GOD CAN USE YOU…

Exodus 2:11-24

One mistake can change the course of our lives.  One bad decision can cost us years.  In Moses’ case, the mistake was murder.  In a fit of anger, he killed an Egyptian and then fled for his life.  He went from living as a prince of Egypt to growing old with the sheep in the desert.  He was certain that it was too late for anything good to come of his life.

Many of our lives have been forever changed by a single decision, and the consequences have left us feeling as though our existence has little significance.  But it wasn’t too late for Moses, and it’s not too late for you.

When he was 80 – after 40 years of waiting – Moses’ mistake brought him to the right place to meet with God, who used him to lead an entire nation out of slavery.  Cry out to God, and He will meet you in His presence.

I KNOW WHERE I AM GOING..

Nevertheless I [am] continually with thee: thou hast holden [me] by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me [to] glory. (Psalm 73:23-24)
My Prayer: Gracious Father, thank You for continually being present within my life! Thank You for loving me with such unconditional adoration! Make me worthy of Your wonderful devotion toward me that I may give You honour and praise. Cause me to have a passionate desire toward Your word that I may please You in all I do and say. May I desire nothing on this desolate earth but the future glory with You!

DIE TO SELF…

1 Corinthians 15:31

“For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you.”
NLT

When Paul wrote this verse, it very well could be that he was facing the possibility of physical death. The hatred towards the Truth had led many believers to be fed to lions and crucified because of their faith in Jesus alone. While most of us may never see that kind of persecution, there is a death we must face on a daily basis – the death of our sinful nature.

Romans 8:13 “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” NKJV

While the world may look at us strangely when we talk about dying to ourselves, it is an important part of following Christ. It is not a physical death but rather the death of our sin and our selfishness. If we desire to do something contrary to God’s Word we willfully stop and instead seek to walk in obedience. As we choose to obey God despite ourselves, we are dying to our will and surrendering to God’s. Now, just so you know, it isn’t always easy. Our sinful nature desires nothing more than to rebel against God, but because of Jesus, we have the power to choose what is right and to walk in His light. As we do, we’ll find ourselves no longer living for ourselves but living for our Lord… and friend, there is no greater life than that.

Life Lesson: The more we die to ourselves, the more we can live for Jesus.

Dear God,
You are so good to me and have shown me such great love. Because of Your love and what Jesus did for me, I desire to live for You. Fill me with Your spirit and give me the power to do what is right. Help me to die to myself every day. May my life be a reflection of You for all the world to see. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Expanding Prayer in the Kingdom of God

Scripture: “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior.” 1 Timothy 2:1-3

I have a relative who is very wealthy. However, he does not want to share. It seems that he lacks a Christian attitude toward sharing his resources with people near him and around the world. In spite of his abundance, he has almost convinced himself that he’s poor. Based on his attitude, I imagine him praying for God to let him keep his wealth, for God to protect it, for God to keep other people away so he doesn’t have to share. I wish that instead he would ask the Lord for opportunities to tell about God’s salvation and that he could have opportunities to share his blessings.

God Wants Us to Share

By now, you know that God wants followers of Jesus to “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone” (Mark 15:15). The Bible also instructs, “Tell [those who are rich in this world] to use their money to do good. They should be… generous to those in need, always ready to share with others” (1 Timothy 6:18). After all, “If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion — how can God’s love be in that person?” (1 John 3:17).

Pray to the Provider

Rather than hoarding our wealth, we should use it to help care for those around us. Jesus said to“guard against every kind of greed” (Luke 12:15), and “a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God” (Luke 12:21). God’s people should“pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11).

Expand His Kingdom

When we pursue godly qualities, our priorities will change. We’ll use our earthly resources to expand His heavenly Kingdom, helping meet people’s spiritual AND physical needs. The early Church was a great example: “all the believers met together… and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity” (Acts 2:44-46). When we live a generous life, we are the best representation of our generous Father, and doors will open to tell others how they too can know the Father.

PAIN HAS A PURPOSE..

 Matthew 16:24-27

“God, if You love me, then why must I endure pain?” This question preoccupies many believers in their darkest hours of need. While pain takes different forms and has different durations, suffering always comes with an objective greater than our comfort, pleasure, or personal goals. If we seek the Lord’s purpose for grief, we will find both His peace and His deep love for us.

Pain instructs. Christ’s sufficiency is more apparent during times of suffering than in the midst of blessing. Discovering God’s faithful provision strengthens our resolve to endure.

