Leviticus 18:3 Don’t Do As They Do

Assimilation

You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. Leviticus 18:3

Adapting to the actions that people do is something that most people are very good at doing. A person gets around some new people and he very quickly begins to act as they do, regardless of what he originally believed or thought.

Foreigners travel into the USA on a regular basis to begin a new life in America. Over time, a person will still have some of his cultural habits from his original country still in him. While this is still there, he will begin to assimilate into the cultural actions and thoughts of an American. He will begin to do as the people he is living around does.

As the Israelites were in the desert, God told them not to be like the Egyptians, whom they had left, nor to be like those in Canaan, where they are going to. Both the Egyptians and those in Canaan were people who did not follow God. They lived according to their own desires in sin. The Israelites were to be different, to think, speak and act differently than the others in the world.

Believers today are to be the same way. No believer should live as he used to live prior to coming to Jesus. Nor should he act like those around him. Every thought, action and spoken word is to be patterned after those of Jesus. He is to be set apart, holy unto the Lord.

Not every believer is living like this. Many have adapted the ways of the world and brought into the church as though it is a good thing. When looked at, many believers and churches don’t look any different from the world, actively participating in sinful ways and beliefs, while claiming to follow Jesus.

In your own life, you must be careful not to adapt to the ways of the world. You must also turn from your old ways to live for God.

When you look at your own life, who do you look, act and sound like? Are you looking like the world around you? Or are you looking like Jesus, who has saved you from all of your sin, cleansed you and made you whole, set apart to be different?

I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus offers you; that you will live your life for God; that you will be set apart, holy unto God; that you will be a shining light of Jesus to this world; and that you will follow God with all of your life. 

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Matthew 23:11 How To Be The Greatest

Helping Others

The greatest among you will be your servant. Matthew 23:11

Jesus was speaking against the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law. Even though they knew the Law very well, they did not practice it, nor did they show any love or care for the people. They focused on themselves and tried to show how great they were. Jesus then tells the people that the one who would be greatest would be their servant.

In order for people to be great, they are often expected to be the best at something. They are to stand above the average person to be considered the greatest. The greatest musician is the one who can play or sing the best out of everyone else. The greatest actress is the one who can perform the best.

God has a problem with that type of thinking, which is the way most of the world thinks like. The problem with that type of thinking is that it is self focused. Regardless of what a person is doing, whether good or bad, the focus is on self being the best and looking down on others. There is nothing in this way of thinking that is about lifting other people up or building them up. It is about building self up.

Jesus is considered by many to be the greatest teacher or prophet that ever lived. He did not live in a way at trying to be the best. He lived as a servant. Jesus had the goal of serving God, thus serving people.

A servant is the person who makes the boss or master look good. He is the one who brings the food or cleans up after the master. He puts others before himself.

People want to be served. They want to feel the comfort of being served what they need, when they need it.

As a believer, you are to be like Jesus, serving others. Showing love to others means you will lift them up and help them. It will not be about you in any way. There will always be room to serve others.

As you take care and serve others, God will take care of you. He will place others in your life to serve your needs.

At that point you will be the greatest among the people. People will see your love and care and realize you are living like Jesus.

I pray today that you will have God’s love for people in your heart; that you will serve people as Jesus served you; that you will work to build people up in Jesus; and that God will see you as the greatest servant.

Zechariah 5:4 Thieves And False Swearing

The LORD Almighty declares, ‘I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of anyone who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in that house and destroy it completely, both its timbers and its stones.’ Zechariah 5:4

Zechariah had been given a vision by God of a large flying scroll. The scroll had a curse written on both sides of it. One was against all thieves and the other was against those who swore falsely by God’s name. It was to go into the houses of these people and remain there until the house was completely destroyed.

It is common for people to be upset about others who are thieves. Very few people have room for someone who is a thief. It is expected that thieves are to be punished.

While this is true, there are many people who are living as thieves. They may not be stealing physical things from other people, but they are stealing from God. He has given them blessings to be used for others and they use them for their own personal gain. They refuse to give generously in offerings and tithes. They steal time to spend with Him for their own personal entertainment.

The other curse was against those who swear falsely by God’s name. It is easy for a person to claim a belief in God, but it is another thing to live by His name. People claim to live for God, yet refuse to read His word, follow His commands, or be His witness. Others also claim things, as though they are true of God, that go against His word. When this happens, they are swearing falsely by His name.

As a believer, you need to continually examine your life, what you say or do. Are you stealing things from God? This could be done on purpose or by accident, but it is still stealing. How much time are you taking from God?

You claim to be a believer, then you must ask yourself if you are really living like a disciple of Jesus. Are you striving to be more like Jesus everyday? Or are you falsely swearing allegiance to God and living your own way?

Make God the center of your life. Live in every way possible for God, in everything you say and do. May God not be able to accuse you of being a thief or falsely swearing in His name.

I pray today that you God will reveal to you ways you may be stealing from Him; that God will show ways you may be falsely swearing in His name; and that you will be more like Jesus everyday.

Ezekiel 6:9-10 Calamity For A Purpose

Then in the nations where they have been carried captive, those who escape will remember me–how I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after idols. They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices. And they will know that I am the LORD; I did not threaten in vain to bring this calamity on them. Ezekiel 6:9-10

It was because of the sins of the people that God chose to destroy Jerusalem and place all the people in captivity in Babylon. In the process of doing that, God kept a remnant alive. Those who survived would realize what their sins had caused and would repent of those sins. The few left would turn their hearts back to God and the purpose of the calamity would be fulfilled. The captivity was not to just destroy the people, but to get them to turn their hearts back to God.

