Catch! Live! Impart!

 

Want to change your world for Christ? Then consider this:

CATCH the passion for God and the knowledge of the Holy from extended time alone with Him, or from people who are infected with Jesus Christ. Get around those who are impassioned with being used of God to make a difference in this tired world. Keep in mind that “it is easier to cool down a fanatic than to liven up a corpse.”

You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.” (1 Thessalonians 1:5b-7)

LIVE — Prayerfully delve into the Scriptures with the anticipation and trust of a child at Christmas time. Dare to unconditionally live out the truth God reveals to you from His Word. Respond sensitively to the conviction and leading of the Spirit. Claim and appropriate God’s promises to release you from life’s bondages: The fear of man, the love of money, the lust of the flesh, the desire to impress others; a wounded or embittered spirit; the ruts, the familiar, the safe… perhaps even the traditional. (James 1:22; Romans 8:14; Hebrews 6:11, 12; Romans 8:2; Psalm 34:4; Proverbs 29:25; 1 Timothy 6:6-10; 1 John 2:15-17; Hebrews 12:15; Matthew 15:8, 9)

If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you freeIf the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:31b, 32, 36b)

Allow the Spirit to lead you into areas that demand trust and stretching. Be prepared to be surprised by the goodness of God upon your life. That is because God loves to bless those who dare to take Him seriously! (Acts 4:31; 1 Corinthians 2:10-12; 1 Samuel 3:9; Psalm 30:5)

The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him… ” (2 Chronicles 16:9b)

IMPART — As Biblical truth becomes living reality, pass it on to others. That is fish for men. Engage and infect people’s lives with yours. Take it a step further by making a sustained investment of your life into theirs. Embrace missionary martyr Jim Elliot’s impassioned heart-cry, “Lord, make my life a crossroad in the life of everyone I encounter.” (Matthew 4:19; 2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 16:14)

QUESTION: Today, is your life “business as usual,” or is there a fire burning in your soul? If the fire is flickering close to extinction, ask yourself what root issues need to be reexamined? What changes need to be made? Jesus’ word of encouragement may be timely:

A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” (Matthew 12:20a)

 

How do you and I plan to live the rest of our lives?

Being a senior this devotion grasps my heart. Will the rest of my life be live in ‘fear’ or ‘faith’? Does God still have significant works for me to do? Let’s see what Dwight Hill had to say on that matters.

Recently I asked a group of businessmen their greatest concern in life. Their answer? Fear:

Of the future, failure, the past, peers, financial ruin, superiors, bad health, the competition, death, personal inadequacies, parents, the rejection of their children, and the unknown.

Aristotle observed the paralyzing effect of fear upon our lives:

“Elderly men… have often been taken in, and often made mistakes. The result is they are sure about nothing and under-do everything. They ‘think’, but they never ‘know’; and because of their hesitation, they always add a ‘possibility’ or a ‘perhaps’, putting everything this way and nothing positively… They are cynical; that is, they tend to put the worst construction on everything.”

They are small-minded, because they have been humbled by life: their desires are set upon nothing more exalted or unusual than what will help them to keep aliveTHEY GUIDE THEIR LIVES TOO MUCH BY CONSIDERATIONS OF WHAT IS USEFUL AND TOO LITTLE BY WHAT IS NOBLE[They] lack confidence in the futurepartly because of their cowardice. They live by memory rather than by hope… ”

Obviously, “fear has to do with torment… ” (1 John 4:18b). But the good news is that God offers us deliverance from its bondage,

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)

If you are struggling with fear, refuse to allow Satan to gain the upper hand. Claim God’s promises. Memorize, meditate, and appropriate His promises for your life. By so doing, you will put yourself in a position where God can, and will, set you free from the bondage of fear:

If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31, 32) (See John 8:36; Psalm 119:45; Romans 6:14-18,22; 8:2)

“‘… Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish.For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraidfor I myself will help you, declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 41:10, 11, 14) (See Psalm 27:1, 2; 46:2; 56:3; Isaiah 12:2; 2 Timothy 1:7; Romans 8:15; 1 John 4:18)

QUESTION:

How do you and I plan to live the rest of our lives?

Paralyzed and diminished by fear?

Or liberated by the promises in God’s Word?

As always, the choice is ours.

 

Fear: The Fight Against It!

Recently I had some work done on my 23 year old Toyota Cressida. Andrew is semi-retired mechanic, he loves Harley and travelling with his homemade ‘Winnebago’. He just got back from a trip in the Mid-West States. Andrew asked me, “Do you know what took place in Moore, Oklahoma? I answer ‘yes’ a massive tornado. He answered to me, “You know, I was there with my camper only three weeks ago; could you imagine what it would like if we would be there during that Tornado? I am so happy to live away from tornado region.” As you can see, Andrew fears tornado, and it is understandable.

Yet in some situation fear can be poisonous.  If we let fear drive our decisions, it will slowly destroy us, causing us to make moves that are against God’s will and detrimental to ourselves and others. The antidote to fear is complete reliance on God and His work through the Spirit. God gave us a wonderful promise, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18). How did God come? He sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Day. One of the Holy Spirit’s ministries is to lead us each day wherever our heavenly Father desires us to best represent Him. Osbeck express it well, “When vital decisions must be made, the Holy Spirit can open the Scriptures to us and illuminate our minds. By this faithful guidance of the Holy Spirit, we come to love and follow the will of God for our daily living. Many of our troubles occur because we fail to take counsel from the Holy Spirit and the Bible. Instead of first praying and seeking guidance, we act and then ask God to bless our actions.[1]

The Hymn “Holy Spirit, Faithful Guide” was written and composed by an American farmer, Marcus M. Wells. The first stanza goes this way, Holy Spirit, faithful Guide, ever near the Christian’s side, gently lead us by the hand, pilgrims in a desert land; weary souls fore’er rejoice, while they hear that sweetest voice whisp’ring softly, “Wand’rer come! Follow Me, I’ll guide thee home.”

Think over these wonderful words “weary souls… follow Me, I’ll guide the home”. King David did not let fear drive him facing the Giant, instead he drove out fear in the name of His God. Let’s apply it to our own situation, Will you follow David’s example trusting God? Will you believe that God has all the power and all the wisdom to guide you in all security? Something in life needs to be feared, like a tornado; but most of our daily activities, instead of letting fear control us, lest learn to rely and trust a faithful loving God.  For additional reading look in the Bible in 1 Chronicles 12:1–13:14.


[1] Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1996), 158.