John 5:11 Whose Command Do You Obey?

But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.'” John 5:11

Rules and regulations can be found every there are two or more people anywhere in the world. They are put into place to govern what a person can and cannot do.

Often there are two different rules, by two different people, that contradict each other. One has to choose which he will obey. Usually the obedience goes to the one with the higher authority, unless there is rebellion, in which case a court may decide who was right.

On a Sabbath day Jesus had healed a lame and told him to take up his mat and walk, and he did. This went against the Jewish laws and the leaders were upset with him.

God has laid down some laws for man to obey. The world has also laid down laws that they want people to obey. It is very common that some of these laws are in conflict with each other.

Currently in America some are laying down laws that believers cannot gather in person in church or groups of more than a few people. This is something that has been done for years in many other countries already and goes against God’s command to gather together.

Every believer must choose if they are going to obey the laws of man or the laws of God when they are in conflict with each other. Regardless of which they choose, there will be difficult consequences.

Obeying man’s law over God’s will result in God being upset. Obeying God’s law over man’s will result in man being upset. The choice will result in eternal consequences. One brings eternal life, the other death.

As a believer, you have chosen to allow God to be your head ruler. God, in His infinite and perfect love, knows what is best for you. As you listen to His voice, He will tell you what must be done.

There will be times that it will go against the laws of man. During those times you must choose whom you will obey…God or man. God has the higher authority, since He has created everything and owns it all, including you.

Rather than bending to the desires of the world to live in sin, obey God’s commands and know true life. Do not be afraid to stand up for God and His laws against the ways of the world.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will hear God’s voice; that you will know God’s commands; that you will trust God’s commands; and that God will give you strength to do what He asks of you.

Joel 3:14 Valley Of Decision

Huge valley

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. Joel 3:14 

Everyday people have to make hundreds of choices, even thousands of choices. Many of these choices are nearly automatic in being made with very little thought put into them. There are other choices that come up that require some thought and consideration as to what to choose.

There are many people who freeze up when it comes to making a major choice fearing making the wrong choice. Or they are quick to make one, but then go back or regret that choice very quickly.

Joel points out that there will be a time when God will judge the nations. During that time the people will be in a valley of decision. They will have to make a choice.

While there are millions of decisions to be made all the time, there are really only two that are most important and provide the answers for all of the rest of the decisions. These are: the choice to love and serve God or not love and serve God. And the other is to obey God or not to obey God. Both these decisions go hand in hand. One cannot really be made without making the other. To love God is to obey Him, to obey Him is to love Him.

Once these two decisions are made, everything else falls into place. God’s word and His Holy Spirit guide every decision from that point forward.

Making these choices, either one of them in any way, is life changing. One way will draw a person into eternal relationship with God. The other choice will put one into eternal battle against God.

Most people will choose to serve self and not love God. Only a few will choose to love and serve God.

If you have already chosen to believe in God, you have chosen to love God. Now it is time to choose to obey God with all of your abilities. Each day you will be presented with thousands of opportunities to disobey God and sin. You have to make a conscious effort to turn away and flee from the temptation and keep from sinning.

You will also need to make the choice to serve God and build His kingdom in whatever way He opens the door for you to do.

Making these decisions will show where your heart is with God. What is your decision today?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will choose to love God with all of your heart; that you will choose to obey God in every area of your life; and that you will choose to trust God with your life.

Daniel 3:6 Pressure

Logs on fire

Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace. Daniel 3:6 

Everywhere a person goes there is always pressure being applied to get him to do something. Advertisements bombard a person daily to get one to purchase some item that he ‘needs’ to really live life. Pressure for a person to vote a certain way. There is pressure to like or accept certain things or lifestyles.

When a person does not give into those pressures, there is often some type of consequence. Unwritten, unofficial punishment occurs, a shunning, a push-back.

King Nebuchadnezzar had built a statue of gold of himself and wanted everyone to bow down and worship it. Several Jews chose not to bow down. Pressure was put upon them to bow down. The pressure was that if they chose not to bow down, they would be thrown into a furnace to be burnt alive.

While there are many things that are put upon a person to do that are not directly sinful, such as purchasing a new car, or buying a certain type of soda, there is a lot of pressure to do things that go against God’s word. Pressure is put upon a person to choose and accept sin in his life.

Most will not tell a person to lie, but pressure will be put on a person to ‘bend the truth’ a little. Or they will be asked to hide a situation, rather than call it out. In the individual life, one often feels pressure to overlook the ‘little’ sins in his life.

