August 9, 2019 Memory Verse

Luke 16-13

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2 Samuel 15:21 Serving Others

Soldiers in line

But Ittai replied to the king, “As surely as the LORD lives, wherever my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be.” 2 Samuel 15:21 

Serving others can mean very different things to different people and different situations. To some degree, ever person serves somebody to some level.

When talking about serving others, most people think about free serving, especially in the Christian community. Yet, serving someone is just helping meet the needs of someone else.

Every person who works a job is serving someone. They are serving the boss and the costumers of that business. Some may directly serve, while others are very indirectly serving.

David was fleeing from his son, Absalom, for his life. Absalom was working to take over as king. As David was leaving, Ittai, a foreigner, a Hittite, wanted to go with David. David was going to send him back, but Ittai refused. He committed to serve David anywhere and anytime, even unto death.

Many people do not like to be a servant to someone else. They want to be served. Yet, Jesus, who was God’s Son, came to serve man, who broke relationship with God and deserved only death. He showed commitment to mankind, even including death on a cross.

It is common for a person to serve someone else as a long as it is a benefit to serve. There has to be something in it for the person to serve. All Jesus had was the hope that some would follow Him and be saved. There was no guarantee.

Commitment to serve must be made, regardless if it is a voluntary service or a paid service. Every believer is to work as unto the Lord, giving his best for whoever he is serving at the time.

Your first commitment to serve must be to God. Serve Him first and foremost. Then you must be willing to serve others as He puts them in your path. Give your best to everyone you meet.

As Ittai stated, be willing to serve, even to the point of death. This is showing the love God has shown you and is showing the rest of the world. As you are serving others, God will put others in your path to serve you. God will be your strength to make it through some tough service and you will be blessed more than any man can bless you.

Who can you serve today?

Today I pray that you will know who God wants you to serve; that you will serve as Jesus served you; that you will have God’s love for others in your life; and that God will use you to touch the hearts of many people. 

Mark 10:43-44 Be A Willing Slave

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Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. Mark 10:43-44

James and John began to ask Jesus to have special places around the table with Jesus in heaven. They wanted to be seen as great. The other disciples were upset with them about this. Jesus told them that in order to be great, they must be a servant and slave to everyone else.

Wanting and grabbing for power is something that many people do in this life. They want to be the leader and strive to do what it takes. Sometimes they want to be leader because they think they know what is best. Others want to be the leader because of the power they believe it holds.

While many hate dictators over them, many want to be dictators over others. They want to be the one in charge and leading others. They want the power. Most do not want to be a servant or a slave to another person.

Although Jesus has absolute power over all of creation, He does not force His power on people. Jesus came to serve all people.  Every person on this earth is sentenced to a death sentence. Jesus came to serve them and remove that death sentence for them. Jesus only does what is best for each person on this earth, serving them.

Believers are to live in the same way that Jesus did. Jesus goes beyond just being a servant to another person, but being their slave. Believers are to put other people before themselves.

Jesus is to be the head of every believer. After that is all the rest of the people. Self is to come in very last.

Take a look at your own life. Are you being served or are you serving?

If you are serving people, you will also be serving God. Allow God to guide you in how to best serve the people around you. Learn from Him how to be the slave you need to be. It is by your service of love that people will know the love of God has for them.

As you are a slave to God, you will be a slave to others, seeking to meet their greatest needs–salvation of their souls. This is what Jesus did. Are you doing it?

I pray today that you will know the love God has for all people; that God will show you ways to meet the needs of people around you; that God will give you the needed strength to serve others; and that you will follow His will in all of your life.

Matthew 12:18-19 No Quarreling Or Crying Out

“Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets.” Matthew 12:18-19

Some of the leadership of Israel were getting upset with what Jesus was teaching and saying. He did not fight back at all. In fact, He left the area and went somewhere else. This was to fulfill a prophecy by Isaiah stating that He was chosen. Jesus had God’s Spirit upon Him and He would proclaim justice, yet not quarrel or cry out in the streets.

People are very quick to cry out abuse or some other crime when they are persecuted for being a believer. When a person loses a job because of his open belief in Jesus, many will call for a lawyer and try to fight back. They cry out in anger and vengeance against the world.

