Today's lesson is meant to encourage those who are struggling and wondering why GOD hasn't brought you to the place you had envisioned. We must remember that we who are in CHRIST JESUS are not our own anymore, we have been bought with a great price, HE gave HIMSELF, HIS very life for us so that we could be saved from eternal damnation. We owe everything to HIM and we must trust HIM knowing that HE will ALWAYS do the right thing for us, and that HE sees the big picture, the things that we cannot. So we trust and obey and know that HE IS GOD and HE IS FAITHFUL! I pray that each one of you is blessed and encouraged as you read this week's lesson that The LORD placed upon my heart to write.
Galatians 6:9 "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
I recently heard about a 35 year old single woman, who had a very promising career. The job paid well, it offered great benefits and there was room for advancement. However, GOD began dealing with this woman's heart to quit this job, because HE had something else for her to do. Very cautiously she began to pray about it and seek The LORD to make sure that it was GOD bidding her to do this, and soon after she left the job. Instead of being upset about it, she was excited wondering what greater things GOD must have in store for her.
Six months went by, she could not find another job, so she began baby sitting in order to earn money while she was on another job quest. A year went by, still babysitting, no job. Finally after two years she began to be discouraged and while talking to a friend one day, she said, "You know, I really thought GOD had a better paying job for me, but here I am two years later only babysitting. I'm trying not to feel this way but I feel a bit cheated by GOD." However, she did not get bitter, instead she just kept praying and talking to The LORD about it.
Some time later, she went to a home to babysit some children so their parents could go out together alone. She had made a casserole for the children for dinner and brought it with her. As she stepped inside, The LORD opened her eyes so that she could see what HE was seeing...something she had never seen before. She saw the deep gratitude in the mother's eyes as she saw the casserole for her children, she had been so busy at work that she had not been able to make them anything wholesome. Then the children ran up to her excited and wanted to know what Bible story she was going to teach them tonight, and began recanting the one she had told them before. Then she realized that GOD had given her countless opportunities with all the children she had babysat for over the past two years and HE had used her to instill HIS Word inside their hearts and minds. She realized that she was helping the mom's who were so busy trying to help make money for their families and helping marriages so that couples could go out and have time together. She realized that she had not been cheated by her GOD at all...SHE HAD BEEN CHOSEN!
Everything changed, and her outlook was totally different with this revelation from The LORD. GOD had given her an amazing task of molding these young minds toward HIMSELF. It was an honor. Some months later, for whatever reason, the young woman was in a car accident and GOD called her home. She went HOME doing what GOD had called her to do. What HE had chosen her for.
The impact of her life, and what she taught all those children, will live on here even though she isn't here anymore. Perhaps many of them will come to CHRIST because of those seeds she planted inside their hearts. Can you imagine, what would have been lost had she, out of fear refused to obey The LORD and quit her job? The reward lost.
GOD knew she would not be on this earth much longer, she did not, but in her obedience she finished well! I want to finish well, don't you? See, GOD'S idea of success is not in how many zeros are in our pay checks, or what title we go by. It is not in the house that we live in, or how popular we are, or what kind of clothing we wear. It's not about how we look, or how much property we own, GODS idea of success is how obedient and faithful we are to HIM.
To the world, this woman must have seemed crazy. Working so hard on her education, finding the perfect job, and then leaving it to babysit. To the world that was not success at all...but oh what a different story to GOD!
When she left this world, that job could not help her, the only thing that remained was what she did in obedience! That was her legacy. She glorified and honored GOD with her life.
I want to encourage you today, if you are going through a hard time, you thought things would look up, get better, you thought that GOD had something exciting in store for you...and satan would have you believe that you have been cheated by GOD...but you have not been cheated...if you are in obedience with what GOD has told you to do...no matter how hard it is, even if you can't see what the point is...I repeat, YOU HAVE NOT BEEN CHEATED..YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN!
Remember in GOD'S WORD the account of Jospeh? He was sold by his brothers, made a slave, then falsely accused, put into prison...NOT CHEATED...CHOSEN...
We know that those years as a slave and in prison he was learning the Egyptian language and in training and he kept his integrity and later GOD placed him second in command over all of Egypt!
What about the Three Hebrew Children...thrown into a fiery furnace because they would not bow down to an idol...not cheated...CHOSEN! The LORD was in the midst of the fire with them and they were not hurt, the smell of smoke was not even on them. GOD was glorified!
What about Daniel, thrown into a den of hungry lions because he would not stop praying to GOD...not cheated...CHOSEN...GOD shut the mouths of the lions and they did not harm him...but later they did eat the people who threw him in!
