One of the weaknesses I have had in my walk with Christ is overly admiring other servants of God. One thing we must remember is that it’s Christ’s power and wisdom that works through people, it’s not their own!
For instance do you know someone who can pray for the sick and they are healed? It is not them, it is Jesus! Do you see someone who understands the Bible very well? It is Christ’s Holy Spirit who gives them understanding! Did you hear a sermon/ message that encouraged you in a hard time? It is Jesus who gave that person the sermon/message! Christ gives those gifts/abilities to people in order to help other believers. Therefore, when God is using someone in our lives, let us not give glory/admiration to that person but to Jesus Who is using them!
God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God.
And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
One thing I had to learn about the command Jesus gave above, is that when we treat others the way we want to be treated we are not guaranteed to get that treatment back! Jesus tells us to treat people the way we want to be treated because it brings Him glory when we reflect the love of Christ.
If you are doing good to others but are being treated unfairly in return, continue obeying Jesus! God is the One who will reward you for that obedience. Also remember while Jesus lived on earth He was treated very badly even though He was good in all His ways.
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
The other day I had many ungodly thoughts coming into my mind, but instead of fighting against them I was passive and ignored them. When I went to pray I felt my prayers were very weak. Once I decided to repent and fight against those thoughts, I felt strength return to me in my prayers.
One thing we must remember is anytime we allow sin to fester in our lives, we are weakening spiritually. I’m not saying we will ever be perfect, but we will grow stronger in Christ when we deal with sin and repent right away. If there are certain sins/weaknesses that you continually struggle with, pray daily for strength to overcome in those areas. In moments of temptation you can use scripture to fight it. That is how Jesus did warfare when He was being tempted by satan (Mathew 4:1-11).
Recently a friend of mine made an innocent mistake, and I reacted with a very rude attitude. Before I apologized, there was stiffness in our communication because I had not settled the offense between us. However, after I admitted my fault we spoke normally. This made me think about how Jesus views a person who prays to Him without first repenting of sin. Think about it, could you wrong someone and then turn around and speak to them like nothing happened? Would you really just assume they forgave you? Well then how could you approach God in that manner? How can you expect Him to forgive your sin if you disregard it?
Each time you pray, first examine your ways and confess your sins to Christ. For example, were you rude to someone earlier that day? Did you have a lustful thought? Did you lose your temper while driving?
Repentance means confessing your sin/fault to Christ and then forsaking that sin/fault. Also ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any sins that you are unaware of. Living a lifestyle of repentance will help you maintain a close relationship with Jesus and make your prayers effective. The Bible says that God does not hear sinners when they pray. If you have specific sin which you frequently struggle with, pray daily for Christ to help in those areas. You can also pray and fast to be set free from specific sins. You may not always see change overnight but Christ will be faithful to help you as you persist.
Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
One of the passions Jesus gave me is mass communications. Before fully following Christ, I used that gift to promote secular music. I had the idea that Jesus would give me success in the music industry so that other people could get to know about Him. However, when my career advanced, it did not bear fruit for Christ at all. Instead I compromised in my relationship with Jesus because I was influenced by the music and lifestyle of the industry. I remember moments where I was manipulated to lie or took part in ungodly conversations. I also started using marijuana because of the people I worked with closely.
Whatever your gift or passion is, are you using it in a way which glorifies Christ? For example if you practice law, do you lie on behalf of clients to get more money? If you practice medicine, do you engage in gossip with coworkers and take part in ungodly jokes? Or are you sharing about Christ at your job, and being an example of God’s love?
Jesus gave you talents for the purpose of bringing Him glory. We are not all called to work in a church building, but we ARE ALL called to glorify God in everything we do by living out the Bible and sharing the love of Christ.
I Corinthians 10:31 NKJV
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
In my walk with Christ, my love for Him has been strongest when I spent a lot of quality time in prayer. When we spend time with God we are feeding our spiritual nature, and in turn we desire more of God. If you want a love for Christ that is fire hot, start spending more quality time with Him by fasting and praying. Meditate on His Word (the Bible) throughout your day, and commune with other believers.
Absence from Jesus will not make your heart grow fonder!
“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.”
When we observe the men and women God used in the Bible, we can see that they lived prayerful lives. For example, King David ruled over Israel, yet he was continually seeking the presence of God (Psalm 27:8). Daniel had a high position in the Babylonian government, but he also kept his commitment to prayer (Daniel 6:10). Finally, we have our Savior Jesus Christ who healed multitudes of people during His ministry, yet He still rose early in the morning to pray (Mark 1:35; Luke 5:15,16).
How many of us in those positions would think we are too busy to pray? The truth is, regardless of our title (business owner, parent, student or etc) we have no valid excuse before Christ as to why we don’t pray. If you are struggling in this area, ask Jesus to help you prioritize spending time with Him. In prayer, Jesus will equip you to take care of your responsibilities and enjoy your life!
“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;”
When I dedicated my life to Christ, I was excited to learn about the things God liked and didn’t like. I wanted to be close to Him so badly, that I was enthusiastic about being obedient! A time came however, when obeying God in some areas started to feel like an obligation, and God showed me this verse:
“Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”
If obeying God feels like a burden, then your love for Jesus has become lukewarm. Ask Jesus to fill you with a love for Him that is fire hot! That is a prayer He won’t deny 😄🙏
I John 5:3
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”