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.

Psalm 53:3 No One Is Good

Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Psalm 53:3

People in churches often have a few point of “us” and “them.” Those in the church and those not in the church. Those who are not in the church are often seen as vile, corrupt sinful people on the wrong path in life. Many look down on them as very bad.

There is truth in what is believed by many. Without the forgiveness of Jesus, every person is corrupt and not doing good.

As people look at others in this way, they often forget who they are or who they were. Paul had said that everyone has sinned and fall short of God’s glory. This is not just about those who are in the world, it is about every person in this world, both Christian and non-Christian.

Every time a believer chooses to disobey God, he becomes corrupt and falls short of God’s glory. Disobedience comes in the form of direct sin–against one of the rules of God. Or it can come in the form of not doing something God called the person to do.

Most believers in the church have no problem believing that doing something God has ruled as sin is sinful. However, many forget that not doing something God has asked them to do is also sin.

If God stirs the heart of a person to tell someone about Jesus, and that person does not do it, he has sinned against God. All disobedience to God is sin. All sin is disobedience against God.

Without God no one can do any good at all. Many in the church try to believe they are good, but are refusing to be the witness God has called them to be.

For each person it may be different. God calls each person to a different path and job to do.

What is God calling you to do today, not yesterday or tomorrow, but today?

Now, the real question is, are you doing it?

If you are not doing what God has called you to do, you have turned away and have become corrupt…again. Turn to God and follow Him. Do the good works He has planned for you to do. Do not be like the world.

I pray today that you will know God’s plans for you; that you will do what God has for you to do; that you will not turn from God; and that God will keep you from being corrupt in your life.

Job 36:11 False Expectations

If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment. Job 36:11

Elihu continues to defend God against Job. He points out that God makes the rules and holds everyone accountable to them. When a person does not obey God, according to Elihu, God will bind them up and bring them into suffering. Those who obey God will live in prosperity for the rest of their lives.

Living in prosperity can mean various things. The most common belief in prosperity is that a person has wealth and health, with no problems at all. In America, this means that a person has a six figured income, a four car garage home with the cars, perfect health, and no bills at all. Once a person has all these things, he is considered prosperous.

This mindset has also worked itself into the church. The belief that if a person loves and obeys God he will be prosperous and have all these things.

Over the years there have been preachers who have preached this type of message. Prosperity meaning only with things, and nothing else. When witnessing to the world, many have said, just believe in Jesus and everything will be perfect.

Take a look at the life of Jesus. He was the perfect example of perfectly obeying and serving God, yet, His life was far from trouble-free and He did not have a home to go to.

The prosperity that Jesus had, was success in His mission. He accomplished what He was sent to do. His life was in line with what God wanted. Jesus had perfect peace and joy, because He was obeying God. That is real prosperity.

Having all the wealth in the world will not bring about true peace and joy. It will not bring about true contentment, because you will always want just a little bit more.

As you obey and serve God, do not expect things to look perfect in this life and go your way perfectly. There is still sin in this world that needs to be overcome. You are still in a battle until Jesus returns.

Do not expect the false prosperity of this world. Seek out the prosperity that God is giving you, love, joy, and peace. He is giving you eternal security, eternal prosperity.

I pray today that you will love and obey God; that you will seek what God has for you; that you will be content with what God gives you; and that you will be His witness in this world.

2 Kings 10:31 Doing Only Half Right

Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit. 2 Kings 10:31

Jehu had become king and had destroyed the family of Ahab according to God’s word that had been given. He also destroyed the prophets of Baal and tore down their temples. While doing all that good, he also kept worshipping the golden calves in Dan and Bethel. He continued to lead the people into sin and refused to follow the laws of God.

People often do some good things in their life. Looking at some of the extremely wealthy people, there are many that provide money for food, clothing and medical expenses for many poor people in need. They stand up for some great causes to help people and do the right things.

However, while doing those things, they also promote sin in other ways. Some will be in movies that are filled with sin and do not honor God at all. Others openly state that they do not believe in God. Others may live a lifestyle that goes against God’s commands.

While this is easy to see in the very wealthy, it also happens among the regular people and even in the church. There are people in the church who show up every Sunday, teach a Sunday School class, and volunteer in various church activities. But when Sunday is over, they treat their family like dirt, curse in the workplace, steal from their employer, and live a life that does not honor God in any way. Yet, they think that they are doing good because of the work they are doing in the church.

God looks at the whole picture of a person’s life. Doing only half right in God’s eyes is still completely doing wrong. Every area of a person’s life is to honor and obey God.

If you are a follower of Jesus, you are supposed to be living your life as Jesus did. He did not just do half right, He did everything exactly as the Father desired. Jesus said that He would spit out any person who was lukewarm.

How are you living your life today?

