Archive for July, 2013

Faithfulness Is Single-Minded Service

If any lack wisdom, he should ask of God…But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man… is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. – James 1:5-8

I have a friend who pursues life with gusto. When he has a goal he goes for it with all that he has, for a few days. Then he sees a flaw in his plan so he revises it and again goes after it with abandon, for a few days. In just a little while he revises his plan again and goes after the new and revised plan with passion. Everyone around him stands scratching their head wondering what in the world he is doing, but it is perfectly clear to him, for a few days anyway.

Most of us know someone who is that way. They are good people, but their plans change so often that they rarely achieve anything lasting or notable. James calls this kind of person double-minded. Their relationships are rocky at best, their walk with God is hot and cold and their service to others is sporadic.

James is trying to tell us that single-minded service requires wisdom and we must seek God for his wisdom. When we have God’s wisdom the winds of new ideas won’t shake us. We will be committed to the task before us and we will not look at the waves which rage around us. Our hope is anchored in God and as we faithfully pursue his wisdom we are faithful to follow his direction without turning to the left or to the right.

I have noticed that some people appear to be double-minded, but in reality they are just desperately trying to find the one thing they can identify as God’s will for their life.. For those people I have some simple instructions; just be faithful to do what you know to do and God will honor your faithfulness by giving you clear direction when your faithfulness and his plan intersect.
When our purpose is to do his will we will seek his wisdom and once he has revealed himself we will hold to that wisdom without wavering, without doubt, and without changing it.

Prayer: Father, grant me the grace to be single-minded in my pursuit of you. In Jesus name, amen.

Principle: Single-minded service requires wisdom and we must seek God for his wisdom. When we have God’s wisdom the winds of new ideas won’t shake us.

Affirmation: I make it a daily practice to seek God’s wisdom so I am not enticed by shiny new ideas and drawn away from single-minded commitment to God’s purposes for my life.

Reflection: What is the difference between one who is constantly chasing something new and the one who is always seeking God’s best? Reflect on this: When our purpose is to do his will we will seek his wisdom and once he has revealed himself we will hold to that wisdom without wavering.

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Faithfully Serve The Lord

Faithfully Serve The Lord

It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. – Deuteronomy 13:4

Deuteronomy is a book of promises and warnings. The Ten Commandments are repeated in Deuteronomy as well as instructions about loving God and our neighbor. Also there is warning about listening to those who would claim to be a prophet but who preach another god.
Our verse today is taken from a passage that is warning about false prophets who would lead Israel to follow other gods. Israel is warned that they are to follow the Lord God and him alone. They are admonished to obey the commands of God and to “hold fast to him.”
We are faced with the same challenges today as Israel faced thousands of years ago. There are still people trying to convince us that our way of life and faith is outdated and that there is a new and better way to live. We are encouraged to abandon the restrictions of an oppressive religion and be free to express ourselves.
Unfortunately, Israel was not faithful to follow the Lord and him alone. Their history records many times that as a nation they turned to serving other gods. The gods they invented to follow allowed and promoted lifestyles that were contradictory to what the Lord had commanded.
Things aren’t much different today than it was then. Many in the church have traded the commands of the Lord for license to live as they choose without restriction because, after all, we are under grace now.
The Lord knew how difficult it would be to hold on to him in the face of the temptations we would have and that is why he said to “hold fast to him.” The Hebrew word translated “hold fast” is daw-bak. It means to pursue hard and be joined to. Being faithful to God in this time of compromise and easy living is not easy but we must pursue him hard and be joined with him,.

Prayer: Lord, It isn’t easy serving when the world calls so me to follow the way of folly. Grant me grace to be faithful to you. In Jesus name, amen.
Faithfully Serve The Lord

Principle: Being faithful to God in this time of compromise and easy living is not easy but we must pursue him hard and be joined with him,.

Affirmation:. I choose not to listen to the voices of the world which call me away from being a faithful servant of the Lord.

Reflection: It would be good to reflect upon what is so attractive about the voice of the “false prophets” of this world who proclaim the value of pursuing your own destiny over trusting the tried and true word of God. How are we to resist such appealing voices?

My Thoughts: I would enjoy knowing your thoughts on this devotion. Please leave a comment.
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Christ Is A Faithful High Priest

For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in services to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. – Hebrews 2:17

We know the story, we’ve heard it since we were children. Adam and Eve sinned and were put out of the Garden, away from the presence of God. Since that time man has been separated from God and has been trying, by his own means, to reconnect with the creator.

Every religion that man has practiced has reconnecting with God as its basic purpose. There is only one religion, however, that shows the extent to which God is willing to go to facilitate man being reconciled to himself.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever would believe in him would not perish but have everlasting life.” Christ is at the very center of all that God has ever done on this earth. All of the dealings that God has had with man since the beginning of time have pointed toward Christ. All of the dealings God has had with man since Christ have pointed back to him.

Why is Christ the centerpiece of history? Why do we in the western world measure time as being “before Christ” (BC) and “In the year of our Lord “ (AD)? It is because we have learned that all things, both before his birth and after his life on earth, point to him. Christ came to reconcile man to God.

The Apostle Paul writes, “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19). Christ ever remains a high priest making intercession for our sins. It is the love and mercy of God that draws him to faithfully bring us into reconciliation with himself through faith in Christ who is our faithful high priest.
Christ, the eternal intercessor, calls us to faith and repentance so that we can be reconciled to God.

Prayer: Lord, I am convinced that I cannot become reconciled to you in my own efforts. Thank you Christ the faithful intercessor. In Jesus name, amen.
Christ Is A Faithful High Priest

Principle: Every religion that man has practiced has reconnecting with God as its basic purpose. There is only one religion, however, that shows the extent to which God is willing to go to facilitate man being reconciled to himself.

Affirmation: God graciously gave us the way to be reconciled to him through faith in his son who was the vicarious sacrifice for our sins. I trust him because he is faithful.

Reflection: Why is Christ made the very centerpiece of history? Even time in the western world is marked by before his birth (BC) and after his birth (AD). Reflect on the importance of Christ in history and in modern life.

My Thoughts: I would enjoy knowing your thoughts on this devotion. Please leave a comment.
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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

Messages of inspiration for the journey of faith

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