I buy milk at the grocery store so that my children can have cereal and I can drink my morning coffee. I go to the gym so that I can get exercise to take care of my health. I walk the dogs every morning so that I can have quiet time with God and get the dogs some fresh air. The “so that” is important. Things are often connected. God has a plan. God uses everything for His good purpose. Things are often connected.
In Psalm 23:3, David wrote that God opens and He leads. The verse includes a “so that” which cannot be passed over. He opens and He leads SO THAT you can bring honor to his name. Things are often connected. Yes, we get to enjoy the fruit of open pathways and leading with footsteps of righteousness, but this all is to point to Someone greater. The doors that open are to point to Jesus. The footsteps of righteousness point to Jesus. All that we do and say should point to Jesus.
Today, look out for the “so that.” Consider the people God brings before you today. Consider the time, talent, and treasures in your possession. Consider the circumstances and events of the day. Be open to the “so that,” and remember the importance of bringing honor to His name. With your words, with your actions, with every breath may you honor Him!
“That’s where he restores and revives my life. He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honor to his name.- Psalm 23:3 [TPT]
We are taught at a young age to say “thank you.” When you are raising a child and the “thank you” is not said when the child receives something, there is a prompt given. “Say thank you,” we say. Young people know this too well. Mom and dad will give the eyes if you receive something and do not say the words. But thankfulness is not simple about words, but about the heart. And the One we owe the most thanks to is God Almighty!
The Psalmist speaks of thankfulness being your sacrifice to God. He says that giving thanks is what truly honors God. Consider this—we often get caught up on trying to do for God. We think we can do good things and that is our sacrifice. But we get entrapped in this idea that we are paying God back. We busy ourselves with doing and we forget to thank Him for all He continues to do. But what He wants is us—He wants our heart. Instead of doing good things, stop for a second. Take a moment. Pause. Thank Him for what He has done and is doing in your life. Give thanks. That honors Him more than empty tasks.
God has already done for us. He continues to do for us. We can never do enough to outdo God. When we thank Him, and recognize what He has done, we acknowledge that He is above all and in all. He is the great I AM. Honor Him today with your thanksgiving! Stop striving and stand in awe before your Maker!
“Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors Me. If you keep to My path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.” – Psalm 50:14, 23 [NLT]
Paul gives specific instructions for women. This passage is a difficult one for many women to swallow. Many times it is misunderstood. Contemporary readers typically shut their ears to the truth in these words. It is important, whether you are a man or woman, to understand what Paul is referencing in these verses.
The reason for “women to be modest in their appearance,” is because women should “not draw attention to themselves.” The attention should always be God’s. This is why Paul is addressing the issue of women fixing their hair and wearing jewelry. It has to do with attention. We are never to do anything to draw attention away from Jesus Christ.
Paul notes that the attractive woman is one who does good things. When doing these good things, we shine the Light—we point to Christ. Remember friends, the world tells you to do what you can to get attention. However, in Kingdom life, we know He alone deserves all the honor, glory and praise. It doesn’t mean we cannot wear makeup or jewelry, that our clothing doesn’t matter. It means nothing can take His glory. Fix your eyes on Him and in everything you do, point to Him.
“And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.” – 1 Timothy 2:9-10 [NLT]
Often we rush into things without giving much thought. With our fast paced world, rushing is a way of life. At times, we rush without thinking. The Bible tells us to be patient, to take careful steps, to seek out, to test, to rest in Him. Our nature causes us to jump to conclusions, to act in emotion, to not consider but to just move and do what we think is best.
Last night, I saw an empty soda bottle in my son’s room. My son has a horrible habit of leaving empty bottles laying around, a habit that drives his OCD mother crazy. I knew that my daughter needed that type of bottle for her science project so rather than taking the chaos left by my son to the recycling bin, I placed this particular plastic bottle on her desk. A few hours later, she noticed the bottle on her desk. She grabbed it and came rushing downstairs toward my son with bottle in hand. The moment I set eyes on her, I knew she was on a mission—a mission to scold her disorganized brother. I tried to step between her and let her know what happened. Wait! Don’t say anything! Hold on. I need to tell you something. It was certainly a wild moment, but not the first one.
