Category Archives: Morning Bible Reading…

Are you being useful?


Is there anything getting in the way of you being able to be useful? Is there any habit you have? Is there any words you use? Is there any actions to take? Is there any thoughts that you have? Are there any people you hangout with? Is there any time that is being misused? Are you getting too comfortable because things have been so great? Are you putting your trust in the wrong things? Are you giving the wrong things priority? Are you more interested in stuff? Are you more interested in allowing substances to control or manipulate you?

Are you being useful?

How about at home? How about in your neighborhood? How about in your community? How about in your workplace? How about at school? Are you turning back to God? Are you walking out your day with God? Are you aligning yourself to His purpose and plans? Are you spending time with God? Are you making His priorities your priorities?

Who are you being useful to? In your words? In your actions? In your schedule? In your life?

Are you being useful to God?

Are you present when others need you? Are you bringing comfort and encouragement to others? Are you bringing refreshing and cheer? Are you bringing good news? Are you bringing the Good News? Are you ready to perform the good work God has prepared in advance for you to accomplish? Are you ready to take the lead? Are you ready to turn to God? Are you ready to bring Him into a difficult situation? Are you willing to answer God’s call? Are you ready to say “Here am I Lord“? Are you ready to say “Send me“? Are you ready to say “I’ll go“? Are you ready to be the one who will say “I’ll do it“?

So how will you be called to be useful for the glory of God’s kingdom? How will you respond? Will you be prepared? Let’s get ready for it now so that when it comes we are in the right state to respond and be used by God today for the glory of His kingdom!


How Can You Be Useful to God?

Day 247: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Be prepared to take the lead … Psalm 105:23-36
  2. Turn to God in times of trouble … 2 Corinthians 7:2-16
  3. Respond to God’s call and say ‘I’ll go’ … Isaiah 5:8-8:10

Today’s Bible reading comes from:

 

 

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Will you make a difference today?


How will you make a difference today? What will you do to impact in a positive way someone who comes across your path? What will you say to impact in a positive way someone who comes across your path? What will you make happen today that will impact the lives of the people around you in a positive way? How will you make a difference today?

It may not be easy but it will be worth it - Make a difference

Do you realize that sometimes what we do makes a difference just not in the way we expected? Do you realize that sometimes what we say makes a difference just not in the way we were hoping? Do you think before you speak or act? Do you consider the outcome or the consequences of your decision before you speak or act? What type of a difference are you really trying to make? to society? to your family? to your friends? to your coworkers?

Imagine if your obituary was accidentally written and published before you died and you got to hear what would be said about you and how you would be remembered. What would it say? How would it impact the rest of your life? Would you need to change things up? Would you continue to live the same way? Would you be surprised by anything that would have gotten published? Would you be surprised by anything people would be saying or posting be it on the internet via social networks or the news or somewhere else? Might it shock you into changing? Might it give you peace because you learn that you actually made a positive impact on the world in and through your life? What would it say? What do you hope it would say? Is there anything that you would consider changing now before it was too late in order to make a difference through positively impacting the world around you?

Today’s devotional speaks about Alfred Nobel and how he made a change because just such a thing happened in order to turnaround the legacy he would leave behind…

Alfred Nobel (1833–1896) is best known for the Nobel Peace Prize. Less well known is the fact that Alfred Nobel also invented dynamite. As well as a chemist, engineer and innovator, he was a weapons’ manufacturer.

In 1888, Alfred’s brother Ludvig died. A French newspaper erroneously published Alfred’s obituary. It condemned him for his invention of dynamite, stating: ‘The merchant of death is dead… Dr Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.’

Alfred Nobel was devastated by the foretaste of how he would be remembered. His last will and testament set aside the bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel prizes. He gave the equivalent of US $250 million to fund such prizes. Alfred Nobel had the rare opportunity to evaluate his life near its end and live long enough to change that assessment.

Have you ever wondered what difference your life might make? How can your life bring blessing to other people? How can you change the world for the better? How can your life be of ultimate lasting value? How can we lead fruitful lives?

–from Day 246: Bible In One Year 2017

What legacy will you leave behind? What lasting value will it make on the world? What fruits will your life produce?