All over the nation people are rising up in anger against some types of sinful practices being promoted in the nation. They are making their voice be heard, but it is not always done in love. It is being shown in hate and anger.

Acting this way is not the way Jesus reacted to the people against Him. His trust was in the Father, not self strength or the government.

Many believers forget that the world will act like the world, like Satan. They are living in sin and do not know any better. Believers, however, are living in a different realm. They are in the realm of God and His love. There is supposed to be forgiveness and compassion.

Looking at a non-believer living the way he does should bring tears to the eyes of every believer. That person does not know the way to truly live life. He does not know the joy God can bring him.

When the world is against you or you see the world not living for God, do not show anger. Show His love and compassion. Actions will speak louder than words. Jesus did not cry out when they pounded the nails into His hands. His love is what will draw all men unto Him.

Don’t quarrel and cry, but show love and compassion. The world will see it and want it in the end.

I pray today that you will be filled with God’s love for people; that you will not fight the world that is against God; that God will guide the words you speak; and that you will be His witness in this world.

Politics, Good Or Bad?

Politics

Political ‘discussions’ go on all the time, everywhere a person goes. Turn on the tv to any channel and you will hear something about politics. Watch any tv show or movie and there will nearly always be some political point in it. Walk into the break room at work and someone is usually there giving a political opinion. Read the FB feeds and people are talking about something political, for or against. Some say it is bad, others say it is good.

Politics are a part of life. All politics are just the activities of a government or governing authority over a given area. Government is required. If no one is overseeing what is going on, there will be chaos.

Judges 21:25 New International Version (NIV)

25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

There was a time in Israel when they had no king or ruler. It was right after God had stopped using various people to be judges (rulers) to guide and lead the people in what God wanted for them. During this time that they had no one lead them, everyone did what they wanted. It would bring chaos to the nation.

When everyone is doing whatever they want to do, there is chaos. There is no rules to go by, so anything goes.

Political Chaos

Many today want this kind of life. They want to be able to do what they want, when they want, and how they want, regardless of how it affects anyone else. This is what the world tries to call true freedom.

Now comes the problem for many Christians, how much should they be involved with the politics of their city, state, nation? Some are on the front lines, fighting hard for Christian beliefs and principles. While others refuse to even vote or have anything to do with any politics.

There are good points and bad points about whether or not to be involved in politics. There are pros and cons about being involved with politics. A lot of what makes it good or bad is the focus. Why are you involved or not involved? If you are involved, what is your purpose? If you are not involved, what is your purpose?

Romans 13:1 New International Version (NIV)

13 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

One of the most common arguments that many believers state about not being involved in politics is that the government is corrupt and not following God. They state that they only follow God and not man.

While it is true that you should follow God, that does not mean you do not obey man. God has placed every person in authority that is currently in authority. The difficult part for many, is this also means that person that is in leadership that does not follow God and does everything that is against God’s ways. Those that are in authority are to be obeyed. The only time you have permission from God to not obey those in authority, is if they are telling you to do something against His word.

Acts 5:29 New International Version (NIV)

29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings!

Peter had been taken in by the authorities, some of whom were of the temple of God, and told not to speak about Jesus in public. His answer was that he must obey God first. This is the only time that disobedience of public authorities is acceptable according to God’s word.

Obey God Over Man

Now the question comes as to how much a person should be involved in politics. Should a Christian be on the front lines pushing for rules to be passed that honor God? Should a Christian be fighting against policies that do not honor God?

Jesus never got involved with any politics. He was focused on doing what God had sent Him to do. Outside of paying His taxes, the Bible does not show Jesus doing anything politically.

Does that mean that a Christian should not be a part of any political party or decisions?

There is no straight answer on that question. You must find out what God has for you to do in this life. The first, and most important thing for you to do in this life is be a witness of who Jesus is and what He has done and can do.

Jesus called the disciples to be His witness:

Matthew 28:19-20 New International Version (NIV)

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Is that your primary focus in your life? Or is your focus to change the political scene?

Standing against bad policies will only do so much, then it will fall short. All the policies against sin will never change a person’s heart. The only one that can do that is Jesus.

If every person who claims to be a believer was to go out and make disciples of Jesus, how much would the world be changed?

