May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Life is tough. There are never ending problems everywhere. There is pain. There is suffering. There is violence, hatred, sickness, death and sin. When a person looks at the world, there does not appear to be any hope.
People all around the world are committing suicide because of the loss of hope and the amount of pain they are in. All types of drugs are used by people to help cope with all the pain that they are going through, both physical and emotional. Doctor’s prescribe many different types of drugs to people to help them calm their nerves and be able to deal with life.
Fear runs rampant among people. Fear of the government, fear of other people. Fear of death or sickness. Fear of the unknown.
Even in the church, there runs a level of fear. People fear that they are not good enough for God and will not be allowed into heaven in the end. They fear that God has not forgiven them.
Yet, God does not work with fear, He works with love and grace. God is there to encourage a person and give Him real hope and strength to make it. Believers have a hope of a better life, one that will be found in eternity. This can encourage a believer to stay strong and true to God’s word, despite what this world looks and acts like.
God, in His great love and grace, is giving every believer strength to do what needs to be done, to do the good works He has called every believer to do. He is giving strength to overcome sin and be His witness in this world, and to look past the momentary and painful sufferings of this world.
Take a look at what God has given you. Take a look at what God has promised you. Be encouraged and rely upon His strength to keep moving forward in His ways, to do good and be His witness.
Know that some day you will inherit eternal life in heaven. All that you are going through today will be worth it when you step into eternity with God.
Be encouraged and strengthened today.
I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will know the salvation He is giving you; that you will know God’s love and grace to you; that God will strengthen you; and that God will encourage you to keep going in Jesus.
“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:17
James makes another strong statement to the people. Many of the people were evidently stating that they had great faith in God, but were refusing to do any good deeds. They were being “holy” unto God and not into “legalistic” actions, so they would not do good deeds, their “faith” was enough. James bluntly states that if there is no action, that kind of faith is dead.
Times have not changed the way some people think. There are many in the church who are believers in Jesus, yet, they do not do anything. They refuse to teach Sunday School, clean the church, help a neighbor, feed the poor, visit the sick, help the orphans, or just be a good friend to a non-believer.
Some of these people had done all those things in the past and now state that they are done, they have done their work. Others, just refuse to do it saying that their faith in God is enough. They are focused on caring for themselves.
It has been said that doing good deeds is being legalistic. This is true if you are doing them to earn your salvation. You cannot earn your salvation, but you can do something with it. It is saying thanks to God for what He has done by passing it on to someone else. God helped you, now you can help someone else.
God wants all believers to love everyone. Loving people means helping them, putting them first, meeting their needs. You cannot do everything, but you can do something.
Just speaking the words that you believe in Jesus is enough to be saved, but what are you doing with your salvation?
Are you hoarding everything to yourself?
Or are you passing it on to others?
Don’t allow your faith to be dead. Seek God and ask Him what you can do to show your faith to others. What actions can you do to make a difference in someone else’s life today?
I pray today that God will reveal to you what type of faith you have; that God will show you ways to put your faith into action; that God will bless your work you do for Him; and that you will trust God to meet all of your needs as you meet the needs of others.
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!” Revelation 3:15
Jesus brings some harsh words to the church of Laodicea. This church was active in doing some deeds, but He calls them neither hot nor cold, but in the next verse lukewarm. God wants them to be either hot or cold.
Being hot, in God’s eyes, is one who is actively running after God. He will seek God in everything; try to witness to everyone; do all that his hands can do; and worship God at all times. He is a person who is on fire for God. He is exited about God. He lives for God.
The person who is cold is the one who does not seek God at all; has no room in his life for God; he even hates God; and does not try to do anything for God. His life is completely dead with no signs of a life with God in it.
What does it mean to be lukewarm? When you use water in a sink and it is only lukewarm it can cause problems. It is not hot enough to help kill germs when you wash something, nor is it cold enough to enjoy a good glass of cool water on a hot day. Lukewarm has little value, thus it is usually tossed out.
People who are neither hot, nor cold are indifferent about God. They will not get excited about God, but will not directly deny God; they will do some good deeds, but only when convenient for themselves; they will worship the three songs on Sunday morning, but never during the week on their own; and many other ways are not running for God. These people will be tossed out by God.
