If you were hit on the head by an inner tube being thrown at you while you were relaxing you'd probably get mad, maybe even swear and kick that thing back to where it came from. But if you were drowning and an inner tube hit you on the head, you'd grab on to that thing and never let go because you know your life depended on it. Well, Jesus, the LifeSaver has been thrown at us. He's been hitting people on the heads and people have been getting angry, swearing and trying to kick Him back to where He came from. They respond that way because they see no need for help... no need for rescuing. In their minds they are okay; they are comfortable, relaxed and secure. But little do they know that they are DEAD in sins (Eph 2:1-5) and are slowly going under. The truth is we are sinful people (Ro 3:23) and God is a Holy God and He cannot associate with sin. One sin is all it takes to separate us from God and the wages of sin is death (Ro 6:23), that means we will ALL face death! You might be living a "blessed" and secure life apart from God but one day you will see Him face to face and you will have to give an account for your sins. Then what? The Bible says, "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord..." (Acts 3:19). Jesus is our LifeSaver. He died in our place. When we grab on to Him then we are secured. There is no other way. My prayer is that you would repent (turn) from self-reliance and grab hold of the LifeSaver, don't kick Him away in anger. Stop comparing yourself to other sinners and see yourself compared to a Holy God. Only when we realize how desperate our need is, only then will we grab on to the one true life giver and LifeSaver... Jesus. <><
"...Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." -Matthew 20:28
Through the ages we have been deceived to allow pride, greed, power and prestige into the church. Jesus said in the previous verses, whoever wants to be the greatest in His kingdom needs to be the least here. That's the exact opposite of the way the world operates. Thats why throughout the ages we've seen "holy wars," slavery, and every type of greed, dominance and pious behavior being performed IN THE NAME OF GOD. Why? Because the desire to be rich and powerful dominates our character more than that of pleasing God. If we, who are Christians, are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus then why are we complaining when someone takes advantage of us? Why are we complaining when we need to help around the house, the church or the neighborhood? What would Jesus do? The Christian motto is "To serve not be served." A Christian is to walk just as Jesus walked. This means a husband lays his life down for his wife in love just as Christ laid His life down for the church. Likewise, the wife submits to her husband just as the church submits to Christ. No one is here to lord it over the other or to demand being served, but rather we are here to serve each other. That's where it all begins, if we can't serve our loved ones how much more will we fail to serve a total stranger? And when we serve we must also watch our motives. Helping someone to get something in return is not serving rather that would fall in the lines of trading, working or manipulation. Be encouraged. This is hard and it goes against the normal flow but through Jesus you can do it. <><
"But people who long to be rich soon begin to do all kinds of wrong things to get money, things that hurt them and make them evil-minded and finally send them to hell itself. For the love of money is the first step toward all kinds of sin. Some people have even turned away from God because of their love for it, and as a result have pierced themselves with many sorrows." -1 Timothy 6:9-10 (Living Bible)
Money is not bad. We all need money. It's what we do with our money, how we get it, accumulate it and handle it that can be bad. As these verses say, it's the LOVE of money that creates the problems. Many turn from God in their pursuit for money. That's why when Jesus said you cannot serve two masters for you will love one more than the other... He was talking about money (Matthew 6:24). If we believe in the God of the Bible then money should have no hold on us for we know that God brought us into the world; it is He who has given us the ability to make money, and it is He who is providing for us. The Bible also tells us, "If a man does not work he shall not eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10). So we work to eat and we trust God for all of it. With God we learn to be content for He is our God not money. He is our provider and it is He Who gives us health, abilities and a brain to make wise choices. When we turn to God as our Master rather than money then we will truly experience the rich and abundant life God has planned for us through Jesus (John 10:10). But all of this takes faith and a consistent walk with the Master. As you continue to walk by faith in Him it gets easier and easier for contentment to take root. Seek Him today as your Master; read His words of promise and hope and experience the true joy and satisfaction He has planned for you through Jesus. <><
"Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever." -1 Timothy 4:7-8 (The Message Bible)
Daily time in God's word cannot be stressed enough. Why is it that we will spend time at the gym, time in the mirror, time in front of the TV, time reading a good book, time with sports, etc. but we neglect time in God's word? Are we a bunch of spiritually flabby people? Chances are we won't even admit to that. If challenged, as is now, we would probably say something like... "Ugh, I read God's word... I see it quoted on Facebook and I like the posts all the time." Or, "I go to church." Or, "I'm a good person, I don't need to read God's word to be a good person." Here's the problem, when we don't know God's word we will easily be tripped up by all the religious jargon out there. We end up getting flabby on spiritual "junk-food." We hear bits and pieces of the Bible and we limp through life out of shape because there is no lasting and sometimes no real sustenance in what we're listening to. Paul is telling Timothy in this verse, pay attention. Be diligent. Keep yourself spiritually fit so you can know God's word and you can teach TRUE doctrine. A solid knowledge of God and His word will help us in EVERY area of life. So be disciplined! Stop pigging out with the spiritual fast-foods of the day and stay fit by eating smart and healthy with a daily supply of God's word. <><
