Jeremiah 27:22 Waiting In Babylon

‘They will be taken to Babylon and there they will remain until the day I come for them,’ declares the LORD. ‘Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.’ Jeremiah 27:22

God had chosen to move all the people of Judah to the nation of Babylon. They were moved as prisoners, because of their sin against God. As God moved them there, He told them that they were to live and serve the king of Babylon. This would not be a permanent move, but only for a time. They had to serve there for a set amount of time, before God would come to them and move them back to Judah. There would be a time of waiting.

Since God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, He still works in the same way with His people. There are times that God moves some of His people into an area that does not seem to be blessed by Him. It is not always the promised land.

This move is often just like with the Israelites, it is a move that is made because of disobedience or wrong choices. God has to get the attention placed back on Him, rather than on self.

During this time it can be very frustrating and fearful for a believer. Many feel that God has totally abandoned them and that He will never use them again. This is not true. God is there to build a person up and use them to for His kingdom. God is not out to destroy and kill.

You may be in this position right now. At some point you may have made some poor decisions and strayed off the path God has for you. God then moved you to another place. During this time you may feel abandoned. Jesus said that He would never leave you.

Focus your eyes and life on God. Find out what He wants you to do in the place you are in. While you are waiting in your Babylon, you can do the work of God. You can be a witness of who Jesus is and work at building His kingdom.

If God called you to do a work, that call is still there. He may have detoured you for a time, but He will move you into that call.

I pray today that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will obey God in everything He says; that you will trust God in your Babylon; and that you will be a witness wherever you are.

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Jeremiah 26:2 Speak All The Words

This is what the LORD says: Stand in the courtyard of the LORD’s house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the LORD. Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word. Jeremiah 26:2

God was going to have Jeremiah stand before the people and speak some of His words. The words that were to be spoken were not the most kind type of words. It would be words that were commands to change their ways or become a curse and be destroyed. They would be words that the people would become very angry about and attempt to kill Jeremiah. God did not want Jeremiah to miss a single word as he spoke to the people, despite how the people would react.

It is easy to talk about how much God loves a person and all the things that are good about God. For many people it is much harder to talk about God’s commands to change and the results of not giving up sin. It is more difficult because people may not accept the words or get angry about them.

In today’s society, often one has to be careful not to politically/socially offend someone else with their words. No Christian believer should ever attempt to offend someone on purpose. However, every Christian has a duty to speak God’s word in truth and love.

God has spoken a lot of words and told His people to speak all of them. Some of those words are easy to hear because they are just about God’s love. Other words are harder to hear, because they are about change and giving up sinful ways. Not everyone will accept the words, but they still need to be spoken.

When you go out today in this world, be willing to speak every word God has given you. Be led by His Holy Spirit in what to say to those you come in contact with.

Some people may accept those words and change, while others may reject them and get angry. Regardless of the outcome, you need to be faithful to God’s Word and commands.

Are you speaking God’s word today?

Are you being a witness of what God wants to do and is doing?

Do not be afraid to speak His words today.

I pray today that you will know what God wants to be said; that you will not fear speaking God’s word to everyone you meet; that you will speak with the love and compassion for people that God has; and that you will be God’s witness to this world of His love and judgment.

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.

Isaiah 14:24 God’s Plans Will Succeed

The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen.” Isaiah 14:24

Plans are made everyday by people all over the world. Some people make plans just for that day, while others plan out the whole year or more.

Planning out something is usually a good thing to do. Setting down a path for education, or how to get into a specific career path, or raising a family are just a few common events that people often plan for. In each of these, and many others, there are multiple steps to get the desired achievement.

The challenging part is that often there are many obstacles to overcome during the process of achieving the desired plans. There are times when things come up that completely change the plans, making them unachievable.

In the passage today, God had a plan to destroy Babylon. He had set up the plan and would achieve it, nothing could stop it.

Since that day, God has not changed at all. He has a plan for the events in this world. Jesus was sent with the plan to save all who would come to Him. That has not changed.

Jesus left this world to build a place for all who would accept Him. That has not changed.

Jesus has a plan to return some day to take all His people home to heaven. That has not changed.

As you are going through life, seek out what God’s plan is for you. Give your plans to God to adjust and tweak them to line up with His plans for your life.

One plan that God has for every believer is that the believer is a witness of who Jesus is. Every plan that you make in your life, must be centered upon that plan. Does what you do point or draw people to Jesus? Or does it focus back on you and this world?

As you align your plans up with the plans of God, you will have success. It may not be success as the world defines success, but in the end you will hear God say “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

God will succeed in all of His plans. How you are lined up with His plans will determine how well your plans will succeed.

I pray today that you will know God’s plans for your life; that God will guide your every step; that God will strengthen you to do His work in this world; and that you will be a witness of who Jesus is each day.

Psalm 71:7 Become A Sign

I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge. Psalm 71:7

Over the history of the earth there have been various people who have become a sign for some type of lifestyle or movement. Abraham Lincoln was a sign for honesty and freedom. Adolph Hitler became a sign of extreme evil dictatorship. Mother Teresa became a sign of love and care.

The list of people who are signs of something is endless. The areas that a person can be a sign in is also endless. Some of those things are very good, while others are very horrible.

