Your Identification With Christ

It is reported from various survey experts that there is little difference in the number of divorces, and abortions among God’s church, as in the world. WHAT??? Could this record possibly be right? Why? How could this be? Paul found that his church members argued and had cliques among themselves, just like the world itself has. But as we meditate on these verses today, let’s concentrate on the reason Paul found for this.

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-05-18
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Corinthians 11:17-19
TRANSLATION: English Standard Version (ESV)

BIBLE TEXT: 17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part,[e] 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized

OBSERVATION: It is reported from various survey experts that there is little difference in the number of divorces, and abortions among God’s church, as in the world. WHAT??? Could this record possibly be right? Why? How could this be? Paul found that his church members argued and had cliques among themselves, just like the world itself has. But as we meditate on these verses today, let’s concentrate on the reason Paul found for this.

APPLICATION: Paul said that if it was not that factions arose in the church, how else might we know that sincere children of God exists. Wow! What a thought! But as I meditated on this, unfortunately I came across other actions that tend to flush out the real vs the pretend Christians. Ever notice how things like gossip, favoritism, prejudices and a strong desire for leadership, is just as prevalent in the church today as we might find at our workplaces, social clubs or elsewhere in the world? So even though we see Paul’s explanation for this, I wonder what you, my readers and my friends might think of the problem? Having been actively involved in church work for many years, I know first hand that there are so many things that affect the progress of God’s church, but I never looked at it quite like Paul described. Let’s look at a few challenges that seem to hinder the work of the Lord in His ministry, and see what would happen if God’s children would truly be loyal to their King and be His warriors in prayer and in growth as a Christian. Paul mentioned cliques, and unfortunately these are just as prevalent today. But what if a child of God stood up to the group and refused to continue in the group unless he was able to include whoever he wanted to, or what if that Christian felt open to correction by a member of the clique for what was said, or inferred about another church member? What about gossip? Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone told you news about someone else and you asked them to join you as you met with that person to discuss the matter? Another popular challenge of Christians is to place their pastors and church leaders under a microscope instead of acknowledging them as a fellow human being and praying diligently for them and the role they are called to fulfill for the Master. The results of our prayers are always evident. When someone complains about the job done by a pastor or teacher, I believe you will find it interesting if you ask them how did they pray for the pastor before he taught or preached. I have found that most times people will neglect praying for the glory of God to shine through their pastor as he brings the Word at church that day, yet they complain when they get nothing from the sermon. Is that not what they prayed for – nothing? Friends, I realize that none of us are perfect, nor can we expect perfection here on earth, but I wonder how often God looks on us and stands proud of His child who stood firm in their faith and trusted God for the challenges at hand instead of complaining or whining about it. I had a situation once in life where someone stopped me in my tracks from talking about a team of employees, and told me that these employees were saying the same things about me. That had a lasting impression on me, and has helped me many times when tempted to go along with slander, or whining or complaining or spreading lies. I believe that it is time for God’s children to stand firm for the One in whom they believe. Let Jesus be Lord of all – every situation, or not Lord at all. We represent an awesome God. Let’s not misrepresent Him, or what He stands for.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I pray that we might stop long enough today to think through our relationship with You. I’m sure that we will quickly humble ourselves before You as we recognize our downfalls and our shortcomings. Lord, it seems like we are weak in so many areas of our lives, and we realize that we could only gain the needed strength from You. In much †he same way as we tend to judge others, they are also watching us under a microscope. Lord, I truly want them to see You in me – in every action and every word that I speak. I pray that You will see Your children who are serious about their relationship with You shine through in every aspect of life. Please help us not to be a stumbling block to anyone looking for Jesus. We need You precious Lord, please be our guide and our deliverer in every aspect of life today. 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!

Actions and Words That Glorify God

So often we tend to get caught up in our own stand on something, that we fight for, act up, and run over people in order to achieve what we believe to be the ‘perfect way’ or even at times, the ‘only way’! God is teaching us, through His servant Paul, that in all things we are to aim for others to glorify Christ because of our impact on their lives. I believe that our mean, selfish attitudes will disappear when we interact with others using this principal! Meditate with me as we consider the impact this could have on our lives, and in our life.

Wednesday, 2019-08-21

Bible Reference: 1 Corinthians 10:29-33
Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text:  29 ….you may ask, must I be guided and limited by what someone else thinks? 30 If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why let someone spoil everything just because he thinks I am wrong? 31 Well, I’ll tell you why. It is because you must do everything for the glory of God, even your eating and drinking. 32 So don’t be a stumbling block to anyone, whether they are Jews or Gentiles or Christians. 33 That is the plan I follow, too. I try to please everyone in everything I do, not doing what I like or what is best for me but what is best for them, so that they may be saved.

OBSERVATION: So often we tend to get caught up in our own stand on something, that we fight for, act up, and run over people in order to achieve what we believe to be the ‘perfect way’ or even at times, the ‘only way’! God is teaching us, through His servant Paul, that in all things we are to aim for others to glorify Christ because of our impact on their lives. I believe that our mean, selfish attitudes will disappear when we interact with others using this principal! Meditate with me as we consider the impact this could have on our lives, and in our life.

