Isaiah 37:20 Prayer For God’s Honor

Globe on desk

Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, Lord, are the only God. Isaiah 37:20 

Desire for deliverance from a problem is desired by all people. No one really wants to go through a struggle or tough time. Even more so, most people do not want an enemy.

Yet, in life there are many struggles that face every person on a regular basis. As troubles occur, people seek out ways to overcome or stop that trouble that is in their life. The will seek self-help books, friends, astrology, doctors, religion, lawyers, drugs and many other people, places and things.

The entire reason for searching for help is for selfish reasons. It is all about making life better for self.

Hezekiah was being attacked by the enemy. As he prays to God for some help, he tells God to deliver them from the enemy so that the world may know that there is only one God and that He is that one.

Along with the rest of the world, believers have many struggles and enemies in life. They may be physical human enemies, or spiritual ones, habits, thoughts, or beliefs. Most will seek God for help against these enemies and struggles that they have.

While there is nothing wrong in seeking God for help against the struggle, many are only seeking it for relief in their own life. They are seeking it to help self, rather than to help others or be a witness of God’s great power.

Every believer is to be a witness of who God is. This is something that is to occur day-to-day with everything that they think, say and do in every situation.

The prayer of the believer should be for relief so that God may be glorified and honored. The answer to the prayer is to be a witness to others of who God is and what He can do, not just for personal relief.

As you are struggling in some situation in your life, go to God for help. As you seek His help, also seek ways to use that answer as a tool to be a witness of His great love and power. Be willing to use that answer to build His kingdom, rather than just hoard it to yourself.

The answers to your prayer are not to just make your life better, but to build you and His kingdom up.

What is your motivation in your prayers?

I pray today that you will know God’s power in your life; that you will have a desire to pray to God daily; that you will use all answers of prayer to be a witness of God’s great love and power; and that God will help you remove all selfishness in your prayers. 

Proverbs 27:1 Boasting About Future Plans

Planning book

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. Proverbs 27:1 

Goals and plans are constantly being made by millions of people every day. Plans are made as to what they will do in the days to come. These plans are as numerous as one can think. Plans to start a business, start exercising, make some money, graduate, travel somewhere, save some money, go on a vacation, purchase something, and on and on the lists go.

Often people will boast about what they are planning to do. They want everyone to know about it. As the day of doing it gets closer, they get more excited and losing focus on the day at hand.

Solomon gives a warning about boasting about future plans. He points out that one does not know what the next day may bring.

Having a vision and a plan to reach a goal is great. However, those plans should be held loosely, instead of boasting about it.

Everything that can be done to make the plan work out can be done, but things in life can get in the way and stop it.

Things that can stop a plan very quickly are as numerous as the stars in the sky. Sudden sickness, an accident, bad weather, natural disasters, death, break downs, and the list goes on to infinity.

Often a person plans something and then boasts about it, but right before it should occur, something happens to stop it. He then will often get mad at God or others because it could not happen.

Boasting about the event coming is about self, not about God, who is in control. One is allowing selfishness and pride to get in the way. Yet, one does not have the absolute control of every situation.

As a believer you can make plans for tomorrow, but hold them loosely knowing that God may change those plans. Do not allow yourself to boast as though those plans are guaranteed. You are not guaranteed one day on this earth beyond right now.

Allow God to have control of all your plans. Let Him make them or change them needed. Do not be angry when God changes what you had planned. Boast in what God is doing and in His control of every situation. God may stop your plans to give you something better in your life.

Keep in mind who is really in control of your tomorrow.

I pray today that you will know God is in control; that you will seek what God desires of you for each day; that God will help you remove all pride from your life; and that God will give you a vision of His plans for your days. 

Proverbs 17:14 Causing A Flood

Flooding dam

Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. Proverbs 17:14 

Being right is the goal of most people. They do not want to be wrong in what they say or do. In desiring this, many will fight for their right to be right and the other person to be wrong.

