SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 (TPT)
TEXT: 10 God designed us to feel remorse over sin in order to produce repentance that leads to victory. This leaves us with no regrets. But the sorrow of the world works death. 11 Can’t you see the good fruit that has come, as God intended, because of your remorse over sin? Now you are eager to do what is right! Look at the indignation you experienced over what happened and how alarmed you became. What holy longing it awakened, what passion for God, and how ready you were to bring justice to the offender. Your response has proved that you are free of blame in this matter.
OBSERVATION: Paul had dealt with a group to whom he had written a letter, that he was sure could easily have dampened their spirits and perhaps even make them mad. When he arrived on site, he was thankful that the letter was well received and that it had the desired impact on the Corinthians. Because we also need correcting from time to time, let us take note of how this was achieved.
APPLICATION: Isn’t it interesting how someone can say something to us at certain times and we will laugh along with them and take their advice in stride, while other times the slightest little thing will make us so upset and ready to fight? I believe that Paul was expecting the worse as a result of his letter, but instead he found the best possible results. That’s no different with us today, for if we are challenged about our sin, or discord, the first thing that most of us would do is to become very defensive. We might also become upset at the Brother or Sister trying to help correct us, and we would probably stay out of their way for a while. On the other hand, if we are filled with the Holy Spirit and therefore looking for ways to please God more, and better, then perhaps we would welcome correction, because we would be listening more attentively to the Holy Spirit who lives inside of us as our guide to pleasing Christ everyday. I believe this is the same way it works with Jesus speaking wisdom to us, for when our hearts are in tuned with Jesus Christ, we are in tuned with His Word and we easily apply it to our lives and give God thanks for it. However, when we are out of sync with our Master, and we have not been transparent with Him about our sin, we are easily misdirected by Satan, who forces us into many other directions when we know deep inside that we should be in the Word, at a prayer meeting, or some other place that we had scheduled, at least in our minds, to facilitate our personal time with the Lord. Friends, daily distractions is our biggest enemy to spending time with the Lord. Here’s a help tip for you: Whenever distracted by something that steals your time away from being with the Lord, and you go before God with your excuses and especially about not having time for everything, just tell Him “Sorry God but that was not a priority for me today”. Think carefully about the circumstances and you will quickly agree that you just gave a more accurate explanation to God, but now try thanking Him for all that He has sacrificed, and done just for you. Try asking Him for all the things that you feel you should have, to better align with your neighbors. Very difficult, isn’t it? Make God your priority friends! Above all else that He could have been doing in His ministry, yet He stopped everything and made the ultimate sacrifice just for us. How could we but praise Him? How could we but serve Him? How could we but worship Him? How could we but honor Him – my Savior and my Lord?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I worship and adore You today, because of who You are, because of Your love for my readers and I and because of all that You gave up just to provide the means of us getting to the Father and all of the joys of Heaven. We have such a challenge keeping our priorities in order, like You demonstrated on the cross at Calvary. Please, please, continue to impress upon us what’s important in life and help us to stay focused on the only thing that matters – our eternal destination in heaven with You and the Father.
SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Corinthians 6:6-7 (ERV)
TEXT: 6 We show that we are God’s servants by our pure lives, by our understanding, by our patience, and by our kindness. We show it by the Holy Spirit, by genuine love, 7 by speaking the truth, and by depending on God’s power. This right way of living has prepared us to defend ourselves against every kind of attack.
OBSERVATION: Paul declared at the very beginning of this chapter that THE most important thing for his people, is their salvation, and that the day of salvation is NOW. For we are not promised the next day, hour or minute. Therefore he wanted his hearers (including us) to know that we need not wait for any event in life for us to start speaking, acting and loving like our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. This will speak volumes to us, read on…..