Be My Witness

If every where disciples were being made on a daily basis, those who get into political positions would be believers also. Believers in those positions can make a difference in the policies made.

Changing the heart of a person begins with getting to know Jesus. God will create a new heart in a person and change the way they do things. Outside of that, no one will ever really change, they will still be set for sin.

There is a place for politics in this world and believers have a place with politics. The issue is not whether politics is good or bad, but what you do with what you know. Politics should not be the main focus in the life of a believer. Bringing people to Jesus should be your primary focus, then if God leads you, be involved in the politics of your nation.

As you work in politics, your work should not mirror that of the world, one that crushes or demeans the other person to gain control or get your way. Many that are in the political world bad-mouth or climb over other people. They bash others to make themselves look good.

Every believer is to be a servant, building others up, not themselves. Work politics in the way God would–with love, compassion, and mercy. As you do that, you can allow God to change the lives of many people through you. Hearts can be truly changed, rather than just some more rules made.

Being A Servant

So it is not about whether politics is good or bad, but what is done with politics. How is it used to help others, and not about how it helps yourself. What can you do today to build this world to be better and more ready for Jesus’ return?

Isaiah 49:6 A Big Job To Do

He says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6

Once again, Isaiah speaks God’s word of a prophecy about Jesus. Jesus would not be just a servant to bring back the people of Israel, but would also be a light to the Gentiles all over the entire earth. In the Old Testament, God primarily worked with Israel and focused on them alone, although at times working with other nations. Once Jesus came, the focus then went out to every person around the earth. His final words to the disciples were to go into all the earth to be His witness.

Being a witness to one’s family and friends is the beginning of being a witness for Jesus. A person must be willing to reach out and be a witness to others. Although a person may have a lot of friends, there are many more people a person meets that he does not know.

Salvation is supposed to be for every person on this earth, not just a select few. The sad part is that many believers in the church do not even witness to their friends, much less to those they don’t know. They go to church and witness in the church, but never outside of the church.

All around you are people who are in the process of dying without knowing Jesus. They are on the road to dying without any salvation, because no one has told them that there is a problem.

Your job as a believer is to be a witness for Jesus wherever you go, to whoever you meet. Just being a witness to your few friends is not big enough, branch out, expand your territory. As you go through a store or some business, witness to every one you can. As you travel from one place to another, be a witness in all of your words and actions.

If you take the job of being His witness seriously, you will never run out of opportunities to be His witness. Only a very small portion of people in this world believe in Jesus, don’t let the rest die without a chance to know Him. Be His witness today.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be a witness for Jesus; that you will tell everyone you meet about Jesus; and that God will show you ways to touch the lives of all you meet.

John 13:17 How To Be Blessed

“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13:17

Jesus and the disciples were sitting down to eat their last meal together before Jesus would be crucified. Suddenly Jesus gets up and goes to each of the disciples and washes their feet. He tells them that He, as the Teacher, had washed their feet and that they should do the same for each other. He also tells them that they are being sent out as His messenger. Now Jesus tells them that they will be blessed if they do the things He has told them to do.

Most people want to be blessed by God. When a person gets blessed by God or someone else, they are pleased. It usually means that someone is happy with them.

One of the things that Jesus stated that needed to be done in order to get blessed is doing the things He did. What are these things? They can all be summed up in that Jesus was seen going around meeting the needs of other people.

The first things people like to look at is the miraculous meeting of needs that Jesus did. Things like: healing the blind, the sick, raising the dead, and healing the injured. These are the supernatural things Jesus did.

Other things that people do not look so much at was the washing feet, and taking time to talk to strangers and eat with people. Washing feet was something that servants did, not the host, yet, Jesus did washed feet.

As you find ways to meet the needs of other people you will be blessed. You will know that you made someone’s day. Jesus will bless you for doing what He did.

Although today people do not have to have their feet washed when they visit someone, there are other ways to meet needs. You can bring some food to their homes, mow their lawn, watch their children, help clean their house, wash their car, and many other ways of helping. These needs do not always have to be large things, little things can make a big difference in the life of a person.

Who can you help today? What can you do, so that God can pour out a blessing on you?

I pray today that God will reveal ways you can meet the needs of others; that you will learn to be a servant to others; that you will put the needs of others before your own needs; and that you will be more like Jesus everyday.