Ezra 4:4 Opposition Will Happen

Fire and water

Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. Ezra 4:4 

Doing something great will often have some great challenges to make happen. Beyond just the challenges of knowing how to do something great is the opposition that can occur.

Men and woman who are striving to do something great are often told that they are crazy and should not try to do it. The reason they are told that they are crazy and shouldn’t do it is for several reasons. Sometimes it is so different that others think it cannot really be done, and one should not waste it time trying. Other times it is out of fear of it actually working and getting done.

The Israelites had been put into captivity in Persia, yet, were given direct permission from the king of Persia to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple to God. As they had begun to do the work, the people around them worked hard to stop them. They tried to discourage them from finishing the work that they had started to do.

Fear of Christians accomplishing something is still around to this day. The world is an enemy to Jesus and does not want Him or His followers to ever accomplish anything. The thing that believers do is following and obeying God. They are working to build God’s kingdom here on this earth.

Any time a believer is doing God’s will, Satan and this world will rise up in opposition. He does not want the believer to be successful, because it means it will be his downfall. The world does not want it, because they can feel God’s judgement upon their lives in seeing the lives of believers.

God has or will call you to do something for His kingdom. It may be building a new temple or it may just be a simple thing of telling someone about Jesus. Either way it is doing something for Him.

As soon as you begin to do what God has asked of you, the world will begin to attempt to discourage you and stop you. They may say it is a waste of time and that it won’t work with just words. Or they may be physically violent against you.

Do not be surprised. There was opposition to the Israelites and against Jesus. You will receive opposition. Stay true to God and do what He has given you to do. Don’t be discouraged, God is with you.

I pray today that you will know the mission God has for you; that you will not be discouraged; that you will stay true to God; that God will give you strength to do His work; and that you be His witness.

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1 Chronicles 26:12 Every Job Is Important

Sweeping the floor

These divisions of the gatekeepers, through their leaders, had duties for ministering in the temple of the LORD, just as their relatives had. 1 Chronicles 26:12 

Titled positions in a job are often very important to most people. If the position does not have a good sounding title, it does not appear to be an important position.

It is common for people to think about positions in a job as not being very important. They are at the bottom of the ladder in the company and so are often looked down upon as a nobody. As they are looked at as a nobody, it is often common the individual feels that he is also a nobody, no on important or of any real value.

As the writer of the Chronicles writes, God leads him to list the names of those working in the temple. One of the groups listed was those of the gatekeepers, the men who stand and watch the doorway, guarding the temple.

Being a guard is often looked at as a menial job, with no real value. It is like the one who is a janitor and just sweeps floors and picks up garbage. He is not a CEO or president, no one really important. Yet, God chose to write their names down for all history. It was an important job.

In the church, there are positions that are not in the lime-light. They don’t seem to be very important. Sometimes this can be working in the nursery, being a greeter, or cleaning the floors and the toilets.

Many people want the high profile, fun positions with a great title. They want to be the head deacon, usher, worship leader, lead instrument, or one of many other profile, titled positions. They don’t want to be the one working in the nursery, teaching a young children’s Sunday School class, setting up chairs, or sweeping the floor.

Every position in the church has a reason and an importance to it. Every position in God’s kingdom also has a reason and an importance to it.

God has a job for you to do. It may be something that is high-profile, but most likely it is a ‘small’ job, that is hidden behind the scenes. Either job is just as important. If no one was to clean the floor, worship would occur in a filthy place.

Work in your position as unto the Lord and with joy. God can use you where you are at, when you are doing His work.

I pray today that you will know what God wants you to do; that you will do His work with joy; that you will know the value in doing God’s work; and that you touch the lives of many people for God. 

John 6:35 Are You Hungry & Thirsty?

Water and Bread

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35

The people were talking about believing the scriptures of God, the Old Testament. They were unwilling to believe in Jesus, even though Moses talked about Him, yet they were willing to follow Moses. Jesus then tells them that He is the bread of life and all need to come to Him to be satisfied.

All over the world there are people who are physically hungry and thirsty for real food and water. The reasons for not having enough food and water are different with different people. Some of the cases it is the result of the actions of other people. In some cases it is the cause of draught and famine in the land, natural causes.

