Devotions and Lessons
Scripture of the Week:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
Devotions and Lessons
Scripture of the Week:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
We live in society of me, what is in it for me, why do I need to talk to people in person when I have internet. I hear many talk about things and show cool photos with great sayings and all that is great and wonderful but does it really spread the Word, does it. Well, guess what, the LORD commanded it so we must do it (actually talk and interact with people that is). We do not need rewards or gratification, what we get from it is the sense of accomplishment while performing our duties in Christ’s mandate to make disciples. We make friends, gain family, develop closer relationships with people, we get to see people experience what we experienced when Christ came into our lives. That is what we get. That is why we go and make Disciples of all humankind.
People have described classes, courses, programs, Bible studies, accountability groups, mission trips and even fellowship as discipleship. Often, people think making disciples is a specific call or spiritual gift, something only meant for the pastors, missionaries and “super-Christians. Guess what; Discipleship is more than a class or any of those things, it is a way of life. You do not have to be called, gifted, a pastor, or specified individual, just you the Christian with a faithful heart, soul and mind that is focused on Christ.
I have been in many classes where Discipleship was discussed as a means to entice people to Christ. I’m sorry we do not entice people when we witness to them (part of the Discipleship process), we invite them to listen to what God did in our lives in order for them to ask themselves if that is what they want in their lives.
The relationships developed are more than just for church, they are for life. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and (here it is) THE LIFE. Jesus gave us the means and instructions for an all over healthy way of living. Life in Christ is life in the Kingdom of God and every person we share and develop healthy Christian relationships with, we bring the Kingdom of God closer into being here on earth.
Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you (John 20:21).” Discipleship is walking by faith; to be live as an obedient Christian according to His Word. It is sharing faith; retelling God’s work in your life as well as HisStory of redemption of all who will hear Him. It is multiplying faith; bringing others into God’s fold to making disciples of their own.
Few things to remember are: Share, Listen (actual hearing), Build, Love, Follow-up, Teach, Love, Build, Follow-up, and Share. Seems like a vicious circle but it is not. It is circle of growing the Body of Christ so big that no Nephilim (giant) can break it down.
Remember, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field (Luke 10:2).” We are the workers, the world is our garden to harvest.
God’s Love and Grace to You,
Discipleship, What is it and why is it important in the life of a Christian?
People all over the world have heard of Jesus and His Disciples. Those that have not heard directly from another Christian may have seen it through commercial media and other means. A Disciple in Christian terms is a follower of Christ but it actually goes deeper than that. A Disciple of Christ is one that not only follows Christ, but knows Scripture, follows the Truth in Scripture, and understands the vision of Discipleship.
Since Discipleship is a very extensive subject this is just a brief overview with insights to assist in why we do what we do.
The Disciples of Christ lived, breathed, and loved the Master. Some non-Christians and un-churched call it blind devotion to a human but we know better. As Christians we desire to be like Christ so a Disciple is one who eats, drinks, breaths, reads, hears, and understand Scripture in order to have a deeper relationship with Christ. Relationships are very important to life and to have such a close understanding of Jesus through His Word can lead to deeper faith and relationship with Him.
The first thing we need to look at for our needs is the Great Commission (GC). The GC from Matthew 28:18-20 is Christ’s Human Resource assignment to find and bring others to know Him. In the passage, Jesus gives us a command and three instructions to accomplish the command. Jesus tells us to make Disciples in such that wherever you go, you are to baptize (witness), and teach (equip for witnessing to others keeping the circle going).
Two different models are shown in Scripture. Of course the Jesus model is where the teacher-student relationship grew to a more intimate close family relationship in order for the Disciples to understand the Truth and the Life on a more personal level. Jesus poured His life into the Disciples. Because of this, the Twelve were able to accomplish many things and stand firm in their faith when facing those with evil intentions.
The second model is the model brought forth by Paul. Without Jesus in the flesh, the teaching fell onto the Disciples and the first Jesus called after Ascension, Paul. The Book of Romans digs extremely deep in creating and maintaining a deep relationship in Christ. There were men and women mentored by Paul. One such person, Timothy, experienced what the Disciples did but on a smaller scale. Paul even commissions Timothy in saying, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others (2 Timothy2:2)”.
