Saturday, September 23, 2017

BLAMELESS BEFORE GOD?

 

Job 1:1  There was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz.  He was blameless, a man of complete integrity.  He feared God and stayed away from evil.

Wouldn’t you like to be like Job?  I know I would.  Here was a man whom God declared to be blameless, a man of complete integrity.  Job feared God and stayed away from evil.

What needs to happen in you in order for God to say of you that you are blameless and full of integrity?  A blameless soul is one who is living totally under the righteousness of Christ.  He trusts Christ alone for his salvation and strives to emulate the life of Christ.  He is one who does not resist the work of the Spirit in his life to change him. 

A person of integrity is consistently doing life God’s way.  He is one who trustworthy.  He does not waver when it comes to doing what is right before God.  He can always be counted on in times of need.

Two things must happen before it can be said of us that we are blameless and a person of integrity.  We must fear God and stay away from evil.  One of the things that we have for the most part gotten away from is to fear God.  We have lost our sense of respect and reverence for God.  We have forgotten how to regard Him as holy and just.  We have pasteurized God to the point where He is not much more than one of us.

Staying away from evil is not something most of us take seriously.  We may not participate in it like some do, but neither do we stay away from it.  We allow ourselves to be entertained by it.  We do not stop ourselves from being entertained by it like we should.  We let it enter into our minds and ultimately into our hearts instead of striving to stay away from it.

Let us take heed today over our souls.  Let us strive to live blameless lives.  Let us endeavor to be known as a people of complete integrity.  Let us learn to fear God and strive to stay away from evil.

Friday, September 22, 2017

A WASTED LIFE

 

Esther 6:6  So Haman came in, and the king said, “What should I do to honor a man who truly pleases me?”  Haman thought to himself, “Whom would the king wish to honor more than me?”

       Haman was a man in deep trouble and he didn’t even know it.  He was proud of his successes, arrogant, and greedy for recognition.  He thought that he had the world by its tail and when he was brought into King Xerxes’ throne room, he immediately thought it was all about himself. 

      Just like Haman, most don’t realize the real trouble they are in.  Haman had sold out his soul for earth’s treasures and most people follow his example.  Haman was to soon discover the price he had to pay for his selfish ambitions; it cost him his life. 

      There is always a price to pay for rejecting God and living for self.  Everyone will pay the price, if not in this life, certainly on Judgment Day when they will face God.  No one gets away with sinful choices and attitudes.  No one. 

      Jesus raised a very serious question that all of us must answer, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?”  The answer is very simple.  The only thing gained is an eternity spent in hell. 

       What is there in your life that you are not willing to give up for the sake of living a life fully surrendered to the Lord?  What do you deem to be of greater importance to you than the Lord?   Is anything worth spending eternity in hell for? 

       There is no wiggle room on this.   If you are not living for Christ, you are living for the world.  If you not living for Christ today, tomorrow may very well be too late for you to change your ways. 

       Little did Haman know when he went before the king that his life would be over within a couple of days.  By the time he came to his senses, he desperately pleaded for his life before Queen Esther, but it was too late.  He had run out of chances to change his ways.

        Don’t do like Haman did.  Don’t wait until it’s too late.  Only God knows when your time will be up, when you will have no more chances to change your ways and live for Christ.  Don’t waste your life chasing after the empty promises of this world.  Don’t sell out your soul to the devil.  Give your life totally to the Lord today.  You will be glad you did.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

LET THE LORD USE YOU


Esther 4:14-15  Mordecai sent back this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that you will escape there in the palace when all other Jews are killed.  If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die.  What’s more, who can say but that you have been elevated to the palace for such a time as this?”

    

     Queen Esther had sent word to Mordecai that she was afraid to go and plead with King Xerxes on behalf of the Jews.  It was the rule of the land that if a person was not summoned to come to the king he would be executed unless the king held out his sword for the person to touch.  Esther had not been summoned to the king for over a month.

      Mordecai reminded her that this was a matter of life and death.  He knew in his heart that God would spare the Jews from Haman’s evil decree, but the chances were strong that Esther, himself, and their family would probably die. 

       Mordecai also challenged Esther to consider the possibility that God had placed her in her high position as queen for just this moment in time. 

        We don’t know but that we are where we are at right now in our lives because of God’s sovereign plan.  The Lord may have very well-orchestrated your life’s events so that you would be who and what you are today to make a difference in the lives of many others. 

        Look around you.  Who needs you in their lives?  You can make a huge difference in someone’s life if you are willing to seize the opportunities the Lord is giving you.  Don’t minimize the importance of serving the Lord.  Your life is no accident.  God has a plan and wants to use you to fulfill it.  You may be the key to setting some soul on fire for the Lord.  You may be the one God has chosen to use to set in motion a great movement of God in your church or community.

     Will you let the Lord use you right now, right where you are?  Will you let Him use you to make an eternal difference in others’ lives for Him? 

       Esther stepped up to the plate after she bathed herself in prayer and fasted and the Lord gloriously used her to save the people of Israel.  Seek the Lord with a fully surrendered heart and let Him have His way with you.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

MOURNING OVER SIN

 

Esther 4:1  When Mordecai learned what had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, crying with a loud and bitter wail.

