John 18:11 Accepting What God Gives

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Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” John 18:11

The disciples were in a garden and had just finished praying when a group of soldiers and leaders came up to arrest Jesus. Peter tried to defend Jesus and cut off a servant’s ear with his sword. Jesus rebuked him saying that He needed to drink the cup His Father had given to Him.

People love to accept gifts that are good gifts. The definition of good gifts, is gifts that are usable, helpful, makes a person feel good and are pleasurable. They are eager to accept these gifts because they are usually what the person wants.

There are many times that a person gets a gift that he really does not want. Such as a child getting a pair of socks for Christmas. The child wanted toys more than clothes. The child is very disappointed with the socks, because it is not what he desired.

Adults get the same way. They will get some gift that they really did not want. Although most adults don’t complain out loud, they do mumble under their breath at not wanting it.

Believers in God have the same problem. God gives things to people all the time. Sometimes those things are physical things, other times it is situations. When the good things come in, people are happy. They like when they get great favor, a pay raise, repairs done, a healing, the needed sleep, and other ‘good’ things.

However, along with giving ‘good’ things, God also gives, what appears to be ‘bad’ things. There are times of sickness, breakdowns, job loss, persecution, hatred and more. As with Jesus getting arrested, these things appear to be bad.

The important thing to remember is that God only gives you what is best for your life. God will not give you anything that will not be for your benefit. Even the bad things can be for your benefit.

When a bad situation happens, it is time to turn to God for strength and direction. It is not a time to fight back and complain of what is happening.

Trust God that He knows what is best for your life. So accept all things that He puts in your path. Do not accept only the good and reject what appears to be bad. With God, all can be used for good.

I pray today that you will see God giving you all that you need; that you will trust God’s provisions; that you will seek God’s strength in tough times; and that you will give God thanks for everything.

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John 13:7 Understanding Later

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Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:7

The night that Jesus was going to be taken captive to be crucified, He sat down with His disciples to eat the Passover meal with them. He went up to Peter and washed his feet. Peter did not understand what Jesus was doing at the time. Jesus told him that later he would understand.

Parents often have to make choices for their family or children that the children do not understand. They will tell the child to do something a certain way and the child thinks it is crazy and does not understand why it has to be done that way.

Or in the workplace, the boss will change up how something is done. The workers do not always understand at the moment, but must comply with the change.

In both cases, often later the child or worker begins to understand why it was done a certain way. With the child, it may take years before that happens, but with growth and learning, the understanding begins to come about.

Believers run into the same situation with God. God will guide them down a certain path to do a certain thing, and the person may not understand why or what is going on. God is in heaven looking down on the earth from beginning to end. He sees the whole picture of all creation and all time. God is guiding everyone to walk in His path.

In order for God to do that, there will be times He will do things that do not make sense. Only with time will a person begin to understand. Looking back at situations will open the eyes as to what was really going on and why it occurred.

There will be times God will do things in your life, that at the moment you will not understand. Some of these things you will never understand until you step into heaven. Other things you may understand at a later time, after seeing the bigger picture.

Peter had to just trust Jesus in washing his feet, so that later he may understand what had happened. You also must trust God in working in your life, so that later you may also understand what He had done and why He had done it. Allow God to be in control and trust Him.

I pray today that you will see what God is doing in your life; that God will give you understanding; and that you will trust what God is doing.

Luke 1:45 Believe And Be Blessed

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Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her! Luke 1:45

Both Mary and Elizabeth were pregnant by miraculous means. When Elizabeth found out about Mary’s pregnancy, she was excited for her and amazed, that she would get to meet the mother of her Lord. She claimed that Mary would be blessed because she believed what God had told her.

Believing what a stranger says can be very difficult. Listening to some politicians has put a lot of doubt in the minds of people. It is common for someone to promise something, but never fulfill that promise. After a time of hearing false promises over and over, again and again, people become very distrustful. They no longer want to believe anyone.

Often people have translated this lack of trust and belief in others to God. They can read the promises of God in the Bible, but refuse to believe that those promises are for them also. Or they may hear God speak directly to them in some situation, promising something, but still refuse to believe it. They allow the cares of this world and the mountain in front of them to overtake them, rather than the peace of God in His promises.

People fail to believe what God has told them, whether it comes from the Bible or some other way. They then miss opportunities to be blessed by God.

