Luke 22:32 Use Failures To Strengthen Others

But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. Luke 22:32

Every person has had the problem of failing at something at some point in their life. They set a goal for something, but was unable to attain it for some unknown or known reason, thus failed.

Failure is something that no one really wants to go through. It means that one was unable to accomplish something and fell short in his abilities. One often feels worthless and useless in light of failures.

As Jesus is preparing for His arrest and death, He tells Simon that He is praying that his faith does not fail. He adds that when he, Simon, returns from his faith failing, he is to strengthen his brothers.

It is common for people who go through some type of failure to want to give up and quit. They feel as if they cannot do it and no longer want to try.

Every person will fail, if for no other reason than that each person has faults to overcome. No believer is exempt from this either, but will have times in which his faith fails and he really doesn’t trust God as he should.

Instead of giving up and quitting, the true believer will get up and move forward with God after a failure. That failure can be used to strengthen and teach others what to look for and what not to do.

In every failure there are some things that led up to that failure that could have been avoided. When a believer returns to God after failing God, he can use what he has learned to strengthen and train others on how to avoid failing God.

There will be times that you will fail in your walk with God. You will let your faith go and fear to override. You will step into sin, rather than trusting God.

It will hurt you when you fail and cause you to want to quit. Rather than quitting, allow God to pick you up and move forward.

Once you are picked back up and restored to God, allow God to use your failures to His glory. Show others where you went wrong and how they can avoid making the same mistake and failing God. Build others up by being real, rather than hiding your shame of failure.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that your faith in God will never fail; that you will walk with God in all your ways; that you will allow God to use your failure to build others up; and that you will be a witness of God’s love and mercy towards you in times of your failing.

Matthew 20:26-27 The Right Position

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave–Matthew 20:26-27

In this world, most people want to be in a position of some authority. They want to be the boss, not the worker. Very few people like to be in the position of being told what they can and cannot do at all times.

Having a position of authority gives the person a feeling that he is in control. Others have to do all the work, rather than himself.

After being asked about receiving positions of authority, Jesus tells the disciples that the one who wants to be greatest must be the other’s servant or slave.

As the world strives to build themselves up by pushing others down, God works in the exact opposite way. Jesus was sent to a world that did not ask for Him, nor want Him. He was sent out of perfect love to serve mankind that wanted nothing to do with Him. He served to the point of giving His life for others to have life.

Just as the world seeks authority and position, many in the church also seek the same spots. Rather than be like Jesus, many are staying like the world. Every believer is supposed to work on becoming more like Jesus every day, changing and becoming a new creation.

The believer who truly wants to be like Jesus will give up his own rights in order to lift and build others up by serving them. He will allow himself to become a slave to another in order to point them towards Jesus.

Living in this way shows the sacrificial love that Jesus portrayed when He went to the cross. That person is the greatest among men, not the head boss.

Regardless of your position in your workplace, home or community, you have the ability to serve others with your life. God can reveal ways in which you can serve others to reveal to them the love of God.

Use your position in this world to build others up in the love of Jesus Christ. As you are a servant or slave to others for the sake of Jesus Christ, you will become greater in the eyes of God as you become more like Jesus.

What position are you in today–boss or servant?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will strive to be like Jesus more and more; that God will reveal to you ways to serve others; that you will put others above yourself; and that you will become greater in the eyes of God.

Isaiah 56:11 Seeking Self Gain

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They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, they seek their own gain. Isaiah 56:11 

Gain of something more is what people usually desire. They desire greater wealth, larger bank accounts, higher position, more things, and the list goes on. Nearly all of these things and much more are desired for self.

People look to their own ways to get as much as possible. There can never be enough of anything as long as there is more out there to be had.

This type of greed is found in little children all the way up to senior adults. It is promoted in tv shows, movies, advertisements and music. The desire for more is everywhere.

Isaiah calls out the watchmen of Israel for being greedy with a great appetite for more. Everything that they did was out of selfish gain.

Sadly this selfish desires is found even inside the church. There are many who seek their own ways to gain what they want for themselves, rather than seeking out the good for others. The seek position, title, power, or recognition in the ministries that they do, rather than just seeking God’s will and desire.