Although most won’t have to pay with their life in a furnace, there is a cost to compromising God’s holy standards. Sin is sin and leads to death.

Every believer must be willing to stand up for the standards of God in his own life and not give in to the pressures of this world to sin.

You will have pressure come against you to sin. Threats will be made that if you do not live, act, or speak a certain way there will be consequences against you.

In your heart you have to make a choice as to who you will serve and obey. Will it be God or will it be self and this world?

Allow yourself to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit and power to overcome the pressure to sin. Be willing to go into the furnace, rather than sin against God.

I pray today that you will know God’s holy standards to live by; that God will give you strength to stand up to pressure to sin; that you will seek God when being pressured to sin; and that you will trust God to preserve you when punished by this world. 

Jeremiah 4:18 Consequences Of Actions

Chemical reaction

“Your own conduct and actions have brought this on you. This is your punishment. How bitter it is! How it pierces to the heart!” Jeremiah 4:18 

There is an old scientific law that states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This is the idea that there is a consequence to every action that occurs.

In life there are many consequences to the actions that people do. Some are positive and some are negative. Some occur immediately, while others don’t occur until many years later.

Speeding down the road when there is a policeman there will result in a ticket immediately. Eating a poor diet will take years to show, but it is result in weight gain and health problems later in life.

God is beginning to punish Israel for their rebellion and sins against Him. He points out that it is their own actions that had brought this punishment upon them.

God is a patient God and full of mercy, however, there are consequences that He brings about or allows because of sin. There are many health problems that occur because of a sinful lifestyle. There is a loss of peace and joy because of sin in one’s life.

For the believer, God is always striving to call him away from sin. He may use the consequences of sin to get his attention and draw him back away from sin.

Most people do not like consequences to their actions, unless they are positive. Yet, God has placed negative consequences upon sin in the life of a person. The ultimate consequence is eternal death and separation from God.

This is not God causing the consequence, but the actions of the person. One’s own self brings upon him the problems of sin. This does not have to be, since a person can go to God for forgiveness and be changed into a new person. Living for God and rejecting sin brings about positive consequences.

Is there something missing in your life, such as joy, peace, love, God’s presence? Take a look at your life and how you are living.

What actions have you been allowing in your life? Are they God honoring actions, or actions of selfish sin?

Jesus is right there to help you turn from sin. He is willing to wipe the slate clean and forgive you, bringing about positive consequences. Do not give God a reason to strike you to get your attention, but live for Him in His ways.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that all of your actions will honor God; that you will know God’s peace, joy and love in your life; and that you will hear God’s direction for your life. 

2 Chronicles 7:19 But if…

Hand agreement

“But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them,” 2 Chronicles 7:19 

Contracts are common between businesses, businesses and people, and people and other people. Every contract has some type of clause in it that if one party or the other does not hold up to the agreement in the contract, there will be consequences.

The types of consequences can be very severe or very mild, but there will be a consequence. Every contract will be different in what the consequences are. They are there to protect both parties from anything going wrong. Pages and pages of clauses can be written into some contracts, while others only have one or two lines.

God had made a covenant with the Israelites, this was His contract with the people. As Solomon was following God and had built the temple, God told him that He would always be there and bless him and the nation of Israel. However, Solomon and the people would have to continue to follow Him. If they chose to not follow God, then there would be severe consequences and His hand of blessing would be removed. He would set out to destroy them.

Jesus had made a new covenant between God and mankind. He shed His blood to remove the consequence of sin. However, there is still a clause in following Jesus. One must follow and trust Him with all of his heart. It is a belief that Jesus does the saving and removing of sin, not works or self. It would also be that He would be God and God alone, no other gods were allowed to be followed.

If one chooses to begin to follow other gods or idols, God will remove His hand of blessing on that person. He will always love the person, but cannot have him in His presence, because of the sin in his life and refusal to follow Jesus.

You have a choice to make. Will you follow Jesus or will you follow some idol or false god?

As you follow and trust in Jesus with all of your life, God will pour out blessings upon you. However, if you choose to walk away and follow some idol or other god, He will pull back that favor and blessing.

Don’t be a statistic of walking away from God, but follow Him with all of your life. Don’t make God say ‘but if’.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will trust in Jesus alone for your salvation; that God will keep you close to Him; that you will turn from self and idols to God; and that you will know the blessings and favor of God in your life.