Friday, January 28, 2011

How Many Signs Do You Need?

Mark 8:18-19

18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? 19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

“Twelve,” they replied.

How many signs has God given you that what you are experiencing is real? Jesus was actually using the the term yeast to refer to the corruption of the Pharisees but the minds of the disciples were fixed on bread. They were fixed on bread because they were focusing on lack. Jesus clearly was showing them they still lacked faith. Jesus had already shown the disciples that he could make something out of very little and make sure there was plenty.

What area of lack have you been fixed on? Do you not know that God has already produced plenty in your life but because of your lack of focus, you have failed to see it or hear it? How many miracles do you need Jesus to produce before you believe he has plenty and wants to share it with you?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Boomerang Effect

Jeremiah 38:19

19 King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, “I am afraid of the Jews who have gone over to the Babylonians, for the Babylonians may hand me over to them and they will mistreat me.”

Did you know that what you do comes back to you? Zedekiah had been placed as the ruler of Judah by Babylon when they took over. During that period of time Zedekiah mistreated people. He thought that as long as Babylon had made him king he was safe. But what he didn't know was that it was only a matter of time before Babylon turned on him. He then inquired of Jeremiah, the man of God he sought to have his officials kill because he tried to tell him what he was doing was not right in God's eyes. Jeremiah assured Zedekiah that as long as he gave the Babylonians what they wanted, which was him and all his possessions, then he would be fine. If he fought the Babylonians then he would lose far greater than he imagined. Zedekiah feared that his mistreatment of the Jews would be returned to him. He was already getting back what he done to the Jews, just not in the format he feared. He even had to seek the advise of the man he didn't want to listen to previously.

Like Zedekiah, most people innately know the difference between right and wrong. And if what you are saying/doing or about to say/do to someone feels wrong in the gut, then it is. But what most don't think about is that it will always come back in some way shape or form like a boomerang just not always in the same format. Like Zedekiah's situation, God always rectifies or vindicates those mistreated whether in this life or the after. Have you had to live out a boomerang effect like Zedekiah or is yours yet to come? Have you yet to be vindicated? You may not be present when God issues the vindication but know that it will come.

Watch what you do. Like Zedekiah, God's boomerang is always in effect.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Just Before Dawn

Matthew 28:10

10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Has the Lord ever told you to move forward and he would meet you? The women that loved Jesus worshipped him once more. Yet they feared going back to the disciples to tell them what they saw. They feared no one would believe they saw Jesus. One whom everyone saw die on that cross. But they knew deep in their spirit that the one speaking to them was the one they knew and loved. Jesus gave the women instructions for the disciples to make their way to a city and he would meet them there. It was a test of obedience for everyone. A test for the women to be obedient and not walk in a spirit of fear and for the disciples to move in faith that what they were told was from Jesus. This was the last step before Jesus would entrust HIS ministry to them.

Has the Lord ever promised something to you? Do you know that you will get the test either just before or just after receiving it? Abraham was told he would receive a son and that son would make him the father of many nations. He had to be tested again to see if he worshipped that son more than he did God. God tested him by having him take Isaac up to the mountain and prepare him for a sacrifice but it was not to be done. God just wanted to know if he would follow his instructions. The disciples were tested the same way. Jesus could've told them directly to go Galilee but instead he used the women. He wanted to know if the men would still act in faith.

Our Lord just wants to know he can trust us to carry out instructions no matter how strange they may sound. He just wants to know if our level of obedience can be trusted...not just for him but for our own sake and those who will be impacted by whatever is done. Is the Lord giving you your test before the ultimate breakthrough? Like the disciples, act in faith not by sight. It's always darkest just before dawn.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Some Things Don't Change

1Peter 4:4-5

4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

Have you ever been scorned for not thinking and doing like the masses? The apostle Peter addressed the Jewish and Gentile Christians in Asia Minor regarding what can be a difficult experience and where most crumble. Peter was offering encouragement because he knew what would come with walking with Christ. It would mean not seeing everything with the natural eye like everyone else. It would mean looking at life and every action with the spiritual eye and the long term implications of actions. Those that would persecute them would not see yet they would still be held accountable, not because they didn't know but because when given the opportunity to learn, they didn't.

Nothing has changed. What Peter said to followers of Christ then still holds true now. We only get one life, but multiple chances are given throughout our lives to start anew, to live and think better than we ever did before. The problem for most of us is we are so afraid of not being accepted that we crumble easily at the first insult of how we live and think when we do not do and say what others do. Sure, everyone wants to be loved and accepted but it can come with a greater price. The cost of living life like everyone else has long term implications. The long term effects are not only in the spiritual realm but in the natural realm. He who lives destruction reaps destruction in every area of life.

What will you say when you are asked to give an account? Is being accepted worth reaping destruction in your life?