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.

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Romans 12:2 Knowing God’s Will

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

Many believers want to know what God’s will is for their lives. They will go to the pastor asking for guidance in this area or read many books on how to know God’s will. Paul puts it very simply–do not be like the world and transform your mind.

It is seen all over the country how many churches are becoming more and more like the world. They change their witnessing tactics to be just like the world. They offer all types of things or services to draw people into the church and “trick” them into hearing the gospel message. While doing this they don’t really preach the gospel message, it is watered-down to please the people. The world likes to do all of these things. Doing these things is knowing the will of the people, not the will of God.

As believers do these things, they get confused as to why they cannot hear God or really know what His will is.

When a person becomes a believer he is supposed to die to his old self and old ways and come to life in Jesus. With this new life, there should be a change in the mind. The change is in how you think and what you think.

The old person thinks about how to build up self and please self. The new person in Jesus thinks about how to build up others and please God.

What are you thinking about today? Are you thinking about yourself and what you can do and accomplish for yourself? Or are you thinking about what God can do in and through you?

Focus on what God wants in your life. Change your mindset to focus on God. Let go and be led by His Holy Spirit in every area of your life.

As you do this you will learn and know what God’s will is for your life. In the end you will see that His will is always good and pleasing. It is these things because it is also perfect.

I pray today that you will allow God to change your thinking; that you will think about the things of God; that you will not conform to the pattern of this world; and that you will know and follow God’s perfect will for your life.

Romans 1:8 Reported Faith

“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.” Romans 1:8

As Paul begins his letter to the church in Rome, he gives them some thanks. The thanks that he gives was not for something they gave him or did for him. It was for their faith that was being reported everywhere.

At this time in history, Rome was not known as a Christian or God fearing city. They worshipped many gods. This city was also the major city of that part of the world and the capital of what became one of the largest empires in history.

Hearing of their faith was an encouragement to Paul. Think about when you hear of the testimony of someone. You hear about how someone walked in faith for God and God did a great work in or through them. It is encouraging. It builds your faith.

This is especially true when it is about how they held onto Jesus through a difficult situation that you are now going through yourself. When you hear about how a person held the faith of God’s provision during a time of need, it strengthens your own trust in God’s provision for your own needs.

No one knows what details were being reported around the world that Paul was hearing, but it was about their faith in Jesus.

Your faith may or may not reach around the entire physical world, but it can reach many people. With the internet and social medias of today, it can easily reach around the world instantly.

What are people talking about when they talk about you? Are they talking about how successful you are? How big of a house you have? What kind of car you drive? Your work that you do?

Or are they talking about how you believe in Jesus? How you always talk about Jesus? How you give Jesus the credit for everything?

Life is not about you, but about Jesus. Are you lifting Him up today? What are you talking about today? How are you living your life today?

May those you come in contact, both physically and through the internet, be talking about your faith in Jesus.

I pray today that Jesus will build your faith in Him; that you will be open about your faith in Jesus; that you will live a life of faith in Jesus; that the reports of your life will be about your faith in Jesus; and that many will know Jesus through your testimony.

John 15:19 Not Belonging

“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:19

As much as many people loved Jesus, there were also many who did not love Him. Many of those who were “righteous” and leaders in the temple wanted to get rid of Him. Those that are in the world and refuse to see Jesus as He really is, hate Him. Jesus now points out that as a believer you do not belong to this world, thus you are also hated.

Every person who is really believing in Jesus and following Him will stand out as different in this world. That person will not follow the ways of this world. He will not like the same things. She will not do the same things that the world does. They will not agree with the word’s way of thinking.

People of the world do not like that. Many will look at Christians and state that if you love them, you must agree with them. Loving a person has nothing to do with agreeing with a person. A parent loves his child, even though he disagrees with the child in not allowing the child to do something that is dangerous that the child wants to do.

The world wants believers to accept what they do as good. Jesus never did that. He was in the world, but not a part of their system of beliefs.

You are in the world also, but not a believer of their beliefs and ways. Be separate. Be willing to follow the ways of God, rather than the world.

As you do this, do not be surprised when the world hates you. Not always will the world ‘hate’ you, but they will not always be happy with you. They will get frustrated with you living the Christian way. They may get upset with you for not going along with them.

Remember that since they hated Jesus, they will hate you also. They hate you because they hate Jesus. They hate Jesus because He points out their wrong, and the world does not like that.

As the days get closer to the return of Jesus, the world will get more and more angry with believers. Do not give up. Do not conform to the ways of this world. Stay true to Jesus. Continue to walk in the ways of the Lord Jesus.

