Friday, August 22, 2014

Nahum 2:11-13

11 Where now is that great Nineveh,
    that den filled with young lions?
It was a place where people—like lions and their cubs—
    walked freely and without fear.
12 The lion tore up meat for his cubs
    and strangled prey for his mate.
 He filled his den with prey,
    his caverns with his plunder.
13 “I am your enemy!”
    says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
 “Your chariots will soon go up in smoke.
    Your young men will be killed in battle.
 Never again will you plunder conquered nations.
    The voices of your proud messengers will be heard no more.”

Back in these days, God was actively judging the people of this region for what they did. He presented them with a way of life and a sacrificial system to please Him which allowed them to live in His favor. Since then He provided a new way - Jesus. This alternative sacrifice has put God's judgement on hold to give people time to accept this wonderful gift of life. There is a time coming when God will stop giving further chances for salvation then He will judge the world once and for all.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Obadiah 10-14

10 “Because of the violence you did
    to your close relatives in Israel,
 you will be filled with shame
    and destroyed forever.
11 When they were invaded,
    you stood aloof, refusing to help them.
 Foreign invaders carried off their wealth
    and cast lots to divide up Jerusalem,
    but you acted like one of Israel’s enemies.
12 You should not have gloated
    when they exiled your relatives to distant lands.
 You should not have rejoiced
    when the people of Judah suffered such misfortune.
 You should not have spoken arrogantly
    in that terrible time of trouble.
13 You should not have plundered the land of Israel
    when they were suffering such calamity.
 You should not have gloated over their destruction
    when they were suffering such calamity.
 You should not have seized their wealth
    when they were suffering such calamity.
14 You should not have stood at the crossroads,
    killing those who tried to escape.
 You should not have captured the survivors
    and handed them over in their terrible time of trouble."

Would I be willing to laugh at those who are suffering at the hands of others? Could I stand idle while others are destroyed? If the opportunity for wealth came at the expense of someone else, would it be worth it? God help me to live and love like You do so that I can treat others the way that You would want me to.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Philippians 1:27-29

27 Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. 28 Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. 29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.

Which is easier - for me to stand alone against the powers of hell that are trying to tear me down or stand on God's firm foundation with my brothers with me? When I share my burdens and suffering with my brothers in Christ, they are easier to bear together and they testify to what God is doing in our lives.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Philippians 1:20-24

20 For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. 21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. 22 But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. 23 I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. 24 But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.

What a great hope there is in Jesus. Whether I have a job to do here on Earth or when my work here is done, it is all for the glory of God. No matter how hard the work or suffering here, there is a reward of a home in heaven waiting for me.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Philippians 1:12-14

12 And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including the whole palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, most of the believers here have gained confidence and boldly speak God’s message without fear.

What if I could see my life through the lens of God's ministry? Would I see a life that helped spread the Good News of Jesus? Would my suffering in this life be for some greater purpose or is it of my own making? Can I use any situation to further the agenda that God has for my life? Lord, have Your way with my life.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Deuteronomy 26:5-11

5 “You must then say in the presence of the Lord your God, ‘My ancestor Jacob was a wandering Aramean who went to live as a foreigner in Egypt. His family arrived few in number, but in Egypt they became a large and mighty nation. 6 When the Egyptians oppressed and humiliated us by making us their slaves, 7 we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors. He heard our cries and saw our hardship, toil, and oppression. 8 So the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and powerful arm, with overwhelming terror, and with miraculous signs and wonders. 9 He brought us to this place and gave us this land flowing with milk and honey! 10 And now, O Lord, I have brought you the first portion of the harvest you have given me from the ground.’ Then place the produce before the Lord your God, and bow to the ground in worship before him. 11 Afterward you may go and celebrate because of all the good things the Lord your God has given to you and your household. Remember to include the Levites and the foreigners living among you in the celebration."

Am I willing to remember the tough times that I have been through? Am I willing to give the best of everything I earn in worship of my Father in heaven? Am I going to celebrate these things with everyone around me? My life is in Your hands God.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Deuteronomy 8:11-18

11 “But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. 12 For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, 13 and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! 14 Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. 15 Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. He gave you water from the rock! 16 He fed you with manna in the wilderness, a food unknown to your ancestors. He did this to humble you and test you for your own good. 17 He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ 18 Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath."

It would be so easy to look at the good things God has given me and try to take the credit for my own. When the stress that comes with success is overwhelming, it can drowned out the memories of what it took to get there and all the blessings from God that made it possible.