Hearing God’s Voice
If You Act Now!!
They immediately left their nets and followed Him.
– Matthew 4:20-
It is no secret that we live in a product-driven society that is constantly seeking to convince people that they need more, more, more. One commonly used catch phrase that is often heard to capture the attention of a potential buyer is the phrase; “If you act now”. Many people, when they hear these four precious words cannot move quick enough to get their credit card ready, even before they know what their “acting now” will get them.
Jesus’ disciples also had an; “if you act now” moment. Peter and Andrew, Jesus’ first two disciples, had an opportunity to previously meet Jesus through John the Baptist. They knew that He was the Messiah and was excited to have met Him. After this meeting however, Peter and Andrew returned to their job as Galilean fisherman. Then one day as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw these two at work and offered them the opportunity to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men. Then we find that “immediately” they left their nets and followed Him.
Peter and Andrew, as well as, Jesus’ other disciples, were not going to pass up an opportunity to walk with and to learn from the Messiah. When Jesus offered this blessing to them, they didn’t hesitate to “act now”. By them immediately leaving their nets at that very moment, they demonstrated to Jesus their belief and passion for Him, in knowing that He was the Christ. These adventurous men did not have to forever give up their passion for fishing, for we find other passages where they are out on the seas fishing even after they were called by Jesus. But it was about obedience at that particular moment.
All of us have opportunities just about every day to “act now” and follow Jesus. Many profess to have love and commitment to Christ, however, are unwilling to lay down their “nets” at any given moment to honor the Master’s request. It’s not about quitting your job or dropping the ball to follow Jesus, but it is about being obedient in the moment to step away from what currently has us preoccupied, to honor the desire of Jesus’ heart.
If you have ever felt the need to call someone and let them know you are thinking about them, or maybe there is a troubled coworker that you really feel led to comfort by talking and giving them some Godly wisdom, or if you feel the desire to immediately pray for someone; well, these are opportunities to lay down your “nets” and follow Jesus. If you “act now” in these moments, and are willing to briefly step away from what you are doing to follow Jesus into that person’s life, not only will it demonstrate the love and compassion of Christ to them at a crucial moment in their life, but it will fulfill your desire to be a fisher of men. God Bless.
A Prayer for Commitment
Father, today I welcome the opportunity to serve you through serving others. Thank You for the opportunities that You give me to show others how much You love them through thoughtful words and actions. Father today I vow to be committed to following You wherever You may lead. Furthermore, I will not allow myself to be so busy that I am unwilling to lay down by net at any given moment to be obedient to Your Will. I pray this In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
A Good Spring Cleaning
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Well, praise God, spring is upon us once again and many people have already began their, once a year, spring cleaning ritual. When this happens around our house, it is a long tedious event where everything is getting moved, hauled out, wiped down, and made to shine like new!! But as the talk of the 2015 Spring Cleaning Event was being thoroughly planned, it got me thinking about another spring cleaning event that may need to take place, and that is a thorough cleaning in our heart.
This passage of scripture as spoken by King David to God is a passage that is often quoted by many seeking to gain a deeper relationship with Christ; however, it is often spoken with very little emphasis or meditation on the primary request that is being made to God; and that is to be corrected and cleansed by God so that we can be certain that every aspect of our life is in accordance to His will.
Correction can be one of the hardest things that we endure during this walk of life here on earth. All of us can recall times in our past, especially during our childhood, where correction was given to guide us and protect us from circumstances that could have caused us great pain. When we invite God to search us and reveal to us any items out of order or anything in need of a good cleaning, it can often be a very uncomfortable experience. However, we must never forget that the basis of God’s correction is; love. God loves us to much to allow the filthy things of this world to pollute our words, thoughts, and actions, because when it does, it pulls us farther away from Him and that troubles the heart of the one who loves us most.
So, when you ask God to search you and reveal anything that may be out of order, you must prepare yourself for two more steps that will be required to complete this request. First, you must be willing to acknowledge those things God allows to be revealed in you that is in need of correction. Second, you must be willing to correct it!!
