DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-06-30
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Corinthians 13:5
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)
BIBLE TEXT: Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.
OBSERVATION: It’s a normal practice to visit your doctor for a regular, medical checkup. But often the doctor is clueless, without a lot of input from you. One of the last concerns Paul left for the Corinthian church, was that they give themselves a regular checkup on their relationship with God. As we meditate together, let us consciously evaluate the presence of Christ in our lives, and determine if there is something that we need to work on to draw closer to Him or be more in tuned with Him.
APPLICATION: Like me, you’ve probably heard other Christians say how awesome it is being around new believers, for they are on fire for the Lord and we come alongside with hopes that some of that excitement would rub off on us. However, it seems like a short while after accepting Christ and the new Christian hanging around mature Christians, their excitement becomes ‘dampened’ as it seems cold water is poured on their glorious experience. Why is that fellow Christians? Wouldn’t you think that the closer you come to the Lord Jesus, the more your life is influenced by Him, and the more you want to follow His example. In fact, it would seem like we would become more excited about the Savior who gave up His life for us so that we might enjoy life eternally. So let’s examine what might be missing, or the cause of that dampening spirit. Based on my own experience I can tell you that we are very similar to a piece of charcoal. When we pull away from the fire, like the piece of charcoal being set aside a few feet away from the fire, then the piece of coal will become cold and almost impossible to stay lit. So what might keep us fired up? Perhaps keeping in close communion with our Savior! For example: This morning, did you read the precious Word of God that He left for you to learn more about Him and His character? Did you pray – speak to God about what you read and about what you need help with today? Did you stop before making that important decision today, so you could consult with the Master and see whether your decision would be right, and one that would cause you to draw closer to God? Did you take advantage of telling a friend about the Savior who gave up His life so that you might enjoy heaven one day with the Master? Friends, I believe that way too often we place our relationship with the God of this universe secondary in our life. We lose interest and therefore put no effort into drawing closer to God. Like that lonely piece of charcoal that I mentioned above, you withdraw from those things that kept you close to God, so you quickly became cold and unmoved by the Master, although He still loves you unconditionally. Like the person walking along the seashore who saw one set of footprints and assumed God had left them, you too might need a reminder from God that it is during these times of ‘coldness’ that He is carrying you through the tough times of life, for although you withdrew, God never gave up on His promise to never leave you alone. May I encourage you dear friend to draw close to God, and to the warmth of the fire, that represents Christian fellowship, so that together you might be reignited with the fire of love, peace, caring and everlasting joy, that only God could truly give you. Yes, God might be carrying you right now, but I believe that He longs for the warmth of being reunited with you, His precious child. There are no additional skills necessary to show the world who guides your life and whose love sustains you, but through the glow that will become evident as you reunite with Christ, the world will see, feel and believe.
PRAYER: Precious Lord, please forgive us for allowing so much of the world to influence us and distract us from our walk with You. It’s You that we live for, You that we adore, You that we love and You that we are committed to spend eternity with. While remaining here on earth, it’s You that we need close by our side, leading our path and guiding our every step so that we might be rekindled each day in our walk with You. Please give us strength, boldness and a strong desire to seek only You every day, because of our relationship with You. May others see, believe and desire to know You as a result of something that might be reflected by our desire to imitate Your character in everything we do or say. 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!