King Ahab and the prophet Elijah met face to face for the first time. Their meeting wasn’t one of pleasantries. King Ahab questioned Elijah’s intentions toward his country, Israel. He implied that Elijah was responsible for his people’s current state of hardship. Elijah, representing God, wouldn’t accept the blame. Instead he stood on God’s word, even though tensions were high. (I Kings 18: 17-17)
Jesus teaches that we will have to make a decision to stand for him or against him. That decision dictates whether Jesus will confess or deny us before his Father. The tense times are to be expected. Jesus said he didn’t come to give peace to the earth, but division. (Matthew 10:32-34 & Luke 12:51)
So when you question yourself “is it worth it to stand for God even though it will create tension?” Answer yourself, “Jesus standing before the Father on behalf of me is worth anything.”
Churchgoing hypocrites intentionally exploit God for their own benefit. In Jesus’ day the Pharisees mistreated widows, in the name of God, for their own gain. They converted people to their religion, which they claimed was based on God’s law. In doing so they convinced people to follow after their methods, not God’s. Hypocrites.
Peter was a devoted follower of Christ. Yet in a moment of weakness he denied the Lord. He made a mistake. He was overwhelmed with shame, weeping when he realized what he had done. He had went against what he had known to be true: he was a follower of Christ.
The Pharisees continuously rejected God. Peter said that Jesus was Christ and he would serve no one else. The Pharisees wanted to rid themselves of Jesus. Peter ran to him, even after his denial. Jesus said to the Pharisees “woe unto you, hypocrites” but to Peter he said “feed my sheep”.
They both had denied Jesus. What was the difference? The difference was that Peter acknowledge his wrongdoing and turned from that sin. The Pharisees were content to live in their deception.
Most likely you’ve sinned after making a public commitment to Christ. My guess is that you’re being beat down with “You’re a hypocrite if you try serving the Lord again.” Let me say: No!! That’s deception from Satan. Call sin sin, repent and move on: live the gospel! Only you and God know your intentions. Don’t allow a lie to dictate if you choose to walk in the forgiveness God has offered you.
Elijah sat holed up in the cave ready to give up. He had dedicated his life to God only to have seemingly everyone turn away.
“But what about the faithful seven thousand?” replied God to Elijah’s cries.
Elijah, being encouraged by this fact left the cave, ready to once again work for God.
How about you?
Have you recently found yourself with your head bowed, tears streaming down your face, completely distraught, tired and weary?
Have you had this type of a conversation with God: “What could have I done differently to show them you? They’ve turned away! It’s just me. I’m alone. And it seems as if the devil himself would like nothing more than to destroy me.”
Let me remind you that God is faithful. Count the people around you that are living a righteous life. And be encouraged by the faithful servants, no matter how small the number may be.
Rise up renewed, revived and ready to proclaim Jesus to a lost and dying world.
Just please, don’t give up. Don’t stay hidden in a cave. Get out there and keep preaching Jesus. Keep studying the word. Keep walking the straight and narrow pathway. The Word you are living won’t return void. It will accomplish a purpose. Somebody is being affected. And they are worth it all.
Originally posted: July 22, 2014
The holy of the most holy place contained the presence of God, embodied by the ark of the covenant. Only the priests without sin were allowed to enter into that realm. A partition, or veil, divided the space from the rest of the world.
Then entered Jesus! 🙌🏻 The death of his flesh destroyed the purpose of the veil. The acceptance of his blood sacrifice for the covering of your sin gives you access to the Father.
We don’t need to depend on another person’s righteousness when we have our own through Christ. We are blessed to be able to go boldly to the throne of God, knowing that he will hear and answer our prayers because Christ has become our intercessor.
Scripture taken from: Exodus 26:33, Matthew 27:51 and Hebrews 10:19-20
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” I Corinthians 13:1
Doing nice things with the wrong intentions is a distraction to yourself and to those around you. It takes the focus off of Jesus and places it on your works.
Ask yourself: Am I doing this to make myself feel better, to check off a list, or to please other people? Pray about your answer and your intentions because they matter. Only what is done for Christ, in love, will last. He wants to give you lasting purpose and is willing to provide righteousness for anyone that seeks after him.
Scripture taken from: Matthew 5:6
Jesus was angry at the Pharisees for sitting by, watching and waiting for an opportunity to try to ruin his reputation.
Anger was a valid, yet restrained, response. Jesus’ reaction to their intentions was one of wisdom. He didn’t lash out at the men. Instead he chose to continue to do the work of the Father, just as he had been called to do. He kept focused on glorifying the Father.
It isn’t uncommon for people to quit doing the Lord’s work because they feel mistreated or under appreciated. This isn’t the solution Christ would have us to choose to live by. Instead of turning your back on the people that cause you to be angry, continue to do the work of the Lord, letting Jesus’ light shine through you.
Scripture taken from: Mark 3:1-5
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
This scripture is used often times at funerals, appropriately so. But we can apply it to our everyday walk.
“And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” Romans 8:10
While walking in the newness of Christ we are constantly trampling death-denying ourselves for God’s glory. We don’t need to fear our flesh, but rather focus on God’s presence that is guiding us as we press forward, living in the Spirit.
Paul had dedicated his life to destroying those who had chosen to follow Jesus.
Then Jesus asked Paul to follow Him.
Paul accepted the call of The Lord and was saved.
Timothy was raised in a household that brought him up to know the Gospel as truth.
Jesus invited Timothy to be saved.
Timothy accepted. He too became a child of the King.
It doesn’t matter what your background is. Jesus is extending you the opportunity to come to Him for salvation.
Originally posted July 31, 2013
Elisha and his servant looked at the Syrian army that surrounded them. They had been trapped. It looked like they were out of options. And they would be doomed, except God intervened. God’s servants looked upon the angel army standing guard, protecting them.
When all looks lost and you want to count yourself out, don’t forget that the Lord is on your side. Lean on his Word. Continue to abide in his will. You aren’t alone.
Scripture taken from: II Kings 6:13-17