When you think of Sodom and Gomorrah, what comes to your mind? God's wrath and fiery judgment? The truth is that God was not all out to judge the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. He was not on a sin hunt. He was, in fact, on a righteousness hunt!
This is evident because if God was on a sin hunt, He would not have allowed anyone to stop Him. But we know that He let Abraham in on what He was about to do and even allowed Abraham to entreat Him.
Abraham asked God if He would destroy Sodom if He could find 50 righteous people there. God's reply was, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes." (Genesis 18:26) Abraham then asked God if He would destroy the city if there were only 45... 40... 30... or 10 righteous. And each time, God's reply was that He would spare the place for the sake of the righteous.
Abraham stopped at 10. If he had gone down to just one righteous man, I believe God's reply would have been the same because He was on a righteousness hunt.
Now, if God was not all out to destroy then, how much more today, when God has already judged our sins in the body of His Son? At the cross, Jesus exhausted all of God's fiery judgments until there was no more fire of God's wrath left for us!
Today, God is not judging us for our sins because He has found the righteousness of the one Man - Christ Jesus. So do not let anyone tell you that God judges you for your sins and punishes you with cancer, car accidents, business failures or brokenness. God would be unjust if He punished the same sins twice - in Jesus' body and then in yours.
Beloved, God is not out to judge you but bless you today, not because you deserve it, but because Jesus was judged and punished in your place!
Thought For The Day
God would be unjust if He punished the same sins twice - in Jesus' body and then in yours.
1 Thessalonians 5:9
9 For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us.
If you are sick, you must know that you are already healed because of the finished work of Christ. Don't ask, "Do I have enough faith to be healed? Do I have the right kind of faith to be healed? What if I am lacking in faith?"You are focusing on yourself and your faith, instead of Christ and His finished work.
You should be asking, "Did Jesus take away this sickness? If He did, then He must have done a perfect work." In other words, fix your eyes on Jesus and His perfect work.
AB Simpson, who lived in the 19th century, wrote an article entitled Himself. In it, he mentioned his exhausted nervous system, and broken-down heart which could have proved fatal any time. So he sought the Lord for healing. God showed him Matthew 8:17, which says that Jesus "Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses".
AB Simpson said that though he believed that Jesus had borne away his sicknesses, he saw many hindrances which stood between him and his healing. And they all boiled down to one thing - his preoccupation with his faith! He had believed that if only he had the "right" kind of faith, he would receive his healing instantly.
He eventually came to the realization that he had to remove that last hindrance - his focus on his faith - and just rest in the finished work of Christ. That revelation marked his complete recovery from his sicknesses.
When you ask yourself, "Do I have enough faith?" you have already put faith as a hindrance between you and Jesus' finished work. The more you focus on your faith, the more faith slips away. But if you focus on the finished work of Christ and see God's grace toward you, God sees that as faith! Without realizing it, faith is there in your heart to believe that you will not die of what Christ Himself has already borne away completely for you, and you will see your miracle manifest!
Thought For The Day
Fix your eyes on Jesus and His perfect work.
2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
When faced with a problem or challenge, we tend to ask ourselves, "What am I going to do?" And well-meaning family members and friends will come along and ask, "What are you going to do?"
Jehoshaphat faced a multitude of enemies. But instead of focusing on what he would do, he prayed, "O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You." (2 Chronicles 20:12)
When we turn our eyes to God, we will hear Him say, "Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's... You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord..." (2 Chronicles 20:15, 17)
But standing still is the last thing we want to do when the enemy is coming against us. It is also the most difficult thing to do because we feel that we cannot just stand around and do nothing - we must try to save the situation. But God wants us to stand still and see Jesus our salvation fight for us.
So what do you do the next time you are faced with a battle and don't know what to do? Jehoshaphat sent his singers to the front of the army to proclaim, "Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever." (2 Chronicles 20:21) Some people will wonder, "Does that mean that I just sing and don't do anything else when I have a problem?" No, that is not what I am saying.
Do what the situation requires, but don't worry and don't trust in what you do. Like Jehoshaphat, rest and trust in His mercy that endures forever. When you do that, God will turn your battlefield into the Valley of Berachah. Berachah means "blessings". The children of Israel gave the battlefield this name because it took them three days to gather all the spoils of war! God turned their situation into a great blessing! (2 Chronicles 20:25-26)
Do you have a battle to fight? Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord!
Thought For The Day
God wants us to stand still and see Jesus our salvation fight for us.
2 Chronicles 20:15
15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
God does not want your heart full of worries and fears, tossed and turned by every challenge that comes your way. He wants your heart at rest and established by His grace toward you.
But when you think that the breakthroughs to your challenges depend on your ability to obey God, then your heart will not be at rest. It will be full of worries and anxieties. Why? Because you can never obey God perfectly.