If we were to break things down into a ministry model, the following can be determined about Discipleship; Discipleship is: Pouring into others, training them in Word, Relationship, and Ministry, in order so they might develop as healthy believers who walk by, share, and multiply their faith.
Training them in Scripture, Relationship, and Ministry (service), are three pieces of the puzzle to accomplish the Great Commission.
How many times in Scripture does God command us to KEEP HIS WORD well, a lot? How do we keep it, He tells Joshua to “Meditate on it daily…Keep it on your lips…design it in your heart.” In other words, know, live it, love it for “Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and obey it (Luke 11:28)”.
Building a relationship with Christ helps us build relationship with others Christian or not. Jesus associated Himself with His Disciples before He began truly giving them the understanding and knowledge needed for active ministry. This requires deliberate commitment between individuals and others. It also requires consistent meetings with purposeful intent of training and fellowship (we cannot just learn, gotta be relational too). In doing these we become more a family; vulnerable, accountable, and authentic, with each other.
Learn by example to conduct proper ministry. In other words there is more to teaching ministry than just talking about it, the teacher must be an example for others to follow. Service projects engage all persons in the circle of Disciples. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10)”. During the projects, it opens people up to witnessing (and evangelize) to others. Sharing personal Christ experiences with others is exactly what Jesus was talking about. This may lead to the “mustard seed” being planted and a desire of the heart to learn and grow closer to Christ themselves.
Engaging in ministry (Disciple others) is not just an event, it is a lifestyle.
Next time we will discuss why we Disciple
There is an issue in Christian circles where young men and women who were brought up in the church suddenly leave the Body of Christ. This is no small matter nor is it to be laughed off but seriously considered by all Christians. First I must say this, When dealing with a person who has “lost his or her faith” in Christ do not condemn them. For many who feel they lose their faith, it is not truly a loss of faith in God but a discouragement on how the church acts, reacts, and functions. Before we get into how to encourage those who believe they are losing faith so they do not fall away (Next Blog Post), let us find out some reasons why people leave the church and eventually the Body of Christ.
How many times have we seen good Christians lose their way because the world Gets in the way? What can we do and how do we get them back on the pathway to Christ without being too pushy? Even better, what about young Christians? Steering off the path happens a lot when kids graduate High School and go off to college. I have one in college now and one preparing to go so that has been on my mind. But it doesn't just happen at this juncture in life, it happens all the time. This week let us look at what the Bible says about staying on the path and not letting the world get in the way.
Immediate Ramifications of Disobedience
Chapters 2-4 of Genesis we see God’s exacting of punishment three ways. All three include banishment from known comfort but that is just the beginning.
When we were young (and sometimes into adulthood) when we did something wrong we were punished. Some physically, some mentally, sometimes both. We have experienced spankings, facing a corner while standing or sitting, “Go to your room”, wash your mouth out with soap, or other punishments (some children today do not know those techniques). Most of the time the punishment is a result from the child not listening or testing the parent when told not to do something.
Adam and Eve were told “Do not eat of the Tree of Knowledge” and what did they do? The voice of temptation said it was ok to eat of it because it would bring them closer to God’s likeness and understanding. They did it and felt ashamed. After we did something didn’t we feel a little remorse and try to get out of being punished?
Adam and Eve hid from God’s sight and when discovered they confessed what they did. When we do something wrong and try to hide it are we not found out? I’m pretty sure they saw God as a larger more intimidating being when they knew they did wrong. But here is the good part, though they were punished and banished from their garden paradise, they grew up and learned from the mistake. Yes they had the guilt of sin and the recognition of the punishment but they moved on and made the best of the situation.
God teaches lessons through the punishments.
Moving on to the devil. God saw the evil that the snake did and gave it (him) fair warning of his impending doom. God banished the devil from enjoying God’s presence all the time though as we find out in Job Satan is a member of the heavenly council, he was not allowed to be in God’s presence very long. Satan was told that he would be destroyed but it would be a long time. Was God giving Lucifer a chance at redemption? I do not think so because his ways were too evil. So the devil is imprisoned on earth.
Cain, poor Cain. He did not understand why God favored Abel’s worship and sacrifices over his. Out of jealousy he kills Abel and is sent away with the mark of guilt. Oh how guilt loves to eat away at a human’s soul. God protects Cain from harm but wow what a thing to have to live with the knowledge that you committed a sin, a heinous crime, and cannot be killed to relieve the pain.
