DATE POSTED Monday, 2022-09-26
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: Ephesians 1:15-17
TRANSLATION: Good News Translation (GNT)
BIBLE TEXT: 15 For this reason, ever since I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks to God for you. I remember you in my prayers 17 and ask the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, to give you the Spirit, who will make you wise and reveal God to you, so that you will know him.
APPLICATION: As I read this Scripture today, I couldn’t help but think how different Paul’s teaching was, compared to what we hear at most of our churches today. I cringe when I hear preachers put down another pastor or a certain denomination. I despise that when I hear politicians do it in their political ads, and I especially dislike it when I hear it from our pulpits. Like Paul taught in this Scripture today, let the people hear of your faith and how well you are doing in following the example of Jesus Christ, not how well you do at bashing others who chose not to attend your church. Wouldn’t it be awesome for us to just preach and teach the Word of God and the awesome power that it has to save lives from the pit of Hell? You might remember what God said about His Word – it’s sharper than any two-edged sword and it will cut through the sin, mire and stubbornness that has congested the life of the sinner. It doesn’t need us pulling down the opponent so we could rise about their false teachings, pride and evil works. Wouldn’t it be a pleasing change for us to hear a pastor brag on, and rejoice in, the awesome work of his partner in the ministry just down the road from your church? Perhaps their faith is extremely great, or perhaps their love for their community is a pure example of the life and works of Jesus Christ; perhaps their giving for the work of Christ stands out in all of Christendom. Yes, I know that we are very divided in what other denominations believe, and teach about their understanding of the Bible, but did God put us in charge of pulling them down and trying to get them straight? Like Paul teaches us in today’s Scripture, let’s learn to lift up and encourage them in what they are doing well, based on their outward actions and the word on the streets about their teachings. Befriend that pastor, and try to discuss your differences as your relationship and trust develops, but bathe that in prayer so that your powerful God can help each of you to sharpen each other’s skills just like iron sharpens iron. Pray for godly wisdom for your pastor friend, and for yourself, so that you both will remain strong in the faith of our Lord Jesus, and not be swayed by denominational differences, accusations and resentment built up over the years. My desire is that all churches will work towards one goal, promoting the lordship of Jesus Christ, exposing sin as the enemy, and Jesus as the Victor – the only One that can save us from our sin and ready us for the glories of heaven. The reason why I despise pastor for criticizing other pastors, denomination and/or believers, is that it gives the appearance that we are opposed to the power of Jesus to do His job, so we jump in to do it for Him. Jesus gave us the job of winning the lost and challenging the saved, so they could go and win more souls. That’s a fulltime job for us, so let’s seek personal Godly wisdom and stick to the task at hand, God being our helper!
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Never stop giving thanks for the work of Jesus Christ – in our church, and in the churches around us. It’s all about God, not about pulling down another church to make us look good, or better.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for giving Paul the wisdom to challenge us on an area that has crept into many ministries by Satan. We deal with it way too often at work, for we practice pulling down the opponent to make us look better. This has no place in Your church. Can you imagine the shock and surprised an unsaved person would have if they walked into a church and heard the pastor giving thanks for the ministry of the church down the road. I believe their eyes of doubt and questioning would be opened immediately, because they would know that this must be linked to this love of God that they’ve heard so much about, and now seeing in action. Lord God, I am keenly aware that this is not only a problem with pastors, for way too often we practice this individually, even at the disappointment of the sinner looking for the grace of God in us. Have Your will and way in our lives today Lord, may the world see You in everything that we do or say, and may they look to You and accept You in deepest sincerity, for all eternity. 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!