Monday, March 26, 2012
Self is also hard to recognize. In fact, Self is so good at disguising itself, you can act selfishly and then deny that you're acting that way! Here are some ways to unmask Self so you can identity him.
1.Self wants to exalt itself. (Luke 14:11). It loves to be in charge and craves attention.
3.Self is mostly interested in being comfortable. (Luke 9:57-58). Jesus often calls us to do uncomfortable things, and Self doesn't want to do them.
4.Self is easily offended. (Matt. 15:12). It gets offended at the smallest things.
5.Self says "this is mine" instead of "this is God's." (Mark 10:21-22) It is unwilling to give to God.
6.Self refuses to do God's will. (Matt. 21:28-31). It will say, "No one is going to tell me what to do!"
Now you know why Jesus said you must deny yourself. The only way to stop Self from controlling you is to nail him to the cross every day. By an act of your will, you tell him, "I'm not listening to you. I'm going to follow Jesus today!"
Monday, March 19, 2012
2. God will give you a new reputation. Joshua 5:9 says, "Then the Lord said to Joshua, 'Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.'" What does that mean? After they had left Egypt, the Egyptians had mocked them for wandering in the wilderness for so long. They probably said, "Israel has no vision. They don't know where they're going!" (See Ex. 14:3). The Egyptians didn't realize that God was leading Israel by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. The timing wasn't right for them to enter the land. But now that they had crossed the Jordan, God says, "I'm now vindicating you. I'm removing the reproach of the Egyptians. You are now in the land I have given you!"
3. God will give you new provision. God stopped sending manna to them on the day they started eating from the land (Joshua 5:12). By entering the Promised Land, God gave them something much better than what they had been eating. Now they had more food and a better variety.
4.God will give you a new protection. Joshua saw a man with a sword and asked who he was. It was the Angel of the Lord who said, "I indeed come as the captain of the army of heaven" (Josh. 5:14). The Angel never appeared to them in the wilderness, but as soon as they entered the Promised Land, he shows up to assure Joshua that he now had greater protection.
Have you entered the Promised Land or are you still wandering in the wilderness?
Monday, March 12, 2012
Monday, March 5, 2012
The king decided to open up the feast to everyone. He sent his slaves out on the streets to invite strangers to the wedding feast. This was unheard of! Kings only invited prestigious people to events like this, but this king invited everyone--including evil people (Matt. 22:10). Just imagine all the thieves, murderers, and prostitutes at this feast to honor his son. This shows that God loves everyone and wants every person to be saved, no matter how evil they may be.
In those days when a wedding was held, the host bought a wedding garment for each person to wear. It was a free gift to the invited guests. All the person had to do was put it on, which showed honor and respect for the person being married. This man had no excuse because he refused the free gift from the king. The interpretation is the wedding garment was "the robe of righteousness" (61:10). He was at the feast just to get the free food and had no interest in honoring the son. Many people today want to go to heaven to get the free food, but have no interest in living for the Lord. On Judgment Day, they will be like the man who refused to wear the wedding garment.