After winning such a stunning victory over their enemies, the people were once again faced with the realities of life. Taxes were raised, new enemies came along, and there were more battles to be fought. The peace they enjoyed was only temporary. All this was a reminder that the peace man works for doesn’t last. True lasting people can only be found in Jesus Christ. Have you ever brought your troubled heart to Christ to find peace?
It’s easy to “say” we would follow God anywhere, but it’s a whole different story when He actually calls us to step out into the complete unknown and follow Him by faith without having a clue how things are going to turn out. Doing so requires us to relinquish control of our lives and trust that whatever God brings about is ultimately best. Are you willing to trust God that way?
In a world of more than 7 billion people, it is easy to feel that your life has no significance to God. But as we look through the Bible, we do not see God using hundreds or thousands of people to bring about His plans. Instead, we see Him using individual men and women. God is still looking for just one willing person to stand up and say, “God, I choose to be identified with you. Please use my life for your glory.” Will you be that one?
There is, in all our hearts, a rebellion against authority. We see it in everyone, from the infant who screams when she doesn’t get her way, to the old man who still cheats on his taxes. We don’t like anyone ruling over us, but we were created to live within the boundaries of God’s authority. Is there still rebellion in your heart; areas where you are determined to go your own way? Surrender those to God, find joy under His authority, and you will finally discover true freedom!
“Follow Me.” This is the call Jesus extended to four simple fishermen along the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Little did those young men know what that call would entail, but their obedience forever changed their lives and ultimately changed the world. How do you respond when Jesus calls you to put Him above everything and everyone else and follow Him wherever He may lead?
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There are certain chemicals which, when combined, produce tremendous change. Once they come in contact with each other, they cannot stay the same. In a similar way, a genuine encounter with God always produces change. John says if we claim to have had an encounter with God, but our lives have not been radically changed as a result, then we do not really know Him. Does your life show proof of this change?
As John the Apostle writes to his beloved children in Ephesus, he desires to stir their hearts into remembering their beginnings; when they first believed in the Lord Jesus for salvation; when they first received the gospel in faith. But why is it so important to be reminded of our beginnings in the gospel? Do we have any control for how much the gospel affects us now compared to when we first believed?
Why should you take your hard-earned money and give part of it away? That is a valid question that needs to be asked, and today we will look into the Bible to see if we can find any valid answers. If there are no good reasons to give, then let’s not do it. But if there are good reasons, then let’s commit to becoming joyful, generous givers to the Lord!
The Bible clearly commands us to be generous, joyful givers of all that God has given to us, but exactly how much are we supposed to give? In the Old Testament, God demanded a 10% tithe, but is that still true for us as New Testament Christians? What really is the standard of giving for us as followers of Christ, and is it actually possible to become a joyful giver rather than a disgruntled one? Everyone has their opinion on this matter, but find out what the Bible really says!
It doesn’t matter how much knowledge we have about the Bible if we’re not living it out in daily obedience. The real test of what we believe comes in whether or not we are willing to step out and follow God wherever He leads us. Are we eager to respond when God calls us to follow Him into the unknown, and are we prepared to let go of anything that would hold us back from a life of total surrender to Him?
Ask the average churchgoing Christian if they believe the Bible and they will quickly respond, “Of course I believe the Bible… I’m a Christian!” But the proof is not in what we say, it is in what we do. Are there commands in Scripture that we know, yet we are not actively obeying? Is there any visible evidence in our lives that our faith is real? Imagine what God could do through us if we really believed the Bible and put it into action!