Today, Ed Mathew’s devotional is based in Philemon.
Faith in action is powerful. It reveals the riches of living in Jesus. It leads others to see the beauty of Christianity. It draws people to the Lord. The most convincing faith is a demonstrated faith, II Thessalonians 1:11,12. Actions are more persuasive than words.
Focus question: How does your faith show itself at home, at school, in the workplace, in the congregation?
Update: This was supposed to have been sent to my microblog, but it’s still OK for here.
#faith #practice #devotional
In a little while this evening, we’ll have another study with a young couple who have been Christians for about six months. Before we get to the Bible text, here are some questions I plan to ask them tonight.
- What difficulties have you encountered since your conversion?
- What has been your greatest challenge?
- Any positive surprise that you’ve had?
- What have you seen in terms of spiritual progress and growth?
- Any disappointment during this time?
- What is your greatest motive for thanksgiving during this time?
What other questions might you ask?
God is a planner, Jer 29.11; Psa 33.11. Human plans are also good, as long as they’re well made, Prov 15.22; 20.18. There’s even a prayer that God might “bring all your plans to pass” Psa 20.4.
“A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps” Prov 16.9. So plans must take God into account, Jas 4.13-17.
The new year is a good and appropriate time for plans. Many people make them. What are your spiritual plans for the next year, be they for personal growth, service to God’s family, or making disciples for the Lord Jesus Christ?
I posted this earlier today over on my microblog, but nobody reads it (which is fine with me), and I thought this deserving of a good read. May it encourage someone today.
Have faith. Trust in God. Believe that he will provide. Has he not done so in the past? Has he not cared for your every need? Have you not seen his hand move when you were helpless? Are you not his child, in Christ? Did you not obey the gospel and receive his grace? God cares for his own. He has promised to care for those who seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. Rest in him. Be at peace. Know that he is God and he sees your need. Give thanks for his goodness toward you.
Faith and footwork for the Lord,
Contented smiles to take the News,
Fervent prayers for family growth,
For added workers in the field.
A tropical sun to try the wavering,
Jeers and rocks from passersby,
A song of joy from Jesus’ sowers,
With seeds of hope for heaven’s folk.
Amazed disciples mind their brethren,
Fraternal love to teach and learn
The gifts of life, the gates of glory —
Here reigns our God, the rousing Father.
When one considers the thousands of preachers and priests in the world, it is obvious that most of them are not speaking for God because they teach conflicting things.
One man I baptized started reading the Bible because different priests in his own church were teaching contradictory things.
His reaction was: “Since the priests say different things, I will read the Bible for myself. What it says will certainly be right.” The first time I met him he said: “I don’t know where it will lead me, but I have decided to do what the Bible says.” I thought, “If he really means that, he will become a Christian.” And he did. Have we decided to do what the Bible says?
God’s word enables us to distinguish truth from error.
via There will be false teachers among you
#Bible #false-teachers #truth
Our brother Jim Newsted was a Fellow here on TFR several years back. His wife Linda is in hospice care. Please pray for the family.
Jim was always open about his past struggles in understanding the unconditional love of God. He was a great Barnabas for us (one of his self-identified gifts), and we pray he continues to be so.