Joshua 23:7 No Association

Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them. Joshua 23:7

Successful business leaders are very careful as to who they hang around with. They do not want to be around people who do not work or cannot bring them success to their business. All that occur in being around such people is bring them down or get them on the wrong track, harming their business and success.

Focus is on what is needed to be successful.

Joshua reminds the people to not associate with the nations around them. They are to not seek, serve, worship or talk about their false gods.

Many believers, in theory, seek to be friends with the world in order to be a witness to the world. However, in reality, many believers that become friends with the world end up becoming more like the world. The characteristics and beliefs of the world are allowed to rub off on the believer.

It is common for some believers to talk about the gods of the world so much that they end up serving those gods. Too many in the church look more like the world than they look like Jesus. And many do not care.

Every believer is called to be separate, different from the world. None are to believe in the gods of this world, gods of pride, alcohol, greed, wealth, jealousy, porn, illegitimate sex, gossip and any other sins.

Jesus was among the world, but He did not become like the world. Though the temptation was there, Jesus never bowed down to the false gods of this world. He called people out of their lives of sin and death unto an eternal life. Believers are to live in the same way.

Ask yourself who has the greatest influence on you in your life. This can be seen in who you choose to hang around with on a regular basis. Surround yourself with people who serve God so that you can be built up to be a witness of who Jesus is.

Go into the world to be a witness, but do not allow yourself to be like the world. Being like the world is not being a witness, but is walking away from God and disobeying God.

Who are you associating with on a regular basis?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will be a true witness for Jesus to the world; that God will help you not be influenced by the fallen world; that God will give you strength to flee all sin; and that you will serve God alone.

1 John 3:7 Don’t Be Led Wrong

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 1 John 3:7

Everyday every person has to make many different choices. Often these choices that are made are influenced by others around the person.

Not every person is able to stand strong enough on his own to go against the common flow in making choices. People do not like to stand out as different or to go against the flow, so they make choices that are not always the right choice to make.

John tells the people to not allow anyone to lead them astray, but to always do what is right, just as Jesus did.

Making the right choice to do the right thing is not always easy or popular. The world, as a whole, wants to do what feels good or meets the need in the moment, regardless of the long term impact. With this, those in the world will work hard to lead others astray to do what is wrong, rather than the hard right thing.

Pressure from media and peers push people to live as the world does in sin and personal pleasures. Many believers often give in to the pressure, rather than stand for God. God has called every believer to live a righteous and holy life.

Each one is to turn away from all sin and not be influenced by the world, but be the influencer for God. Believers are given God’s Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen them to make the right choices and to be kept from being led astray into the sinful practices of this world.

The more one chooses God’s way of doing things, the easier it will become to continue to do them. It will be harder for the world to influence the true believer.

You are allowed to choose the path you want to take each day. This choice is to either follow God’s ways of doing things, or the ways of this world.

When you became a believer, God had called you to be righteous and holy as He is righteous and holy. Do not allow yourself to be led astray by this fallen world that is promoting sinful practices, but be the influencer for God’s ways of living.

Do the right things out of love for God and for others, not out of legalism or to be liked by God. Be righteous as He is righteous.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will choose God’s way of doing things; that you will allow the Holy Spirit to lead you; that God will strengthen you to resist the influence of a fallen world; and that you will be righteous before God and man in all that you say and do.

Esther 4:14 For A Purpose

Arrow on target

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 

Getting into a new position happens often for many people. Sometimes that new position is unexpected and of high honor. They were not seeking a high level position, but it appeared to come to them.

When a person is humble and this occurs, he will often ask himself as to why he got that position. There does not seem to be a logical reason for getting it, yet he is still there.

Mordecai had chosen to refuse to bow down and pay honor to Haman. Haman then got the king to sign a command to allow all the Jewish people to be killed, because of rebellion. Mordecai asked Esther, who was family and the king’s queen, to go before the king about it. She was nervous, because it could mean she could be killed. Mordecai told her that maybe it was for this very purpose that she was made queen.

Most people will never be in a position of queen or king over a nation, but they will be in other positions of different levels of influence. Regardless of what position a person is in, there is a purpose for it, and one more than just a title or paycheck.

