Romans 1:8 What Is Being Reported?

Faith In God

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. Romans 1:8

Right after Paul opens his letter to the Romans, he says that he thanks God for them. Wherever he is going, he is hearing good reports about the church in Rome. They were being reported as being full of faith in God.

People love to talk about other people. No matter who a person is, there is usually someone who will talk about that person. The thing that people talk about is what makes the person different or what that person is doing that is out of the ordinary.

At times there is big news about a person who helps the poor out or gives out millions of dollars to a charity. While this does happen, it is not a common piece of news to hear about.

What is more common is hearing about what a person is doing wrong. When a celebrity gets in trouble or does something wrong, it is big news. When a politician makes an unwelcome decision, it is big news. When a co-worker or neighbor is in trouble, it is big news.

While it may not make headline news, each person is talked about by someone else a lot. People in the church will talk about others in the church–how a person is living for God or not living for God.

The real question comes down to what are people saying about an individual. Are they talking more about something good or something negative?

The best thing that people can talk about, when talking about a believer, is how much faith he has in God. This shows the world how much a person is really believing in God. It puts reality to his words, if he is living a life of faith in God. It is different and people will talk.

When other people see you, what do they see? Whatever they see is what they will talk about. They will report what they are seeing in your life and actions. Your words and actions must match up.

A person who has faith in God will stand out as very different in this world, even inside the church, thus people will talk and spread the report.

Can people report that they see you have faith in God?

Or are you just like everyone else?

I pray today that you will have faith in God; that you will live a life of faith in God; that the world will report of your faith in God; and that many will know of Jesus because of you.

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Matthew 22:11-13 Wearing The Right Clothes

Matthew 22_13

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ” Matthew 22:11-13

Jesus told a parable of what the kingdom of heaven is like. The story was of a king putting on a great wedding. Many people refused to come, so he invited those on the streets to come. One man was there who did not have wedding clothes on, so the king had him thrown out.

Wearing the right clothing in very important for many jobs. Many jobs have a uniform for their employees to wear. Others just require certain types of clothing. Working in construction requires a hard hat and steel toed boots. Working in an office or school will require casual business clothing. While working in doing lawn mowing, may not require anything specific.

This type of thing is expected and accepted by most people. Very few people would argue against the required clothing.

Yet, many people argue against the clothing required to get into heaven. In order for a person to get into heaven, he must be clothed with the correct clothing. One must be clothed with the righteousness and holiness of Jesus.

It is commonly thought that anyone who claims to believe in God will get into heaven or that there are many ways to get into heaven. With these types of thoughts it means that there is no standard to get into heaven. A person can live anyway he wants and still get in. One does not have to give up sin, in order to get into heaven.

Jesus never taught that type of teaching. Jesus came to get rid of all your sin. You must put on His righteousness and live for Him. If you live with the clothing of  this world wrapped around you, God will not see Jesus in you and you will be rejected for getting into heaven.

When God or this world sees you, they should see Jesus in you. You should be clothed with Him, not with the things of this world and yourself. Put on the right clothing so that you may get into heaven.

I pray today that you will know the salvation of Jesus; that you will cloth yourself with His righteousness; that you will live differently than the world; and that the world will see Jesus in you.

Malachi 4:1-2 A Day Of Death & Rejoicing

“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the LORD Almighty. “Not a root or branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.” Malachi 4:1-2

As Malachi finishes his book and the end of the Old Testament comes, he talks of a day that is in the coming. It will be a day when God places a final judgment upon all people. Those who are wicked and refuse to follow Him will be destroyed in fire, with nothing left. Those who revere Him will have a time of rejoicing and healing.

In the day-to-day living of most people, there is not a lot of hope. There is pain, sickness, death, despair and no real life to live. Those who do not know Jesus Christ have no real hope or purpose in this world. What they do not know is that God will have a day of punishment for them. There will come a day in which they will be destroyed, along with Satan, in a lake of fire, cast out of God’s presence for the rest of eternity.

Those who know Jesus Christ and are following Him, revering God’s name will have a different thing to look forward to. Today there is pain, sickness and trouble for everyone, but there will be a day of redemption. The day that Jesus returns and judges the world, will be a day of rejoicing for all believers.

On that day all sickness and death will be removed. There will be no more pain and suffering. When that occurs, every believer will be jumping around and frolicking like a well-fed calf. There will be a lot to rejoice over.

As a believer all sickness and trouble will be gone. Holding onto the faith in Jesus will be rewarded. All the striving to follow after God with all of your heart will be rewarded beyond your greatest dreams. It will be worth everything that you had to go through in this challenging life.

Look at your own life and see what you can expect when Jesus returns. Are you revering God’s name? Or are you rejecting Him?

I pray today that you will know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior; that you will live for God in every area of your life; that Jesus will bring a reward for you when He returns; and that you will be a witness to the world of what Jesus has done and will do.

Zechariah 5:4 Thieves And False Swearing

The LORD Almighty declares, ‘I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of anyone who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in that house and destroy it completely, both its timbers and its stones.’ Zechariah 5:4

Zechariah had been given a vision by God of a large flying scroll. The scroll had a curse written on both sides of it. One was against all thieves and the other was against those who swore falsely by God’s name. It was to go into the houses of these people and remain there until the house was completely destroyed.

It is common for people to be upset about others who are thieves. Very few people have room for someone who is a thief. It is expected that thieves are to be punished.

While this is true, there are many people who are living as thieves. They may not be stealing physical things from other people, but they are stealing from God. He has given them blessings to be used for others and they use them for their own personal gain. They refuse to give generously in offerings and tithes. They steal time to spend with Him for their own personal entertainment.

