Archive for October, 2011

“Sing to God a brand-new song. He’s made a world of wonders! He rolled up his sleeves,  He set things right. God made history with salvation, He showed the world what he could do. He remembered to love us, a bonus to his dear family, Israel—indefatigable love. The whole earth comes to attention. Look—God’s work of salvation!” (Psalm 98:1-3  The Message).

Do you sing God a brand-new song every day?  Do you thank Him for the wonders of His salvation in your life? Are you thankful for His overcoming power?  Begin today with a song of praise in your heart.  As you magnify Him in your words and meditate on Him in your song, you will gain a new perspective of life in Him.

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“As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8 NLT).

Paul was at the end of his victorious life.  Though he faced certain death because of his faith in Christ, the eternal prize was his.  His time was short as he awaited his trial in Rome. He did not fear death, but he saw his life as being poured out as an offering to God.  He looked back with no regrets, having served faithfully.

The crown of righteousness is God’s reward for a life lived in obedience to His will.  This prize awaits you if you do not give up.  Pour out your life as a sacrifice to others.  Fight the good fight of faith.  Don’t get distracted or slowed down with the pressures of life.  Finish the race confident of the prize that awaits you.

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“But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work” (2 Timothy 3:14-17 NLT).

Timothy had learned the truth of God’s Word since he was a child.  His mother and grandmother had been faithful to teach him. Paul proclaimed the sacred use of the written Word, saying that all Scriptures have been God-breathed.  The Scriptures are profitable “for doctrine (what is right), for reproof (what is not right), for correction (how to get it right), and for instruction in righteousness (how to stay right)” (The Warren Wiersbe Bible Commentary, page 782).

The Bible equips you to do God’s work. As you continue in the study of the Word of God, He will use you to help others understand His Word.  Remain faithful to the things you have been taught, and begin to teach others also.

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“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:20-21 NKJV).

In New Testament times vessels were very important household tools.  The artisan would place the common vessels on display for everyone to see and buy.  But it was the vessels of honor, that he spent most of his artistic abilities in designing.  These special vessels he would spend hours forming. When it was complete, the artisan wrote his own name on the vessel and placed it on a hidden shelf until the purchaser asked for a vessel of honor.  Then the artisan would pull out this special vessel to be used by the right person, at the right time and at the right place.

God has designed you and given you a prophetic assignment in your life.  As you cleanse yourself of all sin, you make yourself ready to be filled by God Himself.  God will use you as a vessel of honor if you are empty, clean and available.  He will take you and fill you and use you for His glory.

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“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:6-7 NKJV).

It is your responsibility to keep the fire in your heart ignited.  You have been created in the image of God and if you are a believer, His spirit dwells within you.  He has given you great gifts that you are to steward for His glory.

So don’t let fear stop you or slow you down.  Walk in the power of His love with the clarity of His perspective.  It is the Holy Spirit who empowers you to overcome every weakness. So stir up the gift of God in your heart today!

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“Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:14-16 NKJV).

Do you live your life to the fullest?  Do you remember the things that have been spoken over the destiny of your life?  Paul exhorts Timothy to not only remember those things, but to meditate on them.  He is to give himself entirely to his call from God. God not only calls you, He equips you to serve Him completely.  Freshly receive His grace to serve Him one hundred percent.

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“I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27 NLT).  

Jeremiah is often called the “weeping prophet.”  He lived at a time where the idolatry of God’s people was about to be judged.  God assured Jeremiah that nothing was impossible for Him.  Yet God also made it clear that the city would be destroyed and the people carried to Babylon.  It was when the destruction of Jerusalem was imminent that Jeremiah bought a piece of real estate at full price.  Jeremiah’s confidence was in the Lord who not only judges but restores.  Today, place your confidence in God your Savior and Redeemer.

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“God tested us thoroughly to make sure we were qualified to be trusted with this Message. Be assured that when we speak to you we’re not after crowd approval—only God approval. Since we’ve been put through that battery of tests, you’re guaranteed that both we and the Message are free of error, mixed motives, or hidden agendas. We never used words to butter you up. No one knows that better than you. And God knows we never used words as a smoke screen to take advantage of you. Even though we had some standing as Christ’s apostles, we never threw our weight around or tried to come across as important, with you or anyone else. We weren’t aloof with you. We took you just as you were. We were never patronizing, never condescending, but we cared for you the way a mother cares for her children. We loved you dearly. Not content to just pass on the Message, we wanted to give you our hearts. And we did” (1 Thessalonians 2:4-8 The Message).

Paul models what it means to pour into others selflessly and sacrificially.  God uses testing in your life to make you trustworthy to share the gospel without mixed motives or hidden agendas.  He is the One who calls you to faithfully steward His message.  He also is the One who fosters the depth of intimate relationship in your life with Him, that you become like a nursing mother to those who are new in the faith.  You are called to nurture and love others, just as a mother cares for her children.  Paul moves next to saying that he also is a concerned father, who exhorts, comforts and charges his children to grow strong in God. It is a challenging call to be a faithful steward, a loving mother, and a concerned father.  In Christ, you are able to pour into others the love that He has poured into you.

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“Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket. To one who listens, valid criticism is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry” (Proverbs 25:11-12 NKJV).

Do you want to be skillful in your communication with others?  Listen to the wisdom taught in God’s word.  The way that we accept a rebuke is really a test of how much we value the wisdom that comes from God through others.  How sincere are you to know God’s will in your life?  Receive timely advice and valid criticism like you would a precious gift of jewelry.

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“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 NKJV).

The joy of the Lord is your daily strength.  To rejoice daily is to walk daily refreshed by the internal unquenchable fountain of God’s joy.  No circumstance can stop the flow of this eternal joy.  It’s source is supernatural. So your part is to stay connected with God.  Part of how you do this is to pray without ceasing.  You can have long daily unbroken conversations with God.  You keep listening to His voice and your constant conversation does not cease.  One of the ways to stoke the fires of this conversation is through giving thanks.  Your thanks to God needs to be expressed in every thing that you do and say.

The Spirit of God is an eternal flame.  Your job is to keep this fire blazing in your heart and not to quench it. To quench carries the idea of dampening the flame of  Holy Spirit fire, which is poured out to purify, enlighten, warm, melt and consume.  Quenching may be either by an inadequate, chilled response or an exaggerated disruptive response” (The Spirit Filled Life Bible, page 1688). The embers of your love for God can be stirred into a blazing flame each day as you surrender your heart completely to Him.

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