Matthew 19:8 Is Your Heart Hard?

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.” Matthew 19:8

It is common for people to make up their mind about something and refuse to budge on it regardless of what others say or show. This is often done due to past experience or training.

In the process of holding on to a certain way to do something, many will often refuse to accept or see the correct way of doing something. It becomes all about themselves, rather than the correct way or rule.

When asked why Moses permitted divorce, Jesus told them that Moses allowed it because their hearts were hard and that it was not that way from the beginning.

Society allows for divorce for nearly any and every reason a person may give. This has become so prevalent in society that there is very little difference in or outside the church. Most divorces occur out of a hardness of heart towards one another.

In the same way that divorce is allowed inside the church, there are also many other sins allowed inside the church as acceptable.

People harden their hearts towards God’s word and make choices based off of their feelings rather than His word. Sin is justified as good or ‘not-so-bad’. They refuse to allow their hearts to be softened towards God’s word and truth, so that they may do what they want.

At the time a person becomes a believer, he is to become a new creation, someone different. The old things and ways of doing things must be put off. His heart is to be one of flesh, not of stone.

No believer should be hardening his heart towards God just to justify his behavior or actions.

Just as everyone does have sin in their lives, so do you. However, you must never justify the sin, ignoring God’s commands.

Choosing to obey God’s commands may be difficult or painful for a time, but it is always for your best interest in the end. Seek God’s Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen you to make the right choice.

Do not allow your heart to become hardened against God’s word so that you may live in sin. This is not only with divorce, but in every other area of life. All sin is done out of hardness of heart and selfish desires.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have a softened heart of flesh towards God’s word; that you will obey God’s commands; and that you will choose to turn from all sin.

Matthew 7:21 Are You Doing God’s Will?

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of the Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21

Words are easy to speak. People can say that they will do something, but then not do it.

Every day contracts are drawn up by people agreeing to some type of agreement on what they will do. Promises are made and papers are signed. Shortly afterward, many of those contracts are broken. One side or the other does not do what was agreed upon.

Jesus makes a statement that just because people call Him ‘Lord’, does not mean they will get into heaven. Only those who obey the Father will get into heaven.

Just as it is easy to sign a contract, people can claim to believe in Jesus. They can claim to be a follower of Jesus with just a few words. On the surface everything looks and sounds good. But under the surface, in the heart of the person, it may be a different story.

Many claim to believe in Jesus, go to church and can even quote the bible, but very few actually obey God’s word to them. God calls people to be His witness, and very few actually work at being His witness. Many refuse to actually flee a life of sin, by purposefully living in a sinful way.

To call Jesus “Lord” is to actually make Him controller of one’s life.

God has a job for each person to do, each day. He will reveal that to the person who is open, listening and obedient to His word. As soon as one says ‘no’ to what God is telling him to do, he is sinning against God and being disobedient. That person is not going to enter heaven.

The true believer will do whatever God tells him to do immediately.

If you claim to be a believer in Jesus, you must ask yourself if you obey God’s word to you. Are you willing to do everything that God commands immediately and without question? Or do you pick and choose what you will do?

Your actions determine whether you are a true believer, or just a believer in word only. God is looking for people who will follow Him in every area of his life, not just in words and mind.

Are you a true believer? Are you doing God’s will?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know what God commands of you; that you will do whatever God tells you to do; that God will be the master of your life; and that God will be able to say of you that you are a good and faithful servant.

Matthew 1:24 Immediate Obedience

When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. Matthew 1:24

Commands are given everyday to people that do not always make sense. A choice has to be made as to whether one will obey that command or not. Often people choose to not obey the command or they will choose to question it. Some will even refuse to obey it, regardless of where it came from.

In some places, if one chooses not to obey it, they will be removed or be in trouble immediately. Obedience is expected immediately.

Joseph was pledged to be married, when he found out Marry was pregnant, so he planned to divorce her. After an angel told him that this was from God and he was to marry her, he immediately married Mary.

Just as in the workplace where the boss gives commands, God also gives people commands. In the same way, there are times when the commands of God do not always make sense. During those times when the commands don’t make sense, one has to just trust God and obey immediately.

God sees the bigger picture of what is going on across the board. He knows what action is best to take. Humans, in their finite little minds, do not see the bigger picture. They cannot see what is actually going on in the scheme of eternity.

