Transformed Relationships

Often times we will read about ways to, and often we are encouraged to, transform our lives into one that aligns with the will of God and in obedience of the Holy Spirit. Paul encourages us to meditate also on how these transformed lives will look to those that we connect with and call our friends. Perhaps you might be willing to join me in looking deeply into our personal relationships with others, and whether there is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work within us as we fellowship with each other. Paul gives great guidance to us, so let’s dig in…

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-04-14
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

Bible Reference: Romans 12:9-12
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)

Bible Text: Let the inner movement of your heart always be to love one another, and never play the role of an actor wearing a mask. Despise evil and embrace everything that is good and virtuous. 10 Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honor of one another. 11 Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement as you serve him.
12 Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble,[e] but commune with God at all times.

OBSERVATION: Often times we will read about ways to, and often we are encouraged to, transform our lives into one that aligns with the will of God and in obedience of the Holy Spirit. Paul encourages us to meditate also on how these transformed lives will look to those that we connect with and call our friends. Perhaps you might be willing to join me in looking deeply into our personal relationships with others, and whether there is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work within us as we fellowship with each other. Paul gives great guidance to us, so let’s dig in…

APPLICATION: Often times we struggle in relationships, both with family members and with friends. For there is jealousy between one another and envy and hard feelings that could quickly result, in fact, to the extent that we can’t stand to be in each other’s presence. Coworkers tend to be so competitive to reach for the top, or earn more commissions and/or recognition, so they step right over another employee, and may even do certain things to prevent that coworker from doing their best. Church members want to be in charge, or favored by the pastor, or perhaps they just can’t have their own way, so we see churches split or families leave the church and move on to another. I wonder if the result would be any different if we were to follow the advice of Paul in these two verses? Friends, Christians are to be deep into the Word at every opportunity, but not less frequently than daily, looking over God’s instructions to be sure that we live and love like Him. You see, God’s Word contains our template for love, it tells us about our Role Model, Jesus Christ. Our responsibility according to the Word, is to go and minister to the world so that all may know Jesus. Don’t you know that we are actually teaching them our evil ways when we act like the world, or like the above examples? Remember, our actions speak so loud that others will rarely hear what we are saying to them. I believe Paul is saying that we are not to be hypocritical. If we claim Jesus as Lord, then we are to live like Him and seek to squash all evil thoughts that Satan will buffet us with. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we will seek to act like Jesus. and in no way follow the path of least resistance that are led by Satan – whose aim is to kill, steal and destroy the work of God. Friends, Jesus is coming soon and we must live with that in mind. Don’t dare live like the devil and think you’ll have time to seek forgiveness when you hear that Jesus is coming down the street. The Bible says that we must live in a state of readiness, because Jesus in no way needs our permission that the coast is clear for Him to come and gather His bride (the church – us). This means that we are to live and love like Jesus demands of us today. Don’t delay, please?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, the creator of love, the One who showed ultimate love, please forgive me for making a mockery of living and loving like You exampled for me. You showed me how to live, and I have totally blown it. Thank You for Your servant Paul, who has reminded us that we need to live and love in ways that others might recognize as an imitation of God. This is impossible to achieve, as long as we continue to give in to the ways of this world. Father, please give my readers and I strength to be true victors in living our lives according to the model You displayed. Please help us to stay so in tuned with Your Word that it will not only impact the words from our lips, but the desires of our heart and the actions of our whole being. Lord, sadly, we must confess that we have ‘Christian’ family and friends that are living in sin, because they are acting just like Satan, and in similar ways to the above examples given. Please use this devotional today to speak to the hearts of those claiming You as Lord. Please also speak to those who have not yet accepted You as Lord, for today is the day of salvation, and there is no better time than today for them to seek Your power and Your strength so that they too might live and love like You. Lord, this old world is getting in extremely poor shape morally, for folk are becoming more and more hardened to their sin. Please, I beg You, do a mighty work in Your people today. Begin with us, Christians. Get us straight first, so that we may be Your hands and Your feet on the ground seeking to impact the lives of those that don’t know You. These things I ask humbly in Your precious name and for Your sake, 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would highly recommend to you 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!

