Motivated & Inspired By God’s Love For Us

When a new Christian begins work at a place known for its toxic employees, what advice would you give to him/her? When a man accepts the pastorate at a new church known for its short term pastors, what advice would you give to him? When sending missionaries off to the missions field, what advice would you give to them? Paul incorporated a lot of advice in this particular verse we are looking at today, to missionaries headed out, and away from his mentorship, and I believe that Paul’s words might also apply to us personally in our daily mission’s field.

DATE POSTED Saturday, 2022-07-02
WRITTEN AT: O Brien, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 16:13
TRANSLATION: Amplified Bible (AMP)

BIBLE TEXT: 13 Be on guard; stand firm in your faith [in God, respecting His precepts and keeping your doctrine sound]. Act like [mature] men and be courageous; be strong. 14 Let everything you do be done in love [motivated and inspired by God’s love for us].

APPLICATION: I have been blessed to serve at a church that sent off short, and long-term missionaries, and I have been blessed to serve on a short-term missions group sent to a country where the needs were great. Church leaders did an awesome job in ‘sending us off’ with their blessings and their prayers. But for the one who draws a blank on what advice to give such a group, I believe that you could easily adopt Paul’s words and be right on target. Some may choose to go on these trips for various personal reasons, but if we are truly going to represent God on a Mission’s trip where we intend to show the love of Jesus to those on the Mission’s field, and share with them all that God has done for you, then we must prepare our hearts and be willing to let God guide our footsteps, our words and our actions. However, if we try to speak the truth of God’s Word every day while on the trip, but our actions misrepresents what the people expect of Jesus, then their hearing will become blocked and their eyes will become very critical of our mission. In other words, our actions could become a stumbling block to the Gospel going forth to a people who need the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course this teaching very much applies to our daily lives also, for we meet family, friends, coworkers, restaurant and department store help that also need the Lord. Will they see enough of Jesus in us to convince them of what they are missing? In John 17:4, Jesus told the Father that He had completed the work that the Father sent Him to do and that God was glorified through His work. Can you commit to that kind of prayer at the end of each day, or at the conclusion of a Missions Trip? We may have had the best day, or we may have accomplished every goal set out by our Missions team leaders, but did we complete our tasks with a heart of love and represented the Master well? Finishing the work God gave Him to do wasn’t just an idea in His journal or a thought stirring in His mind. It was something Jesus did. Has God called you to teach Sunday school? Do it and stay with it until He leads you in a different direction. Has He called you to have a time of morning worship? Then do so. Has He spoken to you about spending time discipling your kids? Then do it. I believe the Lord wants every one of us to be hugely successful in the things of the kingdom. Be encouraged as you remember: His burden is easy, and His load is light. The only question is, will you stand fast? Let me encourage you to re-read the Bible verse we focused on today, and make it your aim to be on your guard, stand firm and always represent the One that sent you into the mission field to spread the Gospel. Be sure that your mission is aligned with the mission spoken of by Jesus. Know Jesus today dear friend, and allow Him to influence your life in every way so that you will represent Him fairly in all you do or say.

BLESSING(S) NOTED: What a honor and a privilege it is to tell the world about Jesus, and to show them through our actions, what it means to love Him and share His love with others who need Him!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, it is obvious that mere man will accomplish only man-sized efforts. Please impact the lives of those of us who strive each day to be Your representative here in our mission’s field. They need You oh Lord, not more of me. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You oh Lord, and use me to spread Your joy, Your love, and Your sweet communion with everyone I touch every day. For the believers reading this devotional, I pray that You would also pass this blessing on to them . For the unbeliever who may have happened across this devotional, I want to thank You for drawing them to learn more of You, but also ask that You would humble them to realize that it is only the blood of Jesus that will wash away their sin and ready them for eternity in heaven. Until we all leave for our eternal home, please bless us with boldness and a commitment to stand firm in our faith and committed to share it with others in Jesus’ name! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

The Difference – Babies vs Adults

I hope that you won’t skip over meditating with me on this devotional, based on the subject that I chose! But Paul used this analogy to help explain the difference between Christ-Followers Right inside the churches that he started, and helped to grow. In fact, I believe that there is a lot we could meditate on regarding our own maturity as we study these verses today, so hang in there with me!

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2020-09-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Hebrews 5:11-14
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 11 There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. 12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.[c] You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. 13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right.14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

OBSERVATION: I hope that you won’t skip over meditating with me on this devotional, based on the subject that I chose! But Paul used this analogy to help explain the difference between Christ-Followers Right inside the churches that he started, and helped to grow. In fact, I believe that there is a lot we could meditate on regarding our own maturity as we study these verses today, so hang in there with me!

