Tag Archives: godliness

June 27; Not For Sale

Amos 7-9; Hosea 1-3

Amos did not have a college degree. He wasn’t a scholar or an authority on spiritual things. He was a shepherd, and we know tending sheep wasn’t exactly a career choice that was held in high esteem in those days. Yet God  spoke to this humble, plain, unassuming man and gave him an important word for Israel. That same word reaches to us centuries later.

The word is this: God is not fooled by religious activities. In fact, I don’t believe God even likes religion. God says the religious people, His chosen people, will prostitute themselves.  And He promises to destroy them.

We might go through the motions of religion by going to church, reciting prayers, giving of our finances, and wearing Jesus’ name like a get-out-of-jail-free-card by calling ourselves Christians, while at the same time selling ourselves to the world by compromise, by participating in things that dishonor God, or simply by harboring bitterness or hatred, and having a depraved thought life. We might look religious to those around us, but the reality is we are nothing more than prostitutes.

When I read God’s Word I realize He’s not fooled by my outward appearance. He knows my heart. And I want my heart to be totally, sincerely His. When the world knocks at my door and wants me to join in, when sin entices me to compromise, I want to slam the door in its face. Let it be known my heart is…

Not For Sale.

 

December 18 – It’s In There

I Timothy

I guess I’ve never realized how much Paul’s letter to Timothy is anything but “politically correct.” In fact, it’s not all that modern church correct, either.

I pray you will read this book today and ask God to speak to you about homosexuality, about eternal security, about local church leaders, about helping the needy, about “knowledge”, about judgment, and about Jesus. He might speak to your heart about drinking wine, your attitude toward money, or godliness.

It’s all in these six chapters. And I pray that as you read the words God inspired Paul to write you will be challenged to “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance,and gentleness, and to “fight the good fight of faith.” (6:11-12)

Grace be with you.

A Tattoo On My Life

Tattoos are the rage these days. I have a friend who got her first tat when she turned 60. I recently saw a boy of about eight with a cross tattooed to his leg. Both his parents were covered in colorful ink.

Tattoos are no longer “Mom” written on a sailor’s arm. Flowers and skulls and dragons and butterflies, even faces and catchy phrases are worn from the scalp to the toes and everywhere in between by a growing number of people.

In Ezekiel’s vision, an angel was given the task of putting a mark on the forehead of the people who were grieved over sin. (Ez 9) Only those few, with the angel’s tat, were saved. Everyone else lost their lives as a result of God’s judgement.

So I ask myself: is there a visible sign in me that identifies me with the Savior? Is it possible to be a closet Christian? Or, like in Ezekiel’s vision, are we to live as though we had “JESUS” tattooed on our foreheads? The Bible tells us there is no other name under heaven that can save us.

I have no plans to ever have a tattoo. I’ve only ever seen one worth having, and that’s my niece’s personal tribute to her brother, who was tragically killed in an auto accident two years ago. It’s the Hebrew word for “brother” that Jesus used when he spoke to his disciples, and it’s on her right wrist.

I don’t want a tattoo. But I want to live my life in such a way that Jesus is as visible as if his name was tattooed to my forehead. May Christ be seen in me by the words I say, the places I go, the things I do, by the very look on my face.

Dear Jesus, I love you. What you did on the cross so that I can be with you is everything to me. Help me live my life so that others know that about me. May they recognize your love, your grace, your peace, your Presence when they look at my life. Convict me when I begin to get off track and may I be quick to confess. I would be honored to represent you today according to your Word. You have tattooed your Name on my heart. May I wear it proudly and truly so that someone will recognize you and want you in their life, too.

How Do I Look?

I’ve heard the account of Daniel, Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego many times and for many years. But when I recently read about Daniel’s desire to abstain from the kings food, I found myself wondering what it is I am ingesting myself. Not the chips I ate yesterday, or the big piece of angel food cake I had for dinner last night. I’m wondering what it is I’m feeding my soul.

What do I read, watch on TV? What is it a pastor or teacher or friend or blogger has said? The Bible tells me to guard my heart. How am I doing?

If I’m watching acts of sin played out on TV, what is that doing to my heart’s condition before God? If I go to a church with a “God is Love” theology without preaching the truth about his holiness, is that effecting my relationship with God? Is the music I listen to slowly separating me from God’s Presence? Relationships, thoughts, what I do in secret, are feeding my soul.

The difference in Daniel and his friends was noticeable They looked better than everyone else because of the food they rejected, the pure food they ingested. 

I wonder if people, when they look at my life, can tell I’ve feasted on God’s Word and abstained from what was offered to me by the world. I want to look different: better, more joyful, kinder, more honest. I want to BE a person others identify with my Savior.

 

 

June 29

2 Kings 15:17-20, 6-7, 21-29, 32-38, 16:1-9; 1 Chronicles 5:23-26, 26:22-23, 27:1-9, 28:1-21; Isaiah 6:1-13; I Chronicles 5:11-17

I am sure that the Israelites who had begged God for a flesh and blood king had no idea what the future held. Even after God spelled it out they could not have seen generations down the road. The nation split in two. Rampant idolatry, Slavery. War. One king after another would come and go (usually as a result of a violent death). And the Jewish people would suffer.

Do you care that your decisions today will have an effect years, perhaps generations from now? Maybe the Jews back in Saul’s day thought, oh well, I won’t be around to see the awful things my grandchildren will suffer Is that your attitude as well?

If you think your relationship with the Lord is just about you – you’re wrong. If you think holding on to a sin or putting off living for the Lord doesn’t effect anyone – think again. If God is not King in your life today, there may be people down the road who will have to live with the consequences.

Our society has accepted the lie that each individual is number one, that I have the right to live the way I want, do what makes me feel good, that I don’t have to follow any rule that I don’t like. I’m just saying I’m glad Jesus didn’t have that attitude.

May Jesus be my example. May I live my life intentionally aware that the little ones in my life will have to live with the results of the way I vote, the debt I incur, the standards I uphold. And my example of what it means to be a Christian is being watched by someone who will either accept Jesus as Savior or reject him on the basis of what they see in me. And their lives touch their own little ones as well who will live with the way they vote, the debt they incur, and the standards they uphold. And so on. And so on. And so on.

Dear God, help us to live like Jesus lived. Not focused on ourselves and our comforts. Help us live understanding that we have a responsibility to the generations after us. May they serve You because we did.