25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. – Hebrews 11:25
Every day, we make choices about the things in our lives. A lot of those decisions are almost robotic or habitual. We do this at this time because we always have. Some decisions require us to actually consciously think about them before we decide what to do. Every now and then, we have what we refer to as “big” decisions. These are the things that affect our lives today and in the future. Some of those decisions will be irreversible and affect all the people in our circles of influence whether we want them to or not. Some of us will be given opportunities to make world-changing decisions, maybe all of us. Do you think Moses had any idea that his decision that day was a world changer? To him at that time, it was probably a small decision that only affected the lives of a few people. But, consider this, “what if” Moses had not made the decision he made. “What if”, he had decided that he liked the riches and the glory of Egypt more than his people, what would have happened? Reminisce with me today. Let’s think back over our lives, how many “what if” times have we had? How many times has God given us opportunities to change our little corner of the world and we made the wrong decision? The next person the Holy Spirit nudges us to witness to could be God’s choice to be the Moses or the Billy Graham of the next generation. “What if” we don’t follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and talk to that person about salvation? Today, let’s make a renewed commitment to be faithful in following the leadership of the Holy Spirit and encourage those around us. Let’s be faithful in the “little” things because “what if” there aren’t really any “little” things in our lives? Now is “the time” and where you are is “the place” to make that “big” decision!
14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” — Esther 4:14 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ — Col. 2:8 NLT
Col. 2:4-10 NLT
With so much information available today, it is almost impossible to get through a day without hearing a lot of high-sounding nonsense. As I go about running my errands each day, I see billboards, listen to talk radio and watch the opinion shows on TV, I am amazed at the amount of nonsense that is sent out everyday. I sometimes wonder if the producers of these things think everyone in this country is of low intelligence. Empty philosophies and words abound everywhere. How does one keep him/herself from being overly influenced by this worldly chatter?
Those of us that have accepted Jesus Christ must understand that there is a spiritual battle being waged 24/7. It is just as real as any military operation and it has consequences that last for an eternity. The mind is the battlefield and that is where we win or lose each battle. We must keep our spiritual eyes and ears focused on Jesus. We must put on the full armor of God each morning before we hear the first human voice speak. God is the Commander of the Heavenly armies and we are a part of that army. Before you leave home each day, check in with the Commander and see where He needs you to be today. He is looking for warriors to stand in the gap for families, neighbors, and our country. Christ is the ruler and authority over the whole universe. Be committed to Jesus and be so convinced that nothing can change your mind. If we suffer with Him here, we will reign with Him there. Show the world Jesus by helping and loving those around you today.
13 And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! — 1 Kings 3:13 NLT
When we go before the Lord to pray, do we jump right into our lists of things that we “need” and/or want or do we first acknowledge who God is? Do we allow Him to influence our prayers in any way? Do we truly pray that His will be done in our lives or are we more concerned that God should answer our prayers the way we want them to be answered and when we want them to be answered? Do we ever consider what God might want us to ask Him to give us? Do we often pray prayers that actually grieve the Holy Spirit because we don’t allow Him to help us pray? It might be helpful right after we have prayed to think back through what we have just asked God to do for us. Do we pray prayers that have eternal consequences for all of God’s Kingdom or are our prayers just about us and our present situation? We should bring our specific requests before God at all times, but our prayers should not always be limited to “we four and no more”. God says no to our requests when we “ask amiss”. When we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us in our prayer times, we can be sure that God will be pleased with our prayers as well. When He is pleased with our requests, He answers “Yes” to those requests and adds bonuses that we did not even consider or imagine. When we pray, our focus needs to be upward and outward as well as inward.
4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. — Titus 3:4-8 NIV
God sees the big picture and is concerned with eternity. He is also concerned with each of us and the “now” , the present. The present is where our lives intersect with eternity. It is the only part of eternity that humans can see and deal with. We can’t change the past and we don’t control the future. Yes, our past experiences affect our present decisions and those decisions certainly may have future consequences, but what those consequences will be are not in our control. So, right now, today, let us “devote ourselves to doing what is good”. That is the example that Jesus set for us.
38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. — Acts 10:38 NIV
God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power. We have access to this same anointing today. Without it, we are incapable of accomplishing the work God has for us to do. With the anointing, all things are possible and we can do things that are “excellent and profitable for everyone”. Ask God and He will give us everything we need to accomplish His good works.
32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? — Romans 8:32 NIV