Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What is that to you?

Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” (John 21:22 NKJV)

It's easy to start comparing yourself to others. This is especially true if God has given you a vision or a goal that you are going after. You see others out there doing exactly what you want to do and you start to compare. Or on the other hand you might be further along then others and it makes you feel good. 

For me God has given me a desire to preach around the world and to be in ministry full-time. For whatever reason that has not happened yet and it is easy for me to compare myself to those I know who are in full-time ministry. Sometimes I even find myself comparing their age to mine and determining how many years I have left.

Jesus makes it pretty clear here that we are not to worry about those around us. We each have an individual walk with The Lord and we are to focus on one thing... Following Him. "What is that to you?" He says. What does it matter to you what the person next to you is going to do? You have a Word from the Lord for your life and you have a path laid out before you. Follow that path and don't get distracted by what others are doing or not doing. 

We can see a similar principle in the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30). The man with the two talents was not judged in comparison to the man with the five talents. All three were judged by their own ability and what they had been given. It will be the same for us. We will be judged by how we followed the path that we were given and how we used the opportunities given to us, regardless of what those around us have or have not done.

Have you been comparing yourself to those around you?

Are there any areas that you have been neglecting to follow Jesus?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday!

Today is known as Good Friday. To call it good is a bit ambiguous as, on one side, we are commemorating one of the most horrible events in human history, the torture, humiliation, and execution of an innocent man. However on the other side it is the start of the greatest event in human history, in which God as man took on our sin and paid the price so that we would no longer need to. 

For Catholics and Orthodox Christians this is still a very important day of remembrance but somehow Protestants have a tendency to bypass it going directly to Easter. Easter is the culmination of everything, the beginning of true life and victory, but without Good Friday we could never have Easter. Without the sacrifice we could never have the victory, and without death we could never have life. 

I encourage you today to read the following words and remember that Jesus Christ took on everything for you! He died for you! He became sin so that you could become free from sin! If you have never accepted the sacrifice that Jesus did for you then please find someone to pray with today. If you can't find someone then send me a message and I will pray with you over the internet. It is the most important decision you will ever make!

Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, 
And as a root out of dry ground. 
He has no form or comeliness; 
And when we see Him, 
There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 
He is despised and rejected by men, 
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. 
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; 
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 
Surely He has borne our griefs 
And carried our sorrows; 
Yet we esteemed Him stricken, 
Smitten by God, and afflicted. 
But He was wounded for our transgressions, 
He was bruised for our iniquities; 
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, 
And by His stripes we are healed. 
All we like sheep have gone astray; 
We have turned, every one, to his own way; 
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 
He was oppressed and He was afflicted, 
Yet He opened not His mouth; 
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, 
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, 
So He opened not His mouth. (Isaiah 53:1-7 NKJV)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's time to possess the land!

Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you? (Joshua 18:3 NKJV)

I read this and wonder how often God is saying something similar to me. This is of course nearing the end of the book of Joshua and they had already spent more than five years fighting and conquering the different sections of the land, but seven of the tribes had still not received their inheritance. These seven tribes were apparently just sitting around with the rest of the Israelites probably waiting for someone to lead them into their sections of the land. Waiting for someone to lead them into their inheritance. 

We also have an inheritance. Romans tells us that we are "...heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ..." (Romans 8:17) What are we heirs of? We are heirs of the abundant life that Jesus came to give us (John 10:10). But how many of us are truly living in that abundant life? How many of us are thriving rather than just surviving? Too often we are waiting on someone to come and give us that abundance. We are waiting on God to miraculously bestow abundance on us, or we are waiting on other people to come and show us what we are to do, but God is waiting on us. God is asking "how long are you going to neglect to go and possess the land..."? 

How long are you going to just survive? How long are you going to neglect the gift that Christ has already given? How long are you going to sit back and miss out on your abundant life? 

It is time for you to rise up and possess your inheritance! Christ had already provided it but you have to fight for it! It's time to take it by force!

What have you been neglecting to take hold of?