Psalm 2:1 All In Vain

Chess board

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? Psalm 2:1 

Wars and battles occur all the time, all over the world. Some are with physical weapons, while many are with just words. People are constantly plotting to overcome someone or something.

Groups of people can be found everywhere who are striving to win some agenda. They are focused on getting their way, regardless of what anyone else thinks or does. Most of these groups do it in a civilized manner, following the rules of the land, however, there are many that do not care about the laws. These groups often take the law into their own hand or try to overcome the government.

Some groups are small and raise a small squabble, but are so small they are no real threat to anyone. Others are a very large and powerful organization to be reckoned with.

The Psalmist opens this psalm with the question of why nations and people plot in vain. This is a good question to ask.

All over the world there are groups that are against God and Christianity. They hate Christians and plot against God with everything in them. They see Christians as a threat to their way of living and so need to strive to destroy them. They are just following Satan and his agenda.

There are also some believers who fight against God’s will for their lives. They refuse to do what He asks of them and try to run the other direction. This could be in any area of their life, minor or major.

Those who fight against God are fighting a losing war. In the end Jesus will win the war and all sin will be destroyed for eternity and all who refuse to follow Him. So it is pointless to fight against God. It is all in vain.

You may have some areas of life that you are refusing to give to God. So you are fighting against God. Trust God and give every area of your life to Him. He knows what is best and will win in the end.

In the end you will either be on His side or against Him. If you are against Him, you will lose and spend eternity in hell separated from God forever.

The best thing to do is follow God and all His commands. As you follow and trust in Jesus, you will win in the end. You may lose a battle, but the war has already been won.

I pray today that you will know the salvation that Jesus provides; that you will trust God with every area of your life; that you will not fight against God; and that your life will be a witness of God and His power.

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1 Chronicles 16:8 Tell The World

Telling others

Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 1 Chronicles 16:8 

Watching or listening to the news is a very common thing for people to do. They want to know what is happening in their city, state, nation and world. The television and internet is filled with hundreds of different sources for news.

Some news is focused on world news, while others are just local. Yet, even other news can be personal news. Facebook is filled with personal news about what is happening in a person’s life.

People get excited to talk about the good things that are happening in their life. They will also talk about the negative things that are occurring. Either way, people love to talk about what is happening and want to know what is happening in the lives of other people.

As David had the priests set up the ark of the covenant for worship, he told the people to being to give praise to God. In the process of giving that praise, they were also to tell the world what God has done for them. God had established them and made His presence among them.

Every believer has something to talk about. They have a news that is greater than any other news ever given. As soon as one becomes a believer, he has the message that he was a dead man, sentenced to die, but has been forgiven, set free and given eternal life. That is just the minimum of what God has done for the believer.

Each day believers can talk about how God has given them another day, the joy God has given them, the strength He has given, and all other provisions He has given. The world needs to know these things. They want to see what God has done and how it has changed a person.

God has done the same things for you and probably much more. Think about all the things God has done for you in your life. Now you must go and tell the world that news.

If the world can freely share all the bad news around the clock, you can share the best news ever around the clock. Someone out there is waiting to hear what you have to say about Jesus.

Take the time today to proclaim the name of Jesus and tell what He has done and is doing in your life with someone.

I pray today that you will know what God has done for you; that you will tell others what God has done; that you will not be ashamed of Jesus; and that many will believe in Jesus because of your story. 

Joel 3:14 The Valley Of Decision

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. Joel 3:14

Joel is telling the people that God is getting ready to pour out judgment against the nations. The nations that crushed Israel will have to pay for their sins. The destruction of the nations will be great and it will be a time of great turmoil. Many will be in a place of making  decision. They will have to choose who they will follow–God or some idol.

Every day people have to make decisions. Billions of decisions are made daily in every nation around the world. Some decisions are made after a lot of careful thinking, while others are made by instinct or experience, using very little thought.

When a person walks into a dark room at night, it takes very little to decide to turn on the light in order to see. As a person drives down the road, it takes very little to decide to stay on his own side of the road.

Other decision such as what to wear to work, planning a meal for the family, which movie to go watch, and what to do on a day off from work take a little more thought in making the decision.

More challenging decisions that require a lot of thought and planning are some such as choosing whether to move or not, which job to accept to work at, how much money can be spent and how much should be saved, and whether to get married to someone or not.

Life is full of decisions. One that every person must make is whether to follow Jesus or not in their life. Right now, for many, that does not seem to be an important, pressing choice to make. However, the day of the Lord is near and it needs to be made.

You do not know if you have tomorrow, or even the next second to live. You have to make the choice now as to whether you will follow Jesus or not. As you go through your day, you will be offered choices to sin against God or to follow Him. Only you can make that choice. And that choice has to be made over and over again and again.

You are in a valley of decision.

What are you going to decide today? Follow or reject?

I pray today that you will make the choice to follow Jesus; that you will choose to turn from all sin; that you will choose to be a witness for Jesus; and that you will decide to build the kingdom of God.

