December 7, 2018 Memory Verse

 

Psalm 147_5

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Ezekiel 18:23 What Pleases God

Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? Ezekiel 18:23

The question had been raised asking if a son will die for the sins of the father, and God answered no. He states that a person will die for his own sins, and that is regardless of how he lived prior to those sins. Along with that, God said that if a person had lived a sinful life, then changed his ways, he would live and not die because of the past sins. God does not look forward to someone dying in sin, but that they will change their ways and live.

Looking out on the world, there are many different types of people. When people read or hear about someone who has done a great crime against many people, they often want justice done and see the person destroyed. They do not see any hope for that person at all.

It can even happen in the small town, where a person knows someone who has been living a very bad lifestyle and it there seems to be no hope for him. People do not believe that he will ever be able to accept Christ and change.

On the other side, people see someone who is a great looking Christian, with a large ministry, fall away from God into some sinful lifestyle. Some people feel that God should still save him because of what he had done in his past.

God looks at the current situation of the heart of a man. God’s greatest desire is that every person will change their ways and follow Him, regardless of how bad or how good they were in the past. Jesus does not want anyone to perish.

Often Christians will condemn a person and never have hope that he will change. Or they do not believe it when he does start to change and serve God.

When  you see a person, you must have hope that God will touch his heart and he will change. If someone who has served God falls away,  your heart must also break with God’s, and pray that he returns.

Have the heart of God in being pleased when a person repents and turns to Him, do not doubt or get angry when a person is given life.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for people; that you will be pleased as God when a person turns to Him; that you will weep as God does when a person turns from Him; and that you will seek to tell all about Jesus. 

Proverbs 9:7 When Not To Correct Or Rebuke

Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. Proverbs 9:7

It is very common for believers to stand up and rebuke those in the world. Various Christian speakers speak out harshly against those who do not claim to be Christian in any way and are living in sin. Some will get extremely angry with those who are promoting sinful activities and protest them in very harsh ways.

As this is done, the world rises up stronger against the believer and fight. Christians are often then seen as hateful and unloving. Rules are then made to silence those who speak out against sinful acts.

Believers need to look at how Jesus acted when He walked on this earth. He never came out harshly against the unbelievers. Jesus just proclaimed the kingdom of God and His great love. When a person chose to believe in Him, He would then tell them to leave the old ways of sin. The only time Jesus got angry and did rebukes, was when He was talking about those who believed in God, but were not living that way.

Those in the world are sinners, and that is what is sinners do–they sin. Trying to correct or rebuke the wicked or those who do not believe in God, will do nothing but get them angry.

Instead of rebuke and correction, show them God’s love, mercy and grace. Let those in the world see the example of a better life.

Believers should accept all correction and rebuke as possibly coming from God. To hear what God may be trying to tell them on how they should be living their life. That is being wise.

As you go through life, there will be things you see people of this world doing that will make you upset. You may want to rise up and fight back or rebuke them. Take a step back and think about how God treated you before you became a believer. God showed great love to you.

Can you show love to those in the world?

Don’t just rebuke those that do not know to do any better, give them an example of how to live. Show them what true living is by showing them what true love is. There is a time and place for correction and rebuke, make sure it is in God’s time and way.

I pray today that you will allow God to guide you; that you will be filled with God’s love and mercy; that you will show God’s love to this world; and that you will be an example of how to live for God to this world.

Psalm 73:2-3 Wanting What Others Have

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. Psalm 73:2-3

One thing that is very difficult for many people is watching others prosper and succeed. This becomes especially true when the method of prosperity is done in a very bad way.

The majority in the world do not think anything of being envious of someone else. It is looked as part of the human nature to desire and really want what someone else has. Commercials are geared to bring out that envy in a person. They strive to get a person to want something someone else has so bad that they will do anything they can to get it.

As believers, the view should be different. Asaph, the writer of this psalm, writes that he almost slipped in envy. Envy is another word for coveting, which God said that His people were not to ever do.

There are times when a believer can look at someone in the world and be envious of what that person has or can do. Watching someone go on vacations around the world, drive fancy cars, eat out at fancy restaurants, and have big bank accounts can bring about envy in a person. Believers often struggle with this, when the person is very prosperous with sinful activities. Many will question God as to why that happens.

Some in the church will also be filled with envy for another person’s abilities or position in the church.

You should look at what God has given you in Jesus Christ. You have life for all eternity. The world may have all the fancy cars and houses with big bank accounts, but they will never have the peace and life that Jesus provides. They only have today and tomorrow will be death for them for eternity.

Do not look at their wealth and desire it. Do not allow your feet to slip into the sin of envy. Look at God and the wealth of life that He provides. God provides more blessings than anything in this world can ever provide.

What do you desire today?

More of God?

Or more of this world?

I pray today that you will see all that God has given you; that you will not desire the things of this world; that you will be a witness of what Jesus has given; and that you will know the blessings of God.