Don’t you just love the account when Elijah called Israel to follow the Lord and not Baal. “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him …” (1 Kings 18:21). What an amazing demonstration of God’s power when fire came down and burned up the sacrifice (1 Kings 18:38).
Do you remember what Elijah did next when Jezebel said she was going to kill him? He ran for his life (1 Kings 19:3). God then sent Elijah on a very long wilderness walk to give him time to consider (repent of) his behavior. The result was that God fired Elijah because he didn’t have the courage to trust God to protect him. God gave Elijah’s job to Elisha (1 Kings 19:16). My brothers, receive this grave caution. There is a point when God says, “ENOUGH.”
What place does God have in your life? Are you double minded like Israel was? Are you fearful of trusting and following the Lord fully like Elijah? Elijah had many words proclaiming his obedience–God disagreed (1 Kings 19:9-19). Elijah’s confident words in himself were not enough. We must obediently live our faith.
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We all have had a conversation with a boy who proclaimed he was going to do great and mighty things. Listening, you smiled, affirmed, and encouraged him as he spoke, but inwardly you wondered, “Will he actually do it?”
Have you noticed that doesn’t just apply to boys? A few months back, I was visiting with my son, Nathan, and his wife, Melanie, on the driveway when they were dropping something off. At one point in the conversation, I commented that I still wanted to lose ten more pounds, and I was going to do it. They responded with appropriate smiles and encouragement. Well, three months later, not only have I not lost those pounds, I have packed on a few more.
Aren’t we glad Noah, Moses, and Paul were men of God who put action to their words? What if Jesus, when in the garden, had called down legions of angels to avoid going to the cross? We all would be headed for eternity in hell. “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53).
What have you said you would do and haven’t? First in priority is our relationship with Christ (Col. 1:18) — in the Word every morning and praying (1 Peter 2:2). Make sure you are involved in a Bible-believing/preaching church each week (Hebrews 10:25). What about investing in your marriage (Eph. 5:25) and relationships with your children (Deut. 6:7)? (Don’t believe the quality versus quantity lie!) May we be men of our word.
Prior to Jesus’ ministry beginning, He needed to put Satan “behind” Him (so do we). First, Satan unsuccessfully tempted Jesus to satisfy His flesh. Next would Jesus question/test God’s love? Finally, Satan tempted Jesus with, “… All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9a). Yes, Satan wants your worship, and he offers you treasures if you don’t worship the Father. Satan’s lures are of this world. The question is: How much of our hearts have we given over to the treasures of this world?
Then Jesus said, “Get thee hence, Satan (Matthew 4:10a).” We must get rid of our love/worship of the world and the things of the world. God wants all of our hearts. Now in fairness: Have any of us given Him 100% of our hearts? We wish we would. With that goal, It is a daily process of shedding our love for the world and abiding in Him. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15)
Seemingly, so many men are blind to the “death-grip” embrace they have on the world, which equates to love for and worship of these worldly things – leisure passions, success, status, money, pleasure (to name a few). “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:9b).
“But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men” (Mark 8:33). What do we love and worship, Brothers?
We are approaching a day at the end of the month that Christians are quite divided on. Some say it is simple, harmless fun for children. Others say it is evil, and every aspect related to it should be abhorred.
Where do you stand, and what do you base your position on? Maybe it was how you were raised, or it is simply your opinion because you feel that way. As believers, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ, we should have a Scriptural basis for everything we do.
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). Doing in the name of the Lord Jesus means we only do things consistent with God’s Word.
It is easy to mindlessly do things that others do without questioning. In this case, we should, however, ask ourselves: Is the name of Jesus being exalted or debased in having ANYTHING to do with “participating” in that holiday? “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21,22). “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil…” (Proverbs 8:13).
My Brothers, we have proving “opportunities” that reveal our love for our Savior, all day, every day.
