50: 50 Days of 3:16

As we conclude this 50 Dyas of 3:16 we see that many of these verses all lead us to the same thing. That God loves us and desires to know us more.

 

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

1 John 3:16

 

The words teach us how to live as believers.

 

Keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

1 Peter 3:16

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Colossians 3:16

Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

Philippians 3:16

These words teach us how to be bold in our faith.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.”

Daniel 3:16

 

It reminds us that sometimes we must wait on the Lord but that he will speak to us.

After seven days the Lord gave me a message. Ezekiel 3:16

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness

2 Timothy 3:16

Remember that God is always with you seeing what is happening and waiting for the right moment, our ways are not his ways.

“Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you.“

Exodus 3:16

 

Take some time to study your bible. Grab hold of a scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to connect you to God through it. You will find that he can speak to you through his word. There is truth in the scriptures that will help you manoeuvre through this life and become effective in reaching the lost.

 

Father use us to be a people who want to hear from you. Holy Spirit gives us boldness to step out of our comfort zones and share our faith with others. Bind our fears and help us to be great witnesses and fishers of men. Use me. Amen.

 

Thank you for following with me through his 50 days. I will be back in September with a new series.

 

 

 

 

 

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47: 50 Days of 3:16

The world desperately is looking for love. People have an ingrained desire to connect and have a relationship that foundation is so much deeper. Not just the superficial love in which we fall in and out of, but a love that will stick around when times get tough. Hollywood has become a love-generating machine showcasing fantasies of how man and woman might fall in love. It rarely continues the story and focuses on the deep love that keeps us connected.

 

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

1 John 3:16

 

Have you ever been in love? How many times would you say that this feeling of love has overwhelmed you to the point of telling the person? It is to bad that we have this one word overused to the point where in our conversations we throw it around cheapening the meaning. I love this hamburger. I loved that movie. I love this music artist. I love, I love, I love. We have truly lost the meaning of what it means to love. No wonder it is difficult for people to understand the love that Jesus has for us. If the acquaint love of Jesus with the love of superficial things it becomes non-important. Something we say when we enjoy something, yet it is really not going to become the centre of our lives. We may love the burger, but we do not embrace it in such a way we change our lives for it.

 

Here we see love explained in such a way that we must be willing to give up everything as Jesus did to showcase that love. This act of love asks us to change for the betterment of what we love. Jesus asks us to love him and follow him, giving up our old habits and burdens. His love for us is more than superficial love, so much that he was willing to die to show us how much he loved us. We often hear people say would you take a bullet for someone else, this is exactly what Jesus did for ever single person on earth, past, present and future. But we are called to do the same for our brother’s and sisters. Do we love them like that? Would you be willing to lay down your life so that someone else would live?

 

Hearing about these random shootings around my country, USA and the world, I often wonder why we don’t hear much about those standing up to take down the shooter. We are a people with a self-preservation instinct that gives us a flight or fight mentality and we tend more often than not to run. Love is stepping into the fight and preparing to lay down your life in love, not to be the hero, but so that others may experience the love of Christ. It has been said that love isn’t loving until you give it away. Laying down your life can also be sacrificing something that is important to you so that someone else can grow. It could be time, money, talents or many other things.

 

Father, thank you for sending Jesus and his sacrifice of love so that we could show love to others. We ask for boldness and faithfulness to show this love to others as Jesus did for us. Let our lives reflect a love that would be willing to be laid down for our brothers and sisters. Let our love be deeper than the word that is thrown around. Empower us to reach the lost. Amen

44: 50 Days of 3:16

Bigger, better, faster, stronger, cooler, more exciting. These are just some of the things we see that other people have a desire to obtain. Many call it keeping up with the Jones. If your neighbour buys a new car well then we had better buy a new car, they upgrade something in their house, must be time for us to upgrade. Your friend buys the latest phone, you can’t have that and buy a better phone. All these things lead us into debt and jealousy. A place where we just want to be better, instead of just being happy for the person and their success we need to one-up them.

 

For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.

