Thanks for Seeking God With Me.

If you need some Christian Nonfiction books to read, check out 5 Powerful Ways to Show Love and Heroine: Rising to the Challenge on Amazon

A Quick Response To God

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God,
because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists
and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

What must I do to please God?

The answer is simple. First, believe that God is. Second, seek him.

But how do I seek him?

There are many ways to spend time with God. He’s waiting for you to choose one.

You can read your Bible and ask God to help you understand what you’re reading. You can pray simple “Getting to know You, Lord” prayers. You can sing songs of praise to him in church, in your car, or even in the shower. You can lengthen your mealtime prayers to include thanking God for one thing you’ve learned about Him recently.

If you are a child in a crowd of adults and everyone’s shoes look the same, you might feel lost. Your first inclination might be to cry out, “Daddy!” He’s probably watching you look for him, waiting to see what you’ll do. You might think you’re lost, but he knows exactly where you are.

He might scoop you up into his arms to comfort you. He might put his face next to yours and tell you something to do. If it’s time to leave, he might tell you to put your coat on. You might want to obey, or you might not. But he knows what is going on around you better than you do.

Your best move is to obey.

My point is that there are moments when God calls to us in response to our heart’s cry. We hear and either acknowledge that it’s God or we become fearful and refuse to believe that God would speak to us. And when we acknowledge that God has called to us, we have to make the decision to seek him.

Since God rewards those who seek Him, our quick response to God helps us be in the right place at the right time to receive that reward.

Two Mistakes, part two

Mark 10:35-45

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

"You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

“We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”

When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

What was their mistake? James and John asked without a servant's heart. Their attitude got them into trouble.

The best leaders are the ones who know what the work is like. They roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. They lead by example. They have followers because they serve their followers.

Jesus came down from Heaven to work among us. He led his followers by his example. They could see his servant attitude all day and all night.

Americans have become spoiled. Everything is too easy. That has slipped into our churches too. When our prayers are about making our life easier, we run the risk of getting on God’s nerves. He is patient and will forgive, but there comes a time when God expects us to snap out of it and change our attitude.

We need a servant's heart when we speak to God and to others.

Two Mistakes, part one

Mark 10:17-22

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good – except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.’”

“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One think you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

He heard, but went away sad because he didn’t want to obey. Why did he not want to obey? Why did it not bother him to miss out on seeing joy in the faces of the people who received his stuff?

The man didn’t know what would happen following his obedience. God takes things from you for your benefit and replaces what you’ve given up with things you need. Instead of worrying about maintaining his bank account, he should have worked on maintaining his relationship with Jesus.

I think he didn’t know Jesus; he just knew about him. If he’d taken the time to get to know Jesus on a personal level, he would’ve seen what happens to people who obey Jesus without hesitation.

Two common mistakes we make in our relationship with God are: not taking the time to get to know God and not having a servant’s attitude. Next week I’ll bring a scripture about attitude.

Taking God For Granted

Luke 17:12-19

As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him – and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

All ten heard, obeyed and were cleansed. One gave thanks. Jesus was joyful with the one, but disappointed in the other nine. When we hear from God, we must obey. But even before we do what he says, we can turn and give him thanks while we’re on the way.

The difference between the one and the nine was a passion for giving thanks to the God who did the miracle. The nine, being Jewish, took their law seriously, but they didn’t have a passion for expressing thanks to God. The Samaritan saw Jesus and spoke his gratitude to God over and over in a loud voice.

Today, I can get caught up in the necessary tasks of the day and not take the time to stop what I’m doing to spend a little quality time with God. There is so much I can praise Him for.

Am I taking God for granted? I hope to learn from the lepers and act out my thanksgiving to God on a daily basis.

November is a good month to begin making schedule changes to include more thanksgiving in your day. I hope you’ll join me.