Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. Philippians 3:19
The majority of the world live without God. They desire things for themselves with virtually no care or concerns for God or others.
On the outside surface the world appears to be doing well and making it. Everything appears to be going well and that they are successful. Evil men, and those with no regard for God, appear to be able to be in control and are winning the battles.
Paul just mentioned that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Now he describes them has having a goal of destruction, their selves as god, filled with shame, and their mind only upon earthly things.
When Jesus died upon the cross, it was not for selfish reasons but for others. He set an example of how those who follow Him should live their lives. The majority of the world stands against the cross and Jesus, because both stand against selfishness.
The goal of many is selfishness, which will always lead to destruction of others in order to build one’s self up. They feed on what satisfies them physically, while rejecting their spiritual needs. What the world finds as great and good is actually very shameful. Everything about the world is focused upon earthly, temporary things that will die and fade away.
There are some in the church that are living in that same way as an enemy of Jesus and His church, the believer. They strive to tear down believers with false lies and deception, attempting to destroy what God is building.
The true believer will focus on Jesus, God the Father and heavenly things. He will build others up in Christ, refuse to live in sin, and pull others away from sin.
Each day you live, you have a choice as to how you live. You must choose where your focus is. There are two places to put your focus on: the temporary, earthly things or on the eternal things of God and heaven.
If you choose to look at things and live as the world does, you will be an enemy of the cross of Christ. Rather choose to live for God. Live to have eternal life and bring as many others as possible with you into that eternal life with God.
Do not be an enemy of the cross of Christ inside the church.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that your mind will be set upon the things of Christ; that your goal will be to serve God; that your glory will be found in Jesus; and that you will be His witness to all on this earth.
Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Mark 14:38
The standards of the world are that a person can do whatever he desires as long as it does not directly hurt another person. These standards can be found everywhere. Advertisements are focused on telling a person needs and deserves to have whatever he desires.
People cannot have or do too much, according to the world. This type of thinking causes people to do things that go against God and His standards.
As Jesus was about to be betrayed in the garden, He was praying and wanted the disciples to pray also. They had fallen asleep. Jesus told them that they needed to watch and pray to keep from falling into temptation.
Temptation is the pressure put on someone to go against a set of standards for a different set of standards. Most often this is going against God’s standards–sinning against God.
No true believer really wants to sin, but do continue to fall into the temptation to sin. The world wants nothing more than a believer to sin against God. The best way for a believer to prevent this from occurring is to watch and pray.
One must watch and be alert to the deception of the world to get him to sin. He must also pray. Prayer will keep his focus upon God and His standards, taking his eyes off of the lusts and temptations of this world.
God is willing to show a person the way out of temptation as the pressure arises. He will be able to bring to memory His word to turn from all sin.
Without prayer, a person is trying to do it on his own and will fall to the temptation to sin.
Every day there will be times of temptation that will come up in your life. You have to be ready to combat those temptations.
The first way to beat them is be watching for those temptations. Be ready for when the enemy tries to trip you up.
The next thing you need to be doing is praying, without stopping. Rely upon God’s Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide you to turn away from all temptation to sin. Refuse to sin against God.
Watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will pray to God continually; that you will rely upon God’s strength; that God will open your eyes to temptations before you; and that you will refuse to sin against God.
But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed. Matthew 27:20
Persuasion is a powerful tool that is used everywhere for many different things. It is persuasion that drives people to purchase items that they often do not need or cannot afford. It is persuasion that often changes a person’s heart.
By the power of persuasion, a few people, with a few words, can change the mindset of many people. The many are deceived into thinking that everyone thinks that way, when often it is only a few.
Once Jesus was tried, Pilate wanted to release Him because He was innocent. However, the chief priests had persuaded the crowd to convict and kill Him. This was the same crowd that the day before was worshipping and praising Jesus.
Following Jesus goes against the ways and standards of this world. The world will do what it can to persuade a believer to stop following Jesus.
Most believers would be quick to say that they would not have cried out to have Jesus crucified if they had been there. Yet, many of those same believers are quick to fall to temptation to sin. Every time a believer sins, he is laying a strip across Jesus’ back and driving the nails into His hands and feet. It is as though they are crucifying Him again and again.
The only reason that a believer does this is because they are persuaded that sinning is the way to go. One is being persuaded that he needs to live as the world does and crucify Jesus, rather than lay one’s own self and desires upon the cross.
Rather than be led by persuasion to sin against God, believers need to persuade the world for their need of Jesus. That is the whole gospel message Jesus was brining.
Every day the world will work hard to persuade you to sin against God. You will have a choice to make, as to whether to go with the crowd or go with Jesus. One brings death, while the other brings eternal life.
Do not allow yourself to be persuaded to walk the path of sin and death. Do not choose to crucify Jesus again. Instead live for God, following Jesus and be His witness. Use your words and actions to persuade the world their need for Jesus.
Be the persuader, not the persuaded.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will guide you to not be persuaded to sin; that you will persuade others to follow Jesus; and that you will live your life for God.
Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? Psalm 2:1
Wars and battles occur all the time, all over the world. Some are with physical weapons, while many are with just words. People are constantly plotting to overcome someone or something.
Groups of people can be found everywhere who are striving to win some agenda. They are focused on getting their way, regardless of what anyone else thinks or does. Most of these groups do it in a civilized manner, following the rules of the land, however, there are many that do not care about the laws. These groups often take the law into their own hand or try to overcome the government.
Some groups are small and raise a small squabble, but are so small they are no real threat to anyone. Others are a very large and powerful organization to be reckoned with.
The Psalmist opens this psalm with the question of why nations and people plot in vain. This is a good question to ask.
All over the world there are groups that are against God and Christianity. They hate Christians and plot against God with everything in them. They see Christians as a threat to their way of living and so need to strive to destroy them. They are just following Satan and his agenda.
There are also some believers who fight against God’s will for their lives. They refuse to do what He asks of them and try to run the other direction. This could be in any area of their life, minor or major.
Those who fight against God are fighting a losing war. In the end Jesus will win the war and all sin will be destroyed for eternity and all who refuse to follow Him. So it is pointless to fight against God. It is all in vain.
You may have some areas of life that you are refusing to give to God. So you are fighting against God. Trust God and give every area of your life to Him. He knows what is best and will win in the end.
In the end you will either be on His side or against Him. If you are against Him, you will lose and spend eternity in hell separated from God forever.
The best thing to do is follow God and all His commands. As you follow and trust in Jesus, you will win in the end. You may lose a battle, but the war has already been won.
I pray today that you will know the salvation that Jesus provides; that you will trust God with every area of your life; that you will not fight against God; and that your life will be a witness of God and His power.