Isaiah 31:6 Return To God

Rejected paper

Return, you Israelites, to the One you have so greatly revolted against. Isaiah 31:6 

The greatest thing that most people like to follow is self or other people. They believe that man is the greatest thing there is and is in complete control of everything. 

With following self or other men, rejection of God occurs on a regular basis world wide. Many will never choose God in the first place. Other gods or no god will be chosen by many. People want to live the way they want to live and not be guided by God.

Living in this way is seen because of sin in the lives and heart’s of men. They are blinded to the real truth. Others live this way, because they have never been shown the truth.

In today’s passage, there is a call to the Israelites to return to God. They had chosen to reject God and rely upon others.

While the majority of the world is blind, there are many who chosen to follow God, yet have still rejected Him after choosing to follow Him. There are many believers who have chosen to purposely live in a sinful lifestyle, rejecting God. They have chosen to follow the ways of man, rather than those of God.

All this occurs while claiming to believe in God. This is a sign that the people have turned away from God and rejected Him, just as the Israelites had done. They claimed to still be God’s people, but in the same breath rejected Him following others.

Every believer needs to make the choice in his heart to only follow God. They are to turn away from sin and run after God. Instead of rejecting and fighting against God, they are to live for Him, following His rules and ways of living.

Every day you are alive on this earth, you will have a choice to make. It will be the choice of who you will follow. The world will tell you to follow others and your own heart, that you can be who want to be and live like you want to live.

Living this way is living in revolt against God. It is rejecting God and His plan for your life.

Choose in your heart to live for God every day. Live in a way that is pleasing to God. He has the best plan for your life, do not reject it. As long as you have breath, you have a chance to return to God and live for Him.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will live for God every day; that you will not reject God’s plan for you; and that you will not revolt against God by choosing to follow self or others. 

2 Timothy 3:1 Bad Days

 

Destroyed city

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 Timothy 3:1

The books of the New Testament were written nearly 2,000 years ago. At the time they were written, the writers stated that they were already in the end times, yet, they also stated that the end times would get worse. Paul tells Timothy that there will be terrible days ahead in his lifetime, in the end times.

Going through the day-to-day experiences, different people have different ideas of what is a bad day. To one person, a bad day is the stock market dropped and his investments are lost. To another person his bad day was that he messed up at work and got into trouble. Another might be the bad traffic jam on the way home from work or the hair did not stay in place all day and the makeup ran down the face.

Others will go through a more severe bad day and have lost a loved one, got a bad report from their doctor, got into a car accident, or developed a sickness.

Alongside of all of these ‘bad’ things that happen to people, there are also the facts of people living in sin and what sin does. Every believer is living in a world that does not know God and lives in sin. They will see sin everywhere they look.

Although believers strive to bring about change and get people to live for God, the reality is that there will always be those who refuse to follow God or His ways. Sin will continually increase in this fallen world, until Jesus returns and wipes out all sin for all eternity.

Paul gives this warning so that believers will not be surprised when it occurs. Some believers get surprised at the sin and get very angry about it. They turn violent to others. Believers are supposed to show love and mercy to draw people to God. And they must not partake in the sinful ways of this world.

You will have bad days, but remember that God is there with you. He will give you strength to make it through those days. He will also guide you in His way of righteousness in Jesus.

Do not be surprised at the bad days, but lean on God for strength. Know that He is still in control.

I pray today that you will know God’s power in this world; that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will not fear the sin around you; and that you will be a witness of Jesus to this fallen world. 

Zechariah 1:3 Return To The Lord

Therefore tell the people: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 1:3

Israel had been in captivity for 70 years. The Israelites were starting to ask how long God would be angry with them and keep them in captivity. God tells them to return to Him and He will return to them. He had been angry with them, but was ready to forgive and move forward, if they were willing.

For many different reasons, there have been people who have chosen to walk away from God. They choose to no longer go to church or serve God at all. Some will continue to go to church, but do not really serve God or even have any type of relationship with Him anymore.

For a lot of these people, who have chosen to walk away from God, they feel as though they can no longer return to Him. They may feel as though God has rejected them for all eternity and that there is no longer any hope left. People feel as though they have committed the greatest sin and can no longer be forgiven.

As much as a person may feel like this, it is not true. Prior to ever serving God, a person was in the same position, rejecting God and living in sin. If God can accept a person then, He will accept the person when he returns again. God is a loving and merciful God. He is ready to forgive and save.

