Psalm 129:4 Cut Free

But the LORD is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked. Psalm 129:4

No one likes to be bound up in chains or handcuffs. They want to have their freedom to live life as they desire. Most people feel that they are free in this world to live their own lives. There are some countries where that freedom is not really felt as much, but most still feel that way.

The reality is that most people are bound up in the chains of this world. The world holds many people back from really living life to the fullest and best possible.

These chains are the chains of fear, ridicule, persecution, and shame. The world tries to tell a person that if he believes in God, he is ridiculous and crazy. Following God is being narrow-minded and often seen as bigoted and unloving.

When a person starts to believe these things, he begins to fear the world and chooses to stay far from God. In doing so, he has allowed the world to put chains on him. His hands, feet, and heart are bound up in chains that he, alone, cannot break.

Living like this keeps a person from living the life God has for him. He begins to live life as the world tells him to live, a life apart from God. This life is a life of death. It is on the path to destruction for all eternity.

Many believers fall into this trap. They are caught up in legalistic obedience to God. They do not have the loving relationship with God that God desires. They are bound up in chains that other “believers” have put on them.

God saw your inability to break those chains and did something about it. God had broken all these chains when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.

Jesus chose to set you free so that you may live your life for Him. In living for God, you will be living a full and abundant life. There will be joy and satisfaction that cannot be found in the ways of this world.

Are you allowing Jesus to break those chains in your life?

Or are you allowing the world to keep you chained up?

I pray today that you will allow God to set you free; that you will live for Jesus; that you will not seek the ways of this world; that you will not be deceived by this world; and that you will live an abundant life for God.

Psalm 53:3 No One Is Good

Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Psalm 53:3

People in churches often have a few point of “us” and “them.” Those in the church and those not in the church. Those who are not in the church are often seen as vile, corrupt sinful people on the wrong path in life. Many look down on them as very bad.

There is truth in what is believed by many. Without the forgiveness of Jesus, every person is corrupt and not doing good.

As people look at others in this way, they often forget who they are or who they were. Paul had said that everyone has sinned and fall short of God’s glory. This is not just about those who are in the world, it is about every person in this world, both Christian and non-Christian.

Every time a believer chooses to disobey God, he becomes corrupt and falls short of God’s glory. Disobedience comes in the form of direct sin–against one of the rules of God. Or it can come in the form of not doing something God called the person to do.

Most believers in the church have no problem believing that doing something God has ruled as sin is sinful. However, many forget that not doing something God has asked them to do is also sin.

If God stirs the heart of a person to tell someone about Jesus, and that person does not do it, he has sinned against God. All disobedience to God is sin. All sin is disobedience against God.

Without God no one can do any good at all. Many in the church try to believe they are good, but are refusing to be the witness God has called them to be.

For each person it may be different. God calls each person to a different path and job to do.

What is God calling you to do today, not yesterday or tomorrow, but today?

Now, the real question is, are you doing it?

If you are not doing what God has called you to do, you have turned away and have become corrupt…again. Turn to God and follow Him. Do the good works He has planned for you to do. Do not be like the world.

I pray today that you will know God’s plans for you; that you will do what God has for you to do; that you will not turn from God; and that God will keep you from being corrupt in your life.

Psalm 14:3 No One Does Good

All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Psalm 14:3

Again, David is crying out to God about the corruption of the people. As he looks around, He does not see anyone serving God or doing any good. The world had become corrupt and full of sin.

Times have not changed since David was on alive several thousand years ago. Everywhere a person looks, it appears as though a sinful lifestyle is the way to live. Sin is promoted in every way imaginable.

The challenge for believers is to also realize that sin is at work in their own personal lives. No one is really any different from any other person. There are some in the church who look at certain sinful lifestyles and call those sins ‘greater’ sins than others. Or they will condemn those living in those ways, while, they, themselves are living in a sin.

It is easy for people to forget that taking a pen at work that is not theirs, or gossiping, or breaking a promise are all sins. Those sins are no different from the sin of a person who just murdered someone, or practices witchcraft, or lives in an alternate lifestyle.

The reality of it all is as David said and Paul repeated, several thousand years later: everyone has sinned and do not do any good. Everyone continues to sin against God.

The real difference between the world and a believer, is that the believer has been forgiven and is striving to live for God. You must be trying to live for God, despite all of your faults and failures.

As a believer, you must always be becoming a little more like Jesus in your life. You must work to do the right and good thing all the time. If you stay the same, you never change. If you never change, you are just like the world.

Do not be like the world. And do not just sit and condemn the world as though you are better than them. Be the one who will be a witness of who Jesus is and what He has done in your life. Show His great love to those in this world.

Today I pray that you will know the forgiveness Jesus offers you; that you will see all sin as sin against God; that you will turn from every sin in your life; and that you will tell others of what Jesus  has done for them.

Job 31:4 God Sees All

Does he not see my ways and count my every step? Job 31:4

Job is defending himself against the accusations that he did something wrong to bring on the wrath and punishment of God. He begins his defense by asking the question of whether or not God does actually see everything he does. In the following verses, Job asks them detailed questions on whether he is guilty or not of many different specific sins or wrong-doings. He also adds in that list that if he is guilty, then God may punish him according to the sins done.

The majority of people in the world do not believe that God even exists. Since there is no God, there can be no sin. Since there is no sin, there can be nothing done wrong. It is doing what is right in their own eyes.

With the world, living in this way is understandable and acceptable, however, no believer should be living like that.

In the church, there are many believers who do live like there is no God or that He is not really watching them. They are willing to gossip, cheat, lie, lust, look at porn, steal, and many other sinful acts. As they do it, they feel that God is not watching or does not care. Others do it with them mind-set that afterwards they can repent of the sin.

God is watching. And no one is guaranteed the next moment. With no guarantee of the next moment, the person may not have time to repent. Living in that way is purposefully living in sin and the heart is turning cold and against God, refusing the work of Jesus in their lives to transform them into a new creation.

Take a look at your own life. Would you be willing to ask anyone and everyone if they have ever seen you do anything wrong? If you did ask what would their report about your life be?

Then, even more importantly, would you be willing to ask that same question of God?

What would God’s report about you say?

Keep it always at the front of your mind that God is watching you. Do not live in fear of God, but out of love for Jesus do what is right at all times. God is watching and is seeing everything you think, say or do.

I pray today that you will live your life for Jesus; that you will live the holy life God has called you to; that you will know God sees everything; and that you will be a true witness of who Jesus is.

Job 17:9 Holding On

Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger. Job 17:9

Job just stated that God had made him a byword or one who is talked about by everyone. People looked at him and wondered what went wrong or what he was doing wrong to bring on God’s punishment. He now points out that the righteous will hold their ways and grow stronger.

When a person starts going through a very tough time, the rumor mill starts running. This is especially true for believers who begin to go through a time of major troubles. People begin to wonder what the person did to deserve that suffering or why God is abandoning that person.

As this type of action occurs it is very difficult for many people to continue living for God and doing the right things. Many will start to question how they are living and what they have been doing. They will start to believe that they have missed God’s will for their life.

During times like this, there are some who will change their ways. Some will choose to walk away from God, because they begin to believe that it was wrong all along or does not really matter. Others will just live in question as to whether they are on the right path in life or not.

One who is a true believer in Jesus will not question himself or God. He will know that following Jesus is the only way to live. He will know that living for God is right. He will not give in to the pressure to change or walk away from God.

Those who stay true to God, will be strengthened. The temptations to sin against God will be lowered because of their resolve to stay true to God. Their witness of God’s love and power will be shown in their life. Others will be able to see the power of God at work in their life.

You may be going through one of these difficult times right now, if not, you will most likely go through one some day. As you go through it, resolve to stay true to God and hold on. Do not give up on God. Do not walk away from what you know to be true about God. Live for God and you will be made stronger in the end by God.

I pray today that God will strengthen you by His Holy Spirit; that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will know that you are in God’s will; and that you will be a true witness for Jesus as you hold on and not give up.

Esther 3:8 No Toleration

Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces among the peoples of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the kings best interest to tolerate them.” Esther 3:8

King Xerxes had chosen to raise Haman up into a higher position of honor among the royal officials. It was ruled that all the other officials must bow down in honor of Haman, when in his presence. Mordecai, an Israelite, refused to bow down to Haman, making him very angry. Haman then went to the king about a group of people who were defiant and refusing to follow his rules. He wanted a way to destroy those people, even though it was only one person who appeared to be defiant with him.

Standing up for something different from the normal flow of things makes a person defiant and a type of rebel. Most people do not like someone who stands out differently than themselves. As a whole most want everyone to live in conformity to everyone else. They want unity among everyone. There is no tolerance for those who live a different life.

Believers stand out as different. Every believer is a stranger in this world. They are to live by a different set of rules. These rules are those of God. The rules are made to love and honor God first, and then love every person. Any thing less than this is not acceptable to a believer.

The world does not like that type of living. Those in the world want to be honored first over God or anyone else. When they are not honored, the world will find ways to make the Christian look bad and defiant, refusing to be obedient. This has been seen in America with rules against speaking against various sinful lifestyles.

You have to be willing to stand for God first and foremost in your life. Live the life God is calling you to live. You are different. You are to be defiant against living in sin. You are to be a rebel against doing things against God. As the world is not tolerant of believers, you must not be tolerant with sin in your life.

What are you tolerant of today?

I pray today that God will strengthen you to live for Him; that you will not fear the world’s rules; that you will be separate to God alone; and that the world will see you as a believer in Jesus.

Esther 2:17 Unexpected Favor

Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Esther 2:17

While the Israelites were still captives in Babylon, King Xerxes had become upset with his wife, queen and had her removed. He had to find another lady to take her place. The king opened it up to all the virgins in the land. Esther was an Israelite who had prepared herself for the position. She had won his heart and was made queen, though Xerxes did not know that she was a captive.

Esther had been brought up by Mordecai, her cousin. He was a strong believer in God and brought her up believing in God. She was brought up with the correct morals and character that was honorable. Esther lived her life in obedience to those over her and was willing to honor those above her. These characteristics made her stand out. She was not out to build herself up and fight for a position.

Many in this world strive hard to stand out and make themselves someone important. They want the best positions and connections. Often many will cut others down, pointing out their flaws in order to look better themselves. Esther did not do any of those things.

As a believer, you are also to live your life for God. When you live your life for God, you will stand out as someone different. Some of those differences are: that you can be trusted, you are honorable, you are faithful, you are truthful, and you real, among many other characteristics.

Even the world recognizes these characteristics as being good, though very few follow them. As with Esther, you can receive unexpected favor . Because Esther was a captive foreigner, she should never have been made queen. She was made queen because of her beauty, both physical and character.

How does your life look to others?

Is it one filled with beauty that comes from the inside?

Or is it only external beauty?

Live as Jesus did, and there will be times you will receive unexpected honor. God can and will move you into places of honor when you are living for Him.

I pray today that you will serve God with all of your life; that you will live as Jesus did; that you will bring honor to God’s name; that God will use you in great ways; and that you will trust God with all of your heart.