Use Your Gift To Serve Others

Most of us would probably respond to my theme today with something like this: ‘But I don’t have any gifts’ or ‘All the gifts were given to my pastor’, etc. However, as you join me in this study today, we will discover Paul declaring that the Spirit distributes gifts to each believer, for the benefit of the church collectively. Know your gift and be ready to serve others who need help in that area of their life. Be mindful of the gifts of others so that you will know who to call on in times of need.

DATE POSTED Friday, 2022-06-10
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others. Some of us can speak with wisdom, while others can speak with knowledge, but these gifts come from the same Spirit. To others the Spirit has given great faith or the power to heal the sick 10 or the power to work mighty miracles. Some of us are prophets, and some of us recognize when God’s Spirit is present. Others can speak different kinds of languages, and still others can tell what these languages mean. 11 But it is the Spirit who does all this and decides which gifts to give to each of us.

APPLICATION: A great start to this study is to recognize that these gifts referred to by Paul are supernaturally given to us by the Holy Spirit. That’s what Paul indicated. So we must not dare cower in a corner and say that we have no gift, otherwise we are calling Paul a liar, and the Holy Spirit inadequate for forgetting, or refusing to give us our gift. Perhaps we subject ourselves to the ploys of Satan, who would much prefer that we remain moot on the subject of our risen Lord, or any power that He may bestow on us. Paul was addressing this subject because the believers of his day felt they were totally unspiritual and didn’t deserve such power from on high. Doesn’t that sound so much like us today? Imagine our response if someone referred to us as holy, or spiritual, or a saint, or as powerful as Jesus Christ in performing miracles or mighty works of God. We would probably quickly refer them to our pastor, or church elder, for surely they would not be talking about simple old us, right? But unless we cast doubt on the holy Word of God, and the Holy Ghost inspired words of Paul, we must believe that God is more than able to empower us with His Holy Sprit and the gifts that He spoke to us about through His servant. So if you are convinced that you have been blessed with a gift from God, then the remaining piece of this should be natural for you: be sure to use your gift for the building up of the church and for the glory of God. How do you do that? I believe the Holy Spirit opened my eyes as I read this Scripture and showed me that when we come together as a church – a body of believers in Jesus Christ, some will have the gift of great wisdom, while others will speak with awesome knowledge. Accept these as gifts from God and allow that knowledge to saturate my mind. Others may portray unbelievable faith or even possess the power to heal the sick or perform other mighty miracles. Stop accusing them of being a showoff and give God thanks for His gift to these ambassadors. There may be some who prophesy, and some recognize the mysterious presence of God’s Spirit. While I may not have my primary language mastered, there may be some who will speak different kinds of languages, and still others who can tell what these languages mean. The bottom line is that we serve an outstanding and awesome God – in fact, He’s the One who created us all and the earth on which we reside. It is His Spirit who does all this and decides which gifts to give to each of us. In community, when one has a gift and shares it with others present, it’s like WE (collectively) have all these gifts! Oh that God may be glorified through each of His children, especially because they are using the gifts handed down to them from the Father, for His glory! Do your part dear friends. Use the gifts endowed upon you and bless every on that you come into contact with!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: What a mighty God we serve! Angels bow before Him. Heaven and earth adore Him! What a mighty God we serve! We must be an extraordinary for an extraordinary to consider giving us extraordinary gifts! Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

PRAYER: Lord, I now believe that we are foolish to ever say again that we are just an ‘ordinary’ person here on earth, for I have been reminded of Your greatness and also how special we are in Your eyes. No doubt if we would consider everyone that we come into contact with in that same light, we would never again look down on what You have created. Unfortunately some have permitted Satan to spoil the good in them, but Lord, I pray that You would once again today remind Your children of the value You have placed in them and of the love You showed for them on Calvary. Please speak intently to the hearts of the unsaved again today, especially the ones who will happen across this devotional. Please work in the lives of Your chosen people and help us to use the gift so lovingly given to us – for the betterment of the church – Your worshippers. 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!

No Small Thing To Serve The Living God

Many today are still called to serve in the church – the Lord’s tabernacle. It is no small thing to serve in a place that promotes, teaches, embraces, and identifies with the God of this universe. Perhaps as we meditate on the noted Scripture verse today, we might take time to also recognize those that serve around our respective churches.

