Have you ever thought about the word surrender? As Christians, we read and hear a lot about how we are to ‘surrender‘ our lives to Christ. I believe sometimes we think that we have until another obstacle arises and we find ourselves in the middle of yet another growth spurt.
Surrender means giving up possession of or power over; yield to another on demand or compulsion.
JOB 11:13-15 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
13 Surrender your heart to God, turn to Him in prayer,
14 and give up your sins- even those you do in secret,
15 Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless.
In a sense, surrender and faith go hand and hand. Christ meant for the Gospel to be straightforward and easily understood. The word surrender can be misunderstood as being to difficult for us actually to live as we should for Christ, but as believers in God’s Holy Word, we are to trust what Scripture tells us to do and obey how He wants us to live in obedience to Him.
To surrender ourselves is just as simple as taking God’s Word at face value as to what it implies. We aren’t going to be perfect; we can expect to make mistakes daily, but knowing that God knows all things that we do and say can lead us to pray and ask for forgiveness to be forgiven.
By staying in a right condition with Christ causes us to be usable for Him, and keeps us in a ‘surrendered’ state.
It’s a matter of obeying His Word and nothing more. Now isn’t that simpler than you thought?
FRUITFUL OBSERVATION: We can sometimes make the Christian life harder than it’s meant to be, it’s a matter of applying our faith and fully obeying.
Let’s do our best today and every day to apply God’s Word to our daily lives and be fully surrendered for His use! 🙂
How often is it difficult for us not to look back on our past?
And even more difficult to look forward to our future?
This question comes after several encounters this week with other believers.
We can feel as if we are in a place that seems so unfamiliar to us. At times,
we may even long to go back to the familiarity of when life was comfortable for us!
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul said his goal was to know Christ, to be like Christ, and to be all Christ has in mind for him. This goal absorbed all his energy. This is an example for us. We should not let anything take our eyes off our goal-Christ.
Paul had reason to feel sorrow about the past-he held the coats of those who stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr (Acts 7:57, 58), he is called Saul here). Most of us do not have the type of guilt that Paul had due to his past when he was a persecutor of Christians. We all have done things for which we are ashamed. Because our hope is in Christ, however, we can let go of the past guilt, as well as the comforts of familiarity and look forward to what He will help us become. We should not dwell on what we had (that which we thought was so good), instead, grow in the knowledge of God by concentrating on our relationship with Him now.
FRUITFUL OBSERVATION: We know that we are forgiven, and then we move on to a life of faith and obedience. We need to look forward to a fuller and more meaningful life because of our hope in Christ. He has the BEST PLAN FOR US!
Let’s start living the life that Christ wants us to have today and every day! 🙂 No looking back…only FORWARD FOR HIM:) Take the first step!
How many times have you been having a great day and then allow yourself to lose focus? Scripture tells us that it is important for us to keep our focus on the right things in life.
23 Keep thy heart with all diligence;
for out of it are the issues of life.
24 Put away from thee a froward mouth,
and perverse lips put far from thee.
25 Let thine eyes look right on,
and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
26 Ponder the path of thy feet,
and let all thy ways be established.
27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left:
remove thy foot from evil.
Our heart-our feeling of love and desire dictates to a great extent how we live, because we always find time to do what we enjoy. Solomon tells us to keep our heart with all diligence, making sure we concentrate on those desires that will keep us on the right path.
Make sure your affections push you in the right direction. Put boundaries on your desires: don’t go after everything you see.
Look straight ahead, keep your eyes fixed on your goal and don’t get sidetracked on detours that lead to temptation.
FRUITFUL OBSERVATION: We all know how quickly that we can let our thoughts get to thinking on negative issues, which produces worry. We must be aware and change our view to the positive things of God. What we harbor in our heart comes out of our mouth
Let’s stay focused on what God’s Word says today and every day!
While reading my Bible and sitting with a warm heating pad on my back and a bowl of peanut M & M’s by my side, the thought of relaxation and peacefulness came over me as the cool breeze was blowing in through the window.
