Obedience to the Lord’s call, though challenging at times, can be very rewarding. A servant of God experiences the grace (enabling power), unmerited favor and blessing of the Lord, to fulfill their assignment. In addition to the blessings that servants receive on this earth while laboring to finish a kingdom mandate, a servant can be certain that (s)he will receive eternal blessings for their labor of love. Of course, any servant of God longs to hear our Lord say, “Well done!” Nothing on earth could be more rewarding than to hear those words.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
The Apostle Paul, anticipating his demise, summoned the elders from the church of Ephesus. He declared their responsibilities as leaders in the church. The Lord’s servants were, and are, to feed their members the word of God. Only God’s word is able to keep believers from being deceived by false doctrines that would lead them from the truth and make them vulnerable to Satan’s lies. Paul’s instruction to these servants is similar to the commission that our Lord gave Peter prior to His ascension, as recorded in John 21:15-19.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The primary objective of servanthood is to edify, encourage and/or or equip the members of the body of Christ. This is done as we disciple (teach) those who are new, or struggling, to live a life of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Through his divinely inspired letters (epistles), the Apostle Paul did more to teach and to encourage the members of the early church, as well as the church in this present age, than any of the other apostles. His ministry profoundly influenced the early church, just as it influences today’s believers.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
The primary qualification for servanthood is Godly character. Perhaps, the greatest indicator of Godly character is humility: a deep reverence for God that causes one to surrender their will to the Father’s will, no matter the cost. Godly character is also manifested when the disciple has a growing and intimate relationship with the Lord. It is through that relationship that one receives their "call" to service within the kingdom of God. Another qualification for becoming a servant of the Lord is availability: a willingness to serve the lost and/or the people of God. As a believer becomes more spiritually mature, that believer becomes more “fit” for use in the kingdom of God.
Monday, January 23, 2012
The Lord has different assignments for every sanctified believer. Our callings as servants in the body of Christ differ according to the Lord’s plan and purpose for our lives. We are not all called of God to serve Him in one of the five-fold ministry offices delineated in Ephesians 4:11-13. Nevertheless, the Lord equips us for the unique work (assignment) that He has for every member of the body of Christ.
Friday, January 20, 2012
God allows troubles, trials and tests in our lives to grow our faith in Him. This is because our temptation when we’re going through difficulty is to forsake our faith in Christ and to trust in our selves, rather than to trust in, and rely upon, the Lord. Such carnality leads to spiritual death, as mentioned in James 1:15. When we yield, or submit, to the dictates of our fallen human nature, we are living life in carnality and willful rebellion against God and the leading of His Holy Spirit. God cannot be glorified in and through our lives as long as we refuse to relinquish control in our lives to the will of God.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Unless we are attuned to His will, through the witness of the Holy Spirit, in addition to what He reveals to us through Scripture and circumstances, we can make decisions that may hinder us from receiving the Lord’s “best” for our lives, because we are not waiting for His perfect will to be manifested in our lives.To receive God’s “best” for our lives and to be used by Him, we must trust in, and rely upon, Him completely! We do this by learning to wait on His timing for everything in our lives. Our willingness to wait upon the Lord demonstrates to Him our suitability to be entrusted with whatever He desires for us to do for His kingdom.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
True surrender is measured in the decisions that we make every second of every day. The genuineness of our relationship with the Lord is fleshed out in the multitude of decisions that we make that are consistent with the leading of the Holy Spirit and the Lord’s will for us, as revealed in Scripture. Our decisions reflect whether our trust is in God or in “self.” If our trust is in ourselves, we are likely to find that we are disobedient to the Lord’s perfect will for our lives and are not living the surrendered lives that the Lord would have us to live on this earth.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Submission to the will of the Lord is not always easy for the child of God. How do we know the Father’s will? The Father reveals His will to His children as we develop an intimate relationship with Him, as discussed in the previous section of this book. We can be misguided by the ways of man (religious tradition), the ways of the flesh and/or the ways of the world. Part of God’s process in making us suitable vessels for His purposes involves our total surrender to His will. It may be easier for some believers to submit to the Father’s will when they do not have a lot to lose in this life.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Humility is the realization that God is God and we are not. Humility causes the disciple to rely deeply and entirely upon the Lord to do the most seemingly insignificant tasks, so that God is glorified in the believer's life. The Lord allows His chosen ones to go through seasons of testing and trial that lead to suffering, hardship, and distress, to reveal our need for Him to be Lord over every area of our lives. God allows trouble in our lives, to reveal the areas of flawed human weakness within our souls and, to transform us into the image of His dear Son, our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Many believers consider worship to be little more than singing songs of praise to the Lord. However, worship is so much more than that! To worship the Lord is to demonstrate our love and adoration for Him...through singing, dancing, playing instruments, or through the offering of our time, talent and/or treasures to God. Worship is a sincere desire to please the Lord from a heart filled with gratitude, thanksgiving and love.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
After questioning the Lord in Habakkuk 1:12-17, the prophet waited expectantly for the Lord’s reply. The Lord told Habakkuk to write His revelation from the Lord, as opposed to speaking it forth. In much the same way, the disciple’s time of prayer, Bible study, and meditation ought to precede a time of waiting expectantly upon the Lord to respond to our petitions and/or inquiries. Upon hearing from the Lord, it is incumbent upon us to write whatever He reveals to us.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
The discipline of meditation is essential to being transformed by the word of God and having one’s mind renewed by that word. Meditation is more intense than the mere study of Scripture. One studies the Bible for understanding, but Biblical meditation is for internal transformation.
Meditation may begin with diligent study of the word of God that concludes with spending time meditating upon the meaning of a passage of Scripture. Meditation is little more than repetitively thinking about, ruminating over, or pondering a passage of Scripture until the Scripture is indelibly etched upon one’s heart and mind.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Bible study is more than a casual reading of the word of God. Study of God’s word helps us to extract the deeper, and often times hidden, meanings of the word of God. Study of God’s word enables us to get to know many of our Father’s ways (i.e., how He expects us to live our lives once we’ve become His children). But, more than that, the Word of God is like a mirror revealing our flaws, weaknesses and shortcomings so that we may confess, repent and pray for the Lord’s grace to strengthen our areas of weakness.
Monday, January 9, 2012
To develop a relationship with God one must first begin communicating with Him. Relationship with the Lord is essential before God can use a believer, as He so wills, to advance His kingdom on earth. Just as relationship is imperative in any successful endeavor in the natural realm, so it is in the spiritual realm.