Daily Following



Daily Following Jesus



A Monday through Thursday Devotional


Inspirational Thoughts from Beth McLendon

___


Following Jesus


Monday May 9, 2016


Prayer is never a substitute for obedience.



Prayer without obedience shows

that God is not first place

in your life.


~


Prayer is important. Prayer is very important.

-

But prayer (which is speaking)

will not replace obedience (which is doing).


_


This idea is clearly illustrated in the Bible story about

the father with two sons.


Matthew 21:28-31a


The Bible story of Father with two sons


One son said he would obey, but didn't.


The other son said he wouldn't obey, but he did obey.


In the story a man had two sons.
He came to the first son and said,

"Son, go, work today in my vineyard."

The son answered and said, "I will not,"
but afterward he regretted it
and went.

Then he came to the second son and said likewise.
And the son answered and said, "I go, sir," but he did not go.
Which of the two did the will of his father?"

The answer was:

"The first."

Matthew 21:28-31a Basically taken from NKJV


Doing is more important than saying.


Jesus teaches us that what you say is not

as important as what you do.


What you do actually tells who you are.

What you do describes what is important to you.


Your values are represented by

your actions.


In John 14:23,

Jesus tells us that he has a way

of knowing

who really loves him.

Jesus says

that the one who obeys him

is the one who loves him.


If you have never given your life to Jesus, please consider visiting these two pages: 

Explaining Salvation  and  Salvation Prayer


If you have wandered away from God and

have not been obeying God,

please consider the following prayer:


Dear God,

I am not following You like I should.

Forgive me, Lord.

I need to draw closer to You.

Today I dedicate myself to You.

I commit myself to following You and Your Word.

Amen

Copyright © 2014 Beth McLendon of Inspirational – Prayers.com


The Secret to following the Lord

is continually

Drawing Closer to Him.


Tuesday May 10, 2016



Humility = Obedience to God

Pride = Disobedience to God



Moses was the most humble man on earth.

Numbers 12:3


~


Now the man Moses was very meek (gentle, kind, and humble).

Numbers 12:3a AMP



The Lord is calling His people

to seek godly humility.



Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

James 4:10 KJV

~

The humble shall see their God at work for them.

Psalms 69:32a TLB



Wednesday May 11, 2016


Respect

Obedience

Love


Respect, then Obedience, then Love:

This is the pathway that leads to being "right" with God.


~ ~ ~


There is a pattern - a path - that leads to being "right" with God.


First you must respect God.


As your respect for God grows, you realize that he is wise
and knows everything.

So if God knows everything, then his commands are good for me. Therefore, I want to obey God.


So secondly, you grow to seek to obey God.


Next, a person will begin to love God.

Loving God is the next step toward God.


Then the final step is deeply loving God.

(God wants our love for him to continually grow deeper.)


The next section is taken from my viewpoint
as a child, teen, and young adult


When I was growing up, everyone I knew respected God.

When I was growing up, most people tried to obey God.

When I was growing up, many people loved God.

When I was growing up, a few people deeply loved God.


__


Sadly, today more and more people are
falling away from God instead of growing closer to God.


When I was growing up, almost everyone respected God. That respect showed in lots of ways. For example:

  • No one I ever knew would have ever denied that God was real and that the Bible was true.
  • No one would have ever said that What the Bible called "sin" was not sin.
  • No one would have ever thought about taking the Bible out of the schools.
  • No one would have ever thought about complaining that the Bible was being read out-loud in school.
  • No one would have ever thought about making fun of God.

Today that is not true.

I know many people (famous people and people I know personally) who do not respect God.

Today most people do not respect God and the Bible.

That lack of respect for God is causing problems of a kind that I have never seen before.

I would agree with the following scripture found in the book of Judges:

Everyone was doing what was right in his or her own eyes.

Judges 17:6 and Judges 21:25

___


Obedience

When I was growing up most people tried to obey God

to one degree or another.


Today not only is there a tremendous lack of obedience to God and his Word by most people, but it is even to the point that Christians are laughed at and ridiculed for obeying God.


Love

When I was growing up, many people loved God,
and some people deeply loved God.

-

Take note that Jesus tells us that we cannot Love God
if we do not seek to Obey Him.
The Bible tells us that Obedience comes first.

John 14:23

- - -


Today I see only a few people who love God.

In fact, I've observed many people whose love for God
has grown cold.

I have seen the falling away of the church
that the Bible tells us about.

Below are some scriptures about the falling away.


You may as well know this too, Timothy, that in the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian. For people will love only themselves and their money; they will be proud and boastful, sneering at God.

2 Timothy 3:1-2a TLB


Matthew chapter 24 is also talking about the last days.

And because lawlessness will abound,
the love of many will grow cold.

Matthew 24:12 NKJV


Many people think that Jesus will not come back
for a long time - maybe never.

First I want to remind you that in the last days there will come scoffers who will do every wrong they can think of, and laugh at the truth. This will be their line of argument: "So Jesus promised to come back, did he? Then where is he? He'll never come!
Why, as far back as anyone can remember everything has remained exactly as it was since the first day of creation."

2 Peter 3:3-4 TLB


Also see 2 Thessalonians 2:3 which talks about the falling away of Christians in the last days.


~ ~ ~


This week, I urge each of us to get serious with God.


I urge each of us to stir up determination to
not only respect God, but to obey God.

And I urge each of us to take a look at ourselves and
decide where we are on the relationship path to God:

Do I Respect God?

Do I seek to Obey God?

Do I Love God?

Do I Deeply Love God?


Cling to your faith in Christ and
Seek to do what is right


Cling tightly to your faith in Christ and
always keep your conscience clear,
doing what you know is right.
For some people have disobeyed their consciences and have deliberately done what they knew was wrong.
It isn't surprising that soon they lost their faith in Christ
after defying God like that.

