Monday, October 22, 2018

ON THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS

“Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’”   (Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV)

The key to the missionary’s work is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the [world]. We are inclined to look on our Lord as one who assists us in our endeavors for God. Yet our Lord places Himself as the absolute sovereign and supreme Lord over His disciples. He does not say that the [world] will never be saved if we don’t go -- He simply says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…." He says, "Go on the basis of the revealed truth of My sovereignty, teaching and preaching out of your living experience of Me."

-- Oswald Chambers in “My Utmost for His Highest”


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Friday, October 19, 2018

JESUS PAID OUR DUES

"Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  (Ephesians 5:1-2 NIV)

My father is a podiatrist; he heals hurting feet for a living.  When I was in college, I needed to earn some money, so dad invited me to come work in his office for the summer.  I pictured myself happily typing letters, answering phones, and taking long lunches.  Instead, I was given the unpleasant tasks of washing dirty feet and clipping gnarly toenails.  As if that wasn't enough, my dad also expected me to show up early to wash windows and clean toilets -- something the other office girls never did.  "Don't they have janitors for that sort of thing?" I argued, thinking I was above that job.  I guess my father wanted me to learn that I had to pay my dues in the work world so I'd grow into a productive adult.

God the Father created heaven and earth, and He heals hurting hearts for a living.  His Son wanted to join the family business, and do you know what?  He washed feet, too!  And He touched lepers.  Slept without a bed.  And if that were not enough, He endured the shame of the Cross, descended to the lower parts of the earth, and then ascended far above the heavens.  Jesus paid the dues for all of humanity's sin so we could grow into mature Christians. 

-- Lenya Heitzig and Penny Pierce Rose in “Pathway to God's Treasure: Ephesians”


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Thursday, October 18, 2018

THE WRONG QUESTION

"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.”  (John 4:34)

Jesus considered God’s will to be His highest priority (see John 4:43-34). Following God’s will is also important to you. Often when people want to know God’s will, they will ask, “What is God’s will for my life?” As one of my seminary professors, Gaines S. Dobbins, used to say, “If you ask the wrong question, you are going to get the wrong answer.”

“What is God’s will for my life?” is not the best question to ask. The better inquiry is, “What is God’s will?” Because people are naturally self-centered, we tend to view the whole world -- even God’s activity -- in terms of our own lives. Of course, we want to know what we should do and how events will affect us. But that is actually an inverted life-perspective. Once I know God’s will, my life gains its proper perspective, and I can adjust my life to Him and to His purposes. In other words, what is it that God is purposing to accomplish where I am? Once I know what God is doing, then I see what I should do. My focus needs to be outward on God and His purposes, not inward on my life…

Discovering God’s greater plan helps you know what He wants to do through you. 

-- Henry Blackaby, Richard Blackaby and Claude King in “Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God”


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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

MEDITATING ON GOD’S WORD

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on His law day and night.”  (Psalm 1:1-2 NIV)

When you let your thoughts wander, what do you think about? If you will cultivate the habit of thinking about God and His Word and prayerfully expressing your thoughts to Him, you will find that the most ordinary activities of your life are permeated by the presence of God. You will discover how His Word is relevant to your actions, your decisions, your problems. 

-- Jerry Bridges, from an article entitled “Staying Faithful Through the Years: How Can You Keep Walking with God Throughout Your Life?” in “Discipleship Journal," No. 58


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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

THE GOSPEL LIFE

“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”  (2 Corinthians 5:17 NRSV)

God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost isn’t a consulting firm we bring in to give us expert advice on how to run our lives. The gospel life isn’t something we learn about and then put together with instructions from the manufacturer; it’s something we become as God does His work of creation and salvation in us and as we accustom ourselves to a life of belief and obedience and prayer. 

-- Eugene H. Peterson


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