Tag Archives: living for Jesus

Business Closed

I was supposed to get a delivery yesterday, but the scheduled delivery never happened. The post office marked the reason as “business is closed.” I never knew that I was running a business at my home. If we are, there are no employees, no services provided, and no profits so we are failing miserably. The non-existent business may need to close its doors soon.

I’m assuming that this reasoning was a simple technical glitch or possibly someone wanting to push through their Sunday deliveries. It is possible that someone would assume a business-like order would actually be delivered to a business. By a quick review of the deliveries that often come to my home, one would assume there was a business here. I can understand the confusion.

Today, consider what people would say about you when they look at you. Could they tell that you are a Christian? Would they see some fruit in your life that would point them to Jesus? Do you look like everyone else? Would your actions give them a false assumption? Or is it possible the assumption isn’t false at all? Reflect inward today. Ask God to open your eyes. Are you shining His light? Are you living life on the narrow path? Has your religious routine neglected to impact your heart for Jesus?

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2 [NIV]

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light — for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth — discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. Don’t participate in the fruitless works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what is done by them in secret. Everything exposed by the light is made clear, for what makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said: Get up, sleeper and rise up from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you. Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk — not as unwise people but as wise — making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:8-16 [HCSB]

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Stay True

Paul told the Philippians to “stay true to the Lord.” This is all about being totally committed to God, not letting anything come between you and your relationship to God. In Matthew 5, we read that those who are pure in heart are blessed. They will see God! How awesome is that?! Staying true to the Lord is having a pure heart—a heart for Jesus.

James speaks of a divided heart, a heart that is for the world and for God. This isn’t a pure heart. This is not staying true to the Lord. In James 4:7, we read that we should submit to God, resist the devil, wash our hands, and purify our hearts. We should stop being double-minded, and stay true to the Lord.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Do all you can to stay true to the Lord. When you find your heart divided between God and the world, ask that He give you a clean heart and a steadfast spirit (Psalm 51:10).

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.” – Philippians 4:1 [NLT]

Desire and Power

Sometimes we do not always want to do the right thing. We don’t desire to do the right thing. We desire something else. Or we might desire to do something, but we don’t have the power to do it.

The Bible promises that God is working in us. Because God is working in us, He is giving us “the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.” We aren’t alone in this. Maybe today you are not feeling a great desire to do something. Pray for God to continue moving in you to give you the desire. Maybe you feel powerless. Be reminded that the Spirit of God is within you. Pray for less of you and more of Him, so that you can do what pleases God. May you have the desire and power to do what pleases Him.

“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.” – Philippians 2:13 [NLT]

The Road

The other night I left the van windows open. It’s so easy for me to overlook as I’m not sitting back there. Of course it rained that evening. Thankfully it did not rain inside the van. I did not learn my lesson. Last night, I left the van windows open again. This time, the outcome was different. At the end of the day, I understand that it is not good for me to keep the van windows open at night. Perhaps practicing this bad behavior does not have any consequences most of the time, but there comes the moment when the downpour arrives.

We live in a world where most people believe that every road leads to God. I won’t argue that statement. I agree. Every road leads to God. At the end of your life here on earth, you will in fact meet God. For some people, this meeting will not be pleasant. Judgment arrives. After all of those evenings of leaving the van windows open without much consequence, the final judgment comes. And without Jesus Christ, the road leads to hell. Why? Because every road does NOT lead to heaven. Only through Jesus Christ do you receive the free gift of salvation. Only through the grace of God do you receive eternal life. This is why they call the road to heaven a narrow road.

Today, consider how you are living your life. Consider also the lives of those around you. You can leave the van windows open every night, but one day the downpour will arrive. Don’t wait for the downpour. Close the van windows at night! Ask Jesus into your heart. Begin to do life with Him and then write His Word on your heart. Treasure His commands. Embrace His presence.

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” – Matthew 7:14 [ESV]

“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 [NIV]

 

 

 

Clear Distinction

When God sends the plague of flies, He says that He will make a “clear distinction” between the people. Everyone would know what people were His people and what people were not His people. The actual word used for “distinction” is “peduth,” which means division, ransom, or redemption.

Today, there should be a clear distinction of God’s people as well. You will not see this division by looking at where the flies hang out. Instead, the distinction should be something everyone visibly sees by the way a person lives. A person who is a child of God should stand out as a rebel. A person who is a child of God should not look like a person of this world. Remember, God’s people are not of this world. We should not be transformed by this world—we should be transforming the world.

