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Be Mindful

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mindful: careful not to forget; paying close attention to; attentive

God is mindful of us, but help us, Holy Spirit, to be mindful of Him.

What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? (Psalm 8:4, NKJV)

And I wonder, “Why are people so important to you? Why do you even think about them? Why do you care so much about humans? Why do you even notice them?” (Psalm 8:4, ERV)

Be Real

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real: genuine, true, not pretending

And they that passed by reviled (taunted) him, wagging their heads and saying, You that destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself. If you be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

Likewise also the chief priests mocking him with the scribes and elders said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God. Let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God (Matthew 27:39-43).

Do you know what they were really saying to Jesus?

You’re not real. You are not who you say you are.

But that’s not true.

When Jesus told them that he came to save that which was lost, he did what he came to do (Matthew 18:10). Had he saved himself, you and I would have never been saved.

Jesus taught them about love and forgiveness. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you (Matthew 5:44). But he just didn’t teach with words. He also taught by example. During his crucifixion, they spat on him, hit him in the head with a reed and slapped him with the palms of their hands, but even while he was on the cross, he displayed love and forgiveness. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do (Matthew 26:67, Matthew 27:30-31, Luke 23:34).

He is not a fake, a hypocrite or a liar. He is the Truth (John 14:6). He isn’t like the scribes and Pharisees who said things, but didn’t do them (Matthew 23:3). Whatever Jesus told others to do, He did also. Whatever he preached, he practiced.

The world is tired of false prophets/teachers, counterfeits and fakes. They desire real and they are waiting on the ‘real’ you (and me). Jesus knew who He was/is. I am the Son of God. He knew why he was sent and he finished the work that his Father gave him to do.

May we desire to be real.

May we also discover who we are in Christ and not only do the works he did, but greater.

 

Let It Be

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Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her (Luke 1:38, NJKV).

God sent an angel to Mary.  Gabriel told her she was going to become a mother.  You shall conceive in your womb  (vs 31).  He also told her what she would carry and who He would become.  He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest  (vs 32).

All of this sounded good, but Mary had one question.  How can this be?  (vs 34).  How was she going to have a baby?  She was a virgin and she wasn’t married yet.  The angel explained to her who would do the work – the Holy Ghost (vs 35).  It wouldn’t be by her power or by Joseph’s might.  It would be by HIS Spirit.

The angel knew that what he told Mary sounded impossible so to build her faith, he told her about her cousin (vs 36).  Elizabeth was barren and too old to be a mother. No one ever thought she would have a child, but in three months she was going to have a son.

The impossible is possible – with God.

The angel said what God told him to say.  Now, Mary had to make a decision.  According to Luke 1:38, she decided to serve the Lord.  I am the servant of the Lord.  Mary had no idea what she was about to go through.  She didn’t know that she would have to leave her home, leave their families and flee to Egypt during the night to protect her son.  Even though Simeon prophesied that she would suffer as though she had been stabbed with a sword, she didn’t know that meant watching her son being mocked, beaten, spat on and crucified.  My point is this: Even though she didn’t have all of the details, she surrendered.  She trusted God.  She wanted what God wanted and she was willing to do whatever He commanded.  Her response to God was, Use meDo what You want, not what I want.

Maybe God has told you what you are going to do for Him and who you are going to become and just like Mary, you either looked at your past or your present condition, and wondered how.  How is this going to happen?  I don’t have a college degree.  I don’t have a spouse.  I don’t have that much money in the bank.  I don’t know anyone who could help me. I don’t speak very well in front of people.

But I will tell you what Gabriel told Mary.  The Lord is with you  (vs 28).  You don’t have to be afraid.  You were chosen for this.  What you are carrying and will bring forth is great.  What you must go through is going to save and deliver many.

Stop running.  Stop resisting.  Stop fighting God and let it be – according to His word.  Let it happen.  Stop trying to figure it out.  Stop thinking about yourself and think about those who are hurting.  Think about those who are bound.  Think about those who are not saved.  This isn’t about you.  Forget about your plans and find out what His plan is.  Make a decision.

Mary’s mind was made up. 

It didn’t matter that Elizabeth was old or that Mary wasn’t married.  God is able to perform what He promised.  No word from Him will ever fail.  If He said it, then He will do it.  All He needs from you is your obedience.  All He needs is a ‘yes’.  What has been hard for you is not too hard for the Lord.