Remember Stephen? He was stoned to death for preaching the truth about JESUS CHRIST...not cheated...CHOSEN!
And Saul...he persecuted the ones who had accepted JESUS, he had them killed, even held the coats of the men who stoned Stephen, but one day on the road to Damascus, he had an encounter with JESUS CHRIST that changed Everything...The LORD changed his name to Paul and he became a great evangelist teaching the truth about JESUS, that HE is the only way to GOD and to Heaven, he was beaten, hated, stoned, (The LORD saved him from death) he was put into prison, shipwrecked, starved, all for the sake of CHRIST... was he cheated? NO...HE WAS CHOSEN!
What about John blinded by those who hated JESUS and John's message about him, he was exiled on the Isle of Patmos and left to die...but GOD gave him the REVELATION! He was not cheated...He was Chosen!
All the nameless people who have suffered for the cause of CHRIST...they have not been cheated...they have been CHOSEN...
and the GREATEST example of all...
JESUS CHRIST...Despised, rejected, beaten, abused, hated...not cheated...CHOSEN!
Over and over...again and again GOD IS FAITHFUL!
For those of you who do not yet believe...please think about this for a moment. These people who had much before, chose to lose their life for the sake of CHRIST, because of the change HE made in them...and in return they gained ever lasting life in HEAVEN! They were not cheated...They were chosen...and if you are doing what GOD has called you to do...you are not cheated but chosen as well.
You may be thinking, it's all coincidence...we are just on the planet and GOD doesn't plan out our lives...oh but HE does!
Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee"
Before you were formed in your mother's womb...HE knew you! Think about this:
Your great grandfather in all the 7 some billion people on the planet just happened to meet your great grandmother, and they had your grandfather. Then in all the 7 some billion people on the planet, he just happened to meet your grandmother and your father was born...then in all the 7 some billion people in the world he just happened to meet your mother, and out of the VAST miracle of conception, (without being to graphic) that one instance with seed meeting egg, out of millions...and you were formed and then born...you think that is all coincidence? No you are not here by mere chance...you are here because GOD thought you out...loved you...created you...everything about you...from the color of your eyes to how many hairs are on your head by which are numbered by GOD. JESUS said...
Luke 12:4-7 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
He knows everything about you because HE PLANNED YOU!
What we have in this life doesn't matter, things are nice to have, but not necessary. Everything we will leave behind one day...and the only thing we will have is what we did for GOD.
Will you die alone? Or will you have JESUS with you when you stand before GOD?
We are given the gift of life by GOD, created in HIS image and then placed here to make a choice. We can choose JESUS and choose eternal life, or we can reject the gift of GOD through JESUS and choose death, an eternity in hell...what will you choose?
The only way you can have JESUS go with you, is if you accept HIM here...then HE said that HE will never leave or forsake you...but HE will go with you all the way...even unto the end. Don't be cheated by this world and what it has to offer...it's only temporary...Choose JESUS and be chosen by GOD...and accept the gift of everlasting life through accepting HIS SON JESUS. It will be the best decision you will ever make...HE IS FAITHFUL!
Luke 12:8-9 "Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God."
Hebrews 13:5-6 " Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."
Deuteronomy 30:19" I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:"
GOD, who loved you so much, to plan every detail about you, did not want you to choose death because of your sin. HE is so Holy and Righteous that HE cannot be around sinfulness...so HE made a plan and sent HIS perfect SON to take your punishment on the cross...to die in your place so that you could life forever. JESUS came and fulfilled the law, living perfectly so that HE could redeem you back to GOD. When you accept JESUS as LORD and SAVIOR...HIS perfect righteousness is imputed to you, so that you are cleansed from all your past, present, and future sins and you stand before GOD sinless and pure and you are reconciled back to HIM in relationship by adoption through HIS SON. You are not of the flesh anymore...you are born of the Spirit through JESUS CHRIST! It is a perfect plan, but you have to believe it and accept it and trust JESUS for your soul, otherwise you will die and spend eternity in hell.
You can be sure of where you will spend eternity, if you choose JESUS. I pray today that you will listen to GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT and the truth and be saved! I love you all.
John 3:16 "For GOD so loved the world, that HE gave HIS only begotten SON, that whosoever believes in HIM should not perish but have everlasting life."
Thank YOU for YOUR plan of salvation. We could not save ourselves, but YOU came so that we might life. Thank YOU LORD for dying on the cross in my place so that I could escape the punishment of my sin, and instead inherit eternal life because of grace...unearned grace. Thank YOU for loving me that much and giving me a choice. Help those out there who are deceived to know the truth, and help them to accept YOUR SON and live...In JESUS name I pray...Amen.