“He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must wok, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.” (Ephesians 4:28)
Beloved, followers of Jesus Christ ought not to be lazy or dishonest. We work hard to earn a living and to have resources to help those who cannot earn a living. In this manner, our works serves God’s purposes.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You have given us all the tools we need to be fruitful for You, now we seek for you to put people in our workplaces, grocery stores, gas stations, and all the various places we go to regularly who are seeking something they can seem to figure out, and allow us the opportunity to talk with them and tell them about You and what they can find in a relationship with You. Let our worship then flow out of grateful hearts. This we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“God’s call for His children is not just to be successful—-only faithful.”
“Then he (Jesus) told them this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not fine any. So he said to the man who took care of he vineyard,; “For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil? Sir, the man replied, leave it alone for one more year, and I will dig around it and fertilize it.” If it bear fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.” (Luke 13:6-9)
Christ expects his disciples/followers to be fruitful. You cannot just sit around and wait for someone to come and ask you about Christ, you must be active in your responsibilities as His disciples/followers to move out of our comfort zones and reach out to others we might not even know, to share with them what someone shared with us, the gospel of the Good News of salvation. Simply put, you can not produce any fruit if you are not active in “digging around the tree and fertilizing it!” Look around your church, are you comfortable sitting in the pews with empty seats around? You many want to re-read this parable again!!!
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
There is one truth you can count on; when you change your life to follow Jesus, those around you will watch you closely and will point out when you fail to “act like one.” A Christians life will have influence, whether good or bad. Jesus commanded His disciples to be like a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. The influential light of our lives should shine forth like the light of a lamp on a stand. We must not try to hide from the world, but let our influence count for Chris in such a way that God will get the glory for the good deeds in our lives. We are to live so that everyone will feel our influence. We are vessels for the indwelling Spirit of God. Our lives reflect the light of God that burns on the inside. Clear enough? I pray so.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“A new command I give you: Love one another,. As I have loved you, so you mus lone one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples/followers, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Disciple/follower love is an important dimension of neighbor love. Jesus says that our love for one another would identify them to others as His true disciples/followers. The lack of love for one another raises confusing questions for others about Christian discipleship. Hatred, fighting, arguing, jealousy, and snobbery have no place among followers of Christ Jesus. Love overcomes such worldly feelings.
Now it is also true that there are times when we are less than true to our faith in Christ. We say things ugly, we live in times where it seems like hatred is rampant, we don’t treat people as we should, and our words are less than they ought to be. We are human beings, beloved, and therefore are not perfect! This is when we do what the world does not do, we recognize our sins, and take them to the Lord with truly repent hearts and minds, confessing our sins, and seek forgiveness. The sins separate us from the love of God, but if we are really sorry for our sins then we can find forgiveness and our relationship is restored. This the world does not do this. We can do this formally or maybe in a quiet place in our own homes, and call out to the Lord and confess that which we are sorry for committing. Try it, I think you will find it freeing for your spirit.