Ever felt like because of who you are others treat you differently? Ever felt like because of what you believe others treat you differently? Ever had someone look at you like you were an alien from outer space who didn’t belong?
Being believers in Jesus and knowing that heaven is our home, maybe they are right. And also maybe that isn’t a bad thing. If they look at us strange because we abstain from sinful desires that wage against our soul is that a bad thing? If they look at us strange because we live good lives that they accuse you of doing wrong but yet all anyone can really see are our good deeds which glorify God on the day He visits us.
Ever considered who has been given authority over you? Ever considered that nobody who is over you has be placed there by God? Ever considered how with so many countries where people get to vote and elect those in authority that people are getting what they asked for or deserve? It may not be easy and we see over and over again in the old testament how often the people turned away from God and ended up with authority they thought they wanted and asked for and yet then eventually the people would realize the wrong of their ways, humble themselves, repent of their wicked ways, turn back to God and He would hear them from heaven and heal their land. So we as the people of God need to humble ourselves, turn from our wicked ways, and pray to God and turn back to Him so that He will hear us from heaven and heal our lands.
Ever considered God’s instruction on how we are to live our lives when it comes to human authority? How we are submit ourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority? How it doesn’t matter if they are emperor or president or governors, we are to submit to them because the governors have been given the power to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. We need to remember and take hold of the reality that it is for God’s will that by doing good we should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. We need to live as free people (thanks to Jesus) but we aren’t to live or let that freedom be used to coverup for evil. So let’s live our lives showing proper respect to everyone! Let’s live our lives loving the family of believers! Let’s fear God and honor those God has put in authority over us.
Wondering where that came from? Wondering if I am just making it up? Check out these verses from 1 Peter 2:11-17 which say:
‘Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. ‘— 1 Peter 2:11-17
So today let’s choose to live out our lives so that in and through it all it will bring the praise, the honor, and the glory to God! We shouldn’t fear anyone but God! The enemy of our soul, the devil is trying to stir up fear and worry in order to try and stop, paralyze, or cripple us from accomplishing God’s purpose and will within our lives and our communities. Who does God want you to reach out and speak life and love and encouragement to today? How does God want you to walk out your today in the best way possible to bring Him the praise, the honor, and the glory? Let’s live our lives in a way that people see Jesus and glorify our Heavenly Father because of the way we choose to live our lives. It doesn’t matter if others think we are aliens or foreign, it matters that we bring praise, honor, and glory to God when people see us doing good! Let’s not grow weary in doing good for in the right time we will receive our reward! Let’s be filling our minds with what the Holy Spirit says/tells us. Let’s take every thought captive (to make it obedient to Christ) and filter it through the Word of God before we allow it to be released from our mouths. So we need our mind to be governed by the Spirit rather than the flesh since when it is governed by the flesh it leads to death and when it is governed by the Spirit the mind is life and peace. To make sure that we can find life and peace and so we need to shift our mind from the world and towards God by spending time with God, let’s open His Word, let’s be filled so that in our minds we have life and peace because our focus and primary goal is the Spirit. Let’s not allow the things of this world to consume our thoughts! Let’s ask God to help us to put these thoughts out of our heads. Let’s ask God to help us fill our minds with thoughts that please Him and will give us peace of mind and life. Let’s be ambassadors of peace! Let’s help bring reconciliation between people and between people and God by pointing them and showing them Jesus! No matter what comes our way, we put our hope and trust in God! The battle belongs to the Lord! Let us base our confidence in the Lord!
Ever considered what is new? Ever taken some scripture and noticed that it could have been written yesterday rather than thousands of years ago? So is there anything new? Ever heard the saying the more you know the more you know you don’t know? Ever heard the saying ignorance is bliss? Ever realized what was being said?
The 49 week challenge – Day 201
With June in the rear view mirror, let’s share our takeaways from today’s reading! Did you catch and promises to trust? Did you catch any commands to obey? Did you catch any truths to embrace? Did you catch any warnings to heed? Did you catch any encouragement to rest in? What did you learn about God? What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the world? What verse stood out most to you today?
