A Little Leaven

Galatians 5:9, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”

It is said that one bad apple spoils the bunch.  The bad that comes off of the apple does tend to leak over into the other good apples.  One bad person can also influence a group of people and turn them away from good.  The same can be said about leaven.  Just a little leaven.

The concern is that a little bit of something taints the whole thing.  This can apply to good things as well as bad things.  Vegetables can be good for you, but eating too many can make you sick.  A good situation turned bad.  Vehicles can take someone from one place to another but when the vehicle is not cared for correctly, it will stop working.  Good things can be tainted by bad because of the sinfulness of the world.

Ever since sin has entered the world, things that were intended for good have been bad.  Sin ruined the garden and caused Adam and Eve to be kicked out.  Sin entered and there was suddenly murder and a host of other ill behavior.  Sin is like leaven.  Sin enters into a person and makes a home.  It takes up residence and will not leave.  It needs a push in order to leave the body.

That push is the blood of Jesus.  Jesus came to this Earth to minister and ultimately, die for the sins of the whole world.  Jesus came so that we can be free from sin and what it does to us.  The black sin needs the blood of Jesus to make the soul white again.  Jesus is the One that can take the leaven, that that taints, out of the whole lump.  He can undo all that has been done in each and every person’s life.

So the question is: do we want to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and have Him purge the power of sin out of our lives?  Do we want Him to come in and push sin out the door, never to return again?  With leaven, the whole lump is affected.  With sin, the whole person is affected.  We should let Jesus in and let sin out.  We should do that today.

Heavenly Father,

You are truly an awesome God.  We ask that You come in and push out everything out.  We need to focus on You more.  We need to put You first in our lives.  We need to live publicly for You.   You can help us but we need to ask.  We need You in our lives.  We need You forever.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

Advertisements

Wisdom Turned into Foolishness

1 Corinthians 3:20, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”

Sometimes, when I think of the wisdom of the world compared to God’s, I think of a bear trap.  Something is set out to lure the bear in and then when it is too late, the bear is captured and dealt with.  Our own thoughts and supposedly wisdom becomes our on trap.  We get sucked into thinking we know everything when we actually know little.  It is about wisdom turned into foolishness.

The wisdom of the world attempts to solve the mysteries of life.  In the finite understanding, we attempt to rationalize the complex.  Experts in their fields attempt to shed light on issues such as the solar system, the human body and other such mysteries.  For all that we know, there is so much that we do not know.  Our minds can only hold so much information.  We can only retain to a point and then things get forgotten.  The wisdom of the world can look so amazing until it is put in perspective to God.

Wisdom of world, foolishness to God.  God has an infinite mind.  He never forgets.  He knows everything, leaving nothing for God to learn, because He knows it all already.  He made everything so He knows its ins and outs.  For all that we know, God knows an infinite more than we could ever know.  This is a humbling thought.  All of man’s intelligence combined still does not equal God’s.  He is all-knowing.  He knows what will happen in each person’s life from birth to death.  He knows the amount of hairs on each person’s body.  He knows each and every thought of each and every person on each and every place on the Earth all at the same time.  He sees all, hears all, and is everywhere.

The wisdom of the world can be a noose in a way.  When we think higher of ourselves than we should or find ourselves feeling more intelligent than we should, God has a way of humbling us.  Our wisdom can hang us and make us look foolish.  The problem is sin.  Too much wisdom can lead to pride.  Pride always leads to sin when it comes to man.  We are nothing without God.  Our wisdom that we have is because of God, not ourselves.  What we learn is of God.  What we know is of God.  We do not operate apart from God’s will for us, regardless if we believe in Him or not.  He is in control at all times.

