Saturday, July 17, 2010

Your Circle Of Influence

"Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you."
[Mark 5:19, NASB]

God is still performing miracles today. Miracles are proof of God's existence, power and faithfulness. Miracles can be used to reach out to people (Christians and non-Christians alike) who are in doubt, uncertainty, in need of conviction or need to hear a word from God.

The words in the scripture for today comes from the account of Jesus Christ healing a demon-possessed man [Mark 5:1-20]. Unlike so many others to whom Jesus gives the opposite instruction, Jesus commands this man to go tell what has happened in his life. Not to everybody, but to his people - his family and friends. It was as though Jesus was saying, "Go and tell your neighbours, family and friends the good news so that they may be edified, and invited to believe in Christ".

When Jesus Christ told his disciples, "And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere - in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth..." [Acts 1:8] He implied that they would have to start from the core, the centre of where they were, before extending outwards. Judea and Samaria, are located west of the Jordan River, with Jerusalem approximately in the center.

We have all been called to be witnesses of Jesus Christ and share the good news. Our circle of influence starts with those around us. Share your miracles, your testimonies, and your journey with family, friends, fans, neighbours and colleagues. You never know who is at the threshold of accepting Christ and just needs to hear what God has done for you. You never know who is hurting, and needs to hear how the Lord comforted you and restored you. You never know who is about to give up yet needs reassurance that there is God. You never know whose life you would transform for good - whose life will become an instrument to bring millions of people to the knowledge of God.

Prayer: My Loving Father, thank You for the blessing, testimonies and miracles that You have given me. May I not end up being a secret Christian. Open my eyes to the people around me who are aching to receive the good news of Your grace in Jesus. Please give me the words and the wisdom to share Jesus in a loving way. In Jesus name I pray. Amen..

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tested Faith

"Let us go over to the other side."

Even though we follow Christ's command, there are times we will encounter the storm. In this passage of Scripture [Mark 4: 35-41], the disciples were obeying His command, yet they encountered the fiercest of storms and were in great danger of being drowned. In their distress, they cried out for Christ's help.

Sometimes when you are facing a difficult time in your life, it may seem as if God is asleep, unconcerned about what you are going through, and regardless of your prayers, it seems He delays in responding to you. But Your Loving Father is not willing that any should perish, much less you who is His child. When it seems He is delayed, it is simply so your faith may be tested and strengthened. His purpose is also that your prayers will be more powerful, your desire for deliverance will be greater, and when deliverance finally comes you will appreciate it more fully.

Note that though Jesus Christ slept in a storm (amidst the noise and turbulence), he was awaked by the cry of His people. God's ears and heart are always available for His children. When it seems like you do not know what to do, cry out to Him. He will incline His ears to your voice.

Of course, it is much easier to trust God when the sun is shining than to trust Him when the storm is raging around us. Yet you will never know your level of faith until it is tested in a storm. Your Savior is always on board. His presence makes the difference and would give you the victory.

Prayer: My Loving Father, I know that You will never give me anything that is too difficult for me to bear. Thank You that no matter what I go through, You are always with me and You will never forsake me. I pray for times when my faith will be tested. May I not faint under the test or take my eyes off You. Rather, I pray for strength and for wisdom to make the right decisions. In such times, may Your peace surround me and may I be reminded of Your unfailing love for me no matter where I am. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Prayer-Answering God

...For you answer our prayers.
All of us must come to you...

Our Loving Father is a God who hears and answers prayers. Prayer-hearing and prayer-answering are some of His attributes. They are part of His nature. He inspired the psalmist to call Him "The One Who Hears Prayer" [You can find this in many other versions of Psalm 65:2]. He selected that title for Himself and He delights to be called the God who hears and the God who answers prayer.

Our Loving Father is one who does not change. He declares, "I am the Lord, I change not" [Malachi 3:6]. He is in all generations as the same God who delights to hear and answer prayers.

