Tag Archives: 1 Peter 3:15

Fortune Cookie Devotion Series: Always Cast

Fishing advice came within a recent fortune cookie. I am not interested in doing any fishing; in the past, I had better luck catching seaweed and it wasn’t my cup of tea. However, Jesus taught His friends to be fishers of men, and we have all be called to make Him known. This particular fortune cookie advised to, “Let your hook be always cast. In the pool where you least expect it, will be fish.”

When you consider fishing for men, this is the best advice. We should always have our hook cast. We should always be ready to share the reason for our hope. Where we often go wrong is when we decide who and when and how everything should happen. We box ourselves in when we think our witnessing will be to a specific person or group in a specific way at a specific time. We limit what God can do through us when we do not live as if the hook is always cast—the opportunity for God to move to always be possible.

The truth is we are witnessing with every word and deed. The truth is that the world does not need people to try to show others that they have the right answer in Jesus, but to instead love upon the world and through this love, the world may come to know Jesus. It is in the moments when you are being real, in the moments when you are being you, in the moments when you are not trying to “win one for the team,” that you will truly glorify God and share the mighty power and love of Christ Jesus. When you least expect it, the Spirit will move, and people will come to know the truth of God. You are never hooking anyone. You are also never opening eyes. The Good News is always cast because of the Spirit of God and because of His goodness and grace. We are mere vessels with the privilege to be used by God for His Kingdom building.

“Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.” – 1 Peter 3:15 [NLT]

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:35 [CSB]

Sidelined Outline

5-28-17 Sidelined

 

The team motto – “use me” …. But are you sidelined?

We are all made to glorify God, but some of us are currently benched.

We are all commanded to share the Good News, but some of us our sidelined.

 

Missed Practice – not prepared / not dressed in uniform

            [2 Kings 2:11-14] – Elisha

            Sunday only Christian – not prepared to share your hope, to share Jesus

 

[1 Peter 3:15] But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hopethat you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

 

[Romans 12:11] Never be lazy, but work hardand serve the Lord enthusiastically.

 

[1 Timothy 4:7] Train yourself to be godly

 

[1 Corinthians 9:25] All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.

[Ephesians 6] Put on the FULL Armor of God

  • Helmet of Salvation – SALVATION through Christ
  • Breastplate of Righteousness – RIGHTEOUSNESS of Christ
  • Shield of Faith – FAITH
  • Belt of Truth – TRUTH of God
  • Sword of the Spirit – WORD of God
  • Feet Prepared with the Gospel of Peace – GOSPEL
  • Prayer

Performing poorly / Playing bad / Head not in the game

 

[1 Kings 11] – Solomon

[Hebrews 12:1-2] Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

[2 Timothy 2:4] No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. – YOU NEED AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE

 

Not following game plan / Disobeying coach

[Numbers 20] – Moses

Not humbling yourself, not following God’s will – you think you know better, not seeking God

 

[Psalm 105:4] Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! – He is our Creator, He has the beautifully orchestrated plan, not my will by His will be done

 

[2 Timothy 2:20-22] In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.  Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

 

 

Injured List

[2 Corinthians 12:7b-10] – Paul

Suffering, broken – struggling physically, mentally, financially

 

Financial struggles, health issues, pain, surgery, anxiety, depression

 

Maybe you think you are too broken, too sick, too depressed…

 

Maybe you think you are not a position to share the Good News

 

 

[2 Corinthians 3:5] It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God.

 

[1 Peter 4:11] If anyone speaks, they should do so as one whospeaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

Ejected – attitude/behavior problem – “unsportsmanlike conduct”

            [1 Samuel 2:22-25] – Eli’s sons

            Heart problem – angry, jealous, bitter, unforgiving…

[Job 11:13-16] Still, if you set your heart on God and reach out to him, If you scrub your hands of sin and refuse to entertain evil in your home, You’ll be able to face the world unashamed and keep a firm grip on life, guiltless and fearless. You’ll forget your troubles; they’ll be like old, faded photographs.

 

[Psalm 51:10] Create in me a pure heart, a clean heart

 

[Acts 20:18-21] When they arrived he declared, “You know that from the day I set foot in the province of Asia until now I have done the Lord’s work humbly and with many tears. I have endured the trials that came to me from the plots of the Jews. I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes. I have had one message for Jews and Greeks alike–the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus.