James 3:16

 

Jealousy is not a New Testament concept. It first popped its ugly head up back with the first two recorded offspring of Adam and Eve. Cain and Able were both adept at what they did, one a hunter the other a gatherer. They offered some of their respective hunts to God and God was more pleased with Ables offering than Cain’s. Cain could not control his jealousy and recorded the first murder ever. If only Cain had been happy with his brothers offering, things might have been different. He could have learned from him, Able had given the best of the best. One might assume that Cain had not given of the best, maybe he had added a few pieces of fruit that had already fallen off the tree, being lazy he offered God bruised fruit in hopes that it would not get noticed. His selfish ambition to one-up his brother was his downfall. It might have also been a case of Able seeing his brother about to give a sacrifice, not to be left out decided to give one as well and gathered things in a hurry not to glorify God but to make himself look good.

 

How are you living your life? Are you content in what God has provided for you or are you always looking at what others have, desiring to upgrade your life so you are living like them? Is your self-ambition overpowering your desire to serve others? Working hard to be seen by others so they take notice of you and shower you with praise? Being recognized for things you do is not a problem, but when we work looking only for the praise it leads to cutting corners and stepping on others in our quest for this recognition. God honours those who work diligently in their jobs, the mission and church that push forward knowing what needs to be done, doing it and not boasting about it. I have heard it said that if all you desire is mans praise for the works you do here on earth then that will be the blessing you receive. God promises to give us crowns for our faithfulness here on earth, I would prefer those then mans praise. Let us not let our jealousy and self-ambition lead us to a road of disorder and evil.

 

Father, thank you for loving us. If we have been envious of others in our lives I pray for forgiveness. Help me to be satisfied with what I have. Let me take time to pray and be wise in the things I do buy so not to be keeping up with the trends. I want to work to glorify your name, if I have been working for man’s praise, forgive me, I want to work to show my faithfulness to you. Let us be a witness to those around us, working hard and consistently. Give us wisdom and boldness to be a light in the world around us sharing your love with others. Speak to us today. Amen

35: 50 Days of 3:16

For the last couple of days, I have been off grid or at least separated from the electronic devices that tend to keep us connected. Working as a counsellor at a Camp for Children. I really enjoy taking these times to pour into the lives of the next generation and although it wears me out I know that these times are vital to the growth of these kids. The kids learned about being empowered with Jesus. He is their hero they are looking for. He gives them Super Purpose, a Super Mission and Super Power through the Holy Spirit. This power is available to anyone who has turned to the Lord.

 

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away

2 Corinthians 3:16

 

Back in the Old Testament, before Jesus had made the scene, God had provided the people with an earthy way for them to distinguish His presence. He had first given them a portable tabernacle and then they build the temple. The ark of the covenant was created not as an idol to be worshipped but as a seat where God’s presence rested. The power of God’s presence was revered and separated by a curtain and eventually a large veil. No one but the highest priest was able to go inside this veil and see the ark. This task was performed not very often and when it was the priest assigned went in with a rope around his ankle and bells so that if the presence of God overwhelmed him or he fell over dead that the other priests could pull him out. That is how serious they took the presence of God in their midst.

 

Jesus came along and turned everything upside down. He when talking promised to shake things up, he promised that every believer would have access to God’s presence, no veil required. He would take the place of the veil and ensure that those who needed to see God would and could experience His presence without fear of falling over dead. Not only that but He promised that each and every follower would have Gods presence inside them through the Holy Spirit, who will live within every believer. He even proved his power and authority in this by ripping the veil in two, when he died on the cross. This was no accident that the veil was torn, no Jesus didn’t sneak into the temple and cut the veil, he was hanging on the cross. The veil was no longer required Jesus displayed his power by removing the veil as a symbol that we could now enter into God’s presence.

