God wants us to make right decisions, which means choices that align with His will. He has promised to give us instruction and direction so we’ll know how to proceed (Psalm 32:8).
Although we all want quick answers from the Lord, Scripture tells us to pray tirelessly, without giving up. Persisting in prayer positions us to be drawn closer to God, where we are better prepared to hear from Him.
Trusting in God’s promises will lift us above our doubts into a place of quiet rest. We may not have an answer yet, but in waiting on Him with hopeful expectation, we’ll experience His “peace which surpasses all comprehension” (Phil. 4:7).
Scripture urges us to let Christ’s peace rule in our heart (Col. 3:15). Doing so will help us find our way past confusion and receive His clear direction without doubting. Discovering God’s will is worth every effort we make and any time spent waiting.
Almost. It’s a sad word in any man’s dictionary. It runs with nearly, next time, and just about! It’s a word that smacks with missed opportunities. It’s an honorable mention, being on the bench, and burnt cookies!
One of the most famous “almosts” is in the Bible. His name was Pilate. He almost performed what would have been history’s greatest act of mercy. He almost pardoned the Prince of Peace. He almost released the Son of God. He had the power. He had the choice. The option to free God’s Son was his. And he did…almost!
Jesus never has room for almost. With Him nearly becomes certainly. Sometimes becomes always. And next time becomes this time! Almost may count in horseshoes, but with the Master, it’s just as if it never happened.
Last night on 60 Minutes, they aired a program about some churches in Lalibela, Ethiopia that had been chiseled out of stone. To be precise each church was carved out of one big stone. To see the results was impressive.
The carving of these churches date back almost 1,000 years according to a local historian. Their presence has had a significant impact on the people of Ethiopia, since they believe the churches were carved by angels.
The moderator for 60 Minutes, Scott Pelley, interviewed one of the professionals dedicated to preserving these churches. Scott asked him why these churches were so important. The individual answered that the people of Ethiopia travel for days and sometimes months on foot to come to that location to worship. The historian said that the people believe God inhabits the churches and they want to be where God is.
Can you imagine traveling for days, weeks, or even months on foot to worship at a church? Not just any church but one believed to be carved out by angels and inhabited by God. For me personally, I am amazed at their devotion to God and worshiping His son Jesus. I only hope I can be as devoted as the Ethiopians in this story.
How far and how long would you travel on foot to worship Jesus? It’s definitely something to consider and pray about.
Personal ambition and servant-hood aren’t always compatible. In fact, they are often at odds with each other. A servant’s goal is to please his or her master in whatever way is required, but personal ambition strives for self-advancement. Jesus’ words from today’s passage must have sounded foreign to the disciples’ ears since, according to the thinking of their culture, greatness was acquired by striving for it, not by serving.
Like them, we live in a world where many people are seeking to make a name for themselves. They set goals, make plans, and do whatever is necessary to achieve what they’ve set out to do. But as Christians, we’re to live by a different standard: exalt Christ, obey His commands, and serve Him faithfully by doing His will, not our own.
We’re not called to gain fame and fortune by leaving our footprints in concrete for all to admire. Our task is to humbly follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Whether our lives have a large or small impact is up to God, not us. The greatest acts of service are not usually flashy displays; more often they’re commonplace gestures like being kind to strangers, ministering to fellow believers, and praying for others.
Jesus humbled Himself, surrendered His rights, and obeyed God even to the point of death on the cross (Phil. 2:5-8). Being His servant begins with the same attitude. It requires helping others when it’s not convenient, doing tasks that are not glamorous, and obeying the Lord even if it’s costly. We aren’t on earth to build our own kingdom but to faithfully serve God as He builds His.
“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm”—Proverbs 13:20
Compromise may be helpful for some relationships, but it can hurt our spiritual journey. Bending God’s principles is risky.
For example, suppose a Christian man makes some new acquaintances, who don’t share his beliefs. Having grown up in the church, he has practically memorized Proverbs 13:20—“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm”—and recognizes the verse is meant to protect Christians from worldly influences. But he rationalizes that spending time here or there with these friends won’t hurt him. Eventually, however, he ends up spending more time with them than with believers and begins to question his own beliefs. Heeding that proverb might have helped him avoid drifting away from the heavenly Father.
To navigate such situations, we must look ahead for possible danger. Even choices that seem trivial can have far-reaching consequences. But the Lord equips us with a conscience and the Holy Spirit, who sounds an alarm if we veer into dangerous territory.
For us to hear these warnings, our heart must be tuned into God’s Spirit and Word. Relying on our own understanding can lead to trouble. But those who trust the Lord and apply His principles will find straight paths through potentially dangerous situations.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways and He will make your path straight.”—Proverbs 3:5-6
Friday is a day of the week so many look forward to because it represents the coming of the weekend and time for relaxation. Relaxation that does not involve worrying about anything. Just taking it easy is the way to go. Oh, of course the troubles and worries of the week are still there but now is not the time to think about them, or is it?
Prayer time, bible reading and worship throughout the week will give you the peace you need to handle whatever comes your way during the week. There is no need to wait until the weekend to blow off steam. Going to God in prayer and blowing off steam, and yes it’s OK to do that with God because He already knows what you’re dealing with, is permissible.
Asking for, waiting for and receiving God’s guidance on how to live your life and handle the daily pitfalls is as close as a prayer. God understands what you’re going through and wants to help if you’ll let Him.
Before you start your weekend, pray and ask God what’s the best way to live your life and handle the challenges you face. He will be happy to answer you and will invite you to worship Him daily from then on.
Give God a chance. He won’t let you down.
I pray that God will add His blessings to your day. If you’ve not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior then may I encourage you to do so. If you have questions about “being saved”, may I recommend you talk to a pastor or reach out to a friend that you know who follows the Lord. The decision you reach today will have eternal consequences. I pray you will make the right choice.