Jeremiah 42:6 Favorable Or Unfavorable Message

“Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the LORD our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the LORD our God.” Jeremiah 42:6

Once Israel was in exile in Babylon, some of the people came to Jeremiah to find out what God wanted. They asked Jeremiah to inquire of God what His desire was. They then stated that regardless if the message was favorable or unfavorable, they would obey Him. Many realized that they were in exile because they had not obeyed God, and now they needed to obey. It would not matter if the message was one of pain or not.

God’s message to them was that the Israelites had to choose to obey and serve the king of Babylon. It was not up for option. The message was one of humility, because they were the chosen nation, who were supposed to be the leaders, not the followers. 

Getting news from someone is not always what a person really wants to hear. People go to the doctor about some pain that they are feeling, hoping the doctor can cure them. There are times that the doctor can give the favorable news that it is something minor and easily fixed. Other times the news might be that it is unfavorable saying that the person must change his way of living in a major way, giving up a lot of what the person had enjoyed, just to stay healthy. Either way, the person must obey the doctor in order to be cured.

God works in the same way as the doctor. There will be many times when you have to go to God for some guidance in your life. As you present your situation to God, He will give you His answer. That answer may be easy to follow, or it may mean major changes in your life.

When God speaks into your life, you must be willing to follow His word. It does not matter if it looks favorable or unfavorable, it is what is best for your life. God will never hand you anything that is not for your benefit in the long run.

Are you willing to obey God, even when it does not look or sound good?

I pray today that you will know God’s word for your life; that you will obey God no matter what He tells you to do; that you will listen for when God speaks; and that you will live your life for God.

 

 

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Isaiah 48:18 Never Ending Peace

If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:18

God was getting ready to free the Israelites from the bondage in Babylon. During the time of the bondage, they did not have any peace in their lives. God reminds them that the reason they had no peace was because they had chosen to disregard His commands. If they would have obeyed His commands their peace would have been like a river.

Rivers are a beautiful thing to watch and be near. Some rivers have fast flowing water, while others are slow-moving. In either case, the water is still moving and changing all the time. As it flows, the water moves the bad stuff out, while bring in fresh clean water.

Looking closely at a river, one will usually see a lot of life in it and around it. Fish will be swimming in the water. Animals will be near it to drink of its refreshing water. Trees and other plants will surround the edges.

All of these things show peace and harmony on the river. People go to rivers for this peace.

Many are looking for peace in this world. There are even believers who sometimes wonder where the peace of God is in their own lives.

Knowing and obeying God’s commands will bring about that same peace and harmony. Not following God’s commands is sinning against Him. When there is sin in your life, there is a separation between you and God. When there is separation, you will not have the peace that He is wanting to provide you.

Think about times when you know you are doing God’s will, when you feel you are in the presence of God. What do you feel? You feel His peace and love all around you, regardless of what is going on around you.

If you do not feel that peace of God, examine your life. Are you obeying His commands? Or are you doing your own thing?

Your past is already done, but you can change what your future looks like. Follow God and obey Him to bring His peace to your future on this earth. His peace is never ending like the water flowing in a river, and is always cleansing and bringing life to those it touches.

I pray today that you will know God’s commands for your life; that you will obey all God tells you; that you will know God’s peace in your life; and that God’s peace will bring you the life you need.

Psalm 128:1 Blessed In Fear And Obedience

Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him. Psalm 128:1

Fear and obedience are two things that many people do not see associated with blessings. Yet the psalmist says that the one who fears and the one who is obedient is blessed.

Fear is often associated with being scared, not respect. There are many people in the world who fear God, because they fear that He will not accept them because of their past sins. Christians often fall into this same type of fear of God. They fear God no longer loves them because they fell back into some sin again. The weight of judgement against them weighs heavily on their minds.

This is not the fear the psalmist was talking about. Fear, here, is the respect and reverence for God. It is allowing God to be God and absolutely ruler over one’s life.

Obedience is seen as something that one must do, not a privilege to do. Throughout the world, many people obey the laws, only because they have to. The rules are obeyed only out of fear of getting caught. This also is often seen in the church. The heart is not in the obedience.

When a believer realizes what Jesus has done for him and how much God loves him, he will want to obey God. It will be a choice, not a requirement.

When you obey God out of fear, you are constantly on the outlook for when God is going to strike you. In that way, there is no real peace or loving relationship with God.

The blessings in fearing and obeying God is found in the relationship that is built up through the obedience. The level of trust in God is built up as you fear and obey Him. Knowing that there is peace between you and God rises when you know you are living for God with the right mindset.

Having that right relationship with God removes fear of judgement or reprimand. You will know the grace and mercy God has for you. In the midst of trouble in this life, you will still have God’s peace and love in your life. What better blessing can there be than that?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know God’s mercy for you; that you will have the proper fear and respect for God; that God will strengthen you in your obedience to Him; and that you will know all the blessings God has for you.

Ezra 7:10 Devoted To God’s Word

For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel. Ezra 7:10

The new king of Persia, Artaxerxes, had provided Ezra with everything needed to build the temple and offer the required sacrifices. He also made a law that everyone had to worship God correctly. All these things were done because Ezra was dedicated to knowing, following and teaching God’s Word correctly.

Devotion is what makes the difference between someone being good at something or being great at it. There are many men that love to play football or golf, but only part-time. They like to play them once in a while on the weekends, but not every day, all day.

They can play the game, but not very well. Those who become professional at it or good enough to win small local tournaments, are devoted to the game. They practice daily, constantly learning how to improve their play.

The majority of believers in the church only open their Bible on Sunday morning as the pastor speaks. Then there are a few who read a few Bible verses each day. Even less, are those who are devoted to God’s Word. Those few study God’s Word daily, apply it to their lives, and tell others what it says.

