When you see your brother in need do not be satisfied with simply praying for them… If you are in the capacity to help then do so.
Do not love simple with words, but love with actions. This is the best time for the people of God to be the hands and feet of Jesus. To extend His love, and as Paul said “so being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but our own selves…”
Let us move pass the notion of helping to simply feel good about ourselves, to actually rising into action to help others by giving ourselves in any way we can.
Reality Check:God is not some cosmic genie who simply answers our prayers. God’s love for man is not measured by how many prayers He has answered.
God is a Holy Holy Holy God who is not controlled by our prayers or works according to the bidding of man. God is the creator of all and the reason for our mere existence. God’s love is demonstrated on the cross when He chose to die for the people who rejected Him, when He chose to love those who hated Him and when He chose to die for those who wanted Him dead.
Stop looking at the Lord as if He is someone you can use. Stop the mentality of “If I wanna be blessed I need to follow Jesus.” Although there is truth to that statement, our reason for obeying should not be because we want the blessing, rather because we love God.
Each time we read that story of the prodigal son found in Luke 15:11-32, we tend to criticize the younger son for the blatant sins he committed. In this story we see two types of people - The ones who do the obvious wrong and the one who does what is right but misses out the purpose on why he did it in the first place.
Both sons used the father and wanted something from the father, but neither really wanted the father himself.
One rejected the father by being really bad, and the other by being really good. The “good” rejected the father because he could not accept the father’s kind of goodness. His so called “goodness” kept him from the father.
It’s just like saying ” I don’t want God but I want His blessings, so I obey.”So examine your heart right now, why do you follow Jesus? Do you follow Him to receive all these blessings? Or do you follow Him because you love Him?
We need to learn to repent. Just as the younger son came back to the father and humbled himself we too need to come to the Father and ask for forgiveness. Not only for the wrong things we’ve done but for the WHY we did things right.
We need to come to a point where we remember what it cost to bring us home. When we remember the grace of God we would be ashamed to even use Him for our own personal agendas.
" Everything I have is yours" said the father to the eldest son. And that’s exactly how it is with us. When God gave Jesus, He gave EVERYTHING. Let us remember what God has already done, and just how great the Father’s love is for us. For the sinners and for the saved.
Do not ever think that God loves the good more than He loves the lost. Don’t even let anyone make you believe that they deserve God’s love more than you. God died for all. God loves all.
Who do you relate to most? The younger son who is lost and broken in all their sins? Or the elder son who has lived a good life doing all the good things, going to church regularly, yet still missing out on the heart of God? Whichever you relate to, you need God. And you need to come back to Him. Because He is waiting for you.
My parents did a great job in bringing me up to fear The Lord, and as a result i grew up sheltered from the harsh realities of the world. Now that I’m older I began to see the world for what it really is. The more of this world that I see, the more I am convinced that this is not my home. When I see the emptiness and futility of worldly aims and ambitions, I remember that the life I live for Christ will echo in eternity.
The Strongest People are those who demonstrate Self Control
After watching Man of Steel I couldn’t help but see parallels between the story of Superman and of Jesus. One thing that struck me the most was how Cal El always had to hold back on using his power, how he had to conceal who he was til the right time, and how he had to relent from beating up the bullies.
I think this helps us picture better what Christ must have felt. Growing up and having to restrain himself from doing any miracles even if he was far capable of doing so. Or how he could have struck down those who mocked him while he hung on the cross. Countless times Jesus could have silenced the crowd with His power. But He didn’t.
He chose the humble road, the road that lead to him being ridiculed, humiliated, abandoned and broken. He didn’t walk down the path fit for a king, rather He walked down the road of a convicted man sentenced to death. And for a royal crown, a crown of thorns was given instead.
Jesus painted the perfect picture of humility. When we begin to think more highly of ourselves than we ought he reminds us that even the One who owned the universe gave his life for a people who rejected him. When we think of using our power to lift us up and to show off, He shows us that He himself held back on displaying His matchless glory.
The strongest people are those who demonstrate self control. People who are truly strong and powerful need not prove themselves. Those who try too hard are normally empty of real character. Jesus set the example. No one was more powerful than He, yet He was the humblest of all.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I love Jeremiah 29:11! It’s a very encouraging verse on God’s faithfulness and sovereignty. However it’s been used countless times out of context.
