Zechariah 7:5 Why Do You Do It?

Pencil and question mark

Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?’ Zechariah 7:5 

It is very common for people to do things for reasons that do not show up on the surface of their lives. Many people give a lot of money to different charities that appear to look like they are trying to help the poor or helpless, however, often the purpose is for a tax write-off, not out of love and true care.

This can also be seen in the work place. People work for a paycheck only, not as a service to others or for their employer. Then they do as little as possible to get that check, or they work hard, only to get a promotion.

God asks the people what was their real purpose in fasting over the previous seventy years while they were in captivity.

Believers can often be just like the world in reasons why they do things. It is common for some to do services in the church only for the reason to look good before God and others. They are trying to win points with God by doing certain things. Their hearts are far from God’s heart.

It is not only in believers doing things, but also in not doing some things. Some will not sin in certain ways, just to look good before God and others. Many will still do the sin in their heart or behind closed doors where they are not sin.

Actions like this are about pride and self. Every believer must ask himself why he is doing or not doing something. It must be determined if it is what God wants and if it is being done out of love for God and others.

Examine the things that you do or don’t do. Now ask yourself why you do or don’t do those things.

Your greatest motivation for doing or not doing something should be out of love for God. It should be because God has asked these things of you.

Your goal in life should be to live like Jesus did, not to look good or escape hell, but because of what Jesus has done for you. Do what you do out of gratefulness for the life Jesus has given you. Any other reason is selfish and is worthless before God.

I pray today that you will know what God desires of you; that you will love God with all of your heart; that you will do things out of love for God and others; and that you will love as Jesus loved. 

Ezekiel 8:5 Idols Of Jealousy

REd sports car

Then he said to me, “Son of man, look toward the north.” So I looked, and in the entrance north of the gate of the altar I saw this idol of jealousy. Ezekiel 8:5 

Jealousy is the extreme desire to have what someone else has. It is being upset that the other person has it and one does not have it.

Jealousy can be found nearly everywhere in society and is promoted as a good thing. It is based upon self and greed. One cannot have enough and it is looked at as bad if someone else has more.

God had Ezekiel look at the temple place. As he looked in, he saw an idol of jealousy at the opening gate of the temple. The people of Israel had been worshipping jealousy and promoting it as a good thing.

The church still has the same problem with worshipping jealousy. People inside the church are often as jealous as those in the world.

Talk is often heard of people complaining that some people have billions of dollars, while they are fighting to make a living off of a few thousand dollars. People are jealous of others driving new fancy cars, while they drive an older car that they don’t know if it will even start today.

All jealousy comes down to greed, pride and self. It is all about what self does not have and wants.

Believers are to be content with what God has blessed them with. They are to trust that God is giving them just what they need, nothing more and nothing less. They are to trust God for everything that they need.

When the believer’s eyes are turned towards God for provision and blessing, the eyes of jealousy will be closed. It will then be a blessing to see someone who has more, not a curse.

There are things that others have that you would love to have. Do not allow yourself to be jealous and fight for what God has chosen not to give you or allow you to have. God is the only one who has a right to be jealous, because He owns it all and it belongs to Him.

Rather than bowing to worship jealousy, give praise that God has blessed someone else with what you see as a blessing. You are to be filled with God’s love for other people, which is never jealous.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that you will see God’s blessings in your life; that you will be content with what God has given you; and that you will praise God for the blessings others have.

Jeremiah 6:13 Being Greedy

REd sports car

“From the least to the greatest all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit.” Jeremiah 6:13

Greed is something that is rampant among people all over the world. Desiring more and more for self is extremely common among men and women of all walks of life.

All throughout music, books, movies and television greed can be seen. No one wants to deny themselves anything. No matter how much they have, they want some more.

In the work place greed is seen in both the worker and the employer. The worker wants more money, the boss wants more work for less pay. Greed is everywhere.

With having so much greed, people will do whatever they can to get more and more.

God accuses the nation of Israel of being greed and practicing deceit. He even accuses the prophets and the priests of being greedy.

Greed started with Adam and Eve in the garden wanting to be more like Jesus. It is at the root of all sin and continues to this day.

The church today also has a lot of greed inside of it. Pastors and leaders show greed at wanting more money, bigger buildings, bigger ministries to make themselves look bigger and better. Individuals reveal greed in the fighting for certain things in the church that has nothing to do with the gospel message.

Prayers will often reveal greed. People pray to God asking for many things for themselves that has nothing to do with building them up in Christ or reaching the lost. God’s first focus is salvation and second is making people more like Jesus. It is all about self—greed.

Jesus did not come to this earth for Himself, but for people. He gave His life for people, not to gain things or to be greedy. Every believer needs the same attitude as Jesus had of sacrificing self for God and others.

You can examine your own life and see where greed may be creeping in. Take a look at your prayers and see if there is any greed laced throughout them.

What is your focus in this life? What is your purpose? Is it for self and selfish gain? Or is it to be more like Jesus and to make more people like Jesus?

Allow God to be on the throne of your heart. He can remove the greed in your life as you are filled with His eternal love for Him and others. Do not allow yourself to be guilty of greed.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will love others as God loves you; that you will desire what God wants more than anything else; that you will be content with what God blesses you with; and that God will help you remove all greed in your life. 

Isaiah 56:11 Seeking Self Gain

Policeman watching

They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, they seek their own gain. Isaiah 56:11 

Gain of something more is what people usually desire. They desire greater wealth, larger bank accounts, higher position, more things, and the list goes on. Nearly all of these things and much more are desired for self.

People look to their own ways to get as much as possible. There can never be enough of anything as long as there is more out there to be had.

This type of greed is found in little children all the way up to senior adults. It is promoted in tv shows, movies, advertisements and music. The desire for more is everywhere.

Isaiah calls out the watchmen of Israel for being greedy with a great appetite for more. Everything that they did was out of selfish gain.

Sadly this selfish desires is found even inside the church. There are many who seek their own ways to gain what they want for themselves, rather than seeking out the good for others. The seek position, title, power, or recognition in the ministries that they do, rather than just seeking God’s will and desire.

Jesus did not act in this way. He left heaven and His God-head to live as a man on this earth. He not only left all of that behind, He also laid down His life in a painful way to bring salvation to everyone. The focus of Jesus was not selfish but for the good of others.

Every believer is to first focus on what God wants. This puts self on the back burner and puts God first. Then as one is seeking God’s will, he will also put others before Himself. Believers are to be focused on building God’s kingdom, not their own kingdom.

As you go through your day, what is your focus on? God’s top two focuses are on you loving Him and building His kingdom.

These two things are not about self, but about God and others. You are a watchman, just as the Israelites were. You have a job to watch out for the coming of the Lord’s return. As you do this, you need to warn others about His soon coming.

Being a witness for Jesus does not allow you to be selfish or to seek your own gain. It is only about building others up. Instead of seeking your own way, seek God’s today.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will have a vision of God’s mission for you to reach the lost; that you will seek to build God’s kingdom; and that you will be a watchman warning of the return of Jesus.

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.