Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Are You Listening To God?

“Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and because you humbled yourself before Me, tore your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you,” declares the Lord.  – 2 Chronicles 34:27
Listening to God makes all the difference in our lives. It can even save your life, as with King Josiah. Listening to God can save your marriage, your friendships, and your health! It is serious business! How well do you listen to God? Do you make the effort to read His Word daily?
King Josiah was a very godly king who brought all Israel back to God and celebrated the Passover again. As we read above, the king heard God’s Word and acted on it. But later in life King Josiah died in battle because he didn’t listen to the word of the Lord through the Egyptian king: “But Josiah did not turn back from him; he disguised himself for battle. He did not take seriously the words of Necho which he had received from God; he went to fight him in the Plain of Megiddo” (2 Chronicles 35:22 NET ).
You probably will not die in battle if you don’t take God’s Word seriously. But you will suffer in other ways. We must take God and His Word seriously—it impacts everything we do. Do you see your need to read His word and apply it to your life? Then you too will please God like King Josiah.

Nobody makes me read the Bible every day. I want to hear from God! He loves me and has made me holy in Christ; therefore I cherish my time with Him! I take His Word seriously. Do you?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


“Dear brothers and sisters, if I were still preaching that you must be circumcised—as some say I do—why am I still being persecuted? If I were no longer preaching salvation through the cross of Christ, no one would be offended.” Galatians 5:11 NLT

The problem with wanting others to like us is that the gospel of Christ is offensive to the human ego. Please don’t misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be liked, to have friends, or with being popular, until we cross the line and compromise the gospel.

The only way to never offend anyone is to take the cross out of the gospel. Paul knew that the cross of Christ was offensive to the prideful human desire to justify oneself before God. He was convinced that it was human nature to keep the law and boast in one’s accomplishments. That self-righteousness made the cross of Christ unnecessary.

Today we must be careful not to compromise the gospel by removing the cross of Christ. We always need to call people to turn (repentance, godly sorrow) from their selfish lives, self-effort, and self-righteousness. The cross is the place where helpless sinners turn from their pride and trust in the grace of God for cleansing and new life. It is offensive to our ego, but it is essential for salvation. It is beautiful when someone sincerely comes to grips with their selfishness before a holy God. It is the only way to freedom and to experience the love of God.

Take a moment and think and pray over how you present the gospel. Is the cross a vital part of your message? Have you compromised in any way? Has your fear of rejection or fear of losing a friend kept you from preaching salvation through the cross?