July 15, 2018 Verse of the Day

bible.com/111/col.3.23-24.niv

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Romans 1:14 An Obligation To Everyone

Valley

I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. Romans 1:14

Paul talks about he is striving come and see the Romans. He wants to bring the gospel message to them in person. He then tells them that he has an obligation to everyone.

In this world people do not like to have an obligation to someone else. An obligation is a requirement of a person to do something to, for, or with someone else. Each person wants to be his own person and free to do what he wants, when he wants on his own, thus does not like having an obligation.

Obligations are often seen in contracts. People do not want to be tied to a binding contract with another person. They want their freedom. They want a contract with no requirements or obligations for in the future.

When a person is obligated to another person, he may feel tied to him. People do not want to be tied down and required to do something.

Believers often have the same feelings. There are times that they are obligated to do something in or outside the church and they don’t want to do it.

One area that every believer has an obligation in is to tell others about Jesus. Jesus gave that command to every person who follows Him. Paul had shown this by his statement. Every person on this earth is either a Greek or a non-Greek, wise or foolish. Paul felt the responsibility to every person.

Believers have the responsibility to tell others about Jesus. This responsibility is their obligation to every person. Some of those people will be wise and listen. Others will be foolish and reject listening. Yet, the obligation to tell them about Jesus remains the same.

You have the same obligation as Paul did. Every person you meet is either a Greek or a non-Greek, a wise or foolish person. You have a duty to tell that person about Jesus. Give every person you meet a chance to accept or reject Jesus. Do not make the decision for them.

You also have the obligation to follow the commands of Jesus–go and tell the gospel to all of the world. You may not have to travel around the world, but you can travel around your community. Fulfill your obligation.

I pray today that you will find people to tell about Jesus; that you will tell everyone you can about Jesus; that you will fulfill your obligation to others and God; and that many will believe in Jesus through your message.

Hosea 9:2 The Food & Wine Will Fail

Threshing floors and winepresses will not feed the people; the new wine will fail them. Hosea 9:2

Hosea was telling the people of Israel to not rejoice. They had been found guilty of committing many sins and rejecting God. Punishment was coming to them. Many in Israel felt that because their crops were so good, that they would be able to support themselves and did not need God at all. They are warned that everything will fail them.

Farmers go out and plant huge fields of crops for food. They expect the crops to come in large enough to be able to feed their own family and sell a lot to others for more money, so they can get wealthy and feed more people.

On the surface this looks like it would provide for needs of all the people everywhere to get enough food. However, without God, those crops will not always come through as the farmer may expect. God has to be the one to provide the right amount of water and sunshine for those crops to grow. As people refuse to follow God and give Him all the credit, God pulls His hand of favor away and the crops will not grow as well, which will not feed the people.

Not every person grows food for themselves or for a profit. People use other things to make a profit and provide for themselves. Working many different types of jobs, people strive to have large bank accounts in order to provide for all of their needs. In the same way, if they are not following God and allowing Him to be in control, the bank accounts will fail. There will not be enough money to provide for all the needs one may have.

Life consists of more than just food and drink. One needs the nourishment of God and His word in his life on a daily basis.

As you are going through your life, what are you expecting to nourish you? Is it the food you buy with the money your job provided?

Or is it God providing through your job and His grace and mercy?

Keep your eyes and life focused on God and allow Him to be the one in control. Then God will provide for all of your needs. Your hands will work and be prosperous for your needs and the needs of others. Without God, they will fail.

I pray today that you will know God’s provision for your life; that you will trust in God alone; that God will provide for others through you; and that God will receive all the credit for the blessings in your life.

Labor Day Remembrance

Happy Labor Day

It is Labor Day in America today. It is a time to celebrate the hard work and labor that men and women have done to make this country the great country it is. Many people have worked hard at building things, inventing things, and building this country.

Throughout the years there have been many who have attempted great things for this nation and failed at it. Others have attempted and been cut down and ridiculed until they chose to quit. Some have been stopped by others to keep them from achieving something that would be great.

