Leviticus 26:1 Who Is Your God?

Man on a cliff

Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 26:1

While there are large numbers of people around the world that believe in physical idols, there are also many people who do not believe in them. There still some very advanced nations in this world that believe in idols and will set offerings before them and pray to them, believing that the idols can do something for them.

As a whole, the majority of people in the European nations and America’s do not believe in idol worship, yet, the majority worship idols on a daily basis. Instead of worshipping a statue, many will worship a thing. Instead of bowing down and praying to the idol and calling it a god, they worship an idol in different ways.

More commonly people worship things by spending their time, money, and effort with it, to the expense of everyone and everything else. The list is infinite in what the item can be. Some common ones are: jobs, cars, homes, hobbies, careers, celebrities, and money.

It is seen many times where a person focuses so much on his career and advancement in that field, that he neglects his family, friends, church and God. Making the position or pleasing the boss is all that matters to him, at any cost.

Others may be focused on a hobby–watching or playing sports. They do it to the point of neglect of everything else. It is all that matters to them. It consumes them. The hobby has become their god.

Believers are no exception to worshipping idols. There are believers who are so consumed with ministry, that they neglect time with God, family and friends, things that are important. They can also get consumed with the position and do it out of greed and pride, rather than love and for God.

What a person worships, may also change with time, but it is still putting something before God–an idol.

Take a look at your life. Where do you spend your time, money, efforts, and focus?

What is most important to you in your life?

Think of your top three priorities in life. If the top three is not God, family, and being a witness, then you may have an idol in your life.

I pray today that you will know God as your only God; that you will serve God with all of your life; that God will help you remove all idols in your life; and that God will be your highest priority in this life.

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What Is Your Motivation?

Work And Life

I am currently in a position of a job transition. I am transitioning from a known job into the unknown. At this point I do not know what my next job will be, but I know that God has one out there for me.

In the process of searching for a job I have to look at various different factors. One factor is what type of job do I want. Another is how much I want to work, or how many hours I want to work. Another is what benefits are there and what benefits do I want.

One factor that many people do not look at is the motivation factor. Motivation is the reason for a person to behave or act in a certain way. This brings up the question of why a person wants a particular job. Most people look back at the above factors in looking for a job. Some want the high pay, others the great side benefits, and still others the hours worked.

Money

While paying the bills is an important motivator for working, it is not necessarily the most important factor.

As a believer in Jesus, my time in worship and ministry is extremely high on the priority list of life. I want to be able to go to church and do ministry in the church. I want to be able to lead my family in worship and service to God, both in and out of the church.

As a happily married man, I place a very high priority of spending time with my wonderful wife. I want to be able to take her out on a date once in a while. I want to be able to spend time with her at home without falling asleep exhausted from work.

Family

As a man with a large family, I place family as a very high place on the priority of life list. I want to spend quality and quantity of time with my family. I want to be able to play with my kids and mentor my kids in work, worship and ministry. Working automatically places a damper on the amount of time spent with my family.

Some of the jobs I look at will pay very well. This will allow for all bills to be paid and still be able to get everything my family needs or wants. However, to get that high pay requires that I put in very long hours, cutting back family  and ministry time.

Other jobs I look at allow for a lot of time with the family, but do not pay very well. They will not be enough to pay the bills and other needs of the family. Thus it puts a lot of stress upon me and the family.

You may be in this position or you may have been there, or you may be in this position some day. Most people have been there or will be there some day.

In order to solve this dilemma one must look to God and His word. The first thing is:

Psalm 37-23_24

God guides those who seek Him. He will guide your steps. God is there to help you grow, not cut you down.

It is easy to look at this verse and agree that God guides your steps, but it is harder to actually act upon it. He may open a door that does not look good, or close a door that looks great. He sees the big picture and wants to guide you down the correct path. 

Often we look at a path God wants us to walk down and just see problems with it. Yet, that path may be the best one for us. It may be difficult, but it keeps you focused on God. It may be insane, but it draws you closer to Him. This brings you to the point of trusting God.

proverbs 3_5-6

You must let go of your own understanding and the wisdom of this world and trust God’s wisdom and understanding of the situation.

Now that I have talked about God guiding your steps and trusting in the Lord, what does all this have to do with motivation? I started talking about motivation at the beginning.

Ephesians 5_8-10

 

You need to first find out what pleases God. When you or I look at a job, it must be through the eyes of God. Does it honor God? Will it please God to have you working there? Will it be a hindrance to your walk with God? Or will it build your walk with God?

Colossians 3_23-24

 

No matter what the job is that you do, you must do it as though you are working for God. Don’t do it just for the paycheck, or the position, or the benefits, but do it for God.

God opens and closes doors. If you are in a job, it is because God wanted you to be there. The purpose to being there could be to build you up or to help you reach others. The paycheck is the last thing God is really concerned about. You can have a great paycheck and be lose eternal life, because you missed God.

The two greatest motivators for anything that you do, must be to please God and to do it for God.

This can be translated into work, play, or anything else in life. What is your motivation? Is it something temporary of this world? Or is it eternal in God’s kingdom?

Malachi 1:8 Offering Defiled Sacrifices

“When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty. Malachi 1:8

God was asking the priests why they were showing contempt for Him and not giving Him honor. They asked how they were showing contempt. He told them that they were offering defiled animals for their sacrifices. They were doing something to God that they would not do to their governor.

Until the time of Jesus people had to offer animals for sacrifices to God for various reasons. Some were offered for sins done, others for thanksgiving, and others for blessings and honoring. Once Jesus came the offering of animal sacrifices was done away with. He became the one sacrifice salvation from sin for all men, for all time.