I pray today that the ways of Jesus will be more real to you than ever before; that you will be more like Jesus everyday; that you will not fear the world; that Jesus will strengthen you to stay true to Him; and that Jesus will bring you through all persecution and trials of this world.

John 8:23 Not of This World

“But he continued, You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.” John 8:23

Jesus was starting to describe that He was getting ready to go away to a place that the people could not follow. The people thought that He was going to kill Himself. Now Jesus explained that He was from heaven, not the earth.

Being from heaven made a difference in the perspective Jesus had on life. He was able to look down and see the big picture. He knew God directly and knew what God wanted and was doing. He knew the value of heaven. He knew the futility of the things of this earth.

As a human, your view will be from the bottom looking up. Looking out into life on earth, things do not look very good. When something happens you do not understand. Giving up something looks like a high price to pay for something you cannot see–heaven.

The world will tell you that you must eat, drink and be merry now. You must be willing to indulge in any pleasure for yourself now. You must look out for yourself.

As a believer in Jesus your view of this world should be different. This world is here for you to use to get yourself through to heaven and to bring others with you to heaven.

Since you are now one with Jesus, you, as He is, are not of this world. Your focus should not be on just the here and now, but on the eternity in heaven.

Are you concerned with doing what your Father in heaven wants you to do? Are you concerned with living your life the way God wants you to live it?

Remember that as a believer in Jesus this world is not your final home. You are a pilgrim just passing through. Keep that in mind in your day-to-day struggles and challenges. Life will be challenging, but every journey has challenges, some exciting, some are boring, some are painful, but all are worth it in the end.

I pray that God will give you a vision of the glories of heaven; that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit to guide you; that you will keep your eyes on Jesus and heaven; that you will live in light of eternity in heaven; and that you will bring others with you.

Matthew 28:19-20 A Job To Do

“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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus had been crucified. He had died, was buried, and is now risen again to life. The disciples and many other people have seen Him. Now He is getting ready to leave and He is giving His last words.

The final words of Jesus here on this earth bring you back to His whole purpose in coming to the earth. God sent Jesus to the world in order to save every person on it. His death and resurrection made that possible. Without a death, no one can be saved. Without a resurrection, no one can be saved.

Since salvation is now possible, everyone in the world needs to be told this. Jesus tells the disciples and you, to now go and make disciples. Disciples are those who learn from and follow Jesus.

Jesus is no longer on the earth Himself, so each person who knows Jesus must tell someone else about Him. You are to go out and let the people know what Jesus has done, said, and commanded. You are now His hands, feet and voice in this world.

Your job is to make new disciples wherever you are. With over seven billion people on the earth, it is not difficult to find someone to disciple. There will always be someone who has not heard about Jesus. There will always be those who have just started following Jesus and need to know more.

Be willing today to open your eyes to a field that is ripe for harvest. That person you come across today may be willing to follow Jesus if given the chance.

Do not hoard the gift God has given you, share it with others. If you really love Jesus, do what He is telling you to do…be His witness.

I pray today that you will be willing to be God’s witness; that you will make disciples of others; that you will teach others what Jesus has shown you; and that God will build His kingdom through you.

Matthew 10:22 You Will Be Hated

“You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:22

Throughout the gospels Jesus talks about loving everyone, including your enemies. He also mentions that you are to live your life so well they cannot find anything true against you. Now, He tells you that you will be hated.

If you are living your life so well, why would people hate you? It is because you are following Jesus.

Again why would people hate Jesus, since He is showing perfect love? It is because He also reveals their sinful lives.

No one likes to be told that they are doing things the wrong way, or that they are going to be punished for eternity. Most people think that overall they are a good person. They do not like the idea of them being bad to where they are separated from God.

As you are fully living for and following Jesus, people will hate you. Their hatred is because of Jesus. Jesus had said that if they hated Him, they will hate you.

Take a look at your life. Do you have people in your life that are angry with you because of the way you follow Jesus? Do people get tired of hearing you talk about God? Are people upset with you because you will not go fishing with them on Sundays in order for you to go to church?

If the world loves you, be careful. Make sure you are following Jesus and doing everything He is telling you to do. Give yourself one hundred percent to God and stand firm for Him.

Jesus finished this verse with stating that whoever stands firm to the end will be saved. Do not give in to the pressures of the world. Do not change to have the world like you. Do not compromise God’s standards and will to alleviate the hatred. In the end Jesus will save you.

Remember that Jesus followed God perfectly, then was killed for it. Afterward God raised Him from the dead. God will do the same for you. Trust Him.

I pray that God will strengthen you to follow Him in every area of your life; that you will stand firm in God’s ways; that you will be God’s witness everywhere you go; that you will speak God’s truth and love to everyone; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you.