Jeremiah 29:11 isn’t simply about your current stage of uncertainty, or of you being in a difficult situation, or what God can do for you in a time of pain. To better understand this verse you need to understand the context and the background when God made this promise.
*Read Jeremiah 25: In this chapter we see Jeremiah speaking to the people of Judah to repent, to throw away their gods and to worship only the True Living God. But because of their disobedience God gave them up to the Babylonians who took them captive and destroyed the walls and the temple of the Lord.
In Jeremiah 29 God tells his people to go and settle down though they are exiled, to get married and increase in number and to seek the welfare of the city they were to live in. For God had appointed only 70 years for the Babylonians to reign over them.
In Daniel 5:17-6:3 we see that because of the pride of Nebuchadnezzar and his son Belshazzar, the kingdom was taken from them and was given to the Persians & Medes.
Darius the king of Mede & Cyrus the king of Persia ruled together. In Ezra 1, we read about Cyrus making a proclamation that every man whom the Lord stirs the hearts of should go back to Jerusalem to build the house of God.
Interestingly, over 100 years ago Isaiah prophesied about the man Cyrus. (Read Isaiah 44:24-45:13)
In the book of Ezra we see how the temple of God was rebuild… and in the book of Nehemiah we see how the walls were rebuilt and the people were revived. God fulfilled His promise. (Read Deuteronomy 30:1-5 to see what God’s promise was)
Seeing the bigger picture we can now better understand the context of Jeremiah 29:11. This was written in a time where the people of Judah had to face the consequence of their disobedience. It was a time where they were broken, without a nation, in captivity, and with no sure sense of what was going to happen now.
In Jeremiah 29:10 God says when the 70 years are completed for Babylon ” I will fulfill my promise to you. “
…[29:13] you will seek Me and find Me, WHEN you seek Me with all your heart.  I WILL BE FOUND.
The Israelites disobeyed. The were brought into captivity. BUT because of God’s grace and mercy He had already written the history for the redemption of His people.
Picture in mind the story of the prodigal son. Despite the son choosing the ways of the world, at the end of it all, the father was still waiting for him to come home.
That’s Jeremiah 29:11! It’s a picture of us in our pain caused by our disobedience but despite that God has in arms open waiting for us to come running home. It’s a picture of grace undeserved. It is the story of salvation. It isn’t just a feel good verse, it’s a verse that deals with our sin nature and points to God’s grace. It’s a verse that acknowledges our insufficiency and points to God’s sufficiency. It is a verse that tells you yes you made wrong choices before but it’s alright now because God’s got you, and God will turn it around if you will just seek Him.
This promise in Jeremiah 29:11 has to go hand in hand with the condition in Jeremiah 29:13. Seek God. You cannot be in the center of God’s will if you do not even know God. You cannot follow His will if you do not know what His will is. You cannot have the blessings of the Father if He isn’t even your father. So seek God. Come to know Him, seek Him first…and all his promises shall be given unto you,
The challenge about working for rewards is the mentality it builds. If you work hard for it you will get something in return; and if you don't then it's unfair. I realized just how much this mentality goes against the grace of God. We receive not cause we deserve it; if we do receive we should be thankful remembering it was given out of GOD's goodness and grace
When the hand of the Lord is upon you and you are exalted in the eyes of men, never claim the victory as something you have done on your own.
In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.
Lately God has been so gracious to me in the workplace. Though so much favor has been given, I am reminded that God allows these favors that I may glorify Him in whatever position I am in now.
God raised Esther up for a purpose of being a vessel for the salvation of the Jews. Esther found favor in the eyes of all, especially in the eyes of King Xerxes. In the book of Esther you will read on how Esther and Mordecai were used to save the Jews from annihilation.
Ezra and Nehemiah both find favor in the eyes of King Artaxerxes and were given blessing and provisions to go back to Jerusalem to build the temple and the wall. Both were able to do son because God’s was with them, and they found favor in the eyes of the king.
When we find ourselves in situations where we find favor in the eyes of our authorities, let us now wallow in out pride rather take that opportunity to ask God what He would like you to do for His glory.