Maybe you’re thinking about what happened the last time.  Like Simon, you tried and nothing happened.  We have toiled all night and have taken nothing  (Luke 5:5). You were disappointed.  You had enough.  You were even thinking about giving up.

But, try again.  Trust God again.  Nevertheless at your word, I will let down the net  (Luke 5:5).  Sometimes we have this picture of how the ministry, the marriage, the career, or the children should be, but let go of what or how you think it should be. You have to believe that what God wants to give you is better than what you’re holding onto.  Let it go and…

Let it be.

I Must Be

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I: self, the one speaking or writing

must: something that has to be done; something that is necessary or very important; required, compelled

be: exist; occupy a position; arise

Jesus and his parents celebrated the Passover every year in Jerusalem.  One year as his parents were leaving to return to Nazareth, they thought Jesus was with them, but he stayed behind.  After three days, they finally found him sitting in the temple among teachers, listening and asking questions.   When his mother told him that they were searching for him, Jesus asked, Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business? 

At the age of 12, Jesus understood ‘the business’ and when he began his ministry, he chose twelve businessmen (physician, tax collector, fishermen).  So it’s not surprising that when Jesus was talking to his disciples about true discipleship, he used words that they would understand – profit and loss.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  

In terms of business, profit means a financial gain.  It is the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent.  It is what you have left after  all the expenses are paid. In other words, there should be a return on your investment.  This is the reason why the man who traveled to a far country got angry with one of his servants.  He was going away and left his servants in charge of what he owned.  He trusted them with his business.  He assigned to one servant five talents, another two talents and another one talent.  He knew them that labored among him and he gave them according to their ability.  He knew what they were capable of.  He knew what they could do with what he had given them.  Two of the servants obeyed and worked while their master was away, but the third servant hid his lord’s money in the ground.  His lord was gone for a long time (Matthew 25:19), which means he was given enough time to use what he was given, but he didn’t use his time wisely.

When the man returned, each servant had to give an account of what they did with what they were given.  The servants that were given five and two talents made a profit.  They took what they had and gained more than what they started out with.  This brought their lord joy.  He then promoted them and gave them more  responsibilities because they proved that they could be trusted with a  few  things.  The servant who had less than the other two (one talent) only gave his master excuses (vs 24-25) and as he was speaking, he revealed what he really thought about his lord.  First of all, I don’t think he really liked him because he was a ‘hard man’.  (Sometimes you need someone who’s going to be hard on you).  Also, he didn’t serve out of love. You obey those who you love and there has to be a level of trust because you will never submit to what you don’t trust.  I don’t know how many years he had been serving, but in the end he proved himself to be unprofitable, wicked and lazy.  He was entrusted with something that was valuable, but because he didn’t treat it as such, that which was given to him was now given to someone else.  What a loss.

When you look at the life of Jesus, He did more in three years than some of us have done in the 20, 30 or 40-something years God has given us.  The reason is because he didn’t refuse to learn, he didn’t refuse to grow and he was obedient (Luke 2:46, 51-52) – and many have benefited and profited because of what He did.

There is nothing wrong with wanting nice things, there is nothing wrong with wanting better and there is nothing wrong with wanting to be successful, but the problem is we’re trying to have success without God and that’s not success.  That’s failure.  The Lord knows what things you have need of before you ask Him.  If you would use what God has given you, you will not want for anything.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you  (Matthew 6:33).

Think about all the things you are trying to obtain.  Count the cost.  Count the time you’ve wasted.  What will you lose trying to gain these things?  After spending precious time getting everything you want, what will you have left?  What will remain?  What benefit would it be to anyone for you to get everything you want only to lose you?  The Lord has need of you and you are more valuable than the things you are seeking after.

I count everything as loss compared to the priceless privilege and supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord [and of growing more deeply and thoroughly acquainted with Him—a joy unequaled]. For His sake I have lost everything, and I consider it all garbage, so that I may gain Christ  (Philippians 3:8, AMP).

We must be  about our Father’s business and not just talk about it.  We are here on the earth to be the light.  The devil wants you to be a light put under a bushel, but God doesn’t want you to hide or bury what He has given you.  We are to let our light shine before men that they may see good works and in turn glorify God.  The people have already heard. Now it’s time for them to see the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers cleansed (incurable diseases), the deaf hear, and the dead raised.

Let us be people who value his/her blessings and gifts from God and use them wisely.  When we do these things, we will be given more, but the person who does nothing with what God has given him, even the little that he does have will be taken away from him.

May we all be good and faithful servants.