Although most people call these types of things discussions or setting someone right, it is often a quarrel. It is fighting against what someone else is saying or doing.

In most every case there is usually one who is partially right and one who is partially wrong. Neither one is perfectly right or wrong in most cases. Yet, both will fight for the way.

Solomon states that starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam. When a dam is breached, the water comes flowing out in a flood destroying everything in its path.

Quarrels often start with light talk, but quickly escalate into fights, sometimes just verbal, sometimes physical. They quarrels can last for years destroying marriages, families, friendships, businesses, and much more.

Believers are also known to start many quarrels. They will argue and fight with unbelievers for what they believe or do not believe. Not only do they quarrel with unbelievers, but will do so with other believers in the church. Quarreling over what music to worship to, how long the service should be, and much more.

Quarreling with a person does not show love, but hatred. It is selfish and demanding that self is right and the other person is wrong. It will open the floodgates of the dam and destroy everything.

Jesus never quarreled with people. He did not argue or even discuss. He made a statement and left it there, His words were just the facts and nothing more. He also loved everyone.

Opportunities to quarrel will often show up in your life. You will have a choice as to what you will do with those opportunities. As a follower of Jesus, you are to be like Him in every way. Do not quarrel. Don’t give into the selfish desires to be right every time.

Know who you are in Jesus and stand on that, but do not demand it of others. Stop the quarreling and mend the relationship before the dam breaks and destroys your life and the lives of many others. Let the argument go and love instead.

I pray today that you will know the love of God for others; that you will know who you are in Jesus; that God will give you the words to speak; that God will help you remove all selfishness;  and that God will guide you to build relationships, not destroy lives. 

Fruit Of The Spirit: Love

Love on a fence

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 

In the book of Galatians, Paul is talking to the church in Corinth. He is looking at a church that is being divided in what it means to be a believer in Christ. Some were stuck on the old way of doing things, such as circumcision and what is ate. Others were saying that there was freedom in Christ.

Paul points out that there are two ways to walk in this life. One is in the flesh, which is living in sin and sinful ways. The other is living by the Spirit, God’s Holy Spirit, which is living in righteousness and holiness.

Man at two paths

The challenge now comes in as to what does it look like to be holy before God. What does it look like to live a holy life or to walk by the Spirit?

Actions that occur in life have results. These results show the true nature of the action. Driving too fast around a corner will result in a crash. Telling lies will result in being untrustworthy.

Plants grow up and bear some type of fruit. It is a result of the plant growing and maturing and doing what it is supposed to do. Each plant bears fruit in accordance to what type of plant it is. An apple tree cannot bear oranges, but only apples. A pear tree cannot bear apples, but only pears. It has to keep within its own nature and what it is supposed to do.

Apple tree

Just as there a signs of what something is by its fruit or results, there are signs and results in those who are believers in Jesus Christ. Every believer will want (or should want) to live and walk as Jesus did. He was always led by the Holy Spirit in everything that He did.

Believers who are walking as Jesus did by the Holy Spirit will bear the fruit of the Spirit. There are results that will show when one is walking with God.

The first fruit that I will be looking at is love.

Couple on a bench

Love is something that people talk about a lot. They fall in love, they fall out of love. They love something. They love someone. They love to do certain things. And the list goes on. Yet, what is love? Is this the love Paul was talking about as a fruit of the Spirit.

To find out what love is we must look to the bible and see what its definition is. The greatest short definition of love is found in 1 John:

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:8-10 

God is love and Jesus is the exact representation of God–love. God does not just tell us that He loves us, but He shows His love for us.

It is easy to say that you love someone or something, but it is harder to prove it. It takes effort on your part to show it.

Showing effort is easy sometimes. When things that are going well for you or people are treating you well, it is easy to say that you love that something or someone.

Running stairs

The real test of your love comes when things are not going well and others are not treating you correctly. You may love your car when it is running correctly, but it is easy to begin to hate and despise it when it keeps breaking down or has faults in it. How you react to the situation or person determines if you are showing love, if you really love the person.