What a blessing to just be still in the presence of the Lord and His Word!
Jonah would have found himself much better sitting quietly and listening to God, instead of running away and catching a ship!
The Book of Jonah shows that God can use a negative example to teach a positive lesson. The negative example is the prophet Jonah, whom God called to preach to the citizens of Nineveh. This great city was the capital of the Assyrian Empire. The Jews hated the Assyrians because they were sworn enemies who worshipped pagan gods. So Jonah tried to run away from God’s call. We know the story of how a violent storm strikes the ship, which led to Jonah admitting that he was running from God’s call. He advises the sailors to toss him overboard to appease the anger of the Lord.
We read that God saves Jonah by sending a great fish to swallow him, keeping him alive for three days in the stomach of the fish. Jonah prays for deliverance and the Lord hears and has him ejected from the fish unharmed and placed on the shore.
Eventually, Jonah did travel to Nineveh and preach to the Ninevites, as God commanded him to do. But when they repented and turned to God, he sulked and pouted because the Lord refused to destroy them.
One positive thing we can say about Jonah is that he did dare to tell the truth about himself and his prejudice by writing the book that bears his name.
God reminded Jonah that He is merciful and a forgiving God, who loves all people, even the pagan Assyrians.
FRUITFUL OBSERVATION:God’s message is for everyone. Despite the wickedness of the Ninevite people, they were open to God’s message and repented immediately.
Let’s do our best today and every day to simply proclaim what we know of God, we may be surprised at how many people will listen.
Some days are harder than others at staying the course as we go along in this daily life.
Have you ever thought about John the Baptist as he went about his daily life in the wilderness? I wonder if he ever questioned his decision to carry out the mission for Christ?
31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
At Jesus’ baptism John the Baptist declared Him the Messiah. At this time, God gave John a sign to show Him that Jesus was indeed sent from God (1:33). John and Jesus were related, so John probably knew who He was. But it wasn’t until His baptism that he understood Jesus to be the Messiah. Jesus’ baptism is described in Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; and Luke 3:21, 22.
I can’t help but think that John must’ve had a GREAT SIGH of relief that ALL of his hard work was finally paying off and that it had truly been worthwhile:)
FRUITFUL OBSERVATION: John the Baptist’s Job was to point people to Jesus, the Messiah for whom they were looking. Today people are looking for someone to give them security in an insure world.
Let’s do our job today and every day to point people to Christ and to show them that He is the ONE they seek!
The book of Esther is unique-God is not mentioned. The heroine of the story is even cautioned to keep her Jewish heritage a secret! Nevertheless, God’s work is evident.
I didn’t realize that Haman had a thousand-year-old chip on his shoulder. His ancestors, the Amalekites, had attacked the people of Israel without provocation when Moses was leading them out of Egypt. The Amalekites lost the battle, and this feud was never entirely settled. More than ten centuries later Haman held the political power to destroy all Jews.
ESTHER 3:1, 2
1 After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.
2 And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.
Haman enjoyed the power and prestige of his position, and he was enraged when Mordecai did not respond with the expected reverential bow. Haman’s anger was not directed just toward Mordecai, but toward what Mordecai stood for- the Jews dedication to God as the only authority worthy of reverence. Haman’s attitude was prejudiced; he hated a group of people because of a difference in belief and culture.
Prejudice grows out of personal pride-considering oneself better than others. In the end, Haman was punished for his arrogant attitude.(7:9 10). God will harshly judge those who are prejudiced or whose pride causes them to look down on others.
FRUITFUL OBSERVATION: It’s better to let go of issues in this life, rather than keep on harboring a time to ‘get even’ through selfish pride. Haman would’ve found himself a lot better off serving our ONE AND ONLY God instead of holding on to a one thousand- year old- grudge… Haman learned the hard way!!!
Let’s give unsettled accounts to God today and every day and let Him settled all debts for us! LET GO AND LET GOD!