“What Do You Need to Do to Be Used by God?” May 10

 

What do you need to do to be used by God? Is there some change you need to make?Is there some training you might take? Is there something you need to leave behind? Too often we look at others and wish we had their gifts and talents. We think about our mistakes, our education, our family history and we wonder … can God really use me? What do you need to do to be used by God? Is there some change you need to make?Is there some training you might take? Is there something you need to leave behind?

Too often we look at others and wish we had their gifts and talents. We think about our mistakes, our education, our family history and we wonder … can God really use me? I hope you’ll take some time to read and consider today’s post and who God used in this passage.

 

Today’s Readings:
1 Samuel 22 & 23
Psalm 59.6-17
Proverbs 16.1-2
John 1.1-28

 

What Do You Need to Do to Be Used by God?

 

1 Samuel 22 & 23:

Mighty Men & Women

 

Have you ever wondered about your spiritual gifts? Or lamented the fact that you don’t have certain talents? Even wondered if you were good at anything?

It’s so easy to look at someone with great musical abilities or teaching gifts or success in the business world and wish that were you.

Perhaps it’s education you believe you lack … or experience … or opportunity.

Or maybe it’s your past mistakes or your family history or even your race that you believe keeps you from being used by God.

I hope you’ll take some time to read and consider today’s chapters here in 1 Samuel. Look at the men described here … men who would later be called David’s “mighty men.”

“… everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented …” (v. 22.2).

These were not the elite or the talented. These were not the princes or the royalty. They were probably not well educated or polished. They were the guys not making it some place else.

Yet … God would make a mighty army out of them. They would one day march into Jerusalem. They would become the king’s men.

But what if they had stayed home and simply bemoaned the fact that they weren’t well bred or well educated or born into different circumstances? Instead, they took a risk. They had to leave something behind and go where God was working.

What do you need to do to be used by God? Is there something you need to leave behind? Do you need to quit grumbling and complaining and get in motion? Where do you see God working? How can you join Him there?

keyboard computerMaybe you don’t have a degree in theology. Maybe you don’t have a degree at all. But you can go to a Bible study. You can pray and look for someone to disciple you. Perhaps you need to start working on that degree or get some other training. Maybe you can take classes online. You can read books … or listen to podcasts. There is a wealth of information out there!

Perhaps you don’t have the experience to teach a class right now. But you can volunteer to be an assistant and let that teacher mentor you. Maybe you aren’t the soloist, but you can join the choir. Start where you are. Use what you have available to you. God can do great things with those who will humbly and obediently make themselves available to be used by Him.

 

One Example

 

I spend a lot of time helping and encouraging men and women who want to be involved in Biblical counseling. There are many resources and opportunities to get trained today. Many of them are free and doable from home even with kids and jobs and other responsibilities.

Maybe you just want to be better equipped to help or able to answer questions when friends ask for advice. There is a wealth of information and training available through the Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship … much of it absolutely FREE!

Many Bible teachers offer their sermons and notes online. There are podcasts, audios, and even, video recordings. (I’ve listed a few other websites below.)

Get in motion! God can and will use you, if you’ll be faithful with the opportunities you have (Lk. 19.11-27)! God is a great Rewarder of faithfulness!

 

It’s Not Always Smooth Sailing

 

Let’s go on with our passage. Notice how David sought God in these verses, and as he did, God blessed and protected him.

Therefore David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?”
And the Lord said to David, “Go and attack the Philistines, and save Keilah.”
But David’s men said to him, “Look, we are afraid here in Judah. How much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” Then David inquired of the Lord once again.
And the Lord answered him and said, “Arise, go down to Keilah. For I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.” And David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, struck them with a mighty blow, and took away their livestock. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah (1 Sam. 23.2-5).

But also see how his decision in chapter 21 to deceive the priest, Ahimelech, had far reaching consequences. Continue reading

“Giving God Our Best” December 31

 

Giving God Our Best & Proverbs 31 -Happy New Year’s Eve,

Congratulations to those of you who have been reading all year and to those who started somewhere along the way. I hope you’re looking forward to starting again in the coming year.

As we read in Malachi today, let’s purpose in our hearts to give God our best in 2017 … to offer Him the firstfruits of our time in the morning … to be faithful with our tithes and offerings … to use our talents and resources to further His kingdom, to bring Him glory in all we do, and to honor Him in our marriages or our singleness or whatever our situation!

Our final passage in Proverbs pictures “the virtuous wife.” How do the characteristics of this ancient model speak to us today?

Finally, as you read the final 2 chapters of Revelation, allow John’s vision of the glories to come excite your heart!

 

Today’s Readings:
Malachi 1-4
Psalm 150
Proverbs 31.10-31
Revelation 21 & 22

 

Giving God Our Best

 

Malachi 1-4:

Finances, Time, Talent & More

 

As is all of God’s Word, this little book is rich with His truth. In chapter 1 we see the importance of giving God our best, not what is left over, whether that means finances, time, talent or some other resource.

God rebuked the people because, instead of giving the best of their flocks as a sacrifice, they offered the stolen, the lame and the sick animals.

Many times, instead of giving God our best we give Him what’s left over, if anything. We can’t tithe or give to the work of God because we are too strapped with huge mortgages and car payments. Perhaps we need to drive that older vehicle a little longer or adjust our budgets in other ways.

Instead of spending time with Him first thing in the morning, we rush off to work or get busy with our day, promising to read His Word before we go to sleep. At night, we’re too exhausted to read more than a few verses before we fall asleep without giving it serious thought or attention.

morning coffee tea bibleI don’t want to sound legalistic, because the Bible does not say we must spend time with God first thing in the morning. There may be some who are at their best at night. I also understand that some of you have young children who, as someone said, “Wake up at the first crack of the Bible.” But for most of us, morning is the time when we are most rested and when spending time with God is the most profitable.

In chapter 2 God rebukes the priests because, among other things, they took the covenant relationship of marriage lightly. And remember as new covenant believers we are all priests to the Lord (1 Pet. 2.5).

First, they knowingly disobeyed God by marrying unbelievers (2.11). Then those who were married were divorcing their wives:  Continue reading