APPLICATION:  To a very large extent we tend to build our lives around people who please us; who does life ‘our way’; and who has everything that makes us happy. Paul had to address this in the Corinthian church, and I believe that his teaching is included in the Word of God, because we need to be reminded of this today also. We still live in an imperfect world, and we still have a need to get over our selfishness. In this particular chapter Paul was addressing the subject of some being convinced that they could not eat certain foods, while others were quite OK with that and saw nothing wrong with it, nor how it might affect their relationship with God. Paul’s conviction was that we should be careful to do what pleases God, not just ourselves. In fact Paul directed us to do only those things that will glorify God, and that opens a much wider spectrum of principles that we should follow, including why and how should do things. This is supported by the wide variety of principles and characteristics that Jesus taught and modeled throughout His earthly ministry, for He ate with sinners, boldly taught opposing Pharisees and loved those whom He came into contact with. But let’s take the example of food that Paul taught about in this chapter. This still exists today, because there are some who feel like there are certain foods that would defile their bodies, and some even feel that this is based on Biblical references – and therefore may displease God. I believe that we are being taught to make every effort to please God in our lives, which may mean that our own convictions may need adjusting at times. We should never create animosity with a Brother or Sister who is trying to please God through what they eat. Unfortunately, we sometimes become so wrapped up in the unimportant aspects of a Christian’s personal beliefs and practices, that we lose sight of glorifying God in the moment in which we find ourselves. Friends, rather than trying to force others to eat what we eat or not, we’ve totally missed the point if we haven’t challenged them, or helped them grow in their personal relationship with God. The time we spend with individuals, should help them in their relationship with God, or at least challenge them to consider their own lives in the light of eternity. We must be careful to help someone draw close to God, rather than becoming a stumbling block to the very people we feel led to help. As a child of God, our aim should always be to please Him through the way that we live, not by trying to be ‘God’. Our path to living like a child of the King is very clear in His Word, let’s learn to live like that and rub off on as many as we can. Maybe at that point we might have more impact on the unbeliever also, for we will truly imitate our loving Lord, and act more like He intended. It’s all about God friend, not our personal ideals.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for loving us in spite of our silly personal ideals. Thank You for speaking through Paul to redirect our attention towards You instead of trying to impose our imperfections onto others. May our daily goal always be to please You in all that we do and say. To be more like You and to draw closer to You in every way. You have taught us to love everyone and to encourage them instead of tearing down and destroying. May we be more like You every day, and may it be evident to all that we come into contact with, is my humble plea that I ask for myself and as I encourage my readers to do the same also. For I ask this in the loving and awesome name of Jesus, 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!

Do Everything For The Glory Of God

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Living Bible – 1 Corinthians 10:29-33): 29 ….you may ask, must I be guided and limited by what someone else thinks? 30 If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why let someone spoil everything just because he thinks I am wrong? 31 Well, I’ll tell you why. It is because you must do everything for the glory of God, even your eating and drinking. 32 So don’t be a stumbling block to anyone, whether they are Jews or Gentiles or Christians. 33 That is the plan I follow, too. I try to please everyone in everything I do, not doing what I like or what is best for me but what is best for them, so that they may be saved.

THOUGHTS: To a very large extent we tend to build our lives around people who please us; doing all the things that please us; and having all the things that make us happy. Paul had to address this in the Corinthian church, and I believe that his teaching is included in the Word of God, because we need to be reminded of this today also. In this particular chapter Paul was addressing the subject of some being convinced that they could not eat certain foods, while others were quite OK with that and saw nothing wrong with that, nor how it would affect their relationship with God. Paul’s conviction was that we should be careful to do what pleases God, not just ourselves. In fact Paul directed us to do only those things that will glorify God, and that opens a much wider spectrum of principles about we should do, why we should do it and how we should do it. For God has taught throughout His Word the wide variety of principles and characteristics that He has modeled, and that He is pleased with. So let’s take the example of food that Paul taught about in this chapter. This still exists today, because there are some who feel like there are certain foods that would defile their bodies, and some even feel that this is based on Biblical references – and therefore may displease God. I believe that we are being taught to make every effort to please God in our own convictions rather than creating animosity with that Brother or Sister who is trying to please God through what they eat. Unfortunately, we sometimes become so wrapped up in the unimportant aspects of a Christian’s beliefs and practices, that we lose sight of their relationship with God. In other words, whether we force them to eat what we eat or not, it’s a matter of personal relationship with God and the decisions made by the individual about accepting Jesus as Savior that makes a difference of where they will spend eternity. If we are not careful, we could become a stumbling block to the very people we feel led to help. As a child of God, our aim should always be to please Him through the way that we live, not by trying to be ‘God’. Our path to living like God designed is very clear in His Word, let’s learn to live like that and rub off on as many as we can as they try to do the same. Maybe at that point we will have more impact on the unbeliever also, for we will truly imitate our loving Lord, and act more like He intended. It’s all about God friend, not our personal ideals.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for loving us in spite of our silly personal ideals. Thank You for speaking through Paul to redirect our attention towards You instead of trying to impose our imperfections onto others. May our daily goal always be to please You in all that we do and say. To be more like You and to draw closer to You in every way. You have taught us to love everyone and to encourage them instead of tearing down and destroying. May we be more like You every day, and may it be evident to all that we come into contact with, is my humble plea that I ask for myself and encourage my readers to do the same also. For I ask this in the loving and awesome name of Jesus, 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 read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, 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 www.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!