In Preparation For Your Mission

It appears to me like Paul was given great wisdom in helping those that he mentored in the ministry. In fact, I believe that God used Paul powerfully in his ministry, so that he could be an effective mentor to Timothy. I wonder who’s following in our footsteps? I wonder if our lives are suitable for others to follow, and they go out to be God’s representative and minister? Let’s look at some of the ways Paul felt prepared for the task at hand.

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   2 Timothy 2:14-17 (VOICE)

TEXT:  14 …... Warn them before God to stop their useless bickering over words. After all, splitting hairs does no good; it only ruins those forced to listen to their meritless arguments. 15 Timothy, do everything you can to present yourself to God as a man who is fully genuine, a worker unashamed of your mission, a guide capable of leading others along the correct path defined by the word of truth. 16 Stay away from ungodly babbling because it will only lead deeper into a godless lifestyle. 17 Once these empty voices start to speak, Timothy, they infect and spread; and soon the body is consumed with its cancer….

APPLICATION:   I’m not sure how many of us will ever be blessed to have the honor of mentoring someone entering into a ministry role, like Paul did, but we are often part of a church where new workers are called into ministry each year, and some of us may also be blessed to be part of a commissioning service for a new minister of the gospel, like Timothy was. This advice given by Paul is great for us to consider as we look into our own lives. Hopefully as we live these out personally, we will be in a much better position to say like Paul did in one of his other teachings: “now follow me, as you try to live a godly life” or as you endeavor to serve in your new assignment. You see, it is hypocritical to suggest that a new minister, teacher, worker, do some of these things, if we are personally doing an awful job at these things ourselves. For example, how can we suggest that they not get in arguments over words, or split hairs over individual interpretations, if we are so bad at doing that ourselves? Or that they should be genuine in their walk, if we are personally accused of living a double life? Or to not be ashamed of the gospel, if we are often embarrassed to have others know that we are involved in the ministry of our local church? So friends, I would encourage you to not brush this off by thinking that we now have some good advice to give ministers and/or workers entering into the ministry of Jesus Christ, but instead that we live out these principles ourselves so that we might give sound advice as we suggest that they follow, just as we follow Christ. I believe that only then, will the church of Jesus Christ see effective workers in the local church, and well prepared ministers and/or missionaries that we send out from our local churches. Lost people are anxious to see genuine Christians. Just as we aim to be exactly that, will we be effective and genuine in sending others out, just like us.

PRAYER:   Lord, please have Your perfect will and way in the hearts of each one that will meditate on this devotional today. May the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. May Your kingdom become richer as a result of us sharing our genuineness with others who will be impacted today, with the character and form of the One true God. 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!

Preparing To Meet

Anytime we prepare ourselves for meeting with a famous person, we go to great extremes to ‘clean ourselves up’ – going to the hair dresser; purchasing the right apparel for the occasion, etc. Yet, just like the tribes that Hezekiah prayed for, we too go to prayer meetings and church services, perhaps less prepared inwardly and outwardly, than if we were going to the movies. As we meditate on this Scripture today, let’s do so while keeping in mind that we are about to meet with the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-03-13
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS

Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 30:18–19
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Bible Text: 18-19 Many people from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not prepared themselves in the right way for the Passover Festival. They did not celebrate the Passover the right way, as the Law of Moses says. But Hezekiah prayed for the people. So he said this prayer, “Lord God, you are good. These people sincerely wanted to worship you in the right way, but they did not make themselves clean as the law says. Please forgive these people. You are the Lord, the God our ancestors worshiped. Forgive them, even if some did not make themselves clean as the rules of the Most Holy Place say.” 

OBSERVATION: Anytime we prepare ourselves for meeting with a famous person, we go to great extremes to ‘clean ourselves up’ – going to the hair dresser; purchasing the right apparel for the occasion, etc. Yet, just like the tribes that Hezekiah prayed for, we too go to prayer meetings and church services, perhaps less prepared inwardly and outwardly, than if we were going to the movies. As we meditate on this Scripture today, let’s do so while keeping in mind that we are about to meet with the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

APPLICATION:  Ever heard a parent say to their child ‘well if you’re going to the fair with me looking mad and upset, then we may as well stay at home, because you couldn’t possibly have a good time with that attitude’? But don’t we sometimes go to church with a similar attitude? Imagine for a moment if, 30 minutes prior to leaving the house, we were to go before God and lay ourselves before Him and seek His face and ask His forgiveness of our sin, our littleness and our selfishness. Additionally ask God to bless us individually and expand our personal borders so that we might touch the lives of others. Can you possibly dream, or imagine, what our prayer meetings and church services would look like and sound like? Can you imagine the outlook on everyone’s face when they walk out of the sanctuary refreshed in their relationship with God and ready for a week of service in His kingdom work? Rushing to that favorite diner would be the last thing on our minds, instead of the only thing we tend to think on each week! Friend, we will never encounter free, unhindered, personal worship when we depend on the Praise Band to build the excitement and raise the entertainment level so that we may become involved in and excited about worshiping. We can’t build our excitement from what we feel in the band, our excitement builds from all that lies within. If we haven’t cleaned up the ‘junk’ in our lives, how can we possibly go before a ‘HOLY’ and ‘Righteous’ God and expect to be excited about it? Remember, He knows our every deed and thought. When we haven’t cleaned up those things, we go before Him with the same guilt that we would have if we went straight to church from a cocktail party hoping that no one will smell the alcohol on us! God said that we are to be holy, even as He is holy. Why not join me in doing our best to make sure that we go in a prepared way to meet with Him and worship Him this weekend? He would be overjoyed, and we would be blessed beyond measure.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, how ashamed we should be about the important things that we take for granted. We will make time for every meeting we plan to attend or participate in, but somehow we feel like You will show up no matter how little we do in preparation. Forgive us Lord, and help us to really focus on our time with You, for You created us in Your own image and You love us beyond anything we could imagine. Hezekiah prayed for his people who had not prepared themselves to meet with You, may this be a reminder for us that You are holy and therefore we should approach Your throne in a spirit of holiness. This is contrary to the atmosphere in which we live daily and only You could cleanse us and make us worthy of being in Your presence. Lord we beg Your powerful work in our lives, so that we may be effective in all that we do in Your holy name. Amen!

