Since the world has been civilized, there’s been folks pretending to be civilized. It’s sad, but true. If you are one who sees the best in others, be weary before fully trusting. It is more difficult these days to spot the fake or counterfeit. If you survived high school, then you know about “friends” who aren’t really your friends. The Bible tells us to watch out for counterfeits in our lives because they are here. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved”.
How do we survive this kind of life? Who do we trust? God gives us encouragement in verse 15 “stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you”. Knowing the truth within God’s Word tells us how to know the difference in real and counterfeit. Keep God’s Word in your heart!
Jesus gives us the attitudes that not only glorify Him but allow us to live successful lives. Just off the top of your head, I bet you can’t name the number one attitude to be! (positive?), (in control?), (authoritative?) These attitudes work well in business and leadership roles all over the world. The President of US has these qualities and needs them for his position. But they don’t even make the list where God’s concerned. God’s valuable attitudes of living include: poor in spirit, mourning, meek, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, and persecuted. How can anyone with these attitudes accomplish anything in life. I’m depressed even reading them. These people are the little nuns that run the half-way house for the homeless. These attitudes cannot produce success in our world. YOU’d be right! Jesus says when we have these attitudes, only then is GOD able to work through us. With God working through our empty, humble lives, amazing miracles can happen. We may not become a huge success in this world, but in Heaven, we will be given crowns of glory!
Choose the “be”attitudes for three weeks and see what a difference your life can be. Matthew 5:1-10
Being is the fact of existing; living thing. God created us, human beings to exist. Our purpose in life is to “be” what God wants us to be. He created us for a purpose. What is your purpose? Ask God and He will tell you. All the answers are in the Bible when we read and converse with God. “Be still and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world” (Psalms 46:10). Whether we participate or not, God will be honored. He made us, living things, to honor Him. Do you find yourself busy doing work for God? Stop. A. Moment. Be still and just praise God for letting you “BE”.
We have troubles, regrets, doubts, and fears in life that we carry with us. They are sometimes unforgettable and often unforgiveable. There are groups to join and people to talk with to deal with our issues, yet they remain with us. The only true help we have is in the living hope of Jesus. “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for us, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5). Jesus is our hope, our only hope, who makes our past disappear. Because Jesus was resurrected from the dead, we have hope for our own lives to die and become resurrected to new life. We can live hopeful instead of helpless with the love of Jesus.
Living with teenagers gives a new meaning to obey or obedience. Do they make it their daily goal to disobey? Some days I believe so. What about us? I have to stop and think as I stress the importance of feeding the dogs for the third time to my son, how many times does God tell me to do something over and over. I can tell my boys the importance of their obedience: they will be rewarded, praised and hugged and feel good about their accomplishment.
God, being the awesome Father He is, also gives rewards for obedience. It’s not material things we may be asking for, or could be if it is a need. It’s more important things that provide joy, peace and a loving heart. God talking to His Chosen People is the same as talking to us. (We are Chosen if we are His) “Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may LIVE and INCREASE and may enter and possess the land that the Lord promised on oath to your forefathers” (Deut 8:1). God has wonderful plans and promises for all His Children. He doesn’t save us just to sit around and be saved. He gives us gifts and abilities and thoughts to DO something for Him; something that will bring Him Glory. Romans 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. His promises for Ezekiel and the children of Israel are the same for us. We have several examples of producing fruit, which is a sign of growing and being productive. If your career is farming pecans, then you depend on the trees producing pecans. Of course some years produce more than others, but when a tree becomes diseased or too old to produce pecans, the farmer has to cut it down, burn it and plant another one that will produce. God wants us to grow in knowledge and grace and produce good fruit. If we don’t, or refuse, we are placed aside or cut away from the orchard. God is gracious and long-suffering and gives us time to be grafted in. God is the ultimate gardener and knows how to cultivate and graft to create the perfect flowers and fruit.