Are you doing just half right for God, while still living in some sin?

Or are you striving to live all of your life for God?

I pray today that you will give your life over to God; that you will follow Jesus in every area of your life; that you will live as Jesus lived; and that God will not have to say that you only did half right.

1 Kings 13:21 Defying God’s Word

He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the LORD says: ‘You have defied the word of the LORD and have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you.’ 1 Kings 13:21

An unnamed man of God was sent by God to King Jeroboam to prophesy against him. After he prophesied he was to head back home, not eating anything or anyone in that area. The king tried to get him to eat a meal with him, but he refused. As the man of God was going down the road, a prophet came to him and asked him to eat a meal with him. At first he refused, but then went with him. The prophet then rebuked him for defying God’s word and later died on the road.

In the workplace, managers often give very specific directions to the worker. There are times when the directions given do not always make complete sense, though the directions are very clear. Some workers will then defy the directions and proceed to do the work their own way, rather than follow the directions. When this happens there can be a rebuke about it or even getting fired for not doing the job correctly by following all the directions.

God works in the same way. There are times that He gives very specific directions to a person. These directions do not always make sense, such as the man of God being told not to eat in that place at all with anyone. God does not always give a reason, but the directions must still be followed. His ways and wisdom is above any person’s in this world.

God may have spoken a specific word to you directly or through someone else. You may have heard Him speak through a book, or a sermon, or even a song to you. When you hear those words, you must be willing to follow them completely.

Do not defy any of God’s commands. There is a reason for God to give you those directions. Allow God to use you in a mighty way by following His plan, not yours or this world’s plan. Don’t make God have to rebuke you for defying His word.

Are you following God’s plan?

Or are you defying God’s word to you?

I pray today that you will hear God’s word He is speaking to you; that God will give clear directions to you; that you will follow all of God’s directions to you; and that you will not defy His word.

 

1 Kings 8:61 A Committed Heart

“And may your hearts be fully committed to the LORD our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.” 1 Kings 8:61

Solomon had finished building the temple for God and had it dedicated to God. As he finished the ceremony, he prayed for the people also. His prayer was that the people would know God and His commands, and have hearts that were fully committed to Him at all times.

Being committed to something is very easy while a person is in the high of an exciting moment with many others around who are excited about the same thing. This can be seen in meetings where someone is trying to sell a business venture to some new people with many others who are already in it. The talk is pumped up with many great testimonies of making big money and is very exciting. Most people are very committed at the time to making the business work, but a week later, when things are rough, they stop and are no longer committed to it.

Regretfully, this same thing happens in many churches all the time. There is a revival service or a special speaker. Everyone gets excited about serving God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength. They are ready to be witnesses to the world. They commit their heart and life to God.

Later that same week, when at work and they are being ridiculed for their beliefs, they back down on talking about God.

Or while at home, they start doing or watching things that should not be done or seen as a believer.

As a Christian, who is following Jesus, you must be fully committed all the time to Him. It is not just a Sunday time to be committed, but full-time.

When you are not in church or around other believers, is your heart still committed to God?

Or does your heart turn back to the world and it’s ways?

I pray today that you will know God personally; that your heart and life will be fully committed to God; that you will live by God’s standards; and that you will be His true witness everyday of your life.

 

1 Kings 2:2-3 The Best Advice

“I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said, “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go” 1 Kings 2:2-3

As David was about to die, he appoints his son, Solomon, as the next king to take his place. As he does so, David also gives him some advice on being the king. He is to be strong and obey all the commands of God that Moses had given them. Doing this would allow him to be successful in everything he did.

When people are getting ready to pass on leadership to a younger person, they will often give some advice on being the new leader. The reason for passing the leadership could be because the person is stepping down, or about to die, or is just moving on to something different. Regardless of why they are changing the leadership, advice is often given.

The person leaving the position has learned how to do different things and has gone through various challenges. The advice given can be very different for each person and each position. However, as a believer, there is one type of advice that remains the same no matter what the position or the age of the person is. That advice is to obey God in everything He says to do.

This advice can be given to anyone. It can be from a father to a child when the child is moving out as an adult, or from a boss to a worker moving up in position, or just to a friend in life. There is no better advice that can be given.

Think about the advice that you would want to pass on to someone else. It is very easy to come up with many different things depending on the situation the person is in. As a believer, your advice should start out the same as that of David’s.  The best advice is to keep their eyes on God and what He wants.

Along with giving that advice, take that advice to heart. You may be searching for advice in some area of  your life. Seek God first and find out what He wants you to do. There is no better advice that you can receive in your life.

I pray today that you will know what God wants of you; that you will pass on to others the desire to know and obey God in every area of life; that you will know and give the best advice to those around you; and that you will obey God in all He says.