From the beginning of time, God has always wanted to have a relationship with mankind. He always wanted to be able to spend time with people and bless them with a full life. Never once was the final purpose of what happens to just be destruction.

God allows calamity and trials in the lives of those who follow Him for a purpose. Sometimes it is just to test the person and see if he is really following Him or not. Other times it is to draw the person back to God.

When a person begins to go through a hard time because of sin, he will realize how good he really had it when he was following God. At that point, he may turn back to God, hating the sin he had fallen in to. Some will fall away from God and give up on Him, while a remnant will turn back to Him during such times.

Throughout your life, God is working out all things to keep your focus on Him and to make you more like Jesus each day. Some of those things may be calamity. They may be painful and hard to go through, but the purpose is still the same.

Keep your eyes and life focused on God. Strive to be more like Jesus everyday. In that way, all the things you are going through will be for a good purpose. And God will not have to strike you to get your attention.

I pray today that you will be more like Jesus; that you will not fall away from God in hard times; and that you will turn from all sin in your life towards God.

Time To Graduate

May and June are the months that bring about a lot of graduation ceremonies. Living in a larger college based city, I know of many graduation ceremonies happening. Although I know of many different ceremonies happening, most I do not get invited to go to. Over this last Friday and Saturday, two days only, I had been to three different high school graduation ceremonies. Over the last two weeks, I have been to multiple graduation parties, for students graduating eighth grade middle school, all the way through a doctor’s degree in college.

This is a busy season of honoring those who have endured a lot of hardship, long hours of study, and passing many tests in order to earn a degree or passing on to a higher level of schooling.

In each of these ceremonies, I had heard various speakers talking to the students about moving on in life. Gratefully, most of the ceremonies were Christian based groups and focused on God at the center of the student’s life. Several were not and did not bring up God in the picture at all.

With graduation, there is usually a feeling of some fear. Fear of what is next. Fear of how to move on with life. Many questions are being asked, and many not being answered.

If the student is in high school, some of the questions might be:

  • Do I go to college or not?
  • If I go to college, which one?
  • Which degree do I pursue?
  • How do I pay for college?
  • If I don’t go to college, what job should I get?
  • What career path should I pursue?

If the student is graduating college, some of the questions might be:

  • Do I continue on for a higher degree?
  • Where can I get a job?
  • How do I finish paying my loans?
  • Where do I move to now?

The one thing that is common for all graduates is that they are moving on in life. There is a change in life. Things are going to be different.

Some people do not really want to graduate. They are afraid of what lies ahead. I have seen some people be “professional” students. They attend college for eight years and never get a degree. They are constantly changing their majors, afraid of what is next, never really going anywhere.

Others do graduate, but do not move on. As they went through their schooling, it was just going through the motions. They never really learned anything. Some even cheated their way through the system. Rather than learning and growing, they stayed the same and fell behind. Many do not even graduate and drop out.

Although most people do finish out their high school degree and do move on, there are many that do not graduate in their walk with God. They hit a certain level and then stop.

The writer of Hebrews states: In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Hebrews 5:12

It is easy to just go to church and hear a sermon each week. There is no commitment or dedication involved. There is no work being done. Yes, a person may believe in Jesus and is saved, but there is no growth.

As a believer, you must grow and graduate on to bigger and better things. When you go through a situation in life with God, you must learn.

God may have you going through a tough situation. There may be some fear of uncertainty, since it is something new to you. You are to learn how God works and is in control in this life.

As God comes through for you in a situation, remember what He has done and will continue to do in your life. In your walk with Jesus, allow yourself to graduate on to the greater things God has for you.

Be willing to be used by God in new ways. As you step out in faith, graduating, it may be a little scary. It is usually stepping into an unknown territory in your life.

However, God is with you.

Remember:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

It is time to graduate in your walk with God.

What does God want you to start doing today?

How can you grow in the Lord Jesus today?

How can you be more like Jesus today?

3 John 11 Imitate What Is Good

“Dear friends, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.” 3 John 11

Imitation is a common thing for every person. Ever person, from a new-born baby to the eldest person, imitates someone or something. It is how people learn to say and do things.

Watch a little baby. If the parent does an action over and over with the baby, there will come a time when the baby will do that action. Later as a child grows up and is in school, he will begin to imitate what the teacher teaches. As an adult, men and women will imitate others to learn how to run a business, or get through a situation in life.

There is nothing wrong with imitating someone. As John closes out his third letter, he points out a simple guideline in imitation. Believers are to imitate what is good.

The challenge now comes into what is good? Movies come out all the time that are classified as “good”. They are box-office hits and everyone is talking about them. Yet, they are filled with nude scenes, adultery, violence, vengeance, filthy talk, and much more. These things are all described as sin in God’s Word.

As a believer you must seek out things that line up with God’s Word and His desires. People and things that are loving, kind, full of grace and mercy, pure and holy are things of God that you should be seeking to imitate.

Ultimately you are to imitate Jesus, who is the exact imitation of God.

Take time to look at your life and determine what or who you imitate. Are those things good or evil? Are those people good or evil?

When people see you what or who do they see?

Is it Jesus?

Or the world?

I pray today that you will know the things of God; that you will strive to imitate Jesus in all you say and do; that God will give you strength to be like Jesus; and that the world will see Jesus when they see you.