Do we sometimes loose our ability to see things the way God wants us to... “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
What are the lens we sometimes use that might keep us from seeing from God’s perspective?
There are those who at a point and time in their life have come to Jesus...walked the aisle of a church...encountered Him, but never surrendered their life to Him.
So, what does it take to see through the lens of God’s heart?
It takes coming to Jesus...surrendering to Jesus...following Jesus.
This begins by coming to Jesus as Paul speaks in Romans 10:9-10: “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.”
You are made new...the old you no longer exists...a change has occurred. Surrendering to Jesus is a moment by moment, lifelong choice of giving Him control of every aspect of your life.
In John 1:35-39 we see how this all began for two of Jesus’ disciples. “The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, ‘Look! There is the Lamb of God!’ When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. Jesus looked around and saw them following. ‘What do you want?’ he asked them. They replied, ‘Rabbi’ (which means “Teacher”), ‘where are you staying?’ ‘Come and see,’ he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day.”
The faith to follow Him begins when we are willing to come and see and then we decide to remain with Him for all eternity.
They had the faith to follow. How about you?
Sunday - 1 Samuel 16:7
Monday - John 1:35-39
Tuesday - Romans 10:9-10
Wednesday - Matthew 21:18-21
Thursday - Matthew 17:14-20
Friday - Ephesians 2:1-10
Saturday - James 1:1-8
Prayer: Jesus, I surrender my life to follow you by faith. Amen
Coming to Jesus - The Gospel of Friendship
The gospel is the teachings of Jesus...the revelation of Christ. Friendship is a close personal relationship with another individual.
For a better understanding of the gospel message pertaining to friendship, take a look at John 15:9–15, where Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.”
Jesus went on to model what he taught: true friendship requires sacrifice.
One of the greatest illustrations of this truth being lived out is found in Mark 2:1-12. In this passage we find four friends who physically carried a paralyzed friend to see Jesus, but when they got there they couldn’t get in the house. It was standing room only. And yet they knew their friend needed so much more than what he could get if they simply stood outside and listened. So they carried him up on top of the house, tore a hole through the roof, and then lowered their friend right down in front of Jesus.
The text then says Jesus “saw their faith.” Not the faith of the paralyzed man but the faith of the four friends. He saw THEIR faith. He didn’t hear it but SAW it. Jesus healed their friend.
We need a faith that can be seen...
...When you come to church, it’s faith that can be seen.
...When you help someone in need, it’s faith that can be seen.
...Some days, when you just get up, get dressed, and go to work, it’s faith that can be seen.
What we see here is friendship as a form of the gospel. Friendship as an expression of God’s goodness and steadfast love...Faith Friends...friends who not only believe in you but believe for you.
Sunday - Mark 2:1-12
Monday - James 2:17
Tuesday - John 15:9-15
Wednesday - Romans 1:12
Thursday - Proverbs 18:24
Friday - Proverbs 27:17
Saturday - James 2:18
Prayer: Father, I want to be the kind of friend who is willing to sacrifice for others. Help me Lord to live by faith that is seen. Amen
How’s your heart? Jesus knows… “No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.” John 2:25 NLT
Remember Jesus said: “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.” John 14:1 NLT
Remember David’s prayer: “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” Psalms 51:17 NLT
If you will come to Jesus with…
He will give you a new heart that is…
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”
Ezekiel 36:26 NLT
Can you say along with David, “My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “ Lord, I am coming.” Psalms 27:8 NLT
Sunday - Luke 6:45
Monday - Proverbs 4:23
Tuesday - Psalm 139:1 & 23
Wednesday - John 2:25
Thursday - Ephesians 3:16-17
Friday - Jeremiah 17:9
Saturday - Psalm 119:11
Change My Heart Oh God…Make It Ever True…Change My Heart Oh God…May I Be Like You. Amen
“In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord...” Jeremiah 29:12-14
There are those who seek Jesus, but they fail to come to Him. For whatever reason they never take the time to know Him. They simply know of Him.
Why might someone seek Jesus?
Seeking Him...Coming to Him...Following Him...Obeying Him...is really a lifelong pursuit!
How does someone begin? God says that if you pray, He hears; if you look for Him, you will find Him; once you come to Him, you begin to know Him. “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” Romans 10:9-10
“Jesus replied, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’” John 6:35
This begins a lifelong journey of following Him and obeying Him. Remember: “The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him.” Lamentations 3:25. Also, “Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.” Psalms 119:2
Come to Jesus...He’s waiting for you.