The other curse was against those who swear falsely by God’s name. It is easy for a person to claim a belief in God, but it is another thing to live by His name. People claim to live for God, yet refuse to read His word, follow His commands, or be His witness. Others also claim things, as though they are true of God, that go against His word. When this happens, they are swearing falsely by His name.

As a believer, you need to continually examine your life, what you say or do. Are you stealing things from God? This could be done on purpose or by accident, but it is still stealing. How much time are you taking from God?

You claim to be a believer, then you must ask yourself if you are really living like a disciple of Jesus. Are you striving to be more like Jesus everyday? Or are you falsely swearing allegiance to God and living your own way?

Make God the center of your life. Live in every way possible for God, in everything you say and do. May God not be able to accuse you of being a thief or falsely swearing in His name.

I pray today that you God will reveal to you ways you may be stealing from Him; that God will show ways you may be falsely swearing in His name; and that you will be more like Jesus everyday.

Daniel 5:26-27 Found Wanting

“Here is what these words mean: MENE: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. TEKEL: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.” Daniel 5:26-27

Belshazzar was king of Babylon and his kingdom was prospering very well. However, unlike Nebuchadnezzar, he did not honor or follow God at all. He worshipped various idols and used articles from the temple to party with.

One day while he and all his officials were having a party, God made a hand visible that wrote some words on the wall. No one was able to understand what those words meant, until Daniel was called. He stated that God said that Belshazzar’s days were numbered as a king and that he had been found wanting. Later that night he would be killed and Babylon would be over taken by the Medes.

Many people have gone to a store to purchase an item and use their debit card to pay for it. When the cashier runs the card, it comes up short on funds in the account. The person is found wanting more money than what he has. It can be embarrassing to the person, because he is short on money.

Millions of people today are living their lives in their own way. Often going to church and claiming to be a believer. Yet, they do not have a relationship with Jesus and are not living for Him in any way. The only thing that they do is go to church. During the week, they never read the Bible, witness, or even pray. The only thing that they do is live a “good” life by not living in extreme sins and by going to church.

When Jesus returns or when He calls those people home, they will be found wanting. Jesus will turn them away for never knowing them. They will be needing the salvation that He provides, but will not have it. The reality of their life will be exposed.

As you are going through this life, you must live your life in a way that you will not be found wanting when you stand before God. Put all of your trust in Jesus and live for Him. Show your love for Him by obeying Him. If you live your life your own way, you will be found wanting and lose in the end.

How do the scales weigh you today?

I pray today that you will know Jesus in a personal way; that you will live for God; that God will be able to speak well of you; and that you will trust God with all of your life.

Ezekiel 33:32 Nothing More Than A Nice Voice

Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice. Ezekiel 33:32

The call upon Ezekiel to be a watchman was renewed by God. He was to warn the people of coming judgment and to strive to get the people to turn back to God. Even though Ezekiel was doing what God wanted him to do, many of the people saw him as just another person. They heard the words Ezekiel was speaking and thought that they sounded good, but did nothing more.

Each week churches around the nation and the world are filled with many people who claim to be serving and loving God. Many of those churches have pastors who are speaking the words of God correctly.  The people hear the word of God that the pastors present and think that it was a great sermon. Some may shout out ‘Amen!’ as the pastor speaks. Many will talk about how great a speaker their pastor is. However, many will stop right there and nothing more happens.

People can hear about God’s love and about all of His commands, but if they do nothing with it, the words mean nothing. Going to church and hearing a sermon is just a routine for many people, something that they must do to look good for God.

Just hearing God’s word is not enough, putting the words of God into practice is what needs to happen.

The Bible is filled with many beautiful stories about God’s love. It is also filled with many stories of God’s judgment. It is a great book to read or hear about, but it is so much more than just stories. It is what points a person to life and shows a person how to live life.

Each time you hear God’s word, whether in a sermon, a song, podcast, blog, reading the Bible, or any other method, what do you do with it?

If all  you do is think it is a good word, than it is worthless to  you. Apply the word of God to your life and live by it. They are the words that bring about life with God.

Do not be like the people of Israel and think it is just a nice voice or a good story.

I pray today that you will know God’s word for your life; that you will apply all the words of God to your life; that you will speak the words of God to others; and that you will put into practice all the commands of God. 

Ezekiel 18:23 What Pleases God

Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? Ezekiel 18:23

The question had been raised asking if a son will die for the sins of the father, and God answered no. He states that a person will die for his own sins, and that is regardless of how he lived prior to those sins. Along with that, God said that if a person had lived a sinful life, then changed his ways, he would live and not die because of the past sins. God does not look forward to someone dying in sin, but that they will change their ways and live.

Looking out on the world, there are many different types of people. When people read or hear about someone who has done a great crime against many people, they often want justice done and see the person destroyed. They do not see any hope for that person at all.

It can even happen in the small town, where a person knows someone who has been living a very bad lifestyle and it there seems to be no hope for him. People do not believe that he will ever be able to accept Christ and change.

On the other side, people see someone who is a great looking Christian, with a large ministry, fall away from God into some sinful lifestyle. Some people feel that God should still save him because of what he had done in his past.

God looks at the current situation of the heart of a man. God’s greatest desire is that every person will change their ways and follow Him, regardless of how bad or how good they were in the past. Jesus does not want anyone to perish.

Often Christians will condemn a person and never have hope that he will change. Or they do not believe it when he does start to change and serve God.

When  you see a person, you must have hope that God will touch his heart and he will change. If someone who has served God falls away,  your heart must also break with God’s, and pray that he returns.

Have the heart of God in being pleased when a person repents and turns to Him, do not doubt or get angry when a person is given life.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for people; that you will be pleased as God when a person turns to Him; that you will weep as God does when a person turns from Him; and that you will seek to tell all about Jesus.