Mary was not anyone special. She had no real credentials to be blessed as she was. She was just like you, only she believed God’s word to her. She believed that what God said He would do, He would do it, despite her not understanding how it would be possible.

You have the ability to believe God’s word to you. God’s word to you will be different than it was to Mary or any other believer in this world. God has a purpose for you to fulfill. It will not be the same as that of Mary.

However, in order for you to fulfill your purpose on this earth, you must believe God’s word to you. Trust that He will keep all of His promises to you. God will not leave or forsake you. God will provide for all of your needs.

In the end you will be blessed with His peace and unmerited favor because you believed His word to you.

I pray today that you will know God’s promises to you; that you will know what God has for you; that you will believe every word God speaks to you; and that you will know the blessings of believing God’s word.

Mark 14:36 Not My Will

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“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36

After predicting His death, Jesus took some of the disciples and went to a place to pray alone. He was in great sorrow knowing what was about to happen. Jesus knew that with God anything was possible, so He asked if it would be possible to change what He had to do. However, He finished His prayer with saying it was up to God to do what He wanted to do.

In the workplace there should always be one person who is the head boss at all times. This is the person who has the final say in what happens in the workplace. All the workers under that person are supposed to follow all of his orders.

Many times some of the other workers do not like what the boss or manager says and try to do their own thing, without permission. When this happens, often there is chaos or mistakes are made. Managers will often give a few warnings and then fire a person from the job, who does not want to follow the commands.

People often put God in a box and do not allow Him to be in complete control. They will look at a few verses in the Bible and then demand that God must do something a certain way. They think that they know what is best for their lives and that God must work that way. If He doesn’t work that way, they get upset.

God always sees the bigger picture. He knows what is best for you and for everyone else in this world, all at the same time. As a human being, you only see the here and now. Your vision is very limited. What you ask for may look good for you and others involved, but God may see something that shows it is not the best.

If God would have chosen to remove the crucifixion from Jesus, then there would be no salvation available for you or anyone else today. God chose that path with you in mind and knew it was the best way for Jesus to love everyone in this world.

As you pray today, ask God to do what He thinks is best–His will. Do not force Him to do your will.

I pray today that you will know what God’s will is; that you will allow God to do what He desires; that you will trust God’s will for your life; and that you will not fear what God brings in your path.

 

Mark 9:16 What Are You Arguing About?

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“What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. Mark 9:16

A man had brought his demon possessed son to the disciples to have the spirit removed. The disciples were unable to remove the demon and so the teachers of the law were arguing with them about it. Each group had their own idea of how to cast the demon out. Jesus asked what they were arguing about.

Arguments are a common thing to see, no matter where a person looks. There are arguments as to how a play was made, or not made in a sport. Arguments about who should be the next politician, about how a politician is doing, about what is the best movie, or who the best actor is. Arguments about what rights should or should not be allowed. Arguments about what is freedom. And the list goes on forever.

Arguments even occur within the church. Many dispute what the best doctrine is, or how to be saved, or when to be baptized, or the place of tongues in the church.

The disciples and the teachers of the law were arguing about the best way to get the demon spirit removed from the boy. Yet, the best way was completely overlooked. The best way is by faith, by belief in Jesus and in God.

People love to make things more complicated than what they really are. They cannot see the simplicity of the gospel message and that God loves them and wants to save them at all costs.

Individuals will even argue with God about the best way to meet a need or about a path that one must walk. There is a lack of belief in God.

There may be times you have been in an argument with another believer or even God Himself. You did not agree with what was going on and felt you knew better.

Get yourself into God’s Word and see what God has to say about the situation. Seek God in prayer to help you understand what is going on and the best path to take.

Seek to find common ground with others, rather than just argue for your point of view.

God is a God of love and unity, not division. The only thing God wants you to be divided against is sin. Don’t waste time arguing on points that really do not matter. Believe in God and trust Him.

I pray today that you will know what God wants; that you will not waste words arguing with others; that you will speak the words of God; and that you will have a belief and trust in God.

Mark 8:21 Do You Still Not Understand?

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He said to them, “Do you still not understand?” Mark 8:21

Jesus had just finished feeding over 4,000 people with a few loaves of bread and fish. Afterwards, He and the disciples left by boat. On the boat Jesus gave them a warning about the Pharisees, yet, they did not understand. He asked how they could still not understand.