My favorite time of the day is the morning. I love the quiet. So peaceful. So calm. What a wonderful time to consider, to meditate, to examine. The Psalmist wrote, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10). This verse says, quit striving, stop fighting. Know that God is God. He will be honored by all. There is no need to be rushing around into things, no need to jump around like you have ants in your pants. No need to live so fast paced you miss true life. My friends, God is speaking to you with His still small voice. Stop. Listen. Rest. Take in a deep breath. Allow His words to linger. Examine His Word. Cling to it. Embrace Him. Your only Peace. Your only Joy. Jesus.
As we run with Jesus, we continue to build godly relationships.
Godly living starts at home. If you aren’t living godly at home, you won’t succeed in godly living outside of the home.
Paul speaks about the importance of godly relationships in numerous letters.
- Husbands & wives
- Parents & children
- Masters & slaves
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
– Ephesians 5:21 [NIV]
- 18 – Wife put your husband first
- 19 – Husband love wife
- 20 – Children obey parents
- 21 – Parents don’t be hard on children
Husband and Wife (Colossians 3:18-19, Ephesians 5:22-33)
Loving leadership equals mutual respect – Ephesians 5:21
Husband sacrifices (Christ like sacrificial leadership by husband will keep the ultimate good of his wife in view at all times)
Wife submits (honors & affirms his leadership, helps him exercise role in family)
He loves her. He wants the best for her. She knows this and she submits.
- Wife does not practice absolute surrender – that is only to Jesus.
- Wife is not naturally or spiritually inferior
Parents and Children (Colossians 3:20-21, Ephesians 6:1-4)
- Children obey parents in everything as it pleases the Lord
- Parents don’t provoke less they become discouraged and give up
- Parents parent with firm loving guidance – not dictatorship
- Parents encourage – children obey
Bible Study Questions:
1) Read Ephesians 5:31-33.
What does verse 31 say husbands should hold fast to?
Verse 33 says that the man shall ________ the wife and the wife shall __________ the husband. What does this passage mean?
Which command is harder or are they both equal?
2) The Bible says that the man is to love his wife and the woman is to honor her husband. How does love and honor go hand in hand?
3) Regarding parent child relationships, both have responsibilities. Parents are called to ____________ their children. Children are to _______ their parents.
4) How does encouragement and obedience go hand-in-hand?
This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:
You are not where you are supposed to be
Each of you is meant to be somewhere else
Yes, it’s true. God has made you for so much more. How do you get there? STRETCH!!
You cannot GROW unless you are STRETCHED!
No Easy Road
God promised He would be with you, not that it would be easy
David Livingstone – Africa missionary – received message from missionary group who wanted to join in his work. They sent letter that they had people who wanted to join and asked if there was an EASY access road to get where he was. His response – if you have people who only will come with good roads, I don’t want them. I want people who will come where there is no road at all.
Moses – Red Sea. During Exodus when Moses was to lead the people out of Egypt. When they actually were leaving, they went the LONG way (Exodus 3:17). Not only did they go the long way, then they reach the Red Sea and the Egyptians had chased after them. There they are – Egypt right there ready to get them and the Red Sea before them. God was with them. But they had to STRETCH. They had to trust in going the long way. They had to trust that God was with them. They had to trust He had everything under control. They had to trust He had a greater plan for His glory.