DATE POSTED Tuesday, 2022-03-29
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Numbers 16:9
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near him so you can serve in the Lord’s Tabernacle… 

APPLICATION: There have been times where I have accepted positions of service in the local church because, from all indications, there just appeared to be no one else capable, or willing, to serve in that position. That might be hard for some to believe, especially those who might struggle to identify the struggles that small churches face. In the case of the early church, God had assigned a special class of people called the Levites to perform all duties related to the church. This may seem unreal to some, but considering the importance of the church, no doubt God wanted to make sure that it received particular attention because of the organization and diligence of designated men. This same thing occurs every time your church doors are opened. There are designated people who keep the building and grounds clean, and looking its very best. It can only be that way if these men and women feel the value placed on them as workers for the kingdom, and when they recognize His Sanctuary as the place where His children meet and worship the King of all kings. Additionally there are workers who ready the building for occupancy – lights, air conditioning, etc. Some workers will come to pray about the services and discipleship classes that will occur, while some will come to welcome and direct everyone to their classes or to the sanctuary. Please note that these are not positions designated in God’s Word, but they are probably in place as ordered by church leaders, and they serve the purpose of making it possible and inviting for worshippers to attend and meet with God. Whether you fill any of the aforementioned jobs, or if you teach, preach, or hold an administrative job, notice that God does not consider any efforts to promote His church as insignificant. Therefore, let me encourage you to complete your work as if your specific job helped to lead someone to a personal relationship with the Lord that day you served. I once had a pastor who practiced at each baptism, having everyone stand who had any impact on the candidate’s life. Think about that, you may only have invited them through the doors, but because of your warm smile or encouraging word, they kept coming back. You may have prayed for them, or taught them in Sunday School, but each and every thing done in the name of Jesus will be considered on that day when you meet your Master. I long to hear His welcome and his pat on the back as He tells me ‘well done good and faithful servant. You excelled in the little things I led you to do on earth, now enjoy your rewards and the greater things of heaven!’ Remember, anything you do in God’s service should be done for His honor and His glory alone, so never feel forced into doing something, but in whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: For the believer in Jesus Christ, do everything as unto the Lord. He will bless and direct your paths, for His name’s sake!

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for opportunities to do Your work while here on earth. Please help us to never take on a task feeling like it was forced on us or because there was no one else who would do it. Lord, You sacrificed Your very life to facilitate the forgiveness of our sin. There is nothing too big, or too laborious for us as we seek to serve You and invite others into Your kingdom. Use each reader or listener for Your rich service here on earth. May the church be the church just as you designed it to be, and may You be glorified in everything we do. 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!

What Say Ye? Whom Will You Serve?

On this website, there is a list of 12 countries where it is considered ‘Extremely Challenging’ to worship God, and there are an additional 38 countries where it is ‘Difficult’ to worship God. I believe that most of you who will read, or listen to, this devotional probably attend worship services at least 3 times per year, I wonder how you might classify your reasons for not always join with God’s people for cooperate worship?

DATE POSTED Wednesday, 2021-09-08
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

SCRIPTURE FROM: Joshua 24:19-23
TRANSLATION: New Century Version (NCV)

BIBLE TEXT: 19 Then Joshua said, “You are not able to serve the Lord, because he is a holy God and a jealous God. If you turn against him and sin, he will not forgive you. 20 If you leave the Lord and serve other gods, he will send you great trouble. The Lord may have been good to you, but if you turn against him, he will destroy you.”
21 But the people said to Joshua, “No! We will serve the Lord.”
22 Then Joshua said, “You are your own witnesses that you have chosen to serve the Lord.”
The people said, “Yes, we are.”
23 Then Joshua said, “Now throw away the gods that you have. Love the Lord, the God of Israel, with all your heart.”

