Surely something needs to change“ (p. 3).Continue reading Take the Challenge … Let God Change You
Today, our pastor shared the words that God gave him when he was praying about the property that our church now occupies. He said that he repeatedly parked across from the property and prayed, wondering how the resources would come to build the church.
The Lord gave him a wonderful promise:
“Love Me, love My Word,
Love My people
And I will build My church”
This is a promise that we can possess as children of God.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38
Matthew Henry describes this love as loving God as ours.
To love God as ours is to love him because he is ours, our Creator, Owner, and Ruler, and to conduct ourselves to him as ours, with obedience to him, and dependence on him. We must love God as reconciled to us, and made ours by covenant; that is the foundation of this, Thy God.
Good morning, Lord. I look forward to what You have for me today. Fill me with Your wisdom, Your Spirit, Your love throughout the day.
Thank You, Father, for this great food, the conversation with my co-worker, and the beautiful clouds on the way to work.
Father, what should I do with the money You have given me?
Lord, God Almighty, I worship You with my body, my mind, my soul, and all that is within me. Direct my path. All that I have is Yours. You are my God, and I adore You. My life is not mine but Yours.
Love My Word
I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your Word. Psalm 119:16
David wrote the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119, and it focused on the Word of God. God considered the Law so important that He commanded Joshua to meditate on it day and night. God’s promise to him was that he would prosper and have success. Kings were commanded to write down the Law of God themselves and keep it in their hearts.
Memorizing Bible verses.
Indepth Bible study.
Talking about the Bible.
Applying the principles found in the Bible.
Love My people
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
“Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” … “Tend My sheep.” ….“Feed My sheep.” John 21:15-17
Children of God are known by their love for one another. Jesus told Peter that the result of loving His followers was to take care of the followers of Jesus by feeding them and tending them. That’s what our responsibility is to other believers.
Teach our children about Jesus.
Take care of our brothers’ and sisters’ needs. Visit them in the hospital. Provide necessities to those in need.
Pray for our brothers and sisters.
Serve each other.
And I will build My church
And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, Ephesians 4:11-12
Building the church is God’s responsibility. God prepared this work from before the foundation of the world.
And He has prepared works for all His children to accomplish, and He will equip His followers to accomplish these works. That’s His responsibility and His promise to us, Ephesians 2:10
In the 1990s, several men got together and decided to put the Bible on the Internet. They decided to call it Blue Letter Bible. God grew their expertise and Internet users’ awareness of the Website. Today, over 10 million people use the free tools annually. The team faithfully showed up and did what God had equipped them to do, and God grew their expertise and their ministry.
God calls you and me to step out in what He has equipped us to do. As we step out, God will grow our expertise, and He will accomplish the work He has established from before the foundation of the world.
Father, thank You for Your message and promise to my pastor. They are words we can apply to our lives. Please cause them to sink deeply into our very being. As we meditate on these principles, guide us in Your path for us. We love You, Lord. Thank You for loving us. Bless our pastors; equip them; give them confidence and courage; give them Your vision for Your ministry. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, Bless His holy name!
God is the artist working in our marriage and in our lives – to create a love that never fails. He takes the rough stones and polishes them. He carves the designs and inlays the stones.
He inscribes His words, and dyes the letters, so that all can see.
My Beloved, you are an artist working in my life. You have given me a treasure chest as you have picked up my rough stones, polished them, and inscribed your love upon me.
Thank you for your love. I cherish you.
Father, thank You for my Beloved husband. Through him, You have given me a glimpse of the intimacy of heaven. What a wonderful gift You have given to Your children and Your church. Thank You for Your love, a love that is so amazing that I cannot understand it or imagine it.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Jamie Snyder challenges the reader with this question: “If Sunday didn’t exist, would anyone know you were a follower of Jesus?”
The early church turned the world upside down. Communities knew who the Christians were, and the church grew rapidly.
Snyder describes the characteristics of a 24/7 Christian as possessing:
- Unbridled generosity
- Daring courage
- Rebellious joy
- Risky faith
- Relentless hope
- Scandalous grace
- Mad love
If we were to examine our Christian walk, could we see these qualities?
“When a student sought to follow a rabbi, he was hoping to take on the rabbi’s yoke–the system of beliefs and interpretations the rabbi had either developed or carried on from previous generations.”
Snyder explains that “when a rabbi preached his own yoke, it was said that he taught with authority.”
If a student wanted to follow the rabbi, the rabbi asked him many questions, and if the student passed the test, the rabbi said, “Come, follow me.”
As a disciple, the student left family, friends, community, everything, in total surrender to the rabbi.
Jesus simply says, “Come, follow me.”
Have you left everything to follow Jesus?
My prayer for you:
Father, thank You for Jamie Snyder and his passion for You. Bless him as he points people to You. Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon the church, so that we will turn the world upside down like the early church did for You. We want to be known as 24/7 Jesus followers, so that we will point people to Jesus.
Send the multitude away …
You give them something to eat!
We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people. Luke 9:12-13
Jesus and His disciples had tried to withdraw from the crowds after learning of the beheading of John the Baptist, but the crowds followed.
Jesus had compassion on the crowd and turned His focus on the crowd of 5,000 men; the women and children were not numbered. All day, He spoke to them about the kingdom of God and healed all who needed healing.
Late in the day, the disciples urged Jesus to send the people away to get something to eat and find a place to sleep.
You give them something to eat!
We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we go and buy food for all these people. Luke 9:13
Have them sit down in groups of about 50 each. Luke 9:14
Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them, and broke them, and kept giving them to the disciples to set before the people.
And they all ate and were satisfied; and the broken pieces which they had left over were picked up, twelve baskets full. Luke 9:16-17
This is the only miracle of Jesus that is recorded in all four Gospels. We see Jesus in all the Godhead and in all His humanity. In this miracle, we see the walk, emotion, the power, the seasons, and the impact of those in ministry.
- Time for renewal. There is a time to minister and a time to be renewed. Jesus is our Sabbath, our rest, and we need time alone with Him. Do you know a person in ministry who takes time to be alone?
- Time for compassion. Although Jesus and His disciples wanted to be alone, the people looked like sheep with no Shepherd,and Jesus had compassion on them. He put aside His desires to be alone. Compassion, for Jesus, had priority. Jesus later withdrew to pray. Have you put aside your weariness, your grief, to minister?
- Time for teaching and healing. Everywhere Jesus went, He taught and He healed. Miracles and teaching. That’s the way Jesus taught His disciples to reach out to people. The church teaches. What if today’s church believed that it was empowered to couple miracles with teaching on the massive scale that Jesus, His disciples, and the early church did?
- Time for preparation. The disciples had seen miracles before; they had even performed miracles … healing sicknesses and casting out demons. God always prepares us for the next lesson. Jesus asked the disciples to feed the 5,000. Do you suppose that Jesus would have empowered them to multiply the five loaves and two fish if they had chosen to do what He told them to do?
- Time for blessing. Jesus looked up to heaven, He blessed the bread and fish, He broke it, and gave it to the disciples to distribute to the people. Jesus pointed the people to God. Jesus said that “I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.” John 8:28 What if today’s Christians looked toward heaven and did everything on God’s initiative?
My prayer for you:
Father in heaven, we look to You as our Provider, our Shepherd, and our Teacher. Drench our every thought with the knowledge of You. Pour out Your Spirit on us. Give us the wisdom that only You can provide. Nudge us to step out in Your power and possess the world for You. We give you the glory. In the name of our compassionate Lord and Savior, Jesus. Amen
- Jesus values your big efforts – and the small ones too! (thekentblog.wordpress.com)