Qualified

You come highly recommended

Opportunities are usually offered to those who meet certain criteria. Those who want to be given special consideration should be willing to accept the terms, and do their bit to earn it. If everyone had easy access to great opportunities, hard work, discipline and sacrifice would be a rarity. In order to make the short list, we may have to go the extra mile or exceed expectations. 

“Glorifying Christ is a prerequisite for God’s calling.”

11 Therefore, we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His Goodness and the work of faith with Power, 12 that The Name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the Grace of our God and The Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 1).

God chooses those He has called out of this world for His Purpose. God determines what He has ordained for each one. God’s Glory is the ultimate goal for each one who is called. Glorifying Christ is a prerequisite for God’s calling. We are glorified in Him when we overcome, by faith, the challenges that arise from being His followers. When we fulfill what pleases Him, God gives us more Grace to sustain us. By God’s Grace we remain in constant union with Him, and are kept by His Power and Goodness. 

“Those who delight in The Lord curry favor with Him.”

Praise The Lord! Blessed is the man who fears The Lord, who delights greatly in His Commandments. His descendants will be mighty on Earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches will be in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness. He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

The righteous, who fear God, will flourish on the Earth. Since they have set their affections on keeping God’s Commandments, He will bless their lives with His Goodness. They nurture their children in the fear of God. The Lord will extend His blessings to the children of those who fear Him. Those who delight in The Lord curry favor with Him. The way to God is the path of obedience. Wealth and riches are bequeathed to those who aspire to live righteously, give generously and show mercy. God will fill their houses with an abundance of His Provision. The righteous acts of those who are upright will be passed on to generations, and so will their reward from God. 

“God’s reward is for those who stuck it out to the end.”

3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules (2 Timothy 2). 

Awards are not just given to anyone. Those who get rewarded must demonstrate that they have earned their stripes. It takes grit, dogged determination and discipline to compete for a prize. Time is valuable to those who have goals; they know how to manage it to their benefit. Those who have committed themselves to serve The Lord will not fritter their lives on worthless endeavors. They will not engage in the things which will not advance their goals. 

Endure hardship, just as an athlete limbers up their body to excel. A devoted follower of Christ should persevere through huddles, challenges and adversities, as they strive to please Him. We also should learn how to remain firmly footed on the course marked out for us, by doing what is required of us, and playing by the rules. God’s Word is our handbook for Christian living. The Christian’s life is no walk in the park, it is riddled with temptations, desires, hardship and discouragement: It is warfare against works of darkness. Daily battles are fought and must be won. Keep a stiff upper lip, and go from strength to strength. Christ, who dwells in us, gives us the power to defeat wickedness, and the strength to endure pain, sorrow and difficulty. If we remain one-track-minded, we will finish well and receive the crown of victory at the end of our race. God’s reward is for those who stuck it out to the end.

“The gift of Salvation is given to those who are kept by The Power of God.”

3 Blessed be The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant Mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in Heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the Power of God through faith, for Salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1).

We belong to God our Father, through the Life of The Lord Jesus Christ given to us. Our lives are now destined for purpose and glorious riches. Blessed are those who have been given all that is in Christ. Blessed are those who will live to inherit all that Christ has attained for them. The gift of Salvation is given to those who are kept by The Power of God. They have known God’s Power through thick and thin, and have not strayed from God’s Will. Those who have kept the faith will receive an eternal and undefiled inheritance, that is reserved for them in Heaven. By God’s abundant Mercy, we have an eternal hope, through Salvation and new life in Christ our Lord. Our inheritance as sons and daughters of God is imperishable, and guaranteed through eternal life in Christ.

34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. 36 The Word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— 37 that Word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with The Holy Spirit and with Power, Who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him (Acts 10).”

God is no respecter of persons: those who fear Him and live to please Him, regardless of their background and nationality, are accepted as His people. The Lord Jesus is Lord of all who come to Him in repentance, submission and surrender. He taught and healed everyone who was in need of physical and spiritual restoration. He did not discriminate on gender, race or age. All those who desire to know God and be at peace with Him have access to Him. No one is excluded from God’s manifold Grace, Truth and Love; except those who are obstinate, proud, and rebellious. 

