|Ecclesiastes 9:9-10 (ERV)|
|9 …. Enjoy every day of your short life. God has given you this short life on earth—and it is all you have. So enjoy the work you have to do in this life. 10 Every time you find work to do, do it the best you can.…|
|Our attention is drawn to the fact that God has given us the ability to provide for ourselves – the strength, knowledge, pride and desire. We are encouraged to take advantage of that and not look at it as punishment, but rather a blessing. Wow, if only we could find employees who enjoy coming to work every day because they consider it a God-given privilege and joy! Perhaps we should lead the way, right?|
|For the child of God, we find verses like these that God uses to spur us on to be the best we can be in our work places and to show that we actually enjoy our jobs. We often use phrases like ‘TGIF’ or ‘Hump Day’ that indicates to the world that we are glad to see this chore, called ‘work’ nearing an end. For the unbeliever, there might be a variety of feelings, including feeling unappreciated, underpaid or perhaps overworked. Isn’t it amazing how unimportant all of these things become when we hear of our competition closing their doors, and many dear friends or family losing their jobs? Or perhaps we apply for a job elsewhere and see that we are not worth anywhere near what we thought we are worth monetarily? Friends, I believe that the Scripture is telling us to appreciate the gifts that God has given to us; the blessings that God has poured out on us to have a good job; the interesting challenges that we face on our jobs that come to stretch our minds and give us the ability to grow in knowledge and understanding; the awakening of being faced with a menial task sometimes, so that we could appreciate what subordinates face each day; the occasional walk through a hospital, assisted living facility or a prison so that our eyes might be opened to the fact that but for grace of God, it could very easily have been one of us in that facility. I truly believe that the person who sits idle and unappreciative of work, is the one who says to God ‘thanks, but no thanks’! Friend, God has blessed you with gifts, abilities and a desire to provide for yourself and your family. Is he proud of what you are doing with all that He has given to you? Can you praise Him and thank Him even today for the work that you do? I pray that you will not be ashamed to stand before the throne and thank God for all your accomplishments resulting from all that He blessed you with!|
|Lord, with my hands; my mind and the many gifts that You have blessed me with, I lift them to You in praise and thanksgiving. I pray that You will help each of us today to use our talents to provide for ourselves and our families, and that we will never hide them under a bushel because we feel like someone else is much more capable than us. I pray that our eyes will be opened to the gifts You have specifically blessed us with, and that we will see the purpose for which You have placed us where we are at for such a time as this. You have never made a mistake Lord Jesus, please help us to stop finding excuses for why we can’t…. but instead look for all the blessings You have given to us that allows us the abilities to accomplish great things! AMEN!|
|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 Highlands County, 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!|
Well Worth Our Effort
Bible Reference: 1 Corinthians 15:58
Bible Text: 58 Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Bible Translation: Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
I believe that especially at this time of the year we tend to feel so exhausted and may even cause ourselves to doubt whether, in light of everything we did at Christmas, was it really worth it all. I heard that studies show that the day that most pastors resign their churches is Monday, and I believe that this may be due to the fact that Satan ‘beats them up’ so badly and causes them to question themselves about the job they did the previous day. Paul tried to encourage the Corinthian church by reminding them of the truth about the resurrection, and about the glorious day that will be when they see the face of the Savior! Friends, this same assurance is promised to those of us who have surrendered our lives to Jesus and invited Him into our hearts! So to reiterate the thoughts of Paul in these verses today, may I remind you that in light of what God has promised to us, we should be:
- Steadfast – Deeply rooted and built up in Christ. Established in the faith and know what we believe, sufficient that we can freely share our faith with others;
- Immovable – Confident in our faith and not vulnerable towards evil coming between us and our Lord, while still gaining strength and assurance in remembering that nothing will separate us from the love of God!