Most times when we come before God in prayer, we do it out of duty or when it seems we have no other choice. Sometimes we believe He heard a few of our prayers or He has decided to answer some selected prayers of ours. This should not be so. When we come to God, our Father, we need to come to Him with the confidence and assurance that He is the one who hears and answers ALL our prayers. He that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

As you come before your Loving Father today, put aside any thought that makes you feel He may not hear or answer your prayers.  He is the God who never changes. He is the God who hears and answers prayers. He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

Prayer: My Loving Father, the God who hears and answers prayer, I thank You for revealing to me this attribute of Yours. Forgive me for times I may have come before You in prayer not believing that You can and You will answer my prayers. Knowing this nature of Yours, I make my prayers and requests known to You today and remain assured that You have not only heard me, but You have answered me. I give You praise for answered prayers. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's All About You

"...I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."[Mark 2:17b, NIV]

Jesus Christ had just called Levi (Matthew), who was a tax collector, to follow Him. The words of Jesus we are considering today were His response to the Pharisees when they wondered why he sat and dined with the "sinners" and tax collectors. Matthew, who was once categorized as a sinner, wrote the first gospel. Think about what he had become as a result of his encounter with Jesus.

If the world had been righteous, there would have been no need for Jesus Christ to come, to preach repentance, or to purchase remission. He never rejected sinners. He finished the assignment which He came to earth for - to take away our sin and its consequences, and to bring us back in right standing with God.

Jesus Christ came because of you. Whenever the devill tries to make you feel bad because of your shortcomings or sin, or whenever you feel you cannot continue your walk with God because you have fallen many times, remember that Jesus came because of you. He came to purchase remission and He did a complete work. Because of Jesus, whenever you ask God for forgiveness, it is done and God does not remember your sin anymore.

Prayer: My Loving Father, even if I was the only person on earth, You would still have sent Your Son Jesus to die for me. Thank You Father. I want to take out time today to say Thank You Father, for Your unfailing, passionate and consistent love towards me. Whenever I feel guilty of sin or it seems I might give in to self-condemnation, I will remember that Jesus Christ came to earth because of me, and He has fully paid the price to bring me back to right standing with You. I declare that I am righteous because of Jesus. Thank You for forgiving me of my sin and placing before me a better life. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

God's Instrument

Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”
[Mark 1:17, NLT]

Fishermen are often enterprising people who follow their business with passion. They would constantly device methods to increase their catch, they would try various strategies and different parts of the river to improve, and they would return home and repair their fishing kit to avoid disappointment. They are skilled and dedicated to their work.

In this verse, Jesus calls His disciples to follow Him and He will make them fishers of men. By this call he invites them to let go and sacrifice vocations and objects that could form a distraction to them in their new job role. They left their father and hired servants to follow Christ. We are called to leave the factors that prevent us from being instruments of God, so we can focus on the job at hand. This call is for us to give more time to doing the will of God, it is also a call to employ the skills of fishing men to God in all we do. The word of God serves as our training manual on how we fish men and applying this daily guides us to being instruments of God.

The world is characterized as a sea of people, swimming about in no clear direction or pattern, so that there is great need to bring people out of this random living into a life of purpose and to man's duty of praising God. Children of God are made instruments of God to help others find their feet in life. In our daily living and as we live by the word of God, we are guided on how to fish for men. Our life style, our words of encouragement, our love to others, our intentional sharing of the gospel are equipments in our hand to bring men to the knowledge of Christ. As we give time and conscious effort to this call, may the Holy Spirit of God prosper our effort in Jesus name.

Prayer: Dear Lord, by grace and love you have called me and separated me from a lost world. Today I dedicate myself to your call, to be an instrument in your hand, to bring others out of this lost world to the knowledge of Christ. Teach my hands to do your work, prosper my efforts and I pray that many will accept you into their lives through me. Thank you Lord for your love towards all mankind.

One-Year Daily Bible Reading Plan - July 11 2010 - Psalms 81-87 (OT), Colossians 1 (NT).

Pray for someone today - Pray for investors who trust in God for guidance and protection. Investors who believe in honesty for their businesses, that God who teaches us to make wealth will prosper them abundantly in Jesus name.

God's love and mine...