APPLICATION: Do you tend to feel uneasy in the company of certain individuals? Perhaps they are very rich, compared to you. Or perhaps they are overly educated, compared to you. In some of Joshua’s final talks with the Israelites, he challenged them to consider their acts of worship to a holy and jealous God. How might you respond to that question? I for one, feel very uneasy if I flippantly miss attending corporate worship, or a daily reading of the Word of God, or daily communication with God in prayer. Some might quickly respond that I may be too legalistic about my relationship with God, but I could only evaluate my own feelings towards my holy and righteous God, and so should you. Notice that Joshua gave a reason why the Israelites may not be worthy of worshipping God – idols. I know, we don’t build idols for people to go and worship, but don’t we honestly allow certain things in life to interfere with our time alone, or corporately with God? Joshua knew that some Israelites collected idols from the countries they had captured, and they worshiped those idols at times. But Joshua felt such a love for his people that he wanted to warn them one last time that our Heavenly Father will not tolerate split allegiances. Why do you suppose? I believe we could look at a very familiar relationship, husband and wife, and understand why no one tolerates this. Imagine a cheating husband. Can a wife notice the difference in their relationship when a man is also having relations with another woman? Although she may not care to acknowledge why her husband is trying to please two women, she would really have to be blind in many ways to not feel and understand that someone else is in the picture. Our God sacrificed His only Son for our salvation, so He will become very jealous of one who shows only half-hearted praise and allegiance in return. I believe that when we split allegiance, we are saying that the primary party no longer meets our needs. Could we truly say that to God? But don’t we do exactly that when we consider other pleasures ahead of the pleasure of worshiping our Savior and Lord? There are many ‘excuses’ that we use to explain why we chose not to read our Bibles, or pray, or attend corporate worship. I find it very interesting when children start using the excuses of their parents when asked if they went to church. But isn’t that what we are doing when we tell our kids to watch closely and do what we do? Paul also said something like that, but he was referring to his walk with the Lord. Oh how I wish we could set aside all excuses (idols) and be so committed to God that we could say openly to those who know us, just follow me as I follow God. Wow, don’t you know that God will smile with pride for his kids who are so dedicated to Him?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Joshua challenged the Israelites to always choose God and do away with idols. In one of their last promises to Joshua, the people assured him (vs 21): ‘we will serve the Lord’. God still blesses the nation that sets aside its idols and collectively say ‘we will serve the Lord’!

PRAYER: Lord, I pray that with our mouths we may say like the Israelites ‘We will serve the Lord’, and then set aside our idols and worship only You! To do this as a nation, we will have to set aside our petty differences between each other so that we could encourage each other to also set as their primary goal: Worship to the Father and to the Son, for as long as we all are left to wander on this earth. Please soften our hearts Lord and teach us to set our priorities straight. God comes first, even if it means less TV or less online activity, or less partying, or less beach time. Unfortunately, it seems like everything else is a priority, even though You gave it all for us. Please forgive us Lord, and please deal in our hearts to always keep You first in every aspect of our lives. 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!

Too Much

There are varying opinions about what a pastor’s job description should look like. As we meditate on the Scripture today, we’ll see where Moses filled a similar position as God’s leader, and how he had placed himself in quite a predicament as the fearless leader of the Israelites. Perhaps we could learn when, or how our pastor does ‘too much’.

DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-03-28
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Exodus 18:14-18
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 14 Jethro saw how much Moses had to do for the people, and he asked, “Why are you the only judge? Why do you let these people crowd around you from morning till evening?”
15 Moses answered, “Because they come here to find out what God wants them to do. 16 They bring their complaints to me, and I make decisions on the basis of God’s laws.”
17 Jethro replied: That isn’t the best way to do it. 18 You and the people who come to you will soon be worn out. The job is too much for one person; you can’t do it alone. 

OBSERVATION: There are varying opinions about what a pastor’s job description should look like. As we meditate on the Scripture today, we’ll see where Moses filled a similar position as God’s leader, and how he had placed himself in quite a predicament as the fearless leader of the Israelites. Perhaps we could learn when, or how our pastor does ‘too much’.

