Believer Or Follower?

When it comes to your relationship with the Lord are you a believer or a follower? Some might ask what’s the difference between the two? Aren’t they basically the same? Well, yes and no.

A believer in Jesus Christ is one who has accepted Him as their Lord and savior, sought forgiveness of their sins, attends church and tries to live a Christian lifestyle. Some might ask, “Isn’t a follower of Jesus the same?” Let me explain the difference.

The difference in the two is separated by one’s actions and not just mental agreement or belief that Jesus is Lord. As I said above, the believer attends church and tries to live a Christian lifestyle. But that’s as far as it goes for them. The follower, however, does all of those things but also commits to action in following the Lord. They serve at church, give of their time to others, give money above and beyond their monthly tithe offering. In other words they are “doers of the word and not hearers only.” (James 1:22-25)

In today’s culture, with our busy schedules, parental responsibilities and attending church it is easy to get caught up in the world’s view of what it means to be a Christian. Our mindset is more on getting things done and getting more from this worldly kingdom than giving for heaven above. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with having a nice car or home or even a large income but it’s what you do with those things that count in heaven.

In the end God looks at the heart of man and what he deems valuable. Don’t be one who stores up treasures on earth where moth and rust decay, but, store up your treasures in heaven and there your heart will be also.

If you are truly following Jesus then you are following your heart and laying up your treasures in heaven where it really counts. Your service, love, and action to others will be accounted for on judgment day and your name will be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

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Do You Have A Plan for Prayer?

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)

Prayer pursues joy in fellowship with Jesus and in the power to share his life with others.

And prayer pursues God’s glory by treating him as the inexhaustible reservoir of hope and help. In prayer, we admit our poverty and God’s prosperity, our bankruptcy and his bounty, our misery and his mercy.

Therefore, prayer highly exalts and glorifies God precisely by pursuing everything we long for in him, and not in ourselves. “Ask, and you will receive . . . that the Father may be glorified in the Son and . . . that your joy may be full.” Unless I’m badly mistaken, one of the main reasons so many of God’s children don’t have a significant life of prayer is not so much that we don’t want to, but that we don’t plan to.

If you want to take a four-week vacation, you don’t just get up one summer morning and say, “Hey, let’s go today!” You won’t have anything ready. You won’t know where to go. Nothing has been planned.

But that is how many of us treat prayer. We get up day after day and realize that significant times of prayer should be a part of our life, but nothing’s ever ready.

We don’t know where to go. Nothing has been planned. No time. No place. No procedure. And we all know that the opposite of planning is not a wonderful flow of deep, spontaneous experiences in prayer. The opposite of planning is the rut.

If you don’t plan a vacation, you will probably stay home and watch TV. The natural, unplanned flow of spiritual life sinks to the lowest ebb of vitality. There is a race to be run and a fight to be fought. If you want renewal in your life of prayer, you must plan to see it.

Therefore, my simple exhortation is this: Let us take time this very day to rethink our priorities and how prayer fits in. Make some new resolve. Try some new venture with God. Set a time. Set a place. Choose a portion of Scripture to guide you.

Don’t be tyrannized by the press of busy days. We all need mid-course corrections. Make this a day of turning to prayer — for the glory of God and for the fullness of your joy.

Specific Prayers Creates A Lighter Load


Praying specifically about a problem creates a lighter load. Many of our anxieties are threatening because they are ill defined and vague. If we can distill the challenge into a phrase, we bring it down to size.

It’s one thing to pray, “Lord, please bless my meeting tomorrow.”  It’s another thing to pray, “I have a conference with my supervisor at 2:00 PM tomorrow. She intimidates me. Would you please grant me a spirit of peace so I can sleep well tonight? Grant me wisdom so I can enter the meeting prepared. And would you soften her heart toward me and give her a generous spirit? Help us have a gracious conversation in which both of us benefit and your name is honored.”

There! You have reduced the problem to a prayer-sized challenge! As God’s children we honor him when we tell him exactly what we need.

