Do you owe some money? Ok, you may be thinking, “How many places do I owe money?” Let’s imagine that all your accounts were paid. You get a letter in the mail saying your account is paid. You are ecstatic! You call the person who paid it off & express your sincere gratitude! You tell them if there is anything you can do for them to please let you know.
The scenario I just described may be far-fetched but, that’s exactly what Jesus did for us! He paid our sin debt! The Bible says “He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross” (Col.2:14).
Jesus paid our sin debt! That’s why we worship & serve Him! Our sin charges have been paid in full! Today, worship the Savior who paid your charges!
Respect for authority.
Reverence for God.
Both of these are sorely missing in our society. I see it all the time. We see it in children, teenagers and adults. I see it in how children and teenagers related to their parents. I see it in how teenagers relate to their teachers or coaches. I see it in how parents relate to coaches or their supervisor.
There is also a lack of reverence for God. People may refer to God as “the man upstairs.” In doing so, they are demonstrating a lack of reverence for God. Or, we see lots of moving around in a worship service. Again, in some cases, it’s demonstrating a lack of reverence for God.
In Jeremiah 5:22, the Lord asks the people of Israel, “Have you no respect for me? Why don’t you tremble in my presence?” Israel was not displaying reverence for God.
In order for any society or school or business or government to function properly, there has to be people in charge… people in positions of authority. If there isn’t, there is chaos. And, people must respect those in positions of authority in order for their to be a good environment for everyone to enjoy.
We badly need to recover a reverence for God. God is holy. God is merciful. God is worthy of our worship. When we are in the presence of God, we should humble ourselves and worship Him.
Today… have respect for those in positions of authority. Demonstrate reverence for God. God is Holy and powerful. He is not “the man upstairs;” He is a Holy, Omnipotent God.
This morning, in churches all over the country, people will show up who have volunteered to serve in certain positions. Some of them are nursery workers. Some teach Sunday School. Some are on the hospitality team. Some are musicians. In most cases, these people aren’t being paid; they serve because they love the Lord and His church. Week after week, they are faithful. You can count on them… they will be present… unless they are sick are out of town They are referreed to as “faithful workers.”
In the book of Colossians, the apostle Paul referred to a man named Epaphras. Paul said of Epaphras, “He is Christ’s faithful servant” (Col. 1:7). Epaphras was reliable. Paul could count on him which is why Paul referred to him as a “faithful servant.”
What about you? Are you faithful? Are you reliable? I’m certainly not in Paul’s category but, like him, I like faithful servants as well. I like people you can count on. If you have a responsibility in your church, be faithful. Understand this; if you don’t show up… you are making life tougher on someone else. Someone may have to work two jobs. Or, some task goes undone if you aren’t present. Be faithful.
There was a time in my ministry when I wanted to replace someone. I didn’t feel they were qualified to serve. Another person said to me, “they may not be the most qualified, but they are present every Sunday.” They were right. This individual was faithful and that is important. Today, if you have a position of service, like Epaphras, please be faithful.
Worry… Anxiety… Lots of us deal with those… Lots of medication is prescribed to help people who worry and are anxious. Most of us have dealt with these… some possibly more than others… but most of us have, at times been anxious or we have worried. Someone reading this may be worrying right now. Maybe it’s your job, or your marriage, or your finances, or your health.
In the book of Philippians, the apostle Paul had this to say about worrying; “In everything, by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7). Notice Paul said, “And the peace of God… will guard our hearts…”
Today, do you have peace? Yeah, I know; you want to have peace but you are facing something that has you concerned. I understand. I face those things as well.. And… it’s easy to type this devotional… but I worry too.
Today, instead of worrying, let’s pray. When you are prone to worry, turn that into prayer. Paul said if we do that, “the peace of God will rule in our hearts.” That doesn’t mean the situation will change… it means God will give us strength to deal with it. Oh, yeah, almost forgot; God may not answer our prayers to change something we are dealing with… God may just give us the strength to deal with it.
So, today; try to turn your worries over to the Lord and He will give us peace.
Years ago, growing up in Kentwood, LA, church-league softball was big. One night, we were playing a certain team and the name of a certain player on the opposing team came up. Let’s just say this player was “confident.” As I commented on a certain player, another player on my team said, “Yeah, if you could buy him for he’s worth and sell him for what he think he’s worth, you could make some money. lol
He was right; this guy had an inflated opinion of himself. But, that player wasn’t the only person like that. There are lots of people in the world with an inflated opinion of themselves. In short; they are arrogant or, the word I like to use is, they are “cocky.”
There is nothing wrong with having self-confidence.. believing that you have the ability to do certain things… But it is wrong when we feel we are better than someone else. I’ve met people like that as well. At times, when a person is overflowing with confidence, that confidence is actually a cover for very low self-esteem.
We need to understand that our Lord doesn’t admire or bless cockiness or arrogance. Instead, our Lord blesses humility. Isaiah 66:2 says, ““I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts..”
Today, if you think you need to display arrogance to bless the world… please stop. God is impressed with humility. Humility means knowing who we are and recognizing that we need help. We can’t live the Christian life in our own power. We humble ourselves before a mighty God and humbly ask for help and direction.
Autumn… Fall… my FAVORITE season of the year. I love the foliage, the cool air… football season… I love the fall.
Over the next several weeks leaves will change color and they will be beautiful. But just as quickly as they changed colors to become beautiful, they will then fade and fall to the ground. I admit, I’m a little depressed when the leaves begin to turn brown and fall. That means leaf season is about done for another year.
The Bible says we are like those autumn leaves. Isaiah 64:6 says, “Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.” “Like autumn leaves we wither and fall…” All of us are sinners. We are all descendants of Adam who committed the first sin but, so we are sinners as well. Like autumn leaves, we wither and faid… our sins carry us away.
But, the good news is, we can be saved from our sins. Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. If we simply ask Him into our hearts, we can be saved. We didn’t earn it and we can’t buy it but, God’s offer is free. Our background doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter where we were raised. God loves everyone!
You may be like autumn leaves…. your sin is carrying you away… But it doesn’t have to be that way. Jesus died on the cross for your sins and mine. Our sins do not have to carry us away.
Today, accept God’s offer of grace and don’t let your sin carry you away.