What is our excuse

Years ago we talked with Frances Davidson (Mrs. Jerry) Saturday and she told of a man in Guyana who rode his bicycle 13 miles one way from St. Ignatius to Moco Moco to help build the new church building. Christians at Moco Moco were furnishing materials to erect a building and preacher’s home but the labor the Christians supplied without pay. Get the picture. A man wanted to help build the church building and knew his help was needed. He rode his bicycle 13 miles one way and worked all day. At the end of the day he got back on his bicycle for the 13 mile trip home.

Previously I listened to Dr. James Dobson’s program and heard a man speaking that had a bad speech impediment. I had to listen carefully to understand what he was saying. He mentioned how he walks with a limp and was told as a child not to look for a wife that no one would marry him. He was told he would never be a success because of his physical limitations. He has cerebral palsy. He said his sister believed in him and wouldn’t let him give up. Praise God! He is married to a healthy lady and has four healthy children. He told the number of times he spoke this particular year and it was between 500-700 times. He said pretty soon he was going “full time.” The audience cracked up with laughter. He asked the question, “Now if I can do this for the Lord, what is your excuse?”

In other words, what is our excuse for not doing more for the Lord?

How dedicated are we? When we hear of examples like these, doesn’t it make us ask ourselves, “What is our excuse?” Tired? Too busy? Not enough time? Family? Don’t know enough? We are too blessed to be stressed. That came across my desk this past week and it is true, but isn’t it the other way with us…”We are too blessed and we are too stressed.” How foolish we must look to God and to those who ride a bicycle 13 miles one way to labor physically all day in the heat for no pay. How foolish we must look to a man who can hardly walk and talk who grew up hearing he would never amount to anything.

What is our excuse? We have none. Every day let us do one thing for the Lord. Make a visit, a call (to someone you don’t talk to regularly), send a card, say something positive to encourage another, say something about God, read your Bible. 

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

#dedication, #excuses

Devotion to serving: 1 Corinthians 16.15-16

“You know that the family of Stephanas was the first family to be won for Christ in Greece. This family has devoted itself to serving God’s [holy] people. So I encourage you, brothers and sisters,to follow the example of people like these and anyone else who shares their labor and hard work.”

1 Coríntios 16.15-16 GW

Paul holds up as worthy of note Stephanas and his family. He praises their example. They were doing what the Corinthians weren’t: serving God’s holy ones.

In what ways can we serve God’s people? How can we help them do their work?

#service #dedication #VOTD

Inspired men with a passion

The scripture for today, April 15, is 1st John 4:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.”

The New Testament was written by people who walked and talked with Jesus. They saw his miracles, they heard his amazing words. They were eyewitnesses. Continue reading

#bible, #dedication, #devotionals, #inspiration

Consider Your Ways (BibleTalk)

The prophet Haggai wrote concerning the children of Israel, “Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes” (Haggai 1:6).

The Israelites were apparently working hard but not gaining very much. What was it that prevented them from prospering according to their efforts?

Back in verse 2, the Israelites declared that even though the temple of the Lord needed repair, now was not the time to do it. They were too busy taking care of their own homes to worry about the house of the Lord. But God rebuked them for this attitude in saying, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your ceiled houses, while this house lieth waste” (1:4)?

Too often Christians today put off doing the work of the Lord because they think their family obligations cannot wait. Sometimes taking care of the church building is put off because everyone is too tired from working at their secular jobs all week. Visits cannot be made because there are chores to do around the house.

We seem to forget the words of Christ who said, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26-27).

Taking care of our family and work obligations are very important but certainly not more important than the work that our God gives us to do. Our lives should revolve around service to God not service to home.

In Christ, Steve Preston

Sign up for BibleTalk, short messages from God’s word, by sending an email to bibletalk-subscribe@freegroups.net or on the web at www.freegroups.net/groups/bibletalk.

#dedication, #devotion, #piety, #priorities

Committed with no way to go back

When Cortez landed at Vera Cruz in 1519 to begin his conquest of Mexico with small force of 700 men, he purposely set fire to his fleet of 11 ships. His men on the shore watched their only means of retreat sinking to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. With no means of retreat, there was only one direction to move, forward into the Mexican interior to meet whatever might come their way.

In paying the price for being Christ’s disciple, you too must purposefully destroy all avenues of retreat. Resolve that whatever the price for being His follower, you will have to pay it.

—Walter Henricksen

Revelation 3:20-21 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#commitment, #dedication

Tozer on lack of Christian discipline

Mr. Tozer had the following to say about the Protestant churches of his day that he knew. May it never be said of a church of God among us.

The amount of loafing practiced by the average Christian in spiritual things would ruin a concert pianist if he allowed himself to do the same thing in the field of music. The idle puttering around that we see in church circles would end the career of a big league pitcher in one week. No scientist could solve his exacting problem if he took as little interest in it as the rank and file of Christians take in the art of being holy. The nation whose soldiers were as soft and undisciplined as the soldiers of the churches would be conquered by the first enemy that attacked it. Triumphs are not won by men in easy chairs. Success is costly. —A.W. Tozer, We Travel an Appointed Way, 26.

#dedication, #devotion, #discipline, #tozer

A Christian hero

We reproduce, with permission, what Richard Stevens III wrote today on Facebook:

ONE OF OUR GODLY ELDERS, DON SMITH, HAD AN INFECTION SEVERAL YEARS AGO THAT ALMOST KILLED HIM. The doctors said several times that he would not live. I was there. However, by the grace of God he survived a coma, a heart attack, heart surgery, dialysis, a slight stroke, skin grafts, and the amputation of several toes. And after months of discouraging painful rehabilitation, this once independent and industrious man had to learn to hugely depend on others, mainly his wife, Joan.

