Category

Day 23

Seek Me And Live

By | Day 21, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Sometimes I wonder why so many people who profess to be Christians live lives of defeat and have minimal impact on those around them.  The other day I came across this devotional in my YouVersion bible reading plan (Daily Encouragement by David Evans). I wonder if this might be part of the reason?

“Seek me and live” – this is the essence of true religion: to seek and find the one true and living God, and in finding him, to enter into a life which pleases him. That life is inevitably characterized by good works and the evident presence of God: “Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you” (Amos 5:14).

The tragedy of nominal, formal, merely traditional religion is that it is just religion and nothing more. It does not change the life of the individual, and the Lord is conspicuous by his absence. The ritual is carried on while righteousness is missing in public and private life. People go to Bethel, but they do not meet with God. There is no lack of religious feasts, assemblies and music, but this ritual goes hand in hand with injustice and immorality and is an abomination to the Lord.

The test of all religious profession and practice lies here. Is there a genuine seeking of God, and does it produce holy living? We do well to bring our meetings, our music, our charity, and our whole lifestyle to this searching examination. Our Bible study must be subject to it too, because it is possible to search the Scriptures and yet not come to Christ (John 5:39,40).

All In

By | Day 21, Day 22, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Recently I was reading Jeremiah 29, which contains some verses familiar to many of us. Normally my attention is drawn to verse 11, which is the life verse God gave my middle daughter:  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” We like to read that verse.  But as I reflected, it struck me that this promise comes with conditions (or at least a roadmap). The words that immediately follow it, verses 12 & 13, explain: “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” For at least a week now, I keep thinking about verse 13 … when you seek me with all your heart.  Sounds like the picture of someone who is “all in”, fully committed. What a challenge this can be, but what a glorious outcome. When I get down about the state of God’s People today, or with my own walk for that matter, I am reminded of the solution laid out in these verses. We must call on Him, come to Him, pray to Him, and seek Him with all our heart. The question is, am I “all in”?  Are you?

Unexpected Instruments

By | Day 06, Day 10, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Some days I find myself wondering, “How can God use a regular person like me?” This past week I heard a “regular guy” named Lee Wood share his God-story.  Lee, a former street dude with lots of energy and “self-diagnosed ADD … squirrel”, is a riot to listen to. God has worked through Lee and his team to launch a disciple making movement in the heart of Tampa, Florida. (click here to read Lee’s story). As Lee shared with us, it struck me how often God uses unlikely instruments to accomplish His work. It made me think of Samuel anointing David as the next king (1Samuel 16:7) … man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart. So, take heart. However God has wired you, He wants to use your unique gifting, talents and passions to help fulfill the Great Commission. Ask Him to show you, and He will.

Covenant

By | Day 21, Day 23 | No Comments

Have you ever thought about the agreements you enter into, and your heart attitude towards them? Sometimes we fear our ability to accomplish what God calls us to. Other times we don’t live up to the promises we make to others, whether at work or in our personal lives.

The devotional that follows is from Os Hillman’s Today God Is First. Perhaps it will give you some more food for thought.

“But I will establish My covenant with you, and you will enter the ark – you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you.” Genesis 6:18

The Bible is filled with covenants made between God and people. Six of those covenants were made with Old Testament figures: Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David. The seventh was made with His own Son, Jesus Christ. God is always the strongest partner in a covenant relationship.

God made a covenant with Noah in order to preserve the human race. This covenant involved Noah’s participation by building an ark. He’d never built an ark before. He’d never had a boat. It was a totally new concept to Noah and the rest of the world. Why would he need a boat in a dry land?

Noah did not have to invent the ark; God gave him the plans-in specific dimensional detail. He did not have to gather the animals-God led them into the ark. God even closed the door when they all came on board. God made it rain to prove why the ark was needed.

The covenant provided all Noah needed to complete his mission in life. When God spoke to Noah to do this thing, he needed only to respond to God’s call to do it. Noah could rest in knowing the covenant made with God was going to be fulfilled if he fulfilled his part.

If you have entered into a covenant relationship with God, you too can be assured that God will uphold His part of the covenant relationship. He is committed to fulfilling His covenant with you and to fulfill His purposes in and through your life. It only requires one thing on your part-obedience. He will even provide grace and faith to you to help you fulfill your part of the covenant.

Each of us has a covenant with God. But we also enter covenants with others in our personal and business lives. How are you doing in fulfilling covenants to others? God has given us the example to follow. Ask God if you have any unfulfilled covenants you need to honor. He has called you and me to be covenant keepers. The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Faith

By | Day 14, Day 17, Day 21, Day 22, Day 23 | No Comments

I was reading through a You Version Bible devotional and encountered this entry on Faith. May reading this impact yours.

“The Lord expects his people to trust in him at all times. How clearly this is seen in the record of his earthly life. Faith to him was “natural” and he marveled at unbelief. He expects the royal official to trust his word as he walks the lonely road back to Capernaum (John 4:50). Even in the face of death he looks for faith. So he says to Martha, “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?“ (John 11:25,26). The burden of his prayer for Peter is that his “faith may not fail” (Luke 22:32).

