Judges 8:27 Worshipping The Blessing

Golden ephod

Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there and it became a snare to Gideon and his family. Judges 8:26 

Getting a gift or blessing from someone or a group for something that was done extra is always a good thing. It shows a person that he is honored and his extra work is recognized.

Companies and organizations around the world will often have times of honoring those who do the work. They recognize people who have gone above and beyond their job or position. The honor can be one of many things, such as a plaque, gift of money, a gift card, a picture, name in a newsletter, an extra vacation, and nearly anything the mind can think of.

There is nothing wrong with getting honored with a gift. However, there are some people who worship that gift.

After Gideon had defeated the Midianites, the people had given him some of the gold from the plunder they had taken. This gold was melted down and made into an ephod. Immediately the people and Gideon started to worship that ephod. It was as though the ephod had saved them from the Midianites.

Not only do people in the world tend to worship the blessing that was given, there are people in the church who have done the same thing. They may not say it is God, but they talk about the honor given as though it is the best thing in all of life. They keep it clean and posted where everyone can see it, and they make sure that people see it.

This is taking the honor of what God has done away from Him. It is focusing on what self did. The blessing ends up being worshipped more than God.

Take a look at your own life. What honors have you received over the years? How do you respond to those honors?

Be careful to keep you eyes and focus upon God. When people talk about the honor or blessing, point them back to God as the one who helped you do what you did.

Do not allow the honor or the blessing take the throne of your life or anyone else’s life. Do not allow it to become a snare pulling you away from God.

Everyone deserves some honor, but keep it in the right perspective–God made it possible.

I pray today that you will recognize God’s work through you; that you will give God the honor due to Him; that you will not worship things or positions in your life; and that you will worship only God. 

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2 John 8 Watch Out Or Lose

 

Soldier Watching

Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 2 John 8

Nobody likes to lose. Every person wants to win at whatever they are trying to achieve. Losing usually means failure in some way or another.

Yet, many people are losing all the time. They are losing what they and others have worked for. Some will work very hard to accomplish some type of task, and then about midway through they give up and lose everything they had accomplished so far.

Marriages are started and can last several to many years, then suddenly fall apart into a divorce because of failure to watch out for problems that arise. Reputations are lost on a regular basis, because people don’t watch out for what they are doing and let it go.

Many believers have fallen away from God and the church, because they are not watching out what they are doing and where they are at. They have lost the gift of eternal life that Christ has given them, because they have not kept their eyes on God, and began to follow the world.

Those who are believers in Jesus are the results of the work of others being a witness and the work of Jesus in their lives. This salvation can be given up and lost, when a person chooses to turn away from God and follow the world. They chose to follow the teachings of this world, rather than the teachings of Jesus.

John tells the people to watch out. They are to keep a close eye on their walk with God. They need to keep a close eye on how they are living in this world. Each believer must continue, on a daily basis, to choose to live for Christ and to act upon the teachings of God, rather than the teachings of this world.

Every day you must open your eyes and keep a watch out on how you are living for God. Take a look at your life and see if the way you are acting, speaking and thinking is following the teachings of Jesus, or the teachings of this world.

Keep you life focused on Christ and God’s word and you will not lose in the end, you will be rewarded with eternal life in heaven with God. Watch out so that you do not lose this great reward.

I pray today that you will know the reward God has for you; that you will watch out for deceptions that will come your way; that you will live your life by God’s way; and that you will not lose the reward God is giving you.

Matthew 21:13 A Robbery In God’s House

Matthew 21_13

“It is written,” he said to them, ” ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’ ” Matthew 21:13

Jesus had walked into the temple courts and saw many people exchanging money and selling things. He knocked everything over and then reminded them what Isaiah and Jeremiah had prophesied about the temple. Isaiah called the temple a house of prayers. Jeremiah said they made it a den of robbers.

No one likes to be robbed of anything. It is commonly thought throughout the world that stealing is wrong. It is also common that of anyplace to steal, no one should steal from a church or temple. Anyone who has something stolen from them usually seeks out justice to find and punish the person who did the stealing.