APPLICATION: It’s easy for us to look at other church members and evaluate how they are doing in their Christian walk, but in reading God’s Word, I believe He intended for us to look inward and evaluate our own weaknesses. When we do this, we could establish goals and timelines on when we hope to see a better realignment with God’s expectations for us. You see, we are very much aware of what God expects from us, for He left that for us on the pages of His Book – the Bible. The greatest challenge is to acknowledge that we have not attained, for I don’t believe that there are adults that will walk through your church doors with a pacifier in their mouth, because they want you to identify them still as an infant in their faith. However, I believe that one of the hardest things for an adult to do, is to acknowledge:
1. That they are ignorant about, or at least lacking in, their knowledge of the Word of God. Having worked in the business world, where my employer was under the close scrutiny of three or four government regulating bodies, I quickly found that it was not acceptable to tell an examiner/auditor that we just didn’t know about that law being referenced by them. Ignorance was no excuse for the law! But what will you say to God after years of knowing Him? Did you have a Bible? Can you read? Did you ask a Bible teacher or pastor to help you understand? Did you make it a priority to read the Bible regularly, and seek God constantly for wisdom to understand the Word?
2. That they are related to excellent Bible teachers, so they didn’t see the need for them to also be an expert in the Bible? Friends, if you know God, then you should personally desire to know Him more intimately. The Bible is a full account of God, and His Son Jesus. Study the Book and you will grow to know the God of the Book.
I am convinced that the more we know of God, the more excited we become about wanting to obey His commands, and follow His instructions like an obedient child. As you do this, the pastor and Sunday School teacher will pass over the basics (milk) and teach you more deeply about the Master. As His truth begins to bubble over in your life, others will want to know about your God, and it is then that you will begin to teach others. If you are to grow and mature in the Word of God, it will be up to you to commit and desire it.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for saving my soul and thank You for providing Your Word that is filled with all Truth and knowledge for the child of God. Please Lord, speak to Your church again today through this devotional, and again today as church doors open for regular worship services. Help Your children become serious about their relationship with You – serious enough that they will want to know everything You provided in Your precious Word for their good. Oh that we all may be reminded from this Scripture today, that saying ‘Yes’ to Jesus, begins a life of growing to be more like You. We mature in this as we learn more about You, and more about what You desire of us. This is all covered in the Bible, so may we commit afresh to dig into the Word daily and become more aware of what You left for us to learn. As we mature, fill us with a new joy to share our faithful Lord with everyone we know. Thine be the glory, for ever and forever. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

How To Mature In Your Christian Walk

In chapter 1, Peter had challenged us to holy living. In these verses today, we are given direction on how we might achieve this call to holy living. I believe you will find this list of things to be just as applicable today, as they were at the time that Peter wrote them, so these are some things that we must be very mindful of.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Peter 2:1-3 (TPT)

TEXT:  So abandon every form of evil, deceit, hypocrisy, feelings of jealousy and slander. In the same way that nursing infants cry for milk, you must intensely crave the pure spiritual milk of God’s Word. For this “milk” will cause you to grow into maturity, fully nourished and strong for life — especially now that you have had a taste of the goodness of the Lord Jehovah and have experienced his kindness.

OBSERVATION:   In chapter 1, Peter had challenged us to holy living. In these verses today, we are given direction on how we might achieve this call to holy living. I believe you will find this list of things to be just as applicable today, as they were at the time that Peter wrote them, so these are some things that we must be very mindful of.

APPLICATION:   I believe if we were to stop and think about folk that we don’t like being around, we would find that it may be due to them having attitudes flawed by one or more of the characteristics mentioned in verse 1. I also believe that God had Peter include these things to remind us that when we see these impacting us, it is high time for us to reexamine our relationship with the Lord, because we have obviously slipped in our walk with Him. Let us always remember friends, that when we invite Jesus to rule and reign in our lives, and when we study His Word to learn more of His character, then we will desire to follow our Master in deed and word. Speaking of studying the Word, Peter reminds us of the dire need, or necessity of us yearning for the Word of God. He used the analogy of a baby desiring milk. I love looking in on babies and trying to get them to smile. I tried that with a beautiful child last Sunday, and she started to cry. I know, the face was enough to frighten her, right?!!!! But her mom was actually about to feed her. So this baby had one thing in mind at the time – milk! What if we had such a desire for the Word of God? That’s where our spiritual food comes from, and if we expect to flourish because we are adequately nourished by the Word, then we must ask God to give us a strong desire to immerse ourselves in His Word and diligently follow the commands of our Lord that’s contained therein.  If we want to look, act, speak and diligently obey the Word of God, then there may be little time for the newspaper; the evening news; your favorite TV shows; romance novels; etc, for your mind will be set on getting into the Bible.

PRAYER:   Dear God, You’re the One that I love, adore and long to be with throughout eternity! Thank You for giving my friends and I the opportunity to serve You while here on earth. Lord, we want to do it right, so please help us to crave Your Word, so that we could understand Your character and obey Your commands. People need You, Oh Lord, so please help us to understudy every little detail about You, and also live our lives as a living testament of Your love and Your teachings, so that You may be glorified here on earth, as You are in heaven. Please forgive us when we fail, but quickly lift us up, turn us around and help us to get back on track for You every day! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Signs of Maturity

In our verses today Paul tells the Corinthian church and our own churches that preach and teach the Bible today, that there are some tell-tale signs of immaturity, and when we notice these things finding their way into our circle of friends, we really need to seek God’s face in earnest. These recognized, unfortunate signs that go untreated will not only hinder the growth of Christians, but act as a cancer in the work of the church. Let’s explore this subject some more….