Being devoted to God’s Word, means that you take time to study it fully to understand it. You then work to apply what you have learned from God’s Word to your own life. Once you have done these things, then you must tell others what you have learned.

Stopping short in any of these areas, keeps you from being devoted to God’s Word.

When you are not devoted to God’s Word, you will miss out on what God has for you. You will also cause others to miss what God has for them. Ultimately you will slow down or stop building God’s kingdom on this earth, which is the whole purpose of when Jesus came to this earth.

Take a look at your life. Are you devoted to God’s Word?

Or are you just a part-time partaker of God’s Word?

Do not make God’s Word just a temporary part of your life.

I pray today that God will give you a love for His Word; that God will open your eyes to His Word; that you will obey God’s Word; and that you will share God’s Word with others.

1 Samuel 15:23 Rejection Is Rebellion

“For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.” 1 Samuel 15:23

King Saul had chosen to not completely destroy the enemy after being told to do so. He had rejected God’s word to him. Samuel told him that it is better to obey God than to offer sacrifices. What King Saul did was seen as rebellion and arrogance, both of which are sinful like idolatry. Since Saul had rejected God’s word to him, God had rejected him.

Very few people would consider themselves as a rebellious person. To most people, the rebellious person is the one who goes against all rules and norms and fights everyone.

It is most common to look at teenagers as the rebellious person. Later it is the people who fights the system, or dresses extremely wild ways, or dies their hair strange colors, or covers their bodies in tattoos.

Many believers in Jesus, however, can be seen as rebellious. Yes they claim to believe in Jesus and go to church and read the Bible all the time, but they reject doing what God has told them to do.

Going to church and reading the Bible are only surface or outward things in your life. It really comes down to the heart and your actions. Once you hear a sermon at church or read a passage in the Bible, you must then put into action what you have heard or read.

God speaks through the minister or His Word–the Bible to you. He gives instructions in how to live life and what to do or not to do.

Are you being rebellious and not doing what God has told you to do? It is the same as going to false gods for guidance and help.

Are you being arrogant in thinking that you do not have to do what God has told you to do? It is the same as worshipping an idol. That idol is you.

Do not be rebellious against God’s word today. Take His word to heart and obey all of His commands. When you accept and obey God’s Word, He accepts you. God will never let  you down or harm you. He is only looking out for your best. Do you trust Him?

I pray today that you will know God’s commands to you; that you will not reject His commands; that you will not be rebellious against God; and that you will obey God in every area of your life.

1 Samuel 13:13 Foolish Actions

“You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.” 1 Samuel 13:13

The Philistines were getting ready to fight the Israelites. They were beginning to surround the Israelites, bringing fear into their hearts. Saul called on Samuel to do a sacrifice to get God’s favor in defeating the Philistines. He was told Samuel would come in seven days. When the seventh day came and Samuel was not there, Saul chose to offer the sacrifice himself.

As Saul finished the sacrifice, Samuel came up. Samuel was angry because Saul had not kept God’s command. He called it a foolish thing. Saul was told that because of this his kingdom would not last and it would be given to another person who obeyed God.

God’s timing and ways are above any person’s timing or ways. Most people get impatient with God’s timing to get something done. After waiting a time, people usually end up trying to do it themselves, instead of waiting for God. Doing this is a foolish action that will cause problems. It is actually disobeying God’s commands.

In your life, God may be calling you to do something at a specific time or in a specific way, or to wait on Him for it to be done. You must be willing to do it in that prescribed time and way. Looking at life, it may seem that God will be late and that all will fail if you do not do something, but you must be willing to follow God’s directions. To do anything less, is to sin against God.

God wants you to have a heart after His. One that will obey no matter what the circumstance or timing. When you do obey Him fully, He can establish you at greater levels than if you do things on your own.

What are your actions telling God about you?

Are they wise actions, following God?

Or are they foolish actions, doing your own thing?

I pray today that you will know what God wants from you; that you will fully obey God in every area of your life; that you will not fear God’s timing; that you will trust God’s faithfulness; and that you will not do anything foolish.

1 Peter 1:14 Don’t Go Back

“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.” 1 Peter 1:14

After telling the people to hold on to their faith and be patient in waiting for the return of Jesus, Peter tells them how to live right now. They are to be obedient children and not living in sin.

Sinful ways can be fun. If it was not fun, the world would not be doing so much of it. Every person is born into sin. They grow up doing and loving sinful ways.

What sins and how much they sin is different for each person. Some telling lies, stealing candy, and being jealous is some of the worst things they do. Others go to levels of murder and other types of extreme violence. Either way it is sin and each person likes what they are doing.

Once we become believers, Peter says we are to be obedient children and not go back to those old sinful ways.

Sadly, many believers go back into some old sinful habits. At times some will think that those sins are really not that bad and are acceptable. They are being deceived by the world’s ways of thinking.

Others remember the fun they had and go back into those sinful ways. They might just do it a little bit, thinking it is acceptable to do occasionally but not all the time. Either way of thinking, it is still sin.

Peter says to not conform to the evil desire we once had. We are to flee all sin. Obedient children are children who obey their parents and those in authority.

As believers we are children of God. Are we being obedient to our Father?

What are we allowing ourselves to think or do when we are alone or not around our pastor? Do we step backwards and play with some sin? Or do we flee from sin?

Are we being obedient children as Jesus was an obedient child and man?

Don’t go back to your old ways of sin. Keep your eyes on Jesus and the hope you have in Him.

I pray today that we will turn from all sin in our lives; that we will not conform to sinful ways; that God will strengthen us to flee all sin; that God will guide us to live according to His ways; and that God will use us to be His light in this world.