Daniel 9:8 Admitting Sin

We and our kings, our princes and our ancestors are covered in shame, LORD, because we have sinned against you. Daniel 9:8

Daniel had just received a very clear vision of how long Israel would be destroyed and under captivity of another nation. He then started reading some of the words of Jeremiah and seeing what God had told him. Once he read those words, he started to pray to God a prayer of repentance for the nation of Israel. Daniel started admitting to breaking God’s commands and sinning against Him.

Daniel did not point fingers at other people and just say that they were the ones to sin. He included himself in the sins against God.

It is very easy, and very common, for people in the church to point fingers at the sins of others. Christians blame those in the world for the corruption and sin that is so rampant in their nation. Blaming politicians and leaders for the sin comes easily for many people. People will say if “they” did not allow something, that sin would not be there or the corruption would not have happened, always talking about someone else and not themselves.

When actions like this are done, one is not showing the love and mercy of God towards others. Nor is the person taking his responsibility in what is being done wrong.

Some may say, “I have never killed anyone (or some other sin), so why am I to repent.” It is true that you may not have done a particular sin, but there is another one that you have done. Regardless of what sin you have committed, you have sinned against God and helped lead your country to where it is today.

Along with that, every believer is supposed to be His loving witness to this world. As you go through your days ask yourself if you are doing everything that you can to be His witness. Ask yourself if you are showing His love and mercy to this dying world in the best way possible and as much as possible.

Since many believers cannot say that they are doing these things to the level God wants them to do, they are helping others continue in sin.

Seek God and ask Him to show you how you can reach the world for Him.

Repent of all sins, both the corporate and the personal. Allow God to change lives.

I pray today that you will seek to be a witness of Jesus to everyone you meet; that you will do your best to bring all to God; that you will show His great love and mercy to this world; and that you will repent of all sin. 

Ezekiel 36:24-25 Pulled Out Of A Nation

For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. Ezekiel 36:24-25

As God had sent the Israelites into exile in various countries, He also told them that He would restore them some day. He promised that He would gather them back up and bring them back to their own land and build them back up. In the process of bringing them back, they would be cleansed of all their sin and they would focus their lives back on following God alone.

Throughout the years, there have been many people who have been forced to leave their homeland for different reasons. Some are glad to leave, while many do not want to leave. Some of those who have had to leave desire to return someday. Others have accepted the move and the new location and never return to their homeland.

In the beginning God had created man to be with Him in His land. Since man chose to sin, that could no longer be the case. God had to remove man from His land. Yet, even as He removed Adam and Eve from His land, He had a plan in place to return them someday. His goal was to bring all of His people from all the nations of their earth back to His land.

As a non-believer, one is living in the world and in the ways of this world. They are not in God’s kingdom. They are living as exiles in a different kingdom, one that is not physical, but a spiritual kingdom.

Through Jesus the move is no longer a move from a physical land or physical nation, but one of the spirit. Each person is living in sin and needs to be cleansed to be brought back into God’s kingdom.

Jesus died on the cross to remove the sin in your life and bring you back into His kingdom. You are removed from the nations and power of this world and placed in His kingdom. There will come a day when you will be physically removed from this world and placed in heaven, God’s eternal kingdom and home.

Are you following Jesus and getting ready for that move back home?

I pray today that you will know the cleansing power of Jesus; that you will allow God to move you to His kingdom; that you will follow Jesus with all your life; and that you will no longer live in the ways of this world. 

Ezekiel 31:10-11 Being Cast Aside

” ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was proud of its height, I gave it into the hands of the rulers of the nations, for him to deal with according to its wickedness. I cast it aside,’ ” Ezekiel 31:10-11

God had been claiming judgment upon the nation of Egypt. He had raised Egypt up to be a great nation, one of the most powerful nations upon the earth. The Pharaoh had chosen to claim all the power for himself, as though it was his own doing. He claimed he was a god. Therefore God was going to break Egypt down.

God points the people to look at Assyria, whom God had raised up to be a really great nation. Yet, when pride got in the way of the king, God also tore the nation back down. They were destroyed because of their wickedness.

Nations and people are raised up by God to do great things for Him. The more nations and people do for God, the greater God will allow them to become. However, when either the nation or a person starts to do things for themselves or reject God’s ways, God will cast them aside.

There is no place for sin in God’s kingdom. It was because of sin in the lives of people, that Jesus came to the earth to die upon a cross. He came to remove all the sin from every person.

Sin can show up in the lives of a person in many different ways. All of the ways come down to personal pride and greed. People want things their own way, rather than following the ways of God. Many people want to be the one who is in control, rather than accepting that God is the one who is in control and allowing Him to have that control.

As you look at your life, you may not be living in some massive sinful lifestyle, but are you allowing sin in your life on purpose?

Pride and greed can show up in many different ways in your life, if you allow them to do so. Reject pride and greed and allow God to have all the credit and power. Do not give Him a reason to have to cast you aside and tear you down.

I pray today that God will use you in great ways to build His kingdom; that you will give God all the credit and power for everything in your life; and that you will not allow sin to get in the way of your relationship with God.