Matthew 17:5 Listen To Him

matthew 17_5

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!” Matthew 17:5

Jesus had brought Peter, James and John up onto a mountain. While up there Moses and Elijah appeared and began to speak with Jesus. At some point a cloud covered them and God spoke from the cloud. God tells them that Jesus is His Son and that they are to listen to Him.

Everywhere a person goes, there is someone talking. People can hear what is being said. While a person is sitting in a restaurant eating, a person will hear what other people around him are saying, though most likely he will not pay any real attention to what is being said. One cannot help but hear what others are saying, but they do not have to really comprehend what is being said.

In order for a person to comprehend what is being said, he must listen. He must really pay attention to what is being said. God had told the disciples to “listen” to Jesus. This is paying attention to what He is saying.

Often Jesus spoke in parables and they did not fully understand it. They were hearing with their ears, but not with their hearts or minds.

Listening to a person requires one to stop thinking about what he is going to say next and pay attention to the one talking. It also can require that the one doing the listening also obey the one talking.

In the life of a believer, Jesus is the ultimate authority. He is to be obeyed. When He speaks, the believer is to listen and obey.

Today you do not have Jesus physically standing next to you speaking, but He is still talking to you. He speaks through the words in the Bible and by the Holy Spirit.

Jesus gives guidance on how to live and please God. He did not just tell some good stories to be enjoyed.

When you hear the words of Jesus or Him speaking to you in your spirit, you must listen and obey. Hear with your heart, not just with your ears. Apply what He says to your life.

God was pleased with what Jesus was saying and doing. If you want to please God, listen and do what Jesus said and did.

I pray today that you will listen to Jesus; that you will know how to apply what Jesus said to your life; that God will be pleased with you; and that you will live your life as Jesus lived His.

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Jeremiah 21:8-9 Choice Of Life Or Death

“Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the LORD says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives. Jeremiah 21:8-9

The king of Judah had sent someone to Jeremiah to ask God to stop the attacks on Jerusalem. God’s answered that He was going to destroy the city and there was nothing that could be done about it. He also stated that they had a choice to make. The two choices would be a matter of living or dying. If they stayed in the city, they would die. If they surrendered to the hated enemy, they would live. God left the choice up to the people.

God has not changed at all over the years. He still gives each person a choice and that choice involves life or death. Many try to say that God does not really give them a choice. They say that they are who they are, and there is nothing that can be done about it. Or that they are in the position they are in and cannot leave it.

Even today you have a choice to make. One option is to stay where you are at, in sin, in this world, not really living for God. Even as a believer, you have to keep growing and moving with God. If you stay where you are, you may end up not following God, you stagnate and begin to die.

The other option is to leave where you are at and follow God. Live your life fully for God, following and obeying Him in every area and you will live. God will make the way.

The leaving may not be a physical leaving, but it is one of leaving behind the past sins, and leaving a sinful life, and obeying God. This will open the way to eternal life.

God always makes a way for this to happen. Think of the Israelites when they were fleeing Egypt. God made a way through a sea that looked impassable. He can make a way for you to make that choice, if you want too.

Choose life today.

I pray today that you will know the path God has for you; that you will choose to live for God; that you will choose to obey God; and that you will know the life He has for you.

Jeremiah 19:15 Words You Don’t Want To Hear

“This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to my words.’ ” Jeremiah 19:15

God had begun to pronounce a harsh judgment upon the city of Jerusalem. His words declared that they would be destroyed in a very horrible manner. Their bodies would be laying on the ground for the wild animals to devour. Food would be made so scarce that parents would eat the flesh of their children and each other because of a siege laid against the city. Those who would see them, would be appalled at the horror of it all.

All of these pronouncements against the city were to occur because of the sin of the people. They chose to follow false gods and worship them. They refused to listen to the words of God. God had spoken words of love and care to help build them up, not tear them down, but the words were rejected.

To this day God is still speaking to people. He wants the word spread that He loves them and wants the best for them. It is the entire reason He sent His son Jesus to this world and to the cross. Jesus had to go to a cross to die an extremely painful, humiliating death for the sins of every person who ever lived.

Now the question is what will you do with the words God has given you?

Many you have accepted Jesus in your life and are following Him, but the question is are you following all of His Word?

Jesus has called everyone who believes in Him to be His witness in this world. Being that witness means you will love every person, and, yes, that includes your enemies. You will do good to those who harm you and not curse them. You will also turn away from all sin.

Doing all of these things is a work in progress that is never fully completed. You need to fight to follow all of God’s commands. In doing so, you will not have to hear God bring on the judgment of destruction. If you are bringing people to God on a daily basis, your city will be following God and not false gods.

What words do you want to hear today?

I pray today that you will obey all of God’s commands; that you will know His love for every person; that you will turn away from all sin; and that you will guide others to turn away from all sin.

Psalm 119:136 Tears Over Disobedience

Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed. Psalm 119:136

Even though the world has many rules and regulations for people to follow, many still accept on disobedience. Most will not accept disobedience against themselves, but yet will be disobedient to someone else. Everyone wants to be obeyed, but many do not want to obey.

The word “disobedience” is changed to “it is my right” or “it is my freedom.” People do not like to be told what to do. With that disobedience reigns in this world.

Christians often look at the disobedience and sin in this world and get angry. They cry out for laws to be made to stop the sin. They run people out who live in disobedience. People are shunned and kicked out of churches for disobedience. Protests are set up to go against those who are doing wrong.

In all of these actions, there is one element missing…God’s love. Striking out in anger against someone or a group is not showing the love God showed by sending His Son Jesus to die on the cross. It is not letting the people know that there is a better way.

