Today’s devotion is hard to write. I must admit that as a pastor, this verse is one I think upon often. One day I was hit with this overwhelming truth—that my actions—my words and my deeds – could cause someone to stumble and fall. This great responsibility caused me to reevaluate everything. I asked the Lord to please reveal to me if I am being a stumbling block, and to give me the wisdom and discernment to not get in the way of His work and His people. I was deciding “instead to live in such a way that (I would) not cause another believer to stumble and fall.” This doesn’t mean I haven’t done it, but that I pray for more of Him and less of me. I pray that I can live in such a way to embrace and encourage others on their walk, pointing them to Jesus, speaking life, equipping the saints for His kingdom.
Fall on your knees today and seek the wisdom and discernment so that you, too, will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. Seek out the best interests of others. Live with the eternal perspective. Today, decide to live in such a way that you build others up, that you show the love of Christ, that you reach down and raise up. This is grace. It is the same grace that God has shown us when He reached down in our broken world, and through Christ Jesus raised us to new life. We are now co-heirs with Christ Jesus. Live in such a way.
“So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.” – Romans 14:13 [NLT]
- “Wise minds and spirits attuned to His will” [MSG]
- “All the wisdom & understanding that His Spirit gives” [CEV]
- “God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding” [NLT]
- Practical Obedience (1:10) – Knowledge & obedience go together
True spiritual wisdom must affect daily life
Wisdom / Walk / Work – Cannot work for God unless we walk with Him, cannot walk with Him if ignorant to His will
General will = clearly in Bible Specific will = always agrees with Bible
Knowing general will makes it easier to know specific will for daily life
God wants us to:
- Know His Will (Acts 22:14)
- Understand His Will (Ephesians 5:17)
Paul prayed for ALL wisdom & understanding, COMPLETE knowledge…
Complete = Filled full Filled = Controlled by
- Filled with _______ (ex: anger, jealously)
- Filled with Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)
Controlled by full knowledge of God’s will
How? By all wisdom & spiritual insights. Understand will of God through Word of God. Holy Spirit teaches us to submit to Him (John 14:26, John 16:31)
- You will live a life that honors the Lord
- You will always please Him by doing good deeds
- You will come to know God even better
- You will be patient & strong to endure everything because of His power
- You will be truly happy
Bible Study Questions:
1) Paul prayed for the Colossians to have ALL wisdom and understanding. He grasped that God wants us to know and understand His will – and to do this would bring us closer to Him. With our reading, the words patient and strong and happy appear. What does this mean for us?
2) What is the hardest thing about following God’s will?
3) When we have this completeness (fullness), we will be controlled by it. We will then be able to determine what God wants. How do we determine God’s Will—how do we determine what He wants?
4) Let us dig deeper into God’s Word.
Read each of these verses and decide what each verse says about God’s will for us.
- Read 2 Peter 3:9
- Read Ephesians 5:18
- Read 1 Thessalonians 4:3
- Read 1 Peter 2:15
- Read 1 Peter 5:10
- Read Psalm 37:4
This is one part of a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on Colossians. The 12 weeks include:
Peter and John were proclaiming the Good News. It disturbed people and they were put in prison. Annas the high priest and Caiaphas questioned them. They spoke of Jesus and the salvation only possible through Him. They were commanded to not speak or teach in the name of Jesus.
“As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard” – Acts 4:20 [NIV]
- “We cannot stop telling” [NLT]
- “We cannot stop talking” [GW]
- “There’s no question – we can’t keep quiet” [MSG]
Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
Told to “Rise and go toward the south” (v. 26) “he rose and went” (v. 27)
2) Spirit Led
Ready to listen to God’s instruction – an angel of the Lord said (v. 26)
3) Specific Instructions
Spirit said go over and join this chariot (v. 29)
4) Concern for Others
Concerned about others understanding
“Do you understand what you are reading?” (v. 30)
5) Wait for the Open Door
No I need help – BOOM – DOOR OPEN
Begins with Isaiah passage and then speaks about the Good News of Jesus (v. 31)
6) Don’t stand in the way
What prevents me from being baptized?
Nothing (v. 37-38)
7) Don’t miss a beat
Spirit of Philip is carried away
His service is done – Onward and upward (v. 39-40)
This is one of the 4 part Acts series:
Are You Ready for Solid Food?
[[Read Hebrews 5:11 – 6:4]]
“You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.” – Hebrews 5:12 [NLT]
Hebrews 6:1-4 Breakdown:
- Basic Foundation
- Basic Instruction
- Holy Spirit
- God’s Grace
- “And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding.” (6:3 NLT)
- God’s Grace allows for Spiritual Maturity
You aren’t meant to stay a child living on milk.
What keeps you a Milk Drinker?
- Laziness (v. 11) – Where is the passion / desire?
- Lack of Influence (v.12) – Ought to be teaching but need retaught
- Dull Discernment (vs. 13-14) – Unable to discern good and evil
From Milk to Solid Food…
- Drink Milk – “Pure Spiritual Milk” (1 Peter 2:2) – The Gospel
- Swallow & Digest Milk – Milk produces renewed mind
- Practice, Practice, Practice
- Satisfaction Promotes Discernment
Psalm 63:1, 8
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water… my soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. [ESV]
This morning, I saw some children and a parent exiting their house. They noticed the fast approaching bus, and began to panic. They believed that the school bus was the bus they needed to catch, and so they broke out in a full on run, hoping to make it to their bus stop in time. The big picture was that it was the first school bus that always passes by their stop; the second bus, the bus they take, would not come their way for five more minutes.
There are moments in our lives when we miss the big picture, even when we are in a similar situation and should easily be able to see what is really going on. This parent sees the first bus pass by every day and knows the truth– that the bus passes by and then his kids’ bus comes by a few minutes later, but because he for a moment thought “what if” and was not looking at the big picture, he panicked. Many times there is a situation that arises in our own lives, and we know the Truth, but we still panic.
God does not want us to be panicking, nor does He want us to get scared and begin running in a direction that is not where we are supposed to be going. In life there are so many decisions, situations, and moments where we see a bus, and think it’s our bus, and so we run. The devil easily disguises falsities to appear as the truth. God provides us with discernment to know the Truth. If we ask Him to show us the Truth, He does. The issue is that we need to take the time to use this discernment, rather than allowing the devil to cause us to run after the first bus. We cannot panic and miss the big picture that God has given us.
If you are at a time in your life when you think you see the bus, ask God if it is the bus for you, or if your bus is still en route. When you ask God to show you the Truth, and you do not run before seeking His guidance, He will reveal the Truth. Be patient though, because the bus may not be traveling as fast as you want. God has the perfect speed limit set in place.
“Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
– John 7:24 [ESV]
“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.”
– Philippians 1:9-10 [ESV]