#5847 – Stop Complaining

Good morning people who live to testify about the goodness of God.

Let’s continue meditating on our purpose for remaining on earth. Like the man who Jesus delivered from the legion of demons, we are also told to “stay here” and tell people what the Lord has done for us, and how He has had mercy on us (Mark 5:19).

We are not in heaven yet because there are more souls to be saved!

But are there some barriers to us fulfilling Father’s call for our lives?

Absolutely! And one of them is what comes out of our mouth.

It is very easy for me to complain rather than testify about God’s goodness.

It is very easy for me to speak from fear rather than speak from faith.

It is very easy for me to talk about what God hasn’t done rather than testify about what God has done.

Simply put, sometimes I am so self-focused that I am not a good signpost to God with my words.

And so, I am challenged by Father today to stop complaining. My words are my words, and it is time for me to take responsibility for what I speak. Your words are your words, and it is time for you to take responsibility for what you speak.

Are our words releasing life and faith and confidence in God and in His goodness to others?

Or are our words perpetuating problems and covering over the signpost that should clearly point to the Lord Jesus Christ?

Here’s a verse that I pray will guide our words each day:

1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 

#5846 – Testify And Witness

Good morning people who remain on this earth to point people to Jesus.

Mark 5:18-20 NIV As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

This man who had previously been tormented by demons, had an encounter with Jesus. His life completely changed in that moment. Maybe you too have experienced the life-giving power of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is therefore understandable that this man wanted to go with Jesus and be with Him from that moment on. Obviously, Jesus would say yes to this request. But He didn’t then, and He doesn’t now.

Of course. we know that God is omnipresent; He is everywhere, and He will never leave us nor forsake us. This is true.

But the reality is, we do not get saved and then go straight to heaven to exist forever with God in the purest form of abiding. No, Jesus wants us to stay on earth after we encounter Him, and He does so for the same reason that He told this man that he must remain.

As Christians, you and I are still alive to testify and witness about the goodness of God and to tell people what He has done in our lives. It’s that simple. We are here to fulfil Acts 1:8 – to be witnesses of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The question is not whether this is our purpose, but rather, whether we are fulfilling our purpose. Too many times I am not (we need to be honest). Me “surviving” can sometimes overshadow me intentionally being a witness (again, we need to be real here). I’m not sure any person does this perfectly – and that’s ok.

But is this an intentional pursuit of our heart and our lives?

May we all fulfil God’s reason for us still being alive on this earth.

 

#5845 – Evidence Of Change

Good morning people who embrace the transformation power of God in people’s lives.

Mark 5:1-5 NIV They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

This was a scary man who terrorised the region due to his brokenness and the influence of the demonic.

Then along comes Jesus and sets this man free! Hallelujah! How glorious!

I can just imagine the people of the town celebrating this incredible transformation and embracing Jesus as the Son of God. But that’s not what happened.

Mark 5:15 NIV When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.

What?! I find this one of the craziest scriptures. A man who lived naked in the tombs and who screamed and cut himself with stones is now sitting, dressed and in his right mind, and the people were afraid!

The people’s response was not, “Tell us more Jesus!’ There response was, “Please leave Jesus!”

Mark 5:17 NIV Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.

Here’s what I find myself thinking: Not everything that God does – including the wonderful transformation of lives – will be celebrated by others. Sometimes even evidence of change is not enough for others to celebrate God. Therefore, let’s be careful about listening to other people’s opinions about our encounters with God.

I praise God for what He is doing in you and through you. May God receive the glory from our lives.

 

#5844 – Friends Of God

Good morning people who draw close to the heart of God to hear His voice.

Mark 4:9 NIV Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Mark 4:23 NIV If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Mark 4:33-34 NIV With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

Everyone can hear the voice of God if they are listening – everyone. This is not because we are good, but it is because God is a speaking God. God is the Word, and the Word speaks; this is who He is, and this is what He does.

But it is also true that God loves to share the deeper things of His heart with those who are His friends. This is such a beautiful invitation to everyone who positions themselves towards God in humility and full surrender. This is not an invitation to the distant, the complacent, or the compromising. This is reserved for friends of God.

John 15:14 NIV You are my friends if you do what I command.” 

We cannot claim friendship with God and live in disobedience to God. Friends of God obey God because they love God. This is not based in religious duty, but it is based in relational intimacy.

John 15:15 NIV I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 

Notice the final words of this verse by Jesus: everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. This is intimate sharing, and it is because of being a friend of God.

Lean in today and listen to God’s heart. You will find it in God’s Word and whispered by God’s Spirit. You will find it if you are a friend of God.

Read an article by Sally on  ‘A Key To Hearing God’s Voice’.

 

#5843 – What You Sow

Good morning people who daily sow something into other people’s lives.

Mark 4:14 NKJV The sower sows the word.

The parable of the sower is a well-known parable in the Bible. I’m sure you know it. In this parable, we normally focus on the different types of ground that the seed is sown on. The receiving ground determines the fruit that is produced. It is an imperative truth to have our lives receptive to receiving, embracing and obeying God’s Word.

But today this one simple line struck me: The sower sows the word.

What do we sow into people’s lives?

When we speak words to people, what are we sowing into them?

When we act, what are we sowing into people?

When we talk about people, what are we sowing into those who are listening?

The sower sows the word.

I wonder if this simple line should be the focus and commitment of our lives.

The sower can only sow seed because he has seed. If he carried a seed bag but the seed bag was empty, he could not sow seed.

Is your spiritual seed bag empty or full of the Word of God?

How is your daily Bible meditation, saturation and memorization?

How is your receptivity to God speaking to you through His Word and by His Spirit?

Acts 3:6 NIV Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

We cannot give away what we do not have.

People need the truth of God’s Word.

Do you have it in you to give it away to others?