Man can think that he is slick or crafty.  He can think that he knows a lot.  God has a way of showing how little we know.  When we plan, for instance, our plans do not work out.  That is not a shock to God, who saw it coming before we did.  That is the difference between God’s wisdom and our wisdom.  We cannot outsmart God.  We cannot out manuever God.  It is not possible.  God turns human wisdom into foolishness.  We need to look to God’s wisdom.  He alone is wise and we best remember that what we know pales in comparison to what God knows.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You that You are wise and that You have everything in control.  Left to ourselves, we would fail and we cannot rely on our own knowledge.  We are not wise enough.  We are not good enough.  Where we are weak, You are strong.  You carry us when we cannot continue on.  You help us when we are down and almost out.  You are there for us in the good times and in the bad.  You will never leave us.  Thank You that we always have you to turn to.  You are there for us.  You truly care and Your wisdom is beyond compare.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

The Love of Money

1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

Money is given credit for taking care of things it cannot take care of.  Some claim that money solves problems and for a time, it can, but problems come back when the money is gone.  Money is said to give happiness, but again, when the money is gone, the happiness goes too.  Money is said to help people but it only enslaves people.  This is a problem in this world: the love of money.

The love of money is a problem, most of all, because it takes away from the love of God.  You see, for some, money gets in the way of seeking God for happiness.  If someone can buy their way out of trouble, they feel they do not need God.  The problem with this logic is salvation cannot be bought with money.  Everything in this world has a price but things that are eternal cannot be purchased with money.  That is because God does not need our money.  Everything is already God’s.  If He wanted it, He would take it.  We need to use money but lose the love of it.

It is a root of all kinds of evil.  Look at ways that money is used for bad.  I do not have to list them; this can be listed in your own mind.  Money is used to try to buy happiness, but even that does not have a price.  People tend to hang around others with money until the money goes away and find others with money.  The problem is that people who love money can never get enough.  It consumes their thoughts.  It consumes their lives.  They invent ways to get more and more money.  They sometimes get to spend it all but a lot of the time, they die before they can spend it all.  This is the sad truth of money.  It is merely a tool to help pay for things we need.  It is not intended for more than that.

People stray from faith in God through greediness.  Once people get a bunch of money, some go away from God, thinking that money will solve all of their problems.  They may even have the best of intentions to use that money.  These plans do fall through.   The money goes to selfish desires.  The money goes to useless wants.  Faith in God is worth more than all the money in the world.  We cannot buy God’s love because He is willing to give it freely.  We cannot buy salvation because Jesus already paid with His life.  We cannot buy out our sins; Jesus did that for us.

Money causes so much sorrow.  If you need examples, look at recent lottery winners.  Look at how their lives change and how many people come forward and “need” money.  They harass the winner until he is broke or he decides that he cannot take it anymore.  Money creates sorrow and steals true happiness.  People with money sometimes struggle to find God because God cannot be bought.  He is not stocked on a shelf.  He is not on sale.  God is available at any time, to the richest of rich and the poorest of poor.  God does not care about our economic status.  He looks at our heart.  We need to realize that money is just a problem.  If you have money to pay your bills, that is all you need.  Excess money is just a problem that takes away from God.  The love of money runs contrary to God in every way.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You that You give us what we need, including money.  Let us not take the money we are given and turn us into a lover of money.  It is a tool, like other things are tools.  Help us to use it for Your honor and Your glory.  Your kingdom comes first and we should stayed focused on You at all times.  Help us to be more like You each day.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

Heaven in Mind

Colossians 3:2, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”

In the grand scheme of things, we really do not spend much time on Earth.  For some, they only spend 20-some years and then die.  Some spend 100-plus years and then die.  In the end, though, everyone dies.  When one dies, they go to an eternal state.  They then stay in this state for the rest of time.  It would make sense to spend more time focusing on the next life than this one.  We should keep Heaven in mind, as Earth passes away.

We are to set our minds on things above.  In the grand scope of time, our time in Heaven will be infinitely longer than our time on Earth.  All our accomplishments on Earth will go away.  All the money that we amassed will go to others.  All that we have done will be forgotten.  What will not be forgotten is how we lived our life.

