A few years back we left my daughter’s softball tournament to bring my son to his little league end of season party. We had the address and general idea where it was and so we were on our way. I had my phone so that when we got closer we could use the GPS and mapping functionality to get us the last mile, or at least that is what we thought. My son wanted to play games on the phone so he was while I drove. About 2-3 miles before we were there my son tells me the battery is dead. Oh oh…
So know what I did? I started to pray. Asking God to help me find the right house in the right neighborhood where my son’s coach lives so he could have be part of the team party. So I started up my GPS – God’s Positioning System – thru prayer and we made it, God led me into a neighborhood, I would open the window and listen for kids, turned into a cul-de-sac, and we found them. God is good! We need to trust Him like this daily! We need to allow Him to lead us and guide us thru every day! Rather than allowing pride and confidence in ourselves, we need to put our hope and trust in God because He knows the beginning and the end and can help us get where we need to be (sometime it may not be where we would want to or have asked to be) so that He can work in us and thru us for the glory of His Kingdom!
Psalms 5, Matthew 5:21-42, Genesis 11:10-32, Genesis 12, Genesis 13
How do you go? Do you just get up and go? Do you get good directions before you leave? How about in life? What are you plans for life? What are the directions you follow for life? Where do you get them? Where do you turn to get them? Are the directions you got good? Ever considered asking God for directions for your life and following them? Imagine the blessings He could bring into our lives and the lives of others if we would just follow His directions for life!
Are you patient enough to wait on God for directions before you move? Are you willing enough to start your day with God and waiting upon Him to know the directions for the day? Do you have a Moses desire that you won’t go unless God comes with you?
If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. —Exodus 33:15
Or will you start your day crying out to God like David?
Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. —Psalm 5:2-3
And will you wait upon Him to direct your steps?
Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies—make your way straight before me. —Psalm 5:8
So let’s get each day started out with God! It sets the right tone and the right priorities for the day! I know that if or when I am having to start my day before I start my reading, I am different. I am not filled up completely and throughout the day it leaks and so my attitude fades earlier if I am not completely filled up.
So why not get the directions from Jesus for life so that it helps you stay on the road and on track for life? Consider them the rules of Jesus’ road and pursue them and follow them as you go thru the journey of life! Jesus’ way won’t let you live an average life! Jesus’ way is a higher calling! Jesus’ way will raise the bar! Jesus’ way transforms not only how we act, but how we think and how we speak…our attitude! Let’s consider what Jesus is teaching us in today’s reading from Matthew…
Consider your words and how you choose them and use them…
21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
–from Matthew 5
Jesus calls us to stop before we even act! He wants our attitude to change! He wants our lives to be lives at His higher calling! He wants that we speak blessings! He wants that we speak words that will build up! He wants us to realize that words have power and when used inappropriately they can tear down and kill!
Consider how you live even towards those who seem to be against you…
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
–from Matthew 5
Are you carrying the burden of bitterness and unforgiveness? Will you go and forgive them? Forgiveness is the key! Forgiveness is what Jesus provide us to God by sacrificing His life on the cross! Forgiveness is the example Jesus gave us and that it doesn’t matter how big or small the offense, we need to not pick it up and we need to forgive! We need to settle it quickly so that it doesn’t take root in our hearts and have the opportunity to grow and impact our lives negatively! It can keep us from being able to be the blessings to others that God needs for us to be! It can keep us from being able to complete the good work God has created in advance for us to do! So we need to forgive!
Will you take control of your thoughts? Will you take control of your eyes and what you allow into them? Will you take control of your life and what you will allow into your heart? Will you take action to keep yourself on God’s path by following Jesus’ directions?
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[e]28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
–from Matthew 5
Don’t be tempted! Don’t be lead astray! Don’t think that nobody is noticing those looks because God does! There is a fine line and how far will you step before it breaks and you are into something that can not only hurt your life but the life of the people around you? Keep yourself from it! Avoid the temptations! Avoid the idea of it because it doesn’t matter, because in reality it does matter! Consider the progression and how you can stop it. You see it, you think about it, you talk about it, you act on it…you want to keep it from taking root in your heart and mind. He is calling us so that we can not only be good ourselves, but also a blessing to others! Let’s reflect on Job’s words and how we can bring it into our lives…
I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman. –Job 31:1
Do you realize the higher calling Jesus asks of us in alignment to Job’s example?
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
–from Matthew 5
So it’s not that we have to act on it, Jesus tells us we have already crossed the line when we look “lustfully”. It’s not that we looked, but that we looked “lustfully”. So how will you keep yourself from getting tripped up in things you should avoid? Let’s align to His direction so that we don’t get all tripped up and fall. He calls us to a higher calling – one of a servant! We are to be a servant leader! We are to be a blessing! We are to be a good and faithful servant! Let’s allow our words to have value! Let’s walk with integrity! Let’s live lives so that we can one day hear, “well done my good and faithful servant” from God! Let’s allow our lights to shine so that even those who treat us poorly will see Jesus thru us!
31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
Eye for Eye
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
–from Matthew 5
So let’s live our lives with the direction that we are to be blessings to others! Let’s be blessings to our spouses! Let’s be blessings to our co-workers! Let’s be blessings to those who make deals with! Let’s be blessings to those who attack us! Let’s walk in remembrance that our battle isn’t against flesh and blood and so resist the devil so that He will flee!
So rather than trying to run ahead, or skip a step, or do it our own way, let’s follow God’s directions step by step in order to accomplish His plans which are good! His plans which are to give us a hope and a future! His plan that people would hear of Jesus and come into relationship with Jesus and be saved!
Trust God! He knows the way! He knows the direction and will keep you company along the journey! So don’t worry, don’t fret, don’t be afraid!
The devil had a plan to trip up men in the garden, but God had another plan to bring salvation to humanity! It wasn’t going to be possible to do it in our own strength and power, and so He was going to need to make a way! The old testament points to a savior and He is Jesus!
In today’s reading from Genesis, we see it starting with Abraham. We see God calling Abram from his home. We see God directing his step to where he is supposed to go. We see God walking out the journey with Abram. We see Abram’s humanity and Abram’s heart through the journey. So let’s be like Abraham and walk out our lives with Jesus by our side! Let’s allow Him to give us direction and instruction to keep us on the right path! Let’s not stray or wander off but rather let’s trust Him and build up our relationship with Him every day of our lives!