Judges 3:4 Left For Testing

They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses. Judges 3:4

Everyone goes through times of struggles, times where it appears as if everyone and everything is against them. It can be painful and confusing as one does not always understand why things are the way they are.

Very few can see the larger picture of what is going on, just as children do not always understand the reason for a test in the classroom. Struggles are often times of testing to see how one will react.

God left several nations among the Israelites to test them, to see if they will obey the commands He had given them through Moses.

Testing someone is always done for the purpose to find out what the person knows or how one will do react to something. Most people get anxious when they know they are going to be tested. They fear that they did not study enough or the right things to be ready for the test. If they did not know the test was coming, it causes anxiety in not knowing if they are ready for it or not.

Without being tested, one can never know if he has learned anything or not, or grown or not.

Believers can know that they will be tested by God. In this they can trust that God knows what He is doing, so they can prepare to be ready to obey His commands in every situation, good or bad.

No matter what the situation is God has already given instruction on how to react to it. People have a choice to react in the ways of the world, or to react according to God’s commands, obeying him.

God will allow people or situations in your life to test you, to find out if you have learned to obey Him or not. Do not see times of trials and testing just as something horrible and worthless, but a time of growing and learning.

Going through the difficult time will reveal to you if you are trusting and obeying God or not. It will reveal areas you may need to grow in and other areas you are mature in.

In order to pass a test, you must go through the test. Keep your focus upon God and obeying His word and you will pass the test.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will know God’s peace and direction in times of testing; that you will obey God in every situation in your life; that you will know what God desires of you; and that you will pass every test God sends your way.

Colossians 2:6-7 Rooted And Built Up In Jesus

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7

Good managers will take someone that works for them and train them how to take their place. The apprentice will be trained in how to do nearly every aspect of the business.

This is something that does not occur overnight, but over time. He is rooted and built up in what to do or not do.

Paul acknowledges that the people had accepted Christ Jesus as Lord. Now he encourages them to live their lives in Him and to have a foundation in Him while being built up in faith with thankfulness.

While many people will choose to believe in Jesus as Savior, many will choose also to not continue to live in Him and grow in Him. Some will hold to once saved, always saved and do not need to do anything more. Others will go back to, or continue to, live in sinful lifestyles, rather than changing.

Believers are living beings, so they must be rooted and growing. Without roots in Jesus or growth, they are dead. It is as though they never believed.

Living in Jesus means that one is constantly learning more on how to live for and like Jesus in every area of his life. It is learning to choose to turn away from all temptation to sin. It is learning to trust God more and more in the same way as Jesus did. The stronger the root, the more one can be built up and the more fruit one will be able to produce.

And all of this is done with an overflow of being thankful to God for what He has done.

Since you have chosen to believe in Jesus, allow yourself to grow in Him by constantly living in Him. Learn what it means to live as Jesus lived. Allow your faith in God to grow and be strengthened.

Put down deep roots in Jesus, so that when the temptations and struggles of life come your way, you will be able to withstand them with thanksgiving and grow even more. Do not allow yourself to go back to the old way of living in sin and death, but be the new creation God made you to be.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior and Lord; that you will be rooted in Jesus; that you will be more like Jesus everyday; that your faith in God will be strengthened; and that you will be full of thankfulness to God for what He has done and is doing in your life.

1 Peter 2:2 What Are You Craving?

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 1 Peter 2:2

Having a craving for something specific is very common among most people. A person has an extreme desire to eat or drink something.

What they desire may be something good or bad for them, but either way it is a strong ‘need’ to have it and have it as quickly as possible. Some will have a craving for things that are bad for a person–nicotine, alcohol, drugs, caffeine. While others may crave not so bad things such as pickles, fruits, chocolate, or some other snack or food.

Peter tells the people to be like a newborn baby that craves milk. They are to crave pure spiritual milk to help them grow spiritually in their salvation.

Along with craving foods, many people crave other things, such as video gaming, movies, pornography, gossip, sports and much more. While some of these are not necessarily bad in themselves, in excess they become an idol. Some are sinful right from the beginning.

Believers in the church will often have cravings, just as the world does. Along with all the same cravings, they may also crave position in ministry, titles, recognition, and more. While not necessarily bad, these things can pull them away from what God really has for them.

Those who are truly seeking to be more like Jesus will also have a craving, however, that craving will be to be more like Jesus. They will crave having more of God’s word and His Holy Spirit in their lives.

Every believer is to desire to be more like Jesus. In order to be like Jesus, each person must desire the spiritual milk and food that God provides. Just as Jesus found sustenance in God’s word, so must a believer crave God’s word in his life.

Examine what things you crave in your life. Are any of these things taking the place of God and His word in your life? Then get rid of those things.

Feed yourself with God’s word and His Holy Spirit. Do not seek the temporary, empty things of this world that will fail you in the end, but seek the eternal things of God that will completely satisfy your soul.

Allow God to build you up in your salvation to be more like Jesus each day, until the day of His appearing.

What are you craving?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will crave the things of God above all else; that you fill yourself with God’s word; that you will allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide you; and that you will find satisfaction in what God has for you.

2 Thessalonians 1:3 Is Your Faith Growing?

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing. 2 Thessalonians 1:3

When a person begins to work at doing something new, that he has never done before, he is nervous. He does not always have faith that he can do it.

For many people this nervousness or fear can cripple them and keep them from moving forward and trying something new. Others keep moving forward and build their faith and confidence in what they are doing or can do.

Paul gives thanks for the Thessalonians because their faith and love was growing on a regular basis.

In order for a person be become a follower of Jesus, there must be some level of faith. He has to take a step of faith to believe in someone he cannot physically see.

The churches are filled with people who have taken this first step of faith. However, many of these same people then stay right at that level. They do not work at building their faith in God. At times God will call them to take a small step of faith in Him to do something, but they fear the outcome and don’t take that step.

Staying in one spot is a death toll to a believer. It is rejecting and refusing to believe what God is able to do. It will pull him away from God.

The growing believer will be willing to take the new steps of faith in order to build his faith in God more and more. He is desiring to do more and more for God. As he takes small steps of faith and sees God as faithful, then he will desire to take more steps, trusting God more.

As a believer you have already taken some steps trusting God. The question is if you have continued to build your faith? You should have greater faith today than you did six months ago or two years ago.

Know that God will never fail or forsake you as you put your trust in Him. Be willing to take a step of faith in God and see what great things He can do in, through and for you. Do not allow your faith to become stagnant causing you to fall away from God.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have faith in God’s abilities and love; that you will allow your faith in God to grow; that you will do more and more for God each day; and that God will see you as a faithful servant.