The things on this Earth are nothing compared to what God has to offer.  God has the wealth of Heaven that we can have if we will only deny the world’s goods and accept His.  This seems simple but it can be so easy to get wrapped up in what the Earth has.  Money, power, fame, travel, and goods.  All these things can drag someone down a hole that can be hard to get out of.  What God has to offer does not satisfy someone with instant gratification.  We have to wait to get what God has to offer.

So the question is: are we willing to wait and have what God offers or do we want everything now and lose out on what God has to offer?  In light of eternity, choose God and His rewards.  How do we choose His rewards?  We accept His Son, Jesus, as Lord and Savior of our lives.  We accept Him because He died for all the wrong that we have done.  We accept Him because only He can save us and give us the key to Heaven.  Without Jesus, we do not have access to God.  No access to God, no access to the rewards that God has for us.  There is no point to have everything in the world.  We should only focus on God.  Focus on God and the reward that we can have when we go to God.  Keep Heaven in mind always.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You that You will reward us for a life lived for You.  When we deny the world, we can have You.  We do not have to do anything else to be with You after we die.  All we have to do is be saved from our sins.  Thank You for sending Jesus to die for us.  Thank You for having Him be the key that we need to open the door to You.  We can have You because of Him.  We owe all to Jesus.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

Rejoice in the Lord

Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”

Rejoice comes from the Greek word χαίρω chaírō, khah’-ee-ro meaning to be “cheer”ful, i.e. calmly happy or well-off; impersonally, especially as salutation (on meeting or parting), be well:—farewell, be glad, God speed, greeting, hail, joy(- fully).  When we rejoice, we show the world how happy we are.  When we rejoice, we should rejoice in the Lord.

Through the hard times and also the good times, we are to rejoice.  We are to be happy, cheerful, and glad.  This is not always easy due to the stress, anxiety, and worry.  Life has a habit of trying to force us down.  Kick us in the teeth.  Punch us in the stomach.  It takes a lot of focus in order to find the good in some days.  Sometimes there is only one or two shining spots in the day.  It is those shining spots that we need to focus on.

One exercise that I like to do with my children is to have them tell me what they are thankful for.  They can breathe.  They can see.  They can hear.  They can smell.  The list goes on and on.  We try to list all these things in the hope of realizing what we can be happy about.  No mater what we are going through, there is someone out there that is going through something worse.  It is for this that we should rejoice in the Lord always.

The mentioning of the word “rejoice” twice provides emphasis.  This is more of a directive.  We should be happy because even if we have nothing at all and we have God, we have everything.  It can be hard to see others have things but that is just it: things.  When we die, we will have nothing, same as we came into this world.  When we leave though, we want to make sure that we have God.  God is all that we need.  We need to rejoice each and every day because God is with us.

Another reason to rejoice is because of the gift of salvation.  Salvation from sin and from facing the place of Hell.  You see, because of our sin, we deserve death.  Not just physical death but also spiritual death.  Jesus had another plan when He went to the cross to die for us.  Jesus died and then came back to life; a reason to truly rejoice.  Jesus ascended to Heaven and this is another reason to rejoice because He promised to come back for us.  He sent the Holy Spirit and this is a reason to rejoice.

We have so many reasons to rejoice.  The next time you get in a place where you feel like nothing is going right, reflect on what we have to rejoice in.  We should rejoice and rejoice again.  We cannot rejoice enough for all that God does for us every day. We cannot shout enough praise.  We need to rejoice from now until the time when Jesus return to Earth.

Heavenly Father,

We need to rejoice in You alone.  Our hope comes from You.  Your love covers us.  Your love heals us.  You are our Father and You have us in mind always.  We need You and You help us to see what is most important in life.  What is most important is our relationship with You.  Our souls need you.  Help us to seek You first in all things.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

One

Ephesians 4:4-6, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

The number one.  It has so many inferences to it.  When people compete, they want to be number one.  When children start to learn to count, they start with the number one.  One, though all by itself, is a powerful number.  It stands by itself.  It stands alone.  It is the number one.