 

            Work humbly

         Endure trials

         Never shrink back

         Share one message – JESUS

 

May He use you!!

 

Let us….

[Psalm 100:2] Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!

 

To Him alone …. All honor, glory, and praise! Forever and ever!

 

 

Words to Live By Series Outlines

Words to Live By: Meek 2-12-17

  • 1strecognize poor of spirit (spiritually bankrupt, true knowledge of ourselves)
  • 2ndcomes mourning (sacred grief)

[Matthew 5:5]

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

“Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the gentle[the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth.”

[Galatians 5:23] – fruit of the Spirit “prautes” (prah-oo-tace) – mildness, gentleness

What it is not…

It’s not weakness. It’s not about being nice or easy going.

It’s not about not getting easily upset.

MEEK – Strength under control

The elephant’s truck has more than 40,000 individual muscles. Strong enough to rip branches from trees, but gentle enough to pick up a single blade of grass.

Having the power to do something but refraining from it

Meekness begins & ends with God

  • “The person who bears and suffers evils with meekness and silence, is the sum of a Christian man.” – John Wesley
  • Don’t fight because you trust God will fight for you.
  • Patient Endurance

 

[Numbers 12:1-4]

Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth. “anav” (aw-nawv) – poor, afflicted, humble, meek

 

[Psalm 37]

Meek are… People who wait for the Lord

  • Trust God[v. 5b] – this means bearing insults – LEAN ON / RELY ON

 

  • Commit their way to God[v. 5a] GOD’S WILL

 

  • Quiet before God & wait for Him[v. 7a] – quietly submit to God – BE STILL AND REST, PATIENTLY LEANING UPON HIM

 

  • Don’t fret over wicked[v. 7b] – keep silent or answer softly/gently

 

  • Produces peace[v. 11] “anav” (aw-nawv) – poor, afflicted, humble, meek – SHALL DELIGHT THEMSELVES IN AN ABUNDANCE OF PEACE

 

 

[Ephesians 4:2] Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. “prautes” (prah-oo-tace) – mildness, gentleness

Forgiving disposition – no resentment, don’t return evil

Slow to anger – Not easily provoked

IF THIS IS NOT YOU – YOU ARE NOT SHINING LIGHT LIKE YOU COULD

 

[2 Timothy 2:25] Opponents must be gentlyinstructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, “prautes” (prah-oo-tace) – mildness, gentleness

 

[1 Peter 3:15] But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. “prautes” (prah-oo-tace) – mildness, gentleness

 

 

BENEFITS

  • Will be guided by God[Psalm 25:9] He leads the humblein doing right, teaching them his way. “anav” (aw-nawv) – poor, afflicted, humble, meek – leads & teaches

 

  • Will be satisfied[Psalm 22:26] The afflictedwill eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever! “anav” (aw-nawv) – poor, afflicted, humble, meek – Those who [diligently] seek Him and require Him [as their greatest need] will praise the Lord.[AMP] – TRUE SATISFACTION

 

  • Will be filled with joy[Isaiah 29:19] The meekshall obtain fresh joy in the LORD, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. “anav” (aw-nawv) – poor, afflicted, humble, meek – The afflicted also will increase their joy in the Lord[AMP] – THIS IS A JOY NO ONE CAN TAKE AWAY

 

 

Promise to inherit the earth gives us the strength to endure.

It’s a promise that God has already sealed for you and I through a Messianic King

 

  • [Zechariah 9:9] Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowlyand riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. “ani” (aw-nee) – poor, afflicted,humble

 

  • [Matthew 21:5] “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentleand riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'” “praus” – meek

 

  • [Matthew 11:29] Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentleand humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “praus” – meek

 

 

Meek = JESUS

 

[Philippians 2:6-8]Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

 

[John 10:18] No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

 

[Isaiah 53:7] He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.

 

  • WHO AM I that He would give up His divine privileges?
  • WHO AM I that He would be led as a lamb to the slaughter?
  • WHO AM I that He would be spit on, beaten, & hung on a tree… to die a criminal’s death on a cross?

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Words to Live By – Pure in Heart

[Matthew 5:8]

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

What does it mean to be pure in heart?

What does it mean to see God?