 

Do you feel unworthy to be seen by God? That may be the sin that is shaming you. Sin separates us from God, Jesus on the cross provided a way for us to be free from the sin that causes this shame. This sin cleansing is offered freely to anyone alive that makes the step of faith and chooses Jesus. He may have died on the cross but displaying the awesome power of God, He rose again bringing life and forgiveness. Providing a way for us to remove the sin that separates us and removing the veil that divides us from Gods presence, and even goes one step further sending the Holy Spirit (which is part of God) to live in us. We are empowered by God, what is holding you back from receiving this power?

 

Father, many who will read this may not know you, I pray today that they will find the truth they need and finally make that giant leap into your arms asking Jesus to forgive them of their sins. They say the first step is admitting that we have a problem. Until they realize this they will fight the help Jesus offers. Give us wisdom and boldness to show the world that they need help, in my family, my friends, my community, and my world. Let me be the light you are asking me to be so that those around me can see what you have done for them and the power you want to give them. That following Jesus isn’t about losing everything but gaining everything.   Amen

32: 50 Days of 3:16

It’s Sunday morning, a man is brought into church into your church in a wheelchair, easily observed this man cannot walk his legs deformed in such way that he may have been like that since birth. During the worship service, the man is rolled up to the front where he cries out for healing. Some come to pray for the man asking Jesus to heal once again. No one truly expecting anything to happen to the man. This attitude is a reality in many of our churches. We know God still heals but not really getting our hopes up as we never see it.

By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.

Acts 3:16

 

Take a second look at my story, what would happen if at the prayer moment throughout the building a loud crack is heard. Only seen to those who were faithful to come to pray, they see the man’s legs shoot out and start to gain strength and muscle right before their eyes. What if that man climbed out of his chair and put one foot in front of the other and gaining momentum started walking, no running and jumping around the altar praising God, how would the people in the pews react? There would be many surprise reactions, some disbelief others in shock.

This is what is happening here in Acts 3. Peter and John just met a man in need of a life-changing event. He was asking them for money, but they offered him the power of Jesus to be healed. What amazes me about this story is that they offered it but instead of waiting for the man to decided they took his right hand and pulled him up fully expecting him to be healed. Peter and John filled with the Holy Spirit had no doubt in the power of God to heal this man. They had personally seen Jesus do it, he told them they would do it, so they just did it. They gave all the credit to Jesus and the mans faith. They did not want any glory for this act nor should they. It was in the name of Jesus that the man was healed, and they had no doubt that it was going to happen. How would this world be changed it those who trust Jesus had this kind of faith to heal?

I can’t do that, I am no Peter or John, and I am definitely no Jesus. That was all back then and has no power now it just does not happen in this day and age.  Jesus promised us that the same Holy Spirit that worked with Him is in us and that we can do the same miracles and healings He did and even more. Why would his promise only extend for a generation or two and then disappear? If you google healings you will find that there are healings happening all over the world. Amazing things are happening in places, mainly in places where believers have less comfort and more reliance on God’s provision. Where I am it is very easy to get health care, but in a third world country where hospitals are in short supply trusting that God will heal seems to have more clout. Can God use you to heal someone right where you are? Yes he can, will you let him use you?

 

Father, we want to see people being healed. Not to build ourselves up as the ones doing the healing but to give you glory and draw men and woman to you. Strengthen our faith and destroy our disbelief. For far too long we have been quiet about what you can do, some thinking that it was only for the New Testament time period. Even today Jesus use us to reach this world through love, sharing your salvation and even healings. Give us the wisdom to reach the lost. Amen

31: 50 Days of 3:16

Not surprisingly, John 3:16 is the most well-known scripture in the world. Why exactly would this be? It most likely has to do with the fact that the Gospel is wrapped up in this one verse of the Bible.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

One of the things this world has a hard time comprehending is that our eternal destiny is given to us as a choice. Why would an all-powerful, just, good God give the people He created a choice? If they live a good life would that not be enough to grant admission into heaven and life eternal? This train of thought keeps many from ever accepting the Son and what He has done for them. They do not see any importance to His death and resurrection. They could be judging God based on what they have seen religious institutions do in the past but never being involved in the Church. On our own strength we have no way to redeem ourselves from the sin that separates us from the relationship God desires to have with us.