God places people into positions to be His witness. At every level there are people who need to hear about Jesus. At every level, there are people who need a Godly influence in the decision making process. Believers can bring God’s wisdom into any decision made.

You may or may not be in some high level position, but you are in a position that can touch others and influence them for God’s eternal purpose. You can be the light in a dark place that may be what changes or protects others.

Do not be afraid to take a stand for God and His ways. The world may not like it and may kill you, but then again, the world may see it and change. This is not for you to decide, but to trust God and maybe be there for such a time as this.

Ask God to show you why you are where you are. It will be to be an eternal influence in a temporary world.

I pray today that you will see God’s purpose for your life; that you will not fear being God’s witness; that God will use you to touch many lives; and that you will be a light for Jesus to this dark world. 

1 Corinthians 15:33 Bad Company

“Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

Paul had been talking about living, dying and raising from the dead. If there is no resurrection, then there is no purpose in life. At that point one is to just have as much fun as he can while living, since there is no life after death. However, as a believer, one knows that is not the truth.

Now he gives a warning to not be misled. This phrase has been repeated by people over all of history, even to this day: “bad company corrupts good character”.

People are constantly misled by ignoring this warning. Parents have allowed their children to be around another family whose children are of bad character. They think that their children will influence the bad character of the other and change them. Most often it is the other way around, the good character becomes bad.

Good character will not change to bad instantly. It will happen over a longer period of time. Even as an adult, a person will change. Often a man who never curses will go into the Army. While in the Army he is around a massive amount of accepted cursing. Over several years of this, suddenly his language becomes laced with cursing, sometimes to more excess than others.

You will become what you are around. The world is looking at eat, drink, and be merry. God is looking at building you up like Jesus and drawing more to Jesus to save them. Who will you be around?

If you are making your company most often with other believers, you will be encouraged to continue to follow Jesus and do ministry.

This is not to say that you never be around non-believers. You must be around them some to be a witness to them. The difference is who do you hang around with to relax? Who do you spend the most time with? What is the purpose of you being around the people you are with?

Seek God to have the correct balance. Do not allow yourself to be caught up in the ways of this world. Do not forget that you have a future in heaven with life forever.

I pray today that God will reveal who your good friends are and who are only of this world; that God will strengthen you to be His witness; that you will not be influenced by this world; and that you will influence others for Jesus.

Matthew 4:19-20 Fish For People

“Come, follow me, Jesus said, and I will send you out to fish for people. At once they left their nets and followed Him” Matthew 4:19-20

Simon Peter and Andrew were fishermen. They were out trying to catch some fish. There was nothing special about them, just regular workers at fishing.

Jesus comes up to them and tells them to follow Him and He will have them start fishing for people. The interesting thing is that they listened to Jesus and started following Him immediately.

Throughout the Gospels it is common for the people to be amazed when Jesus spoke because He spoke with authority. Chances are this is how He spoke to these fishermen. Why else would someone quit their livelihood and follow a stranger?

Even today, nearly 2,000 years later, Jesus still calls common people to do extraordinary things. If God calls a person that in himself can do the job, who is really going to get the credit for doing the job…that person, not God.

God wants to equip you for the work He has for you to do. God wants to get all the credit.

Some may want to complain about this, stating that God is a tyrant or a dictator. God does not work like that. He does what is best for you and for His kingdom.

Peter and Andrew could have stayed fishermen, but that is all they would have been. They never would have been recorded in history as a great person. They never would have had influence on the entire world.

Following Jesus, they ended up having an influence on the entire world. They become some of Jesus closest associates in a plan to change the world. They were brought into God’s eternal plan to save the world.

Today is no different. God is calling ordinary people to do a work for Him. He is calling you to do work for Him. There are still billions of people in this world who do not know Jesus. They do not know that God loves them and wants to be with them.

Are you willing to go out and find them? Go fish for them? Make a difference in this world for God. You cannot do it in your own abilities or power, it must be done with God’s guidance and power. You may be called to full-time, paid ministry or just to be a witness in your workplace, either way God can use you today.

I pray that you will hear God’s call for you; that you will listen and obey that call; that you will catch people for God; that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit to guide and direct you; and that God will use you to impact the world for Him.