Wednesday, May 21, 2014

God Brings Out Your Best as You Follow Your Calling

Today we talk about when God calls on you, I try daily with number 1 and I've been known to have issues with number 2 as for number 3, I try my best and I try to do it with a glad heart... you will understand when you read today's study... I appologise for it being of late hour but hopefully its worth it

We have made it to the end of another bible study, I hope you enjoyed it as well as I did.. it will probably be a few days before I start a new one.

When Timothy joined Paul on his missionary journey, he was still a very young man. Paul sent him to a city called Ephesus to help start and lead a church. Even though Timothy had a problem with fear, God was still able to use him. There are three lessons we can learn from Timothy about how to fulfill God’s calling on our lives.

1. If you’re going to fulfill your calling, you must develop the gifts God gave you.

“Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for the believers in your speech, your conduct, your love, faith, and purity. Do not neglect the spiritual gift that is in you.... Practice these things and devote yourself to them, in order that your progress may be seen by all” (1 Timothy 4:12, 14-15 TEV).

Paul also told Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:6-7 NIV).

As a believer, you have a responsibility to develop the talent and gifts God has given you to use the rest of your life.

2. If you’re going to fulfill your calling, you must refuse to be distracted.

God tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:16, “Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you” (NLT).

It’s easy these days to get sidetracked by a desire to build your business, your family, your career, and your savings. But you will never fulfill your purpose when you’re wasting your life on the Internet and on your phone. You’ve got to keep the most important things in focus.

3. If you’re going to fulfill your calling, you must give God your very best.

“Run your best in the race of faith, and win eternal life for yourself; for it was to this life that God called you” (1 Timothy 6:12a TEV). God has called you to a specific task, and it can only be accomplished when you give it the best of your time, effort, gifts, and focus.

Paul says about Timothy, “I have no one else like Timothy” (Philippians 2:20a NLT). Can you imagine a greater epitaph? There was no one in the world like Timothy. He was focused. He was committed to the call of God on his life, nobody could distract or discourage him, and he gave God his best.

As you follow God’s calling, God will bring out the best in you.

6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. - 2Timothy 1:6-7 (NIV)

12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.  - 1Timothy 4:12 (NIV)

14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. - 1Timothy 4:14-16 (NIV)

12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.  - 1Timothy 6:12 (NIV)

20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare.  - Philippians 2:20 (NIV)

This devotional © 2014 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How to Be Yourself, Not Someone Else

Today's discussion is on not asking God why He made us the way He did. God is all seeing, all knowing, and He has his reasons to do what He does. We don't have the knowledge or wisdom that He has nor the foresight to know that He made each of us for a specific purpose. I know that my hardships and defects make me a stronger person and makes those who see those and how I still have a relationship with God, brings them closer to Him as well. At first, yes I questioned it but then I realised its not for me to question, its part of me and either I can get over it and accept it or I can just quit. As you can see I didn't just quit, I carry on and I thank God for every day He gives me. Asking "How can you use me today Lord? For I am Your humble servant. Let Your light be shown through me to those around me in your name."

“But who are you, my friend, to talk back to God? A clay pot does not ask the man who made it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” (Romans 9:20 TEV)

Since God knows what’s best for us, we should gratefully accept the way he has fashioned us. The Bible says, “But who are you, my friend, to talk back to God? A clay pot does not ask the man who made it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” (Romans 9:20 TEV)

Your shape was sovereignly determined by God for his purpose, so you shouldn’t resent it or reject it. Instead of trying to reshape yourself to be like someone else, you should celebrate the shape God has given only to you. “Christ has given each of us special abilities — whatever he wants us to have out of his rich storehouse of gifts” (Ephesians 4:7 LB).

Part of accepting your shape is recognizing your limitations. Nobody is good at everything, and no one is called to be everything. We all have defined roles. Paul understood that his calling was not to accomplish everything or please everyone but to focus only on the particular ministry God had shaped him for (Galatians 2:7-8). He said, “We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the world God has given us, which includes our working with you” (2 Corinthians 10:13 NLT).

The word “boundaries” refers to the fact that God assigns each of us a field or sphere of service. Your shape determines your specialty. When we try to overextend our ministry reach beyond what God shaped us for, we experience stress. Just as each runner in a race is given a different lane to run in, we must individually “run with patience the particular race that God has set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 LB).

Don’t be envious of the runner in the lane next to you; just focus on finishing your race. God wants you to enjoy using the shape he has given you. The Bible says, “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else” (Galatians 6:4 NLT).

Satan will try to steal the joy of service from you in a couple of ways: by tempting you to compare your ministry with others, and by tempting you to conform your ministry to the expectations of others. Both are deadly traps that will distract you from serving in the ways God intended. Whenever you lose your joy in ministry, start by considering if either one of these temptations is the cause.

