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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Results of Faithfulness (and other devotionals)

Results of Faithfulness

Results of Faithfulness 

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. Revelation 2:17

Faith in Jesus is our starting point with Jesus. As infant believers we are totally dependent on adult believers to disciple us in the faith. We look to the more mature as the model of a faithful follower of Christ. Similar to the life cycle of a child, we grow and mature, but not without drifting, doubting and resisting along the way on our faith journey. We begin by faith in Jesus, we grow into faithfulness to Jesus, we enjoy the fruit of being with Jesus and we are rewarded by Jesus. In short it is all about Jesus! Our part is to remain faithful—especially when lured in by the culture.

John wrote to the church in Pergamum that struggled with unfaithfulness. Idolatry and sexual immorality infiltrated the local gathering of believers in Jesus. Sin infected the Body of Christ threatening its long term health and stunting its short term influence for God. Christ can change the culture—but this church shunned the Lord’s Spirit—it struggled to be “salt and light”. The fruit of faithfulness is a lost world who embraces the next world. Love is irresistible. It draws others into an affection for Christ. Faithfulness bears the fruit of loving people to Jesus!

“It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it” (3 John 1:3).

Faithfulness to Jesus is rewarded by Jesus. He satisfies our soul with heavenly manna—His Word. Like food and water sustain the human body, Scripture sustains the faithful. Additionally, our heavenly Father renames us with a name in accordance to our identity in Christ. Cephas became Peter. He would be a rock of faith to build the church. James and John became the Sons of Thunder who boldly proclaimed the gospel. Our new name will be a commentary on our victorious life in the Lord. In intimate encounters with Jesus He reminds us who we are.

Has your faithfulness to Jesus become hard? Do you feel like you are working in the salt mines instead of being salty for your Savior? If so, take a step back and breathe in some fresh air of faith. Grow into a praying life instead of a life that just prays at a set time. The results of your faithfulness may take years before coming to fruition—but it’s worth the wait. Your eternal rewards from Christ come when you go to be with Christ. You can’t grasp their significance until the day you possess and experience them. God rewards the faithful with His timeless love!

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your faithfulness that leads me to remain faithful!

Application: Where in my life do I need to remain faithful to Christ and His word?

~Wisdom Hunters Devotional~ 


The Cure for the Drought Brought by Sin

In our last devotional, we talked about sin being the number one cause for spiritual drought.  The natural question is, "What is the cure, how do I end that drought?"

One word:  repentance.

In addition to the passage we read yesterday, 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 is clear and instructive,

"When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."

True repentance literally means an inward change of heart resulting in an outward change of direction.  If there is no outward change of direction, then it is not true repentance.

There is no real repentance even if you are feeling emotional and weeping over your sin.  That is not repentance.  Feeling sorry is not repentance.
Repentance is the change of heart that results in a change of lifestyle, a change of direction, a turning.  So I have a word for you:  If there is known sin in your life, repent.

King David gives us a great example in Psalm 32:4-5 when he said,
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.  I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden.  I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD…."
If, because of sin, you are in a drought spiritually, repent.  If you do, your drought can be broken and you can experience the blessings of God.

~Bayless Conley~


Today's reading: 1 Kings 14:1-20

Although Jeroboam clearly understands that it was God who raised him up to be king, he refuses to truly recognize God, let alone submit to or serve Him. It's a sad picture that continues throughout his entire reign. How disappointing that even in the middle of a life and death crisis with their son, we fail to see any remorse, repentance or turning to God from Jeroboam or his wife.

What does this account with Jeroboam and his wife show us about the impact of continual disregard for God? 


John 21:12
Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine.
In these words the believer is invited to a holy nearness to Jesus. "Come and dine," implies the same table, the same meat; ay, and sometimes it means to sit side by side, and lean our head upon the Saviour's bosom. It is being brought into the banqueting-house, where waves the banner of redeeming love. "Come and dine," gives us a vision of union with Jesus, because the only food that we can feast upon when we dine with Jesus is Himself. Oh, what union is this! It is a depth which reason cannot fathom, that we thus feed upon Jesus. "He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him." It is also an invitation to enjoy fellowship with the saints. Christians may differ on a variety of points, but they have all one spiritual appetite; and if we cannot all feel alike, we can all feed alike on the bread of life sent down from heaven. At the table of fellowship with Jesus we are one bread and one cup. As the loving cup goes round we pledge one another heartily therein. Get nearer to Jesus, and you will find yourself linked more and more in spirit to all who are like yourself, supported by the same heavenly manna. If we were more near to Jesus we should be more near to one another. We likewise see in these words the source of strength for every Christian. To look at Christ is to live, but for strength to serve Him you must "come and dine." We labour under much unnecessary weakness on account of neglecting this percept of the Master. We none of us need to put ourselves on low diet; on the contrary, we should fatten on the marrow and fatness of the gospel that we may accumulate strength therein, and urge every power to its full tension in the Master's service. Thus, then, if you would realize nearness to Jesus, union with Jesus, love to His people and strength from Jesus, "come and dine" with Him by faith.

~Charles Spurgeon~

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