Today’s reading from God’s Word – the Bible comes to us from:
- Today’s devotional starts with 2 Corinthians 5:
- ‘For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.’ — 2 Corinthians 5:1-21
- Today’s reading then shows us how the Old and New Testament connect
- Today’s devotional continues into 2 Chronicles32:
- ‘After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself. When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he intended to wage war against Jerusalem, he consulted with his officials and military staff about blocking off the water from the springs outside the city, and they helped him. They gathered a large group of people who blocked all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land. “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?” they said. Then he worked hard repairing all the broken sections of the wall and building towers on it. He built another wall outside that one and reinforced the terraces of the City of David. He also made large numbers of weapons and shields. He appointed military officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square at the city gate and encouraged them with these words: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said. Later, when Sennacherib king of Assyria and all his forces were laying siege to Lachish, he sent his officers to Jerusalem with this message for Hezekiah king of Judah and for all the people of Judah who were there: “This is what Sennacherib king of Assyria says: On what are you basing your confidence, that you remain in Jerusalem under siege? When Hezekiah says, ‘The Lord our God will save us from the hand of the king of Assyria,’ he is misleading you, to let you die of hunger and thirst. Did not Hezekiah himself remove this god’s high places and altars, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship before one altar and burn sacrifices on it’? “Do you not know what I and my predecessors have done to all the peoples of the other lands? Were the gods of those nations ever able to deliver their land from my hand? Who of all the gods of these nations that my predecessors destroyed has been able to save his people from me? How then can your god deliver you from my hand? Now do not let Hezekiah deceive you and mislead you like this. Do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or the hand of my predecessors. How much less will your god deliver you from my hand!” Sennacherib’s officers spoke further against the Lord God and against his servant Hezekiah. The king also wrote letters ridiculing the Lord , the God of Israel, and saying this against him: “Just as the gods of the peoples of the other lands did not rescue their people from my hand, so the god of Hezekiah will not rescue his people from my hand.” Then they called out in Hebrew to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to terrify them and make them afraid in order to capture the city. They spoke about the God of Jerusalem as they did about the gods of the other peoples of the world—the work of human hands. King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to heaven about this. And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the commanders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace. And when he went into the temple of his god, some of his sons, his own flesh and blood, cut him down with the sword. So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all others. He took care of them on every side. Many brought offerings to Jerusalem for the Lord and valuable gifts for Hezekiah king of Judah. From then on he was highly regarded by all the nations. In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord , who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord ’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord ’s wrath did not come on them during the days of Hezekiah. Hezekiah had very great wealth and honor, and he made treasuries for his silver and gold and for his precious stones, spices, shields and all kinds of valuables. He also made buildings to store the harvest of grain, new wine and olive oil; and he made stalls for various kinds of cattle, and pens for the flocks. He built villages and acquired great numbers of flocks and herds, for God had given him very great riches. It was Hezekiah who blocked the upper outlet of the Gihon spring and channeled the water down to the west side of the City of David. He succeeded in everything he undertook. But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart. The other events of Hezekiah’s reign and his acts of devotion are written in the vision of the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. Hezekiah rested with his ancestors and was buried on the hill where the tombs of David’s descendants are. All Judah and the people of Jerusalem honored him when he died. And Manasseh his son succeeded him as king.’ — 2 Chronicles 32:1-33
- Today’s devotional continues into Ecclesiastes 1:
- ‘The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun? Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again. All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them. I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted. I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind. For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.’ — Ecclesiastes 1:1-18
- Today’s reading concludes with Isaiah 27:
- ‘In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword— his fierce, great and powerful sword— Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea. In that day— “Sing about a fruitful vineyard: I, the Lord , watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it. I am not angry. If only there were briers and thorns confronting me! I would march against them in battle; I would set them all on fire. Or else let them come to me for refuge; let them make peace with me, yes, let them make peace with me.” In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit. Has the Lord struck her as he struck down those who struck her? Has she been killed as those were killed who killed her? By warfare and exile you contend with her— with his fierce blast he drives her out, as on a day the east wind blows. By this, then, will Jacob’s guilt be atoned for, and this will be the full fruit of the removal of his sin: When he makes all the altar stones to be like limestone crushed to pieces, no Asherah poles or incense altars will be left standing. The fortified city stands desolate, an abandoned settlement, forsaken like the wilderness; there the calves graze, there they lie down; they strip its branches bare. When its twigs are dry, they are broken off and women come and make fires with them. For this is a people without understanding; so their Maker has no compassion on them, and their Creator shows them no favor. In that day the Lord will thresh from the flowing Euphrates to the Wadi of Egypt, and you, Israel, will be gathered up one by one. And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.’ — Isaiah 27:1-13
As day 201 of 2020 begins, I would hate to miss giving the opportunity to anyone who hasn’t received Jesus into their lives as their Lord and Savior an opportunity to make the decision this early into 2020 and the blessing to get to live out the rest of 2020 in that power and that truth and that hope.
If you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, why not join me in this prayer?
“Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
—The Sinner’s Prayer
Did you pray with me? Would you be willing to leave me a comment so that I can pray with and for you about such an incredible decision? Or if you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment on my blog, why not email or text me instead?