Acts 27:11 Who To Listen To

Fork In The Road

“Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” Acts 27:11

Paul had been taken captive as a prisoner and was on board a ship full of prisoners headed to Rome. They stopped at a port and were getting ready to move on. Paul had a feeling from God that they should wait to move on, that if they did, the trip would have a lot of problems. They chose to not listen to Paul and went anyways. Later the ship was destroyed and they were shipwrecked on an island.

When a person needs advice there are instantly a thousand voices ready to offer advice and be heard. People everywhere have an opinion on how things should happen. Most of those people mean well in giving their advice. They are not trying to cause problems or harm.

Some of those people have a lot of experience in the area being dealt with. While others have very little or just book knowledge of experience in that area. Yet, people want to give their opinion and advice on how to deal with the situation.

The problem comes in that most of the world uses advice from a short-term, limited view of the full situation. It is all the person can see in the moment.

Believers can have a longer, more clear view of what is occurring, because God can guide them more perfectly. God sees what is ahead better than any person can see or know on his own.

God had put it in Paul’s spirit that there would be trouble ahead if they continued the journey. Later on there was great trouble and the ship and cargo was lost.

There will be times when you need to know what to do next. You will need advice on how to proceed in life. While it is good to ask advice from friends and people, it is best to seek God’s direction. When you ask of friends, try to make sure it is coming from a Godly perspective and not just the world.

It may make sense to move forward as the world will say, but there will be times God will say stay in place and wait. He sees the storms ahead and is there to protect you.

So who are you getting advice from?

I pray today that you will hear God’s directions in your life; that you will seek God first for all directions; that you will move in the direction God points you; and that you will know the path God has for you. 

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Amos 4:9 Getting Your Attention

“Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards, destroying them with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees, yet, you have not returned to me,” declares the LORD. Amos 4:9

In this chapter, Amos is quoting God, who is upset with Israel. They had chosen to walk away from God, so God brought on many different calamities, drought, plagues, and death. God had struck their gardens and vineyards, which is their livelihood and food. Yet, the people refused to return to Him. They chose to continue to live in their sinful ways, knowing God was angry with them.

Disaster strikes people all the time. Some of those disasters are caused by another person, while others are caused by the weather. The world looks at those disasters as a bad luck of the draw, part life. Many will blame others for the natural disasters, claiming that it is because of the way people run things. It is natural for the world to see things this way, because they do not know God and have never known Him.

For believers, it is a different story. When disaster strikes a believer, the first thing he should do is turn to God for help. Disaster can strike a believer for one of two main reasons: 1) God is trying to get his attention, because he has walked away from Him 2) God is allowing Satan to strike and test him. Either way, the believer should turn to God.

There are many believers do not choose to turn to God, but turn to other people and things of this world. They reject God’s help, especially when it is being done because of sin in their lives. They will seek help in medicine, drugs, alcohol, entertainment, music, people, and even doing more ministry work, everything but turning to God.

In your own personal life, things may be occurring that are making things extremely difficult for you. As you are going through these situations seek God out. Take a look at your life and see where you are really standing with God.

Are you walking with God? Then trust that He will give you the strength to make it through the situation.

Have you walked away from God? Then turn back to Him and repent of all sin. Seek to know His ways and then follow them.

I pray today that you will always follow Jesus; that you will not turn from the path God has for you; that when disaster strikes, you will turn to God first; and that you will know that God is always waiting for you to return to Him.

Hosea 13:6 After Being Fed

When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me. Hosea 13:6

God had brought the Israelites up out of Egypt into the wilderness. While they were in the wilderness, He provided for all of their needs. They did not have to work hard to get the food that was required. Later, He gave them the land of Canaan for their possession without extreme hard work on their part. Once they had these things provided they were satisfied. As soon as they were satisfied, they forgot all about God.

When there is a crisis or a great need, it is easy for people to turn to God and seek His help. Every time that there is a major disaster or event in a nation, many people turn to God and start praying. They seek God’s assistance in their time of great need. Those who normally don’t mention anything about God and rarely go to a church service, suddenly talk about praying to God for help for themselves or for others in great need.

Later, when the need is met or the crisis is over, people forget about God. They are no longer talking about praying and seeking God’s help. They are satisfied and happy with themselves and this world.

This occurs with many believers in the church. In a time of crisis, they are constantly praying and asking others to pray, but stop the praying when the major crisis is over. When the belly is full and satisfied, people feel that they no longer need God. They feel that they have everything back under control.

As a believer, this should never be the case. No matter how well things are going for you, you are not the one in control. It is God who provides your every breath. Without your breath, you would be in a major crisis, you would be dead.

Do not make God to be only your 911 God. Make Him a part of your life all day, every day. No matter how good things are going, do not forget about God. It is He who made your day go well. It is God who provided for all of your needs to bless you.

Keep a song of praise and thanksgiving on your heart each day for all that He has done for you.

I pray today that you will know God’s provision and blessings in your life; that you will not forget God when things are going well; that you will give credit to God for all the good in your life; and that you will always seek God and praise Him daily.

Jeremiah 19:15 Words You Don’t Want To Hear

“This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to my words.’ ” Jeremiah 19:15

God had begun to pronounce a harsh judgment upon the city of Jerusalem. His words declared that they would be destroyed in a very horrible manner. Their bodies would be laying on the ground for the wild animals to devour. Food would be made so scarce that parents would eat the flesh of their children and each other because of a siege laid against the city. Those who would see them, would be appalled at the horror of it all.

All of these pronouncements against the city were to occur because of the sin of the people. They chose to follow false gods and worship them. They refused to listen to the words of God. God had spoken words of love and care to help build them up, not tear them down, but the words were rejected.

