VIDEO Waiting Well

His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”  Matthew 25:21

The “waiting game” has entered the cultural conversation in music, film, and urban dialogue. It usually refers to a situation in which someone holds back on their involvement while waiting for a favorable outcome to take place.

Some people play the waiting game with God. They decline making a commitment to God through faith in Christ, thinking they’ll see what else life has to offer. Others, who have already made a commitment to Christ, play the waiting game in anticipation of His Second Coming. They take a passive attitude toward spiritual growth and maturity, not wanting to miss out on something the world may have to offer. But Jesus, in His end-time parables, made it clear that we are to be about His kingdom work as we await His appearing. Not to do so means missing out on the rewards promised to those who live faithful and committed lives (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).

We are to be stewards as we await Christ’s return, using the gifts He has given us for His glory. Wait well as a faithful steward.

How can there be great faith where there is little faithfulness? William Gurnall


40 Matthew 25-28 – J Vernon Mcgee – Thru the Bible

It’s Time to Pray . . . Again

Today's Devotional

Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  Ephesians 6:18

I pulled into my driveway, waving at my neighbor Myriam and her little girl Elizabeth. Over the years, Elizabeth had grown accustomed to our spontaneous chats lasting longer than the promised “few minutes” and morphing into prayer meetings. She climbed the tree planted in the center of their front yard, dangled her legs over a branch, and busied herself while her mother and I spoke. After a while, Elizabeth hopped down from her roost and ran to where we stood. Grabbing our hands, she smiled and almost sang, “It’s time to pray . . . again.” Even at an early age, Elizabeth seemed to understand how important prayer was in our friendship.

After encouraging believers to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10), the apostle Paul offered special insight on the crucial role of continual prayer. He described the necessary armor God’s people would need during their spiritual walk with the Lord, who provides protection, discernment, and confidence in His truth (vv. 11–17). However, the apostle emphasized this God-given strength grew from deliberate immersion in the life-giving gift of prayer (vv. 18–20).

God hears and cares about our concerns, whether they’re spoken boldly, sobbed silently, or secured deep in a hurting heart. He’s always ready to make us strong in His power, as He invites us to pray again and again and again.

By:  Xochitl Dixon

Reflect & Pray

How can ongoing prayer change our perspective, relationships, and day-to-day living? What would it mean for you to consider your time in prayer to be as vital as breathing?

Heavenly Father, thank You for the privilege of coming to You in prayer.

God Is Always At Work

John 5:16-23
How do we know the Lord is at work? Sometimes we see a dramatic display like the parting of the Red Sea for the Israelites. Other times it seems God isn’t doing anything, as when Jesus delayed visiting Mary and Martha’s sick brother (John 11:3-6).Our Father has given us the Holy Spirit to help us recognize His presence and handiwork. But discerning God’s work also requires patience since the Lord operates according to His timetable, not ours. Remember, before Sarah conceived the child promised by God, Abraham had to wait until he and his wife were beyond childbearing years.I believe you will discover that the Lord’s efforts are worth the wait. Hannah was overjoyed when she finally bore a child (1 Samuel 1:27-28, 1 Samuel 2:1). And only after being sold into slavery and unjustly imprisoned was Joseph eventually elevated to a position of authority to help his family.

Jesus told the disciples that His Father was always at work and so was He. When we recognize the ways in which God is operating, we will be encouraged and strengthened in our faith.

Holy Goodness

“[Barnabus] was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith.” (Acts 11:24)

The Holy Spirit indwells all believers (1 Corinthians 1:22; 6:19, etc.) and the fruit of the Spirit includes “goodness” (Galatians 5:22) among eight other godly traits. One should therefore expect those empowered by the Spirit (Romans 15:19) to demonstrate holy goodness.

How does holy goodness manifest itself in people?

• Good people delight in God’s holiness (Psalm 37:23).
• Good people expect God’s blessing (Proverbs 12:2).
• Good people secure their children (Proverbs 13:22).
• Good people are satisfied with life (Proverbs 14:14).
• Good people love wisdom (Matthew 12:35).
• Good people are just people (Luke 23:50).
• Good people are full of faith (Acts 11:24).

Our Lord Jesus made it clear that the “fruits” borne by our lives provide the identification of our spiritual status (Matthew 7:20) for all to see.