Understanding what is going on is often missed by a lot of people. They see things from the surface and do not see the deeper meaning of something that is occurring.

It is common for people to see the immediate situation rather than the big picture. When the big picture is not seen, there is often a misunderstanding of what is happening or could happen.

Many in the world know how to see the big picture of what is going on. Plans are made years in advance to change the mindset of the people to follow unacceptable behaviors. There are many actions that are acceptable today, that thirty years ago were not commonly accepted. In order to see that, one must be willing to see and understand what was happening to make the change.

Believers often see God at work in their lives or in the lives of others. They see or hear of some miracle, but then, almost immediately, do not believe God will meet a need they have.

Jesus had just revealed that He could make the impossible happen with feeding the 4,000. Yet, shortly afterwards, the disciples were feeling that they were in trouble because they did not bring enough bread. They did not understand what had just happened and what Jesus was now warning them about.

Every day you can see God doing great wonders and miracles. As you see these things occurring, you can know and understand that God is in control.

Take a moment and remember the last time God had provided something for you. That something could be a physical item, healing or a spiritual item. If He could do it then, why can He not do it now?

Think about how many times God has met your needs. Those needs may have been met by providing you a job, or through someone else, or by a miracle, but they were met.

Do you not understand how much God loves you? Do you not understand how much God can meet your needs?

Understand and trust God today?

I pray today that you will know the provisions God has given you; that you will know God can raise you above any circumstance; that God is in control; and that you can trust God in all things.

Give Him Control

Worshipping God

I was listening to a song by the group, Tenth Avenue North, a few days ago. It was a song I have heard quit a few times, but never really listened to the words, until the other day when I was listening to it.

The title of the song is: Comfort (Somehow You Want Me)

Here are the words to the chorus to the song:

God, You don’t need me, but somehow You want me
Oh, how you love me, somehow that frees me
To take my hands off of my life and the way it should go
Oh, God, You don’t need me, but somehow You want me
Oh, how You love me, somehow that frees me
To open my hands up and give You control
I give You control

As I listened to this song the other day, it really hit me what the song was saying. God really does not need me, but He loves me and wants me.

Just sit back and think about that for a moment. God, the God of all the universe; the God who made everything that is; the God who has absolute power; the God who has always been and will always be; the God who is in absolute control of everything, wants me. And just as much as He wants me, He wants you also.

Before all of creation was started, God already had you on His mind. He had a plan for you.

Ephesians 1-4

For me that is so amazing! It is mind-blowing to think about. That even before He created this great earth, He was thinking about me and you.

Now as you think about that, now think about how you, (if you are like me), like to be in control of your own life. How many times do we like to be the one to call the shots? Or to be successful in what we do?

How often do we set our own goals and try to do what it takes to achieve those goals? Then get upset because we can’t seem to achieve the goals we set.

This is where the other part of that chorus comes in: “somehow that frees me
To open my hands up and give You control, I give You control

Jumping For Freedom

Knowing that God wants me, loves me and has been thinking about me since before the beginning of creation, brings about a great freedom. That freedom is to be able to let go of this life I have and let Him have control of it.

Knowing that God wants me, loves me and has been think about me since before the beginning of creation assures me that He knows what is best for me. He knows what is best for me in every situation that I may go through in my life.

The only bad situation for God is when I choose not to obey or follow Him. Everything else God has under control and can use it for His glory and to build me up more like Jesus everyday. There is nothing so bad that God cannot use it for His glory and to build you and me up.

Now the question comes, am I willing to give up control of my life? Are you willing to give up control of your life?

Giving It To God

That means letting go of everything and placing all those things in God’s hands. It means trusting God to take care of you. It means following God no matter where He leads you. It means obeying God in every area of your life, every moment of your life. It means that you strive to be more like Jesus everyday.

It is putting complete trust in God and God alone. It is putting so much trust in God, that if He fails, you will fail. But remember that God has never failed and never will fail. He has always kept every promise He has made.

Look at what Jesus went through so that you and I could be saved. It looked terrible, it looked like God had failed, but He did not. Jesus had victory in the end.

You can also have that same victory. Are you going to let go of your life and let God have control? I am striving to do that more and more.

Here is the video of that song by Tenth Avenue North: