Matthew 24:9 You Will Be Hated

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. Matthew 24:9

Very few people like to be hated. Most people want to be liked. On every social media platform people strive to get more people to like and follow them. The more they get, the happier they are.

When a person is not liked or is directly hated, he will often wonder why it is that way. Most often people will think that there is something wrong with them, because they are hated.

Jesus gave a promise that in the end times, those who follow Him would be hated and persecuted.

Just as the world likes to be liked, many believers like to be liked. No one wants to be hated, so they will often do what it takes to be liked.

The sad part is that many believers will compromise their walk with God in order to be liked. They will choose to overlook sin. They will choose to participate in sin and even promote it. Many will water down the gospel message that people are to leave their life of sin and follow Jesus. Some will even say that there is more than one way to God.

When a believer is truly following hard after God, he will be hated by this world. Satan will paint a large target on him to try and destroy him.

Hatred and persecution will occur, no matter how nice of a person the believer is, because he goes against the ways and thoughts of this world. The believer does this because of Jesus. The world hates him because of what Jesus stands for.

Persecution is not a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’. Following Jesus will bring it on.

You may not have had to suffer persecution yet, but it will come if you fully follow Jesus and are vocal about it. Do not be surprised when it occurs. They persecuted Jesus and they will persecute you.

Count it a joy when they hate you because of your belief in Jesus, because then you know you are most likely doing what God wants. Do not seek to be liked by this fallen world. Seek to be loved by God and have God be pleased with who you are and what you are doing for Him. God loves you regardless, but wants you to live for Him.

Today I pray that you will live by God’s holy standards; that you will not seek to please this world; that you will be a true witness of Jesus; that God will strengthen you in times of hatred and persecution; and that you will remain true and pure before God.

Matthew 3:10 A Cutting Down And Removal

The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Matthew 3:10

People in the business world expect their workers to produce for them. Workers are expected to do their job to earn what they are getting paid for. At the time of hiring, workers are given a list of what is expected of them. If he does not produce, he is warned, trained and then will be fired if he does not have good results.

John gave the people a warning that the ax was ready to chop down any tree not producing good fruit.

Those who grow fruit trees always expect each tree planted to grow fruit. They work hard on ensuring the tree is getting the needed nutrients from the soil, plenty of water and sun. As it grows, they will also take time to trim back branches to keep it in control and producing the desired fruit.

If the tree does not produce any fruit, it is cut down and thrown away. A new tree will replace the unproducing one.

This same principle works in the lives of people with God. God is always seeking believers who will produce fruit–living by His holy standards and doing what He says to do. It is easy for a person to say he believes in Jesus, however, it is another thing to live it.

Many believers claim to live for God, but are not producing Godly fruit. They are living to please themselves and others in the world. God will cut these people off from His salvation, if they do not repent and produce good fruit in their lives. Just like a farmer does not want to have to cut down a tree, God will do it also, though it is not His first choice.

Examine your life to see if you are producing good fruit or bad fruit. Good fruit is the fruit of living a holy life before God and obeying His commands. Bad fruit is any thing that is against God’s commands and desires for your life.

As long as you have breath, there is hope in Jesus. You can repent for bad or no fruit and then begin to produce good fruit. Seek the Holy Spirit to guide you, use you and help you produce the fruit God seeks in your life.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be led by the Holy Spirit; that you will produce the fruit God is seeking; and that you will not give God a reason to cut you down.

Malachi 4:4 Remember The Commands

Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel. Malachi 4:4

Laws are always put in place for a reason. Every law has one of two purposes in its being enacted. One is to prevent someone from doing something, the other is to get someone to do something.

Most people accept the laws that have been given them and do not fight against them. In every group there are some who fight or ignore the laws, doing what they want. There are consequences to obeying and not obeying the laws that were given.

As God finishes the Old Testament, He reminds the people to remember the laws Moses had given.

At the point God had made this statement, He was going to become silent for about 400 years, until Jesus arrives on the scene. He wanted the people to remember the Law. This law was to guide them in how He wanted them to live their lives.

