Matthew 2:14-15 Needed Move

So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” Matthew 2:14-15

Some people love to move, while others hate moving. It is something that requires change and often a great amount of uncertainty and risk.

The process of moving can often bring about an improvement in situations in life. At the same time it moves one away from the known friends and family to the unknown.

After Jesus was born Herod wanted to have Him killed. An angel warned Joseph and told him to move to Egypt. Joseph immediately got up and moved his family to Egypt, which fulfilled a prophecy about Jesus.

There are times that God will call a person to make a major change in his life, a move that is onto a very different path than he has been traveling. God, in His great all-knowing sovereignty, can see what is coming up and knows the best path to take in this life. He knows exactly where a person needs to be and when to be there.

Changes like this can be very sudden and extreme. Humans cannot always see the full reason why, but need to trust God in making the move.

As he was going, Joseph may have wondered why God was sending him back to Egypt where the Israelites had left years before. Joseph’s move protected Jesus from being killed and also fulfilled a prophecy at the same time.

God will move a believer to where it is the best place for him to be. This may be to help the believer, or to help someone else. Either way the believer must trust and obey God in making the move immediately without question.

You may feel comfortable and safe where you are, but God may be calling you to make a move. The type of move may be a physical move, a change of jobs, a change of church, or some other major change.

Do not ignore God’s call upon your life, but make the change. Trust that God knows what is best for you in fulfilling your calling in His great and eternal kingdom for both on this earth and for eternity to come in heaven.

Take that step of faith to move forward with God.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will hear God’s voice of direction in your life; that you will trust God’s word to you; that God will use you to build His kingdom here on earth; and that you will see God’s hand upon your life.

1 Peter 4:4 Are They Surprised?

They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 1 Peter 4:4

For the majority of people in the world they have a view that anything is permissible. A person can do whatever he likes, as long as it does not directly hurt someone else.

With this type of thinking, people will do sinful acts as though there is nothing wrong. Not only do they do these things, but they also are surprised when someone else does not agree or participate in the activities with them.

After describing what believers were like, he now describes how believers are different from the world. The world is surprised when a believer no longer participates with them in reckless, wild living and they choose to abuse the believer.

One of the things that should mark a believer is the change in his lifestyle. Every believer is a person who was once just like the rest of the world, living in sinful ways. However, once becoming a believer, this should change.

As a believer, one should choose to no longer live in a sinful ways, but in a ways that serves and honors God and others.

Sadly, many in the church have not chosen to change their lifestyle as a believer, but to continue to live in sinful ways. Many have chosen to justify their sinful activities, so that the world is not surprised nor abusive towards them.

Every true believer, who chooses to turn from sin, will be abused by the world. The world will not understand why he will not participate and will call it hate when he doesn’t condone and participate in sin.

This will be one sign that a person is truly following Christ. If the world was to look at your life, what will they see? Will they see someone who is just like them, participating in all of the same activities? Or will they see someone who is different and against all sinful activities?

Only you and God know that true answer. Do not allow yourself to go back to the old, sinful way of living. Do not allow yourself to live your life as the world lives.

Be different in following Christ with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Be different in refusing to live in any sinful way, regardless of how small or big it is.

Is the world surprised with you?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will live your life honoring God; that God will strengthen you to turn away from all past sins; that you will live differently than the world; and that the world will see that you follow God with all of your life.

Hebrews 6:7 Are You Producing A Crop?

Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. Hebrews 6:7

Farmers work very hard in order to get a crop that produces enough for themselves and for them to sell. One of the things that a farmer desires is rain to come, so that the things planted may grow abundantly. Without the rain, there is no production of anything.

However, even with the rain, sometimes all that grows are thorns and thistles, not giving the farmer the desired crops.

The writer talks about the land that has received rain and produces a good crop is blessed by God.

People are just like the land. God pours the rain of His Holy Spirit into their lives to grow some good crops. Just like on the fields of the earth, the rains come at different times and different ways, producing different results.

Often people receive the rain of God’s word in their lives, but only produce thorns and thistles. They do not go out a share the gospel message with others or they continue to live in ignorant, sinful ways.

Many in the church are unable to tell of a recent time in which they have grown in the Lord or sowed into the lives of someone else God’s word.

