There are two options and everyone must choose. There is one way to one end and multiple ways to the other. Not choosing will have the same impact as choosing the wrong way. Have you chosen? Will you choose before it is too late? Where do you want to end up?
Today’s reading starts of with the following text…
Jesus the Cause of Division
49“I came to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50I have a baptism to receive, and how distressed I am until it is over! 51Do you suppose that I came to bring peace to the world? No, not peace, but division. 52From now on a family of five will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53Fathers will be against their sons, and sons against their fathers; mothers will be against their daughters, and daughters against their mothers; mothers-in-law will be against their daughters-in-law, and daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law.”
–from Luke 12
Do you see how the church is being persecuted? Do you see how the name of Jesus gets a response? Do you realize that sometimes the response is good and sometimes the response isn’t? Today’s Word is interesting because we know God will grant us peace even in the midst of the storm (internal peace) yet today’s message speaks of how Jesus came that people would choose. Choose to be with Him and spend eternity in heaven or choose to be against Him or without Him and spend eternity apart from God. You can see with all the persecution taking place against Christians that even to this day the division is taking place. Those who believe and won’t renounce the name of Jesus for anything. Those who are on the journey. Those who don’t believe and do what they can to silence the name of Jesus. Those who don’t believe and try to ignore it.
Everyone gets to make a choice, so choose wisely! It’s the pros and the cons of life and receiving the gift of freewill, so choose wisely! Timing is everything…
Today’s reading continues…
Understanding the Time
(Matthew 16.2, 3)
54Jesus said also to the people, “When you see a cloud coming up in the west, at once you say that it is going to rain—and it does. 55And when you feel the south wind blowing, you say that it is going to get hot—and it does. 56Hypocrites! You can look at the earth and the sky and predict the weather; why, then, don’t you know the meaning of this present time?
–from Luke 12
Take a look around you, take a look at what is going on around the world, take a look at where the world is heading, take a look at the season we are in. What do you see? What time is it? It’s post the crucifixion of Jesus. It’s post the resurrection of Jesus. It’s before His return. Are you ready if he comes back today? Have you made your decision? Will you make your decision before His return? Do you see what is going on in your neighborhood, your country, the countries around the world? Do you see the wars and rumors of war? Do you see the famine and rumors of famine? Do you see the sick and rumors of sickness? Do you see earthquakes and rumors of earthquakes? Don’t be fooled by fear of what is taking place, but rather put your hope and trust in Jesus. Nobody knows the day or the time of His return, we are just to be ready, be prepared, have our house in order so that when He returns we are ready. Be it the story of the bride maids who did and didn’t have enough oil. Be it the story of the servants at home awaiting the return of their master. We are to be prepared.
We need to be walking in alignment with Jesus. We need to be taking care of things ourselves within the church rather than taking it to people who don’t get it and have different values and views of the world. If anyone tries to take you to court, do your best to settle it out of court! Today’s Word speaks to it this way…
Settle with Your Opponent
(Matthew 5.25, 26)
57“Why do you not judge for yourselves the right thing to do? 58If someone brings a lawsuit against you and takes you to court, do your best to settle the dispute before you get to court. If you don’t, you will be dragged before the judge, who will hand you over to the police, and you will be put in jail. 59There you will stay, I tell you, until you pay the last penny of your fine.”
–from Luke 12
There are so many distractions that try to take the focus away from Jesus. There are storms, waves, mountains that try to get our eyes off of Jesus. But if we keep our eyes on Jesus we can continue to walk to Him. We can find peace even in the midst of the storm. He may calm the storm or calm the storm in us. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, He will grant us wisdom so that we know if we are to climb the mountain, go around the mountain, to go through the mountain, or to have faith and pray that the mountain be cast into the sea. The devil is roaming around like a roaring lion to see who he can devour. He uses the same tricks and tools to try and lie, rob, destroy. He tries to create fear so that we will scatter and be sitting ducks. Like a lion that tries to get the weak one to run away from the heard or flock. Find peace in Jesus! Stay close to Him! Keep your eyes on Jesus!
Today’s reading continues …
14It may be that some there will not obey the message we send you in this letter. If so, take note of them and have nothing to do with them, so that they will be ashamed. 15But do not treat them as enemies; instead, warn them as believers.
16May the Lord himself, who is our source of peace, give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with you all. 17With my own hand I write this: Greetings from Paul This is the way I sign every letter; this is how I write. 18May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
–from 2 Thessalonians 3
Allow God’s peace that goes beyond all understanding to fill you up! Allow God’s peace that rebukes fear with faith lead you and guide you! Don’t walk away from Jesus, but get closer and closer.
We weren’t meant to do this thing called life alone! We have Jesus! We have the Holy Spirit! We have other believers, just like the heard and flocks so that we can help and encourage one another and keep the ones who need protection and encouragement, and hope and help from that roaring lion safe and calm and at peace so they don’t bolt and run out and make themselves a target.
Not sure what to do or where to start? Start by praising God for all that He has done! Not sure what to say, thank Him for what He has done in and through your life! Need some wisdom, turn to God’s Word, the Book that is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path!
The devil believes that if he can create fear, he can paralyze us from completing the work God has for us to do. But God knows that the antidote to fear is faith! So fear not, just believe! Put your hope and trust in Him!
1Praise the Lord! Praise God in his Temple! Praise his strength in heaven! 2Praise him for the mighty things he has done. Praise his supreme greatness. 3Praise him with trumpets. Praise him with harps and lyres. 4Praise him with drums and dancing. Praise him with harps and flutes. 5Praise him with cymbals. Praise him with loud cymbals. 6Praise the Lord, all living creatures! Praise the Lord!
–from Psalm 150