Are You Prepared?

The Holy Bible  (The Contemporary English Version – 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18): 14 We believe that Jesus died and was raised to life. We also believe that when God brings Jesus back again, he will bring with him all who had faith in Jesus before they died. 15 Our Lord Jesus told us that when he comes, we won’t go up to meet him ahead of his followers who have already died. 16 With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God’s trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life. 17 Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever. 18 Encourage each other with these words.

Thoughts:  To help understand how the decisions we make today impact our future, I want to compare what happens when a natural disaster approaches, versus the decisions we make regarding our relationship with Jesus Christ. For when we evaluate our decisions in either scenario, the result can make the difference between life and eternal death. Here are some choices we have to consider in both scenarios:

  1. When the warnings of an approaching disaster are up – such as a hurricane, or other killer-type natural disaster/storm:

    Natural Disaster: We may have time to make some last minute preparations or purchase supplies to help us while we are displaced. But most importantly we must decide if we will obey the evacuation and/or preparation orders;

    Spiritually: Again in this scripture today we are given the warning that only those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior will go beyond life as we know it today. In other words, eternal life in heaven. We are either reassured of our impending resurrection with Jesus, or we are stubbornly deciding to continue in the way of this world and accept our destiny in Hell when Jesus comes to take His children home to glory;

  2. During the preparation period:

    Natural Disaster: We are warned at the beginning of each hurricane season about the items we should have stashed away for a quick evacuation, should it become necessary. After visiting with a friend up north and seeing his disaster kit in the trunk of his car, I know that in cold areas you are also warned to be prepared should you be forced to remain in your vehicles in extreme winter storms. In both cases, in advance preparation we are able to get quality items and avoid disaster at the stores before the last minute preparers hit the stores. We also stand the chance of getting to the stores and purchasing what we need while there is safety and time to do that. Plus the stress of entering an announced impending disaster period is much reduced when we are ready in advance;

    Spiritually: We are warned whenever we read the Bible. We are reminded when we read the newspapers and see all that is going on in our world today. Fellow Christians and/or pastors remind us whenever given the opportunity. As in the case of Natural Disasters, we have a choice to prepare in advance and enjoy the blessings of Christianity even while here on earth. However, of even greater importance, we stand ready to meet God, should sudden death come upon us.

  3. The results of our readiness, or lack thereof:

    Natural Disaster: We often hear of deaths resulting from unprepared citizens. They made a choice to be unprepared, and they paid the ultimate price. Even if prepared, the individuals still went through a lot of stress evacuating, and possibly still got caught in some of the fury of the disaster;

    Spiritually: Even so Come Lord Jesus, Come! Paul likened it to the greater joy that is to come, compared to the joy that is ours here on earth with our Master at the wheel of our lives. Imagine the sweet, sweet spirit of being in the presence of Jesus, worshiping and glorifying Him for endless days. What a Day that will be! This is the peace and joy that Christians have while here on this earth. We are happy here, but sure that we will be even happier with the Lord!

Please forgive me for writing such a long blog today, but sometimes it may take a side by side analogy to help some folk truly understand the importance of accepting Jesus Christ today, being prepared in advance, and anxious about the day that Jesus calls us home. Are you ready for that friend? See my Footnote for further instruction. Jesus is Coming Soon, let’s be ready to go!

Prayer:  Lord, Your Word has displayed a warning light for us again today, for it has reminded us of the need to be ready for that glorious day when You will call us home to glory! I know that this will not be a shining day for some, because they have chosen to ignore the warnings. If they are granted time enough to read this devotional today, I pray that You might graciously soften their hearts and convince them of the need to be prepared, for I believe that Your return is very near. I especially pray for family and friends who have not yet heeded the warnings from You, and I pray earnestly for their salvation. In Your own perfect way Oh Lord, please deal in their lives today, for I want to see them when I join all the saints around Your throne in Heaven. Thank You for drawing me to Yourself some 39 years ago, please continue to use me for Your glory while allowed to remain here on earth. I will praise and honor You for all things Oh Lord, for I ask these things in anticipation of Your perfect will being accomplished, and with thanksgiving, 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!