Notice that David invited God to “Try Me”. What David asked; was for God to allow circumstances to come into his life that would cause any anxieties or worries to surface so that they could be dealt with and corrected. David also asks for God to “See” if there was any wickedness in him and also to “Lead” him in the way everlasting. David wanted nothing more than for God to “Know” his heart and to be thoroughly cleaned from the inside out, so that he was in a position to receive God’s best and also so that he had no unchecked areas of sin that could give the enemy an open door to come in and steal, kill, and destroy.
So if you’re going through a hardship or unforeseen circumstance right now, take a moment to praise God that not only will He bring you through it, but that through it He can show you areas of your life, whether it be your words, actions, thoughts or emotions that need to be cleaned up so that you please Him and receive His fullness in EVERY area of your life. Don’t let this be a once a year event with the Father, but rather a daily event. Stay close to God so that the filth of this world can be easily wiped away when it seeks to settle on you. Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ that we are celebrating this Easter weekend, we know that Jesus is ready with all the resources needed to come in and clean you up. So invite Him into your situation and let the righteous cleaning begin!! God Bless and Happy Easter.
A Prayer for Cleansing
Father, I invite You today to truly know my heart and help me to deal with the areas of my life that need correction. I desire to be free from any and all bondage in my life that is holding me back from receiving Your best!! I thank you for providing the blood of Jesus to wash me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I pray this In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
How Many Can You Feed?
But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” -Matthew 14:16
The feeding of the five thousand (which was probably closer to fifteen or twenty thousand if you include women and children), is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. This was only one of many occasions that Jesus took a small portion of something, blessed it, and multiplied it for the fulfillment of those around Him. While this passage was actually physical food that nourished bodies and soothed hunger, it also speaks to the ability of God to take a small portion of faith and our willingness to be obedient and manifest it into such Spiritual increase that it will uplift spirits and calm the troubled soul of those around us.
You may be wondering if Jesus could still take five loaves and two fish and feed thousands with twelve baskets left over right here in 2015. The answer is undoubtedly; YES!!! We know this because Hebrews 13:8 tells us that; “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Therefore, we can be certain that the character and compassion of Jesus has not changed, therefore, His willingness to feed the hungry is still very present today and His ability to do so is still very much available to us. Then you might ask; well, why are there so many starving people, physically and spiritually, all over the world? The Bible answers that as well in Matthew 13:58. It says: “(Jesus) did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” We must never forget that little can be made much when we present it to the Lord and His work. If you truly believe that, then you will be willing to give whatever the Holy Spirit asks of you whether it is a large or small amount in your eyes.
This principle of letting God make our little contribution into a great blessing for others, does not only apply to physical things such as food or money, but to spiritual things as well. One of Satan’s greatest ways of hindering God’s plans and desires around the world is by manipulating us into believing that we must be able to fully comprehend how what we are ask to contribute could possibly meet a need so large. The problem with this kind of thinking is that it removes God and all His abilities from the equation, thereby giving way to doubt that will then emphatically steal our desire to give anything.
Whether you realize it or not, after Jesus blessed the five loaves and two fish, the miracle was administered by the hands of the disciples!! You see, when the Holy Spirit leads you to give something to someone or some ministry, even though you may think it is not much, what is happening is that God is desiring to take what little you have; bless it, multiply it and use it to meet a great need in someone else’s’ life, however, God intends for it to be distributed through YOU!! Therefore, if you refuse to distribute the blessing because you think it is insignificant, then others will starve around you because, while God can get His blessing to you, He can’t seem to get His blessing through you.
So the next time you feel that you need to send someone a text that simply says; “Thinking of you”; send it!! The next time you feel that you need to send a ministry five dollars; send it!!! The next time you feel the desire to stop and send up prayers for someone; send it!!! Don’t’ worry about trying to understand how God will take such a small contribution and multiply it into great things!! Just believe that He can, He will, and He is, and it shall be done!! So how many can you feed today from your hand? Answer; as many as God wants you to. All you have to do is be obedient, faithful, and willing to give. God Bless.
A Prayer to Multiply
Father, forgive me for the times that I have refused to give because I felt that it was to insignificant to make any kind of impact. Holy Spirit I ask you to help me remember that God can only multiply what I am willing to give Him. So Father, today I choose to stop questioning and trying to understand what you ask me to give and why. But rather I choose to give it immediately so that it can be blessed and multiplied to meet the need of another, whether physical or spiritual. I pray this In Jesus’ Name, Amen.