Good Guys and Jerks

“Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.” John 5:23
Have you met him?  You know, the guy that everyone seems to love.  He is winsome, intelligent, articulate and just plain fun to be around.  Most people would say, “Man, he is just a really good guy.”

Then there is the “other” guy.  The guy is a jerk.  He treats everyone like dirt and because of it, his life is out of control.  Substance abuse, trouble with the law, and fights are just a normal part of his life.

So my question is: Which of these guys needs God more in their life?

Yes, as you probably guessed already, this is a trick question.  They both need God.

From a human perspective, if we line up these two guys and judge their behavior, there is no doubt that most would say that the jerk needs God and greater change in his life. However, God does not just look at the behavior…the outward life, He looks at the heart…the inward life (1 Samuel 16:7).

The greatest sin in our life is not based off one certain behavior. The greater sin is how we fail to acknowledge or honor God. This is how even the “good guy” can miss it.  John Piper says it like this:

“The true measure of the greatness of sin is not the way it ruins human life, but the way it dishonors God.”

Think about it. Don’t we as guys hate it most when other people show us disrespect?  That is why we would prefer to fight guys face to face rather than have people turn their backs on us or ignore us.

So the questions for us are:
  • Does my life honor God?
  • Have I been ignoring God?  Have I turned my back on Him?

Okay, so what do we do?

Talk to God now.  Tell Him how you are sorry for ignoring Him without really meaning to. Tell Him your sorry for turning your back on Him when you knew better. Find comfort that through the ages many guys ignored or flat out disrespected Him or people, but because they humbled themselves and turned back to God, He restored them and even used them in great ways. If this is you, He is not mad at you. He is happy to forgive you and glad to have you back home.  God welcomes all…good guys and jerks.


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Two-timing God

Are you “two-timing” God?

Check out this video: Would you ever marry someone like this?

READ:
John‬ ‭14:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

What are his “commands”?  There are many but the greatest is this:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” –‭‭Mark‬ ‭12:30‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Places throughout the bible, it describes God’s faithful people as a “bride” (Rev. 19:7) and Jesus as the “bridegroom”.   And so if we say we are followers of Jesus and have given our life to Him, then that means we are “betrothed” to Jesus.  When he comes back we will be fully “married” and fully know Him in all His essence.

Unfortunately many so called Chrisitans say they love God above all others but don’t live like it.

Honestly ask yourself…

  • Do I love Jesus more than the things of the world?
  • Do I have other “lovers” that I put in place of Him?
  • Am I obeying Gods ways he wants me to live or am I just doing my own thing most of the time?

PRAY:  God please forgive me for loving other people and things over You.  Jesus by the power of your Spirit, please give me the desire and ability to put you as the number one person in my life.  Thank you that as I learn more of who You are through the bible and prayer, and obeying You, I will grow into all the things you have for me now and experience the joy of your presence more each day!

Fighting For Character

Character never grows out of an effortless life.

When we were younger we had great dreams and desires to be great.   We wanted to be the hero of the game or the adventurer on an epic journey to uncover lost secrets and wealth of ages past.   As we get older the vale gets lifted in our understanding and we realize dreams take work and effort.  It is easy and exciting to watch, it is quite another thing to do it.

Why do we continue to kid ourselves into thinking our decision to put our relationship with God as foremost in our life would take any less effort?

READ:

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”  1 Timothy‬ ‭6:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

THINK:

  • In what areas of your life are you getting impatient that things are not going as easy as you planned?
  • What negative attitudes, actions or thinking from yourself or others do you need to push back with Gods truth and promises?  Where do you need to ask the Spirit of God to wake up the fighter in you?

If at times you wonder if following Jesus is really worth it, take comfort and be encouraged that God promises there is great reward for those who remain faithful to Him.  It may be difficult now to see,  but you and I will see it in a BIG WAY in the end!

“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.””  ‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭15:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

PRAY:  God thank you that you promise a reward when I don’t give up in trusting you.  I know you want to develop deep character in me.  Empower me to be steadfast in that fight.

Fighting 201: How to Fight!

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In “Fighting 101″ we talked about how we are called to “fight the good fight of faith”.   So if we are in a fight and we know the enemy, called the devil, does not play fair, then how are we to fight?  What’s the strategy?

READ: Ephesians 6:10-13

The first thing to realize is that we are called to be strong IN THE LORD (v.10).  It is God’s power and strength we are asking for and relying on.   Beware of trying to fight or stand for God in anything without seeking Him first.

The next thing is through His strength, power and wisdom, you and I have “His armor” to battle with and protect ourselves (v.11).  You see God has been fighting Satan a long time.  But the good news is that the decisive battle has already been won!  Picture it as though God has defeated Satan and chained him up on a long leash.   Satan’s ultimate demise is soon.  In the meantime, Satan is grasping out to anyone he can get his hands on and pull them down with him.   So, God does not leave us without a defense strategy and some tools that help us fight back.   You can read verses 14-18 to discover these (the next post, “Fighting 301″ will look at these in detail).

The biggest encouragement here in our fight is in verse 13:

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” -Ephesians 6:13

In other words don’t give up!  Persevere!  Keep STANDING!  To withstand means to stand up against, to resist successfully, to be proof against or to oppose with firm determination.   In other words, it is a confidence to know that after we have done everything we know to do…and even if we get knocked down…we can still get up and stand in faith that God has got our back.

Isn’t that great news to realize that we are not “standing” alone!  We are “withstanding”.  We are standing WITH God!

 

PRAY:  God thank you that you offer so much to me on a daily basis.  I know at times I have tried to fight and do things on my own without even considering You.  I know You are actually behind all my gifts and abilities.   There are numerous natural gifts you have given me, but may you by the power of Your Spirit give me more confidence, endurance and understanding of how You want to work through me to make those more impactful for You.

Run After It!

READ: ‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭6:11-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/1ti.6.11-12.esv

Any kind of human relationship requires energy and effort. And our relationship with God is no different. In fact if we were to see the energy and love that God has spent forth on our behalf, it would be terribly lopsided in His favor. Oh my, how he has loved us!

So if it is our desire to reciprocate this love He has shown us, Paul tells us it will take some effort to do this. Look at the ACTION and EFFORT that is required of us:

➡️ FLEE these things- What things do we need to turn away from (repent) that are leading us astray?
➡️ PURSUE godly attributes- Are we putting ourself around people and places where we are going to grow in these areas today?
➡️ FIGHT the good fight of faith- Do you know you are under attack? Your enemy is your sinful nature as well as Satan. Most people don’t know they have been straight up or subversively attacked their whole life. We have to battle against doubt and unbelief which are the enemy’s old but deadly strategies.
➡️ TAKE HOLD of the eternal life- Are we persistent in “grasping” and remembering the good news of the Gospel? If we have have received Christ into our life, we must not forget “every good thing we have in Christ.” Our identity is in Him, about Him, and continually found in Him!

So as for you man of God, will you run after these things today?!