  • What does it mean to be pure in heart?

Pure – Katharos (Kath-ar-os)– clean, pure, unstained – either literally or ceremonially or spiritually; guiltless, innocent, upright, unmixed without undesirable elements, being purified by God – being free from contaminating influences of sin

Heart – Kardia (Kar-dee’-ah)– Spiritual center of life (thoughts, desire, sense of purpose, will, understanding, character), inner self, mind, intention

The heart is what you are

Life with Jesus is not about behavior modification or breaking bad habits… it’s about purifying a dirty heart, having a change of heart

Undivided clean (pure) heart – [Matthew 22:37] Love God with all heart

But many of us have a split heart, a divided heart – willing 2 things instead of 1.

Single-minded devotion to God

God’s truth & God’s value in everything we do, align with Him, magnify / glorify Him, pursue God with single-mindedness

All about JESUS

[Jeremiah 17:9] Heart is deceitful

[Matthew 15:8-9] Honor with lips, but your heart is far from Me – worship Me in vain

[Matthew 23:25-26] – 1stclean inside of the cup (inside you are full of greed & self-indulgence), clean the inside and then the outside will become clean too. – JESUS IS CONCERNED WITH OUR HEART

[1 Samuel 16:7] Man looks outward, the Lord looks at the heart

[Proverbs 11:20] The LORD detests people with crooked hearts, but he delights in those with integrity. (crooked / perverse)

[Jeremiah 31:33] This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

[Jeremiah 32:39] And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants.

[Titus 3:5] He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.

[Psalm 119:9, 11] Keep pure with living according to the Word, keep Word in heart. {{LIVING BY THE WORD}}

[2 Chronicles 16:9] The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.

[Proverbs 3:5] Trust in the LORD will ALL your heart, do not lean on your own understanding

[James 1:6-8] But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

[James 1:23-24] For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.

[James 4:4, 4:8] Clean hands, purify heart, don’t be double-minded(heart divided between God & world)

  • What does it mean to see God?

To see God – to see face – to be in presence – to be admitted in presence

Expression of great favor

Dwell with Him in His kingdom

 

[Revelation 22:3-4] Seeing God – servants will worship Him, they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads

 

Seeing God – perception, understanding, discernment

 

  • Admitted into the His presence
  • Stand in awe of glory– awestruck by the glory – direct experience of His holiness
    • [Revelation 21:23] His glory will be very light in which we move – the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.
  • Confronted by His grace[Psalm 27:7-9] – Hear me as I pray, O LORD. Be merciful and answer me. My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”DO NOT HIDE YOUR FACE FROM ME. Do not turn your servant away in anger. You have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God of my salvation.

Believe Jesus saved you[James 1:6-8]

Confess your sins[1 John 1:9] But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Eagerly Expect[1 John 3:3] – And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.

  • Ask God for a clean heart ([Psalm 51:10] Create in me a pure (clean) heart, renew a steadfast (loyal) spirit within me.
  • Trust [Acts 15:9] Heart purified by faith, cleansed by Spirit

 

[Psalm 24:3-4] Clean hands, pure heart – Who may climb the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in His holy place?Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.

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Words To Live By: PERSECUTED – pMatthew 5:10-12

First 3 Beatitudes lead us to a hunger for righteousness (right with God).

#1 – Poor in Spirit– Realize we are poor in spirit (Spiritually bankrupt, Nothing without Jesus)

#2 – Those Who Mourn– Mourn / grieve over our sin – Realize “I am a sinner” (Dead in Sin, Need Savior)

#3 – Meek– Strength under control, God’s will over my will – Realize God’s plan is better and say, “Not my will, but Your will be done.”  (Living for Jesus)

These three beatitudes remind us that we are empty & have a need

This need results in a hunger…. A hunger for…

#4 – RIGHTEOUSNESS– we desire to be right with God, to fill that void, to connect to the One who created us, Who designed us to be in fellowship with Him.

Because of this hunger for righteousness, we are satisfied by the next 3 Beatitudes.

#5 – Merciful – Receive mercy of God, overflowing mercy poured out to others (we received what we don’t deserve, pour out the same to others)

#6 – Pure Heart– Single-minded devotion to God, desiring only Him & His will (it’s all about Jesus)

#7 – Peacemaker – Peace with God, peace with others, sharing message of Prince of Peace with all. (spreading the peace of God)

Living this out… having these the words you live by, provide the fullness. You’re no longer empty. The result of this though is persecution.

