Obedience Builds Character

Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord!” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. – Matthew 7:21

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Obedience to God is determined, not by words, but by deeds. Talking about character-building is easy; living righteously is far more difficult, especially in today’s temptation-filled world.

Since God created Adam and Eve, we human beings have been rebelling against our Creator. Why? Because we are unwilling to trust God’s Word, and we are unwilling to follow His instructions. God has given us a guidebook for righteous living called the Holy Bible. It contains thorough guidelines which, if followed, lead to fulfillment, abundance, and salvation. But, if we choose to ignore God’s commandments, the results are as predictable as they are unfortunate.

Do you seek God’s peace and His blessings? Then obey Him. When you’re faced with a difficult choice or a powerful temptation, seek God’s counsel and trust the counsel He gives. Invite God into your heart and live according to His commandments. When you do, you will be blessed today, tomorrow, and forever. Obedience leads to spiritual growth. Oswald Chambers correctly observed, “We grow spiritually as our Lord grew physically: by a life of simple, unobtrusive obedience.” When you take these words to heart, you will embark upon a lifetime of spiritual growth . . . and God will smile.

– Steve Arterburn

Believe and do what God says. The life-changing consequences will be limitless, and the results will be confidence and peace of mind. – Franklin Graham 

All true knowledge of God is born out of obedience. – John Calvin 

Obedience that is not motivated by love cannot produce the spiritual fruit that God wants from His children. – Warren Wiersbe 

It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. – Deuteronomy 13:4

Taking Responsibility

Some Christians are waiting for God to do what God is waiting for them to do…and that’s taking responsibility for our own actions as they relate to our spiritual growth. We have to be willing to be responsible, and not just pray for God to take care of it for us. Watch the video for more.

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Doing The Right Thing

Doing the Right Thing

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.  1 Peter 3:12 KJV

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Oswald Chambers, the author of the Christian classic devotional text My Utmost For His Highest, advised, “Never support an experience which does not have God as its source, and faith in God as its result.” These words serve as a powerful reminder that, as Christians, we are called to walk with God and obey His commandments. But, we live in a world that presents us with countless temptations to stray far from God’s path.

Each new day presents countless opportunities to put God in first place . . . or not. When we honor Him by living according to His commandments, we earn for ourselves the abundance and peace that He promises. But, when we concern ourselves more with pleasing others than with pleasing our Creator, we bring needless suffering upon ourselves and our families. Would you like a time-tested formula for successful living? Here is a formula that is proven and true: Seek God’s approval in every aspect of your life. Does this sound too simple? Perhaps it is simple, but it is also the only way to reap the marvelous riches that God has in store for you.

So today, take every step of your journey with God as your traveling companion. Read His Word and follow His commandments. Support only those activities that further God’s kingdom and your spiritual growth. Be an example of righteous living to your friends, to your neighbors, and to your children. Then, reap the blessings that God has promised to all those who live according to His will and His Word.

If we have the true love of God in our hearts, we will show it in our lives. We will not have to go up and down the earth proclaiming it. We will show it in everything we say or do. – D. L. Moody 

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, please help me honor you in everything I say and do today. Help me to live my life as if it were the only Bible someone will ever see. Amen

Malachi's Message

Steve Arterburn

The prophet Malachi brought a message of hope to a nation that knew repeated failure.  After being restored to their homeland, the Jews had forgotten the one who had delivered them.  We often make the same kind of mistake.  As soon as we overcome our pressing problems, we forget the one who delivered us from them’God.  Without a continued relationship with God, our hope of sustaining spiritual growth is slim at best.  You and I need to keep our eyes on God, the source and means for our continued spiritual growth.

God’s love to the people of Jerusalem and to us cannot be explained.  God knows the depth of your sin; he knows how weak you are; yet he still loves you.  There is nothing that you can do to lose this love that you never deserved in the first place.  God’s love has the power to heal all the broken places in your life.  Your failures, setbacks, and defenses cannot stop God from wanting to heal you.  This fact should give you hope, no matter how terrible your failures in the past.  He already knows about the anger, betrayal, addiction, lies’you’re not going to surprise him.  But it’s time you confess and seek his will for your life.

Are you willing to turn to him for healing and forgiveness?  He was patient with the people of Israel for hundreds of years, in spite of their sin.  In his grace, God patiently waits for you as well.  

The Business World

Steve Arterburn

The ‘rules’ practiced in today’s business world aren’t always the same as God’s rules, are they?  Are you getting caught up in the game, trying to get as much as you can’are you tempted to cheat others or not give them their fair share?  God will hold his men’you and I’accountable for this.  We must take responsibility if we’ve sinned this way.

Take for example a man in the Bible named Zacchaeus.  Zacchaeus’s hunger for riches drove him to take more than his fair share while he was collecting taxes from the Jews for the Roman government.  He was hated by his own people as an extortioner and a traitor.  But when Jesus reached out to him he changed dramatically. The book of Luke says,  ‘Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, ‘I will give half of my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have overcharged people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!’ Jesus responded, ‘Salvation has come to his home today” (Luke 19:8-9).

When you honestly reflect on your life, you should be careful to consider whether you have taken more than your fair share in your dealings’business or personal. If so, it’s your responsibility to face the greed, the fear, the anger, and the pride that led you to behave dishonestly.  Like Zacchaeus, true spiritual growth will be evidenced in practical ways.  I hope you’ll take those courageous steps today.