How then do we reach people around us when we as believers do not understand, let me explain;

On one hand we talk about the fact that we cannot force someone to accept Jesus into their lives, yet in the next breath we are praying that God will ‘soften’ their hard hearts to the truth.

Well God does not force Himself into people lives. Revelations says that Jesus is knocking at the door. Some days we wish Jesus was there at the door ready to kick it in, but He patiently waits for each person to open the door. How do they know who is on the other side of the door? That is what we are called to do, we are to tell others about who Jesus is so that they freely desire to open the door to Him. We need to be His salt and light in this world, showcasing who Jesus is, telling others why we accepted Him. Using the simple Gospel in this verse to be your starting point.

Father, today I pray that we be your salt and light, reflecting who you are in this world. Help us to remove the fear that holds us back from sharing your love with this world. The moment of possible rejection is a small price to pay for exposing them to the truth that can free them from an eternity of suffering. Give us wisdom to speak life into their lives. Use us to fulfil the mission. Amen.

30: 50 Days of 3:16

On day 28 we talked about Jesus receiving the baptism from John, how John did not feel worthy to provide this task, feeling it should be the other way around. Today we see how John felt about the coming Messiah and why he felt humbled in Jesus presence. John was a man like us, he had his doubts as well, even after making a strong statement like the one today or recognizing Jesus and baptising him we see that after he was imprisoned only months later, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus if he really was the Messiah. 

 

John answered them all, “I baptize you with[a] water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with[b] the Holy Spirit and fire.

Luke 3:16

 

The baptism in water is an important step in any believer’s life. But John here tells the reader of another important baptism that is available through the Messiah. This part of being a Christ follower is often ignored because people do not take the time to understand the role of the Holy Spirit. Some groups of believers have taken this to far and place a higher importance on it to the point where those who do not agree are ostracized.  The Holy Spirit is God. Just the same as Jesus is God, the Holy Spirit has been given to meet with us where we are. Many put the Holy Spirit on another level just a little lower than Jesus, all because Jesus promised to send another to help us. The Holy Spirit is not like a worker who has been sent but as an ally sent to assist. He was there with Jesus empowering Him in miracles, giving Him strength on earth.

 

If we were already baptised in water why would Jesus come and there be a promise to baptize with fire? Fire consumes us, fire is used to refine us. Just like gold when found is unpure, refinement with fire removes impurities and creates something beautiful. This process is not always a fast one as we resist the process, afraid that we will lose who we are and become something else. God created you the way you are for a reason, your personality and talents are what He wants to use. Refinement will not destroy who you are but enhance you for the better removing the bad traits and solidify the positive ones. Holding on to the past and things of this world keep us from refinement. Many have been attributed to the statement ‘Let go and let God’, it is what we need to do to allow God through the Holy Spirit to work in our lives.

 

Maybe today you feel like I have in the past, a stale Christian faith that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Church on Sundays, maybe a study during the week, casual prayer and devotions. But life is just blah, you want to feel excited about your faith but you just don’t. When was the last time you let the Holy Spirit work in your life? When have you asked Him to baptise you with fire revealing things that need to be removed?  This can be done alone or in church. Many a Sunday I see the altar empty and people rushing out of the church as soon as the pastor says his closing prayer. What if the church was to take time praying for the Holy Spirit to refine them? Give them purpose? Praying for more than being a seat warmer, holding a place for entrance to heaven? We are called for so much more, but until we are ready to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire we wander through life. We can’t expect change to just happen, most times we have to make the first step, it may be that first step that carries you into a new chapter in your faith.

 

Father, I pray today that everyone who takes the time to read this knows you, if they don’t I ask that today you will show them the relationship you have for them and the forgiveness that Jesus has for them.  Use us to reach our families, neighbours, coworkers and our world. Holy Spirit refines us in your fire, not to burn us up but to remove impurities that hinder us from growing with God. Use our personalities and abilities to be effective in the mission of sharing the love of Jesus to this world. We need strength and wisdom to be effective, Holy Spirit we ask for these things. Use us. Amen