APPLICATION: Some will pass judgment on a pastor and attribute his pastorate as a scapegoat for a hardworking manual labor job. Some will insist that the pastor do all the work of ministry around the church, since he is being paid for that. Others who know the hours labored by a pastor will wonder how they ever save their marriage, or spend any quality time with their children. Moses was ordered by God to do some important things that way exceeded the ability of any man. For example: go before the king and demand release of the Israelites; follow the instructions of God through various actions with his shepherd’s staff; provide food and water for over a million people – out in the desert; find a way of escape for the people when there was water ahead and an oncoming army approaching from the rear; deal with all the attitudes, grumbling and complaining from such a large following; etc. So of course, Moses found a very real need to be judge and jury for the people when disagreements arose. This in itself was enough for many judges, but Moses felt a responsibility to God and his countrymen to fill the gap of being a spokesman for God to satisfy all disagreements. As an innocent outsider, Jethro quickly saw that his son-in-law was headed for disaster in being overworked and under constant demand by his people. It was unfair to the people, and was way too much on Moses as a lone judge. Friends, in my Observation I used our pastors as an example, but I believe there is more of this in us individually than we might care to acknowledge, for we could each be accused at times for trying to do it all. I have spent time in leadership of a smaller church, where pastors only stayed there for a limited number of years. Had the leadership of lay persons not been trained in ministry and willing to jump in and share in the ministry of God in that church, one could easily see where many parishioners would have gone unattended to. I believe that God is showing us through this example of Jethro helping Moses, that it is vitally important to not do ministry, or the work of God alone. Share the blessings with others by letting them serve alongside you, for we must always remember that we are about God’s work, and He always provides workers for His ministry. Sure it’s important that we are willing to do the work, and sure it is important that we are always busy about God’s work, but I believe that we should never do any of this exclusive of other workers who are ready and willing to serve. Yes, I believe that God wants you in His Service, but I also believe that He wants you to bring along as many as you can to help you accomplish the ministry fully and effectively.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, there’s a lot to be done in Your vineyard here on earth, and it often seems like there are never enough workers to accomplish the work. Please help us to assume the job of Jethro, when needed, for it seems like many tend to be lone rangers who feel like Your ministry will collapse without them. Please teach them to share the joy of helping others along in leadership, so that they won’t simply encounter a lost person and only invite them to church. Often if we fail to share Your story with a lost person, they may expire before ever making it to ‘church’ to hear the good news. Teach us Lord to listen closely to Your voice and to be ready and willing to serve, so that our pastors and other leaders would see growth in leaders who always help them to reach the lost and minister to the saints. It’s Your ministry Lord Jesus, and as saints of God, we are all workers in Your vineyard, until Jesus comes again to take His church home to heaven. 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!

Making One Another Stronger

While many of us wish that we could help others more than we feel like we have the ability, or capacity to, I believe that we are challenged with ideas on ways to accomplish this feat. Look again at verse 12 above. God gave each of His children important gifts – but notice that they are given so that we may serve others in order to make the body of Christ stronger. To help one another achieve their best in God. Wow!

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2020-07-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Ephesians 4:11–13
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 11 ….. Christ gave these gifts to people: He made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to go and tell the Good News, and some to care for and teach God’s people. 12 Christ gave these gifts to prepare God’s holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger. 13 This work must continue until we are all joined together in what we believe and in what we know about the Son of God. Our goal is to become like a full-grown man—to look just like Christ and have all his perfection.

OBSERVATION: While many of us wish that we could help others more than we feel like we have the ability, or capacity to, I believe that we are challenged with ideas on ways to accomplish this feat. Look again at verse 12 above. God gave each of His children important gifts – but notice that they are given so that we may serve others in order to make the body of Christ stronger. To help one another achieve their best in God. Wow!

APPLICATION: Wow, how often do we receive a gift, told how to use it, and then rewarded for using it? I believe the part that really touches me, is that God would trust me enough to bless me with a gift from His precious hand. I believe it is awesome that God would then direct me to use that gift to enrich the life of one that I might come into contact with! Ever thought of the fact that God is constantly looking for ways to touch His children and make us stronger in the faith? Ever thought about the fact that when we accepted Jesus as Lord of our lives, we committed ourselves to be more like Him every day, and live to mirror His ways and His character before a lost world? So would it be impossible to think for a moment that God could actually prepare us to be a ‘holy people’ who will serve others for the benefit of making the church stronger? Friends, we might tend to think that we are nobodies and that we don’t count in God’s big scheme of saving the world, but did you also consider that the angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner who repents! Friends, we will find that a sinner repents after receiving convicting evidence that Jesus is alive and that He loves and cares for all who will call on His name in repentance. Often that conviction will come through you and I, as friends of the individual, or even as an acquaintance. God can and will use all means possible to reach the hearts of His lost children. I truly believe that you and I are a vital part of that team, fellow Christian! So when we read the Word and read the exciting news that God will strengthen and embolden us to serve His church and make it stronger, please don’t brush that aside as being the responsibility of the pastor, or the elder or deacon. Take it personally, as He can and will use all of us who are trying to be just like Him in every way to actively work in His service and strengthen the lost who are searching for the Savior of the world.

PRAYER: Lord I believe in You, so I take my role seriously that You could use even me to serve Your church and make it stronger. Lord, I can only imagine the awesome work that a ‘STRONG’ church can do in it’s community, and the impact it could have on the lost, who need a Savior. Please help us to take our role seriously. It may be as simple as sharing Your love with those who feel unlovable, or it may be as challenging as preaching or teaching Your Word, so that the world will know about You. Our abilities mean very little, but our availability to be used by the King of kings is the ultimate soul winner and encourager. May You be glorified in all that You accomplish through us, and may Your kingdom be enriched from every possible thing accomplished through us. 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!