The nature of faith makes trust in the Lord a possibility at all times. For faith is not feeling, or sight, or mere human understanding. Faith is the helpless cast upon the Mighty, the weak leaning upon the Strong (S of S. 8:5). It is the obedience of those “called to belong to Jesus Christ” (Rom. 1:5-6), the confession of “Jesus as Lord” (Ps. 10:9).

Trusting the Lord at all times is not a cold, indifferent exercise but the pouring out of the heart before him.”

Come

By | Day 03, Day 23 | No Comments

The other day I was reading Matthew chapter 14. Right after Jesus hears the news about John the Baptist being killed, we see Him feed the 5000 as well as take a walk on the water. It struck me that, in both of these accounts, Jesus directly involved his followers in the miracle. He invited them into the miraculous. Despite their fears, questions, doubts, abilities, past, resources, or any other perceived hindrances, Jesus offered His followers an opportunity to be part of the amazing work He was doing in the world. And, His invitation was simple. Come.  Today I encourage you to read Matthew 14 and ask yourself these simple questions:  What is God inviting me to today? What step of obedience can I take in light of this?  Who can I share this with?

Obedience As Worship

By | Day 23 | No Comments

Lately I’ve been working through the Hillsong: 40 Days of Revival reading plan on my You Version Bible App.  One of the days focused on obedience, and it included a perspective I had not heard before: obedience as worship.  Check out the devotional text below and see what you think. How might you extend this kind of worship into your workplace?

 

Obedience:

What exactly does it mean to obey God?  Ticking the boxes next to the 10 commandments?  Loving my neighbour? Turning the other cheek when someone hurts me?  In essence, yes! But also, no!  Obeying God with a ‘tick-box’ mindset is not only doomed to failure, but simply not what God asks of us.

God’s love for us is not based on our actions or effort but on His goodness.  1 John 4 explains that love is not about us loving God, but about Him loving us and sending Jesus.  When we realise and understand God’s grace, we respond out of a love for Him and all He has done for us, beginning to do things as He directs us through His Word, preferring His ways over our own until they become our ways.

Obedience to God, through the Holy Spirit, therefore brings its own reward of purity. Obedience to His Word, under grace, provides us with the opportunity to be more Christ-like. In this way, obedience is also an act of worship, for when we live a life devoted to God we demonstrate our love for Him.

Have you ever thought about obeying God being an act of worship?  How can you worship God specifically through your obedience today?

Obedience in Faith

By | Day 20, Day 22, Day 23 | No Comments

This morning my high school aged daughter told me about a sermon by Matt Chandler that she was listening to.  The sermon was called “God is Able”.  The message was focused on Moses in Exodus Chapter 4, and Chandler spoke about the key to finding the power of God in our lives.  I can’t seem to shake this thought that he shared: “The omnipotent might of God almost always flows through obedience in faith.” The pattern then is still the same today … God speaks, we obey (exactly), then God shows up in an amazing way. God was not concerned with Moses’ past, his excuses, his brokenness, his limitations, his abilities.  God had all that covered.  God simply wanted Moses to act in obedience rooted in faith.

I’m so thankful for a daughter who pursues God and points me to sermons.  I’m also thankful for a God who pursues me and patiently points me towards obedience.

Motivation

By | Day 21, Day 23 | No Comments

I was recently reading a devotional by Os Hillman that talked about the relationship between obedience and motivation.  The exercise of reflection was good for me, so I wanted to pass it along to you as well.  Here’s what Os wrote:

“I have observed this process in the scriptures in working with people through years of ministry. I have noticed three distinct stages. First, we live based on convenience. Our obedience is largely based on circumstances in our lives. We choose to obey based on the circumstances.

The second stage is the crisis stage. God allows a crisis to come into our lives. We are motivated to obey God in order to get out of the pain of our situation. Many times God allows us to stay in this condition in order to demonstrate His love and faithfulness during our pain. Gradually, we discover something new about God and often have a personal encounter with Him that changes us. Our very nature is affected by this God-encounter.

This begins to move us into a third phase that is a relationship that is motivated now by love and devotion instead of pain. This is where God desires us to be. Another way of saying this is we are no longer seeking His hand. We are seeking Him. We want to know God personally.

Obedience will not last when the motivation is only the removal of our pain. Obedience only lasts when the motivation is loving devotion. Where are you in your obedience and what is the primary motivation? If it isn’t love, why not tell the Lord you love Him today and want to know Him for who He is and not for what He can do for you.”

Food for thought ……

(Extra)Ordinary

By | Day 06, Day 17, Day 19, Day 20, Day 22, Day 23, Day 25, Day 26 | No Comments

Ever wonder how ordinary people, using ordinary resources, can have an extraordinary impact for God’s Kingdom? That’s the heart behind Zume (Greek word for leaven), a new disciple making / training movement that launched February 14th.  To learn more, go to their website at www.zumeproject.com and also check out the video below. Zume will change your life, and the world.