Jesus did not act in this way. He left heaven and His God-head to live as a man on this earth. He not only left all of that behind, He also laid down His life in a painful way to bring salvation to everyone. The focus of Jesus was not selfish but for the good of others.

Every believer is to first focus on what God wants. This puts self on the back burner and puts God first. Then as one is seeking God’s will, he will also put others before Himself. Believers are to be focused on building God’s kingdom, not their own kingdom.

As you go through your day, what is your focus on? God’s top two focuses are on you loving Him and building His kingdom.

These two things are not about self, but about God and others. You are a watchman, just as the Israelites were. You have a job to watch out for the coming of the Lord’s return. As you do this, you need to warn others about His soon coming.

Being a witness for Jesus does not allow you to be selfish or to seek your own gain. It is only about building others up. Instead of seeking your own way, seek God’s today.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have a vision of God’s mission for you to reach the lost; that you will seek to build God’s kingdom; and that you will be a watchman warning of the return of Jesus.

Exodus 23:1 False Reports

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“Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.” Exodus 23:1

Watching the news closely through different sources can cause a person to ask what is the truth. Each newscast presents a different report on what had happened in a situation.

One of the things that is currently being talked about is false or fake news. Reports are being spread around that are not telling the truth. Yet, as they are being spread, more and more people believe the reports and keep on spreading the false reports.

In today’s internet and computer age, this is something that is easily done. Words are taken out of context to say what the person really did not say. Pictures are altered to make it look like something happened, that did not happen. False reports.

This also happens in the local areas, including the church. People see a person doing something, and instead of verifying what happened, they spread a rumor about the person that is out of context. False reports will always tear down another person, rather than build him up.

False reports can damage a person for life. It does not show love, but hatred for a person. This can be public damage or inside personal damage. People will fail to trust, when they hear false reports being spread.

God does not want false reports spread. God is all about telling the truth all the time, every time. God wants His love and truth to be spread. Believers should be the first to stop any false report. When something is heard, a person should check the validity of the statement, before passing it on.

The command God gave the Israelites has not changed since the day He gave it. God is a God of truth, not lies or false reports. God will never hand out a false report to anyone.

As a believer, you need to pattern your life after God. Fill yourself with His love and truth for every person, including your enemies.

Jesus went around building others up towards God, not crushing them down under lies, as Satan and this world does. Jesus said that He is the truth. Live your life as Jesus lived His. Speak and live the truth at all times. Be careful to not spread on a false report about any one or any thing. Speak in truth and love.

I pray today that you will know the truth of God; that God will reveal lies brought to you; that God will give you the strength to stand upon the truth; and that you will always speak God’s truth in every situation in life. 

1 Corinthians 8:9 Exercising Your Rights

 

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Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 1 Corinthians 8:9

In America and some other countries the exercise of rights is very high on the priority of many people. The majority of the people feel that they have a right to do what they want, when they want, and how they want to do it. It is called freedom.

One of the great challenges with this type of freedom is using it when it can harm someone else or cause another person to stumble.

It is very common to hear people in the public places saying words that should not be said in public. Or they will be cutting another person down. They are exercising their rights to speak freely, but in doing so are harming others.

Believers can have the same problem in their lives. A person who has been a believer for a longer time has learned the freedom that he has in Jesus. He may have learned that there is a lot of freedom in what he says or does. Yet, doing some of these things may cause a younger believer to stumble in what he believes is true.

Paul talked about eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. To a strong believer, this meant nothing, it was just meat. However, to a younger believer, they may still struggle with the fact it was sacrificed meat and focus on the idol, rather than just food. The stronger believer must be willing to not eat the meat around the younger believer, in order to not make him question his belief.

Believers today need to have the same attitude. While some things may be permissible, it may not be beneficial to do around younger believers. Although today people don’t deal as much with sacrificed food, it could be with tattoos, earrings, clothing, the words being spoken, what is watched in movies or on tv, what is listened to,  or some other area in life.

Take a look at your life and see what you are saying and doing. Are the things you are saying and doing building up younger believers? Or are those things causing them to question what they believe?

In everything that you do, seek to build others up. Do nothing that will cause them to question God or the Bible and cause them to stumble in their belief.

I pray today that God will reveal ways to build others up; that God will show you ways you may cause others to stumble; that you will exercise your rights with others in mind; and that you will know the freedom you have in Jesus.