VIDEO Give Your Best – Work

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.  Colossians 3:23

A man recruited a group of friends from his church to help him paint his two-story house. There was a small section of trim on the upper level that was hard to get to and which couldn’t be seen from the ground. So the fellow on the ladder called down, “Do we need to paint that little piece of trim?”

The owner said, “Yes.”

“But no one can see it,” the man on the ladder protested.

“God can see it,” came the answer. The trim was painted.

The answer reflected the heart of Colossians 3:23: Paint your own house as if you are painting God’s house. If we cut corners in our own life, we are admitting that we might think it’s okay to cut corners when serving God. From the days of the Exodus on, Israelites were taught to bring God their very best as sacrifices. An animal “without blemish” is mentioned 44 times in the Old Testament in order to drive home the point. God deserves our very best.

Whatever you do today, do it as if you are working, cooking, driving, playing, or serving God Himself—for truly you are.

Live your best, act your best, and think your best each day, for there may be no tomorrows. Unknown


Work – Colossians 3:23

Walking with the Spirit

Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  Galatians 5:16

Ten thousand hours. That’s how long author Malcolm Gladwell suggests it takes to become skillful at any craft. Even for the greatest artists and musicians of all time, their tremendous inborn talent wasn’t enough to achieve the level of expertise that they would eventually attain. They needed to immerse themselves in their craft every single day.

As strange as it might seem, we need a similar mentality when it comes to learning to live in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Galatians, Paul encourages the church to be set apart for God. But Paul explained that this couldn’t be achieved through merely obeying a set of rules. Instead we’re called to walk with the Holy Spirit. The Greek word that Paul uses for “walk” in Galatians 5:16 literally means to walk around and around something, or to journey (peripateo). So for Paul, walking with the Spirit meant journeying with the Spirit each day—it’s not just a one-time experience of His power.

May we pray to be filled with the Spirit daily—to yield to the Spirit’s work as He counsels, guides, comforts, and is simply there with us. And as we’re “led by the Spirit” in this way (v. 18), we become better and better at hearing His voice and following His leading. Holy Spirit, may I walk with You today, and every day!

By: Chin Peter w.

Reflect & Pray

While being indwelt by the Holy Spirit when we receive salvation is a one-time event, how does this differ from being filled or walking with the Spirit? How have you been exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit?

Father, help me to experience the presence and leading of the Holy Spirit today, so that I might walk with You and live in a way that pleases You.

Joy of Obedience

Luke 5:1-11

We read in Luke 5 that Peter had spent his night as he usually did—fishing—but didn’t catch anything. He was surely tired, frustrated, and ready to go home. However, Jesus asked to borrow his boat in order to preach to the crowd. Peter knew there were other boats around, but Jesus asked for his.

When Jesus finished speaking to the crowd, He told Peter to spread the nets again. The fisherman replied, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say” (Luke 5:5). Peter’s obedience led to nets that overflowed with fish. By saying yes to the Lord’s plan, he experienced both material and spiritual blessings. The benefits far outweighed any effort or inconvenience.

God’s requests can come at inopportune moments or when we least expect them. We may be tempted to let someone else respond, thinking that it won’t matter who answers His call. But God’s plans are always for our spiritual good (Jer. 29:11). Obeying God—even in the areas where we feel knowledgeable and skilled enough to handle matters ourselves—is essential to enjoying His rewards and extending them to others. What is Jesus asking of you?

The Holy Spirit’s Ministry: God’s Fail-Safe Plan–Glorification

“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:30)

God “glorifies” those whom He has justified. The Greek term is doxazo, with the core meaning “to make glorious, adorn with luster, clothe with splendor.” It is the same word the Lord Jesus uses of what the heavenly Father will do for His beloved Son. “It is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God” (John 8:54). It is also the same word the heavenly Father speaks about Himself. Jesus prayed: “Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again” (John 12:28).

Paul addressed the awful sentence that would be executed on those who reject the substitutionary work our Lord accomplished on Calvary. All who reject it are doomed “because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:21-23).

