A Vessel Used By God

There are certain books that you might pick up and the story is so interesting that it becomes challenging for you to stop reading and put the book down for a while. The same is true with some teachers and preachers. Is it because one is more educated than the other, or one has been trained to assemble a sermon with certain form? I believe that if you are a preacher or teacher, you will definitely benefit from Paul’s lesson found in our Scripture today, but I also believe that it will train listeners to also look for the influence of the Holy Spirit on what is being said. Think about this with me today dear friend!

DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-04-28
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: My brothers and sisters, I did not pose as an expert with all the answers. I did not pretend to explain the mystery of God with eloquent speech and human wisdom. I claimed to know nothing with certainty other than the reality that Jesus is the Anointed One, the Liberating King, who was crucified on our behalf. I was moved to utter despair during my time with you. I would find myself trembling in dread and fear. The sermons I preached were not delivered with the kind of persuasive elegance some have come to expect, but they were effective because I relied on God’s Spirit to demonstrate God’s power. If this were not so, your faith would be based on human wisdom and not the power of God.

OBSERVATION: There are certain books that you might pick up and the story is so interesting that it becomes challenging for you to stop reading and put the book down for a while. The same is true with some teachers and preachers. Is it because one is more educated than the other, or one has been trained to assemble a sermon with certain form? I believe that if you are a preacher or teacher, you will definitely benefit from Paul’s lesson found in our Scripture today, but I also believe that it will train listeners to also look for the influence of the Holy Spirit on what is being said. Think about this with me today dear friend!

APPLICATION: I’m sure that like me, you have attended a Sunday School class and been bored out of your mind, only to arrive home and hear your spouse brag about all that they got out of the lesson that day. The same holds true with a church service. You may have been blessed beyond expectation, only to hear a friend complain about how ‘dry’ and ‘dull’ the preacher was, or how the music was too loud to enjoy and how they couldn’t stay awake during the sermon. Friends, when the Holy Spirit is at work, and has a message for one or more individuals, He could speak through an inexperienced, spoiled young man, or through a seasoned, old, dull man, and the Spirit’s word will fall on fertile ground. In our Scripture today, Paul deliberately held back on his fancy words and trying to overly impress those he was ministering to, for he knew that it was more important to plead with God to accomplish His work, even if He did it through him. Paul sounded very much like any of us, for he said that he was often fearful to stand before this crowd, and find the right words to convince them of their faithful Father. I have attempted to share the Word in a public/church setting before, and I could easily appreciate what Paul was saying. Much like this blog, some of you might read what I share some days and you may sit back and wonder where is this brother coming from? Friends, without bragging at all, I can tell you that on many occasions I have struggled to complete a day’s devotional, but because I asked God for His direction, I went ahead and posted it. Only to hear from one or more readers that they were drawn closer to God, or blessed immensely by the blog that day. Only God! There are days that God will fill me with so many thoughts that I could hardly type it fast enough. However, there are some days that God seems to give it to me in pieces. Often I share a lot of personal examples/experiences to help you understand what’s on my mind when I write the blog. Please don’t take this as bragging in any way, but seek God and ask Him to help you see what’s in store for you as you read His Word, and my thoughts. Perhaps He will use something to truly speak to your heart also and grow you in your faith. Please pray for me that I will stay on target and allow the Holy Spirit to speak boldly through me, so that you might hear from Him each day. Although I pray that God will always use me in this way, I want you to hear from Him, even though I may be shown as the author of the blog. It’s not until that happens that you will truly be blessed!

PRAYER: Precious Lord, just as Paul was used as a vessel for You to speak to the church at Corinth, I pray that it will be evident every day from the words read in my blog, that You are using me as a vessel to speak with myself and my readers. I also pray that You will use those who teach and those who preach, so that Your Word might go forth in season and out of season to those in need of hearing Your Word. Many are searching for a word from the Master during these trying times. I pray that their time will be well spent in reading what You have to share through Nuggets From God’s Word. May they see Jesus, and hear all about Your love, Your forgiveness. and Your direction for their lives. May I, in humility, avoid selfish feelings and relaying selfish thoughts, but instead wait on You and always allow You to speak through the words that I pen. Please touch our church leaders, teachers and preachers in the same way Lord, for people need the Lord, and not to learn more about any of us. 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 encourage you to visit my home church, 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!

Strive for Perfection, Just as Christ is Perfect!

Scripture: Matthew 5

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matt 5:48 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

At the conclusion of a chapter devoted to telling us how to live a true Christ-like life, Jesus tells us that we are to strive for perfection like the only perfect One – Himself. I feel like there are several things to consider here:

  1. In Character: When we continually sin and just shrug it off to excuses like: “Well I’m sorry, after all I’m just human” or “It’s OK, I know that God will forgive me”or “Well, there’s always another chance for me to try and do this right”, then I believe that we are giving in to being a child of this world and accepting the pitfalls and weaknesses of this world rather than placing our faith solidly in the hands of the almighty and striving wholeheartedly to be like Him. Let’s aspire to be as much like Christ as possible. He will see our sincerity and help us through our human flaws;
  2. In Holiness: In striving to be more like Christ, we will find that love for, and service to others, become a priority in our lives. God showed mercy and love even to those who hated Him and chose to fight against Him. Look at how He healed the soldier in the Garden of Gethsemane. Let’s remember that we are chosen by God to carry His love into this sick world and represent Him in all of our interaction with sinners.
  3. In Maturity: Christ-like maturity doesn’t happen instantly. Just like we expect more from a teenager than we do from a child, or more from an adult than we do from a teenager because of the years of maturing into adulthood, so it is as we study God’s Word, learn more about Him and how we can become more like Him. We should be showing signs of maturing more and more each day. Friends, we don’t mature into adulthood strictly by what we learn in school – we learn it from our everyday living. So it is with maturing as a Christian – don’t depend solely on what you may learn from a weekly sermon. Get into the Word (God’s book of instruction) and learn daily what it is that God is teaching you that day to help you mature in Him.
  4. In Love: We must seek to love others with the same love that Christ loved us. He gave His life for us, while we still hated Him, while we plotted to kill Him, while we spat in His face and mocked Him. We weren’t deserving of His love, yet He gave it all to show His love for us. That’s the kind of love we must have for those that we come into contact with daily.

Christ calls us to rise above mediocrity and be perfect even as He is perfect. When we strive for this perfection we stop accepting anything less. One day we will be perfect, just as He is perfect!

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that I serve the only perfect one. My desire is to daily grow to be, or mature to be, more like You in every way. This means that I am striving to also be perfect. This requires my daily time on Your Word and my ultimate desire to overcome the things of this world that will distract me in every way possible. However, I have the confidence in knowing that I serve the only One who could give me the strength, wisdom, desire, boldness and power to overcome the sinfulness of this world and strive for ultimate perfection in You. Please give me a constant desire to be more like You so that others may see Jesus in me and want to also know You. thank You for providing such an example for me to follow and mature in.