Consider the fruits of the spirit…

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So let’s live lives that won’t trip others up! Let’s live lives that are pure, with understanding, with patience, with kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by sincere love. Let’s live in honesty! Let’s live out our lives serving God as living sacrifices! Let’s live our lives as temples of the Holy Spirit! Let’s get rid of anything that will defile our body or spirit and so we can live lives that will glorify God and point others to Him!

Jesus made a difference, a difference that will last for eternity! Jesus is the vine and when we accepted Him, we have been grafted to it! Let Him and His love fill you to overflowing so that you will produce fruit that will make a difference to the world around you!

Is it worth it if you can make a difference in just one person’s life today? Does it matter if you can only make a difference in one person’s life today? It does to that one!

Starfish story ... you can make a difference
It makes a difference to that one

Make a Difference

Day 246: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Fruitfulness comes from faithfulness to God … Psalm 105:12-22
  2. Fruitfulness comes from the Holy Spirit … 2 Corinthians 6:3-7:1
  3. Fruitfulness comes from closeness to Jesus … Isaiah 3:1-5:7

Today’s morning reading comes from …

Ambassador of peace…


Do you realize that when you were called by Jesus you have been called to be an ambassador of peace? Do you realize how important that is? As part of the process of becoming a new creation, we get to be the ambassadors of reconciliation!

We Are God’s Ambassadors

11 Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. 12 Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us,b]”>[b] so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. 13 If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us.c]”>[c] Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.d]”>[d] 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

–from 2 Corinthians 5

How will you be prepared? What will you do mentally? How will you learn the best ways to accomplish this role? Will you meditate on God’s Word daily? Will you wait upon the Lord in those moments to hear the still quiet voice of the Holy Spirit for wisdom and direction? Will you live with the fruit of the Spirit? Do you realize that God is making his appeal to others through us? It’s not just about inviting people to church but it is about living and loving on people right where they are at.

“What is an ambassador?” you may ask.

ambassador defined

So we are to be a representative of Jesus! We are to be a promoter of Jesus! We sent by Jesus!

So let’s allow our words and our actions speak to the goodness of God and the grace and love and mercy and forgiveness that comes through Jesus!

We have been given the immense privilege of being called ambassadors of Christ! We have been given such a high position in order to make Jesus known in the world we are in.

Today’s devotional closed with the following which aligns to what I have put above when it says…

Through you God makes his appeal for others to receive his forgiveness, love and grace. Appeal to them to become friends of God and ambassadors themselves. As royal ambassadors, act with diplomacy and skill because you are representing Christ on earth.

–from Day 245: Bible In One Year 2017

So will you take up this calling and share Jesus with the world around you in the ways you act, the words you speak, and the heart with which you listen and serve the world around you? It’s not about puffing yourself up but about having a sincere heart!

So let’s not waste today!

1As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. 2For God says,
“At just the right time, I heard you.
On the day of salvation, I helped you.”
Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

–from 2 Corinthians 5


Recognise What You Are

Day 245: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Ambassadors to the whole world … Psalm 105:1-11
  2. Ambassadors with an urgent message … 2 Corinthians 5:11-6:2
    • We are all ‘Christ’s ambassadors’ (5:20). Paul, as an ambassador of Christ, seeks to ‘persuade people’ (v.11) about the truth of the gospel.

      This is a big responsibility. It is urgent. Take it seriously: ‘It’s no light thing to know that we will all one day stand in that place of judgment. That’s why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God’ (v.11, MSG).

      God makes his appeal through you. God could have made his appeal direct or through angels. Instead, he has chosen to do it through you and me. ‘God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing’ (v.19b, MSG). Paul writes, ‘We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God’ (v.20). ‘Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you’ (v.20, MSG).

      Love is… the motive

      ‘For Christ’s love compels us’ (v.14). ‘His love has the first and last word in everything we do’ (v.14a, MSG). You are called to live a life of love. First, love for Jesus, who died for us so that we should no longer live for ourselves but for him (v.15). Second, love for others, because we are convinced that Jesus died for them: ‘One man died for everyone’ (v.14b, MSG).

      Love is… the message

      The message is: ‘God loves you.’ He welcomes you with open arms. Because Jesus died for you, you can be a friend of God. You can approach him boldly and confidently as often as you choose.

      The message is all about reconciliation (vv.18–19). Reconciliation is about restored friendship in a relationship of love – with God and with one another. It’s a huge privilege and joy to see people reconciled to God and to one another – especially in marriages, families and other broken relationships.