Exodus 14:21 “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” [ESV]
Mark 3:1-5 The withered hand – “Stretch out your hand”
We respond to things by two things:
- What we SEE
- What we SEEK
Movement Means Loss
Matthew 8:28-34 Demons Invade Pigs. They wanted rid of the demons that possessed the two men but they lost their pigs. Those pigs were of great value to them. V. 34 “And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.” [ESV]
Abraham – left his homeland, his family, everything he knew (Genesis 12)
Focus on the Person Not Result
“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:7 [NLT]
1 Peter 1:7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. [NIV]
When I walk Max, I try to walk in a particular direction depending on whether it is morning or afternoon so as to not have the sun shining directly in my eyes. When the sun is in full force, it can be near blinding as you are trying to walk forward. I have enough trouble walking when I can see everything.
Today’s passage talks about bad behavior blinding people. The people were so blind that it never occurred to them to consider how to honor God with their lives; they never gave it a thought. Sadly we can spend a great deal of our time considering other things, though each day we should consider how to honor God with our lives.
Each day we can act in a way that will bring God glory or we can live for ourselves. Each day we can decide to follow God’s will or to take another path guided by our selfish flesh. Each day we can walk closer to God or take a few steps back. Today, I pray that you will ask the question, “How can we honor our God with our lives?” He alone deserves honor, glory and praise. Let us honor Him with our lives.
“It never occurs to them to say,
‘How can we honor our God with our lives,
The God who gives rain in both spring and autumn
and maintains the rhythm of the seasons,
Who sets aside time each year for harvest
and keeps everything running smoothly for us?’
Of course you don’t! Your bad behavior blinds you to all this.
Your sins keep my blessings at a distance.”
– Jeremiah 5:24-25 [MSG]
I’ve been to many banquets over the years; each one is a great celebration. In today’s verse, it speaks about “a banquet of praise.” The NIV says, “Sacrifice thank offerings to God.”
Now today we do not sacrifice thank offerings like they once did; however, we still should offer praise to God. He alone deserves praise. In verse 15, God says, “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” Call on Him. He will help. We will honor Him. It seems so simple but yet it gets neglected again and again.
We can never praise God enough. We can never offer Him enough thanks for what He has done for us, what He has given us. When I think of spreading out a banquet feast, I think of the big table of food at a wedding celebration or birthday dinner. I think of a Christmas family dinner or a picnic spread on a beautiful summer day. Those feasts we give a lot to make happen. We prepare. We spend. We plan. We pour a lot out for those banquets. A banquet is elaborate. A banquet is large. So when we think of a banquet of praise, it should never be only a “thank you for my food” before your meal and nothing more for the rest of the day. Imagine tomorrow morning, waking up and only having what you thanked God for today. Wow! There’s so much more to be thankful for, so much more opportunity to praise Him. Start spreading out that banquet. Honor Him.
“Spread for me a banquet of praise,
serve High God a feast of kept promises,
And call for help when you’re in trouble—
I’ll help you, and you’ll honor me.”
-Psalm 50:14-15 [MSG]
There are questions that are so large yet so simple. In Psalm 106, it is asked, “Who can ever praise him enough?” We all know the answer is no one. No one can ever praise God enough for who he is or for what he has done. If we ask ourselves if we praise God enough, we get into compartmentalizing our lives and we will admit we fall short. But when we ask who could ever praise him enough, it considers the vastness of people—every person out there in the world. No one, not I or anyone else, can ever praise him enough. Wow.
No matter how much praise you give to the Lord, it is never enough. He always deserves more. The only thing we can do is live a life of praise and worship to him. We do away with compartmentalizing. We do away with thinking things out so meticulously. We simply do everything for Jesus. As Paul said, in everything we do, we do it as if doing it for the Lord. Start that and little by little it’ll be more prevalent in your life. You won’t even realize it because it will slowly be changing you into who you were meant to be in life.
You don’t have to complicate your relationship with Christ. Just sit back and ask yourself, “Who can list the glorious miracles of the LORD? Who can ever praise him enough?” The great I AM. Our Abba Father. Lord of Lord. King of Kings. Our Savior. Point to Him. Lift your hands to Him.
“Who can list the glorious miracles of the LORD? Who can ever praise him enough?” – Psalm 106:2 [NLT]