Do You Delight in the World More Than the Word? Devotional for January 11, 2022

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Today’s Bible reading from the Five Day Bible Reading Plan: Genesis 19-20; Psalm 1; Mark 7

The only way to being one who prospers is by pursuing the One who prospered and
prosper. Are you comfortable with sin?

This “blessed man” is one who is happy and content in the covenant relationship of Christ. You see, Satan is crafty and subtle (Genesis 3:1). His aim is to go however methodically is needed in order to have us planted in his preferred spot. John Calvin said, “It is the policy of Satan to insinuate his deceits, in a very crafty way, the prophet, in order that none may be insensibly deceived, shows how by little and little mean
ordinarily induced to turn aside from the right path.”

We must beware of the slippery slope. “Walks not in the counsel of the wicked.” The wicked person is still
moving along in his life but takes counsel with those living outside of God’s prescribed design.

“Stands in the way of sinners.” Here we see the person stopping in the path and lifestyle of those living outside of God’s design purpose.

“Sits in the seat of scoffers”–here we are looking at once pulling up a chair and planting themselves in the habit of a lifestyle. Gradual erosion.

Have you even entertained something that God is not pleased with or is outside of his design, and the slide has been so gradual that you wonder, “How did I get here? What in the world happened to where this is going on?

Yet, where should we plant ourselves? “His delight is in the law of the Lord… on
His law, he meditates day and night.”

Are you comfortable in the company of sin? Or are you comfortable in the delight of His Word?

Good Morning Devo for 9.2.2021: “Overcoming as Overcomers”

Good morning! The evil that transpires in the culture can, to the human eye, look as it is the true overcomer. The culture rejects that which is of God’s design in regards to the nature of humanity, sex, marriage, gender roles, gender identity, abortion, justice issues, authority, and on and on–and receives (embraces even) that which is against God’s design, even celebrating others who practice these matters (Romans 1:32).

Yet, the Spirit through the apostle Paul calls the church not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good. Here, churches have choices to make. How do some churches define “good?” They define this as not rejecting anyone for any reason who wishes to become a part of that church. So, even if some reject God’s design, churches will receive them because of their understanding that this is “good” because God is “love.”

Isaiah 5:20 warns God’s people about calling “evil, good and good, evil.” God is love and since God has His design and standard, then that is good! Calling others to something other than this design is not a sign of love but a sign of hatred. God is good and His design is good. We do not let what the culture deems “good” overcome God’s “good.”

Do you have trouble with this? Read your Scriptures and ask God to change your hearts and minds to align with His. And by the Spirit, He will. It all starts with receiving Christ as Lord and Savior of your life. Have you turned to Him and away from your sin and brokenness? Have you looked at the cross for forgiveness and restoration?

Christ has overcome the evil in you with the good of Himself. He will give you the strength to overcome the evil in this culture with His good.

The Five C’s of Examining Christ’s Call Into Ministry

Leading with joy starts with the foundation of Christ’s call into the ministry.  When you know that the Sovereign ruler of the universe has called you into His kingdom work, a fair dose of terror but also of joy fills your heart.  You love Him more, you love His Word more, you love His people more–and you also begin to hate the sin in your heart even more!

When aspiring into the ministry, one must look at the five C’s to examine that call:

Calling:  Do you sense God calling you into the ministry?  Why?  Where did you sense this calling?  Is this an unrelenting passion?  What influences did you have in sensing this calling?

Paul had a passion to preach the Word to the Gentiles.  Romans 15:18-20 says:

18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named,lest I build on someone else’s foundation.

His ambition, his passion, his calling fulled his joy!  What about you?

Consecration/Cleansing:  Are you working diligently to fight sin and all its effects?  Are your spiritual disciplines in place?

Paul told the Roman church to set their mind on the things of the Spirit, not the flesh.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:5-8).

The Christian in general, but the minister in particular must set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  This intentionality fights the war against sin and anything that does not uplift Christ in thought, in word, or in deed.

Character:  Are you the same at work, at home, and at a church?  Do you have a ‘church’ facade and a home facade?  The key words are integrity and consistency.

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord, and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free (Ephesians 6:5-8).

All of life is worship. As you sense that call to ministry, do you see that all of the Christian life is a ministry of worship before the Lord?

Communicate:  Are you sharing your faith regularly?  Are you being discipled by someone in the church?  Are you discipling someone in the church?  Have you shown an ability to teach and care for people whom seek to teach about the gospel?

“Go, and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) is not just for the apostles but for all Christians. Is this a reality for you?  Do you expect this to change once you become ‘official’ in ministry? No!  That should not be!

Confirmation:  Would your wife, your work, and those around you confirm your calling into ministry? What would the leaders in your church say? 

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:3-7).

When it came to Timothy, the apostle Paul, Timothy’s grandmother and mother, and all the church leaders confirmed God’s call into Christ’s ministry–and how that calling and confirmation should stoke Timothy to lead with joy and not fear.

Look for upcoming videos on these topics and others.