To this day God is still speaking to people. He wants the word spread that He loves them and wants the best for them. It is the entire reason He sent His son Jesus to this world and to the cross. Jesus had to go to a cross to die an extremely painful, humiliating death for the sins of every person who ever lived.

Now the question is what will you do with the words God has given you?

Many you have accepted Jesus in your life and are following Him, but the question is are you following all of His Word?

Jesus has called everyone who believes in Him to be His witness in this world. Being that witness means you will love every person, and, yes, that includes your enemies. You will do good to those who harm you and not curse them. You will also turn away from all sin.

Doing all of these things is a work in progress that is never fully completed. You need to fight to follow all of God’s commands. In doing so, you will not have to hear God bring on the judgment of destruction. If you are bringing people to God on a daily basis, your city will be following God and not false gods.

What words do you want to hear today?

I pray today that you will obey all of God’s commands; that you will know His love for every person; that you will turn away from all sin; and that you will guide others to turn away from all sin.

Jeremiah 11:13 Setting Up Altars

You, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem. Jeremiah 11:13

Jerusalem had the temple of God in it. The people knew that they were called the children of God. Over the years they had seen God do many miracles and provided abundantly for them. Yet, they had chosen to call on false gods, rather than call on God.

The problem of following false gods was extremely large. They were described as having as many altars to Baal as they had streets in the town. Even though they would call out to all of these false gods, none of them would answer, because they were not alive and real. The people refused to call out to God.

In some Asian countries today, the idea of setting up altars in the house and all over the town to a god is common and encouraged. Looking at a lot of American and European cities and cultures, it is not common to see someone setting up an altar and call it that, yet, altars are set up everywhere.

Just as with Judah, with altars on nearly every street corner, there are altars set up on nearly every street corner and house today in many nations around the world. The false gods that people in America are setting up altars to are education, politics, fame, money, houses, status, jobs, people, sex, drugs, self and many more false gods.

They do not call them gods, but they treat them like a god. People are crying out to these things and seeking answers from them. When disaster strikes, they cry out to all these things for guidance and help to cope with the disaster. Yet, not of these things can answer or have the right answer.

God, alone, is the answer to all the problems you may face. God may use the things of this world to meet your need, but they are not the answer, He is.

Who or what you are calling out to for help?

Who or what are you spending your money on to get help?

Put all of your faith, money, efforts, and time into an altar to God. He is the real, living, true God who hears you and answers you. Get rid of the altars to false gods in your life today.

I pray today that you will know God personally; that the only altar you have is to God; that God will strengthen you to reject false gods in your life; and that you will tell the world of who Jesus is. 

Jeremiah 4:18 The Results Of Your Conduct

“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

God begins to describe the destruction that was going to come upon the land. He would completely ruin the land and bring a great disaster upon the people. Not all of the people would be destroyed, but there would be a great number of them destroyed. The anguish of pain and suffering would be very great.

As this was happening, many people would be crying out as to why it was occurring. The nation of Israel always saw themselves as God’s special nation. They were supposed to be His people with great abundance and blessing, yet, all they were seeing was disaster and suffering.

In this verse God points out that all of the disaster that was occurring was because of their conduct and actions. It would be bitter and pierce the heart. It pierced God’s heart because He loved the people and did not want to have to punish them, but His holiness and their conduct required it.

Those living in America have often believed that this country was blessed by God. Although there was always sin in the nation, it has not always been so open and accepted. In recent years, the problems of crime, violence, hatred, and uprisings has increased dramatically. Greater disasters arise on a regular basis.

All of these things may be forms of punishment that God is bringing upon the nation because of the actions of the people.

Not every person is guilty of wrong actions, but most are. How many people are truly living their lives for God? Are sold out to God? Are willing to give their lives to be a witness of the gospel message of Jesus to this world?

You may be one of those truly sold out to God. Take a look at your own life and see what your conduct and actions show.

How often are you telling someone about Jesus?

How often do you allow yourself to do something you know is sinful?

How often do you show God’s love over hatred for others?

These are just a few ways to see what your conduct is like. If you are not actively building God’s kingdom, your conduct will be bringing on disaster to this nation, or whatever nation you live in.

How is your conduct today?

I pray today that you will be actively building God’s kingdom; that your conduct will match that of Jesus; that your life will mirror the life of Jesus; and that you will not be guilty of wrong conduct.

Isaiah 45:7 God Does It All

I form the light and create the darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things. Isaiah 45:7

The world questions how things come to be or how things happen the way that they do. People want to be in full control of their own lives. They want to take the credit for the good things that occur in their lives. And they want to blame others for the negative or bad things that occur.

Many people will believe in God when things are going good for them. When prosperity is happening, there is a strong belief in God. However, when things turn bad, many will also turn away from God, blaming Him for their troubles.

The hard part for many to accept is that God is the one who allowed the bad things to happen and He did it in love. For most people, it is difficult to think that a perfect loving God would allow pain and suffering in this life. When a bad situation occurs in the life of a person, many choose to walk away from God. They get angry with what He has allowed, or refuse to believe that a loving God would allow it to happen.

Yet, God says He is the one who brings prosperity and disaster in the lives of people of this world. Both events are allowed in the best interest of the people.

In your own personal life, there will be times God allows prosperity to allow you to see His blessings. Other times there will be disaster, to allow you to lean on Him and trust Him more. Going through a disaster gives God the ability to show you His power.

Instead of looking at disaster as a bad thing, see it in light of God perfecting you. Look forward to the many ways God may bring you through that disaster back into prosperity again. In the end you will walk on streets of gold in heaven with God for all eternity, if you trust Him and stay with God.

Allow God to be the Master of your life. Do not fear prosperity or disaster. Know that God is in control of both.

I pray today that you will trust God at all times; that you will not be angry with God when bad things occur; that God will be your Master; and that God will strengthen you in all things.