By A.B. Simpson — 0ne of Satan’s favorite employees is the switchman. He likes nothing better than to sidetrack one of God’s express trains sent on some blessed mission and filled with the fire of a holy purpose.
Something will come up in the pathway of the earnest man to attract his attention and occupy his strength and thought. Sometimes it is a little irritation or provocation. Sometimes it is some petty grievance he stops to pursue or adjust. Sometimes it is somebody else’s business in which he becomes interested, and he feels bound to rectify. Before he knows it, he is absorbed in many distracting cares and interests that turn him aside from the great purpose of his life.
Perhaps he does not do much harm, but he has missed his connection. He has left the main line.
Let all these things alone. Let grievances come and go, but press forward steadily and irresistibly, crying as you speed toward the goal, This one thing I do! —Philippians 3:13
#devotional #sidetracked #focus
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 the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” John 1:1-2.
Most of us cannot but jot down a few appointments on a calendar and strive to meet them, but looking back on a day, we can see just how nearsighted we are. As we try to understand God’s plan to redeem sinful man, it’s easy to believe Jesus as just another figure in a line of greats: Adam, Noah, Moses, David …. But, Jesus is different.
He is from the beginning, being both God and with God, through whom all things were made. His Only Son’s part in His plan of salvation is integral, but what was the Second Person of the Godhead doing before “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us”?
He was the instrument of Creation and spoken to by the Father in Genesis 1:26 as He and the Father are one (John 10:30). Some believe it is Jesus to show up in various theophanies (appearances of God) throughout Scripture … perhaps even Melchizedek himself, in whose order Jesus has become our High Priest forever. He even made His own mother who would give birth to Him.
Do you believe that as God, Jesus is the ‘I Am’?
#Jesus #Word #devotional #dougkashorek
“But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted” Romans 6:17.
“Thank, God!” we exclaim when even trivial things go our way, but few think about how we are acknowledging God’s intimate attention to the details of our lives and how we’re going to the Creator in prayer with thanksgiving.
Even atheists call the holiday we celebrate at this time of year by its name but don’t really think about to Whom we are giving thanks. Giving thanks has become so flippant that our eyes graze over the hundreds of times in Scripture God is thanked.
Like the nine lepers who did not return to give thanks, we are great at asking God to do stuff for us or give us stuff but don’t take the time to let thanksgiving be part of our prayers.
Do we have reason to thank Him? Over and over again. Just the verse above alone is reason to run back to Jesus, fall down before Him, and give Him thanks. We used to be slaves to sin, but He entrusted us with a form of teaching that we could wholeheartedly obey. We spiritual lepers, healed of our affliction, have a lot to be thankful to God for.
Do you truly give thanks to God?
#dougkashorek #Thanksgiving #devotional
“… ‘You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us’” Ezra 4:3.
In this era of inclusion and bending of the rules to accommodate everyone, the drawing of a line of fellowship by the returning exiles sounds really harsh to us. But, it is God who draws it.
It was precisely because His people had erased His line and drawn it where they pleased that they had ceased to be His people and had compromised with the beliefs and practices of every nation around them.
As Ezra had to tell those of the surrounding peoples who opposed them, “You have no part with us,” Nehemiah needed to a few years later when he sought to rebuild the walls.
But why not extend fellowship? Doesn’t God love all people? Yes, but with God a person is either in or out. It’s tempting to want to call seemingly good and loving folks who are doing great deeds “Christians,” but God draws the line still by whether they are in or out of Christ.
It is up to us to have the courage to hold the line and build the wall in the face of opposition or give in to the pressure to re-draw God’s line.
Are you courageous to stand for God?
#devotional #fellowship #love
“Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” Acts 8:4.
This statement has always run counter to what I’ve observed in the my two decades of ministry. If evangelism is to happen, then every factor in people’s lives have to be perfect. After things are going well in the marriage, with the kids, with finances, at work, and with friends, then life is stable enough to think about telling someone else about Jesus. But, as long as even just one piece of our life’s puzzle is out of place, then we shrink back into ourselves to lick our wounds and figure it out.
Guess how often Satan is going to make sure that you have a struggle going on if it will keep God’s people from preaching the gospel? Always.
Not Christians in the first century! Like coals of a fire when a large log is thrown onto them, they spread and catch onto other tinder. How frustrated Satan must have been during the early decades of Jesus’ church! Nothing he threw at them worked; those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.
How could that be us again? We tell of other things that are important to us. The gospel must become important. Our faith must grow.
Are you telling the gospel?
#evangelism #devotional #struggles #gospel
“Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion” Ecclesiastes 9:4.
Hope, that anchor for the soul, is in short supply today. I meet people everyday who feel defeated in their lives. Perhaps it’s a change they’ve failed to make in their lives. Maybe it’s circumstances they are currently trapped in. Or, possibly they or someone they love have not obeyed the gospel for salvation. Their declaration is always the same, “It’s hopeless!” Continue reading