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All the same

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We are all on the same level at the cross and saved by the same grace and blood of Jesus.   As we humbly admit our sinful, helpless condition and call on the Lord to save us, He forgives our sin and irrevocably adopts us into His family.  And just as we humble ourselves to receive Christ’s salvation by faith, we must also serve Him with humility of mind.

Being a servant of Christ requires that we submit to His leadership, regarding what we’re to do, how we’re to carry out His will, and where He would have us serve.  There is no room for self-seeking or self-promotion; our only concern should be obedience, with the aim that God alone gets the glory.

Sometimes we become preoccupied with finding our purpose in life so we can gain a sense of usefulness and self-fulfillment.  Although we do benefit from serving the Lord according to the way He’s gifted and designed us, that should not be our motive.  A humble spirit doesn’t look out for its own interests but instead thinks of others (Philippians 2:3-8).  This is the attitude Christ had.  He willingly left heaven to take on human form in order to go to the cross – that was a selfless act of obedience to the Father so we could be saved.

Are you willing to serve the Lord in obscurity?  What if no expressions of gratitude or praise come your way?  Do you cheerfully do lowly tasks?  It’s not always easy to evaluate our motives, but asking ourselves these questions will help us determine whether we’re truly serving in humility or seeking our own interests.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, February 3, 2018.

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Complete faith

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Intellectual assent – agreement with a set of Christian teachings – is incomplete faith.  True faith transforms our lives.  If our lives remain unchanged, we don’t truly believe the truths we claim to believe.  Living the way God wants us to live does not earn our way into heaven, but it shows that our commitment to God is real.  Godly conduct is not a substitute for, but a verification of our faith in Christ.

Commentary from the One Year NIV Devotional New Testament, November 10.  Tyndale House publishers, Inc.  2003.

What Makes You Happy?

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Internet “match-making” sites differ in purpose.  Some are “dating” sites, allowing singles to meet and get together.  Other sites are marriage-oriented, requiring interested parties to fill out extensive questionnaires on themselves and the kind of person they’re looking for.  All these sites are based on a single premise:  Few people are happy being single.

God himself said to Adam, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2:18).  God said that, ideally, men and women should meet, marry, and populate the earth.  What He didn’t say was that it’s okay to be unhappy until that meeting and marrying takes place.  The apostle Paul pointed out that singleness has rare blessings – the chance to be wholly committed to serving Christ.  His point is this:  Whether one is single or married, use it as an opportunity to serve the Lord with all your heart.  Are you happy where you are, taking advantage of the opportunity you have today?

Happiness is not a state of companionship.  Rather, it’s a byproduct of being in the center of the will of God.

“There is never a place in the Bible where it says that marriage makes you happy.  It says over and over again that God makes you happy.”  Dick Purnell

Commentary from the Pathways devotional, by David Jeremiah, May 30.