Have you ever seen lambs frolicking in a field? They are the picture of innocence. Now picture a lamb that is being used to pay for your sin, because you broke God’s law. The knife is applied to his neck, and his blood is poured out because of your sin.
In my Bible reading I just read of the Levitical animal sacrifices again. Had I lived in Old Testament times, it would have been difficult for me to have my sin cause the death of an innocent lamb in such a bloody, graphic way. Yet, I would have been grateful there was a remedy for my sin.
Sin damages relationships, is ugly, and costly. Our offenses separate us from those we love, but worst of all they separate us from God. May we confess, repent and ask forgiveness. Our sin nailed Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, to the cross. Oh my brothers, may we not trifle with sin.
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
When was the last time you woke up, thought about the day ahead of you, and hoped to show your love for your wife by having an opportunity to die for her? Not recently? Me neither. But how did it go when there was an opportunity to show love in lesser sacrifices (difficult to call them sacrifices) such as patiently listening, being gentle and kind, forgoing a convenience, or doing some extra work to help her? “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself” (Ephesians 5:25, 28).
Being committed to following Jesus is a good foundation for being a great husband. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). What opportunities and need we have for grace, obedience, and growth.
A good dad is concerned with protecting his family since God has assigned him to be head. As head, Dad is to be aware of what might threaten their physical safety. Ephesians 5:25 calls Dad to even lay down his life for his family as Christ did for His bride the church. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”
I’ve known a lot of dads who are focused and concerned with their family’s physical security. However, there are dangers to the family that are of greater importance and often go unnoticed. Are you careful and on guard with what is coming into the minds and souls of your family? Media abounds, and people have their favorites, justifying why it is good for them. However, I’m confident, most are similar to “dumpster diving.”
I believe if you embrace the truth of 1 Corinthians 10:23, you will not only enjoy safety, but your family will grow in the Lord Jesus Christ. If it edifies, embrace it. If it doesn’t, pitch it.
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not” (1 Corinthians 10:23).
Are you a professing Christian whose life tends to “fall apart” (meaning no stability) when the storms of life come? Jesus made it clear what you need.
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock” (Luke 6:46-48).
Note three very key aspects. First, he came. We came to Jesus as repenting hell-bound sinners needing a sin-atoning Savior. That is like a stage 4 cancer patient (a living dead man) who sought a cure and found it. There is no question in his mind that he was cured. For us, no question, either. Jesus is my Savior, and I DAILY depend on Him.
Next, he hears His Word. Not just simply heard, but hears it (ongoing). Are you reading the Bible every day and hearing biblical preaching?
Finally he obeys it. The Word must be daily applied to our lives. Knowing but not living it, does no good in stabilizing our lives. Brothers, we are to live it. Then, we can rest assured. We will have stability because we have a sure foundation.
My heart aches hearing of the problems some are facing. Is God still good? Yes, beyond measure! Has He forgotten His children who are struggling? No.
Are you complaining and fearful or praising and joyful? Brothers your wife, your children need you to be strong. “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3). “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
As you have needs, lay them before your Lord. “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7).
Keep a journal and capture all your needs and God’s answers for future encouragement. God is always good, always.
I spoke with someone a while back about their walk with the Lord. They described it as fantastic. I asked how often they read their Bible. They said they didn’t, but they loved God so much and prayed to Him all the time.
People often seem to be more willing to pray than to read their Bibles. Prayer becomes a spoken, laundry-list of requests or maybe even commands for God to fulfill. “Snap, snap. I want this. I want that.” Reading Scripture is much different. As we read God’s Word, God speaks to our hearts. We need to hear God’s commands, encouragement, promises and rebuke.
I heard a verse in church recently that would have been appropriate to have shared with this person. “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination” (Proverbs 28:9). The Hebrew word for “law” in the verse is Torah. The prayer of a person who doesn’t want to hear God’s Word, is an abomination, something wicked and disgusting.
Are you in His Word every day? Do you love it? Brothers, do you do your best to live it?