Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor. Exodus 6:9
Discouragement occurs when things go bad on a consistent basis and don’t ever seem to get better. People try and try to change the situation, but it does not change. If it keeps up long enough, people get discouraged and want to quit. They cannot believe in the possibility of things getting better. They begin to expect hardship and turmoil.
It is difficult to encourage someone who is discouraged. All the person can see is the mountain and trouble in front of their eyes. His eyes are blinded to the truth or any change than can occur.
The Israelites had been under slavery for 400 hundred years. All they, their parents, their grand-parents and great grand-parents have ever known is slavery. They had been crying out to God for a rescue. When God began to answer, the enemy doubled down on the fight to hold them.
Through Moses, God told them that He would release them. Yet, they would not listen to that word, because they were discouraged. Everything was going from bad to worse. How could anything get better? It appeared that God and Moses had made things worse. They were discouraged.
Many people in this world and some believers have this type of view on life. They cannot see beyond the troubles that are in front of them. They allow discouragement to overcome in their lives and keep them down, rather than allowing God to come in and strengthen them and release them from the hands of the enemy.
The enemy will not release a person quickly or easily. The world does not want to lose anyone to God. So the world will fight back. Satan will double up on holding a believer or non-believer down.
There may be times you attempt to encourage someone who is discouraged and being beaten down or you may be in that place yourself. Look up to God and trust His word to you. God has great plans for you.
No matter what the world can throw at you, God will win in the end. In the end you will be brought into the promised land–heaven for all eternity with God.
Do not allow yourself to get discouraged and stop hearing God’s word for your life. Do not let discouragement win, but let God’s word in your life win.
I pray today that you will know God’s word for your life; that God will remove discouragement from your life; that you will allow God to pull you through the troubles of this life; and that you will live in victory through Jesus and God’s Holy Spirit.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13
Freedom is usually seen as all about one’s own self. It is the ability for one to be able to not be under the bondage of another person, to be allowed to do what one wants to do. It is having the ability to make one’s own self happy.
The process of making one’s self happy is usually a selfish, and often sinful way. Man’s heart is always inclined to sin, unless God is allowed to change it. Just the fact that it is usually about pleasing one’s self, makes the action sinful because selfishness, in itself, is a sin.
The majority of the things that the world finds pleasure in are sinful. Getting drunk, sex out of marriage, violence, hate, suffering, pornography, greed, and many more things are the things the world loves, yet are sin. Each of these things appears to please self, even though it is destroying self.
God does not want the believer to live in this same way. Paul states that every believer is called to be free, but not to use that freedom for sin. The freedom that is given to a person is not to be selfish, but to serve someone else.
Jesus came to this earth, not for His own pleasure or to serve Himself or be served, but to serve all mankind. He came to give every person a chance at forgiveness and eternal life. Jesus did not have to do it, but He chose to do it out of love. It is only in love for someone else can a person find the power and ability to serve someone else above himself.
As a believer you are free, but you are not free to do whatever you want as the world does. You have been set free from the bondage of sin to live a life for God and to serve God and others. Just as Jesus put others before Himself, you must also put others before yourself.
As you put others before yourself in service to them, God will put others before you to serve you. He will meet your every need. You will then find the joy and happiness that will last for eternity, not the temporary happiness of this world.
I pray today that you will know the freedom Jesus has given you; that you will know the love God has shown you; that you will show God’s love to others; and that you will serve others as Jesus has served you.
Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 1 Corinthians 9:19
Paul had been talking about his duty as a believer to preach the gospel to as many people as possible. It was his goal to reach the lost and see them get saved by believing in Jesus. He knew that he was free in Christ, but did not use that freedom for himself, but to reach the lost. He would become like those he was trying to reach.
Becoming like those was not walking in the sin that they were doing, but understanding their position in life. Some were slaves, some were living under the Law of Moses, others were weak, or other positions in life.
Today there have been people and churches who have worked to become so much like those around them that they are trying to reach, that one cannot see a difference between the two. Believers have started to live in sin, stating that they are trying to reach the lost by being like the lost.
Reaching the lost is meeting the person where he is at in life. What is his position?
A believer driving a high end sports car and making a six digit income will have a difficult time reaching a person who is homeless and living on the street. The same goes the other way around. The homeless person will have a hard time reaching the wealthy person.
One who follows sports closely will be able to reach the lost who follows sports. They can both speak some of the same language. The believer can use analogies from sports to show him who Jesus is.
The entire purpose of living and speaking this way is to reach more people for Jesus. It is not to change the way of living or to step into sin.
Who are you striving to reach that is lost?
What methods are you using to bring the gospel message to that person or group of people?
God can use you to reach the lost in many different ways. You have to be willing to show love and meet the person where he is at, without falling into sin.
Do not limit yourself to just a few people, but open yourself to reach as many as God puts in your path.
I pray today that God will bring people to you who need Jesus; that God will give you the ways to be His witness; that you will not fear being His witness; and that your heart will be to reach as many as possible for Jesus.