Tag: be careful

Receiving a full reward!

Scripture reading for November 26th:  Ezekiel 34-37, 2nd John

Key Scriptures:  2nd John 7-10  “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh.  Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.  Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.  Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God.  Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.”  

John wrote this short letter to a pastor and her congregation concerning the need for discernment.  False teachers were attacking the church.  These teachers were denying Jesus Christ came in the flesh and deceiving people with the spirit of antichrist.  Care must be taken not to take them in or be taken in by their false doctrines.  A full reward from God awaits the faithful and discerning.

Ezekiel 33:7  “”So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel.  Whenever you hear a Word from My mouth, you shall give them warning from Me.”” 

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for clear warnings to be watchful and focused on Your Truth and Word.  Help me to be watchful and a watchman over those in Your church.  Amen.

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Connection breakers!

Scripture Reading for February 13th: Numbers 9-12

The Israelites are ready to move out from Mt. Sinai after receiving the ten commandments.  They have just eaten the Passover meal on the first anniversary after leaving Egypt.  They have been traveling and camping in the wilderness for a year and are ready to go to the land of promise.  The tribes were set in order and the trumpets were ready to sound and call the people to move out. (Numbers 10:1-7)  The Ark of God was carried by the Levites and God in the cloud overshadowed them.

Shortly after moving out from Mt. Sinai, the rabble began to cause trouble by murmuring and complaining.  The rabble were people who lived on the fringes of the camp, often not true Israelites.  They followed God’s people, but really did not have a relationship with the God of Israel.  They experienced the miracles and deliverance, but weren’t really believers.  When the manna got old, the wilderness got hot, and the journey got long, these “rabble-rousers” would cause trouble.  They craved the foods of Egypt. (Numbers 11:4-6)  God sent fire, burning up some of this group and Moses prayed for them. (Numbers 11:1-3)

Life is no different today.  There are those in the church who like to complain and belly-ache!  Their pastor never does anything right.  God has brought them to this point to let them die.  They don’t like the music.  They don’t like the youth pastor.  The pastor’s wife is cold and aloof!  Nothing is as good as it used to be with the last pastor!  The sermons are too long, the drums are too loud, and the pastor walked right by me and didn’t say hello or shake my hand!

When we complain, we are actually accusing God of failure to care for us and do right by us.  This complaint makes God angry! (Numbers 11:10)  The leader feels bad too.  When things don’t go as you expect or desire, avoid the temptation to complain.  Instead, pray for your leadership.  Look for something good to say and encourage them. Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.  Remember that rabble-rousers always end up taking the heat! (fire from God!)

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Running to win!

Scripture reading for August 15th: 1st Corinthians 9:20-10:14

Paul’s sole motive was to win the most people as possible.  He had purposely not taken support from those he ministered to in order to win more of them.  Next he told of his strategy to continue to reap a big harvest.  He was not just doing things to be busy, but had a plan he was working on!

To the Jews, I became like a Jew, to win the Jews.  To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so as to win those under the law.  To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.  To the weak I became weak, to win the weak.  I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the Gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” (1st Corinthians 9:20-23)

Paul loved God and loved God’s people.  He was open to live his life in a way that would have maximum impact on the most people possible.  In order to reach people, we must relate to people.  For the sake of the Gospel, we can lay aside some of our liberties and identify with those who are weak or struggling.  In doing so, we can preach and speak into their lives.

He viewed his life like a race in which he was running to get a prize.  In the athletic contests of that day, many runners ran to get a crown of flowers that would soon fade away.  But in the race for souls to enter the kingdom of heaven, the crown was permanent!  (1st Corinthians 9:24-25)  Paul disciplined himself and brought his mind and body into obedience in order to accomplish his task of reaching the Gentiles.  He was focused on this task and did not want to be disqualified for failing to finish the race!

How is your focus on finishing your spiritual race?  Are you aware of the eternal prize awaiting those who finish well?   Are you disciplining your body and mind to focus on the task ahead?  The eternal crown awaits all who finish in faith!

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