Does it matter to you who has asked you to do something? Does it matter to you based on who was asking if someone were to ask whose orders are you following? Will it stop you from completing the work depending on who ask you to do it?
What if it were God? Would you any person be able to stop you from completing the good work that God has prepared in advance for you to do?
So what is the driving force behind the work you are doing today? What is the driving force behind how you are living out your life today? What is the reason that keeps you moving forward to complete the work before you?
Being a father? Being a parent? Being a servant leader? Being a director? Being a son? Being a brother? Being a friend? Being a co-worker? Being a neighbor?
Will you finish the work faithfully? Will you finish the work no matter who tries to question your efforts? Will you finish the work God has given you to do?
How about in the midst of your life you learn that God gave you new instruction or direction, would you align to it? Would you follow His instruction and direction? Would you turn back to God and obey His Word?
Is God’s instruction good enough for you? Will you ask Jesus into your heart? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to guide you and comfort you? Will you walk in His ways? Will you turn from your own ways and turn back to God’s will and purpose? Will you complete the work He has for you? Will you be prepared when He shows up and to give an reason for the hope that is within you to anyone who asks?
I want to share the reading that concludes today from the New Testament…
1To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see. 2 It was by their faith that people of ancient times won God’s approval.
3 It is by faith that we understand that the universe was created by God’s word, so that what can be seen was made out of what cannot be seen.
4 It was faith that made Abel offer to God a better sacrifice than Cain’s. Through his faith he won God’s approval as a righteous man, because God himself approved of his gifts. By means of his faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
5 It was faith that kept Enoch from dying. Instead, he was taken up to God, and nobody could find him, because God had taken him up. The scripture says that before Enoch was taken up, he had pleased God. 6No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him.
7 It was faith that made Noah hear God’s warnings about things in the future that he could not see. He obeyed God and built a boat in which he and his family were saved. As a result, the world was condemned, and Noah received from God the righteousness that comes by faith.
8 It was faith that made Abraham obey when God called him to go out to a country which God had promised to give him. He left his own country without knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as a foreigner in the country that God had promised him. He lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who received the same promise from God. 10For Abraham was waiting for the city which God has designed and built, the city with permanent foundations.
11 It was faith that made Abraham able to become a father, even though he was too old and Sarah herself could not have children. He trusted God to keep his promise. 12 Though Abraham was practically dead, from this one man came as many descendants as there are stars in the sky, as many as the numberless grains of sand on the seashore.
13 It was in faith that all these persons died. They did not receive the things God had promised, but from a long way off they saw them and welcomed them, and admitted openly that they were foreigners and refugees on earth. 14Those who say such things make it clear that they are looking for a country of their own. 15They did not keep thinking about the country they had left; if they had, they would have had the chance to return. 16Instead, it was a better country they longed for, the heavenly country. And so God is not ashamed for them to call him their God, because he has prepared a city for them.
17 It was faith that made Abraham offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice when God put Abraham to the test. Abraham was the one to whom God had made the promise, yet he was ready to offer his only son as a sacrifice. 18 God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that you will have the descendants I promised.” 19Abraham reckoned that God was able to raise Isaac from death—and, so to speak, Abraham did receive Isaac back from death.
20 It was faith that made Isaac promise blessings for the future to Jacob and Esau.
21 It was faith that made Jacob bless each of the sons of Joseph just before he died. He leaned on the top of his walking stick and worshiped God.
22 It was faith that made Joseph, when he was about to die, speak of the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, and leave instructions about what should be done with his body.
23 It was faith that made the parents of Moses hide him for three months after he was born. They saw that he was a beautiful child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s order.
24 It was faith that made Moses, when he had grown up, refuse to be called the son of the king’s daughter. 25He preferred to suffer with God’s people rather than to enjoy sin for a little while. 26He reckoned that to suffer scorn for the Messiah was worth far more than all the treasures of Egypt, for he kept his eyes on the future reward.
27It was faith that made Moses leave Egypt without being afraid of the king’s anger. As though he saw the invisible God, he refused to turn back. 28 It was faith that made him establish the Passover and order the blood to be sprinkled on the doors, so that the Angel of Death would not kill the first-born sons of the Israelites.
29 It was faith that made the Israelites able to cross the Red Sea as if on dry land; when the Egyptians tried to do it, the water swallowed them up.
30 It was faith that made the walls of Jericho fall down after the Israelites had marched around them for seven days. 31 It was faith that kept the prostitute Rahab from being killed with those who disobeyed God, for she gave the Israelite spies a friendly welcome.
32 Should I go on? There isn’t enough time for me to speak of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. 33 Through faith they fought whole countries and won. They did what was right and received what God had promised. They shut the mouths of lions, 34 put out fierce fires, escaped being killed by the sword. They were weak, but became strong; they were mighty in battle and defeated the armies of foreigners. 35 Through faith women received their dead relatives raised back to life.
Others, refusing to accept freedom, died under torture in order to be raised to a better life. 36 Some were mocked and whipped, and others were put in chains and taken off to prison. 37 They were stoned, they were sawed in two, they were killed by the sword. They went around clothed in skins of sheep or goats—poor, persecuted, and mistreated. 38The world was not good enough for them! They wandered like refugees in the deserts and hills, living in caves and holes in the ground.
39What a record all of these have won by their faith! Yet they did not receive what God had promised, 40because God had decided on an even better plan for us. His purpose was that only in company with us would they be made perfect.
Will your faith keep you moving forward? Will your faith keep you obedience to the point of death? Will your faith keep you blessing others? Will your faith keep you worshiping? Will your faith provide hope to the people in the world around you? Will your faith keep you going even in the midst of trials and troubles? Is your faith strong enough that you are sure of things you hope for and certain of things you cannot see? What is your record of faith? Will you stay a part of God’s flock? Will you align to God’s will humbly? Will you take care of those God has put into your care? Don’t worry about things, but give it up to God because He cares for you! Do not be afraid, be alert and on watch! Stand firm in your faith and resits the devil for then He will flee! Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds because you know many other followers of Jesus are going thru similar trials and also because you know that when it completes the work of perseverance in you that you will be complete and lacking nothing! Do not lose hope when you face troubles because you have the hope of knowing that Jesus has already overcome the world!
The Flock of God
1I, who am an elder myself, appeal to the church elders among you. I am a witness of Christ’s sufferings, and I will share in the glory that will be revealed. I appeal to you 2 to be shepherds of the flock that God gave you and to take care of it willingly, as God wants you to, and not unwillingly. Do your work, not for mere pay, but from a real desire to serve. 3Do not try to rule over those who have been put in your care, but be examples to the flock. 4And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the glorious crown which will never lose its brightness.
5 In the same way you younger people must submit yourselves to your elders. And all of you must put on the apron of humility, to serve one another; for the scripture says, “God resists the proud, but shows favor to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time. 7 Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.
8Be alert, be on watch! Your enemy, the Devil, roams around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9Be firm in your faith and resist him, because you know that other believers in all the world are going through the same kind of sufferings. 10But after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who calls you to share his eternal glory in union with Christ, will himself perfect you and give you firmness, strength, and a sure foundation. 11To him be the power forever! Amen.
12 I write you this brief letter with the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful Christian. I want to encourage you and give my testimony that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it.
13 Your sister church in Babylon, also chosen by God, sends you greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14Greet one another with the kiss of Christian love.
May peace be with all of you who belong to Christ.
–1 Peter 5
Today's Reading: Ezra 5, Ezra 6, Psalm 110, Hebrews 11, 1 Peter 5