Every believer is a part of the crop of God’s kingdom. God’s word is being poured out into one’s life. The rain of His Holy Spirit is being poured out each day, allowing the person to produce fruit in alliance with His Holy Spirit.

God expects each plant to produce fruit. This fruit is a changed life that is bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit and fruit of bearing witness of who Jesus is.

As a believer, you are also a plant in God’s kingdom that is expected to grow fruit. God is raining in your life His presence and word so that you may change, grow and produce more fruit for His kingdom.

Ask yourself if you are producing God’s fruit in your own life and in the lives of others.

Do not allow yourself to go back to producing the sinful fruit of this fallen world, but produce the life-giving, life-changing fruit of God, that wells up into eternal life.

Is your land producing today?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be filled with God’s Holy Spirit; that you will change to live according to God’s ways of living; that you will produce a crop in your life for God’s use; and that you will produce a crop in this world to build God’s kingdom.

Titus 3:5 Saved Because Of Mercy

he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5

In order to get something good from someone else, the world expects the person to be worthy of getting it. This worthiness can be in being able to pay for the product or being able to do some good deed that warrants getting the product.

If a person does not pay or do something, he will very seldom be able to receive something of high value. This is even more true if a person does everything wrong.

As Paul closes his letter to Titus, he reminds him that he is saved by God’s mercy through Jesus Christ. This salvation is done by a cleansing and a renewal.

When a person does horrible things to another person, it is expected that he will pay for his crimes in some way. There is rarely to never any forgiveness until justice is served. No one that has done a crime is given a bonus in place of the crime.

Every person has committed a crime or a sin against God at least one time, although in reality thousands or millions of times. For each and every sin against God, it has a death penalty attached to it. The person deserves to die.

There is nothing a person can do to wipe out that death sentence.

Instead of killing everyone, God has chosen to show mercy, by providing a payment for those sins. Jesus was sent to die for the person, so that He may wash away the death sentence and bring on a renewal of his spirit by the Holy Spirit.

This was an act of perfect love and mercy by God.

Each and every time you have sinned against God, you have a death sentence upon your head. No matter how many good deeds you do, you cannot remove that sentence. It must be done by God.

When you chose to believe in Jesus, He has chosen, in His great love and mercy, to remove that death sentence. Not only has He removed it, but He has provided a way to change your mindset to keep you from going back to those sins.

Allow God to remove that sentence and change your mind. Live in gratefulness to His great mercy upon your life.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the great mercy of God upon your life; that you will allow the Holy Spirit to change your heart; and that you will be the new person God wants you to be.

Ephesians 4:17 A Way Not To Live

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. Ephesians 4:17

The majority of the world lives in a way that is to please themselves in the moment. People have the mindset that if if feels good, looks good, or tastes good, then do it. It is all about in the moment of personal pleasure, regardless of the long-term outcome.

The world believes in a freedom that is actually a bondage. They are unable to think in any other way, other than of self.

Paul gets demanding in that he demands that the people no longer live like the Gentiles.

Although on the surface the thinking and ways of the world seem like freedom and good, they are in reality actions leading towards death and destruction. It denies the truth and authority of God.

With this mindset, there is no solid foundation of rules. The rules of the world change according to the feeling in the moment. What was wrong a while back, is now considered good.

There have been many in the church who have chosen to continue to live in this way, while claiming to believe in Jesus. They have chosen to continue to hold onto sinful acts and habits to please themselves.

Alternate lifestyles, abortions, drugs, abuse, sexual immorality and other actions are sadly common among believers as acceptable. Many have been deceived into thinking that living this way is really loving and accepted by God.

Every believer in Jesus is supposed to become a new creation. This means that his ways of thinking and acting are different. He is to longer think and live like the world. One is either living for God or he is living for self, there is no middle ground.

If you consider yourself a believer and follower of Jesus, you must leave the ways of the world behind you. Give up thinking and acting like the world.

Change your thoughts and actions to become like those of Jesus in everything you say and do. Live your life to please God for what He has done for you, not to please self or others.

Living as the world does will only bring God’s judgement of wrath upon you and death.

How are you thinking and living your life today?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will think and act like Jesus; that God will give you strength to reject the ways of the world; and that you will know how God wants you to live your life.