What is the lesson here? Do not try to hide your sins, they will be discovered and you will suffer the consequences. Also, it is better to confess wrongdoings and accept the consequence for your actions.
God, who or what is God, Creator, Keeper, Healer, Father, Friend; the list goes on and on in words to describe Him. We know Him simply as God-Jesus-Holy Spirit, Holy Trinity, and Three Persons in One. He is the one we seek daily but never has left us. He is All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Ever-Present, Loving, and Living Father. But what does all that have to do with anything? Well, everything really. Without God we would not have existence. We would not know Love, Kindness, Perfection, Joy, Hope, Sacrifice, Fear, Pain, Salvation, Revelation, and many other things.
The first thing we learn from the Father is that He created all things and that we are known as His special creation because we are made in His Image (some translations, likeness). What does that mean for us? Contrary to popular believe it does not necessarily mean we look like God but we are designed with His characteristics and value systems. We are designed to understand what is right and know what we are not supposed to do. Adam and Eve actually knew that no meant no but the Adversary (Satan, Lucifer, and the Devil) convinced Eve to do what God told her not to.
God is the Ultimate Authority
Open the book and the first being spoken about is God. God is the creator of all things. He made the planets, the stars, all things and placed them in specific order. He created all beings who occupy the Earth. To us He gave dominion as caretakers of His creation. When something happens we answer to Him. GOD IS THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY.
Ok so question: If God is the Ultimate Authority where is He and how can He rule? Simple answer is this, He is in our hearts and minds; He created us, breathed life into us, He is part of us as we are a part of Him. We are created in His Image so that means the authority over the children are the ones who gave birth to them. We are to listen to our parents just as they listen to God. As we get older and have our own children the roles reverse but we still must listen to those who brought us into this world.
Basic Life Lesson Here: Listen to our Parents for they are made in God’s image to have authority over the earth, to take care of the creation which includes the righteous upbringing of the children God said to have (Gen 1:26-28).
It is with God's Grace and a Humble Servant's Heart that I welcome all to this site. We here are God Fearing members of the Body of Christ and wish to share with everyone His Word and how it has affected and effected our lives. It is by The Truth which is Jesus that we write. The Word is more than just letters on a page, it is Scripture, life lessons, History, Salvation, Character development, Values, Morals and Ethics, The Bible is God's Plan for all mankind.
In this blog we hope to give everyday examples, lessons learned, a bit of history, Hope for the future, and Bring the Word to all who are willing to hear it. We will take prayer requests, Scriptural questions, and will help as we can.
Paul wrote to the Philippians
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness
Jesus came to us not as a regal king but the child of a carpenter and a young woman. He was not born with human fanfare but came to the world in a cold cave. Are we humble like our Lord?
In my readings today I am reminded about being humble before the Lord. The ME society has spread rampant and people who help others without desire for recognition are rare. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” The humble person does not boast nor seek fame and riches. Christ did many things but never once did He ask for anything in return. Belief, faith, and trust in Him was all He required.
How do we maintain our humility in this society of ME? “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Instead do everything for the Glory of God because He is the one that makes things grow and causes things to be. We are but instruments though which the actions happen. God will reward those who do not take the full credit. During the recent Oscars there was not one, but three who praised God before anyone else. Their humility shined through and though there was immediate criticism by some they were praised by many and their fan base grew. That is only an example from the Hollywood side. There are many who are the unsung and do not get there moment of fame to declare their faith. I am speaking about us, the person who does those small seemingly insignificant things that bring a smile to someone’s face, a warm night sleep, a full belly and many other things without desire for recognition. The kind word, the hug, just being there even for the people who do not think they need the “charity” when he or she needs it the most.
Live a life in humility brothers and sisters “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).
The messages on the blogs written on this page are within biblical adherence. Though the Scriptures listed in the blogs are directly from the Bible and other related religious writings the explanations and interpretations are in line with Biblical thinking as it relates to today’s world. The use of historical facts are to assist in the validity of the writings. The main writer of this blog site is an Ordained minister in one denomination though the views are related to all denominations so if something is said that does not fall in line with your denominational background, pray for personal discernment and understanding.