There is one body.  All of God’s people are part of the body of Christ.  See, the problem is that people have divided themselves by denominations.  This is difficult because there are really only two denominations: those who follow God and those that do not.  So regardless of what affiliation you claim, there is only those that love Jesus with all their hearts and have Him as their Lord and Savior and those that do not.  Saved or unsaved.  The saved are of one body.

There is one Spirit.  That would be the Holy Spirit.  When Jesus ascended to Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit resides in each and every believer that calls Jesus their Lord and Savior.  It is the same Spirit in all of us.  It is this Spirit that keeps us close to God.  The Holy Spirit is God, after all.  There is one Spirit and He is one part of God.

Called in one hope.  We are all sinful and in our sin, we are lost.  Only with Jesus do we have hope of escaping the clutches of sin.  It is all the same hope that all of humankind cling to.  You see, there is no other means to avoid the power of sin apart from Jesus.  Jesus came to Earth once, He lived on Earth once, He died on the cross once, and He ascended to Heaven once.  All our hope is found in Jesus alone.

There is one Lord.  This world has seen its share of leaders.  People who have lorded over nations and tried to take over the world.  They were successful for a time but could never sustain this.  They died and new leaders came to be.  Yet, there has been one leader and ruler that has never given up that power.  That is Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  He is the Lord over every lord that ever existed, is existing, and will exist.  No other can compare to Jesus and no other can challenge Jesus and win.  He is the One True Lord.

There is one faith.  For the plan of salvation to work, there needs to be faith.  One faith.  The faith that Jesus is who He says He is and did what He said He did.  There are some that doubt that Jesus saved us.  Doubt that God exists.  Doubt that there is a point to this life.  This is a form of faith, though, too.  Faith in that there is nothing after this life.  There are those that believe there is more than this life.  That Jesus is God and He saved us from this life and we will enjoy a next life in Heaven above.  That is faith in God.

There is one baptism.  This baptism is the one that is done when the individual is saved.  It is a spiritual baptism.  A cleansing of the old self and a putting on of the new self.  It is like taking off old clothes, taking a shower, and putting on new clothes.  It is a fresh new perspective.  It is us becoming brand new, as if we had never sinned.  There is another baptism.  This is a water baptism.  This baptism is the outward declaration of one’s faith.  The two baptisms are not separate but act as one.

There is one God and Father of all.  There have been several gods created but they all have one thing in common: they are corruptible.  Only God the Father is incorruptible.  He is perfect and has been around since before the beginning of time.  He created everything and nothing that has been made has been made by anyone else.  Everything created by man was first created by God.  He is our Heavenly Father.  We have only one spiritual Father, just as we only have one biological father.

Above all, through all, and in you all.  God is everywhere.  He is above all.  He is through all.  He is in all of us.  There is no place on Earth that God is not there.  We cannot hid from God.  God the Father is in Heaven with His Son as well.  They are waiting for the proper time to bring all those that believe home.  We should be so thankful that we have a God who is so large that He is everywhere.  He cares for us and we can call on Him whenever we need to.  He never sleeps.  He is the One.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You that You are the One.  We can have faith in You because You have never let us down.  You are our God.  You are our Father.  You love us with such a perfect love, that You sent Jesus, Your Son, to die on the cross.  He died so that we may live.  We do not have to hope in vain because all You say is true.  Your Holy Word, the Bible, is true.  The Holy Spirit is also true and will never let us down.  We owe everything that we are to You.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

Stand Fast against Bondage

Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

Since almost the beginning of time, there has been bondage.  When man was kicked out of the garden, he was forced to work and that was his bondage.  The woman, when kicked out of the garden, was given pain in labor of children.  That was her bondage.  Nations enslaved nations.  People enslaved people.  Bondage is a concept as old as time.  It is hard to not get caught up in it, but we must stand up against bondage.