Most often when someone treats a person badly, the reaction is anger and striking back, retaliation. People want to get back at the person or get even with him. Does this show love?

No, it shows selfishness and hatred.

Selfish me

Selfishness is the exact opposite of love. Love is all about the other person, whereas selfishness is all about self.

Look back at the verse John wrote. God showed His love by sending His Son as a sacrifice for your sins. Love is action, not just words. It is self-sacrificing action for others. Love is putting others above yourself, your needs, wants and desires.

This is the very opposite of what the world wants and displays. The majority of the world is all about self. This even occurs when large donations are given. The donations are given for a tax break or to look good to others, not out of true love. Often the donations are given out of the abundance, not out of the limited and need, or sacrificially.

Giving blood

Sadly many in the church have fallen into the same way of thinking as the world. People do various ministries in order to look good to God or to other people. They want to be seen as holy and righteous, when in reality they are very selfish.

Showing the love God shows will often be difficult and painful. The one who shows true love will often get hurt by the ones they are showing love to. Yet, this is what God wants of the believer.

We, as believers and followers of Jesus, are to be just like God–love. We should be the embodiment of love, love incarnate.

As you are led and walking by the Holy Spirit, you will begin to show that perfect love. It may not be perfect, but it is striving towards the perfect love of God each and every day. Love will govern every thought, action and word each and every moment of every day. It will never take a day off from loving. It will never set love aside for selfish reasons or to get out of the struggle to love.

Love tiles on bible

The other benefit of showing true love is that you will not sin when showing that love. You will love God, so you will not do anything against God. You will love people, so you will never try to hurt them in any way on purpose. You will make the right choices every time, because they are motivated by love and by God’s love for you.

Seek God to reveal to you how your love life is. Is it an example of the temporary, selfish love that the world shows? Or is it the love that God has for you and this world, perfect, unselfish and self-sacrificing?

Allow God’s Holy Spirit to fill you up with His love. Allow His love to govern your every thought, action and word. Let the fruit of love be evident to every person who sees you.

Thank you for stopping by and reading. Next week I will be looking at the next fruit–joy.

Psalm 130:4 Forgiven To Serve

Hands to serve

But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. Psalm 130:4 

The world does not like to forgive. Vengeance is the desire of many throughout the world. People want someone to pay for what was done wrong.

Feuds often continue for years because neither side wants to forgive the other. It is all about self and not loving the other person enough to forgive. People are self-serving and will hold a grudge against someone for years.

Often they are passing one what was given to them. One is not forgiven, so he will not forgiven anyone else. Only pain and trouble will continue with this type of life of self-service.

The writer of this psalm knows that God forgives. The purpose of forgiveness is so that he can serve God.

There have been many who have made bad decisions in the past and feel as if those bad decisions hold them back. They feel as though they can no longer really serve God, because of past sins.

People know that if there is sin in their lives, they cannot serve God. Satan fills them with the facts about past sins and holds them back, forgetting that it is because of sin that Jesus came to this earth. He came to forgive, not condemn.

Jesus knew that with sin in a person’s life, he cannot come before God to serve Him. Jesus is willing to forgive and remove all of those sins in order that the person may come before God and serve Him.

Where there is forgiveness there is peace and love. Since God has done a great thing in forgiving a person, he can now serve God with a pure heart of reverence. Jesus did a great thing in forgiving a person, it was a selfless act of service. The believer can now return that act and pass it on to others.

You may be holding back from serving God because of some past sin that you have done. Know that Jesus is standing there ready to forgive you and help you move on.

You have been forgiven of your sins, so that you may stand pure before God. You may enter His house to serve Him in any way He needs. Do not allow yourself to believe that you are worthless and not worthy of serving God. Jesus made the way for you to do so. Serve God out of love for what He did for you.

I pray today that you will know the forgiveness Jesus provides you; that you will serve God with love and reverence; that you will have peace with God; and that you will serve others out of love for God.