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   1 Corinthians 3:2-3 (TLB)

TEXT:  …even now you still have to be fed on milk. For you are still only baby Christians, controlled by your own desires, not God’s. When you are jealous of one another and divide up into quarreling groups, doesn’t that prove you are still babies, wanting your own way? In fact, you are acting like people who don’t belong to the Lord at all. 

OBSERVATION:   In our verses today Paul tells the Corinthian church, and our own churches that preach and teach the Bible today, that there are some tell-tale signs of immaturity, and when we notice these things finding their way into our circle of friends, we really need to seek God’s face in earnest. These recognized, unfortunate signs that go untreated will not only hinder the growth of Christians, but act as a cancer in the work of the church. Let’s explore this subject some more….

APPLICATION:   I believe that at times we may read our Bible and feel so sorry for the people referred to in the Bible. ‘Those poor people struggled so much in those days’ may be some of the things that we think or say about certain passages of Scripture. But friends, may I remind you that because our Lord is very much alive and well, His Word is just as applicable to our lives and our churches today. In fact, we hear way too often about divisions in families and in our churches today, over very silly things. While Satan is often at the root of our problems, these things happen because he first got to an individual who shared with another, who shared with a group that quickly grew into a larger group that distracted, or even disrupted the work of the Lord in that particular  church. I’m sure the BIG question is probably, how do we avoid this, or how can we possibly prevent this? Based on advice given to us further down in the same chapter, we must truly pray for our pastors and leaders. These individuals have been called to the awesome work and ministry of Jesus Christ, but they are mortal man. While Jesus is no match for Satan, our human leaders are, and Satan is out to get them and to stop the work of his rival. Furthermore, we should be in constant prayer for one another. There are not many things that we do each day where we have someone waiting to pounce on us and trip us up, like Satan. He is our opposer, our deceiver and our enemy. Unfortunately he is stronger than us, and will work his way into our lives without us noticing. Friends, separation from God leaves a playground for Satan. Just as you and your spouse might separate if you have no form of relationship, the same thing happens when your relationship with God is weak and struggling.

PRAYER:   Precious Lord, take my hand, please lead me beyond the struggles of this world and its ruler, Satan. Lord, I pray that Your powerful hand will hover over Your saints today, so that we may represent You well and enable us to live and work in peace and joy to serve You before a lost world. The most important thing in this world is You Jesus, please help us to stand firm in our commitment to make You the most important thing in our lives today, AMEN! 

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

The Standard of Christ

The Holy Bible

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

(Bible Translation and Location: New Living Translation – Ephesians 4:11-16)

Thoughts:

I have included more verses than I usually do, because God impacted me with Truth and I wanted to be sure that you had the whole picture as you read this devotional today. Friends, I believe that our churches are probably hurting more today than most other businesses, and it may have absolutely nothing to do with the declined economy that we have been challenged by. I believe that Paul has addressed a subject that we all should pay close attention to, even though in the very first verse you may get the distinct impression that he is outlining the responsibilities of church leaders. However, I took the liberty of bolding two sentences that really spoke to me. In the first, we are told that our church leaders are in place to equip us, and to build us up as a church, so that we can do the work of the Lord. Friends, this is a whole new concept for many today. Think about it, we invite our friends to church so they could hear the Word of the Lord. If we are equipped to do the work of the Lord, shouldn’t we be sharing the Word with our friends? Suppose they never attend church and you missed out on your responsibility to share the love of God with them, would you feel any less guilty about their dying without Christ? The second bolded sentence tells us the expected result when we have been properly taught and counseled by our church leaders. For we will: (1) become ‘mature’ in the Lord – I think of maturity as being a point of reference for new Christians; An example for new Christians to follow; Unwavering in our faith; and (2) Measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ – I thinks of us being true examples of Christ. After all, we have fought the good race and kept the faith through the good times and the challenging times. I left verses 14-16 in so we could be reminded of what Paul saw as the ‘perfect’ church – one that meets the criteria taught in verses 11-13. Are family and friends seeing the ‘real thing’ in us as they monitor our lives and look for a genuine example to follow? Are we fulfilling the Great Commission by going out and sharing the Word with the whole world – our world?

Prayer:

Thank You Lord for setting the bar for us to follow, and such a perfect and unselfish one at that. You have reminded us that we are all ministers of the gospel for You in our own way. You have placed many of us in churches that are God led, and equipped with leaders as detailed in these verses that we studied today. There is therefore no excuse for us not to be vigilant in our work for the Lord in and through our personal lives. Please expand Your church today as You teach us these truths from your Word, and prompt us into the service You have placed before us. Each of us were, no doubt, impacted by the maturity of other family members or friends that touched us with the gospel, long before we actually surrendered our lives to You in a church setting. May each one reading this devotional today be made keenly aware of the ones looking to us for godly advice or leadership. May we be bold and unswerving in declaring our loyalty to You and in sharing Your love and mercy with all that we come into contact with. For I ask this in the precious name of Jesus, the only One with the power to overcome sin and darkness in the lives of those that we minister to, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!