When there are tears from weeping, there can be no anger. Tears are a sign of sorrow and sadness, not anger.

Jesus had wept over Jerusalem because of their sin and what they were doing wrong. He did not get angry with them. His heart was broken with sadness.

It is easy to allow anger to rise up, to allow for vengeance, and be vindictive when you see disobedience occurring. It is easy to allow someone to be brought to justice for disobedience.

Instead it takes being at the center of God’s heart to see the sin and disobedience and have your heart broken.

This is not only seeing the disobedience in others, but also in yourself. It is easy to see it in others, but how many times have you been disobedient? How many rules, both man and God’s, have you broken?

Take time to see people as God sees them. See that they are broken and need a Savior, not judgement. Weep over what they are doing wrong and seek God to touch their lives.

Weep over what you may be doing wrong and ask God to help you change. Weep instead of getting angry.

I pray today that you will see disobedience as God does; that you will feel God’s sorrow instead of anger; that you will seek to show God’s love to the disobedient; and that you will obey all of God’s commands.

Psalm 19:11 How To Get A Great Reward

By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:11

In this psalm, David is talking about the laws and commands of God. He had already pointed out how they can give joy to the heart and how valuable they are. Now David says that by God’s laws a person is warned, and in keeping them there will be a great reward.

Very few people will state that they like rules and regulations that they must follow. It is always acceptable for the rules to be for the other person, but not for oneself.

Whether it is in the workplace, in a school, a home, or on the street people are always complaining about the rules. There is always a reason why the rule is bad according to someone.

Complaining about a rule is easy when one has the wrong perspective about the rule. Most often people look at rules as a negative restriction on their freedom. They do not see the real value in the rule.

Rules are a warning to a  person on what not to do. Yes, they do limit the freedom, but it does it in a good way. Any time a rule is broken there is a consequence. That consequence may not show up right away, but it will over time, and ultimately when one stands before God after death.

As a person breaks the law by speeding, there may not be a consequence at that moment, but if it continues there will come a day when either the person gets into an accident because of speed, or gets a ticket.

Obeying the laws will always bring peace of mind that you are not going to be in trouble. It brings peace of mind that you are in right standing with God.

God lays out rules to help you be the best that you can be. He does it for your protection and benefit. You must be willing to trust what God wants you to do or not do.

In the end you want to hear God say to you well done good and faithful servant.

I pray today that you will not fear God’s rules for your life; that you will see the value of God’s rules for you; that God will strengthen you to follow His commands; and that God will say that you are faithful and good servant.

Acts 7:51 Are You Stiff-necked?

“You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” Acts 7:51

Stephen was very bold in preaching the gospel message. The leaders of the temple did not like it and brought him in because of it. When they questioned whether the charges were true, Stephen did not answer if they were true or not. He answered by telling all of Israel’s history up through Jesus. He ends telling the people that they are stiff-necked and their hearts are still uncircumcised. They are resisting the Holy Spirit. He was talking to the “religious” people of his day.

Although today most people do not try to claim the genealogical history, as the Israelites could and did, as the reason for their being holy or good, many still claim their past. Some common reasons for being a good person are: going to church, brought up in the church, giving tithe, giving to charities, and just reading and knowing the Bible.

While all of these things are good things, none of them mean a lot if you are not following the Holy Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit will guide and direct you in how to live, what needs to be done, and what needs to be changed.

Many have hardened their hearts to not even hear the Holy Spirit speaking in their life. Others will hear, but refuse to do what is stated. In their mind they are serving and loving God. In their heart they are rejecting Him.

This is being stiff-necked, stubborn in their ways. Many will follow some of the rules of God, but then when God says to be a witness to someone, they stop obeying. When God states to give up a sinful act, often it is excused and kept up.

Do not harden your hearts and ears against the Holy Spirit. Be open to what He is saying and doing in your life. God can and will do many things in and through you if you allow Him to. Do not be a Christian just in words, but in action also. Do not resist what the Holy Spirit is trying to do in your life today.

I pray today that you will open your hearts and ears to the Holy Spirit; that you will allow yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit; that God will use you to reach many people for Jesus; and that you will be more like Jesus everyday.

John 21:6 Do What Jesus Says

“He said, Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some. When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.” John 21:6

After Jesus had risen from the dead and appeared to the disciples things started to go back to normal. The Peter and some of the disciples decided to go back to what they used to do…fishing. They went out in the evening and started to fish. After fishing all night, they had zero success.

In the morning, Jesus comes along and tells them to fish on the other side. They did not realize who He was, but they tried it anyways. This time they caught more than they could handle and they realized it was Jesus.

When Jesus had told them to cast their nets on the other side, they could have argued with Him. They were the fishermen, not Jesus. And what is the difference from one side of the boat to the other? Yet, that is exactly what Jesus wanted them to do and they had great success.

In life, you may be trying to accomplish something. You are trying and trying and never seem to be able to get it accomplished. It may be something simple and common, complex and difficult, either way you are not having success.

The question is are you doing it God’s way? Are you doing what Jesus would have you to do? Whose plans are you following…yours, or God’s?

The plans Jesus may have for you may sound crazy and worthless, such as casting the net on the other side of the boat, but it is what He said to do. Always keep in mind that Jesus is the One who created everything that is. He always knows what is best. He always knows the best way to do things.

Are you trusting Jesus today? Are you listening to Jesus today? Are you doing what Jesus says to do today?

I pray today that you will hear Jesus in a new way; that you will know the plans Jesus has for you; that you will do what Jesus says to do; that Jesus will draw you closer to Him; and that Jesus will use you to draw many to Him.