The type of bondage that this verse covers is the bondage of sin.  For most people, sin does not feel like a bad thing.  Bondage comes from the Greek word δουλεία douleía, doo-li’-ah; slavery (ceremonially or figuratively).  In this case, it is the figurative type.  To those that are saved by Jesus, sin is like quick sand.  It seems okay at first, but as it pulls you in, you get deeper and deeper in it until it is too late.  The sand (sin) overwhelms you and you die in it (sin).

This does not mean that sin kills you.  It means that slowly, sin kills you spiritually until you are bankrupt and devoid of value.  When one becomes filled with sin and does not seek Jesus, they die and sin condemns them.  You see, when we die, we will be judged for all that we have done.  For some, this will be worse than their worst day on Earth.  For others, the ones with Jesus in their hearts, this will be a glorious day.  Jesus makes all the difference to God.

We are to stand fast against the bondage of sin.  Does this mean that when we accept Jesus, we will never sin again?  No.  Certainly not!  There is a difference with sin, though.  With Jesus, sin is powerless.  Not meaningless, but powerless.  With Jesus, ours sins are wiped away.  We still committed them but to God, He does not see them; all He can see is His Son.  Without Jesus, all God can see is sin.  It is rearing its ugly head and God wants that to be as far away as possible.  God loves all sinners but does not love the sin.  That is why He sent His Son to die: to eliminate the power of sin.

Jesus made us free from sin.  So does this mean that we can go out and sin as much as we want?  No!  We should not want to sin because sin is going contrary to God.  We should still want to avoid sin but we will sin.  When we do, we repent to God and He forgives.  He forgives those sins every time we are truly sincere in our request.  Sin is cunning and tries to slip into everyone’s lives.  It is up to us how we chose to deal with sin.  Will we run from it or towards it?

When we run towards it, we become ensnared.  For example, when someone tells a lie, they will most likely have to follow-up with another lie.  And another and another.  Soon, so many lies are told to so many people, it is hard to keep them straight and they are found out.  Sin is like this.  At first, it seems innocent.  No one gets hurt.  The more and more it is done, the more and more it is enjoyable.  This occurs until it is too late.  It is too late when we die and we did not accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Jesus did not die on the cross to sin as much as we can.  He died so that we may live apart from the bondage of the power of sin.  The fact is: sin hurts.  It hurts God and ultimately, it can hurt us.  You see, if we do not accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, we still have all our sin.  We cannot be with God.  There is no place in Heaven for someone who is still trapped in their sin.  You see, God does not want to send anyone to Hell.  Hell was created for Satan and his followers, not people.  Unfortunately, people are sent there because there is no other place to send them when they die.  This sad truth is why we must repent before it is too late.  Repent and come to Heaven to be with God forever.  Stand against bondage and seek God today!  Do not delay.  We do not know when our last moment on Earth is.  Seize the time now!

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Your Son.  Please help those that do not know You to come to a saving knowledge of You.  I ask that You heal this world that is obviously hurting from the effects of sin.  I do not wish that anyone would go to Hell.  Please help these words to go to all that need it and that they may be the reason that someone comes to You and is saved.

I ask this in Your name,

Amen

Bought for a Price

1 Corinthians 6:20, “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

When we go to a supermarket or any other store for that matter, there are items for sale.  They are displayed neatly so that they are easy to see.  The store hopes that these items will be purchased but in order to be purchased, they need a code to ring them up.  This code tells the computer and the clerk what the price of the item is.  Each and every person is stamped with a code by God and we have all been bought for a price.

We were bought for a price.  Let that sink in for a while.  Why were bought for a price in the first place?  We are bought for a price because of the fall and sin of man.  Because of sin, we are lost.  We have zero chance of going to Heaven to be with God.  There is no hope.  There is only aimless walking in darkness trying to find the exit but never finding it.  Enter Jesus.  His life, death, and resurrection saves us.  He paid the price for our salvation and wiped our slates clean.  We have no debt with God when we have Jesus in us.  Jesus bought us and we are presented to God, sinless through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

So, because we bought for a price, we are free.  We can never pay back Jesus for what He paid for us.  It is a debt that is larger than we can ever afford.  It would bankrupt us, an infinite times over.  But that is fine by Jesus.  He is not looking to be paid back; He is looking to make us free.  So with this freedom, what should we do?  We should glorify God.  Glorify comes from the Greek word δοξάζω doxázō, dox-ad’-zo; to render (or esteem) glorious (in a wide application):—(make) glorify(-ious), full of (have) glory, honour, magnify.  We are to show God the honor and magnify His name beyond measure.  How do we do that?

