3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” – John 3:3 NLT
Our salvation is a gift from God, we didn’t earn it by works and we didn’t purchase it with favor or money. It was God’s plan before the foundations of the earth were laid. As Paul said, if we boast, we must boast in Christ Jesus alone. Does this negate works? Not at all, we are saved to work, not by our works. Just as it was God’s plan to send Jesus to purchase our redemption with His blood, it was always God’s plan that we would have a part in His kingdom work here on earth. God has gifted each of us with a spiritual gift to be used in His work. Some of us are preachers, others are teachers, others encourage, others have gifts of helps. The list of gifts is lengthy, because we all have a part in God’s plan and purpose. Make a commitment today to ask God about your gift and how to use it in His plan.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
We are all guilty! We have felt that gentle nudge from God’s Spirit and said nothing, we have heard that soft quiet voice and still we did nothing! The King of Kings, the Creator of the Universe has issued the command to go and spread the gospel to all of us. (Ref. Matt 28:19, 20) And in individual situations, He has asked us to speak out and invite others into His Kingdom. Why don’t we speak out? Are we afraid that our friends and acquaintances will mock us, make fun of us, reject us? Always remember this, they did the same to Jesus and we are not greater than our Creator. But the most important thing to remember is that it isn’t us they are rejecting, it is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We are going to suffer in this world, and as Peter tells us, it is better to suffer for doing good, than for doing evil.
3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. — James 1:3 NLT
Some people seem to believe that God allows us to be tempted to prove something to Him. He never allows us to be tempted. He does, however, allow us to be tested by situations. The testing that He allows in our lives is for our benefit. God already knows what our response will be, but the tests allow us to know where we are in our journey with God. If we wallow in self-pity in the testing, our flesh allows the tests to turn into temptations. When we are tested, we have to make a decision to trust God with the outcome or try to fix it ourselves. If we fix it, it is always a temporary fix and we soon find ourselves back in the same old situation. If we allow God to deliver us from our troubles, we will grow in our walk with Him and He can trust us with bigger things. We are His creation and it is His right to allow the tests. The tests are always for our benefit and the outcome makes us stronger. The most fertile ground is in the lowest valley, that is where faith is put to the test. We are His prized possessions and He would never do anything to harm us. A baby will never learn to crawl or walk if we carry it all the time. Thank God that He trusts us enough to allow the tests. The testing God allows is to make us stronger and wiser. As we mature, God is able to use us more effectively in growing His Kingdom here on earth. If we don’t take care of the little things, He cannot trust us with bigger things.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” –
Though we may have never met or heard about each other, it is still our duty to pray for one another. We need to pray fervently for God to fill each of us with His Spirit. His Spirit is the only way we will gain knowledge of God’s will and purpose for each of our lives. God has promised us wisdom if we ask for it sincerely without doubting or wavering. In Proverbs, we are reminded to get wisdom and knowledge and with all of our getting to get understanding. While we may never have complete knowledge of all of God’s plans that does not excuse us from asking for and receiving as much as God knows that we can handle. Wisdom is knowledge understood and applied to our lives. With God’s wisdom, we can live lives that please and honor Him. That type of lifestyle will produce good fruit and add souls to God’s kingdom. We must continue to study God’s Word and grow spiritually. As we do this, we can be assured that we have access to the same Resurrection power that brought Jesus back from the grave. That enables us to share in His inheritance and therefore we will be filled with joy. He has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness where we have been bound in the service of satan. Now, that He has purchased our freedom and forgiven us, we live in His kingdom and walk in the light. We can live without worry and fear, both of which are fruits of the lifestyle we had before we came into the Light.
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
Yes, these verses apply directly to Jesus, but they also apply to us as well. Jesus did this work while He walked on this earth. Now, since we are His living temple and He abides in us, it is our duty to carry on this work. This is the good news that He commissioned us to carry to a lost and dying world. His Spirit indwells us and gives us power, boldness, and the words to speak to those He puts in our paths each day. It is not necessary to go on a mission to a foreign country to do this. We live in a foreign country (we are aliens here) and our neighborhood is our mission field. The secular workplace that God has put you in is your mission field. We are all ministers of God’s saving grace and as such, we should minister to people as we go. Our pastors and teachers are responsible for equipping us to minister to the world around us, but it is our responsibility to do the hands-on ministering.
7 Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near.
7 Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help. — Isaiah 58:7 NLT