As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Where can I go and meet with God? Psalm 42:1-2
Anyone who has been in a desert climate for more than a few days, understands the value of water. This is especially true during the summer months. Go to the desert areas of southwestern Texas during the summer months, and the temperature will be over 100 degrees. There is usually no water to be seen for many miles.
The one in the desert will get extremely thirsty for something to drink. The mouth will be dry, and the tongue will stick to the top of the mouth. He will want something to drink and it does not matter. The endless list of possible drinks that are seen in a store will no longer matter, just something wet to drink.
When one has had lots to drink, it is easy to be picky about what to drink. In the restaurant, there are many choices, and one can be choosy then. However, in the desert, there is no time to be choosy or picky.
In life, there are many things to drink from. The world will tell you that you can drink from their celebrity status, or wealth, or fun things and will be satisfied. Think of every time you drink your favorite drink at a restaurant, how long does it quench your thirst? Only for a very short amount of time.
The only thing or one that can truly satisfy your thirst in this life, is Jesus. Jesus said that whoever drinks His water will never thirst again.
As a believer, you should be panting after God. Your mind should be focused on getting more of God. Just as the deer pants and longs for more water to drink. And as the person in the desert is panting some liquid to drink, you must be thirsty for more of God.
Make it your focus in life to drink of God. Take in what He has for you. Learn more of who He is. Desire to spend all your time with God. God will satisfy your greatest longings and desires, if you will let Him.
I pray today that you will thirst after God; that you will want God alone; that you will allow God to be your heart’s desire; and that you will know God in a personal way.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5
After God had given Moses the ten commandments, Moses told the people to love the LORD their God. They were to do this with all of their heart, soul and strength. Several thousand years later, Jesus called this the greatest commandment.
It is easy for a person to say that he loves someone. People fall into and out of love with others all the time. People go around changing who they love and want to date all the time. Marriages fall apart because one of the spouses falls out of love with the other. Many also say that they love God.
However, loving with all of the heart, soul and strength takes it to a different level.
Loving God with all of your heart is placing God above everything and everyone else in this world. It is being willing to do whatever He says all the time. A divided heart ends up falling apart. You cannot love two different things with the same level of love.
Loving God with all of your soul is putting God above your own self. It is easy to put your own personal needs and desires before God’s desires. If you realize how much God loves you and wants only the best for you, then you will love Him above yourself because you know He desires the best for you. You will be willing to lay down your life for God.
Loving God with all of your strength is giving everything you have to love, obey and serve God. This is spending time with God, telling others about Jesus, serving others, and building others up. You will be willing to expend all your time, strength and energy to meet all of these needs. You will trust God will renew your strength.
How well do you really love God today?
Do you just love God?
Or do your really LOVE God with all of your heart, soul and strength?
I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will learn to love God with all of your heart, soul and strength; that you will rely on God’s strength to keep you going; and that you will live in God’s love and strength.
“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1
Paul had just finished telling of some promises God had made. These were that believers will be saved, that God will be their God, and that they will be His people. In light of these promises he now tells people to purify themselves from everything that contaminates both body and spirit.
Believers in the church will readily see the need to purify the soul of any sin. They know that sin is bad in the spirit of a person. The challenge for many is knowing what is sin and what is not sin. The world has influenced the church so much that many sins are watered down and are no longer seen as sin.
Often believers will overlook what they are thinking in their thoughts because they feel it is not sinful to have bad thoughts since there is no action to it. Others often refuse to forgive someone else of a wrong done. These and many other things are still sin in their spirit.
The other area that is often overlooked is the body. People will eat junk foods continually, or drink bad drinks, or take drugs that are bad for their body, or refuse to exercise their body. This is not taking care of the physical body God has blessed the person with.
Your focus should not be on anyone of these things or of many other things that may need to be done or not done. Your focus needs to be on Jesus and what He wants for you.
Are you taking care to not contaminate your spirit in any way? Are you trying to be pure and holy before God? Jesus paid the high price of death for you. Will you abuse the price He paid?
Are you striving to take care of the body God has blessed you with? What contaminates are you putting into it? What nutrition are refusing to give it?
God had fearfully and wonderfully made you the way your are. Do not mess up His good work. Be a good steward and take care of your body and soul. The best way to do that is focusing on loving and serving Jesus with all of your mind, body, soul, and strength.
I pray today that God will reveal what contaminates you are allowing into your body and soul; that God’s Holy Spirit will fill your life to clean out the sin; that your focus will be on Jesus; and that you will honor God with your body and soul.
“Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.” Revelation 6:11
One of the seals was opened and John saw under the altar of God the souls of the people who were killed because of their following Jesus. These souls cried out to God asking how long it would be until He gets vengeance for their deaths. Today’s verse answers that question.
They were given a white robe. This symbolizes the righteousness of Jesus. No person has righteousness in and of themselves. Jeremiah wrote that our righteousness is as filthy rags. These souls were declared righteous by their faith in following Jesus.
Once they were given that robe, they were told they had to wait a little longer until more fellow believers were killed. No one can say how long a little longer is. God is outside of time. He always was and always will be. A “little time” may be a few days or it could be 10,000 years. No one knows.
The difficult part is that during this wait, more people were to be killed for their faith. In fact, God has a specific number of deaths in mind. He stated that they had to wait until the full number of believers were killed.
Many people have a hard time with this. Why would God allow the death of believers in the form of a murder? Remember that man cannot really take your life. Man can kill the body, but cannot touch the soul. When your body dies, your soul goes to be with God for all eternity, if you believe in Jesus.
It should be a joy to see a believer die, regardless of how he dies. When he dies, you know that he has no more pain or suffering. That person is now in heaven with God with a perfect body.
God is a patient God and does not want anyone to perish in their sins. He needs people to be His witness on this earth. Man will continue to sin and get worse with it. In order to have the witnesses He must also be willing to see some of them killed. This explains why He must have a number set for those to be killed.
Rest in God in knowing He knows what is happening. God is still in control. In the end you will be blessed beyond all measure. Wait for His return. Wait for His timing on vengeance.
I pray today that God will give you strength to be His witness; that God will give you peace in that He is in control; that you will be patient waiting for His vengeance; and that you will stay true to God in all that you do.