There are many people who have more than enough food and water, but are still hungry and thirsty. They have a spiritual hunger and thirst. People want purpose and meaning in this life to feel fulfilled and satisfied. The majority of people seek things of this world to bring them this needed satisfaction. However, they can never get enough, they continue to hunger for more, never being satisfied.

The spiritual hunger that they are feeling can only be satisfied in Jesus. Believing in and following Jesus will give a person purpose in this life. With Jesus one will never have a spiritual hunger for something that does not satisfy. Believing in Jesus will give a person the desire to do the mission that God has for him in this world–to seek and save the lost.

Along with the food, they will also receive God’s Holy Spirit. They will be able to drink in His Spirit and be filled with strength, power, and a refreshing that allows them to keep going. They will be satisfied.

If you are going through life hungry for more in this life, seek Jesus. Take in His words. Then follow His mission in this world. As you fulfill the purpose God has for you in this life, you will be satisfied more than anything this world can offer.

God will fill every need you have as you follow and trust in Jesus. Do not allow yourself to continue to be hungry and thirsty. Believe in and trust Jesus with your life.

I pray today that you will believe in Jesus; that you will do the work God has for you; that you will find satisfaction and fulfillment in following Jesus; and that you will be a witness of Jesus to this world.

John 5:17 Are You Working?

Man At Work

In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” John 5:17

Some of the leaders had came up to Jesus and accused Him of working on the Sabbath. Jesus just looked at them and told them that His Father, God, was always working and so was He.

Working is something most people do. They want a job so that they can work and earn a paycheck. Some people love to work and will work non-stop at their job because they want that large paycheck. Others will work just enough to meet the needs they have. There are also some that work at trying to get out of work. They do as little as possible.

Reality points out that there is always something to do. A person can work non-stop all the time, if he really wanted to do so. No matter how much a person gets done at his workplace, there is usually something else that can be done.

However, many people look at those extra things that could be done and state that it is not within their job description. They refuse to life a finger to do more than what is absolutely required of them. They want to relax and have fun.

God is always at work, because there is always something to do. His goal is to save every person in this world. That is a non-stop 24/7 job. Jesus was working in the same way while on this earth. He knew there was work to be done, so He did it.

Believers are to be just like Jesus and God the Father. They are work so every believer should be at work. As long as there is one person in this world who does not believe in Jesus, there is work to be done.

You may look around and not see work that needs to be done, but then you must stop and ask God to open your eyes to the needed work to be finished. There will always be someone who needs to know Jesus. There will always be someone who needs prayer or healing.

Time off comes when you step through the gates of heaven. Until then there is work to be done. Every day, all day, you must be working to build God’s kingdom.

Are you working today?

I pray today that you will see the work of God; that you will be working for God; that God will show you what needs to be done; and that you will find your rest in God and not in the ways of this world.

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?

Psalm 39:4 How Short Life Really Is

Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. Psalm 39:4

Life has a crazy way of showing how old a person is. When a person is a little child, someone who is in their twenties, appears to be old and the person in the forties is ancient. It appears that it will take forever to get to that age.

Later when that child is in his twenties, the forty-year old appears just a little older, and the one in the sixties is very old. And it still appears a long way off to that age.

When a person gets into the forties, the age of sixty does not appear to be that far away and eighty is very old. By the fifties, people start to realize that there will be an end to life soon.

David asked God to show him how short his life really was. Life on this earth, in light of eternity, is just a quick vapor. Eighty, ninety years is nothing compared to several thousand years.

Most people live as though they will live forever on this earth. It is eat, drink and be merry. However, no one really knows when they will die. An accident or illness can take them sooner than expected. And the age of eighty comes up quickly.

Many parents wonder what happened to the years as they see their youngest child go off to college or get married. It flies by very quickly.

Why would a person want to be able to number his days?

It helps keep perspective of this life. The trials and troubles of this life are here for just a short moment, though it feels like eternity. The work that you do on this earth, is only available for just a moment.

How can you make the best use of the time God has given you to live on this earth?

Are you spending your time playing and living it up?

Or are you spending your time making disciples and being God’s witness?

You only have a few days on this earth to live for God. Make the most of the time that you have. Ask God to reveal to you how short life on this earth really is.

I pray today that God will show you how to number your days; that God will show you the work He has for you to do; that you will make the most use of your time for God; and that you will touch lives for eternity everyday.