Although Jesus was dealing with money and selling in the church, there is a different type of stealing that is common in the church. It is the stealing of time from God, the pastor and others inside the church.

One may ask how there is stealing of time inside the church?

Every week people go to church, many on a regular basis. Yet, while they are in church, sitting in the chairs, their mind is somewhere else. They are not focused on the worship of God or the sermon being spoken. The songs being sung are done with rote memorization, they are just words being said with no meaning in the heart. The words being spoken for the sermon go in one ear and out the other. There is no application to the life of the person.

This is stealing from God, the pastor and others. God has placed the pastor and the worship team there to lead people to get closer to God. If one does not move in closer to Him, it is wasting their time and stealing it from them. It is stealing from God what He has given for good.

As you go to your next church service, ask yourself if you are stealing from God. Where is your heart while you are sitting in the service? Are you worshipping God from your heart, or just with words?

Use the time God is giving you to draw closer to Him in worship and praise. Apply His words to your life to be more like Jesus. Don’t rob God anymore of this blessing.

I pray today that you will focus on God more; that you will worship God from your heart; that you will use the time wisely that God has given you; and that you will not rob God of anything. 

1 Samuel 11:13 Turning The Focus To God

But Saul said, “No one will be put to death today, for this day the LORD has rescued Israel.” 1 Samuel 11:13

When Saul was made king there were some men who despised him. They did not want him to be their king, but Saul kept quiet about it. Later the Ammonites started to attack the town of Jabesh Gilead. Saul takes his men to there and defeats the Ammonites. Once that happened there were some people who wanted to kill the men who did not want Saul to be king. Saul tells them not to kill anyone because God had just given them victory and rescued them.

There are many times when a person is moved up to a higher position of authority that there are others who do not want them to be in that position. Very often once the person gets in that position of authority, he chooses to remove those who did not want him there. During the time of King Saul, it was acceptable to kill anyone who opposed the king. Today killing is not acceptable, but removal is the way to do it.

The problem with removing the person is that usually it is done with a vengeance and out of anger against the person.

As a believer, you must not try to deal with the person out of vengeance or take the situation into your own hands. As King Saul told the people to look at what God had done for them, not having the people look to him or his own men, you also must point everyone, including yourself, to what God is doing in your life.

When you focus on others and what they have done, you will allow yourself to take things into your own hands and usually begin to do things God does not want you to do.

God sees what is happening in your life. He knows who is for you and who is against you. Allow Him to be the one to change a person or remove a person from your life. Turn your focus, and the focus of others back to God and what He has done and is doing.

I pray today that you will seek God for direction in your life; that you will not take vengeance against others who have done you wrong; that you will allow God to deal with enemies against you; and that you will turn your focus onto God in every situation in your life.

 

Exodus 32:1 Idle Time Causes Problems

“When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” Exodus 32:1

Moses had went up on to the mountain to hear from God. While there God was giving him all the regulations that were to be followed. He was up there for several weeks. After a while the people got restless from doing nothing, so they decided to start to worship an idol. They had given up on Moses and chosen their own way, despite all that they had just seen and been through.

Not doing anything at all can be very dangerous for a person. When not doing anything, the mind starts to wander. It starts to think of things of this world. A person starts to dream about things he does not have and wants. He sees things others have and he wants.

It is during these times that the devil steps in and tries to get you to be restless with God. He wants you to think that God has given up on you and that you are the one really in control.

There will be times when God wants you to slow down and rest. He will tell you to stop for a while and wait on Him. The Israelites had been moving around in the desert for a time, before they got to the mountain and had to stop.

During these times, you must focus on worshipping God and God alone. Take time to study His Word more. Keep you eyes focused on Jesus. Do not allow your heart to wander to what you do not or cannot have. Stay content with Jesus and do not allow your mind to wander.

What do you do when there is idle time in your life?

Do you satisfy your sinful nature?

Or do you turn to Jesus?

I pray today that you will find fulfillment only in Jesus; that you will keep your eyes on Jesus at all times; that you will find rest in God when in times of inactivity; and that you will bring only honor and worship to God and God alone.