Decide Today Whom You Will Serve

In Joshua’s last discourse with the Israelite leaders, he brought them together and reminded them of where they came from (including their forefathers) and how they got to their current location in the position they were now in as land owners. He reminded them that it was only the love and power of God that brought them through the overwhelming challenges along their way. However, they still had a choice about whom they will worship/serve. We have the same choice to make, so let us meditate on the challenge given by Joshua and see how God might use it to help direct us today.

Wednesday, 2019-08-28

Bible Reference: Joshua 24:14-15
Translation: Good News Translation (GNT)

Bible Text: 14 “Now then,” Joshua continued, “honor the Lord and serve him sincerely and faithfully. Get rid of the gods which your ancestors used to worship in Mesopotamia and in Egypt, and serve only the Lord. 15 If you are not willing to serve him, decide today whom you will serve, the gods your ancestors worshiped in Mesopotamia or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are now living. As for my family and me, we will serve the Lord.”

OBSERVATION: In Joshua’s last discourse with the Israelite leaders, he brought them together and reminded them of where they came from (including their forefathers) and how they got to their current location in the position they were now in as land owners. He reminded them that it was only the love and power of God that brought them through the overwhelming challenges along their way. However, they still had a choice about whom they will worship/serve. We have the same choice to make, so let us meditate on the challenge given by Joshua and see how God might use it to help direct us today.

APPLICATION: About a year ago, on the anniversary of our church beginnings, we were reminded of how God moved mightily in so many ways as His people prayed, gave and worked together to build a sanctuary for worship to our King. Our hearths were stirred to consider how awesome it would be to see God do it again, now that we have run out of space at our current location. In our Scripture, Joshua reminded the Israelite leaders of all that God had brought them, and their ancestors through, in order to arrive at the current land of milk and honey. He showed them clearly that it was only because of God. Having heard about, and in many cases witnessed the miraculous hand of God, Joshua challenged them to now stop ‘riding the fence’ and make a decision today on whom they will choose to recognize as God of their lives and sincerely worship, for as long as they live. Does this remind you of a recent sermon you may have heard at your church? Or have you not heard of a good reason yet to attend church? Joshua made a few suggestions to the leaders on who they might choose as alternate gods, you know, the same types of options we still have available to us today, at least for a short while longer. Friend, perhaps you grew up in a home where your parents attended church, because it was their go-to place for worshipping corporately, the God that they served everyday, and that they promoted in your home. In your early teen years the cool kids from the neighborhood pulled you in to their group and you found satisfaction in the companionship, the fun and games and the things they were teaching you. Looking for them each day after school soon reminded you of your parents and their go-to place, for your friends became your go-to place. Until suddenly one day your precious mom became deathly sick, and your friends were way too busy to help you care for your mom, or give you any type of assurance about her recovery. Your ‘god’ seemed to be failing you. What on earth was happening to you? Friends, based on what Joshua told his leaders, I believe that we have a similar decision to make in our lives TODAY. Are we prepared to make a firm commitment to the god that we will follow/serve? If we choose the god of the ‘hood’ like our friend, we will find ourselves wanting, because they are incapable of fulfilling our needs like the God who created us and knows us intimately. But please don’t overlook the warning that Joshua gave, don’t say ‘yes’ to my God unless you are ready and serious about serving Him, because He could either bless you, or He could destroy you like the Amorites, for your pretense. Please allow me to guide you in this, by boldly repeating what Joshua said: regardless of what you decide, my family and I will serve the Lord and worship Him until He returns to take us home. Dear friends, my desire is that you would decide to do the same. If you don’t know my Lord intimately, please read my Footnote and be sure to follow the hyperlinks.

PRAYER: Precious Lord, You have been so good to us, yet we take Your blessings and Your gifts for granted. Please forgive us as we bow before you humbly today. Lord, we know that there is no one else like You, and that You deserve our faithfulness and total dedication. As encouraged by Your servant Joshua, may we become a people committed to serving and worshipping only You for ever and for ever. 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. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, 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!