” After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he left all, rose up, and followed Him. Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them. And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Have you been in a situation where you just long to share the good news about Jesus, but you have a mental list of the “right” people who would be acceptable, right? Jesus was often criticized by the religious authorities for the company He kept! But He welcomed those everyone else avoided, because He knew they needed Him most! Lord, please help me see people through Your eyes of love and to welcome all those You bring into my life.
Apostle Paul said: ” “Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God. ” (1 Thessalonians 4:1)
In our society, awards and certificates can be of encouragement to motivates a person to keep up certain good works! But when Paul wrote to the Thessalonians he motivated them not with an award but with words of encouragement. In simple words Paul said, ” Brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus 「 to do this more and more」.
These Christians were already pleasing God through their lives, and Paul encouraged them to continue to live more and more for Him! Let’s take Paul’s words as an incentive to continue on in our faith. But can we let ourselves go one step further for Christ sake? Who might we encourage today with Paul’s words? You can then write a note or make a phone call urging someone that come to your mind to keep on in their faithwalk with Him! What you say may be just what they need to continue following and serving Jesus. May this encouragement, someone today will keep living for God!
” And when He (Jesus)had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.” (Matthew 14:23)
During a concert, the singer responded to a question from the Audience about how he composes songs. He said there are three aspects to consider: a quiet room, an empty page, and a question, ” Is there something I should know?”
This is really a astonishing approach for us as followers of Jesus to seek His will in our lives each day. Throughout Jesus’s public ministry, He took time to be alone in prayer. Right after feeding 5,000+ people with five loaves of bread and two fish, He sent His disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee by boat, while He dismissed the crowd (Matt.14:22). That’s the time He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray! Later that night, He was there alone (v.23).
If our Lord Jesus saw the need to be alone with His Father,how much more do we need a daily time of solitude to pour out our hearts to God, ponder more on His Word, and prepare ourselves to follow His directions. Therefore, a quiet room- anywhere we can focus on our Lord without distractions. An empty page- a receptive mind willingness to listen. Then ask the Lord: ” Is there something I should know? Lord, speak to me by Your Spirit,Your written Word,and the needed assurance of Your direction.” Praise God, from that quiet hillside, Jesus descended into a violent storm,knowing exactly what His Father wanted Him to do. (v.24-27) That’s why, taking time to be with God is the best place to find strength! Hallelujah Praise be to Our Lord.
Do you realize the fact that sometimes saying the unexpected has the most effect. Let’s try to think in regard to a statement by Jesus:” “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”
(Matthew 10:39) This is really a startling message to a world just only focusing on self-promotion and self-protection, right?
In practical terms, how can we “lose our life?” The answer is summed up in the word [sacrifice]. When we sacrifice, we put ourselves into Jesus’s way of living, instead of grasping for our own wants and needs. By this understanding, we can now esteem the needs and well-being of others too! All because Jesus not only taught about sacrifice but He also lived it by giving Himself to us. Here is Jesus heartfelt expression as He lived up His own words: ” Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
Remember that nothing is really lost by a life of sacrifice for God’s sake!
When I read 2Peter3:9, I was so impressed about Lord’s patient: ” The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Sometimes I do find myself very impatient with God, especially about His return. I wonder, what is He be waiting on? The tragedies and nature disasters around us, the suffering of people we love, and even all the stresses of daily life, all seem getting more and worst than the fixes. Praise God’s patient, all because He knows that I don’t. This reminds me to trust Him even more, for it’s all about God’s plan to give time to others too, those who don’t yet know His Son Jesus Christ.
life is not simple, and God’s ways are not our ways. Making the right decision may come at a cost. But in God’s eternal plan, His blessings always arrive in due time and never fail.
Life seems straightforward in the laws of the Old Testament. Obey God and get blessed, while disobedience expect trouble. Although it’s a right theology, but is it that simple? It’s easy to look at stories and draw a simple conclusion . But when the prophet Hanani warned Asa, he said that God will “strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9). Why do our hearts need strengthening ? Because doing the right thing may require more courage and perseverance.
Lord, thank You for Your Word. Help us to learn from others mistakes and wise choices, as we make our choice to serve You! In Christ Name we pray, Amen.
We know that God is always capable of miracles! But what if God doesn’t heal? I wondered. Surely He doesn’t lack the power. Could it be He doesn’t care?
When I thought of Jesus’s suffering on the cross and the explanation that ” God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom.5:8). Then I remembered the questions of Job and how he learned to see the wisdom of God as shown in the creation around Him (Job 38-39).
Slowly I saw how God calls us to Him for our good even in our trial times. In God ‘s grace, I now learned what it means to call on the Lord and trust Him – whatever the outcome ! I’m grateful You always hear our cry, thank You Lord!
Psalm 139 says that even before we were born ” all the days ordained for [us] were written in [His] book” v.16. Remember, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” to bring glory to our Creator (v.14). Never forget: We all have Purpose!
God has created us for a specific purpose. Primarily that purpose is to bring honor to Him, and one way we can do is by meet the needs of others. Apostle Peter said, ” “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
(I Peter 4:10-11 NKJV)
Lord, help us today to see You in the midst of whatever faces us. Show us a small glimpse of Your purpose and meaning to us. Amen!
I once was walking while the same time feeling very weary in spirit. I could feel something has just weighing me down. Weariness – could be thru physical, emotional, or even spiritual burden comes to us all. Isaiah reminds us that although we frequently become tired at times. How easily we had forgotten that in every situation ” [ Our Lord] is the answer! ” He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (Isaiah 40:29). Let’s read some more God’s promises as prophet Isaiah said: ” But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount with wings like eagles; they shall run and not weary , they shall walk and not faint” (Isa.40:31ESV).
What’s it like on your journey today? If fatigue has caused you to forget God’s presence and power , why not pause and recall His promise once again. ” Those who HOPE in the Lord will renew their strength ” v.31. Thank You Lord for reminding me this wonderful Promise!
Jonah as you know him, he actually rebelled against God and ended up in a fish’s stomach and inside the ocean’s depth. All because he was overcome by his sin. But despite his seemingly hopeless situation, he cried out to God:” I remembered You, Lord, and my prayer rose to You.” (Jonah 2:7) Sometimes, although sin might creates distance between God and us, but still we can look up from the lowest points in our lives and see Him – His Holiness, Goodness, and Grace! If only we turn away from our sin and confess it to Our Lord Jesus Christ, He will still forgive us.
Praise God, the darkness of sin only makes the light of God’s Grace shine even brighter!