Friday, November 29, 2013
18Oh, that you had heeded My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
The prophet Isaiah received a stern word of correction from the Lord for the people of Israel. Israel had become idol worshippers and rebellious but wanted to "give the appearance of being religious" as the NKJ Study Bible notes. But to think that God could not see was very bold and not bright at all. Yet, the Lord deferred His anger as the word says. The people of Israel brought on their own drama and turmoil because of their refusal to obedient. God allowed the lack of peace.
If you ever want less drama and more peace in your heart and life, the best way is to be obedient to God and continue to seek Him and sit before His face. Psalm 119:2 says, "Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart! Many do not seek God and wonder why there is no peace. What is peace? Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines peace as 1) a state of calm and quiet; esp: public security under law 2) freedom from disturbing thoughts or emotions 3) a state of concord (as between persons or governments); also an agreement to end hostilities. In other words, if you want to keep things agreeable between you and God and everything in your life, just lovingly follow His direction for your life. When you don't, you upset your own balance of emotions because stubbornness is the doorway for the drama to take over the peace in your life. Yes, God will allow situations to work together for your good as said in Romans 8:28 meaning He will use the drama to teach you. Some drama is not of your doing but is a storm for God to show His glory. The condition is that you have to be willing to learn. Either way, submission to God at some point will bring about greater peace. Taking hold of the peace and keeping it requires seeking God. Whether it's now or later, is up to you.
Monday, November 25, 2013
38But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"
The brothers James and John asked Jesus if they could sit at His right hand. They admired the power and authority Jesus had as the Son of God. Jesus made a point to share with them that they really didn't know what they were asking for. Jesus' entire 33 years was about service and sacrifice. Jesus traded His riches in Heaven with the Heavenly Father to become the sacrificial lamb for you and I. His entire existence on earth was about serving just as He serves even now by interceding on our behalf each time we sin. His blood is remembered and as long as you and I grab hold of it, our full judgment is spared.
There are so many who say they want to lead or be a leader. Real leadership means serving. Real leadership means putting others before yourself. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines serve as 1)to work as a servant 2)to render obedience and worship God 3)to comply with the commands or demands 4) to work through or perform a term of service (as in the army) 5)Put In (served five years in jail) 6)to be of use: answer 7)Benefit 8)to prove adequate or satisfactory for 9)to make ready and pass out 10)to furnish or supply with something 11)to wait on ~a customer 12)to treat or act toward in a specified way 13) to put the ball in play. Two of the thirteen definitions are about doing or performing something for someone other than yourself. Many want a seat of honor like the disciples James and John. A seat of honor in the eyes of Jesus has nothing to do with your title or ranking but has everything to do with are you willing to serve someone other than yourself? The NKJ Study Bible notes, "He illustrated genuine greatness and spiritual ranking in His own life as He served others rather expecting other to wait upon Him. He covered His glory for a time and assumed the humble role of a lowly servant." It takes humility to serve. Jesus had every right to be served based on who He is alone but His purpose for coming to earth was not about Him being served. His mission was to be a servant so that you and I could have a relationship with God the Father so He could look upon us again. If your mission in life and in Christ is to sit at a seat of honor or to receive special treatment, yet you do not wish to serve, you missed the point and have shown you are not worthy of a title. God does not care about titles if you cannot serve. Revelation 3:1 says "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, 'These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: "I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead." The NKJ Study Bible notes, "Its citizens zealously promoted emperor worship and were known for their luxurious, indulgent lifestyles." But it doesn't say they were willing to serve. A title with no desire to serve is the same as having a name that you are alive but you are dead. The Word of God said it.