Every believer has a choice to make as to whether he will obey what God says or not. Instead of questioning or arguing with God, one must immediately choose to trust God and obey. In obeying God, it allows Him to use the believer in greater ways than the mind can comprehend.

Immediate obedience to God will allow things to effect the lives of others for all eternity.

As a believer, there will be times that God will ask you to do something that is crazy and does not make sense. Instead of being like the world and questioning it or refusing to obey, choose to obey immediately.

See what God can do in and through you to touch the lives of people for all eternity. Your obedience will often have an eternal impact upon this fallen and dark world.

Questioning God and refusing to obey is what the world does. Do not be like the world, but like Joseph in obeying God.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will hear God speak to you; that you will know what God commands of you; that you will obey God in all He tells you to do; and that you will see God work in and through you for all eternity.

2 John 1:2 Who Is With You When You Run?

Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 2 John 1:9

The best of runners have to have someone alongside of them to guide them and show them the way to keep running. There is often a coach who is watching from the side to determine how well the person is running and what needs to change to improve.

Without the coach on the side, a person is just running and can easily fail at being his best.

John warns of a person who just runs ahead and leaves the teachings of Jesus. That person does not have God. The person who continues in the teaching of Jesus will always have God and Jesus by his side.

It is easy for a person to claim to believe in Jesus and begin to run the race in life for Jesus. With this proclamation there has to be some change. That change is seen in that the person is now running according to God’s commands, not his own thoughts.

Throughout time there have been many in the church that claim to believe in Jesus and are running a race, but are running the race for self and the world. Choosing to live by standards that are against God’s commands is rejecting Jesus and His Holy Spirit’s guidance in one’s life. Immediately upon rejecting God’s commands, one is no longer a true believer and no longer has God or Jesus in his life.

The ways of God are different from that of the world. He calls people to walk in holiness and His will. Instead of running ahead of God, the true believer will have God by his side coaching him and leading him in the run through this life.

Examine how you are running in this life. Have you chosen to run ahead of God and leave Him and His Holy Spirit behind as you choose to do your own thing?

Or have you chosen to run with God right by your side guiding your every step? Do not allow yourself to run ahead of God, leaving His teaching behind. Stay in step with God and what He is doing.

God is the master coach who can guide your every step in towards perfection and His kingdom. Do not get lost in the ways of this world.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will stay in the teachings and commands of God; that you will allow God to guide your every step; that you will run for God; and that you will know what God asks of you.

Hebrews 7:18-19 A Better Hope

The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:18-19

Laws are something that is bitter-sweet for most people. The majority of people like the laws, because it shows them what is right and what is wrong. It gives them a guideline by which they expect others to live.

At the same time, many people hate the laws, because it also can restrict them from what they can and cannot do. Laws bind people up more than releases them from bondage.

The author of Hebrews points out the the old law was worthless in that it could not make a person perfect. Since it was worthless and failing, a better hope was introduced to allow man to get close to God.

Most people in the church like to know what God’s laws are. It gives them guidance as to how to live their lives. They want a checklist of what to do or not to do, so that they can see where they are succeeding or not succeeding in following God.

The challenge comes that with the more one knows the laws of God, the more he realizes that he cannot fulfill every one of them in his own power. He is constantly battling with failure to obey God’s laws and thus looks bad (in his eyes) before God.

God knew that this would happen, so He sent Jesus to provide the way to Him. Attempting to follow the law would produce failure, so Jesus came to fulfill the law and provide the much needed salvation and freedom from sin.

Following Jesus will allow the believer to take his focus off of sin and put it upon God.

You are probably struggling with sin as most believers are. You sin, repent, and then sin again are frustrated with yourself. Instead of focusing on following God’s law, focus on following Jesus and the way He lived. Do what He did and is doing, so that you will not have time to sin.

Live in the forgiveness that Jesus provides. Allow yourself to be guided by the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent to strengthen and help you.

As you rely upon what Jesus did for you, you will be able to draw closer to God, and flee further from sin.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will rely upon God’s grace for your life; that you will focus your life on following Jesus; that you will be led by God’s Holy Spirit; and that you will produce fruit in keeping with God’s commands.