I Thessalonians 3:3-4
Paul was shipwrecked. Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego were thrown into a fiery furnace. The list of God’s people that dealt with hard situations goes on.
Paul reached land unharmed. Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego didn’t have a hair on their head singed. God’s grace, strength and presence are evident in His children’s lives.
These people of God faced terribly frightening circumstances. They had no idea what the outcome would be. Yet they chose to walk through it because they knew who would be walking with them.
God was by their side. Just as He is for you. When you accepted His gift of salvation you welcomed His presence into your life. Being a follower of Christ doesn’t mean that you become exempt from life’s trials. Being a follower of Christ means that you will have Jesus to walk through those trials with you.
He has created you for His glory. Glorify Him in whatever situation you might face.
“Nope. Not this time. I’ve already given you too much and look what you did with it. You’re not worthy of anything that I have for you.”
Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that this is God’s reaction when you come to Him seeking forgiveness. We might feel this way because that might be our reaction if we were given that position of authority. We’d be just like the brother of the prodigal son.
Thankfully we don’t answer to the brother. We answer to The Father. A merciful God that rejoices when His children come to Him. A Father that extends mercy and grace no matter what the situation may be.
If we aren’t careful we can be guilty of trying to put a humanistic attitude on a sovereign God.
The wise builder dug into the earth until he hit rock before he began building his house. Therefore his house could withstand harsh weather. The foolish builder built upon the surface. His house fell when the floods came.
Decisions are made daily based upon our opinions. If our opinions are rooted in Jesus’ teachings then we will be able to survive the hard times. If our decisions are made based upon the opinions of ourselves we will fail.
The wise man’s house was rooted on rock. What are your opinions and choices rooted in?
Peter has been jailed for serving The Lord. A group of Christians gathered together at a friend’s house to pray for him. Miraculously Peter escaped with the help of an angel. He went to the house to share the news. He began knocking on the door. Rhoda came to answer it. When she realized it was Peter she left, without opening the door, to tell the others that Peter was there. They questioned her because they didn’t see him. Then it dawned on Rhoda that she had left him outside. They went back to the door and found Peter still knocking. Finally they invited him in.
If you’re a follower of Christ than you can remember a moment in time when The Lord knocked on your heart’s door. Remember the excitement, peace, love, joy and humbleness you felt when you allowed Him in? It’s good for us to go back and remember this. Maybe you’ve forgotten how it felt. Reread the story of His crucifixion and know that He did it all for you. Thank Him for it. It’ll bless you.
Maybe you can’t recall a time when you answered Jesus’ knocking on your heart. If that’s the case, please, open the door for Him. He would love nothing more than to have you call him Savior.
Over five thousand people had gathered to hear Jesus teach. Lunch time had come and there wasn’t any food. Except for one boy. He had a lunch. He had food for himself only. But Jesus wanted to take it. The boy gave his lunch of two fishes and five loaves of bread. Jesus prayed over the lunch. Not only were the people given lunch but they had enough to eat until they were full. The disciples gathered the remaining food in twelve baskets.
The Lord could’ve taken the boy’s lunch and kept it for himself to eat. He is Lord. But he didn’t.Instead he took it and blessed the thousands there. But most importantly he blessed the boy who gave. He just didn’t bless the boy with a new lunch but he blessed him by allowing him to see how his seemingly small gesture turned into a miracle.
If Jesus asks you to give something up for him…give.
I Corinthians 3:16
You chose to open yourself to the Spirit of God when you chose to become a follower of Christ. You became His dwelling place.
Your outlook becomes founded with hope and your future is full of promise spent with Jesus. This new joy within you is seen by others in your cheerful countenance.
Your life won’t be the only one affected when the Spirit of God dwells within you.
A watchmen has a lot of responsibility. From his viewpoint he can see the enemy coming. He can choose to be responsible and alert the people when an enemy is going to attack. He can also choose to neglect the people by not giving a warning. The people will suffer the consequences.
As followers of Christ we have been given a viewpoint like none other. We have been set upon The Rock, Jesus. Through His Spirit we are able to recognize the powers and principalities that have come to attack. We’ve been given the duty of watchmen.
What kind of watchmen are you choosing to be?
Onesimus, a servant of Philemon’s has stolen from his master and fled. Along the way Onesimus meets Paul and gives his life to Jesus, the same as Philemon had done before. Paul is now returning Onesimus to Philemon and asking that Philemon receive him as a brother and not a criminal. Paul believes Philemon will be merciful to Onesimus. Paul could make this prediction because of the life that Philemon was living. Philemon was peculiar. He was known as a man that had a love for Jesus and lived his life according to His teachings.
Followers of Jesus are to be a peculiar people. We know that we are peculiar because to us Jesus is precious and we have a desire to apply The Word to our life. Others can see our peculiarity when we walk with purpose in the light being merciful to others because we have obtained mercy.
Would an onlooker be able to predict your peculiarity if you were faced with a situation similar to Philemon’s?
Joshua 4: 1-7
The Israelites put forth a lot of effort for a conversation starter. It was work to dig twelve stones out of the riverbed. But they did it.
As Christians we look for opportunities to glorify God. This is great and we should continue to do this. But The Lord had asked the Israelites to take it one step further. He told them to create an opportunity to glorify Him.
The Israelites memorial was:
1) Out of the Ordinary
-rocks in a desert
-they were the ones who crossed the river
3) Glorifies God
-He was the one that dried up the river and brought them through
When praying about a conversation starter that The Lord would give you consider the Israelites’ memorial.