Tag Archives: great responsibility

In Such a Way

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]

Advertisements

The Proper Equipment

This is the year both of my kids are in high school. When your children reach high school, things immediately change. They have somewhat figured out their gifts, their talents, their interests. They have selected activities and hobbies that they truly enjoy. It’s very different from the elementary years when they dabble in a sport for a year, only to not want to take it up the following year. I’ve been through baseball season, a few soccer seasons, and even a year of karate while the kids dabbled. Today, my son plays the trombone and my daughter runs. My son is musically gifted; my daughter is a dedicated runner.

Part of the school shopping this year included a new trombone for my son and running spikes for my daughter. They both have gifts in their respective areas, but they needed to be equipped with some items to help them get to the next level. My daughter just used her new spikes for the first time, and it was amazing to see the improvement in her run on the muddy mess of a course this weekend. She was equipped to do what has been placed on her heart.

God calls us each to do something in life for His kingdom. As Paul writes in 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). God qualifies us. God also places people in our lives to equip us to better serve for His glory.  Ephesians 4 speaks of the responsibility people have “to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ” (v. 11-12 NLT). Today, consider who God has placed in your life. Does God want you to help equip them for service? Is the Spirit leading you to do something to help them? Are you enabling them to stay where they are at, when you could instead equip them for the road ahead? Pray about this.

Except Jesus Christ

I love the verse for today. Paul said he “decided to know nothing among (them) except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” That is all that He chose to speak about when He was with them. It was all about Jesus.

He notes in the first verse that when he approached the people, he didn’t bring with him some fancy words or some human wisdom. He spoke of Jesus. He admits in verse 3 that he was fearful. He was anxious. He understood the great responsibility. We too have a great responsibility.

Allow the Spirit to move through you as you share Him crucified. What a great demonstration of the Spirit’s power. As verse 5 notes, faith should rest alone on the power of God. Don’t speak of anyone else or you may lead someone to rest their faith on you. Sharing Jesus has nothing to do with big words, fancy speech, or some difficult to understand theology. We claim nothing except Jesus Christ. We share nothing except Jesus Christ. We point to no one except Jesus Christ.

“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” – 1 Corinthians 2:2 [ESV]

Othniel Generation

During yesterday’s lunch date with God, I was reading from the Book of Judges. It is a book that often gets neglected minus the story of Samson and possibly Gideon and his fleecy requests. But yesterday I was reading about Othniel. Now that’s not a name that people think of first and he does not have said about him in Judges 3, which is where the main passage focuses on his time as judge. Nonetheless, this last reading I pondered a connection.

In Judges 1, we read of Caleb making a prize of his daughter. Remember Caleb, the son of Jephunneh? Joshua and Caleb were the two spies who gave the good report (Numbers 13). Such great faith! Well some time has passed and Caleb made a request. “He who attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it, I will give him Achsah my daughter for a wife” (v. 12 ESV). Who steps forward but Othniel. Now the Bible says that Othniel was the son of Kenaz; however, it is also stated that Othniel is Caleb’s younger brother!

Othniel kept his word and is awarded the daughter Achsah. Then as we continue to read Judges we read of all of the tribes of Israel that “did not drive out” the people who inhabited the land God was giving them, which was directly disobeying God’s command. Joshua dies “and there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that he had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10 ESV). After Joshua’s death, the nation turned away. But Othniel, Caleb’s brother had the Spirit of the LORD upon him and he was a judge of Israel. Remember as these people turned away from God, the people were plundered and the judges were raised up to save them.

What stuck out to me yesterday was how easily a generation forgot. Othniel was Caleb’s younger brother. Othniel married Caleb’s daughter. Not much time had passed between the days of Caleb and Joshua’s spying out the land to this time when arose another generation. But they had forgotten. They had turned away. Today I hope this is a reminder to you of the importance of sharing Jesus with the younger generations. Many of you are taking Christmas trees down this week. When you take down the tree, don’t “put away” Jesus for the year. It is so easy to forget the great responsibility each of us have to this younger generation.

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children.” – Deuteronomy 4:9 [ESV]

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” – Deuteronomy 6:5-9 [NIV]