Sunday - Jeremiah 29:12-14
Monday - Romans 10:9-10
Tuesday - Matthew 6:33
Wednesday - John 6:44-45
Thursday - John 6:35-37
Friday - Luke 6:47-49
Saturday - Matthew 11:28-30
Prayer: Lord, thank you for drawing close to me as I draw close to you. Amen
How would you respond to the question: “What are the results of your salvation?” If you’re like most believers, chances are you would answer that question with one word: heaven. And it’s true that heaven is a promised future result of salvation. But, what about the here and now? Aren’t there things that happen in this life as a result of your salvation that have an impact on the way you live your life?
Paul writes in Philippians 2:12-13: “Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”
Paul says to “Work hard to show the results of your salvation…” He’s referring to how we live out our faith. You see, once we acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, obedience to God is the way in which we live out our faith.
I know you’re probably thinking, “but that is so hard to do...obeying Him in absolutely everything.” It is impossible if we try to do it in our own power and strength. But the scripture reminds us that while we have a responsibility, so does God. “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.”
Trust in His power. Ask Him to plant within you the heartfelt desire to do, think, and say what pleases Him.
Here’s a question to ponder: “What is my level of obedience to Christ?”
Sunday - Philippians 2:12-18
Monday - Ephesians 2:8-9
Tuesday - John 14:15
Wednesday - Psalm 51:10
Thursday - 1 John 1:1
Friday - Psalm 51:12
Saturday - Matthew 11:28-30
Lord, remind me as I go through this week of the desire and power you are giving me to obey you in everything I do. I love you, Lord. Thank you for loving me. Amen
“John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.” Matthew 11:2-5
“Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting…?”
How did they know to expect someone?
The Messiah’s coming was not a secret left in a corner, but the repeated revelation of God to His people in the Old Testament.
What were they expecting from the Messiah?
The Jewish expectation of the Messiah was of an earthly rule as King. He would make a difference through the restoration of the nation of Israel.
Jesus did make a difference, but it went way beyond any of their expectations. He restored sight…made the lame walk…healed the leper…gave the deaf their hearing…raised the dead.
What Jesus did for these He can do for you…
You see, (spiritually) I was…
Jesus makes a difference in my life everyday!
How about you?
Sunday - Matthew 11:2-5
Monday - John 9:1-41
Tuesday - John 5:1-15
Wednesday - Matthew 8:1-4
Thursday - Mark 7:31-37
Friday - Luke 7:11-17
Saturday - Ephesians 2:1-22
Prayer: Thank you Jesus for making a difference in me. Amen
What is God to you?
In Isaiah 12:1-6 the prophet sings the praises of God by declaring that God has come to save him and that God is his strength and his song.
I pray this is true for you as well...that you are experiencing the joy of salvation...that you are living in his strength...that God has given you His song to sing - the song of your salvation that only you can sing. We are to sing it to Him as well as to others.
“With joy you will drink deeply from the fountain of salvation! In that wonderful day you will sing: “Thank the Lord! Praise his name! Tell the nations what he has done. Let them know how mighty he is! Sing to the Lord, for he has done wonderful things. Make known his praise around the world. Let all the people of Jerusalem shout his praise with joy! For great is the Holy One of Israel who lives among you.” Isaiah 12:3-6 NLT
Who do you know that needs to hear your song of salvation? Who in your life needs to experience the same truth that you know and live?
Have you told them what He has done for you?
We have been charged with making known His praise around the world. We do that by sharing our song of salvation with others.
You may be thinking, I’m not sure how to sing my song. What comes to your heart and mind when you think about the Lord and how He saved you?
There’s your song...share it...sing it unto the Lord.
Sunday - Isaiah 12:1-6
Monday - Psalm 40:1-3
Tuesday - Psalm 18:2
Wednesday - Psalm 27:1
Thursday - Psalm 42:8
Friday - Psalm 9:2
Saturday - 1 Chronicles 16:11
Prayer: Father, thank you for giving me a song to sing - my song of salvation. Lead me to someone today with whom I can share your saving grace. Amen
In Luke 15 Jesus tells three stories about lost things. In each case it’s very easy to think that the point of the story is centered on the lost things: the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost son. However, if you listen to the heart of each message, you will hear the patient persistence of the one who is seeking or waiting for that which is lost to be found or returned to where it belongs.