Although Jesus is the sacrifice for sins, there are other sacrifices that believers can offer God today. These can be sacrifices of worship and praise, time, money and talents. Any time a person gives God something it is a type of sacrifice. It is giving up something that the person has to God.

However, giving of these things can also be given in contempt and not honoring to God. There are people who go to church every Sunday morning and during the worship time, just barely say the words of the songs. They say the words of worship and praise, but not from the heart.

Or they give money in the offering plate, while wishing that they did not have to give it. They give out of obligation or to look good, not from a cheerful heart.

Some will give time to work in a ministry, but do not give it their best work. They are late for Sunday School class. They did not study for the lesson. They grumble about having to do it.

All of these things would not be done for a boss at work. Most people give better time and effort at work, then they do to God.

Take a look at your own life and see how you are treating God. Are you giving God your best? Or are you holding back some?

Do not give God the leftovers, but give Him the first and best. He will provide for you and redeem what you have given.

I pray today that you will love God with all your heart; that you will give your best to God; that you will know God’s provision for you; and that your sacrifices to God will be an honor to Him.

Isaiah 56:6-7 Joy In Prayer

And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant–these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. Isaiah 56:6-7

Some things that have to be done in life are not always the most exciting or joyful things to do. For each person that list is different. Some people find great joy weeding a garden, while the other person finds it an extreme torture. Some find it challenging to work with little children, while others get great joy in it.

Prayer is something that many believers find as a great chore, often with very little to no joy. When a pastor calls for a prayer meeting, often very few show up for it. It is common to hear of people say that when they try to make a prayer time with God, they end up falling asleep. You may find this challenge sometimes or, maybe, all the time.

Yet, God says that He will give them joy in His house of prayer. Keep in mind that you are the temple of the Lord. Your body is God’s house. And is house, is one of prayer–communication with Him.

Think about how much joy it gives you to talk to your best friend. Most people find great joy in that.

It should be the same way, and even more so, with God. God is better than your best friend could ever be. He truly knows every little detail about your life.

Prayer is just communication, talking with God. It is not some solemn, spiritual act. It is talking and listening to each other. You do not need to use fancy church words, speak in your own words. He does not need doctorate degree words.

As you talk and listen to God, you will find great joy. You will learn God’s heart for you and this world. You will learn what God has for you each day.

Spend time talking to God. Don’t look at it as  just prayer, but a time to chat with God. And do it all throughout the day and night, not just on Sunday and meals.

I pray today that you will find joy in prayer to God; that you will know God hears your prayers; that you will find time to talk and listen to God; and that God will work through your prayers.

Psalm 90:4 God’s Time Table

A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. Psalm 90:4

Time has always been a mystery to people. It is something that sometimes feels like it passes quickly, while at other times it appears to move extremely slowly.

When someone is having a good time, such as on a great vacation, the time seems to move extremely fast. A family can go on a week-long vacation to Disney World. As the week comes to an end, many may be complaining that they did not get to do everything that they wanted to do, because the time went so fast.

That same family when back home and having to go to work and school, will then complain about how long the days are. This usually happens when they are doing things that they really do not want to do.

God stands outside of time, because He has always existed and always will. Since this is the case, time passes as though there was no time for God. In God’s eyes, it was just a mere two days ago that Jesus left the earth saying He would return.

Christians will often complain about wondering when Jesus will return. This is especially true during very bad times of persecution on this earth. Or when there is a prayer being asked and there seems to be no answer from God.

You must trust in God at all times. Wait on Him. God understands what time it is and what your needs are. He is waiting for the right time to answer those prayers and needs.

As a human being, you may feel that the time it is needed is right now. You are limited in time. Yet, God knows and understands your every need. He also knows how long you have on this earth. Trust Him.

Do not worry or live in fear that your needs will not be met on time. If God is patient in answering your prayer, you must also be patient. God is not in a hurry, so you must not be in a hurry or worry either.

I pray today that you will not fear God’s timing; that you will wait for God’s answer; that you will trust in God’s timing; and that God will fill you with His patience.

John 2:17 What Consumes You

“His disciples remembered that it is written: Zeal for your house will consume me.” John 2:17

Jesus went into the temple courts and found many people selling things in there. It had become more of a marketplace than a place of worship. He gets angry with the people and drives them out of there. At that point the disciples remembered a verse from Psalm 69:9 that zeal for God’s house would consume Him.

Many people get excited about many different things. They allow their time to be used for various things in their life. Often they are hobbies that they enjoy doing. Others get a joy with their work.

This excitement is usually taken to an extreme, to the point where they are consumed with it. They will spend all their time and money on that hobby. Some of those hobbies might be hunting, gaming, golfing, watching sports, or something else enjoyed.

While none of these are bad things to do, a person should not be consumed with them. One should not spend all their waking moments doing one thing.

The one thing that should consume a person is being in God’s presence. In order to be in God’s presence, you must be in the temple that He is in.

The world has many temples everywhere you go. There are temples built to everything you can imagine: jobs, hobbies, sports, friends, homes, and more.

You are the temple of God if you allow God to dwell there. Fleeing and repenting of all sin will allow God to dwell in you. Worship God wherever you are, not just in church on Sunday.

Be consumed with the need to keep God’s temple pure and holy for Him. Do not allow it to become defiled and dirty. Put the time into it as many put time into their favorite hobbies.

Keep your focus on God and His holiness and righteousness. Live the righteous live that Jesus has provided you.

Whose house/temple are you consumed with today?

I pray today that God will draw you closer to Him; that you will have zeal for what God has zeal for; that you will keep God’s house pure and holy; that God will make His dwelling in you; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.