God will not force Himself upon someone, but wants the person to want to have a relationship with Him. He gently calls each person to have that relationship. If the person draws near to God, God will quickly draw near to him.

You may be a spot where you have allowed yourself to walk away from God. You may or may not be in church, but you no longer have a close relationship with God. You may feel as though you are now rejected by God and cannot return.

These are thoughts from the devil, reject them. Draw near to God. Return to Him and seek His forgiveness for the wrongs done and seek to worship and serve Him. He is there waiting for you to return. His love for you knows no end.

Will you return?

I pray today that you will return to God; that you will worship and serve God with your life; that you will have a close relationship with God; and that you will continually draw near to God. 

Amos 8:1 A Basket Of Ripe Fruit

This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: a basket of ripe fruit. “What do you see, Amos?” he asked. “A basket of ripe fruit,” I answered. Then the LORD said to me, “The time is ripe for my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.” Amos 8:1

God continues to give Amos visions of what is coming up with the nation of Israel. This time it is a vision of a basket full of ripe fruit. The meaning is that they are ripe for destruction. Israel had chosen to walk away from God and follow many idols. After many tries to get them to turn back, God is saying that He will no longer work with them, they are set to be destroyed.

Fruit that is ripe is fully mature ready to be picked and used. Usually that means it is  ready to be eaten in a positive way. In the case of Israel, they were ripe with a pungent, horrible smell ready to be destroyed. Their sin was rising before God as a horrible smell of death and destruction.

Nearly a thousand years later, Jesus came along and talked about fields being ripe. This time He was talking about them being ready to be harvested for good food. People were out there ready to hear the saving message of the gospel and to turn their hearts towards God.

In a large field, the crops will usually be ripe for something. There will always be some that are ripe for destruction. Something destroyed some of the crops and it is ready to be put into a burn pile. At the same time there is a lot of the crop that is ripe for the picking for the table to be eaten.

Today you are ripe for something. You are either ripe for salvation and doing things for God, or you are ripe for God’s destruction. You have a choice to make as to which thing are you ripe for . God does not want to have to destroy you, His desired choice is to give you an abundant, eternal life.

To know what you are ripe for, you must look at your life. Are you serving God? Or are you serving self and this world?

Allow yourself to be a part of a basket full of ripe fruit ready to be used by God, not destroyed by Him.

I pray today that you will choose God and His ways for your life; that you will not be found guilty of sin; that you will be ripe for being used by God; and that you will seek others who are ripe and bring them the gospel message of Jesus. 

Amos 5:4 A Way To Have Life

This is what the LORD says to Israel: “Seek me and live;” Amos 5:4

Israel had chosen to follow after other gods, refusing to follow God. The result of following those other gods was that God was going to bring death and destruction upon the people of Israel. Even though they sought life among the other gods, all they would find is death. God tells them to seek Him out and they will live, they fill find life.

Although there are many people who attempt or actually commit suicide, most people want to live. Event those who commit suicide have a part of them that want to live, it is just they do not want to live with the pain or trouble that is in their life.

Everywhere people are searching for life. Most people are searching for it in things, other people, or actions. Some think that they find life in accumulating more and more things, cars, sex, houses, bank accounts, drugs, alcohol and more. Each of these things are dead in themselves and cannot give any life.

Others seek life in excitement and adventure. They will travel around the world, ride on thrill rides, participate in dangerous thrilling extreme sports and more. Again with these, each of them are dead in and of themselves. None of these can bring about any life in a person.

Then there are some who seek life in actions or helping others. Many people help the homeless, the abused, the sick, those in prison, and others. They feel that doing something good will bring them the satisfaction of life that people desire and want. While none of these are necessarily bad, they are just actions, and there is no true life in it. The actions are done to humans who cannot provide true life.

The only way you can find a true life that is worth living is in seeking God. God provided life for every human being through Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life. Apart from Jesus, you will die, you will not have life. It may seem like a good life for a while, but in the end, without Jesus, you will die.

Do not be like the Israelites and reject seeking God first. Put God first in your life and seek only Him. Then He will give you life and that life abundantly.

I pray today that you will only seek Jesus; that you will know life in Jesus; that you will not seek life in the things and people of this world; and that God will pour out the abundant life worth living upon you.