      It is made possible through Jesus’ death and resurrection: ‘God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God’ (v.21, MSG).

      Paul writes that ‘God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ’ (v.19). Some people caricature the New Testament teaching and suggest that God is barbaric and unjust because he punished Jesus, an innocent party, instead of us. This is not what the New Testament says. Rather, Paul writes, ‘God was… in Christ.’ He was himself the substitute in the person of his Son. He made it possible for us to be restored in a relationship with him.

      As a result, ‘If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!’ (v.17). As the New Living Translation puts it, ‘Those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore for the old is gone. A new life has begun’ (v.17).

      Love is… the means

      Never pressurise people. Rather, try to persuade them (v.11) because you love them. Implore them on Christ’s behalf (v.20). You are Christ’s representative. Jesus always acted in love and as his ambassadors you represent this love.

      Paul writes, ‘I hope you realise how much and deeply we care’ (v.11, MSG). As is often said, ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’

      –from Day 245: Bible In One Year 2017

  3. Ambassadors of holy love … Isaiah 1:1-2:22

 


Today’s Reading from God’s Word comes from…

Watcha gonna do?


Do you have a plan? Do you have a goal? Do you have a purpose?

Whatcha gonna do?

Finish high school? Learn a trade? Get a college degree? Go to university?

Have you gotten a call? Has God put something into your heart that you are now going to pursue?

Everyone doesn’t find value in the same things. Some find value in what can be acquired or how much money can they make. Some find value in how they can help others and serve in their communities or around the world.

Do you have priorities? Do you realize the impact on the rest of your life because of them?

Think you don’t have priorities? Think again! Where are you spending your time? What do you spend your money on? Seems that is where your priorities are!

Why not seek first God’s kingdom and God’s ways? And then let God help you take care of the other needs of your life?

Achievements people value vary too! Are you looking to achieve something that can be lost, stolen, or destroyed? Are you looking to achieve something that can never be lost, stolen, or destroyed but rather will last forever? Longevity! Eternity! Focus! Calling! Purpose! Plan!

Where are you at today? Do you view each day as starting with “Happy” and ending with “day” and so whatever ends up in the middle makes it today?

Whose promises will you pursue? Where are you going to build your life on? The world’s? God’s?

The world’s which as you can tell from everyday life sways like the waves in the sea based on popular opinion? God’s which never changes and is like the solid rock that can’t be moved!

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

–from Matthew 7

Whatcha gonna do? Jesus is calling out to you! The devil is speaking lies to you!

What will you value? How will you show value? Whatcha gonna do?

Have you been called to serve in the workplace? Have you been called to serve in the church, in missions, on the field? There is ministry to be had everywhere! They are all important! They are all through one body! They are all for the body of Jesus working together that the world will come to learn the truths and the hope and the love and the purpose of God!

So what goal are you pursuing? What call are you answering? Beyond the job, the career, the title, what is the goal you are pursuing?

Whatcha gonna do? Don’t waste your time and efforts! Don’t waste your life without purpose, meaning, and goals! Don’t waste your life pursuing the wrong goals that will fade and disappear but rather pursue goals that will have purpose and last for all of eternity!

Whatcha gonna do? Why not choose with that free will you have to pursue something meaningful! Why not choose to have meaning, purpose, and goals that will make a difference not only to you but also to your family, friends, and community?

Life is so much more than stuff! So much more than property and possessions! So…

Property and possessions shouldn’t be your goal or purpose, they would be the byproducts of your obedience and purpose of pursuing God and His kingdom and His righteousness! Remember how we are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…

Teaching about Money and Possessions

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

22 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. 23 But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God[e] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

–from Matthew 6

Whatcha gonna do? … Why?


 Find Your Purpose in Life

Day 244: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Pursue righteousness and love … Proverbs 21:17-26
  2. Aim to please God … 2 Corinthians 5:1-10
  3. Rise to Micah’s challenge … Micah 5:1-7:20
    • It is possible to have a wasted soul. God warns, through Micah, against:

      ‘Obscene wealth…

      piled up by cheating and fraud…

      shady deals and shifty scheming…

      No matter how much you get, it will never be enough –

      hollow stomachs, empty hearts.

      No matter how hard you work, you’ll have nothing to show for it –

      bankrupt lives, wasted souls’ (6:10–14, MSG).