Key Responsibilities for the Christian

We hear a lot about family divisions, church splits, and of course divorces, but in God’s Word He tells us that we are to stay away from quarrels and always seek to live holy lives before the Lord. Oh, and while aiming for that perfection, make sure that no one in your group wanders away from God’s best blessing, and creates a point of bitterness, envy, distrust, that may therefore cause others to avoid the rich blessings of the Lord.

Tuesday, 2019-07-30

Bible Reference: Hebrews 12:14-15
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 14 Try to stay out of all quarrels, and seek to live a clean and holy life, for one who is not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that not one of you will fail to find God’s best blessings. Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you, for as it springs up it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual lives.

OBSERVATION: We hear a lot about family divisions, church splits, and of course divorces, but in God’s Word He tells us that we are to stay away from quarrels and always seek to live holy lives before the Lord. Oh, and while aiming for that perfection, make sure that no one in your group wanders away from God’s best blessing, and creates a point of bitterness, envy, distrust, that may therefore cause others to avoid the rich blessings of the Lord.

APPLICATION: In life, we hear a lot about how people look out for themselves – how they earn as much money as they possibly could, so that they could have everything they desire, and go places that others barely think of. This may prove to be a successful path for some, while for others the same path may lead them into selfish attitudes, who may think that they worked so hard, so that they could make it to the top, and they deserve everything that they have, so that they could enjoy travel and the other joys of life that they have dreamed of over the years. Very successful people, you might say, for they set their goals and worked hard to achieve them. I will not try to disagree with how you might feel about your friends that you identified in my description above, but as a Brother in Christ I feel compelled to draw your attention to what the Scripture demands of us individually, in hopes that we will never find ourselves in that ‘selfish’ corner. I believe that God created us to be successful, but first and foremost, I believe that God created us in His own image, so that we might never lose sight of our creator. In fact, I believe that He has built into us a deep desire to obey and imitate Him, and to even worship Him as our Creator. These things will cause us to always remember Him as our Father. When we place ourselves in the position of the created one, the worshiper and the obedient servant, why do you suppose that we would desire anything that displeases our Master and Lord? Friends, this whole devotional can be summed up in short by admonishing you to: Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior; worship Him in humility as your Lord; Obey His every command; follow in His footsteps, guided by His Word, so that you may act, look and sound just like Him to a lost and dying world. When you do this my friend, you are bound to avoid the things He avoided, live the way He lived, and desire the ‘good life’ for others around you, just the way that He chose you and called you unto Himself. I love the way that verse 15 admonishes us to feel secure in our relationship with the Lord, and to show proof of our oneness with God by looking out for our neighbor – those around us, just like He did with us. If our neighbors neglect the Lord, or if Satan tempts them in ways that affect their good standing, then we had best look at supporting them and encouraging them, before their negativity, hatred or other hideous actions start to affect us. Furthermore, when that neighbor hurts, we should also hurt and we should be drawn to help them turn their life around. So yes, we must stay in close relationship with God so that we might mirror His goodness here on this earth, BUT we also have a responsibility to look on and help our neighbor as well. I trust that you will make every effort to help your neighbor along this tough road of life, just like God held out His hand and pulled you up from the sin that held you back.

PRAYER: Thank You Lord for saving my soul, thank You Lord for making me whole. Thank You Lord for giving to me, thy great salvation so rich and free! Now I beg You Lord, to help my readers and I to not only boast in that oneness with You, but to share that love, and Your salvation, with all those around us – our neighbors. People need the Lord, amen? May they see our Savior so prevalent in our lives that they will want to know Him, accept Him and serve Him the rest of their lives. AMEN!

The Benefits of Worship and Service to God

In spite of miracle after miracle, yet God saw that the Israelites were still tempted to sin and worship idols at every opportunity. Much like ‘believers’ today, I believe. So I want us to meditate on the promises that God told to the Israelites, because I believe that He will do the same for us, if we meet the same conditions stated in these verses!

Thursday, 2019-03-21

Bible Reference: Exodus 23:25-26
Translation: The Voice (VOICE)

Bible Text: 25 Worship and serve only the Eternal your God, and I will bless you with an ample supply of wholesome food and clean water. I will take away all sickness from you, 26 prevent miscarriages and barrenness, and give you long, productive lives.

