April 11, 2019 Give Thanks

2 Corinthians 2_14-15

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Deuteronomy 27:18 Leading The Blind

Blind man walking

“Cursed is anyone who leads the blind astray on the road.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!” Deuteronomy 27:18

God had the Israelites gather on two different mountains. On one side, the people would call out various curses, while on the other mountain, the people would agree to those curses. They would call out different things that people may do that would get them cursed by God. One of these was leading a blind person down the wrong path as he is walking on road.

It is a fairly common rule to not lead a blind person astray any where he is. People are generally kind enough to lead a blind person correctly, at least physically. There are some people who are cruel enough to lead a physically blind person down a wrong path, but those are not very many.

However, there is a different type of blindness that people have that the majority of people are quick to lead down a wrong path. That blindness is a spiritual blindness. Every person has this blindness at the beginning of life, and continue to have it until they turn to Jesus.

While having the correct heart in trying to help those who are spiritually blind, many people end up leading them down the wrong path. They themselves are often spiritually blind.

This is done by many people in the church, who are believers. They focus on following the rules of God, and forget about the mercy and grace of God in the life of a person. They are quick to condemn a person, rather than guide them to God’s great love and show them love.

These are just a couple of ways that people lead a blind person down the wrong path. They are focusing on actions and sin, rather than on Jesus and love. While their heart may be trying to do right, they are doing harm.

As a believer, your first focus should be on Jesus and pointing people to Him. This focus should show the love, mercy and grace that Jesus has for you and everyone else. No person can follow every rule perfectly, otherwise, Jesus would never have had to come.

Every person needs that love, mercy and grace just as much as you needed it. Be careful not lead others down the wrong path while they are still blind. Do not be spiritually blind yourself. Jesus is the light, so show the light.

I pray today that you will know the light of Jesus; that you will not be spiritually blind; that God will open your spiritual eyes to see clearly; and that God will guide you in leading others correctly. 

Exodus 13:21 The Perfect GPS

map

By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light so that they could travel by day or night. Exodus 13:21

Traveling through an unknown area can be challenging. This becomes even more true when there is no direct road to take. The challenge becomes even much harder when there is no map to follow. Then a person must add on traveling through an area with very few people and no towns or cities. Traveling becomes almost impossible.

This is the type of traveling the Israelites had to go through when they left Egypt. They really didn’t know where they were going or how to get there.

Going through life is not a whole lot different then the Israelites traveling through the wilderness. No person really knows the path to take. There are too many different possibilities and too many different paths. At any moment the time to turn could come up. A person needs to be guided as to how to make it through this life.

Often people turn to others who have made the path to determine how to make it themselves. They seek advice from other people, which may be correct or incorrect. It may work or it may not.

God had chosen to lead the Israelites through the desert. He showed up as a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night. He let them know when to start moving and when to stop, when to turn and when to go straight. This occurred 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All they had to do was look up and know where to go next in their lives.

Things have not changed since the Israelites have left, except God no longer uses a pillar of cloud or fire to lead a person. As a believer you can have God’s Holy Spirit guide you through this life. He now lives in you and is with you to guide you through this life.

God is willing to show you the path to take that is the best path to take. He will never steer you wrong. At any moment in your life God will let you know when to move, stop, or make a turn.

All you need to do is allow Him to guide you. Is God your guide?

I pray today that you will know God’s Holy Spirit in your life; that you will listen to God’s guidance; that you will walk the path God has for you; and that you will follow God all the days of  your life. 

Jeremiah 23:1 Woe To The Bad Shepherds

“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 23:1

God was preparing to destroy Judah because of the sins of the people. He gave many warnings that it would happen. Even though this was God’s plan, there were many of the leaders of the temple that were trying to say something different. They had their own priests and prophets saying that God would bring about peace. They were also leading the people into the sin of following false gods. The people were being destroyed and scattered because of the way they were being led.

God gives them a warning that He would punish them for doing this. As He would destroy them, He would also bring out a remnant of the people, who they were leading wrong, to restore and build up again.

Shepherds are the ones who are supposed to lead the sheep to the best food and water. They are to protect them from the enemy. If the slack off on any of their duties, the sheep will scatter and be destroyed.

Ministers, preachers, and evangelists are always considered the shepherds or leaders of the people in the church. Although this is true, that does not mean that other people are not shepherds also. Many people, who are not preachers, also are leaders of other people. They are the ones who lead and guide some people in the walk in this life. Many are parents, while others are teachers, or mentors, or bosses of others.

People today are teaching or leading others down paths of sin that are against God. False teachings are being taught in the churches, as though it is God’s word. Prophecies are being made that God will overlook sinful acts, because of His great love. Prayers for God’s peace are being made, without a call to repentance from sin. Adultery, drunkenness, lying, cheating, gossiping, stealing, jealousy, hatred, oppression, racism, and many other sins are accepted in the church as acceptable. These are just a few ways of destroying and scattering God’s sheep. God will hold them accountable.

As a believer, you must correctly speak God’s word. Speak the truth in love at all times. Do not allow yourself to be guilty of destroying His sheep, because you spoke of God’s word in a false way. Seek God’s direction in His word as you live it and lead others with it.

I pray today that you will know God’s word in truth; that you will speak God’s word in truth; that you will not be guilty of leading others wrong; and that God will strengthen you to live in righteousness for Him.

Isaiah 24:21 Punishment Will Come

In that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below. Isaiah 24:21

In the previous chapters of Isaiah, he prophecies about the destruction or punishment of various nations around and including Israel. Some of the nations were to be totally destroyed, while others were left in existence, but under great destruction.

Now he prophecies of a time, that has yet to come, in which God will destroy the entire earth and all who do not follow Him will be punished. On this day, God will not only punish those on the earth, but also those in the heavens above–the demonic spiritual realm.

The humans listed for the punishment are the kings. These are the leaders of each of the nations. Some may think, “good, I’m not included in that punishment. It is only the leaders, and I am not a leader.”

Think about it. How can a leader be punished? By hurting his nation or his people. When the economy is hurting, the leader is hurting. When the people are being taken into captivity, the leader is hurting because he has no one to lead. When great disasters are occurring in his nation, he is hurting because it is costing his nation.

In the process of punishing a king, the people can feel the effect.

Along with that, every person is a leader to some amount or more. If you are married with children, you are a leader of your children and family. If you are a boss at a work place, you are a leader. If you have a younger brother or sister, you are a leader to them.

As a believer, you are to be a leader to new believers. God has called all believers to make disciples of all people in the world. That means you must lead them in what it means to follow Jesus–being a leader.

Do not live your life in a way in which God will have to punish you some day when Jesus returns. Lead the way in living for Jesus.

As you live for God, and spread the gospel message, the people of this world will be changed. This change will take place from the bottom level worker, all the way up to the king of the nation.

I pray today that you will live for God; that you will make disciples of all people; that you will lead others to Jesus; that God will not have to bring punishment upon you; and that you will know the salvation Jesus provides.