Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
Get all the Soul Foods online @:http://www.olivebranchministries.us
Our Valuable LifePt.1
Matthew 10: 29-31: "Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. 30. "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31. "Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Matthew 6: 25-34: "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26. "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27. "Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28. "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29. "and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30. "Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31. "Therefore do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' 32. "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Jeremiah 1:5, 29:11: 5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.''Ö11.For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
I think these are very powerful Scriptures. They tell us how important we are to our Heavenly Father. God loves us and wants nothing but good for us. This warms my heart.
God loves me, He knows me. He knows how many hairs are on my head!
That really speaks to me. It warms my heart, fills it with joy and peace. It does not give me the joy associated with happiness, but that deep down spiritual joy that the enemy cannot take away from me. Spiritual joy, joy that does not come from my emotions or intellect, joy that does not come from how my life is going right now, but joy unspeakable.
Sometimes, we let that joy be swamped by our life. Not only attacks by the enemy, but also just the routine of living our busy life. Many of us are really going through a hard time right now. Lost jobs, decreased income, the uncertain economy. Recently we had some sever flooding in our area, and many lost homes and property and some lost lives. But many of us have allowed our lives to become so full, we loose sight of the important things. We get so busy with work, school, children, sports or hobbies, that we forget that God put us here for a purpose, and when we know that purpose and fulfill it, we have that joy unspeakable. If you look at our Scriptures again you will see several important facts. Biblical facts that cannot be discounted, put away, or ignored.
The first one is that we are important to God. God knows everything there is to know about us, even down to the number of the hairs on our head! So donít think God does not know what you are going through. Nothing takes God by surprise. He is not sitting in the Heavenly places, in the great throne room and all of a sudden looks down and says, "Oh, whatís that happening with the Smith family. I didnít realize he had lost his job and they were about to loose their house. Why didnít someone tell me?" God knows exactly what you are going through at this exact moment! He knows when a sparrow hits the ground, so believe me, He knows what you are going through.
The second thing is He cares about what you are going through. If you look at our second scripture it says in verse 26, "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" Verse 30, ""Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"
1 Peter 5:7: casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
God cared enough to send Jesus to die for you. Believe me, He is aware and cares for you.
We donít need to spend time worrying about what is wrong in our life! Why? Because God plainly told us that is his job. It is his job to handle and carry our worries. Did you know it is an actual sin to worry. Because you are in essence saying to God Almighty that He is not big enough to solve your problems. When we worry and fret we are actually telling God that we know He is there but we donít trust him to really be our problem solver. Had you ever really sat down and thought about that!
Yes, but "Iím just a worrier. I have to really try to solve my own problems, they are mine after all. I know God is our there, but Ö."
Look at verse 27 in Matthew 6: "Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? Worry does not pay bills, it does not buy clothes, it does not pay the house payment, it does not fix you marriage, and it will not fix your children. So what good does worry do? Absolutely Nothing! It fact it only causes harm. You loose sleep, are irritable, make plans without consulting God or make decisions that are not Godly. Worry causes you to get in too much of a hurry. We need to remember we are to wait on the Lord, and God does things in His time not ours. Yes, many times we need answers now, and it seems God has not shown up. Instead of continuing to worry, spend time with Him and find out how you missed it. Often we think God did not show up when we needed Him, when in reality we were not "spiritually sensitive" enough to hear the answer when it came. I know in my life many times the answer was not what I thought it would be and I almost missed it and other times I did miss it. Thank God, He is so loving and merciful, that He fixes our messes when we do miss Him.
Stop right now and ask yourself these questions.
Do I really believe I am important to God?
Do I really believe God knows what I am going through?
Do I really believe God is going to help me through this?
You see, many times we have heard things taught so much that we can repeat them, quote the verses but not actually believe them in our heart. This is what I refer to as "head knowledge." I know what the Word says, but when it really gets down to the "nitty gritty", I donít really believe in my heart God will help me.
I want you to stop right now. Clear your mind of everything you have ever heard and really think about what I am about to say. This may insult some, but it is the bare truth. You are not spending enough time in fellowship with God.
"But I go to church!" "I read my Bible." "I watch really good preachers on Christian TV."
That may be true, but the only way you can learn about who God is and what He means to you is to spend time alone with Him. You probably spend more time with your family and friends than you do with God. Hard to hear and Hard to do.
We need to realize God , our relationship with Jesus our Lord and Savior is the most important relationship we will have and it is the one that should be the number one priority in our lives.
Stop right now. If what I have said to you resonates in your heart, then stop right now and say this prayer.
"Father God, I ask you to forgive me of the sin of worry. I know that my life is in turmoil right now, and I am asking you to help me straighten it out. Lord, give me a hunger for you, a hunger that will not be quenched, so that I will search for you and find you and know you intimately. Father, help me understand your Word when I study it, open the eyes of my understanding so that I can receive from your Word and learn. This way my faith will grow as I spend time with You and Your Word. I know you care for me and help me to recognize the times that I take back my problems from you and try to solve them myself. Show me these times, so that I can repent and give my problems back to you.
Help me to recognize your answers when you send them.
Thank you for your goodness, love, and mercy toward me.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
This brings me to my last point.
God has a plan and a future for each of us. We are not just here on this Earth to populate it, use its resources and then die when our time comes. We each have a purpose and we will not have that unspeakable undeniable joy or peace until we each search and find out what our individual purpose is.
One definite purpose we have is to glorify God in all we do. It is that simple. As you go through this next week, stop occasionally and ask yourself if what you are doing, or saying glorifies God. You will really be surprised at the answer.
We will discuss this more in part 2.
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.