OBSERVATION: In spite of miracle after miracle, yet God saw that the Israelites were still tempted to sin and worship idols at every opportunity. Much like ‘believers’ today, I believe. So I want us to meditate on the promises that God told to the Israelites, because I believe that He will do the same for us, if we meet the same conditions stated in these verses!

APPLICATION: I wonder what types of responses we might receive if we asked the typical church attendee in each of our towns, or churches: ‘Why does one worship?’ and ‘Why would one serve God?’. I would imagine that would yield an interesting set of answers! But I also believe that in pondering those hypothetical questions, believers might also be forced to answer those questions from a very personal standpoint: Why do I wake up from my warm bed, forego the trip to the beach on this beautiful day – one of the few that I’m off from work each week? Just as challenging, they might also question themselves: Why do I sacrifice my time in serving at my church? It seems so unappreciated and the good Lord knows that there is so much more that I need time to accomplish in my personal life. I believe by now you have probably pondered these questions personally, and have a few choice answers of your own! But let’s look at this from a scriptural standpoint. You see, I believe that God actually created us to worship Him. The following scriptures help to convince me of this: John 4:23-24; Revelation 4:11; Hebrews 1:6; Friends, I believe that a reminder is in order for us, so that we stop fooling ourselves into thinking that worship is about: Going to church, even though this is one of the best places you can find yourselves at, with other believers; Good worship songs and a rocking worship band, although this truly enhances our worship services; Worshiping a God that you do not personally know – for then you go through the motion without a personal attachment; Worshiping God out of obligation or requirement, rather than from a heart of self gratitude and personal experience with the Almighty. Friends, when our hearts are right with God, we will not only worship Him wholeheartedly, but we will desire to serve Him faithfully from a pure heart. Think about what this type of service might yield, versus a sense of obligation to serve, or just wanting to see all positions filled in a certain ministry area! Please note that God promised the Israelites wholesome food, clean water, good and productive lives in return for changed hearts that show evidence through worship and service. I can only believe that our God is the same today as He was yesterday, and that He has many blessings in store for those of us with thankful and loving hearts who sincerely dedicate ourselves to spreading His love through reaching others for the Kingdom, and serving from the depths of our heart as an extension of God’s outreached hand to those who need Him. Please communicate with your Savior, Jesus the Christ – my wonderful Lord, and commit yourself fully to Him. There is absolutely no telling what He has in store for us when we join Him in Heaven, dear friends!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, I come before You today as one who is not perfect, and I am therefore guilty of many of the things I shared in this devotional. I believe that many of my friends who will read this devotional today will honestly bow before you also with guilt about the things that are discussed above. You know the temptations and sin that distract us from a right and honest relationship with you, and because of this we are prone to wander and therefore not worship You in Spirit and in truth, and we serve out of obligation rather than as a result of our desire to share Your wonderful love with others who need You. Please dear Lord, make us a people who love You from the very depths of our heart, so that we may share with others from that same deep love that we experience. May Your kingdom come oh Lord, and may You be magnified in everything that I do or say. AMEN!

What to Expect From The Greatest One Among You

These verses really impacted me. Because in our ‘dog-eat-dog’ world, where everyone is greedy after the position just above them, so that they could earn more money, and be looked up to. Imagine how we would feel if the further up we went, the more servanthood was expected of us? That doesn’t even sound right in our world today, and in the work atmosphere in which we find ourselves, right? Then let’s dig into the Word by meditating on this for a while today.

Friday, 2019-03-15

Bible Reference: Matthew 23:8-11
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text: You must not be called ‘Teacher,’ because you are all equal and have only one Teacher. And you must not call anyone here on earth ‘Father,’ because you have only the one Father in heaven. 10 Nor should you be called ‘Leader,’ because your one and only leader is the Messiah.11 The greatest one among you must be your servant.

OBSERVATION: These verses really impacted me. Because in our ‘dog-eat-dog’ world, where everyone is greedy after the position just above them, so that they could earn more money, and be looked up to. Imagine how we would feel if the further up we went, the more servanthood was expected of us? That doesn’t even sound right in our world today, and in the work atmosphere in which we find ourselves, right? Then let’s dig into the Word by meditating on this for a while today.