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” – 2 Timothy 3:12 [ESV]

Diókó (dee-o’-ko) – to pursue, aggressively chase, like a hunter pursing a catch (prize), to be hunted down, to harass

[Matthew 5:10-12]

“Those who are persecuted for righteousnessare blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. You are blessed when they insult and persecute youand falsely say every kind of evil against youbecause of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” [HCSB]

You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you downor throw you outor speak liesabout you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, Ido! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.” [MSG]

 

“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.’”– 1 Peter 3:12-14 [NIV]

 

“Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah, so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory.” – 1 Peter 4:13 [HCSB]

 

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”– Romans 8:18 [NLT]

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Words to Live By – The Lord’s Prayer – 4-2-17

[Matthew 6:9-13, Luke 11:2-4]

 

[Philippians 4:6] Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

 

This isn’t an actual prayer that Jesus prayed. Note He says “pray like this.”

For an example of how Jesus prays, see John 17.

*connection with God*

Our Father in Heaven

[James 1:17] Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Jesus prays to Abba Father. Only prays to “God” instead of “Father” while on the Cross when darkness came and God couldn’t face the sin that was upon His Son. When He turned away, Jesus said, “My God, why have you forsaken me?”

OUR FATHER – In relation to Him

 

Kezazah means “the cutting off.” Think of shunning. It appears in the Talmud as a ceremony for those Jews who lose their inheritance to a Gentile. They are shunned, cut off from the community when they return. When the person would return home, they break a pot in front of them.

The father ran toward his son, didn’t care how he would appear though it was something men didn’t do (considered undignified). It appeared bad. He ran before this ceremony could happen—to accept him, forgive him, welcome him home. THIS SAME FATHER OPENS HIS ARMS TO YOU!

The reason for the celebration when the son arrives home is because of the sacrifice of the Father. He sacrificed his social dignity by running. He broke the patriarchal code. He graciously restored his son.

Is He your Father?

[John 1:12] But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.

[Galatians 3:26] So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.

 

IN HEAVEN – In reverence of God

Recognize He is separate from all and He is exalted above.

He is higher than all. Sovereign.

He has the power to answer prayer.

 

Hallowed be your name

[Psalm 46:10] Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.

Declare God is holy.

Keep His name holy.

Realize who we are praying to.

 

See God for Who He is – He is holy

Honor Him, Treasure Him

 

 

*surrender to God*

 

Your kingdom come

 

[Matthew 6:33] But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

 

Do you acknowledge His sovereignty?

 

Are you ready for His kingdom?

 

The Kingdom is present but also future.

 

Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven

 

[Romans 6:13] Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

 

Do you really want His will?

 

Are you accepting God’s authority?

 

God is a good Father and He wants to give you good things—the best things.

*dependence on God*

 

Give us today our daily bread

 

Do you recognize Him as the One Who provides?

 

[Deuteronomy 8:3] He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.

Provides the food we eat daily – physical and spiritual

[Luke 22:19] And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

Provides the Sacrificial Lamb that pays for our sin – our daily sin

Do you trust that He gives you what you need for the day?

 

[Philippians 4:19] And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

The provision of God supplies all we need – to bring glory to God

[2 Corinthians 9:10-11] For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.

He gives enough for everything needed, everything we are called to do—this means He provides enough for us to be generous!

 

 

*cleansing from God*

 

Forgive us our sins and we forgive those who sin against us

 

[1 Peter 2:24] And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

 

Must admit we sin to be forgiven of sin

Must forgive those as He forgives us

[Matthew 6:14-15] For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

[Ephesians 4:32] Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

 

[Lamentations 3:40-41] Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD! Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.

 

[Hebrews 12:1-2] Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

*deliverance from God*

 

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil

 

God does not tempt us—He gives us the power to overcome any temptation

 

[Hebrews 4:15-16] For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

[1 Corinthians 10:13] No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

 

*fulfillment from God*

 

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen.

Doxology (“glory” & “saying”) – an expression of praise, usually at end of psalm or hymn

This wasn’t something that was in original text. It was in later manuscripts.

 

God’s kingdom, power and glory are HIS.