1 Timothy 1:19 TLB


Ask God how to be Full of Love


Oh, how kind our Lord was, for he showed me how to trust him and become full of the love of Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 1:14 TLB



Thursday May 12, 2016


Suggested Proclamation:


My life will declare my deep love for God.


- - -


The topic for this week is Following Jesus


In the Bible, Jesus talks about the need to follow Him.


Jesus told us to pick up our cross

and follow him.


The above command is found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.


For example:


Then Jesus said to His disciples,

"If anyone wishes to come after Me,

he must deny himself and

take up his cross and follow me."


Matthew 16:24-25


"Follow Him" means obey the words of the Bible.

"Follow Him" means that Jesus is not just your Savior, but he is also your Lord.


"Pick up your Cross" - the Cross represents a lifestyle.
It is a willingness to follow Jesus in every way.
It is a commitment to stay close to Jesus.

It is a firm commitment to refuse to go
where Jesus would not go and
the determination to go where he sends us.


It is not enough to make God the Lord of our Life - once.

we must make that decision daily.


Each of us has things in this world and people in this world

that have the potential to become more important to us than God.


Think about your life.

* Are you following Jesus?

* Are you going where he tells you to go and doing what he tells you to do?

* Are you avoiding the things he tells you to avoid?


In Luke 14:33, Jesus had some strong words about what it means to follow Him. Here is that verse in several different translations.


KJV  - So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

NKJV  - So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

New Century Bible  - In the same way, you must give up everything you have to be my follower.


Those are hard words.

God usually doesn't require a person to give up everything.

But as Christian adults, we are faced with the truth that God wants us to be willing to give up anything that God asks of us.

In John chapter six, Jesus is speaking to a crowd of people, Jesus is saying things that the people don't like. In verse 66, it tells us that many people turned away and deserted Jesus after they heard his words. Then starting in verse 67 of John chapter six, it says,

"Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, 'Are you going too?'

Simon Peter replied, 'Master, to whom shall we go?
You alone have the words that give eternal life, and we believe them
and know you are the holy Son of God.'"


Sometimes the words of the Lord are not what we want to hear. Sometimes, we read something in the Bible, and we don't like what it says.


A True Story
Illustration


Recently a friend of mine, named Linda, and I

were reminiscing about fond memories of our children.

Linda told me a story about her son, Michael, that happened when he was about three – years - old. Michael was staying with his grandmother for the afternoon.

During his stay, Michael got caught doing something naughty.

His grandmother said,“I don't think your mom would want you to do that. The Bible says that you have to mind your parents.”

Michael's eyes narrowed.

He put his little hands on his hips and began to stomp out of the room. As he was leaving, he mumbled, “I wish they would just rip that Bible page out.”

Copyright © 2012 Beth McLendon of Inspirational-Prayers.com


The above story was taken from our "Mother's Day Humor" Page.


Do you sometimes feel like Michael?

I certainly do.


But in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, it tells us that we have been bought with a price. We are not our own. We have been redeemed by our Lord Jesus.

There are times in our life when we come to a fork in the road, and Jesus is going in one direction, and we are tempted to look at the road that leads away from Christ.

At that point, we have a choice, just like Peter did in John chapter 6.


A Poem of Love


Who is the One Who is like no other?


I bow my head, express my needs, and call Him - Provider.

 

I open His Word, seek His guidance, and call Him - Teacher.

 

I encounter trouble, run to Him, and call Him - Protector.

 

I talk with Him, walk beside Him, and call Him - Friend.

 

I crawl into His lap, hug Him, and call Him - Daddy.

 

I fall down on my knees, worship Him, and call Him - Lord.


I raise my voice, sing His praises, and call Him - King of Kings.


Copyright © 2014 Beth McLendon of Inspirational-Prayers.com


The above poem is also found on Beth's Blog.


Inspirational Music



The music for this week is associated with the theme:

Drawing close and Following Jesus


The first song is a new one, and one that I especially like:


Meredith Andrews singing her song

"Draw me Nearer"


Lyrics found at the bottom of the page.



A Beautiful instrumental version of the traditional hymn

"Draw me Nearer"



Traditional version of the hymn

"Draw me, Nearer"

done the way many of us remember from years ago.



The Next Video is
Paul Wilbur singing a unique song called

"Draw me, Lord."




Song by Meredith Andrews

"Draw me Nearer"


For your nearness, Lord, I hunger.
For your nearness, Lord I wait.
Hold me ever closer, Father.
Such a love I can't escape.

For your nearness I am hoping.
For your nearness, Lord, I long.
Have no need of any other.
I have found where I belong.
Yes, I have found where I belong. 

So draw me nearer, Lord.
Never let me go.
Closer to your heart.
Draw me nearer, Lord.
Draw me nearer, Lord.

In your nearness there is healing.
What was broken now made whole.
Restoration in its fullness.
Lasting hope for all who come.

In your nearness I take shelter.
Where you are is where I'm home.
I have need of only one thing
To be here before your throne.
To be here before your throne.

So draw me nearer, Lord
Never let me go.
Closer to your heart
Draw me nearer, Lord.

Draw me nearer, Lord.
Never let me go
Closer to your heart.
Draw me nearer, Lord.
Draw me nearer, Lord.

And keep me here; keep me here.
There's nowhere else I rather be
So keep me here; keep me here.
There's nowhere else I rather be.
There's nowhere else I rather be.

So draw me nearer, Lord.
Never let me go.
Closer to your heart.
Draw me nearer, Lord.
Draw me nearer, Lord
Draw me nearer my Lord.

Songwriters
ANDREWS, MEREDITH FRANCES/FARREN, MICHAEL R.



Page first presented for the week of July 14, 2014

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