13 We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you.  - 2Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

1 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,  - Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,  - Galatians 6:4 (NIV)

20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”  - Romans 9:20 (NIV)

7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.  - Ephesians 4:7 (NIV)

7 On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised. 8 For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. - Galatians 2:7-8 (NIV)

This devotional © 2014 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Monday, May 19, 2014

God Says, Don’t Wait on Your Dreams

Dreams, we all have them.. they are our hopes and what we aspire to have one day. I have had many crushed because I waited too long or let things get in the way of me achieving them. Either way you look at it, it all revolved around waiting until this happened or that happened.. yes it all went south on me for some reason or another. I look back and sometimes become saddened by it but even Jesus said not to look back in regret about things you did or didn't do(luke 9:62) but to continue to look forward. so as in today's bible study we learn to follow our dreams when it is put on us, don't wait for perfect conditions and don't look back like times were better or in regret. 

62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” - Luke 9:62 (NIV)

4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.  - Psalm 37:4 (NIV)

4 A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.  - Proverbs 13:4 (NIV)


The best day to get started on your dreams is today — not when you’ve solved all your problems or when you have more money in the bank. “Those days” never seem to get here.

The Bible says, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done” (Ecclesiastes 11:4 LB).

Our unquenchable search for perfection often fuels our procrastination. And that keeps us from pursuing our purpose.

If you wait for perfect conditions to follow your calling, you’ll never get started. Things won’t settle down. Wait until you get out of debt before tithing, and you’ll never get back on your feet financially.

Your dreams are no different. If you wait until the kids are out of the house or until you have money in the bank to start working on the dream God has given you, you’ll likely never get there.

Your life — and your quest to live out your dreams — must be lived in less than perfect circumstances. You’ll be able to count the number of perfect situations in your life on one hand.

So get started now. No matter what situation you find yourself in, start living out your dreams today. Tomorrow may not come.

4 Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.  - Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NIV)

This devotional © 2014 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

It’s Never Too Late to Start on Your Life Calling

Today I woke up in a bit of pain, firstly I want to say I was not kind to my body in my younger years and age is most definitely reminding me of this. I'm not sure what God's plan is for me but He has kept me alive when even doctors claimed I would be dead or permanently crippled in my youth.. by this I mean I was told I would be dead of lung cancer or emphysema by the time I turned 21 because of black spots in my lungs at the age of 15 and 16, and was told that without surgery that I would not be walking by the age of 30. I am still walking and I'm still breathing. God is GREAT!! I may "gimp" around a bit but I'm still mobile and I'm smoke free as of 4 years ago this coming week. I am trying to walk closer with Jesus and trying to hear his message. Yes I backslide at times, but I try and am eagerly waiting for the purpose that God has for me... anyways what I'm trying to say is, I should have been on this route 20+ years ago instead of this late in the season but I wasn't prepared for what may lie ahead...

If you’re going to follow God’s calling on your life, you’ve got to believe it’s never, never too late.

After Joshua sent the 12 spies into the Promised Land, they returned and reported that the land was too hard a place for God’s people to settle. Because of their unbelief, God had a nation wander around in the desert for another 40 years, and an entire generation died because they did not believe in God’s promises. But Caleb and Joshua believed, and they got to live.

When the Israelites returned to the Promised Land 40 years later, Caleb was 85 years old and living his second chance. He said, “Now here I am, eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out, and I am just as ready to fight now as I was then. So give me the mountain country the LORD promised me that day long ago” (Joshua 14:10b-12a NCV).

“Give me the mountain country.” I love that! The land Caleb wanted was full of giants and cities fortified with great walls. He was saying to God, “Give me the biggest assignment. Give me the hardest city. Give me the place with the biggest giants. Give me the mountain regions. I don’t want some easy place. I know I’m 85 years old, but I’ve still got it in me to do great things for you.”

When I went to the store recently to buy a birthday card for my granddaughter, I noticed something I’d never seen before in the greeting card section. They now have an entire section that offers birthday cards for the 80th, 85th, 90th, 95th, and even 100th birthday! Growing up, I didn’t see those kinds of cards, because everybody lives longer now. When my dad was born, the average age of an American man was 76. That life expectation has gone up at least 12 years in his lifetime.

Some of you think it’s time to hang it up. I’m telling you it’s time to get it down and dust it off! Do you think God’s going to let you live 30 more years just to play golf?

Here’s a word that’s not in the Bible: retirement. You may stop working, but you keep serving the Lord. You have more wisdom and experience now, and God is not going to waste that.

At the age of 85, Caleb began the greatest mission of his life. Moses was 80 when God called him to set God’s people free. Abraham was 79 when he received God’s call.

If you are in the Caleb generation, you have to believe that it’s never too late to start on your life calling. The best is yet to come!

10 “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old!
11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.
12 Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.” - Joshua 14:10-12 (NIV)

This devotional © 2014 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.