John 3:17 Not To Condemn

Stone Condemnation.jpg

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17

Condemnation is something that runs very high in this world. It occurs regardless of whether a person is a believer or not. People blame others for what happens and condemns their actions.

People are quick to look at the Old Testament laws and how some required death. Then they apply that to the entire Bible and are quick to condemn other people. Or non-believers will believe that all the Bible does is condemn them.

Believers will often read the bible and grab onto teachings against sin, then they will point out those sins in the lives of others. When they see those sins, they are fast to condemn a person as a non-believer and going to hell. They focus on speaking against the sin, rather than pointing out God’s willingness to forgive and showing His great love.

While it is true that a person who does not believe in or follow Jesus is on a path to hell, Jesus never went around condemning people to hell. His entire purpose of His life and ministry was to save people. He wanted to point out what God has done for them. The only people Jesus was harsh with, were the people who claimed to be believers in God, yet did not follow Him and even fought against Him.

If a believer just points out sin and that a person is going to hell, but never points to Jesus and His love, there will be little expectation that the non-believer will ever change. There is no love to draw him to Jesus.

The only time Jesus is going to do condemnation is when He returns to wipe out all sin for all time. At that point people who do not follow Him will be condemned for all eternity. Until then, His focus is to seek and save the lost. God wants every person to be saved.

When you are speaking to others, you need to be like Jesus. Put away all condemnation. Point out God’s great love and mercy. Present Jesus to the people so that they can be saved.

Allow God to choose when and how a person is condemned. You do the work of bringing people to Jesus to be saved.

How many can be saved through your testimony of love?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for the lost; that you will not speak condemnation on anyone; that you will present God’s love and mercy to this world; and that many will know Jesus through your words and actions.

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Ezekiel 11:13 Weeping For Others

Now as I was prophesying, Pelatiah son of Benaiah died. Then I fell facedown and cried out in a loud voice, “Alas, Sovereign LORD! Will you completely destroy the remnant of Israel?” Ezekiel 11:13

God was giving Ezekiel visions of what was coming to the nation of Israel. There was going to be judgment upon the people for the sins that they had committed against God. As he was seeing these visions, some started dying. Ezekiel then saw that the nation would go through extreme punishment and he wondered if God would completely destroy everyone. He cries out to God for mercy upon the people.

There are times when one can look at some of the destruction that is occurring in the world because of sin. People are being killed on a regular basis. Families are being pulled apart. Nations are being split up. The destruction is real.

In the middle of watching all of the world going through destruction, one can also see the destruction of churches. There are people in churches that are being destroyed by sin. This is not just persecution, but destruction because of personal sins in their lives.

Various churches are following the ways of the world and claiming to know God. In the process of doing this, they are bringing down people who want to know God and serve God. There are many who are in these churches that are striving hard to live for God, but are feeling the punishment upon the church because of the sins of others.

Many in the church see these things and just state that they had it coming because of sin. There is no sorrow for what is happening, only judgment.

Ezekiel cried out to God for those few who still believed in God and served Him. Rather than call down judgment upon the people, you must cry out as Ezekiel did for God’s mercy. Pray that God will spare the remnant who are striving to serve Him from the judgment against others.

As a believer, you must be a part of the remnant who will serve God with all of their hearts. Seek to know and understand God’s heart for His people. Call upon God to preserve the remnant and not destroy everyone. As you do this, be the light to others as to how God wants all to live.

I pray today that the remnant of God’s people will be spared of destruction; that all those who claim to believe in Jesus will live for Him; that you will have the heart of God for others; and that you will be a shining light of Jesus to those who are mislead. 

 

Isaiah 4:6 Shelter And Refuge

It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain. Isaiah 4:6

Despite the fact that God was in the process of destroying Judah and Jerusalem, He had plans already in store to build it up again. God was going build a shelter over Mount Zion–Jerusalem. In the manner of protection that God gave Moses and the Israelites in the desert, He would be a cloud by day and a flame of fire during the night.

At times, clouds can seem like a bad thing. They tend to indicate rain or storms, and they block the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Yet, they can be a blessing in blocking out the heat of the sun. Knowing that rain is coming can be a blessing for the farmer.

