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25 For whoever wants to save their life[f] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
One of the greatest parts of the Bible is that it changes the way we think about life. To be first we have to be last, to receive we have to give, to win we have to lose. I mean, this is just crazy stuff that is sometimes foreign to us. Ultimately, we have to realize that this is the God breathed truth, and it should guide our every move. It amounts to absolutely nothing if we become the most famous person in the world, and yet we haven’t been saved through the grace of Jesus Christ. Everything else in the world is extremely small, when we are talking about the salvation of our soul. Jesus knew this the best, when He took upon Himself the sins of the world that He might save us all. He knew that to gain life He would have to lose it for our sake. It is sad is that sometimes we trade that gift of life, Christ died for, by investing all our time and energy in random things aren’t going to last. Jesus, in the verse above, is literally saying lose our life, for it will be gain to us in the long run. If you want to be saved from death, you may, just like Christ, have to endure through it. So as you live your life think about to how Jesus calls us to lose our life. I don’t know about you, but I am willing to lose my life if it means following after the One who gave His life for me. The Son of God gave His life for us, how can we not in turn give our lives to Him?
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. 24 Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. 26 Give careful thought to the[a] paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. 27 Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
Wow, this verse lays it out for real. Above everything guard your heart. Sometimes we can get in the habit of thinking that just because we are saved means we no longer have a battle on our hands. Granted, we do know Who will win, Who has won the battle, Who has provided a way that we might also be victorious. But the Bible clearly states that we will face troubles, John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” and in Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” A war is being waged for our soul. Yes, we have been saved through Christ, He has overcome the world, but we are still battling for our heart with the enemy. In Proverbs it says that everything flows from our heart. Our goal this year is to be a light, and the only way this is possible is if God’s Spirit is flowing through our pure heart. The enemy hates this because he knows if we get this, we will change the lives of people around us. We have to keep our hearts and minds pure as we look straight ahead to the prize our Father has for us. The enemy will try and steal the prize from us by robbing us of our pure heart. You see, a pure heart is how you are able to shine. You are not of the world/darkness, therefore you are able to shine the light of Christ. If you are of darkness you can’t shine to darkness, its that simple. If you let darkness creep in, it will cover the light that is in you, that God intended the world to see. I encourage you to read the verse above, again, and this time pray with your whole heart that you would fix your eyes on God, ask Him to give you a pure heart that you may be able to shine His light to dark world around us.
“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Recently I have been reading throughout the book of Matthew. This book like never before has been lighting up to me in all sorts of ways. I think part of the reason is that the more we read and understand the Bible, the more we realize that every verse is God breathed. I encourage you to experience this for yourself, the sooner you do this the sooner you will start to have an intimate relationship with the Lord. The verse above I read today, and it really stood out to me in a lot of ways. First, Peter had to get out of the boat and face his fears. Second, is that when He lost his faith in Jesus he began to sink. Third, Jesus saved him. In our own lives we often have many fears. For me, I fear sometimes that one of my family members will get taken from me someday, or that I could get cancer and die. These scary thoughts, and are not of God. When we begin to fear so much, we start to sink. But if we understand that we are Gods children, and have faith that whatever his will might be it is the best. We get separated by God sometimes by just staying in the boat, the safe place. I don’t know about you, but I want to walk on water. I want to do things for Christ that changes the world. I want to reach the full potential God has for me. It starts with extreme faith. Our faith in God gives us security to get away from our fears and go do whatever God may want. Keep the faith, press on to the prize ahead, and when you find yourself walking on water in the midst of a storm, keep your eyes on Jesus.
“The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city!” Joshua 6:16
Throughout this year we have been looking at how we can be a city light. It has been amazing to see God work in my life and in the lives others, to be inspired to shine His light. I was reading through my Bible and I stubbled upon this classic story of Joshua and the City of Jericho. Jericho was a very corrupt city, and God called Joshua to literally go in and proclaim the name of God to it. In fact, Joshua and His men walked around the city walls for seven days, praising God. On the seventh day they screamed out loud to God, and the walls of the city came crashing down. This evil, strong, and powerful city was now in pieces because of the power of God working through Joshua and his men. They were able to go into this dark place, and tear down its dark walks by just proclaiming the name of God. If we can understand this in our lives, there is nothing that God can’t do through us. If we begin to live in such a way that our life is a song that gives God all the glory, then we will be able to tear down the walls of our cities. God will be able to use our light, to revive the hearts of people trapped behind some of our cities darkest walls. But first, we have to come to the place where we are living and walking in complete faith. We have faith that our God can save our cities. Praise the name of God everywhere you go, seven days a week, and see what happens. Just like Joshua, God will begin to tear down walls.