Continue to shine for Jesus. Focus on what is good, pure, and lovely. Don’t allow the world to infiltrate your life, but instead, spread God’s Word through your words and your deeds. By living this way, there will be a clear distinction between you and the world. By the way you live your life, people will know that you are a child of God. By the way you live your life, people will see Jesus.

“I will make a clear distinction between My people and your people. This miraculous sign will happen tomorrow.” – Exodus 8:23 [NLT]

Living Denial

There are people in this world who say that they know God, but when you examine their lives, you cannot tell God is part of their lives. You cannot even tell that they know God. They actually deny God by the way they live their life. Paul is clear about these people. He says, “They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.”

These words seem harsh, but they really aren’t harsh at all if you understand the context. Paul is speaking about people who are claiming that they know God. It is one thing to claim you know God; it is another thing to live like you know God. When people go around claiming they know God, claiming that they are Christians, but they don’t have a true relationship with Jesus, the world hears and the world is turned off by Jesus. This is why Paul uses these words. These people are disobedient to the Word of God. These people are worthless for doing anything good—they are turning people away from Jesus Christ. That is detestable.

Today, remember that there is a difference between claiming to know God and actually knowing God. There is a difference between living life with God or living life only speaking of God. It’s one thing to say you are a Christian. It’s another thing to live for Christ. I pray you are not a living denial of Jesus. I pray that when people see you, they are pointed to the King of Kings!

“Such people claim they know God, but they deny Him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.” – Titus 1:16 [NLT]

Shoestrings

Whenever I leave the house, I usually grab a pair of my Chucks from the laundry room and head out. There are moments when I am taking a walk and realize that my shoestrings are loose because I didn’t take enough time getting ready. In a pair of Converse, it is my opinion that you can notice loose shoestrings easier. I could easily bend over and tighten the laces; however, I usually continue walking, hoping that the laces will hold out until the walk is finished.  Many times, I find myself having to do more than tighten the laces, but retie my shoes because holding out doesn’t work. This takes longer, but I continue with this bad habit every time I feel the laces are loose.

In life, we often see “loose shoestrings” but we let them go. We turn a blind eye. We think it won’t get any worse. We plan to take care of it later. We don’t take the steps we know we should take to get everything resolved. We neglect the shoestrings. We let them come undone and drag on the ground. Sadly, we typically only need to take a few small steps to prevent or resolve the issue.

I am not talking about loose shoestrings alone. Consider the chaos that unfolds in life. Your sinful habits. Your unbalanced schedules. Your explosive relationships. Your lack of boundaries. Your hurtful words. Your life many times is the loose shoestring. But instead of veering back on the narrow path and correcting the issues, we put on Band-Aids. We cover up the issue. We pretend it is not there. Whenever we try to pretend—whenever we try to move forward with the lies and sin and chaos of this world—we are allowing the father of lies to continue to keep hold on us. Instead, bend over to tie your shoes! Grab hold of Truth. Cling to your Father. Allow Him to move in your life and watch what happens!

“Preserve me, O God, for in You I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord;

I have no good apart from you.’

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,

in whom is all my delight.

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;

their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out

or take their names on my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;

You hold my lot.

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;

indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”

– Psalm 16:1-6 [ESV]

New shoes… Light pink chucks and rain chucks #chucks

A post shared by Tania Gutekunst (@taniagoody) on

 

Doing the Same Old Things

Repentance means that there is a change. Repentance says, “I’m sorry and I do not want to do this anymore.” Repentance or metanoia means “change of mind.” It is an inward response not a behavior reform; however, repentance should show results of a change of behavior.

Zephaniah spoke of those who were doing the same old things. There was no visible proof that there was a change of heart or a change of mind. After facing the consequences of sin the people were right back at it “bright and early” in the morning.

If you have repented of something, there should be a visible change along with your inward response. When you turn your life over to Jesus, when you confess your sins to Him, your life should not revolve around doing the same old things. If you find yourself still doing the same old things today, ask Him to give you the strength to press forward. Pray for forgiveness, for comfort and for guidance. Never be fearful of asking your brothers and sisters for help—for encouragement, for support, for accountability. You do not have to spend your life doing the same old things. Jesus offers you something new.

 

“I thought, ‘Surely she’ll honor me now,
accept my discipline and correction,
Find a way of escape from the trouble she’s in,
find relief from the punishment I’m bringing.’
But it didn’t faze her. Bright and early
she was up at it again, doing the same old things.”

-Zephaniah 3:7 [MSG]

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