Tag: pay attention

Pay close attention!

Scripture reading for March 6th: Hebrews 2, Psalm 46, Proverbs 15

Hebrews 2:1-4 “Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will.”

Speaking to believing Jews living in persecution, the writer of Hebrews called them (and us) to pay close attention to the Gospel Good News spoken by Jesus Christ and repeated from those who had heard Him and experienced the signs and wonders. God always confirms His Word with signs that follow to draw people to pay attention to Him and His heart of compassion, goodness, and grace. It’s easy to become cynical and skeptical if we don’t keep our focus on Jesus and His powerful Word. The Psalmist in Psalm 46 called people to be still and know that God was the great “I AM” and would be exalted among all peoples of the earth. We should be continually following Jesus and allowing His light to shine through us and His Good News to refresh weary bones!

Psalm 46:10-11 “”Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (Selah)

Prayer: Father God, thank You for revealing Yourself through Your Son Jesus Christ. Help me to always pay close attention to Him, listening to Your voice, and allowing the Holy Spirit to use me to share the Good News of Jesus and as You will, to be used in signs and wonders and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Be exalted, O Lord, in all the earth among all nations!

Proverbs 15:30-31 “The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones. The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.”

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Carried by the Holy Spirit!

Scripture reading for October 19th: Jeremiah 43, 44, 46, 2nd Peter 1

Key Scriptures: 2nd Peter 1:19-21 “And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

Peter, along with James and John, were eyewitnesses to the amazing event of the transfiguration. They saw Jesus transfigured in brilliant light along with Moses and Elijah and heard God’s voice, declaring Jesus as His beloved Son. But Peter told the believers that they had the Word of God delivered to them as well. No Scripture came from man’s will or imagination, but those who wrote were carried along by the Holy Spirit and the Word was God’s Word! We must pay attention as surely as Peter heard God’s voice! The entrance of God’s Word brings light to our darkness.

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your holy Word. I trust Your Word as Truth and the rule for faith and practice. Fill me with the Holy Spirit to rightly divide Your Word and preach it faithfully. Let the light of Your Word shine through me!

Jeremiah 44:23 “It is because you made offerings and because you sinned against the Lord and did not obey the voice of the Lord or walk in His law and in His statutes and in His testimonies that this disaster has happened to you, as at this day.”

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Possessing the full inheritance!

Scripture reading for April 2nd:  Joshua 14-17, Luke 17

Key Scriptures:  Luke 17:3-6  “”Pay attention to yourselves!  If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’  you must forgive him.”  The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”  And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.””  

Jesus was teaching His disciples about the need to keep their hearts free from offense.  It would require attention to their own hearts when brothers or sisters sinned against them.  These offenses must be dealt with in a timely manner in the day they happen (Ephesians 4:26).  To this teaching, the disciples cried, “Increase our faith!”  Jesus said that the faith needed was available in seed form.  It may appear small, like a mustard seed, but when they spoke to the problem, the problem would be removed.  Much like Caleb of old, ‘give me this hill country’ came from the seed of faith in God’s promises.

Joshua 14:10-12  “. . .And now behold, I am this day eighty-five years old.  I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming.  So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, . .”  

Faith Confession and prayer:  Lord, increase my faith daily that I may attentively guard my heart against offenses and unbelief!  Give me my full inheritance and renewed strength in old age to take possession of it!

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Spending time with Jesus!

Scripture reading for April 6th:  John 1

Key scriptures for over-comers:  John 1:36-39  “When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”  When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.  Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”  They said, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?”  “Come,” He replied, “and you will see.”  So they went and saw where He was staying, and spent that day with Him.  It was about the tenth hour.”

John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus by calling people to repentance and warning them of God’s wrath against sin.  As he saw Jesus, John identified Jesus as “The Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.”  (John 1:29)  Two of John’s disciples left him to follow Jesus.  Jesus asked them what they wanted from Him and they simply asked where Jesus was staying.  Jesus invited them to come with Him and spend the day!  What an amazing opportunity given to simple fishermen who were hungry to learn about Jesus!  Jesus is calling us to spend time with Him today!

Key observations for over-comers:  Relationships take time.  Spending time with Jesus is the best way to hear His words, know His ways, and catch His heart!  “Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips.  So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you.”  (Proverbs 22:17-19)

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An unexpected visit!

Scripture reading for April 8th: Luke 12:35-59

Don’t you just love surprises?  You get a letter from the IRS about an audit for last year’s taxes, and you are just thrilled!  Your long lost cousin and her 7 unruly children drop by for an extended visit in your 1200 square foot home, and heaven applauds!  Or maybe a large check comes in the mail, saying you have a refund because of overpayment–do you celebrate?  Or your favorite rich uncle drops by unexpectedly just to bless you and your family by letting you know that he’s put you in his will!  Unexpected events can happen to us at any time and whether they are a blessing or not depends on whether we are ready for what they bring with them!

Jesus warned His followers that His return to earth after the resurrection would be sudden and unexpected by many!  For some it would be the source of highest blessing and others it would come as a thief in the night!  Jesus told them a story (parable) about men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet.  They must be ready to open the door for him whenever he returned, even if it was late in the night.  The disciples asked Jesus if that story was for them or for everyone?  (Luke 12:41)

Jesus responded with another story that showed that they must pay attention.  Jesus wanted His followers to be faithful and wise managers, feeding and caring for those under their care.  He told them about the possibility of a long delay in his return and some who would mistreat those under their care and get drunk.  The master returned unexpectedly and then removed the servant and he lost his reward!  (Luke 12:42-44)  Those who know what to do and do not do it are going to be held to a higher standard than those who do not know.  (Luke 12:47-48)

What kind of experience will it be for you and your family when Jesus suddenly appears at your door?   He will hold each of us accountable for our application of His Word.  We will enjoy the sudden return if we are doing what we know is right or we will suffer great loss if we have neglected His business!    Today is the best time to make needed changes! For the faithful servant, the reward is out of this world!

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