1 Peter 4:1-6 – Live for God

Read 1 Peter 4:1-6

Who do you live for? When you wake up each morning, do you ever start with a prayer of thanks for the new day? Do you give God a thumbs up and ask him to help you get through another day? This passage gives us a picture of who we should be as followers of Christ.

What are the highlights here? We must have an attitude like Christ and be ready to suffer. And we should be anxious to do the will of God. Period. So bring it on  – I’m ready to battle. I have the best armor and protection possible. If I suffer, it’s okay because of my strong faith and trust in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I know who I belong to and where my final destination lies. Continue reading “1 Peter 4:1-6 – Live for God”

James 4:13-17 – Say What?

Read  James 4:13-17

This passage fits nicely with the one about taming our tongue. We need to be careful what we say and how we say it. Here we are being reminded of letting pride take over and not being mindful of God, the one who is truly in charge.

We should above all else trust God for his leading in our lives. While it is good to make plans, it is imperative that these plans are in God’s will for us. Each time we recite the Lord’s prayer, we ask, “Thy will be done”. Don’t let these words be just words.

I don’t know about you, but over the years I have had many a good idea and forged ahead to make it happen. I’m sure there were times when I didn’t consult God for his wisdom and stamp of approval first. Not surprising, those are the plans that failed or backfired. They certainly didn’t turn out like I had hoped or planned.

Why is it so easy for us to try to take matters into our own hands? Why do we often forget the crucial piece – a conversation with God?

I’ve seen it happen in churches, too. When we try to force our agendas, programs never seem to get off the ground, much less thrive. On the other hand, when we seek God’s wisdom in the planning process and all agree that it’s God’s will, planning and implementation seem to fall into place without a hitch.

The verse that should really hit home for us here is verse 17. “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” We should be intentional in asking God to reveal his will for us. We should keep our minds and hearts open for his response, especially if it isn’t what we want to hear. And, we should be ready to jump and act on what God wants us to do. This is a sin we can control. We can act in the way God wants and avoid sin.

Remember, God will never ask us to do something that is harmful or bad. God’s plans are for good. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  I don’t know about you, but I rest in the joy and hope this verse provides.

Let’s pray. Father God, thank you for your daily provision. As I reflect on the choices I have made in my life I can clearly see the ones you would not have had me make. But thank you, Lord, for making beauty out of my mess. Thank you for lifting me out of despair and loving me despite my wrong choices. I ask for your forgiveness continually for those offenses, yet I know you have long since forgiven me. My heart sings to know that you have redeemed me. I look to you now for each decision, no matter how small. Thank you that you are using me in new ways each day. I don’t want another minute to go by that I am not living deep within your will for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Mark 14:32-42 – Wake Up!

Read Mark 14:32-42

None of us can begin to imagine the agony Jesus was feeling in the garden. A different kind of desperation than we’d ever seen. His life on earth was coming to an end, he knew it, and he longed to be close to his Father in  those final moments. A bargain, a pleading, a comfort. The plan was set, yet Jesus laments.

Jesus own words are a good model for us when we cry out in prayer. “Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” We shouldn’t want the easy way out, but God’s way for us. We should be on our knees, like Jesus, in our times of trial.

Here’s a beautiful song to listen to to get your heart into this moment.  Realize the beauty that is unfolding here for Jesus and for us.

Listen HERE.

God is in the business of healing broken souls. He does bring hope for this fallen world. He never leaves us. Jesus’ own  disciples, after vowing they would stand by him, could not keep their eyes open. One simple request. Jesus’ last request of them.
He wanted them close. He knew that history was being made and they needed to know how important their lives had become. Their witness would have to be enough. If only they could stay awake!
Are we asleep? Are we not listening to Jesus’ words to us? His request that we love him first, and tell others about him! Our faith needs to rise up like ivy. We need to acknowledge the stirring deep inside.
Our fears are crushed, because Jesus overcame. We are redeemed, because Jesus overcame. We are who we are, because Jesus overcame.
Are we going to stay sleeping?
Let’s pray. Father God, thank you for the wake up  call. Thank you for the reminder that we come to you at all times, in times of torment, in times of struggle and in times or rejoicing. You are there. May it be my heart’s desire to  want your will for me and not mine. Your will is perfect. May I not cling to my old life but reach for the new life you are preparing for  me. So much lies ahead, and I want to dream with God-size dreams. Lord, enlarge my reach so that I can serve who you want for me to serve. I ask these things in Jesus name. Amen.