12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity (1 Timothy 4).

Let no one despise you, or look down upon you as a believer, because of your age, your recent conversion as a follower of Christ, or for any reason at all. You have been redeemed out of this world, by the death of Christ on The Cross. You belong to Him and your identity is found in Him. You have been set apart to be godly in your speech, to conduct yourself righteously in Christ, to love God and others, to live in the spirit and not give in to fleshly lusts, to live by faith in God, as you strive for purity.

“God has appointed each of His chosen ones for His Purpose.” 

17  “Therefore prepare yourself and arise, and speak to them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed before their faces, lest I dismay you before them. 18  For behold, I have made you this day a fortified city and an iron pillar, and bronze walls against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, against its princes, against its priests, and against the people of the land. 19  They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the Lord, “to deliver you (Jeremiah 1).”

When God appoints His people for His Purpose, He will work in concert with them. He will also prepare them to be on the receiving end of criticism, opposition and attacks. He becomes their shield and defense. Those who have a mandate from God will execute His Plans. He warned Jeremiah that if he failed to speak what He commanded him, he would be mortified. There’s no getting away from God, when He has put the onus on you to serve Him. 

“You are qualified to succeed, because God is with you to deliver you.”

God has appointed each of His chosen ones for His Purpose. They will set their faces against all opposition to do what He has commanded them. No one will get in the way of God, and no one will stand in the way of those He has appointed. God will always defend and protect those who serve Him. He will make them as tough as nails, and bold as brass, to complete the task He has given them. He imparts His Strength and Power to defeat every foe who gets in the way. You are qualified to succeed, because God is with you to deliver you.

6 Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: “You know the word which The Lord said to Moses, the man of God, concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of The Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. 8 Nevertheless, my brethren who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt, but I wholly followed The Lord my God. 9 So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land where your foot has trodden shall be your inheritance and your children’s forever, because you have wholly followed The Lord my God.’ 

13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. 14 Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed The Lord God of Israel (Joshua 14). 

What great rewards await those who wholly follow The Lord! Caleb was unfazed by the misgivings of those who saw Canaan as no-man’s-land, because of the giant men who lived there. Caleb was determined to go and fight for the inheritance God had already given the children of Israel. He spoke glowingly of the fruitful land; a land flowing with milk and honey. Caleb spoke more highly of its potential than the obstacles they would have to overcome. He believed and trusted in The Lord, more than his ability to overcome the challenges. He believed God wholly. 

Are you following God wholly? When you come to the realization that God goes ahead of you to give you what He has promised, you will focus your attention on His Greatness. Tune out the pessimism, and perk up to all that God has for you. Following God wholly will require your undivided attention. Don’t be dismayed by listening to quitters or naysayers. Set your sights on attaining what God has apportioned for you. Seize your opportunity to inherit what He has commanded you to possess. God rewards those who are committed to complete their mission. 

“God’s favor to others can be ours as well.” 

Remember me, O Lord, with the favor You have toward Your people. Oh, visit me with Your Salvation, that I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation, that I may glory with Your inheritance (Psalm 106).

Don’t be bashful to ask for a piece of the pie. God chose the children of Israel to receive the blessings He promised Abraham. No other nation has been the apple of God’s Eye as Israel. Can God bless you as He blesses another? Pray for the blessings of others; pray for the nation of God, Israel, that you too may be numbered among those who are God’s inheritance. God’s favor to others can be ours as well. When we want what’s best for others by praying for them, we can ask God to remember us too. The benefits of Israel, God’s chosen ones, can be extended to those who desire and long for their peace and prosperity. Desire to know the joy and Salvation of those who belong to God.

Don’t forfeit your calling. You have been chosen for God’s Purpose to be here today. Your qualifications are the ones that God has given you. God has approved and appointed you to glorify Christ, each day you draw breath. There are no coincidences when it comes to God. If you delight in The Lord, He will delight in you, and appoint you for great service. He will reward you for your grit and commitment. Salvation is your priceless reward that is guaranteed, with many other blessings that will never fade away. Don’t squander your chance to attain all that God has for you. He will guide, instruct, defend and bless you, if you stay the course. Remember His people, Israel, and be part of the household of the chosen ones.

