Luke 22:32 Use Failures To Strengthen Others

But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. Luke 22:32

Every person has had the problem of failing at something at some point in their life. They set a goal for something, but was unable to attain it for some unknown or known reason, thus failed.

Failure is something that no one really wants to go through. It means that one was unable to accomplish something and fell short in his abilities. One often feels worthless and useless in light of failures.

As Jesus is preparing for His arrest and death, He tells Simon that He is praying that his faith does not fail. He adds that when he, Simon, returns from his faith failing, he is to strengthen his brothers.

It is common for people who go through some type of failure to want to give up and quit. They feel as if they cannot do it and no longer want to try.

Every person will fail, if for no other reason than that each person has faults to overcome. No believer is exempt from this either, but will have times in which his faith fails and he really doesn’t trust God as he should.

Instead of giving up and quitting, the true believer will get up and move forward with God after a failure. That failure can be used to strengthen and teach others what to look for and what not to do.

In every failure there are some things that led up to that failure that could have been avoided. When a believer returns to God after failing God, he can use what he has learned to strengthen and train others on how to avoid failing God.

There will be times that you will fail in your walk with God. You will let your faith go and fear to override. You will step into sin, rather than trusting God.

It will hurt you when you fail and cause you to want to quit. Rather than quitting, allow God to pick you up and move forward.

Once you are picked back up and restored to God, allow God to use your failures to His glory. Show others where you went wrong and how they can avoid making the same mistake and failing God. Build others up by being real, rather than hiding your shame of failure.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that your faith in God will never fail; that you will walk with God in all your ways; that you will allow God to use your failure to build others up; and that you will be a witness of God’s love and mercy towards you in times of your failing.

Revelation 22:12 How Will You Be Rewarded?

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they had done.” Revelation 22:12

Rewards are often given to someone who has done something right or good. They can be seen being given out in many different areas of life, from a small child, to high level CEOs of a corporation.

Most people love to get rewards, because most often they are given for something that is done exceptionally well and it makes them feel good. However, some do not care about any rewards and do what they want.

As John’s vision comes to a close, he quotes Jesus saying that He is coming soon with a reward for each person according to what they have done.

Every action has some type of reaction or consequence to it. Some consequences are very good, while others are very bad. These consequences can sometimes be immediate, while others may be a long time in the coming.

The person who has chosen to repent of his sins and follow Jesus will always have some consequences. Just as with everything else, some consequences will be immediate and others will be seen in the future.

The immediate reward of believing in Jesus is that one has peace with God from all of his sin. At the end of his life or when Jesus returns, the next reward is an eternal, perfect life with God. Inside of this eternal, perfect life God has more rewards for each believer that are dependent upon what the believer has done.

No one can fully know or understand what God has in store for him in heaven. The more a person has done for God, while on this earth, the more and greater will be the reward in heaven.

God has already started to reward you with your following Jesus by giving you forgiveness, His peace, His Holy Spirit, His love, His guidance, and more. Think about how wonderful these rewards are.

Now think about how much more wonderful will be the reward in heaven, that will last for all eternity and cannot be taken away or stolen. Instead of just cruising through life, not really doing anything for God, do as much as possible for Him.

Build up the reward that God can give you in heaven by doing more and more for Him each day. He is coming soon and it will be worth it all.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will do a work for God each day; that you will know Jesus is returning soon; that you will know God has a reward for you; and that you will know the blessing of serving God in every area of your life.

Revelation 16:15 Awake And Clothed

“Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.” Revelation 16:15

A thief does not give warning that he is about to enter a place and steal something. He does it quietly, so as to not get caught. It is to surprise anyone is not awake or alert watching.

No one can stand at their home twenty-four hours a day watching for a thief to enter. So it is very common for people to have cameras and alarms set up on their homes to warn of any possible thief trying to enter.

Jesus states that He will come like a thief. One who is awake and dressed for His return will be blessed.

Unlike a thief, Jesus has stated that He is coming. Like a thief, one does not know when Jesus will return.

The believer needs to remain dressed and alert, watching for His return. Being dressed is being clothed with the righteousness of Jesus, His holiness and purity from all sin.

It is sadly common for many believers to get undressed and walk around in sin. Some think it is acceptable to live in sinful lifestyles, while others think that God does not see it or will forgive them in the end. Both are false lies of this world. Along with being properly dressed, one must also be awake.

