Tag Archives: daily walk

November 12; Unschooled and Ordinary

Acts 3:1-5:16

Peter amazes me. The disciple had spent most of the three years he was with Jesus, with his foot firmly planted in his mouth. You can’t fault Peter’s enthusiasm for the Messiah. He just didn’t always think before he acted or said something. He seemed an unlikely leader.

But something happened to Peter. Acts 4:8 tells us what that something was:

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit…

Peter and John were known as “unschooled and ordinary men” to everyone in town. But, filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter could stand before the same church officials who had crucified Jesus, and boldly proclaim that Jesus is the Truth!

Peter, now filled with the Holy Spirit, wouldn’t back down, was willing to go to jail rather than deny Jesus. But this same Peter had very publicly denied Jesus three times just a few weeks earlier.

Here’s the thing: God uses unschooled and ordinary people who are filled with His Spirit to boldly proclaim that Jesus is the Truth. You don’t need a seminary degree. You need to accept Jesus as your Savior. You need to be yielded to the Spirit. He’ll take hold of you like he took hold of Peter, and who knows where that will lead?

Do you feel God is prompting you to talk to a neighbor or friend about the Lord? Maybe you hesitate because you think you wouldn’t know what to say.

Good!

You are in a perfect place to be used by God on behalf of that person for whom He died, and in whom He is preparing a heart to receive Him. Let Him fill you with His Spirit. Let Him use your voice to speak His words to that soul. He will if you let Him.

You may be unschooled compared to your pastor, but you are anything but ordinary when the Spirit fills you. Peter said in verse 20:

For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.

And neither will you be able to stop speaking about Jesus. When His Spirit fills you, it just naturally spills out, bubbles over, and touches everyone around you. Nothing ordinary about that!

 

November 7; Four Days

Mark 15:6-21; Matthew 27:15-32; Luke 23:13-32; John 18:39-19:17

It was four days from the Triumphal Entry to what we read in today’s passages. Four days from when the people had shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” to when they cried, “Crucify Him!”

Four days.

Jesus had done nothing out of the ordinary in that time. He had not committed a heinous crime during the week. But the people had listened to the lies, they got sucked into the negativity. In four days.

Sounds hard to believe that such a drastic change could occur in such a short time. But as I sit here I am reminded of times in my life when I had experienced an euphoric worship and praise of God, when I promised I would always love and obey Him, only to end up listening to Satan’s lies and negativity and commit a sin I never thought I would again.

“That’s not fair,” Satan would whisper, and feelings of resentment would pour over me.

“You deserve what she has,” and jealousy would take root.

And most of the time it didn’t take four days for that to happen. Four minutes, maybe.

Today, God is encouraging me to make my relationship with Him personal, not based on an experience, but grounded in His Word; not dependent on popular opinion, but on the Truth that is Jesus.

The lies and negativity are out there as much as they were that week in Jerusalem. May we all stand firm, to hold on to the Truth, and to resist what Satan would do to destroy our relationship with our Lord.

Because that Man we read about today is my Savior and yours. He loved us all the way to the cross. And what He did there is available to all of us who believe. A relationship with Jesus is so worth protecting!

 

 

November 5; Betrayed

Mark 14:43-72; Matthew 26:47-75; Luke 22:47-71; John 18:1-27

Judas walked right up to Jesus and gave Him a kiss. He didn’t stand at a distance and just point a finger. He got about as close as two people could get and then he betrayed the Lord. What was he thinking?

Scripture tells us Satan had entered Judas, so we know he could not have been thinking anything good. Did Satan fill Judas with hate? Is that what motivated the betrayal? Or was it something else? Jealousy? Greed? Did he think he could force Jesus’ hand to start the rebellion against Rome?

We don’t know what Judas was thinking when he walked up to the Lord, looked Him straight in the eye, and betrayed Him with a kiss. Scripture doesn’t let us in on the thought process. So evidently the “why” behind what Judas did doesn’t matter. But it makes me wonder.

I have never said the words, “I don’t believe in Jesus.” But I will admit there were times in the past when I took His name in vain. I have never denied the cross, but there have been occasion when I have knowingly and willingly sinned. There have been times when, in effect, I have looked Jesus straight in the eye, and betrayed him.

Do I betray my Lord when people around me use vulgar language, catch themselves and apologize, and I say, “It’s ok?” Do I betray Him when I blend in with the world so that people don’t recognize me as His child? Do I betray Jesus when I go through the motions of worship with a heart that is unrepentant?

It’s easy to condemn Judas for what seems to be the ultimate betrayal of the Savior. But is my betrayal of Him any less sinful? Does my betrayal hurt Him less than Judas’?

The “why” behind my sinful actions aren’t important any more than it was behind what Judas did. The fact that I can betray my Savior grieves me.

Precious Jesus, forgive me. I can point a finger at Judas and condemn what he did, and rightfully so. What he did to You was inexcusable. But I thank You that today, You have shown me that being horrified at Judas’ sin, and not horrified at mine is wrong. I’m sorry for the times I have denied You, sinned against You, betrayed You. I want only to honor You today with every thought, word, and deed. May people know without a doubt that this woman is totally, intentionally, happily standing with You.