9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. 11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation (1 Peter 2).

ENRICHED BY THE WORD: 2021 FOURTH QUARTER

Before you read the Word: Put away all distractions; find a quiet place; pray for The Holy Spirit to take control of all your being; ask for a seat at the foot of the throne of God for this fellowship; plead for spiritual understanding and your cleansing by His Holy Word.

Read the Word as prayer and as a two-way communication between you and The Lord. You read as you evoke His Character and ask what you seek according to His Truth. Allow His Word to correct, comfort, convict, and restore you.

This week’s challenge: 10 He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity (Ecclesiastes 5).

WEEK 1

Psalm 102

1 Corinthians 11:17-34

Job 8

Matthew 24

Genesis 7

1 John 2

2 Peter 2

Practice: Commit your works to The Lord, and your thoughts will be established (Proverbs 16).

WEEK 2

Ephesians 4

1 Samuel 2

Hosea 13

Psalm chapter 76 and 113

Micah 1:1-9

Titus 3

Esther 1

Practice: Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth (Proverbs 27:1)
.

WEEK 3

Nahum 1

Psalm chapter 99 and 100

2 Corinthians 6

Jeremiah 8

Hebrews 2

Matthew 21

Esther 2

Practice: 28 Do not testify against your neighbor without cause—would you use your lips to mislead? (Proverbs 24)

WEEK 4

Esther 8

Isaiah 11

1 Corinthians 2

Jeremiah 5

Revelations 14

John 6

Psalm 44

Practice: 11 Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter (Proverbs 24).

WEEK 5

Job 34

2 Timothy 2

Numbers 22

Matthew 24

Isaiah 59

1 Corinthians 12

Exodus 19

Practice: 13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all (Ecclesiastes 12).

WEEK 6

Leviticus 19

Job 4

Deuteronomy 7

Colossians 4:1-7

Psalm chapter 32 and 82

Esther 4

Ephesians 5

Practice: Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

WEEK 7

James 1

Matthew 5

Isaiah 43

Psalm chapter 17 and 71

Luke 12

Genesis 24

Romans 2

Practice: 27 Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned 28 Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared? 29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent (Proverbs 6).

WEEK 8

Psalm 9

Ezra 1

Isaiah 8

John 3

Matthew 4

Genesis 49

Romans 15

Practice: 28 Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls (Proverbs 25).

WEEK 9

Isaiah 13

Numbers 11

1 Corinthians 1

Psalm 66

Deuteronomy 32

Hosea 13

Hebrews 10

Practice: Debate your case with your neighbor, and do not disclose the secret to another; 10 Lest he who hears it expose your shame, and your reputation be ruined (Proverbs 25).

WEEK 10

Ezekiel 34

Psalm chapter 96 and 117

Jeremiah 6

Hebrews 13

Zechariah 11

Exodus 14

Isaiah 42

Practice: Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding (Proverbs 9).

WEEK 11

Matthew 17

Leviticus 26

Romans 9

Hosea 14

Luke 21

Deuteronomy 5

Isaiah 66

Practice: He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is perverse in his ways despises Him (Proverbs 14).

WEEK 12

Revelations 12

Psalm 115

Genesis 6

1 John 5

Nehemiah 9

1 Kings 15

Philippians 3

Practice:

Practice: Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun (Ecclesiastes 9).

Bless

What gifts do you bring?

How do you bless someone you care deeply about? You give them the best of your substance, time and affirmation. When we want to bless someone, we give cheerfully and sometimes even extravagantly. We express our love and appreciation. So then, how do you bless God? Does He need us to bless Him? We bless God by how we love Him. 

“We bless The Lord with all our being, because He blesses so abundantly.”

Bless The Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name! Bless The Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Psalm 103).

