John 18:36 No Physical Fight

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Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” John 18:36

Jesus had been arrested and was going through a trial. The leaders did not believe that He was who He said He was. They were asking Him if He was the king of the Jews. Jesus points out that His kingdom is not one of this earth, it was not a physical kingdom, but one from somewhere else.

There has been times that Christians have been known to be violent in standing up for Christ. During the middle centuries, the church went on crusades in order to kill of the believers of false religions. It was a physical effort to build God’s kingdom on this earth.

In more recent times, there have been some “Christians” who have been extremely violent against unbelievers. Some have been known for blowing up abortion centers in an attempt to stop the sin going on there. In the process people are killed and not given the chance to believe in Jesus and change.

Jesus did not use any physical violence in the process of building His kingdom. He never harmed any person, no matter how good or bad that person was. His method of building His kingdom was using love.

Love is something that is not of this world. This world is ruled by the devil, who does not believe in love other than the love of self. The world claims to show love, but it is selfishness and hate for others.

People will not be won over to Jesus, by striking them and cutting them down. They can only be won over by showing love, mercy, and grace. These are the very same things that Jesus showed you.

The kingdom of God is from heaven. It is filled with love, not violence. You do not need to use force to get people into His kingdom.

Jesus did not need physical protection, because He was in God’s hands. In the same way, you do not need physical protection. You are in God’s hands and are of a different world.

Since you are from a different world, the ways of doing things are different. Live the life of love, mercy and grace as you reach out to build God’s kingdom, not force.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that you will use God’s love to reach the lost; that you will not fight in the physical against this world; and that God will strengthen you to show His love to this world.

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Matthew 20:14 Don’t Grumble, Accept What You Are Given

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Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Matthew 20:14

Jesus told a parable about some workers in a vineyard. Some came and began working for a set pay at the beginning of the day. Later more came and agreed to work for a set pay. Even later some more came to work for an agreed amount.

At the end of the day, everyone was paid the exact same amount. The ones who worked all day complained that the boss was unfair with the pay. The boss reminded them that they had agreed to the pay, so they must take it and go.

In every society for all time, people want their pay to be fair. The more that they work, the more pay that they should get is what is believed in. It is rare for a person to agree to a set pay, regardless of how much he has to work or not have to work. This is especially true when someone else appears to be getting the same for less work.

Being a believer in Jesus will cause this type of pay. Every worker is to believe in Jesus for His salvation and work serving God in any way he can. The prize for the belief is knowing one is getting into heaven and spending eternity with God. The prize for the work is knowing that one did what God wanted Him to do and made a difference in this world for the kingdom of God.

There is no better prize than spending eternity with God. So the amount of work needed to be done, should not be a matter of concern.

God may have you on this earth for many years working at building His kingdom. He may have another on this earth for only a few years working at building His kingdom. Both you and the other person still get the same reward–eternity with God in heaven.

As you work, do not complain about the amount of work  you must do. It is what you agreed to do for following Jesus. You agreed to do what He tells you to do and be rewarded with eternal life. Each person will have a different job, but all will gain eternal life with God.

Do what God tells you to do and be ready for eternal life with Him.

I pray today that you will know what God has called you to do; that you will not complain about what God has given you to do; that you will not complain what God has called others to do; and that you will work to build His kingdom daily.

Ezekiel 4:4 Doing What Seems Crazy

“Then lie on your left side and put the sin of the people of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side.” Ezekiel 4:4

As God was getting ready to destroy Jerusalem and place all the people into exile, He sent various prophets to warn the people. Ezekiel was one who brought the message of the coming destruction to the people. One of the ways God wanted to show that message was by having Ezekiel lie on his side on the ground for 390 days and bear the sins of the people. Reading later it shows in the same chapter that after this event, he had to roll over and lie for another forty days.

There are times when God has a person do something that seems crazy. For the person, it may seem insane to do what God has asked him to do. God asked Moses to go before Pharaoh to ask him to release the slaves. He asked Moses to cross a sea on foot. He asked Jeremiah to defy the king. He asked John to step out of a boat and walk on water. He asked Jesus to die on the cross.