But when you depend on God's grace, that is, His undeserved, unmerited favor, the opposite happens - your heart becomes established. When you know that the only thing that qualifies you to receive God's blessings is faith in the finished work of Christ, your heart becomes established. Then, you will walk without the fear of your troubles swallowing you up. You will walk with full assurance that His blessings will be manifested in your life.
My friend, God wants your heart established, knowing that His righteousness, healing, protection and prosperity are yours - all paid for by Jesus' finished work at the cross. God's blessings are sure in your life because they are not dependent on your ability to keep His laws, but Jesus' perfect obedience.
You see, under the old covenant, you receive God's blessings only if you keep all His laws. (Deuteronomy 28:1-2) If you sin and fail to keep even one law, you will be disqualified from receiving His blessings. But today, under the new cov- enant, your sins no longer disqualify you because God Himself has said, "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." (Hebrews 8:12)
So let your heart be established by God's grace. Because of His grace, you have full access to His blessings. You no longer have to worry about whether you are good enough. You can stand firm on the promises made in His Word and enjoy His blessings today because Jesus has paid the price. Your part is only to believe and receive!
Thought For The Day
God's blessings are sure in your life because of Jesus' perfect obedience.
9 So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them.
Share the Gospel by Meeting Practical Needs
by Joyce Meyer
I once heard a story about an evangelist in Russia, who was walking around telling people, "Jesus loves you. Jesus loves you." He was handing out Gospel tracts, and one lady said, "You know what? Your sermon and Gospel tract isn't going to fill my belly." See, sometimes we need to show people God's love by meeting their physical needs and then we can share the Gospel of Christ.
Jesus spoke about the importance of meeting people's physical needs. In Matthew, He said that when we feed the hungry, or give water to the thirsty, or clothe the needy, or care for the sick, it's like we're doing those things for Him. He showed us how helping someone in a practical way can create a wonderful opportunity to share the Gospel with someone.
When someone can see God's love in action in a real way in their own life, it is much easier for them to believe our message that God loves them.
So what does this look like practically? It could start with something small, like giving a hug to someone nearby who feels unloved. From there, you could go on to support ministries that help the sick, thirsty and hungry. Maybe you could volunteer at a soup kitchen or outreach in your community or take a mission trip to serve the needy in another country. The possibilities are endless when you make a decision to serve others not only through words, but also through practical action.
Prayer Starter: Lord, I want to put action behind my words. Show me how I can practically help the people You bring across my path so they can experience the power of Your love.
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
One morning I was having my quiet time alone with God, and I said to the Lord, "God, how can You stand seeing all the pain, starving children, human trafficking, genocide, injustice, degradation, poverty, in the world and not do something?"
I didn't say it as a complaint or because I was questioning His integrity, and I don't even know that I was really expecting to get an answer, but I just asked Him. Immediately His answer came back: "I work through people. I'm waiting for My people to arise and do something."
You and I are part of an army, the body of Christ, and it's going to take everyone doing their part to change this world. God wants to work through us, and He's calling us to put on love and get to work.
In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul talked about how the churches in Macedonia gave, saying, "But first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us [as His agents] by the will of God [entirely disregarding their personal interests, they gave as much as they possibly could, having put themselves at our disposal to be directed by the will of God]."
That just amazes me, because they didn't just give their money, they gave themselves. God's calling us to live the same way. And one person working for the Lord has the ability to make a profound difference! So how will you give yourself to the Lord and be His agent today?
Prayer Starter: God, I invite You to work through me. I choose to lay down selfishness and pick up love so that I can be used by You to change the world.
2 Corinthians 8:5
5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.
In Ephesians 4:29, the apostle Paul instructs us not to use any foul or polluting language. At one time, I didn't realize that this included complaining, but I have since learned that murmuring and complaining pollute our lives.
Plain and simple, complaining is a sin! It causes many people a great deal of problems in their lives and destroys the joy of anyone listening.
We need to ask ourselves, how quick are we to become impatient and begin to complain when stuck in traffic or while waiting in checkout lanes in grocery stores or department stores? How quick are we to spot and point out all the faults of our friends or family members? Do we complain about our job when we should be thanking God that we have one?
The best antidote for complaining is thanksgiving. Truly thankful people do not complain. They are too busy being grateful for all the good things they have that they have no time to notice the things they could complain about.
The Bible says that we are to enter God's courts with praise and thanksgiving. You and I need to make it a daily goal to live a life of thanksgiving. Let's be as positive and grateful as possible.
Try going to bed at night pondering everything you have to be thankful for. Let it be the first thing you do in the morning. Thank God for "little" things or things you might normally take for granted: a parking place, waking up in time for work, a meal, your family... Don't get discouraged when you fail, but don't throw in the towel and quit either. Keep at it until you have developed new habits and you are living with an attitude of gratitude.
Be generous with your gratitude. It will sweeten your relationship with the Lord.
Prayer Starter: God, I want to live with an attitude of gratitude, starting right now! I thank you so much for loving me and for blessing me. Help me see the positive things in life and to thank You for them.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.