To be awake is to be alert to the deception of the enemy and temptations to sin. It is recognizing sin and fleeing from it. It is also being aware of the times and how soon Jesus may return. He recognizes that God sees everything and lives His life in a way that will honor God.

The true believer in Jesus will be ready for His return.

Just as you get up each day and get dressed with physical clothing, put on the righteousness of Jesus each morning. Live your life as Jesus lived His, fleeing all sin and pursuing the things of God.

Remain spiritually awake and alert as to what is going on around you and what God is doing. The world is trying to cause you to trip up and sin against God. Live the holy life God has called you to live.

Ask yourself if you are ready for Jesus to return for you and take you to heaven for eternity. Or will you be exposed?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be clothed in the righteousness of Jesus; that you will choose to be spiritually awake; that you will not be exposed before God as sinful and asleep; and that you will be ready for the return of Jesus.

Zechariah 9:12 Return To Your Fortress

Fortress on a cliff

Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. Zechariah 9:12 

Fortresses are places of security, safety, and provision. People strive to build all of these things with the ways of the world, bigger houses, careers, bank accounts and more. These things are built up in hopes of a more secure future.

All of these provide a false sense of what people are really desiring. Each of these are temporary and will fade away or can be quickly removed.

Zechariah gives a call to the Israelites to return to their fortress. As they return, they will also be restored with twice as much as they had lost.

Believers are living in a fallen world and have often become prisoners of this world. They can get caught up in what the world sees as important and strive after those things. Rather than looking up to God, they look outward to people and the things of this world.

When Zechariah made this call, he had just prophesied about Jesus coming. Jesus, being God, is the fortress that everyone can run to. He is a firm foundation that everyone can stand upon.

God is a God of hope, salvation, and provision. The world and sin has tried to take away the joy and hope of salvation from believers.

When the believer returns to God, his fortress, he will get twice as much as what was stolen from him restored–twice as much joy, grace, salvation, hope, peace, and provision. These are things that will last for eternity and cannot be taken away.

Jesus has broken the chains of sin and bondage so that every believer can return to the fortress of God to have a hope that lasts for eternity.

Over time you may have allowed the ways of the world trap you into thinking as the world does. You may have allowed yourself to get trapped into seeking all of your needs as the world does.

It is not too late, you can turn around and return to God with all of your heart. Go to the fortress of Jesus and be restored. God is ready and willing to restore all that has been lost and more due to running with the world.

God loves you and is full of mercy and grace. Allow Him to be your fortress in this fallen world as you wait for His return.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will be your strong fortress; that you will live by God’s ways of living; and that you will see God restore all that has been lost in following the world’s ways. 

Zechariah 1:3 Return To God

Stream in a forest

There 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 

People like it when a loved one returns from being gone for an extended period of time. They do not like to be separated for any reason. It is because of their love that there is a desire that the one will return.

The separation hurts worse when the reason for separation is by choice made out of selfishness or anger. It is being separate on purpose to go a different direction, rather than by forces out of either person’s control.

God was upset with the people of Israel and was calling them back to return to Him. They had chosen to walk away from Him and follow false gods. God was willing to return back to them when they were willing to return to Him.

There have been many believers who have turned their backs upon God and walked away. Others have not fully turned their backs on God, but refuse to live for Him. They have chosen to live in sinful ways and following the ways of the world, while claiming to believe in God.

This can be seen in the lives of individuals as well as in the lives of churches. Many of both have chosen to walk away from God and follow the world’s ways of acting and thinking.

As people choose to live in sin, God must step back from them. He still loves them, but can no longer be with them, because they have walked away. God longs for those to return to Him, turning away from sin. God is quick to forgive and extend mercy and grace when one is willing to reach out to Him.

God desires that your walk will always be with Him. He loves you with an undying, perfect love and only wants what is best for you.

You may have become like the Israelites and allowed the things and ways of this world to get between you and God. If this is the case, God will be waiting for you to return to Him.

Allow God to lead your life in every area and see how great life can be. Jesus came to give you abundant life, not just a list of things to do and not do. God is waiting for you.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will live your life completely for God; that you will return to God if you have walked away; and that you will know the life God has for you.