We accomplish that by our prayers, reading the Bible, and worshipping God through our songs or words.  Our glorifying should fill our body and spirit.  Every fiber of our being should be praising and thanking God for what He has done for us.  We cannot ever understand the magnitude of the love of God.  It goes beyond comprehension.  It is not able to be put in words.  God’s love is like a glass of water filled to the top, over the brim, flowing down the sides, and flooding an immeasurable area of space.

The fact is that we are God’s.  Everything that we are is God’s and everything we have is God’s.  We know this is true because when we die, we take nothing with us.  When we enter the world, we come in naked and with nothing.  We need to understand that because we are saved by God, we need to be thankful to God.  He is our Creator.  He is our Father.  Our Spiritual Daddy.  Let us run to His open arms today.  He is waiting for us to come close to Him and lift His name up, praising and thanking Him forever and ever.  Bought for a price, we are free, not of ourselves but because of the Son of God.  Jesus came into the supermarket (world), looked at the shelves and bought all the items (people).  He did not let one item (person) get left behind.  We are all bought for a price.  How will we respond to that today?

Heavenly Father,

We cannot say enough or do enough to thank You for sending Your Son to buy us out of our debt of sin.  We could never do it.  We are not strong enough.  We are not intelligent enough.  We are sinful and You are not.  Let us praise You until we can be with You in Heaven and then continue to praise You with all that we are.  Help us to never forget that we are Yours.  You have us because we were made by You.  We were made in Your image.  Thank You and let us come to You boldly because of Your Son.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

Those Who are Called

1 Corinthians 1:26, “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.”

Sometimes it is not always clear what God wants for our lives.  Sometimes it is hard to stay quiet and wait on God to reveal His plan for our lives.  It is not always easy to live a life for God.  Yet, we are to do so.  The Bible is clear.  God has those who are called.

Seeing a calling can take a while or can literally fall into your lap.  As for me, I have shared that I was a lot like Jonah.  I tried to run from the calling that God had for me.  He wanted to me to do something and I ran away scared.  I ran away because I did not think that I was ready.  I did not fully trust God to give me the power to accomplish His plan.  Now, years later, I am accomplishing His plan for my life.  There are others that see their calling.  They are called to preach.  They are called to minister to children or youth or men or women.  There are those called to be missionaries abroad.  There are very specific callings for each person and God reveals everyone’s calling in due time.

Brethren refers to all believers.  Everyone is called to something.  The key is what we are called to do.  How do we know what we are called to do?  How do we know that we are following what God wants?  We have to listen to God.  We have to calm our spirits and listen.  God does not always come with a loud, thunderous voice.  Sometimes He comes in a tiny whisper.  It is our job to wait on God.  Wait on Him and He will reveal all to us in His timing.

God does not always choose the wisest of people to perform His work.  God is not interested in fancy degrees at fancy colleges.  He does not look at resumes that are polished to the hilt.  God sometimes looks for those that are going to be potentially resistant.  He may look to those that do not have formal education.  He may look to someone who may look plain to us.  God has a plan, even for people that we judge to be “unworthy.”  It is not about us; it is about God.

God does not always choose the mighty for His plans.  He is not interested in how much we go to the gym or how many pull-ups we can do.  He is not concerned with how much we can dead-lift or curl.  Sometimes God looks to the weaker people to perform His plans.  Sometimes He choses the weak outcasts to do His will.  This is all by design.  This is all part of God’s design.