APPLICATION: A new hire will most often start out in the lowest position of an organization, so that they might learn that position and hopefully everything else above that position, as they progress along in their employment. Imagine if, at the beginning of year three, they were told by their employer that they want them to take on more servanthood, along with added responsibility in the organization. Do you suppose they would be just a little confused? I believe in our employment world today, that individuals feel honored to move up, because finally they could have others do all the piddly jobs for them, to help them look good and move up even more. In some environments, supervisors are encouraged to not mix with their employees, because they would lose their respect. But what about the child of God that studies the practices of Jesus, God’s Son, and tries to follow the concepts taught in His Word? Is it not unimaginable to think of a ‘leader’, or a ‘manager’ to lift up their workers and praise them for helping the department achieve their goals? Wouldn’t that leader or manager feel less than adequate before their boss? What about in the church? I hope that you are not seeing your pastors, or elders, or deacons, or teachers, placing themselves on such pedestals that they wait to be served by others. For if we are truly to imitate our Lord and Savior, we would see our main ‘servants’ scrubbing the floor, washing the feet of others, serving food to the hungry and showing the love of Jesus to all they come into contact with. Jesus encouraged us to not even assume titles by which He or His Father were known, for we would never want others to assume for a moment that we are to be looked up to as another ‘Jesus’. For there is none like Him, and we are never to try and assume His place among those with whom we worship, work or mix with. Friends, we are on this earth to promote Jesus, not to be His equal, because we would never succeed in that. While we should strive to imitate His goodness as a sign of obeying His teachings, we must be careful to pass all praises on to Him. For it’s Jesus that we live for; It’s Jesus that we represent; It’s Jesus who loved us enough that He died on a cruel cross to save us eternally; and it’s Jesus who is coming back to gather His chosen ones to accompany Him in glory before the Father. Friends, we are servants of a great BIG God! Let’s remember our role, and His, each day of our lives, and seek to follow His instructions regarding our servant role while here on earth.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, King of all kings and Lord of all lords. Greater than all others, yet You demonstrated servanthood while here on earth, and because You want us to live our life as an example of Yours, I believe that You are commanding that we also be servants to those around us, including those that we may have supervisory charge. In humility You came to this world, in humility You lived, and in humility You were crucified. Therefore to imitate You, we must also be humble. Please continue to work on us, mold us and direct us, so that others will recognize You and want to know You as Lord. AMEN!

Lives Filled With Good Works

God sent us His precious, one and only Son, to show us what good works He would demonstrate to us while here on earth. He then gave each of us opportunity to accept Jesus as our Lord, and to become His ‘sheep’, who would look to their leader for leadership and mentorship. As His sons and daughters, we too have been created for good works that our Master has prepared just for us. Let us contemplate those good works and how we might respond to the work God has laid out for us!

Saturday, 2018-12-22

Bible Reference: Ephesians 2:10
Translation: GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Bible Text:  10 God has made us what we are. He has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.

OBSERVATION: God sent us His precious, one and only Son, to show us what good works He would demonstrate to us while here on earth. He then gave each of us opportunity to accept Jesus as our Lord, and to become His ‘sheep’, who would look to their leader for leadership and mentorship. As His sons and daughters, we too have been created for good works that our Master has prepared just for us. Let us contemplate those good works and how we might respond to the work God has laid out for us!

APPLICATION: Christmas would not be merry if we didn’t, or don’t, know the end of the story. In like manner, our efforts to be kind, loving, supportive, and God-like, would be of no value unless we stop to reflect on: all that God has already done for us; all that He has promised to us while here on earth; and the home He has prepared for us in Glory! Friends, as we reflect on the miracles of Jesus Christ, and as we reflect on the many times that He has answered our prayers, even though so unworthy of His mighty works, who are we to go into this Christmas season expecting anything, or thinking that we deserve anything? You know, when we consider all the ‘gifts’ given to us, especially this year, could we not turn this Christmas into a second Thanksgiving Day this year? However, notice again what our focal verse says. It reveals what God expects from us, for it says that He expects us to live life in a state of readiness to do the good works that He has already prepared for us. Now let me say that I don’t believe that you will awaken each day and find your list of God-things to do on your kitchen counter. Rather, I believe that your surrendered life will be led by the One you have surrendered to, and that He will lead you into circumstances where you will just open the flood gates of heaven, and allow God to become real in the lives of those you encounter. Not sure about you friend, but there is no way that I could prepare my daily schedule knowing full well who I will encounter and what their needs might be. So I am convinced that our relationship with Jesus Christ must be one of trust and dependence on Him. In fact, we might start each day with the words of an old chorus: ‘wherever You lead, I’ll go’, because unless we are led by Him, we will wind up getting together with friends to jive around and chat about things of mutual interest; unless we are led by our Lord, we will mix with those who tickle our fancies, and bless us in some way. It is so important for us to remember that if God has already prepared the things for us to do, then we must look to Him for His orders, His direction and His leadership. I believe that each of our families will be blessed beyond measure this Christmas, if we are obedient to the things already planned for us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Oh that He may rule and reign in us, and through us, this Christmas!

