I was reading Romans 12:6-8 just now. It talks about using our God given gifts. It says…
6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. 7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
It gives me confidence to know God has given us certain gifts to do things well. He didn’t give them to us to stumble and be a failure. He gave them so we can build up, encourage, serve, teach, be kind, lead, give well.
I like the simplicity of the passage. If you have a certain gift, do it well. Don’t stress or worry, just do it well.
If we have a gift from God, it is His gift with His enabling. All we have to do is step out in faith. Like it says in verse 6, “So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.”
Let’s purpose in our hearts to run with God’s gifts today. Let us not hide them under a bushel, but use them in accordance with the faith God has given us.
I have uploaded two new free MP3 messages to my main website. You can listen to them on the links below. They are all less than five minutes and under 1mb.
One of the first memory verses I remember is 2 Corinthians 5:17. It says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
As a new Christian back in 1989, and even today, I love the fact that we are completely changed on the inside the moment we come to Christ.
The Bible tells us in Titus 3:5 that, “…He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.” We are washed internally and have been born again.
We are completely new. We are not reformed, we are not rehabilitated, we are not re-educated – we ARE re-created in Christ. The old really IS swepted away!
I really love facing life knowing that I am completely new on the inside. I love knowing that the creator of the universe re-made me. I love that He turned me back to His original blueprints for me.
I also love that it was a work that He has done. It is not done by human effort, it is ALL His work. It is done completely and perfectly. It is finished.
If you are in Christ, you ARE a new creation!
The Bible say in Proverbs 25:28 NLT “ A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.”
Walls for a city control the flow of traffic and they also provide proctection by keeping the enemy out. They are restrictive, but it is a good type of restriction.
Having walls around a city gives a sense of freedom and safety. You know you can move around freely within them and be safe from outside attack.
The same goes for the walls of self control in our lives. We need the discipline of self control to keep us safe too. It provides boundaries to live within.
Just like a city without walls is open to attack from the enemy at any time, so is a person who has no walls of self control or boudaries in their life.
Self control is an important part of life. For the Christian it is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). It allows us to say no when tempted and yes when God asks us to do something.
If we are living by the Sprit then the walls of self control will be a natural outflowing in our lives.
Heavenly Father, I pray that I will be a person who has strong and fortified walls around me. I pray self control will be evident in my life. Help me to live by Your Spirit everyday. Amen.
Lord today I pray that You will help me to never forget that…
1. You are going prepare a place for me
“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:2-4
2. That you promise never to leave me
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
3. That one day I will hear these great words from You
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:21
4. That when you return you bring salvation with You
“Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:28
Let us all remember the great promises God has in store for those who love Him.
One of my favourite sections of the Bible comes from 1 Samuel chapter 17. It is the story of David and Goliath.
The part that always gets me inspired and very emotional is the section from verses 32-37. It says…
32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
Every time I read it I am amazed at this young man who did not see the giant, he saw a man who “defied the armies of the living God”. He saw a loud, prideful, warrior who was no match for the Lord and His servant.
I love the way he drew on his past experiences of God coming through for him and rescuing him from the hands of the lion and bear. He knew God had done it in the past and He would do it that day. He had a confident boldness in God.
I don’t know about you, but I wish I was more like David at times. I wish I would stand up and battle for what was right. I wish I would take a stand against the “giants” we face today.
The reality is the power is there. The favour of God is there. The backing of the armies of heaven is there. We just need to take the stand in God and step out.
Proverbs 4:23-27 says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.”
There is some great stuff in here to keep us on track. I was writing a blog post about this and then I read the notes from the New Living Translation Life Application Study Bible (LASB).
LASB notes: 4:23-27 Our heart—our feelings of love and desire—dictates to a great extent how we live because we always find time to do what we enjoy. Solomon tells us to guard our hearts above all else, making sure we concentrate on those desires that will keep us on the right path. Make sure your affections lead you in the right direction. Put boundaries on your desires: Don’t go after everything you see. Look straight ahead, keep your eyes fixed on your goal, and don’t get sidetracked on detours that lead to sin.
After thinking about the passage and the LASB notes I imagined a security guard standing outside a door. He was big and strong and held a clipboard with names that could enter.
Love, joy, peace, encouragement, inspiration, right thinking, godly goals and God’s principles were allowed in. Everything else that would pollute us was politely refused entry.
Let’s all post a security guard on our hearts today. I am going to. The big decision now is will they look like a CIA Agent with dark glasses and an ear piece or a SAS Commando or perhaps a Jedi Knight 😉
The Bible says in Romans 12:10 to “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” I have been thinking about the second part of the verse today – the honoring.
The dictionary tells us to honour someone is to show great respect, regard, or esteem in an outward way towards them. It also talks about giving credit to them for something they have done.
Likewise, the Greek word used here in this verse is τιμή. It is pronounced tee-may’. This means to highly value or highly esteem something or someone. It is to put a great price on them.
This got me thinking about the people in my life. Do I highly value or esteem them? Do I go out of my way to honour or show great respect outwardly towards them?
I really hope I do. Just in case, in the next few days I am intentionally going to go out of my way to show the people in my life how much I do honour and respect them.
How about you? Is there anyone in your life you could “take delight in honoring” today?
I was just reading Joshua chapter one. This is where God charges Joshua with taking over from Moses as the leader of the people and taking them into the promises land. Today four things jumped out at me from verses Joshua 1:6-8.
Here is the text…
6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the laws my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Here are the four points for reflection…
1. Courageous – God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous three times in these verses. The task God was giving Joshua was not going to be easy. He was to lead the armies of Israel to take the Promised Land. Joshua needed to be strong and courageous and know God would always be with him (v9).
2. Remember – God tells Joshua to remember all that Moses had told him. He said it was very important to obey all of the instructions Moses had given him (v7). God spoke face to face with Moses and he would have passed a lot of this on to Joshua. Joshua needed to remember Moses’ leadership lessons and God’s instructions to Moses.
3. Read – God tells Joshua to constantly read and meditate on God’s Word – “The Book of Instruction”. God tells Joshua to do this and to be careful to obey everything in it. He promised that if he does, Joshua will prosper and be successful in all he does. Reading God’s Word keeps us in tune with God.
4. Promises – In this passage we also see that God uses people to fulfill the promises He has made to others. In verse 6 God says, “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.” God used Joshua to bring His vow to pass. Today God uses you and I to bring His promises to pass.
So today we need to learn from God’s encouragement to Joshua if we are taking on something very big. We need to remember to be courageous and God is with us, remember what our leaders have taught us, read and meditate on God’s Word and remember God uses ordinary people to being about His plans.