As for us, we are to share in the glory that our Lord will receive, so that “God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:11). When all the redeemed stand before the throne in heaven, we will all sing the Song of Moses: “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy” (Revelation 15:4). HMM III

Hear from God

Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of [John] in Jordan, confessing their sins.

—Matthew 3:5-6

Let me give you some reasons why I believe God could honor John the Baptist in that day in which he lived.

First, John had the ability to live and meditate in solitude. He knew the meaning of quietness. He was in the desert until the time of his showing forth unto Israel as a prophet. He came out of his lonely solitude to break the silence like a drumbeat or as the trumpet sounds. The crowds came—all gathered to hear this man who had been with God and who had come from God.

In our day we just cannot get quiet enough and serene enough to wait on God. Somebody has to be talking. Somebody has to be making noise. But John had gone into the silence and had matured in a kind of special school with God and the stars and the wind and the sand….

I do not believe it is stretching a point at all to say that we will most often hear from God in those times when we are silent.   CES130-131

Oh, Lord, help me to carve out of my busy schedule some time with “God and the stars and the wind and the sand.” Amen.

 

Kneel, Adore and Obey

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me….If ye love me, keep my commandments.

—John 14:6, 15

Truth is forever the same, but modes and emphases and interpretations vary. It is a cheering thought that Christ can adapt Himself to any race or age or people. He will give life and light to any man or woman anywhere in the world regardless of doctrinal emphasis or prevailing religious customs, provided that man or woman takes Him as He is and trusts Him without reservation.

The Spirit never bears witness to an argument about Christ, but He never fails to witness to a proclamation of Christ crucified, dead and buried, and now ascended to the right hand of the Majesty on high.

The conclusion of the matter is that we should not assume that we have all the truth and that we are mistaken in nothing. Rather we should kneel in adoration before the pierced feet of Him who is the Truth and honor Him by humble obedience to His words. BAM079

The first [principle and condition of divine guidance] is a surrendered spirit. Next, there must be a readiness to obey. He will not give us light unless we mean to follow it. WCC77

 

Interpreting the Scriptures

2 Peter 1:19-21

What are the guiding principles by which we interpret the Scriptures? How shall we know that what we believe is true? A sound foundational method is needed, and I contend that a Wesleyan heritage provides that method for us with what is termed the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. As the name suggests, it identifies four keys for establishing Christian truth and doctrine: the Bible first, and then the interpretation of the Bible by tradition, reason and experience.

John Wesley held that Scripture has the first and ultimate authority, as the Reformers had taught before him. However, people interpret Scripture from various perspectives, and Wesley believed that the three major perspectives should be tradition, reason and experience.

The tradition of the church is of vital importance in determining theological truth. We need to look not only to church history, and not only to Wesleyan history. We must look to the tradition and teaching of the historic, orthodox Church and learn from that tradition.

Reason is also of utmost importance. People are mistaken when they pit experience against reason, as though we can serve God with our hearts but not with our minds. God is the creator of our minds as well as our feelings. He has given us the capacity to reason, and our minds are redeemed at the moment of salvation just as much as any other aspect of us. Full intention of the Scriptures will never be realized without careful study and thoughtful interpretation.

Finally, our experience has a contribution to make. Not the primary contribution. Too often Christian people make experience the chief means by which they interpret the Bible, their touchstone of theology. In experience there is both a danger and glory. The danger is that our experiences and feelings come and go. They can beget all kinds of strange and wonderful thoughts, as well as strange interpretations of biblical texts.

The glory is that God works through our feelings and emotions and accepts them as part of the way we understand Him. He has implanted in us a heart with which to worship, a mouth to praise Him, hands to clap, feet to dance and imagination to create in rejoicing in God our Savior. We rejoice in our experiences when we recognize their place in our lives. However, we recognize that there is no sustaining power in experience without Scripture, tradition and reason.

Roger J. Green, The War Cry