      Haman, the prime minister of the land, hated the Jews, and Mordecai in particular.  He could not stand the thought that Mordecai did not bow down before him and acknowledge him worthy of being put on a pedestal.  He took advantage of the situation and arranged to have all the Jews in the kingdom killed on a set day in the following spring.

      Mordecai went into mourning for the Jews.  I don’t believe he was focused on himself nearly as much as he was for his fellow Jews.  The Jews were the chosen people of God.  They were the chosen vessel of God for the coming Messiah and for bringing God to the world.  Mordecai was absolutely devastated.  He publicly showed his grief by the way he dressed and crying out in anguish of heart.

      We live in a world where hatred of Christians is everywhere.  Daily there are people being executed for their faith in God.  Wherever you go, there is a strong effort to remove any discussion about Christ from the public arena.  Whole societies have banned children of God from the public arena and persecution is common.

       When was the last time we cried out in anguish of heart over the slaying of fellow believers?  When was the last time you prayed for those who daily face the threat of death?  When was the last time you pleaded with God to stop the madness? 

       We say we love the family of God, but do we really?  We somehow have gotten the idea that if we aren’t personally under fire or affected by the persecutions, we don’t have a need to be bothered by it. 

      If it doesn’t affect us, can we honestly say we love the Lord?  Pray for those who put their lives on the line for Christ.  Pray for those who are being publicly ostracized because of their faith.  Things are only going to get worse in the world and beseeching God on one another’s behalf is one of our greatest testimonies of our love for the Lord.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

ALL ARE EQUAL BEFORE GOD

 

Esther 3:5  When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or show him respect, he was filled with rage.

        Haman was the prime minister in King Xerxes’ kingdom.  It was a vast kingdom and the most powerful one on earth at the time.  Haman was highly feared and respected through the land and people were expected to bow before him wherever he went.

        Mordecai was a Jew and would not bow before him.  He was devoted to God and bowed only to Him.  Mordecai did not fear Haman or any other man.  He only feared God.  This did not set well with Haman.  He let his position go to his head and believed that he deserved to be treated as someone special.  When someone did not treat him as special, he went into a rage. 

       No one deserves to be put on a pedestal or treated better than others.  No one.  We are all created equal by God.  In Christ, no one has any better standing before God than anyone else.  No one has any right to lord it over another. 

       We are to treat one another with love and respect.  We have no right to look down on anyone or think we are better than anyone.  It is sin to put ourselves above another and God holds us accountable for it.

Monday, September 18, 2017

OUT OF CONTROL ANGER

 

Esther 2:1  But after Xerxses’ anger had  cooled, he began thinking about Vashti and what she had done and the decree he had made.

       King Xerxes had reacted in anger when his wife, Vashti, had not obeyed him when he wanted to show off her beauty at a festival he had given for the dignitaries of his kingdom.  This festival lasted six months and during that time Vashti had entertained the women of the kingdom.  King Xerxes had undoubtedly had too much to drink when this happened and quickly became angry at Vashti’s snub.

        We need to learn a lesson from this.  It usually does not do anyone any good to react in anger.  Usually we make decisions that we later regret.  Xerxes began to second guess himself after he had cooled down, but for him, it was too late.  He had banished Vashti from her role as queen of the land when he listened to the advice of his counselors.  He now was all alone with no one to be by his side as he ruled. 

        He had made a rash decision and now was left to live with the consequences.   When we react in anger, there usually are consequences to pay and often they are hurtful either to ourselves personally or to others. 

        We can avoid the consequences of our anger when we learn to control it.   The only sure way to keep anger in check is to live submissively to the Holy Spirit.  When the Lord rules our hearts, we have a much better chance of thinking carefully through our decisions instead of reacting to them.  The next time anger grabs hold of you, turn to the Lord and ask Him to help you regain your control.  The time it takes to turn to Him and let Him help you will spare you and others much pain and suffering.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

GOD'S HOLY DAY

 

Neh. 13:22a  Then I commanded the Levites to purify themselves and to guard the gates in order to preserve the holiness of the Sabbath.

       We are all guilty.  We do not do a very good job of preserving the holiness of the Lord’s Day.  We go to church, but it is only one of the many things we crowd into the day.  We go out to eat and no longer feel guilty about it.  We go to work and justify it claiming it is necessary for our jobs.  We go to sporting events to either watch or play.  We go shopping.  We mow our lawns and do our laundry.  We plant and harvest our crops.  We do all the things we would do any other day and convince ourselves that it is okay since we were in church.  I wonder what the Lord thinks of us.

        Now, I understand that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.  We cannot legislate our activities.  What some of us feel the freedom to do may not be what others feel the freedom to do.  What I wonder about is whether or not what we do has even been prayed over.  Have we given the Lord a chance to determine whether or not we should be doing what we do?  How can we know whether or not the Lord is okay with us if we don’t first take our activities to Him?

      Nehemiah’s concern was to protect the holiness of the Sabbath.  He did not want to allow the people to do anything that would desecrate the Lord’s Day.  I believe that we should be equally as concerned about how we live on the Lord’s Day.  Do we honor the Lord’s Day by what we do?  Perhaps the world would take note and listen more carefully to what we are trying to tell them if we showed by our actions that we truly do love the Lord and strive to respect the day He has set aside for us to worship Him.