The story of the prodigal son is about the restoration of a father and a son. The message is really more about the heart of the redemptive father. A father waiting patiently for his son to return. A father who offered grace...unmerited favor...to a son who had turned his back on him and wasted all that his father had given him. A father who ran to meet his son as he saw him walking on the road coming home. A father who loved him...clothed him...fed him...forgave him...celebrated his return as he welcomed him home.
Sounds just like our Heavenly Father who is waiting on His children to come back home, children who have rebelled against Him, choosing to live life on their terms and not under the shelter and guidance of His loving care.
Maybe you’ve drifted from where you know God wants you to be...maybe you’ve found yourself further away from God than you ever intended to be. If you’re ready to come home, there is good news. All you have to do is turn around and step towards Him and He will run to you...love you...cloth you...feed you...forgive you and celebrate your return by welcoming you home.
He’s waiting for you to take that first step.
Sunday - Luke 15:11-32
Monday - Luke 15:8-10
Tuesday - Luke 15:1-7
Wednesday - Luke 19:10
Thursday - Jeremiah 50:6
Friday - Psalm 119:176
Saturday - Luke 9:25
Father, thank you for loving me as you do. Thank you for forgiving me. Lord, you are my home. Amen
Jesus put an emphasis on relationships because He understood that the most powerful force in the world is a relationship. He made building unbreakable bonds with a few people the core of His strategy. It was effective. Just hours before the crucifixion, “Peter insisted emphatically, ‘Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.’ And all the others said the same.” Mark 14:31). That’s because people will do for love what they will do for no other reason.
Reflect with me about when your relationship with Jesus began. How did it start? How does this relationship impact your life? Has your relationship changed over time? Has He been faithful to you? Have you always been faithful to Him? Have you ever failed Him?
I believe there are several vital elements of a personal relationship with Jesus. It all begins by accepting His invitation. Jesus said in John 15:16: 'You didn’t choose me. I chose you…’. Along with accepting His invitation comes communication, trust, faithfulness, openness and obedience. Once we’ve accepted His invitation, there may be times in our relationship when we may falter in our communication, trust, faithfulness, openness and obedience to Him. But I have good news: Jesus is always ready and willing to restore us when we fail.
Jesus’ invitation to Peter to enter into a relationship was a simple statement of “follow me,” which he did for 3 years. But then after denying he had ever known Jesus, because of his failure, Peter ran and hid. Jesus found him and asked him 3 times, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter responded all 3 times, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.” Each time Jesus gave him instructions to “feed my sheep.” All of this was part of Peter’s restoration in their relationship. The last thing Jesus said to Peter was the same as the very first words He ever spoke to him …”Follow Me.” Jesus was telling Peter to go back to where their relationship began. A new beginning.
Do you need a fresh start…a new beginning, or maybe a simple reminder that your relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship you will ever have.
Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75,
Prayer: Jesus, I will follow you wherever you lead me. Help me to talk & listen to you, trust you, be faithful, open and obedient. Forgive me when I fail. Thank you for loving me. Amen
Have you ever tried to restore something? Maybe a piece of furniture or an old house or car. It can be hard, tedious work.
The word restore means to return something to its previous condition: to bring something back to an earlier and better condition. In order to truly restore something you have to know what it looked like before and how it was originally created to function. You may discover some things have changed over time and things may not work as they once did. You may have to take away things that were added and replace that which has worn out or is rotting away in order to restore it to its original design.
The same is true with our spiritual life. Over time we may have allowed things to be added that shouldn’t be there, or maybe we’ve simply neglected and drifted from God’s plan for our lives. We may have sin that we haven’t dealt with. When any of these elements are present in our lives, that’s when a restoration of our heart is needed.
There’s a process for restoration. First, there is recognition of our condition and the need for change. Second, there is repentance…confessing our sin and seeking forgiveness. Third, there is restoration. Restoration is always evidenced by transformation…change. Transformation is not simply a cosmetic change in outward attitude or behavior, but a rebuild...a reconstruct...a repair from the inside out that results in a change of heart.
“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.” Ezekiel 36:26-27
My question to you today is who do you know that needs restoration?
Sunday - Psalm 51
Monday - 2 Samuel 12
Tuesday - Ezekiel 36:26-27
Wednesday - Acts 13:22
Thursday - Proverbs 15:13
Friday - Psalm 51:17
Saturday - Psalm 23:3
Prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Amen. Psalms 139:23 NLT
Bro. Joe Metts