God does not always choose the noble for His work.  God is not concerned if we are a king, queen, prince, princess, or lord of a domain.  Sometimes God chooses the “peasants” to do His work.  The down-trodden people are the ones that God will pick to act out for His kingdom.  God uses whom He chooses to do what He knows is best.  It is not our prerogative to question God or His methods.  We are to trust God in all things.

God is in control.  We do not have to worry that God has “fallen asleep at the wheel.”  God is alert and very alive.  God is there and He has a plan and that plan will come to pass.  It is in our best interest to listen to God and be a contributing part of the kingdom of God.  Get involved with a local church.  If you do not have one, get one.  We are meant to be a community of believers.  We are meant to bond together to be stronger.  We are called.  We have a purpose.  Let us listen for the words of God to descend on our ears and do the will of God.  Let us be those who are called.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for all that You do for us.  I ask that You help each of us to quiet our souls today.  Quiet them to listen to the words that You have to speak to us.  When we are called, help us to act on it and do as You tell us to.  You have the power and You have the words for us to speak if we would only have the faith to believe in You alone.  You are our God and You will never leave us.  You will always be there for us.  You are our God.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

Search and Know

Psalms 139: 23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”

When looking for something like a clue, it requires a closer look.  It may require a magnifying glass.  A magnifying glass make something that is far away, closer.  It does not change the size of the object but it changes the perspective of the object.  When it comes to the end judgment, God is the one to search and know.

Search comes from the Hebrew word חָקַר châqar, khaw-kar’; which means to penetrate; hence, to examine intimately:—find out, (make) search (out), seek (out), sound, try.  God, when He searches, He does not go surface deep.  He penetrates.  He looks as deep as possible to see what He can find.  He searches mind, body and soul.  He created all so He knows all.  When He seeks, He looks until He finds.  He does not give up.  He does not quit.  He will find out everything He needs to know about each and every person.

God not only searches us, but He truly knows us, especially our hearts.  Our hearts contain more than just muscle and blood, but contain who we are.  What we are made of and how we react when we are put to the test.  God knows us because He created us.  He knows every hair on our body, every cell in our being, every thought and action we will have.

Try comes from the Hebrew word בָּחַן bâchan, baw-khan’; a primitive root meaning to test (especially metals); generally and figuratively, to investigate:—examine, prove, tempt, try (trial).  When things are tried, like gold and silver, they are heated to remove the impurities.  When God tries us, He is getting rid of the bad that is in us and wants us to be good.  He is also examining us to see what is good and bad in us as well.  We need to live for God so that we can prove how much God means to us.

Everyone has anxiety.  God already knows our worries and our cares.  The key is to let God have them.  Give them all to God.  He knows, which shows that He cares.  He actively wants to know what is going on in our lives.  We need to know that we can turn to God and give Him our problems because our problems are smaller than our God.

 The fact is that there are wicked ways in each of us.  Each of us contains sin and sin is wicked.  It goes against everything that is God.  God already knows what is inside us so He knows how wicked we are.  What wicked thoughts we have.  What wicked actions we do.  He knows it all.  He sees it all.  The key to all of this is to eliminate the wicked to the best of our ability and let us help us with the rest.  He is there for this.
Because of Jesus and His death on the cross, we have the Way to God.  It will be everlasting and it will be sweet.  It will be sweet because when we die, we will be in the presence of the Almighty God.  His glory will shine around us.  There will be no more pain.  There will be no more trials.  There will be no more sin.  For those that declare that Jesus is the Son of God and their Savior, Heaven awaits.  For those that do not, there is no place in Heaven for them.  It all boils down to a choice: to declare Jesus as Lord of your life or deny Him.  Choose Jesus.  Choose life.  Choose to search and know your Heavenly Father.
Heavenly Father,
Thank You for all that You do for us.  You know us.  You love us, even though we have wicked ways in us.  We sin and You are still there for us.  Help us to love as You love.  Help us to see the world and help others as You help us.  Search us today and show us what You would have us to do.
In your name we pray,
Amen