- Excelling – Isn’t it interesting how much time we put into our jobs, and how easily we accept going long distances to conferences or attending educational opportunities that will help sharpen our work-related skills? However, when it comes to the work of the Lord we find excuse after excuse why we can’t go to similar events that may sharpen our ministry related skills? Isn’t it interesting how we are prepared to work long hours, and even weekends, if necessary, to get our jobs done in perfect condition, yet we ‘slap together’ a lesson or a sermon as we rush into the hours right before delivery to our classes or congregations? Paul encourages us to always excel in our work for the Lord, especially knowing that our effort will not be in vain.
Friends, Galatians 6:8-10 says: 8 …. the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9 So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith. I interpret this as a promise that we will be rewarded for all that we do for the Lord, and I especially believe this will be the case when we’ve put our all into the effort. Remember, all that’s done for Jesus will last!
Father, there was nothing about our salvation that You took lightly, for You gave of Your very best, so that we might have the very best when we past from this world. I therefore question myself as to whether there is anything that I can do to compare with all that You have done for me? Lord, I pray that You will remind us of the gifts that You have blessed us with. There’s an awesome day coming, and we are anxious to see You, Lord Jesus! However, while here on this earth, please touch us each and every day with a strong desire to do our very best to spread the good news, and I firmly believe that unless we do that from the heart, our efforts will be in vain. Please place a passion in us to serve You better by ministering to our fellow man each and every day. AMEN!
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. 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org 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 Highlands County, 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!
Carry On With The Master’s Work
The Holy Bible (Good News Translation – Philippians 1: 3-6): (3) I thank my God for you every time I think of you; (4) and every time I pray for you all, I pray with joy (5) because of the way in which you have helped me in the work of the gospel from the very first day until now. (6) And so I am sure that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus.
My Observations: I believe that it is true in every Christian based group, that you will find: A ‘Pastor’ or minister or priest or similar leader; A ‘Support Team’, such as elders, deacons or other such leadership group; and the ‘People’ (you and I). Although not scriptural, I am saddened that many of the ‘People’ see themselves as spectators and therefore, the work of the Lord is squarely on the shoulders of the ‘Pastor’ or the ‘Support Team’. You might wonder why this would sadden me. I don’t believe that you will find this thought supported anywhere in scripture, instead you will find many other references to the ‘People’ being cautioned, encouraged and led to take what they have learned in the church and to go and share/minister to others who are not at church. In our scripture this morning you will see where Paul is giving thanks to God for the good work accomplished by the ‘People’, and he quickly acknowledged that it was God who began, and continued, the work in them. Don’t you see that there might be obvious disobedience, if we choose to ignore the desire God places in us, and shows us through the need for ministry and the ongoing spiritual needs of others? Many might quickly respond that they feel so unprepared to minister to someone. May I remind you that it is only through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit that we are to move out in ministry on God’s behalf? Please don’t interfere with the work of the Holy Spirit by refusing to obey the opportunities He deliberately places in our path. Please don’t offer to take that friend to church next week so they can have their needs attended to. Yes, one of their deep needs might be to fellowship with other believers through church worship services, but the last thing I believe that any Christian would want to hear by our Savior, is the disappointment over the missed opportunities to minister to a friend who never lived to see the next worship service. I can easily understand how we all have different qualifications and gifts, but remember that God would never ask us to do the job of our ‘called’ pastor. All He would expect of us is to make ourselves open and available to be used by Him to minister to lost and/or hurting people who need a Savior. God will use our availability far greater than any earthly taught abilities. Let’s be open to allowing God to do His work in and through us friend!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, please forgive me for feeling inadequate to minister to my friends and family, and for not allowing You to take control of my life, my words and my actions. I want to represent You and freely open the doors of my life so that my words might be yours and my actions controlled by You and used by You as appropriate. You spoke to my heart through a wonderful messenger of Yours, may others receive You, and/or be renewed in You because of what You might accomplish in and through me. Like Paul gave thanks for those who listened to You and were used by You, I pray that my readers would also acquire the desire to be used by You also. May Your name be praised and lifted high this day and throughout 2015 is my heart’s cry that I ask in the precious name of Jesus, 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!