Today you need to be hot for God. If you are cold, you are against God and will die in your sins. If you hot, you will be doing what God wants for you to do and will have life abundantly.
Seek God in everything you do. Seek out ways to serve God and others daily. Give worship to God at all times. Be running after and for God. Let your light shine brightly for the world to see. These things are not to earn your salvation, but to give thanks to God for what He has done for you.
I pray that today God will stir your heart to be hot for Him; that you will choose to be hot for God; that God will not have to spit you out; and that God will use you to build His kingdom and bring Him glory.
***If you have anything you would like me to pray about please visit my Prayer Request page and leave a comment. May God bless you!
“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” Revelation 3:1
God tells the church of Sardis that He knows their deeds. This is not a church that is not doing anything at all. They are actively doing something. They even have a reputation of being a live church.
The question is what are they doing, because Jesus then tells them that they are dead. How can they be active in deeds and yet dead?
Look around and you will see many people who do not serve God at all actively pouring money into organizations to help the poor and helpless. They appear to be showing much love in caring for those people. Often their giving is just to get a tax write-off. How can there be any true love in the giving when God is not in it at all? They are dead, even though physically alive.
Many churches appear to be alive. Go to their services and the music is upbeat, people are clapping their hands, smiling, and even dancing.. By outward appearances they seem to be really alive. But when you really look and listen closely you often see they are dead.
The worship service is always 2-4 songs (and usually the same ones) and it is over. The sermon is very basic information for a beginning believer. There is no meat in the sermon. The prayers are always the same words and very simple. Lives are not being changed. No one is being challenged to live more like Jesus. They are in reality–dead.
You have to be careful in making the decision that someone or a church is dead. Allow God to lead you in that and have Him make that call. Do not make that call completely yourself. Only God sees the true heart of a person or church.
However, do not allow yourself to be like that. When you worship, worship with all of your heart. When you pray, pray with all of your heart. When you do a deed, do it with all your strength as unto God.
Be alive in everything you do. Do not allow yourself to be a walking dead person. Be excited all the way to the core of your life in serving God and others. The life of a believer in Jesus should never be mundane, same-oh-same-oh everyday. It needs to be alive.
I pray that today God will renew your walk with Him; that you will be alive for Jesus; that God will be in the center of all that you do; that nothing you do will just be routine, and that you will see new life daily in all that you do for God.
***Do you have anything that you are in prayer with God for? Please let me know in a comment on the Prayer Request page and I will join you in prayer for that need. May God bless you.***
“I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.” Revelation 2:19
Jesus gives some good admonition to the church of Thyatira. He has His eyes on them and sees what they are doing. They are active in doing good deeds. They show true love and faith. They are staying strong despite opposition. They are doing more now then they did at first.
Many believers will pray for other people (at least in word), but few will take an active step in helping other people. James said that faith without deeds is dead. He stated that he will prove his faith by his deeds.
In every church there are many people who will go to the pastor to tell him of a need in the church. It may be the need for a new Sunday School teacher; or a new guitar player or background singers on the worship team; or someone to mow the lawn or clean the bathrooms; or one of many other needs. Many allow the other person to do the job.
Usually the pastor already knows of many of these needs. Instead of telling him of the needs, why not take on that need and meet it? You are the “other” person to do that job.
I have worked in construction of building a house. It is not done by one person. In fact it is not even done with just one talent. There are the foundation layers, the framers, electricians, plumbers, A/C installers, roof installers, flooring installers, painters and others. Each of these has a different task to do. Altogether they build the house.
God’s kingdom is His home. It is not built by one person. Each person has a different ability or talent. If each person does his part, God’s kingdom will grow.
May God be able to say to you today that He is watching you and sees what you are doing. May God say that you are doing more today than when you first started following Jesus.
Do not allow your actions to slow down or stop. Be active for God everyday. Seek God as to what to do next for Him. There is always something to be done. Until you step into heaven there is more of His kingdom to be built.
I pray today that God will strengthen you to do more for Him; that God will reveal to you what to do each day; that you will step up to do what God has for you; that you will persevere through the struggle of continuing to do His work; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.
***If you have anything you would like me to pray about, please leave a comment on what to pray about on my Prayer Request page. It will be my pleasure to bring your needs before God. May God bless you.***