely cares. But if you don’t get out of your house and meet your neighbours then they will never know.

 

That is my personal. I need to be a better neighbour. I need to meet my neighbours, I need to care for my neighbours. Why? Because they matter to God so they matter to me.

 

Father, show us how to be better neighbours. Helping those in need and shining the light of your love in our communities, let us be salty enough that they crave what we have, let us connect so we can be effective. Thank you Father for putting us where we are and show us how we can be effective. Let us not be so busy as to miss opportunities to share your love. Amen.

 

 

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 12: 50 Days of Impact

Day 12: 50 Days of Impact
 
Unless you are asleep under a rock or are a hermit in the woods (in both cases why are you on the internet), you know that this world is going crazy. Hatred for fellow mankind which we hope is going runs deep in many, they think of themselves greater then others. Here is the problem and I will say it over and over again, we are so focused on the symptoms and side effects but we fail to see the sickness, Sin. Like a weed unless we destroy the root it will continue to work its way back into our society.
 
The awesome part is that Jesus already defeated the root of sin, he has power over sin. We are foolish to believe that just coming together against sin in our own power will lead to any big changes. All the rallies, policies, vigilantly justice or your social media outcries can do nothing to stop sin. Until people fall to their knees and cry out to Jesus to rescue them the cycle of sin will continue until Jesus returns.
 
 
“Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up?”
Proverbs 6:6-9 NLT
We are in summer, it isn’t time to be sun bathing. Wake up! Jesus is returning soon! Are you ready? Are you sharing with others the hope you have in Christ? Wake up! Don’t be like the foolish virgins who have empty lamps when the groom returns. Fill them up. Wake up! Church are we asleep at the wheel? Wake up! There is a world, a country, a community, a neighbor who needs to know about Jesus. Wake up! Where is our passion for the lost, why are we so apathetic to the cause, everyone needs Jesus. Wake up!
Holy Spirit, we need an influx of passion for the lost. Give us a desire and grieve our hearts for the people who need Jesus. Give us wisdom and determination to just do it. Help us put our pride aside, we need to reach the people who don’t know you. Not to grow our personal church but to grow your CHURCH. If we want to see things change we need to be changed first. Amen
 

Day 5: 50 Days of Impact

As we open the letters in the New Testament we are reading the mail of the early church. So much of what was written impacts pour walk as believers as the early church and the church today are dealing with very similar challenges.

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.”

Romans 1:8-12 NKJV

 

As I was reading this morning I was debating on what to ask about. I thought about using the second half of Romans, But I didn’t feel that was needed today.

 

Today the question I feel I want to ask is this. What are you currently doing to spread the hope of Christ?

 

Paul had a desire to share the love of Christ to the world. He traveled and spread letters all over the known world. His words are now forever with us as part of the bible. He went to jail, eventually was killed, but through that all his sole desire was kingdom building, individually and the Church.

 

People around me know my faith, more from word of mouth then from me. I am open to talk about it to them if they ask, but am I too quiet in the faith. My actions speak louder then words, but eventually I do need to speak and share.

 

Are we building each other up on prayer? Are we encouraging one another enough? Are we asking or challenging our brothers and sisters in the faith about what they are doing to reach the lost? If not then we need to change our mindset. We joke together and talk about so much stuff and avoid what really matters. We can build each other up and share tools to reach the lost. This is what the family of God is all about.

 

Thank you, Jesus, for equipping us. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to guide us, help us to listen to his guidance. Help us to listen to each other and be willing to ask each other the tough questions. This world needs you now just as much as ever, and people won’t just come unless someone tells them. Help us be a people who are willing to share the love that you have given us. Don’t let us hoard your salvation. 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