Our greatest sin throughout the day is pride. Without realizing it pride is the condition of our heart when we wake up and never acknowledge God. Then we continue to make decisions throughout the day without acknowledging God and asking Him what would HE want for us to do? These actions express self-sufficiency. This is the number one sin that keeps a person from entering heaven. Even in our best attempts to do good, if we're doing these things apart from God its like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6 - "filthy rags" refers to a woman's menstrual cloth used back in the day). That's right, being a good person will NEVER get us to heaven. We're all sinners (Romans 3:23). ONE sin is all it took to keep us out of heaven (Romans 6:23). Now all the good we try to do will never be able to get us to heaven. That's why Jesus died on the cross. He died for the forgiveness of our sins. We get to heaven by acknowledging Jesus and His goodness rather than our own goodness. Many will not receive this message. Again, its because of pride and self-sufficiency. Humble yourselves before the Lord. Cry out to Him and show your dependance for Him daily and He will lift you up. <><
"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age..." -Titus 2:11-12
God will not do miraculous things at every beck and call by simply believing He will do it. Believing is knowing that God is in control through the good and the bad, the peace and the chaos, life and death, sickness and in health. If God were to just heal us whenever we ask in belief then our faith would never be strengthened because we would always ask in belief and get whatever we want. Where's the faith in that? As it is God allows times for miracles and He allows times of testing; there are times when He's silent and times when He speaks louder than life. All of this so we can grow to trust HIM rather than ourselves that ALL things (not some things) will be good in HIS time. When going through testing, instead of praying and waiting for a miracle pray for strength, perseverance and faith to remain focused on Him no matter what the outcome may be. <><
"Pray much for others; plead for God’s mercy upon them; give thanks for all he is going to do for them. Pray in this way for kings and all others who are in authority over us, or are in places of high responsibility, so that we can live in peace and quietness, spending our time in godly living and thinking much about the Lord. This is good and pleases God our Savior, for he longs for all to be saved and to understand this truth: That God is on one side and all the people on the other side, and Christ Jesus, himself man, is between them to bring them together, by giving his life for all mankind. This is the message that at the proper time God gave to the world. And I have been chosen—this is the absolute truth—as God’s minister and missionary to teach this truth to the Gentiles and to show them God’s plan of salvation through faith." --1 Timothy 2:1-7 (TLB)
We call it "good" not because an innocent man was beaten to a pulp, mocked, ripped open from whips with pieces of bones and metal tied to the end, nailed to a cross and left for dead hanging there gasping for air as His skin fluttered like ribbons in the wind... No, it's "good" because He did that so YOU and I could have eternal life. If you recall, during the last supper Jesus (symbolically) broke the bread and said eat, for this is my body. Then He gave the cup of wine and said drink, for this is my blood of the New Covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. You see, the Old Covenant, which was all about working your way to be in a right relationship with God was fulfilled by Jesus. Only Jesus was able to hold the perfect requirements of that law. No one else could, ever! That's why Jesus came... to fulfill the law. Now that the law and its requirements are fulfilled, God established a New Covenant through Jesus and that's what the last supper represents. Now it's through faith that you can be made right with God; faith in Jesus fulfilling the law through His sinless life; faith that Jesus was the sacrifice sealing the deal for the New Covenant; and faith to know that He alone provides the means for salvation, i.e., to be saved, receive eternal life status and a relationship with God. Now instead of trying to keep a law of standards that no one can or could ever keep, we can be saved just by believing! That my friends, is GREAT NEWS! And that is why today is known as GOOD Friday.
This does not look like the famous Michael Angelo's "Last Supper", however, this is probably a more accurate portrayal of what it might have looked like. The image of the last supper was meant to show the reactions of the disciples as well as Jesus as He shares that someone will betray Him. Place yourself in the scene... You've been with Jesus for three years now, walking, talking, joking, crying, healing and dealing with demons face to face. He has been your leader and guide, your comfort, strength, provider and security. Now He tells you that one of you are going to betray Him. WHAT? Who? The truth is if we think about it we all betray Him on a daily basis. We profess Him as Lord yet live our lives as if He is second to us. Look at His face. His face is sorrowful. He knows and now we know as well who will betray Him to death and yet Jesus washes the feet of His betrayer. ALL of this didn't matter to Jesus. He knew He was about to be handed over to be crucified, yet He went through it willingly because He knew this is what had to be done. Jesus the ONLY hope for mankind, was the spotless (sinless) lamb to be sacrificed once and for all for the sins of the world. Being Passion Week, tonight is the night of the Last Supper and throughout the night He will be handed over, beaten and battered and tomorrow He dies. As we go about our day, remember the image but instead of being the Last Supper see it as the First Supper that will lead us into eternity. God bless you my friends!!
Snippets are what pops in my head while having my daily quiet time with God. I write it down to maybe encourage, challenge or inspire others to read God's word. Please feel free to share your snippets as well. Enjoy and God bless!