While many have failed, stopped or been stopped, many have also succeeded. The invention of many different things have been done in this nation that has led to a better workplace. New laws have been put in place requiring better safety in the workplace.

There are many things that you and I enjoy today because someone else has paved the path for us. It does not matter what country you live in, it is the same for every nation in the world. Think about all the paved roads you drive on. Someone had to design them, clear the land for them, and build those roads to make them what they are today.

road

The grocery store that you buy food from each day is the result of many people’s hard work. The farmer had to grow enough food to provide for the store; someone had to process that food; someone had to deliver it to the store; someone had to build the building for the store; someone had to stock the shelves; and someone has to be there to sell it to you.

Everywhere  you look there is signs of someone’s hard labor to make what you enjoy possible.

On Labor Day in America, many people get the day off to enjoy the fruits of their labor. They grill out with family and friends to enjoy some good food as they relax.

Grilling

As you relax, you must remember what others have done ahead of you, not just your own hard work. When this day is over and you go back to work, go back giving it your best as you remember what others have done for you.

Along with the work that we often see in the public places, there is another labor that I want you to look at and remember the hard work of. This is one that is not so commonly honored. It is the work of the ministry of building God’s kingdom here on this earth and for eternity.

God had set hard work in motion when He created the heavens and the earth in six days. He set man upon the earth to work the land and thrive upon it. Man, being jealous and greedy, wanted all the glory for himself and rebelled against God’s way of doing things. This is where the fall of man comes in.

Adam-and-eve-evicted

Immediately God set into plan a work to save all mankind from sin. He had a plan in the works to destroy all sin and death for eternity. For man, the ability to destroy death was impossible. In order to do that he had to get rid of the sin in his life, which was impossible.

This was accomplished through the work of Jesus dying on the cross and being resurrected three days later. When Jesus rose from the dead, He had defeated death and was given the power to remove all sin from every man and woman on this earth for all time.

After Jesus had done this, He got ready to leave the earth. As He left the earth He gave this command to the disciples:

Matthew 28:19-20 New International Version (NIV)

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The disciples followed His command and began to preach the gospel message to every person they came in contact with. Later Paul would come along and go through a lot of persecution to spread the gospel message around the world. Many men and women gave their lives in the early days of the church striving to get the gospel message to every person. They put in long hours and hard work to get the message out to every one.

As time went along, more and more people heard the gospel message and believed in Jesus for their salvation. Many of those people continued the mission and hard work of getting the gospel message spread.

Over the years there were many people who spread the gospel message: Martin Luther, George Whitefield, John Wesley, William Booth, Billy Sunday, John Wycliffe, and Billy Graham, plus many more untold thousands who have spread the gospel message. These are just a few of the list of men who impacted thousands. Alongside of these are thousands of men and women who never stepped into the pulpit, wrote a book or had any full-time ministry.

These are the men and women in everyday jobs, living a normal life, but are willing to tell their neighbor, co-worker, friend, anyone they meet about Jesus. Some of these people have gone through extreme persecution, shunned by families, hated by friends and lost their jobs and lives in order to keep the message of the gospel going to more people. They did not fear the persecution ahead of them, but sought to bring every person to a saving knowledge of Jesus.

Spreading the Gospel Message

One or more of these people have had an impact in your life. It was because of these people that you are a believer today. They worked hard so that you may know Jesus today. Some strived to pass the gospel message on to the point it impacted your life.

As you celebrate the hard work and labor of men and women today in your nation, remember those who have gone before you in the spiritual work.

Hebrews 12:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

 

Colossians 3:23 New International Version (NIV)

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

 

2 Chronicles 15:7 New International Version (NIV)

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

Do not stop telling people about Jesus. Seek to tell someone everyday. Do not be ashamed of the gospel for it has the power to save. Do not make the hard work others have done before you worthless. Do not stop what they have continued since Jesus walked on the earth.

As you work hard at building God’s kingdom, you are getting yourself ready to stand before the Father some day and hear Him say:

Matthew 25:23 New International Version (NIV)

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

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.