[Romans 11:36] For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.

Preparation

I have OCD tendencies so I appreciate preparation and organization. I am definitely a planner, which is why I can appreciate the Book of Nehemiah. We read about preparation in Nehemiah 2, when Nehemiah makes his request to the king to leave, and then is granted permission. He is sure to ask the king for a letter to ensure safe passage, as well as supplies to see the project through to completion. Upon entering Jerusalem, he was there for days to inspect and gather firsthand information.

The Lord tells us to prepare. We are supposed to be prepared to share in our hope (1 Peter 3:15). We are also supposed to be prepared for battle, wearing our Armor of God (Ephesians 6). As well, we are to be prepared for the Lord’s return (Matthew 24:44). Preparation is important.

Today, examine your own life. Are you prepared? I am not asking that you join me and the rest of the OCD people. Rather, let us remind ourselves that everything we do should be for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). If we fail to prepare, lack organization, find ourselves all over the place, etc., we surely are not doing everything as if for the Lord. A lack of focus on God—a failure to make Him the priority of your life—will always make it difficult for you to honor God with all you have as you aren’t giving all you have.

Beautiful Feet Outline

Here’s a message I shared recently. You can download the outline by following the link below.

Beautiful Feet

Romans 10:14-15 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? (NLT)

[Illustration of young man with hope to share Gospel with entire class. He doesn’t but someone he shares Gospel with is a football player who becomes valedictorian and shares at graduation. ]

Isaiah 52:7 – “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!” (NLT)

  1. Remember Our Qualification Comes from God

2 Corinthians 3:5 It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. (NLT)

  1. Be Prepared to Share

1 Peter 3:15 – “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” (ESV)

With GENTLENESS and RESPECT

  1. Make the Most of Your Time

Colossians 4:5-6 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (NIV)

Speech SEASONED with SALT

Wholesome, kind, purposeful, gentle, truthful, loving – Ephesians 4:29 – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

  1. You’re the Planter – Not the Grower

Don’t get upset when your expectations don’t happen. – 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 – I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. (NIV)

God makes it grow

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Ready to Serve

God has placed a special calling on each of our lives. Peter spoke of the need to always be prepared to share the Message (1 Peter 3); however, we also need to be ready to serve in other ways. There are times when your life may seem like it is on course and suddenly something “pops up.”

Consider Mary, a young woman going about her normal day. Suddenly an angel of the Lord visits and tells her of an amazing plan that involves her in a very personal way. Life would immediately change. What was her response? “I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.”

I think it is fair to assume that she was nervous and perhaps fearful but she trusted God. Today let us be prepared to serve. We might be led to give someone a bottle of water or we could be led to something that requires more sacrifice and dedication. Whatever it may be, may your answer be “I’m the Lords… ready to serve.”

“’And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.’

And Mary said,

Yes, I see it all now:
I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.
Let it be with me
just as you say.

Then the angel left her.”

-Luke 1:36-38 [MSG]

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Adequately Prepared

Whenever there is something that needs to be done, I always try my best to be prepared. When planning for a trip, I make a list of all the needs for packing. For my finances, I have my budget organized in Excel, outlined meticulously after having some amazing training from Dave Ramsey. Even when I take my dog Max for a walk, I have things I do to prepare. I like being prepared.

In 2 Chronicles we read of groups of people who did not prepare themselves properly for the Passover meal. As a result they did not partake of the meal. Hezekiah prayed for forgiveness for these people who pretty much missed the boat.

Today, I challenge you with your preparedness with God. Do you prepare yourself in the morning by reading God’s Word and by praying? Do you prepare yourself for worship? Do you prepare yourself before Communion? Remember the Parable of the Ten Virgins, with the five women who had no oil for their lamps. Are you prepared for Jesus’ return? Are you prepared to share your faith? Remember what Peter said, to always be prepared to share the reason for your hope. Are you prepared?

“There were a lot of people, especially those from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, who did not eat the Passover meal because they had not prepared themselves adequately. Hezekiah prayed for these as follows: ‘May God who is all good, pardon and forgive everyone who sincerely desires God, the God of our ancestors. Even—especially!—these who do not meet the literal conditions stated for access to The Temple.’”

-2 Chronicles 30:18-19 [MSG]

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