Each and everything God has asked a person to do was for a purpose. That purpose was greater than the pain, suffering or fear that person might have had in doing it. His goal is to build His kingdom and restore all people to Him.

God may one day ask you to do something that seems crazy. It may go against the norm of most people, including believers. It may be life threatening. It may be painful.

What God may ask of you, may not be the same as what Ezekiel had to do, in fact, read the Bible and very few people did the same exact crazy thing twice. However, it may be crazy by today’s normal standards, or just crazy for you. It could be just be willing to take a hard stand for Jesus; telling someone about Jesus; going into an area to be a witness that is dangerous; quitting a good paying job to do another work for God in a different place; and the list goes on.

Will you be willing to do whatever God asks of you, regardless of how crazy it seems?

Or would you reject God’s request?

I pray today that God will show you what He wants you to do; that He will give you strength to do the work; that love for God and His people will be strong enough for you to do what God wants; and that you will work to build God’s kingdom each day.

Proverbs 6:6 Ants And Life

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! Proverbs 6:6

Ants are a little creature that no one really likes, yet they are very amazing and interesting. They can be seen always moving, always working. Watch a line of ants going somewhere. They are always in line with each other as they travel. Disturb an ant pile and watch them go to work to repair the damage.

Along with seeing them work, just take a look at the ant hill that was made. Ant hills can be several inches high and a foot across. Looking at how small each ant is and how small each granule of sand or dirt is, it is amazing how much work they had to do in order to build that hill.

Solomon tells the people to look at the ant and consider its ways. It is always working and building.

Many people do not like to work. They want to sit at home or somewhere else and relax. The method of relaxing is different for each person. Some like to play games, watch sports, read books, sleep, or something else. The common thread is that they do not want to do any work.

People like to procrastinate on what needs to be done. Or they want to let someone else do the job.

Solomon was looking at the provision for self. Working to provide food, clothing and shelter for yourself.

Along with needing to work for those things, Jesus gave you a job to do. His job is to build His kingdom. It is a spiritual, eternal job on this earth. That job is to go out and tell others about Him. How many people in the world around you still do not know about Jesus?

As you go through your days, you must take an inventory of how you are spending your days. How much time are you just relaxing?

And how much time are you working to do God’s will on this earth and build His kingdom?

Do not allow this world to distract you from the job you need to do. Allow God to give you the strength needed to get the work done. Do not slack off today.

I pray today that you will know what God wants you to do; that God will strengthen you for the job to be done; that God will reveal areas that need work; and that you will find rest in God alone.

Ezra 4:24 Giving In To Pressure

Thus the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia. Ezra 4:24

King Cyrus had given the Israelites permission to rebuild the temple and the city of Jerusalem. The people in the surrounding area began to be afraid. They that if the city was rebuilt, the Israelites would revolt and break away. They persuaded the king to force the people to stop the building. After a lot of pressure, the Israelites stopped the building of the temple.

In the eyes of the world, Christians are a dangerous threat, even though Christians are to love everyone, including their enemies. The threat comes in that Christians do not believe in or act the way the world does. Jesus had set a standard that was different from that of the world. This has a severe effect on the lives of those in the world and they do not like it.

People in the world try to accuse Christians of hate because they do not conform to the world’s standards of living. For many years in America there has been the term of “political correctness” being used. Believers are threatened in many ways to give in to the world’s way of living.

Sadly, many believers have given in to the pressure to conform to this world’s standards. They feel the threats of job losses, jail time, lawsuits and more, and choose to change their words and standards. Churches, and many believers, now allow open sin as acceptable in God’s eyes, changing the Word of God, and doing what God clearly says not to do.

As the Israelites gave in to the pressure to stop building the temple, many believers today give in to the pressure to stop building God’s kingdom. They stop being His witness out of fear of those in the world.

The world will do their best to put pressure on you to turn from Jesus and follow their ways. As the world puts on the pressure on you to give in to their ways, you must make a choice as to who you will follow.

Will you follow Jesus, who gives life?

Or will you follow this world, which brings only death?

I pray today that you will stay focused on what God wants you to do; that you will only live for God; that God will give you strength to overcome pressure to turn from Him; and that you will continue to build His kingdom.