PRAYER: Lord God, please show me what You have ordained for me to do over the next few days, and please give me the humility, strength, wisdom and desire to be obedient to Your will. I believe that I can safely say that my readers and I would like nothing more than to humbly obey Your will for our lives. Please tender our hearts and make us especially sensitive to Your direction as we seek to be Your hands and feet in the lives of others this Christmas. May it be obvious to those we come into contact with, that the baby we especially honor this time of the year, is also the King who rules all other kings, and Lord of all who seek to know Him more intimately. AMEN!

Serve Each Other

To think of a king, or a president, or a ruler of any nation, one would normally think of all the fanfare; all the servitude that surrounds them; and all of the assistants that take care of their every need or want. However, Jesus was born into a humble setting, and while He was supremely God, yet we read story after story about how He sought to serve those with whom He interacted. As we meditate together on this, let us evaluate how well we are following His example.

Thursday, 2018-12-20

Bible Reference: Galatians 5:13-15
Translation: The VOICE (Voice)

Bible Text: 13 Brothers and sisters, God has called you to freedom! Hear the call, and do not spoil this gift by using your liberty to engage in what your flesh desires; instead, use it to serve each other as Jesus taught through love. 14 For the whole law comes down to this one instruction: “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] so 15 why all this vicious gnawing on each other? If you are not careful, you will find you’ve eaten each other alive!

OBSERVATION: To think of a king, or a president, or a ruler of any nation, one would normally think of all the fanfare; all the servitude that surrounds them; and all of the assistants that take care of their every need or want. However, Jesus was born into a humble setting, and while He was supremely God, yet we read story after story about how He sought to serve those with whom He interacted. As we meditate together on this, let us evaluate how well we are following His example.

APPLICATION: God has blessed us beyond measure with the freedom of salvation – meaning that, in spite of our sinful lives, and the temptations of a sinful world around us, yet He sent His very own Son to be born among us, as an indication of identifying with us and the challenges that the world places on us to conform with its ideas, customs and evil implications. I believe that during this same Christmas season, we could very easily be reminded that this Jesus, was the very Son of God. In fact, God taught us that He and His Son are one. May we be reminded that there was great purpose in God sending His Son, for to those who would trust in Him and accept Him as Lord of their life, to those God would extend salvation from sin, and the promise of eternity in Heaven with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. With this undeserved ‘freedom’ from our sin, we could very easily sit back in our recliners and declare that ‘we have it made’, so let us coast on into eternity one day without any worries. However, while that might be a true statement, the Word of God will show us, as it did in these verses today, that if we are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, then our hearts will be inclined to serve others. You might ask, or ponder, how can I possibly serve others, after all I have such limited talent? With a new heart filled with the awesome presence of God, I believe that you will see people in a different light, for you will see them through the lens of their Savior. You may have seen them as just another servant of yours, but with the eyes of Jesus you might see them as a lonely widow; or a poor and broken widower; or a fatherless child who is desperately looking for a good role model; or a prisoner who may have committed the most horrific crime, but needs the Lord. Friends, you’ve been given the awesome gift of ‘freedom’ from your sin by the holy Son of God, in return, what are you prepared to give to those that you come into contact with today? How might Jesus help them today? Might He use you in His service to help them? Will Jesus know that you are willing to serve? Why not join me in offering up: “Here I am Lord Jesus, use me”!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for serving us in so many ways, beginning with Your very humble beginning here on earth as a baby born in a stable. Thank You for placing us right in the middle of folk in our workplace; in our neighborhood; in our schools; and in our churches; most of whom need something fulfillment and encouragement in their lives. We could never take Your place as Savior, but we could very easily stop our excuses, and be the hands and feet of Jesus as we seek to serve them and their needs. No doubt they will see Jesus in practical ways then, and want to accept Him unconditionally as Lord over every aspect of their lives! Help us Lord to remain humble, but true to You and Your Word. May we seek to ‘S E R V E’ this Christmas, and discontinue the selfishness of always wanting more – especially in adding more to our already filled closets; homes; vehicles and lives in general. Show us Lord how we might imitate You, and Your expectations for this lost world in which we live. AMEN!