The parables of the “talents” and the “pounds” (Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:11-27) teach two different applications of the same principle.

In the one case, the same amount was given to everyone and reward was based on how well each did with their resources.

In the other case, different resources were granted to each, and the reward was distributed in proportion to the faithful use of what was initially given.

In both cases, the “unfaithful” and “lazy” servant was castigated and his initial wealth confiscated. No man “having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).

Good people are productive people. HMM III

Read or Just Get Out of the Ministry

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.

—Proverbs 1:5

 

When a very young minister, I asked the famous holiness preacher, Joseph H. Smith, whether he would recommend that I read widely in the secular field. He replied, “Young man, a bee can find nectar in the weed as well as in the flower.” I took his advice (or, to be frank, I sought confirmation of my own instincts rather than advice) and I am not sorry that I did. John Wesley told the young ministers of the Wesleyan Societies to read or get out of the ministry, and he himself read science and history with a book propped against his saddle pommel as he rode from one engagement to another. Andy Dolbow, the American Indian preacher of considerable note, was a man of little education, but I once heard him exhort his hearers to improve their minds for the honor of God. “When you are chopping wood,” he explained, “and you have a dull ax you must work all the harder to cut the log. A sharp ax makes easy work. So sharpen your ax all you can.”    SIZ033

In the busyness of life, Lord, help me to always guard time to sharpen my ax. Amen.

 

Faith Leads to Obedience

If ye love me, keep my commandments.

—John 14:15

 

Another thing which clearly hinders believers from enjoying the power of the Holy Spirit…is the habit of instructing seekers to “take it by faith” when they become concerned with their need of the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Now, it is a fact written all over the New Testament that the benefits of atonement are to be received by faith. This is basic in redemptive theology, and any departure from it is fatal to true Christian experience. Paul teaches emphatically that the Spirit is received through faith, and rebukes anyone who would teach otherwise. So it would seem, on the surface of it, to be sound procedure to instruct a seeker to “take it by faith.”…

The trouble seems to be with our conception of faith. Faith, as Paul saw it, was a living, flaming thing leading to surrender and obedience to the commandments of Christ….Many persons, convinced of their need of power, but unwilling to go through the painful struggle of death to the old life, turn with relief to this “take it by faith” doctrine as a way out of their difficulty. PTP055-057

[T]o live in the Spirit is to live with Godhearing Him, and knowing Him, and loving Him, and delighting to do His will. JAS134

 

The Ultimate Bottom Line

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

The “bottom” line in the world of commerce is the last line of a financial statement showing net profit or loss. It is the deciding or crucial factor, the ultimate result. Could it be that Easter is the ultimate bottom line of man’s search to find meaning in life?

There are those who simply consider Easter to be a continuation of what mankind has witnessed through time—a celebration of the coming of spring. To them, Easter heralds the return and renewal of life in nature.

The Salvationist, called to balance an evangelical ministry with social concerns, lives in a pragmatic world. He lives among the people, feels their hurts. Philosophic thought has to take second place to getting the job done.

He tries to fulfill Jesus’ injunction in Matthew 25 to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner, be aware of the needs of mankind, doing it in the name of the Christ who rose again on that first Easter morning. The substance of what we do hinges on the actuality of that great moment when Jesus came forth from the dead.

We need to know, these twenty centuries later, whether the promises of that first Easter morning are still in effect. We need to know if that great resurrection day can still supply the dynamic for men to live above themselves in our troubled world. Does the living presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, working through us, still meet the needs, aspirations, hopes and plans of modern man?

Two millennia later the witness remains the same. Salvationists can say that the Risen Christ motivates our ministry around the world.

Now, these near seventy generations later, the personal as well as the institutional relationship of the resurrection is a glorious reality. It is a joy to witness to the indwelling presence of Christ in the human heart.

The bottom line of the Christian life is that Christ lives in us. The hope of glory is Christ living in and through us. It does not mean that we are free from weakness, nor that we are doing all that we should. But it does mean that we have His presence, His Spirit and His guidance. We exclaim and exult with Charles Wesley, “Christ the Lord is risen today, Hallelujah!”

The might, majesty and magnificence of His resurrection leads us to kneel before our risen Lord and thank Him for His resurrection power in our lives. His triumphant resurrection is the bottom line. It is the deciding factor. It is the ultimate result.

Andrew S. Miller, The War Cry