Bible verses to build your life on
Jesus said: “… whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock…” ~ Matthew 7:24
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God uses those who are faithful ~ example: John
You want to become a more bold servant of Jesus Christ? Meditate on these verses
a while ~ :) There's much insight in them!
"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you." ~ Matthew 10:16-20 [Notes: that last verse does not apply to those who do not stay in God's Word regularly. It is specifically talking to those who care enough about God's Word that they study it regularly, and proclaim it - to the point that many yell, scream and holler at them to get them to stop proclaiming God's convicting Word. A challenge to grow in boldness, yes? :)]
"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in Heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in Heaven." ~ Matthew 10:33 (Notes: the provision for repentance is included in that last verse, even if doesn't show clearly - for example, look at Peter, and how he denied yet Jesus restored him and used him mightily, as he walked in obedience.)
Ok, that was warm-up, and now here's the best part! :)
"Now it came to pass, when Jesus finished commanding His twelve disciples, that He departed from there to teach and to preach in their cities. And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, 'Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?' Jesus answered and said to them, 'Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: "The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them." And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.'" ~ Matthew 11:1-6
Notes: the passages Jesus quoted would have proved to John the Baptizer that He (Jesus) is/was the Messiah, and would comfort and confirm him, to help him stand by faith till his last breath. But, what Jesus then tells the crowds that were with Him is most insightful. Let's look at it:
"As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: 'What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: "Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You." Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist [baptizer]; but he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist [baptizer] until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.'" ~ Matthew 10:6-12
Did you see that? WOW! "more than a prophet"! "there has not risen one greater than John"! WOW! So, why did Jesus honor John in such a way? Maybe there's something key we can learn from his example.
And with that in mind, I want to look at a couple of passages that show what John's message was.
"But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." ~ Matthew 3:7-10
Notes: Gulp! That's some tough preaching! John wasn't nicely and politely rebuking the hypocritical religious leaders, but doing it quite boldly! He was lovingly and aggressively calling them for repentance - a style and level of boldness that is mostly lacking in this country today. Yet, John was personally trained by God in the desert for many years and that is the message that was needed to expose those false teachers for who they were, and to turn some of them and the people to repentance, and growing in daily obedience to God.
Another example of who John was:
"But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison." ~ Luke 3:19-20
Notes: How often do we boldly, yet lovingly, proclaim God's truth in a way that stirs up feathers, and conviction in the hearts of men and women around us? If we don't, then we ought to ask ourselves - are we salt-less? King Herod didn't want to hear that he was living in adultery with his brother's wife, but since that was the facts, God used John to proclaim it and expose Herod for the evil he was doing. How about us?
So, since John the Baptizer is an example of a life God used because he kept growing closer to Christ, and led a lifestyle that brought conviction on all who saw him - what is the next step we can/should take, to grow in that kind of boldness? ~ the thought for the day :)
And, to wrap up on a key Bible verse that captures a key life-principle of a faithful life that God can use, here is a verse in Matthew 13:
"For whoever has [and is faithful to put into action what he/she has], to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have [despises, ignores the truth he does know], even what he has will be taken away from him." ~ Matthew 13:12
** To what extent are we willing to let God have control of our life? And how far will we follow Him?
Take care with my prayers, till next time
~ a growing servant/life-slave of Jesus, SH