Matthew 23.8-10 warns, don’t let people do that to you, put you on a pedestal like that. You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates. Don’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. No one else should carry the title of ‘Father’; you have only one Father, and he’s in heaven. And don’t let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them—Christ.
Matthew 16.24-26 describe that Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” Jesus is not only Savior but He is Lord.
Mathew 12.30 observes, this is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on My side, you’re the enemy; if you’re not helping, you’re making things worse.
The universe is at war. We see the minor conflicts of man against man. God sees the major conflicts of devils against angels and devils against men who war against God and His servants. This war is greater because its casualties are greater.
Ezra 9.10-12 says, and now, our God, after all this what can we say for ourselves? For we have thrown your commands to the wind…Whatever you do, don’t cultivate their good opinion; don’t make over them and get them to like you so you can make a lot of money and build up a tidy estate to hand down to your children.
We should want to cultivate the good opinion of men but for the singular purpose of glorifying God. Our lifestyle, our morals, values and behavior, should reflect the character, nature and ways of God Himself for we are His adopted children and we call God our Father.
Matthew 5.14-16 teaches us, God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
God is not a secret to be kept. A popular song echoes this refrain. The key to sharing Him with others is living as light-bearers and being transparent before others.
Matthew 3.2 records, his message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.”
It’s a new year when we make new goals in order to be more, accomplish more or achieve more. When Jesus came, John says the Kingdom of God came, and when God came, it was time for people to change.
What is the single biggest change God was looking for? A restored relationship with Himself where people call Him Father and He calls them sons and daughters.
John 17.17 asks, set them apart in the truth; your word is truth.
The Christian is not to live, look, speak, or work like others who do not know the One true God. Christians are to live as Jesus did for they too are children of God.
Revelation 12.17 describes, so the dragon became enraged at the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep God’s commandments and hold to the testimony about Jesus.
Spiritual warfare is a topic usually resigned to a fringe element of the Christian spectrum. While orthodox Christianity would acknowledge it’s reality most avoid the topic, fewer describe what it is or looks like and even less actually enter into such a world as least as far as men can enter into spiritual warfare.
John 3.3 records Jesus replying, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he
cannot see the kingdom of God.”
In the 1970’s the evangelical Christian Church spoke much about being born again. So much, that those words began to create negative emotions toward the Church and it’s Christ. Yet, being born again or born from above or being born of the Spirit is what God in human form, Jesus, stated was required for entering into His eternal dwelling place. Why?
2 Chronicles 12.14 observes, he did evil because he was not determined to follow the LORD.
This past weekend I noticed some friends on Facebook taking a quiz that determined whether or not they would get to heaven. They all succeeded to earn their hoped for destination having their good deeds outstrip their sins by more than ten fold. No doubt this quiz was meant to be fun but it reinforces a couple of subtle but widely held beliefs.