In the same way, a flame of fire can appear sometimes as a bad thing. Seeing flames in a field or on a home is usually a bad thing to be occurring. Yet, flames will also provide warmth. In the night, the flame can keep the wild animals away while one is camping. Burning a field, can often remove the unwanted weeds, diseased plants and cut back the bugs, all of which can be a blessing.

God is over your life both day and night. He provides shelter and refuge for you to dwell in. When you are in His presence, nothing can do anything to you without His permission.

The world is going to try hard to get you to fall and give up on God. The world does not want you to succeed as you follow Jesus. Satan does not want you to be a good witness of who Jesus is.

Yet, God will put a hedge of protection around you that will shelter you in the heat of the day. When the world is putting pressure on you to commit a sin, you can run to God for shelter. When the world is threatening you in the dark to harm you, you can flee to God for refuge.

God will never leave you out in the cold to be destroyed. He is there for you, to take care of you and provide for all of your needs. Trust Him and do what He asks of you and see His great hand of love and mercy.

I pray today that you will know God’s protection in your life; that you will run to God for shelter; that you will know God’s peace in the storm; and that you will not give in to the ways of this world.

Proverbs 28:13 Hiding Sin

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13

It is easy for people to believe that something that is not seen cannot harm them or have an effect on them. They often try to keep things hidden from other people. Things that are hidden are things that they know are wrong in reality.

It is seldom physical things that are kept hidden, but things that are done. Personal sins that people do and do not want anyone else to know about. Many sins are done in the dark or at night. Think about when bars and nightclubs are open, and what the lighting is like in those places. People do not want their sins seen, yet the danger is still there.

In the body, a cancer cell is extremely small and cannot be seen by the naked eye. Yet, let alone to grow, it can destroy the entire body and cause death. In the same way, a sin, no mater how little, can grow and destroy the body and cause death.

Solomon says that the person who conceals or hides his sin will not prosper. There are two ways to look at what it means to prosper. One is financially, the other is spiritually.

When you hide a sin in your life, you may or may not prosper financially. There are many people in this world who live in open sin that are financially very prosperous.

However, as you hide a sin in your life, you will not prosper spiritually. You are sinning against God and He sees it.

The first thing that you must do is confess the sin. This is to openly admit that you are sinning and what that sin is. At a minimum, you must confess this to God, then confess to others who may be hurt by it.

Then comes the important part–to renounce the sin. You must turn away from that sin and no longer do it. If you continue to do that sin, you have not done anything different.

Once you renounce it, God will forgive you of that sin. God is rich in love and mercy and wants to forgive you of all sin. Do not try to hide it from Him, confess, renounce and find mercy today.

I pray today that God will reveal any hidden sin in your life; that you will confess all sin to God; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin; and that you will know God’s love and mercy in your life.

Proverbs 25:21-22 How To Treat Your Enemy

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you. Proverbs 25:21-22

It is commonly thought that when an enemy does something wrong, the first thing that should be done is to strike back and make the enemy pay for the wrong that was done. The striking back is seen as a punishment. It can be just words, or a physical strike, or some other correction. Today many will take someone to court and get them put in jail or made to pay a fine or some law suit. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth is the mentality of many people.

The idea of the “punishment” is to make the person hurt a little for what he did. Causing pain in some way, is supposed to detour the person from ever doing it again. In this process of punishing the wrong-doers, prisons have been filled to overflowing with those who have done wrong, wars have been waged between nations or groups of people, and millions of innocent people have been hurt.

God has a different plan on how to deal with the enemy. Since you are not God, you do not have the full right to punish the enemy. You are to be like Jesus. He fed the enemy and gave the enemy water to drink. Do you think that every person who ate in the group of 5,000, fully loved and followed Him for who He was? Most likely not.

Solomon says treating an enemy with food and water will heap burning coals on his head. When shown the true love and mercy of God, the person doing wrong will feel the pressure to change. He will realize the wrong that he has been doing.

As a believer, you are to be set apart from the world. You are to be different from the world. The world wants revenge, you must show love and mercy.

When someone has done something wrong to you, the best thing you can do is meet their needs the best way you can. Since their needs were not being met, maybe that is why they treated you wrong.

When you do these kind things, God will see and reward you. His reward will be greater than any person on this earth could give you.

How are you treating your enemies today?

I pray today that you will be filled with God’s love for all; that God will strengthen you to do right to your enemy; and that God will reward you for your love and mercy on others.