Pain purifies. Counterfeit faith cannot withstand hardship’s flames. Like gold in a refiner’s fire, suffering believers experience the burning away of impurities until only things of value remain. Trials bring into focus the truth about the world we live in, the nature of people we meet, and the incomparable worth of our Father.

Pain motivates. Pain drives us to God. How often do we hear testimony from people who discovered Him during their worst trial? In His wisdom, the Lord knows whether we require motivation from blessing or from distress.

Pain opens us to intimacy with God. At the end of our own resources is the Lord’s boundless strength. Running into His arms guarantees us the comfort and energy that is available only through an intimate relationship with the Father.

Living an easy life doesn’t earn rewards. Though our instinct is to sidestep pain, suffering helps us to find intimacy with God and the great purpose He sets for our life.

PRAISE HIS NAME…

For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children [shall find] compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God [is] gracious and merciful, and will not turn away [his] face from you, if ye return unto him. (2 Chronicles 30:9)
This verse simply states the wonderful character of the God we serve. He is abounding in grace and compassion as He is faithful to never leave His children. Could there be any better promise? To consider the gracious nature of our God only causes us to rejoice and praise His magnificent name!

OUR SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS..

Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ: (Ephesians 1:3)
Every spiritual blessing. Every single last one! Can you believe it? What abounding grace has been granted us who believe! Every spiritual blessing! To us, the former children of our once-father, the devil. Even while every believer should be rejoicing in thankful abandon at being granted to taste of life eternal, how much more should the adopted son of the High King of Heaven give unceasing thanks for the bountiful treasure unmerited which has been granted him by God’s unmeasured mercy!

GODS MASTER PLAN..

2 Kings 6:1-7 gives us some important insight into how to regain our spiritual edge,

And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us.  Please, let us go to the Jordan, and let every man take a beam from there, and let us make there a place where we may dwell.”  So he answered, “Go.”  Then one said, “Please consent to go with your servants.”  And he answered, “I will go.”  So he went with them.  And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees.  But as one was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, “Alas, master!  For it was borrowed.”  So the man of God said, “Where did it fall?”  And he showed him the place.  So he cut off a stick, and threw it in there; and he made the iron float.  Therefore he said, “Pick it up for yourself.”  So he reached out his hand and took it.

There are a number of principles I want to draw from this story.

Although we will be focusing on the one man who experienced the loss of his ax head, for today’s devotion I want to draw your attention to the majority. 

As we see from this Scripture, this school for the prophets was needing to expand, to build a bigger building.  And notice that everyone had a part to play in what God was doing.  It says “Let every man take a beam from there, and let us make there a place where we may dwell.”

In God’s Kingdom plan, being spiritually sharp is not for just a few people.  We all have a responsibility to grow.  There is no exemption.

God has a role for you to play.  You have not been given an exemption from being a part of God’s kingdom plan.  He has a part for you to play in His great plan to reach the world!

WE ARE THE CHURCH

Revelation 14:14-16 tells us,

Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”  So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

The One sitting on the cloud with a crown on His head is the Lord Jesus Christ.  The harvest on the earth is the salvation of lost humanity, men and women who do not yet have a relationship with God.

Then what is the sharp sickle?  It is the Church.  It is you.  It is me.  If God is going to reap the harvest of lost humanity, it is going to be through His people.

You and I are to be a sharp sickle in God’s hand in His great plan of mankind’s redemption.  That means the housewife, the doctor, the businessman, the student, the truck driver…every one of us.  We are to be setting our hand to whatever practical work we have been gifted to do to see people being saved and being discipled.

Let us determine to be an effective instrument—a sharp sickle—in the hand of our God.

WE ARE THE CHURCH

Revelation 14:14-16 tells us,

Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”  So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

The One sitting on the cloud with a crown on His head is the Lord Jesus Christ.  The harvest on the earth is the salvation of lost humanity, men and women who do not yet have a relationship with God.

Then what is the sharp sickle?  It is the Church.  It is you.  It is me.  If God is going to reap the harvest of lost humanity, it is going to be through His people.

You and I are to be a sharp sickle in God’s hand in His great plan of mankind’s redemption.  That means the housewife, the doctor, the businessman, the student, the truck driver…every one of us.  We are to be setting our hand to whatever practical work we have been gifted to do to see people being saved and being discipled.

Let us determine to be an effective instrument—a sharp sickle—in the hand of our God.