      At times, the prophet Micah looks forward (for example, see 7:7–20). At one point he unknowingly prophesies about Jesus (Matthew 2:5–12). He sees a ruler coming from Bethlehem, ‘Whose origins are from of old, from ancient times… And he will be their peace’ (Micah 5:2,5a). He will be known as ‘Peacemaker of the world!’ (v.4b, MSG).

      At other times, the prophet Micah looks back. He looks at all that God has done for his people (see 6:3 onwards). He redeemed them. He led them (v.4). He urged them to ‘remember’ (v.5).

      God is a God of astonishing love and mercy: ‘Mercy is your specialty. That’s what you love most. And compassion is on its way to us. You’ll stamp out our wrongdoing. You’ll sink our sins to the bottom of the ocean’ (7:18–19, MSG).

      Through Jesus your past is totally forgiven. Don’t keep looking back with regret. God has ‘hurled all [your] iniquities into the depths of the sea’ (v.19) and there is ‘no fishing’ allowed.

      What will our response be to this amazing grace? Micah presents this challenge: ‘To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God’ (6:8c). This threefold challenge gives us the purpose and goal of our lives.

      Act justly

      Justice is very high up on God’s agenda. Injustice causes so much of the world’s suffering today. I have to make this a higher priority in my own life and in our community. We must do more to see that the poor, the marginalised and the voiceless receive justice.

      Love mercy

      God has shown us such mercy. Our response should be to show mercy to others. As Joyce Meyer puts it, ‘People do not need to be pressured to perform perfectly; they need to be loved and accepted.’ We need to bring the message of the gospel of God’s love and mercy to as many as possible, including the prisoners, the homeless, the elderly and the poor.

      Walk humbly with God

      Never see yourself as better, above, or more important than other people. A proud person overestimates their own importance. They cannot laugh at themselves. ‘Don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously’ (v.8c, MSG). We cannot do any of this unless we are walking in a relationship with the Lord.

       

      These three go together. True faith is evidenced by how you live. This is why Paul writes that ‘the things done while in the body’ (2 Corinthians 5:10) really matter. You will be judged by them. They are the evidence of your faith.

      –from Day 244: Bible In One Year 2017


Today’s Bible Reading…

With the fact that we will live forever…


How will you choose to live? Will you spend your thoughts be focusing on worry or God’s promises? Will you spend your time on things that change the outside or inside? Will you live openly so that you live in the light so that there are no masks or hidden that if found out would cause trouble? Will you live without shame so that if people learn, hear, see, or confront you about something you won’t feel or be ashamed? Will you live life without distortion, speaking truth with love, not twisting truth for your own purpose or benefits? Let’s keep it simple so that in all we think, do, and live we will glorify God! So many people are more interest in the things on the outside which fades away rather than what is on the inside. When we have come into relationship with Jesus, our life is different, we are transformed, the light of God is shining within us, we are like “jars of clay” that hold a treasure that will last for ever. Thanks to Jesus we will get to spend eternity with God. Everyone will be eternal, the challenge is that some will have to spend eternity apart from God because they reject and deny Jesus. Life is about more than stuff, God has mad what is on the inside worthwhile and so we need not lose heart when things of this world put pressure on us. Thanks to Jesus, we have a treasure within us that cannot be stolen from us. It so greater than what this world consider most valuable (Our culture emphasises the outward and the seen. The media is dominated by money, possessions, houses, cars, food, physical beauty and outward success.), instead what is most important which is inside (The Bible is very different. It stresses the importance of the inward and unseen aspects of our character: the thoughts, beliefs and attitudes that determine our outward behaviour. ‘For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal’ (v.18).) is providing, valuing, and nurturing in us.So don’t lose hope when you face troubles, instead consider it pure joy because it produces faith and perseverance which when they finish their work will leave complete and lacking nothing.Rather than spending your thoughts and time on worry, meditate on the Word of God! Rather than worry which produce not good fruit, pray to God who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine. So don’t spend this life in worry and doubt! Spend it building faith and hope and love in and for God so that you and everyone who you come into contact with can also hear the Good News and be saved! Choose to live eternity with the treasure of Jesus in your heart so that you will spend eternity with God rather than apart from Him!


You Will Live Forever

Day 243: Bible in One Year 2017

This day’s reading