Just as God had set Paul apart to be the apostle to the Gentiles, He has a plan for each of us. That plan has been in place since before the earth was created. Besides Ananias, Paul did not consult with other Christians until he had spent time in the Arabian desert. How long he stayed in the desert is unknown, but he returned to Damascus and preached there for three years. Then he went to Jerusalem to spend time with Peter (Cephas). Besides what God had imparted to Paul through the Holy Spirit, he was able to talk about Jesus with Peter. That would be a conversation worth listening to. It is also a good example for us to follow. We need to spend time alone with God and then we need a mature Christian to mentor us. We need both to become what God wants us to be. We need to choose carefully and not let just anyone speak into our spiritual lives. After making a careful choice of who that person or persons will be, we still need to verify every word by the WORD.
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.–1 John 4:1 (NASB)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Abraham responded to the call of God in faith and started on a journey to a distant land not knowing where he was going. He didn’t ask God for a map of the whole journey, he just obeyed day by day. We keep asking God for His will for our life when all we really need to know is what does He want us to do right now. Does that mean that we live haphazard, unprepared lives? No, we can see that Abraham immediately prepared to go on a journey He packed up everything and started in the direction God told him. He prepared his family and himself for the journey without knowing the way or when the journey would end. Like Abraham, we don’t know the path or the amount of time we will be required to travel on the journey. God wants us to be like Abraham, prepare and pack for the journey but trust Him to direct our paths. Trust Him to take us to the Promised Land. Just as Abraham was sometimes disobedient and got off the straight and narrow path so do we. Through all of Abraham’s errors and sufferings, God was faithful and brought him back to the path. He does the same thing for us and more. He is living within each of us giving us directions constantly if we are listening and praying. When we fall, He picks us up, forgives us, loves us and encourages us to go on. We live in tents of flesh here on earth and some day we will shed those tents and take our final segment of the trip that leads to the city “whose architect and builder is God” where we will receive our inheritance along with Jesus. Focus on Jesus and keep our eyes on the prize!
17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.— Romans 8:17 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
We should always be ready to tell others about Jesus Christ. God puts people in our paths every day that need to hear the good news of salvation. Wherever we go and whatever we do, our lifestyle is sending a message. What is our lifestyle telling people? When people watch us, can they tell that we are ambassadors for Jesus Christ? Do our friends know that we are Christians by our actions or would they have to ask to be sure? Check everything you hear and compare its validity to the scriptures. There are false prophets that have slipped in among us and teach false doctrines, “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. If what you are listening to does not validate your salvation and encourage you to live a holy lifestyle, then you need to turn and run from it.
But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.–1 Timothy 6:11 (KJV)
Do the work of an evangelist. Remember, the mission field starts in our homes and goes out from there.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
When we hit those rough patches and we all do at some point along the way, we need to remember passages like the one above. There are times when friends can’t comfort us. There are times in our lives when from all outward observations things are going fine, but inside we are in turmoil. There are times when what we feel is inexplicable because we don’t quite understand it ourselves. How do we pray about things that we can’t even put into words? How do we turn to the One who has lifted us out of the pit of despair when we don’t know what to say? What do we do or say when being still and knowing the He is God is not enough. How do we move from here back to solid ground and continue on our journey with Him? God has made a way for that to happen. We bow before Him and tell Him that we are unable to pray. He doesn’t get angry or upset, instead, as we wait before Him, He prays for us. Just imagine God the Holy Spirit praying for us and through us, God the Son, Jesus, is at the right hand of God the Father interceding for us! God is listening to the 2nd and 3rd persons of the Trinity praying for us and He sees His own righteousness in Jesus Christ! What more assurance do we need that whatever happens will truly be for our best?
8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” — Joshua 1: 8,9 NLT
In verse one of this chapter, we read “the Lord spoke to Joshua”. So the instructions for Joshua to study the Books of the Old Testament that Moses had written came straight from the mouth of the Lord. The Lord says that “only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do”. God gives us the same intructions about studying the whole Bible.
15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.. — 2 Timothy 2:15 NLT
The King James version says “study to show yourself approved unto God”. How much time do we spend in meditating on God’s Word? How often do we go out into the world unprepared because of a lack of studying the Book of Instruction that God has given to us? Is it any wonder that we are so often defeated when we haven’t given God time to speak to us before we enter the fray? How often do we go naked into the battle instead of being dressed in the whole armor of God? Is it any wonder that we walk so trepidly when God has commanded us to be “strong and courageous”? Our courage and our successes come after we have read and meditated on His Word, not before or in the absence of allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us and to explain God’s word to us. God has not changed, so, yes, He still speaks to us today. He speaks to us through His Word, through His people and yes, He speaks to us directly if we will be still and listen. Jesus said “my sheep know my voice” (John 10:25-30). To know someone’s voice, it would be necessary, at some point, to have actually heard that voice speak.
1 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. 3 Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. — Hebrews 13:1-3 NIV
Keep on loving each other! Some of us have a real problem expressing our affections in words and actions. We may have to overcome some hurts from the past before we are willing to open up to other people. It helps if we realize that all of us need love. If God had not loved us enough to send His Son to die for us, we would never have been able to experience the joy of loving others. So, let us show others the love and kindness of our God by showing our concern for them. We can do this by praying for others, starting at home and praying for our families Then for our brothers and sisters in Christ,especially those who are being persecuted daily and imprisoned. Then we need to pray for those that are persecuting and killing our brothers and sisters. Though we sometimes forget it, Jesus died for them as well. Being able to pray for our enemies is hard to do, but we must, if we are going to be obedient to Jesus. Above all, we must continue to love one another.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.—- Colossians 3:12-14 NIV
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. — 1 Cor.13:13
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (NIV)
The Bible says that Jesus went about doing good. He was our example of how to live our lives. We have many, many opportunities to do good everyday. It is up to us to take advantage of the opportunities that Jesus puts in our paths. If we sow goodness and the other fruits of the Holy Spirit then that is what we will reap in our lives. We all have the same excuses, “I can’t talk to people. I don’t have time” and the list goes on. God has given each of us a talent to use for His glory. Ask Him to show you how to develop that gift that He has given you. And when you ask, don’t forget to wait for His answer. He really and truly loves each of us and wants to bless us. He loves the fellowship and the communication with His children. And God has also given each of us 24 hours a day and it is up to us to take the time to talk with (not to) Him. He is waiting on you. Speak to Him now and listen for His voice.
For Aug 27th