People are often quick to forget important things that they do not see as important. One of the greatest things a person must know is how to live for God. The believer in God will want to know how God wa

People are often quick to forget important things that they do not see as important. One of the greatest things a person must know is how to live for God. The believer in God will want to know what God expects of Him. God never left His people without some guidance.

However, for that guidance to be of any value, one must remember what it is and then apply it to his life. Every believer needs to live by God’s standards of living. Ignoring His laws will bring about death, following them will bring about an abundant life.

If you do not know the laws of God, you must take time to read the Bible to become familiar with them. As you do this, do not allow yourself how God has told you to live your life.

Obeying the laws of God will not save you, only believing in Jesus can do that. The obedience is accepting what Jesus has done and then living for God in gratefulness for what He did.

Do not allow yourself to forget or put aside God’s guidance and laws on how to live. It will only bring about death. Remember and live.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know and understand God’s commands; that you will obey God’s law for you; and that you will know the abundant life God has for you.

Zechariah 8:2 God Is Jealous For You

Handing a heart

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her.” Zechariah 8:2

Jealousy is something that is common among people. They are jealous of what someone else has and they want it for themselves. In these cases it is greed and selfishness, a sin.

People, in themselves, do not have a right to own or have anything. They just feel as if they have that right and often get upset when they don’t get it, while another person does.

God told Zechariah that He was burning with jealousy for Zion–Israel.

It was God who has created everything on this earth and in all of creation. Since He created everything it all belongs to Him. Israel had chosen to walk away and give themselves over to false gods, giving them worship. God was jealous of what the false gods were getting that was officially supposed to be His.

Even though centuries have past, the scene is not much different. People who had come to Jesus and began to change, changed again and have gone back to the false gods. Many believers have sold part of their lives away to following the false gods of this world–pride, position, greed, money, fame, sex, and more. These same people belong to God, but have chosen to walk away.

Just as God was jealous for Israel, He is jealous for those who are supposed to belong to Him. This not only includes those who had served Him and walked away, but also all other people on the earth. God loves and wants everyone to serve Him. He created everyone to be in fellowship with Him and He is jealous when they do not fellowship with Him.

God offers eternal life, whereas the world only offers eternal death.

You must realize how much God loves you and that it is He who created you and has the rights to you. You belong to God, regardless of where you are in this life.

God loves you so much, that He is jealous for you when you choose to follow the gods of this world and not Him. He will do what it takes to get you back, to pull you out of the clutches of the sin of this world.

Choose today to serve God alone. Choose to make God your only God, so that He does not have to be jealous for you and chase after you.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will make God your only God; that you will worship God alone; and that you will serve God with all of your life. 

Zechariah 5:3 Getting Banished

Encases scroll

And he said to me, “This is a the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished.” Zechariah 5:3 

Two things that are very common nearly everywhere a person goes are theft and false swearing, or making false promises. Most people will never claim that they do either of these, yet both are done by most people to some degree or more.

The common view is that if one is not caught, it is acceptable, even though most do not agree with it.

God showed Zechariah a vision of a scroll flying across the land. It would curse and banish those who were thieves and those who made false promises.

While most believers will state that they do not steal, it is common for many to not give their full effort when at work. They cut corners and do as little as possible. This is stealing from their employer.

Many will also say that they do not make false promises. Yet, they make promises to follow God all the time, and then turn back to sin. Others will also promise to do the job correctly, but then cut corners in the work, breaking their promise.

God is against theft and false promises. He is one who always keeps every promise and does not take what is not His. He also expects those who follow Him to live in the same way.

Israel was destroyed for a time because of theft and false promises. God will also judge today in the same way. He has mercy for those who repent and turn from these ways, but will banish those who refuse to repent and change.

You must take a look at your own life and see where your actions are. Only you and God can know if you are taking things that do not belong to you or if you are making false promises.

Turn from those ways and live as Jesus lived, in truth and honesty. Do not live in a way that God will have to banish you. Do not live as many in this world live and accept as good. Be separate from the ways of this world.

Will God have to banish you? Or are you being accepted into His kingdom?

I pray today that you will live by God’s standards; that God will help you to fulfill all of your promises; that you will trust God for all of your needs; and that you will be a witness for Jesus.