 

 

November 1; Everything

Matthew 25:31-26:16; John 12:20-50, 1-11; Mark 14:1-11; Luke 22:1-6

What would you do if the bodily form of Jesus walked into your home and took a seat on your couch? Would you rush to the kitchen to fix Him something to eat, or get Him a drink? Would you pull out your phone and begin to call your friends to come and join you? Maybe you’d sit next to Him and ask those questions on your mind having to do with life and eternity.

Mary took what some to believe was her dowry, the downpayment for her future, her hopes to be a wife and mother, her dreams of having a home for the rest of her life, and she used it to wash Jesus’ feet. She held nothing back. She broke the jar, spilling its contents out on her Savior, lavishing Him with everything she had.

Jesus in bodily form is not likely to come to your house today for tea But if you are His child through His precious blood, His Presence is every bit as real.

What will you give Him today/?

October 31; Pure Motives

Mark 13:24-37; Matthew 24:29-25:30; Luke 21:25-38, 19:11-27

They didn’t do anything really wrong, right? I mean they were where they were supposed to be for so long, lamps in hand. Was it their fault the bridegroom was so long in coming?

The servant given one talent of money didn’t really do anything wrong. It wasn’t like the master actually told him he was supposed to use it to make more money. Didn’t the servant have a right to do with the money what he wanted to? After all, he’d protected it. Give him some credit.  It’s not like he lost it or spent it foolishly.

Maybe the bridesmaids’ and the servant’s motives were pure. Maybe they thought they were doing it right. But the Bible is pretty clear that there was something amiss. Neither the bridesmaids nor the servant had much of a respect for the man in charge. Maybe they thought, “good enough is good enough.” And if they did think that, they were wrong.

I hope you read these verses today. The rest of these stories don’t contain a happy ending. God is the final judge. There is no getting around it.

But what I don’t want to miss is the end of the story for the bridesmaids who had been prepared, and the other servants who put to good use that which the Master had given them. Talk about a happy ending! Friend, the choices we make in this life, the honor we show God, our obedience to His Word will make all the difference.

Is Jesus your Master? I hope that is the case. Then let’s all be faithful to use what He has given us, for His glory. Let’s watch for His return, ready, eager, excited to see Him. But let’s do it His way, according to what He tells us in His Word. Because pure motives are meaningless if they are not followed by obedience.

October 29; To Love God

Mark 12:18-40; Matthew 22:23-23:36; Luke 20:27-47, 10:25-28

I don’t think I can skim over what Jesus says is the greatest commandment. So I’ve sat here for a bit and pondered what it means to love God. Is it the kind of love we see on “The Bachelor?” Is it the kind of love we express when someone gets a new haircut? Is it a love that gets more than it gives, is is dependent on circumstances?

What does it mean to love God the way He deserves?

First of all, Jesus tells us we need to love Him with our whole heart, that part of us that is our hopes and dreams, our life and our emotions. It’s that which makes me me and you you. The question is, do I love God with all of me?

Jesus says we should love God with all our soul; the eternal, spiritual part of us. Does my love of God translate into complete trust, obedience, worship and praise? Is my love of God that which drives my faith? God is spirit, and we who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Does that define my love of God?

And Jesus says we should love God with all our mind. Love of God is not a mindless emotion. Can I honestly say I love God with good sense and thoughtful choice? Is my love for God simply a reaction toward His love for me, or is it a conscious decision to love Him because He first loved me?

The Ten Commandments would be so much easier to obey if we loved God like He deserves. Jesus said loving Him is the greatest commandment.

It’s that important.

October 25; How Far Am I Willing To Go?

Mark 10:23-31; Matthew 19:23-20:16; Luke 18:24-30; John 10:22-11:16

Lazarus was dead. But several days before he died, his sisters sent word to Jesus saying, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When Jesus got the news, he didn’t jump up and run to his friend’s side. He stayed put.

He could have high-tailed it to be with Lazarus.. He could have healed Lazarus from right where He was. He could have teleported Himself to Lazarus’ sickroom. But Jesus did none of those things. And Lazarus died.

Then, three days later, He told His disciples He was going to Judea, to where Lazarus, Mary, and Martha made their home. But His disciples remembered that the last time Jesus was in Judea, the people tried to stone Him. “Let’s think about this,” they urged Him. But Jesus insisted He was going, no matter what, so that they would believe.

Now here is what spoke to me today. Those disciples were very aware that Jesus could be walking right into the hands of His enemies. The Judeans wanted Jesus dead. Yet Jesus was determined to go.

Then Thomas, of all people, said to the other disciples, “Let’s us also go, that we may die with him.”

Sometimes I think old Thomas gets a bad rap. We label him “The Doubting Disciple” because he had trouble believing Jesus had really raised from the dead. But I think Thomas was more than that.

This is a man who was willing to die with Jesus. He sounds like a man of great faith to me, a man who was willing to go the distance with his Lord.

So today, God is asking me how far I am willing to go with Him. I’m not in danger of walking into a crowd of people who want to kill me for my relationship with Jesus. But what if Jesus wants me to go with Him to speak to my neighbor, or confront a sister in Christ of a sin, or to speak up when God is being misrepresented, and His Word is being twisted?

How far am I willing to go?