Our Life Hangs on the Word of God


The Word of God is not a trifle; it is a matter of life and death. If you treat the Scriptures as a trifle or as empty words, you forfeit life.

Even our physical life depends on God’s Word, because by his Word we were created (Psalm 33:6; Hebrews 11:3) and “He upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).

Our spiritual life begins by the Word of God: “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth” (James 1:18). “You have been born again . . . through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Peter 1:23).

Not only do we begin to live by God’s Word, but we also go on living by God’s Word: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3).

Our physical life is created and upheld by the Word of God, and our spiritual life is quickened and sustained by the Word of God. How many stories could be gathered to bear witness to the life-giving power of the Word of God!

Indeed, the Bible is “no empty word for you” — it is your life! The foundation of all joy is life. Nothing is more fundamental than sheer existence — our creation and our preservation.

All this is owing to the Word of God’s power. By that same power, he has spoken in Scripture for the creation and sustenance of our spiritual life. Therefore, the Bible is no empty word, but is your very life — the kindling of your joy!

It’s Monday. Don’t Panic.

Today is Monday as you already know and for some this day represents the stress and strain of living another week with meager provision or going to a job you dislike very much.

In previous posts I’ve talked about the effect Monday has on people and how they react. An example of biblical panic is Peter in the boat when a storm comes up. Like the rest of the crew he thinks they are going sink and drown because of the storm. What he was doing was looking at his circumstances.

Then there is Jesus who is asleep on the boat seemingly with not a care in the world. Some would say, “Yeah, but that was Jesus, the king of kings.” That may be true but the point here is He had faith in His father to take care of the problem of the raging storm. After being awakened by Peter, He calmed the storm and then looked him and the rest of the crew and said, “Oh, ye of little faith.”

Do you have little faith this morning? Remember the example above and trust the father to take care of your problems and circumstances. Keep your focus on God and not what you face. Why? Because God has said so many times in His word that He loves you and will provide everything you need.

So, don’t worry, be happy.

Obeying the Golden Rule

Matthew 22:36-40

Most of us have known the Golden Rule since childhood: We are to treat others the way we want to be treated. And for young children, this standard seems to make sense. It is logical to share if you want others to share with you, and to avoid hitting because you wouldn’t like being on the receiving end.

But as life continues and relationships become more complicated, this simple ethical code doesn’t always seem to fit our circumstances. For instance, imagine being wronged by your business partner. How can you treat him respectfully when he has taken advantage of you? What if a kind, forgiving attitude opens the door for you to be hurt again?

God’s command nevertheless does apply in this situation. Obedience can be challenging, however, because when we are hurt or mistreated, our instinct is to retaliate. This might take the form of speaking badly behind a person’s back or showing subtle disrespect to his face. Human nature wants revenge for wrongdoing. In fact, we are unable to do anything different on our own.

Thankfully, as believers, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who enables us to forgive. So while our own strength is insufficient for a godly response, we have the option to obey through the Spirit.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). Are these characteristics evident in your interactions with others—even with people who are difficult to love? Ask for the Lord’s supernatural strength so you can respond correctly.

The Start Of Another Week

I am back from recovering from a flu shot. Some of you might think that a pretty lame excuse for not posting in my blog. Well, friends, let me tell you that as you get older the impact the flu shot has on your body is significant. So, now that I am rested and feeling better I am back to posting.

Today is Monday and the start of another week. If you’re like me, when you woke up this morning you probably started thinking about all of the things you have to do. Not only today but the rest of the week. OK, so your busy taking care of business and providing for your family but what about the spiritual side of your life? Have you planned any time in your schedule this week for reading the bible and praying?  Figuring out how to serve the Lord along with your other activities is important too.

In tomorrow’s post I am going to ask the question, “What have you done with the life God has given you?” I would venture to say that question might cause a number of us to stumble but the importance of the question can’t be overstated.

Until tomorrow, have a blessed day.