People make that list as a sign because of what they do in their life and how they do it. They do things to a level, that to most people would be an extreme. They will go above and beyond the normal life of the same routine each day. Actions are done to make as much of an impact on the world as possible.

Only a few people have the ability to become a sign that the world as a whole will recognize. Most people just go through life, however,  living it day-to-day, with no major impact on the world as a whole, much less those even nearby. They do not stand out as different in some area.

Believers in Jesus are to be a sign for the world to see. They are to be a witness of who Jesus is and what He has done for them, and what He can do for others.

The author of this psalm was a sign to those around him, because he made God his refuge and trusted in God. When people saw him, they saw a sign of God’s protection. They heard him speak of God all the time. He was constantly praising God for being with him.

As a believer in Jesus, you have a refuge and strong tower that you can run to and trust in. You have been given an abundant life. If you are believing in Jesus and trusting that He is that strong tower in your life and that He is your refuge, are you letting others see and know that?

Are you being a sign to this world of who Jesus is?

Are you making an impact in this world?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your refuge; that you will trust God for all your needs; that you will declare praises of God to others; and that you will be a sign of God’s love to this world.

 

See You At The Pole

September 28th was the day set for the 2016 See You At The Pole prayer time. It is a time for students, teachers, and anyone else who desires to meet around the flagpole of their school to pray. They take the time to pray for their school and all of the students and teachers in the school.

Prayer had been removed from public schools in 1962. In 1990 some students in Texas started to gather around the flagpole at their school on a set day in order to prayer for the school, their classmates, and teachers. Over time it has grown nation-wide and internationally into several other countries.

While many groups of people and organizations desire that the meeting be banned, it has been given clear allowance by the supreme court under the freedom of speech for the students.

At the middle school that I work at in central Texas, they had a group gather for the See You At The Pole prayer. There were approximately 12 students, plus about seven teachers and myself. It was my first time to be involved with this prayer time, though several of my children had been involved in the past.

During this time everyone had held hands while standing around the pole. Our flagpole is located right outside the main front entrance to the building and next to the parking lot, where students are dropped off for school. As we were praying several dozen parents had driven up to drop off their children. Many other students came walking up that walk to school. Along with all of those people seeing us, the school sits on the edge of a major four lane road running around the town, and all those people driving by could see us as we prayed.

Several of the students were brave enough to pray out loud while there. One of the girls prayed a prayer that was several minutes long. She prayed for the students, teachers, and their families. She had prayed that they may know Jesus, be safe, learn or teach, and work together. It was a very beautiful prayer.

Along with the students several of the teachers also prayed a prayer for the school and students.

Later in the day, I had several students that said they had seen me standing there praying. Several said that had forgotten that it was going on and wished they would have been there. One student even thanked me for praying for them.

When you read the news, you hear a lot of bad, negative news happening all the time. One thing that is very common is the idea of separation of church and state, that God is not allowed in the public schools. However true that may be in some places, I know that in the town I live in, God is not kicked out of the schools. There are many students who are not afraid to take a stand for Jesus. There are many teachers that make it clear that they believe in Jesus.

Although the world would like to make you think that God is not real and not in control, it is not true. God is still alive and He has believers everywhere. There is no place that there is not a believer. As I walk through the school I am in, I see many students with Christian shirts on, I hear many students talk about various aspects of God at times, and see some with Bibles.

Even though our government may attempt to block God from being in our public schools, it cannot stop God. God is a Spirit that lives in the lives of His people. His people have access to every school in this nation. As long as there are still believers, God will still be in the schools. Despite the false teachings that can go on in a public school, there are many students who know the real truth and are willing to let that truth be known.

I ask that every time you pass by a school, or think about a school or student, or see a school bus, please pray for the students. Pray that every believing student will stay strong and true to Jesus and will be a bold witness for Jesus. Pray for the believing teachers to stay true to Jesus, and have opportunities to be His witness in the school. Pray for their protection and learning, that they will learn the truth in every subject.

Hearts of Fire

“Hearts of Fire”
Author: The Voice of Martyrs
Date: 2015

This is an excellent book looking at the lives of eight women who stood for Jesus and went through some severe persecution. The women talked about were each from different countries, such as China, Russian, and Iran. The earliest one occurred in 1945, while the latest one was in the early 2000’s that ended in around 2009. The authors had to change the names of some of the women because they were still alive and preaching the gospel message in their nation.

Each of these women believed in Jesus in countries that hated all Christians. Many had family members that fought against them. They had to give up everything to follow Jesus. Often they were thrown into prisons with absolutely no sanitary conditions or help. While in the prison they would use the opportunity to reach out to the women there with the gospel message of salvation.

One of the women had an opportunity to get to America and be free to follow Jesus. After having a vision from God she chose to go back to Viet Nam to reach the lost there. She did this despite the persecution she would face there.

In the USA Christians do not see real persecution that can cost them their lives. It is often difficult to believe that such persecution, such as what is seen in the book of Acts is actually occurring in the world today, but it is real. This book covers the lives of these women to give you a view of that type of persecution. I encourage you to read this book if you get the chance. It will challenge you to speak the gospel message to everyone you meet.