APPLICATION: Ever heard a spouse warn you to go easy on their partner, because they are trying to get over what someone said to them, or embarrassed over what they said to someone, or they got told off by a friend and they are trying to calm their nerves before they would otherwise explode? Does this sound very much like you, friend, because you have been there and done that? So what impression of Christ did the ‘world’ around that believer just receive? Was it a convincing act that helped them finalize their decision to follow Christ? Was it an outpouring of love, like Christ showed even at His most difficult time – hanging on the cross? Did it remind you of anything that you had seen even in the ‘world’? Are you convinced that you need to be more like that friend because he says that he is just like Jesus? Friends, Paul knew that the ‘world’ was watching him very closely, and just waiting for him to mess up so they could either poke fun at him or use it against his witness. I believe that Christians today, who live among the ‘world’, also knows that things have not changed. So the big question is: What have we (Christians) done to prepare ourselves to face the world’s: temptations, deceitful ‘friends’, the opposition’, etc? I believe that we should be as much like Jesus Christ in our workplace, in our social clubs, in the restaurants, at the football game, and anywhere else that we go each day, as we are in church or in the safety and security of our homes. If the character of Christ is in us, it will show through us in our actions and in our words. If we struggle with that, then the formula for success rests on our knees. For only Jesus can help us face the uncertainties of the day through a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit each morning that we ask for it. Are you ready for the day – not personally, but confident that you and Jesus could face anything that Satan may send your way.
PRAYER: Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on each of us today. May we be so filled with Your power, Your grace, and Your love, that we could face any giant that may pose a threat to our representation of our Savior today. Please prepare us, and be our Guide through every circumstance today. For I ask this in the powerful name of Jesus, my Lord, my Savior and my everlasting King! AMEN!
SCRIPTURE FROM: Isaiah 1:18-20 (ERV)
TEXT: 18 “I, the Lord, am the one speaking to you. Come, let’s discuss this. Even if your sins are as dark as red dye, that stain can be removed and you will be as pure as wool that is as white as snow. 19 “If you listen to what I say, you will get the good things from this land. 20 But if you refuse to listen and rebel against me, your enemies will destroy you.” The Lord himself said this.
OBSERVATION: Although these verses were shared by our Old Testament prophet Isaiah, and were no doubt very applicable to what he was facing at the time with his own people, I can understand why God had these words included in His Holy Book For we have folk that refuse to listen to the voice of God today. Let’s see how this might still applicable to us today.
APPLICATION: “Pastor, you just don’t understand. This ‘Holy’ and ‘Righteous’ and ‘Perfect’ Father that you refer to won’t have anything to do with me. For I am a filthy sinner in all that I’ve done in my past, and if you only had a clue as to what my job currently is, and the horrible clientele that I serve“. The Word of God responds: “My child, I sent my very own Son as a sacrifice for your sins. No matter how dark, or crimson red those sins might be, the sacrifice I offered for you will actually cleanse you as if you were super clean, just as freshly fallen snow appears.” “But pastor, all my friends know about my deeds and my past. A change on the inside may not be evident to them” “My dear one, all along you have lived to please others, and you don’t appear happy with what you achieved. As you surrender your heart to my Son, He will guide you into all truth for everyday living, so that you may please Him. That turn of events will allow you to one day be in Heaven with My Son and Me. That benefit is ‘out of this world’! So you have a choice my child: continue living to please the world and its leader so that you may spend eternity in torment by Satan, or accept My offer of forgiveness, love, and eternity in Heaven.” To all my readers: What is your choice in this matter? Do you know my Savior? Are you pleasing Him, or are you still pleasing the world and your friends? Please carefully decide where you will spend eternity. It’s your choice, and only you can make that choice, with God’s help. Your life will be evidence of which choice you made. May I recommend that you make the decision to follow Jesus? Look full into His wonderful face, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim! It’s all a matter of life (eternity in heaven) or death (total darkness and everlasting abuse with Satan in the pit of Hell). It’s your choice my friend.
PRAYER: Lord, I so appreciate all that You did for me on Calvary. I pray that as my readers contemplate on this today, they will make the obvious choice to accept Your precious Gift and Your ultimate destination for all who are Yours. To do nothing is the same as them telling You, “no thank you, I rather do this ‘life’ thing on my own and accept my consequences at the end”. Faithful Father, I pray that You will soften the hearts of all that might begin to read this devotional today and draw them unto Yourself. My whole purpose in writing this blog is to point family and friends towards my Savior. Bless this devotional today dear Lord, and allow it to accomplish Your work. AMEN!
God does answer prayer, friends. Do your part to ensure that you are asking of a very personal God with whom you have a very deep relationship with. Daniel did this and God acted immediately. Our God’s not dead, He’ll do the same for you!