In time, he learned to walk again aided by a cane and special shoes. He was told a significant amount of the pain would never go away, even in the night.

Since then, this brother faithfully attends services, teaches weekly and monthly Bible classes, preaches monthly, serves Communion, shepherds the flock, and so on, all through pain. HE IS MY CHRISTIAN HERO! (hero defined: “a person noted or admired for nobility, courage, outstanding achievements, etc.”; Oxford Dictionary).

I am thankful to have Don as an example, mentor, and leader. He exclaims with his life, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Co. 11:1; 4:16).

#dedication, #faithfulness, #good-examples, #perseverance

TFT: Devotion

“If we are devoted to the cause of humanity, we shall soon be crushed and broken hearted for we often shall meet more ingratitude from men than we would from a dog; but if our motive is love for God, no ingratitude can hinder us from serving our fellow men.” Service is the rent you pay for the space you occupy in the kingdom of God.

By Oswald  Chambers

(Luke 10:27)  So he answered and said, ” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.'”

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn Hitchcock

#dedication, #devotion

Standing On The Faithful Word!

Text: II Timothy 3:16 – 4:4  (16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

* Introduction: Standing On The Promises! It is our prayer that all will be like the Bereans, whom we read about in Acts 17. They were commended because they had a great love for the Word of God. We’re told that after hearing Paul, they went and “searched the Scriptures daily.” If we have this kind of love for the Bible, we will always be found “standing on the promises.” We can count on God, can He count on YOU?

What Kind of Foundation Do YOU Have? We build our lives on all kinds of foundations. Jesus spoke of those who build their lives on the sand, a life that has no permanent foundation. He contrasted that with one who built their lives on a solid foundation. The one who built on the sand had all kinds of problems in life. The one who built on the right foundation (Jesus) enjoyed the blessings of God. Continue reading

#bible, #christian-service, #dedication, #faithfulness, #foundations, #scripture, #word-of-god

walking In Truth

The Christian life  is portrayed in the New  Testament in a  variety of ways. The writers of the  New Testament use  word pictures to help us understand. They  use  things that we are familiar with. They take common, everyday   actions  and give them  spiritual application. Continue reading

#christian-living, #consecration, #dedication, #serving-the-lord

Our “Citizenship” Is In Heaven! (Phil. 3:20)

“For our citizenship is in Heaven, from which we eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus,”  (Phil. 3:20).

We thank God that the  Holy  Spirit inspired the writers of  the  Bible to write  in terns that we can  understand. Most of  us  are familiar with the  word  “citizenship.”  We understand that we are  citizens of the  United States of America. We are “Americans.”  We further understand that this  right has  many responsibilities and  duties as well as privileges. We are to obey the Laws of the land. Continue reading

#christain-living, #consecration, #dedication

Give Your ALL To The Lord!

Every person is committed to something. There are many areas of life where commitment is important. The Christian should strive to be the best citizen, best parent, best worker, etc. If we put Jesus first in our lives and are willing to live a life that will bring Him glory, He will bless us beyond measure.

We must be willing to take the Gospel to the lost and seek to strengthen the saved. We must be an encouragement to each other as we journey along our earthly pilgrimage. The Apostle Paul, writing to the Romans, gives us this great teaching about Christian commitment. In Romans 12:1-2, we read, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” My fellow Christians, it is the mind that we decide how we are going to act. We have the Holy Spirit indwelling us. Let’s allow Him to work in our lives. If we do, we will grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ!

#comittment, #dedication, #faithfulness

I’ll Put Jesus First In My Life!

The title of the song above is my favorite song in our hymnal. (Great Songs of the Church)  It was written by James DeForrest Murch back in the 1930’s. I want to use the verses and the chorus to write some short devotionals.

All of us have priorities in life. We all have “anchors” in our lives. Every priority and anchor that is not grounded in the Lord Jesus will only last through this life. We all need something or someone in our lives that will lead to eternal life.

The chorus reads as follows: “In all that I say, in all that I do, throughout the world of toil and strife, by day and by night, through trust in His might, I’ll put Jesus first in my life.” Continue reading

#christian-service, #commitment, #dedication, #faithfulness

What Do “YOU” Aspire To As A Christian?

All of us  aspire  to  something.  The  Apostle Paul, in Phil. 3:7-14 had  “holy  aspirations.” Let’s aspire with him. In Phil 3:1-6 he  recounts  his life  outside of Christ.  If  anyone  had a   “high class” pedigree, it was Saul of Tarsus. In Phil. 3:7 he tells us what  his  assessment  is:  But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.”

From  Phil 3:8-14 Paul tells  us what his  goals are   in  Christ.  In Phil. 3:8 he wants  to “gain Christ.” He wanted  to  find Him as  a  daily  prize, one to treasure beyond  degree.  In I Cor. 2:2 he writes this: “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Continue reading

#dedication, #faithfulness, #goals

My grandmother (passed from this life in…

My grandmother (passed from this life in 1989) was my greatest example – not only in word, but in deed. She would help any poor soul who needed help in any way she could. She would stay with people in the local hospital right up until they passed from this life.

I remember when I was sick with the normal childhood diseases (mumps, whooping cough, strep throat, chicken pox, etc.), she would bring my meals to me in bed, because I would be too weak to get out of bed.

She read her Bible every day – even when she was sick herself. She never missed an assembly of the Lord’s people unless she was extremely sick. I guess that’s why I never missed an assembly, because she and my grandfather would take me to church when I was still in diapers.

In a word – a selfless person who loved the Lord and her fellowman – a woman of integrity.

#bible, #care, #dedication, #deed