“Submit yourselves, the, to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”-James 4:7
Temptation is something that each of us battle on a daily basis. We have an enemy who is doing everything he can to make us fail, but there is an answer. Today’s verse tells us to submit ourselves to God and the devil will flee from us.
1 Peter 5:8-9 tells us that the devil is like a roaring lion who is looking for someone to devour. In the animal kingdom it is the weakest animal that falls prey before the others. In our relationship with the Lord those of us who have not given everything to God, or submitted, will suffer the same fate. This is not to say that none of us will mess up, because we will at some point, but the longer we resist the better chance we have. Is there some part of your life that you have not submitted to God? Maybe it is your career, finances, or time? Pray this morning and ask God to take it over. By submitting ourselves to God the devil will flee for weaker prey.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”-Colossians 3:17
Today in the United States we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. It is a time to remember all of the blessings that the Lord has given to us. We remember our families, shelter, employment, and pretty much anything else.
Though we have been blessed with immeasurable blessings there are times when we look on the negative side of things. Whether we felt cheated about something, or felt we deserved that promotion at work. Sometimes we may not give it our all as a result. We must remember that everything we do can be offered up to the Lord, and as a result should be giving it our all. By giving it our all, even in the toughest of circumstances, Jesus will be glorified and those around you will see your witness. Take sometime today to be thankful for what you have, and to commit your daily living to the Lord in all you do.
“And He said to all, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”- Luke 9:23
Imagine that you are living in first century Israel. The Roman Empire is in control of the area, and a means of torture and execution used is crucifixion. The cross was seen as an instrument of torture and death, and was highly feared. Then out of nowhere you hear Jesus say “Take up your cross and follow me.” It was a frightening proposition, because Jesus is asking deny ourselves and become a disciple.
In our culture today the cross is something cool. It is on T-shirts, and worn as jewelry, but in ancient times it was feared. The early Christians died for what the cross had come to mean. They died because they were followers of Christ. They denied themselves to follow Christ at all costs. Are we saying that we are following Christ, but our lives are showing little evidence of it? We may be leaving our cross at home a little too often. If we desire to change our cities, churches, and world then that cross needs to be hoisted over our shoulders all the time. Christ must be who we are looking to, and we must put our wants a distant second. We must become better disciples who help make other disciples. When in prayer this morning ask for the strength carry out the order of today’s verse. What are we clinging to that is keeping us from doing it?
“For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.”- 2 Corinthians 9:2
It is the time of year where we remember all that there is to be thankful for. We celebrate these things with a feast, and being around our loved ones. Today’s verse refers to a love offering to help those in the Jerusalem church. Many of the members in the church lived in poverty, and other churches took up collections to offer aid.
The Corinthians were eager to help, but did not follow through. As a result the Macedonians came through and completed the task that the Corinthians had started. Sometimes we are like the Corinthians in that we are very eager to help those around us. We see what we have, are thankful for it, and vow to help those around us with less. Sometimes that does not happen, and others come to fulfill the task we started. This Thanksgiving season let us remember our brothers and sisters who have less. What are we doing to show them the love of Christ? May we live out the words of our Lord Jesus when he says, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:35).”
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do it with gentleness and respect.”- 1 Peter 3:15
In today’s society we will no doubt come across those who are hostile us because of our faith. We live in a society that is moving towards post-modernism…if it isn’t there already. In such times we will be called on to defend our faith on a more regular basis.
Are prepared to engage in such a feat? I want to be brutally honest for a moment. There are many Christians in America, perhaps the world, that are not ready. Studying the faith must be a priority in our lives if we are going to say we are part of it. How do we prepare to give reason for the hope that is within us? It must start with prayer. Do you have a regular time to pray each day? We must read the scriptures. Do we set aside time each day to read the Word of God and let the Holy Spirit minister to us? Lastly are we attending church regularly? Being in fellowship with other believers allows us to learn from those that are more mature in their faith. Let us follow the command that Peter gives us in today’s verse.
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”- 2 Peter 3:10
One of the things I struggle with in life is procrastination. I have been told by coworkers and family that I thrive off of extra stress. I would tend to agree. Procrastination is fine in some things, but not when it comes to faith in Jesus Christ. To many say they will look to Jesus at the 11th hour only to die at 1030.
Today’s verse says he will come like a thief. A thief does not come by knocking on the door, but coming in unexpectedly. As Christians we should be living our lives in such a way that demonstrates good and Godly living. Along with our words our lives must be a living example. The day that today’s verse speaks of is coming quickly, and we do not know when it is. That is why we need to be prepared now. Place your life squarely in the hands of the Jesus, live for him, and help prepare others for that day.
“For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one believes and is saved.”-Romans 10:10
Faith is something that is impossible to minimize in the Christian life. We can have all of the good works possible, but without faith we will not be justified in the eyes of God. The free gift of God is available only through faith in Jesus Christ.
Today’s verse is a powerful reminder for us. What are we relying on to look good in the eyes of God? Are we trying to do it on our own? That seems to be our tendency. I can’t begin to count how many times I tried to do things on my own, but that accomplished was putting a priority above Christ. May we be reminded today that it is our faith that saves us. Let us thank him today for this awesome grace!
“But you will receive power hen the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”- Acts 1:8
The book of Acts is an exciting book as it details events that took place when the Christian church was in its infancy. There are many significant things that happen in the book such as the Council of Jerusalem, and Peter’s sermon which saw 3,000 people come into the church. However these events started with a command. That command is found in today’s verse.
Pentecost would not have happened if the Apostles just went about their daily lives after Jesus’s ascension. They received the power of the Holy Spirit while they were in prayer. Then they went out into the nations to spread the Gospel. The command to go to all the nations with the Gospel still applies today. How are we sharing it in our part of the world? During your prayer time this morning ask for opportunities to serve. There is no shortage of ways to help spread the good news throughout the world. Your local church is a great place to start.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”-Psalm 119:11
There is a saying that says “You are what you eat.” If we eat fast food all the time then we may get overweight. If we eat lean meats, fruits, and vegetables our chances of remaining healthy greatly increase. Likewise today’s verse shows us what we must do to lead a more Christian life.
How are we currently spending our day? Are we being consumed by the things of the world and jealousy and strife it entails? What time are we giving to od on a daily basis? Today’s verse tells us that we must study scripture, apply it to our lives, and apply it to our memory. Applying it to memory gives us valuable ammunition when we are tempted by the enemy. Set some time aside to study each day. I now want to leave you with a personal challenge…memorize one passage of scripture per day. Start with today’s verse.
“Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin wen it is fully grown leads to death.”- James 1:15
There is little doubt that we have all messed up at some point. We can look around the world and see the consequences of evil desires in the hearts of men. Today’s verse shows the progression of evil thoughts, but it also gives us a blueprint to try to avoid such things.
Today’s verse speak of the starting point of sin as being desire. Do we desire more fame? More money? More power? That desire becomes all consuming and all we think about. That desire has become our new god and we will do anything possible to bring about its manifestation. This is the process of sin, and it can happen very quickly,,,sometimes before we even recognize it. Sin brings about spiritual death, but Christ died to free us from that! Today take some time to think about your priorities. If Christ is not at the top of the list what is? Will that something cause you to stumble. May our utmost desire to be faithful servants of Christ. This will allow us to be better husbands, wives, fathers, and friends. God bless you.