With our soul, heart, mind and spirit—all that is within us, we can bless The Lord Our God. Why not? After all He does for us! We can give Him the highest praise and glory. Above all else, He is Holy. There is no one Holy upon the face of the entire Earth. Because He is Holy, we can trust Him to do what is just and right at all times, for us. We can believe in Him, by being faithful to do as He tells us. He forgives us, even when we don’t deserve mercy; And He does so over and over again, when we repent. He heals our ailing bodies. He has forever delivered us from the powers of darkness, and has kept our souls from destruction. What a loving God and Father we have in Heaven! He crowns our years with goodness, lovingkindness, our loved ones, grace and every good thing to enjoy. We bless The Lord with all our being, because He blesses so abundantly. Bless The Lord with your offering of thanksgiving and praise. He will not disdain what we offer Him willingly and cheerfully. 

“Bless God openly, by professing His Power over your adversaries.”

47  “The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let God be exalted, The Rock of my Salvation! 48  It is God Who avenges me, and subdues the peoples under me; 49  He delivers me from my enemies. You also lift me up above those who rise against me; You have delivered me from the violent man. 50  Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and sing praises to Your Name (2 Samuel 22).”

A rock is not easily shaken or moved. God is The Rock we depend on for our stability in the midst of adversity. He is the Strength needed to bear us up, when we are surrounded by shifting circumstances. Blessed is our Rock, Who is our Salvation and Deliverer in times of trouble. Our enemies will not trounce us, when we are being held up by God. 

Exalt God above everything you think you know or don’t understand. Exalt Him above your fears, and troubles. He will even deliver from the vilest fiend. Give thanks for the victorious battles that God has fought for you. Praise His Name unabashedly, before others who may not know Him or His Power. Bless God openly, by professing His Power over your adversaries. 

“Bless The Lord with what belongs to Him.” 

14  “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, and of Your Own we have given You. 15  For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, as were all our fathers. Our days on Earth are as a shadow, and without hope. 16 O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your Holy Name is from Your Hand, and is all Your Own. 17 I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You (1 Chronicles 29).” 

What have you offered God for His Name and Honor? Remember that you are offering what comes from Him; He owns everything: the air you breathe, natural resources and food; He created you and He gives you the ability to work and make a living. We are strangers on the Earth that belongs to God. We draw from the abundance of God’s Provision. When we give Him what He can use for His Purpose, we bless Him by offering it willingly. God is aware of our attitude toward giving, and our motives for doing so. Bless The Lord with what belongs to Him.

Give willingly to God and bless Him with an upright heart—cheerfully. He doesn’t need us to give to honor His Name or the work He does on the Earth. He gives us opportunities to give back, as a reminder that we have nothing apart from Him. Giving to God also enables us to be part of what He is doing around us. We also acknowledge our dependence on Him for everything we have, by expressing gratitude. 

“Enter His Presence with effusive adulation.” 

Know that The Lord, He is God. It is He Who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His Name. For The Lord is Good; His Mercy is everlasting, and His Truth endures to all generations (Psalm 100).

If we know that The Lord is God, and there is no other, we will not approach Him so casually. We would come before Him in awe, fear, and reverence. When we come before His Presence, we come in decorum befitting His Glory. He created us, and we belong to Him. We bless His Name with thanksgiving. We have to understand the full extent of Who God is. He is Holy, Good, full of Power, Merciful, Just, and He speaks Truth at all times. There’s no living being who compares to God. Praise Him for all He is. Enter His Presence with effusive adulation. He deserves the gratitude and praise that we would never give to anyone else. He is the God of all generations; to the advancing in age, and the young alike. 

“We bless God with our commitment to obey Him.”

56 “Blessed be The Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses. 57 May The Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us nor forsake us, 58 that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His Ways, and to keep His Commandments and His statutes and His judgments, which He commanded our fathers (1 Kings 8).”

There is nothing The Lord promises or says that will not come to pass. He will always do as He says. We bless God for His promises that never fail. He will do what He revealed to previous generations. They may not live to see the promises fulfilled, but they will still come to fruition. We have an obligation to devote our lives to God, and He will do what He can only do. We should walk in all His Ways, by keeping His Commandments. We bless God with our commitment to obey Him. He is duty-bound to keep His Word; and we should be faithful children. His Word is time-tested and His Commandments are still for us today. He gives rest to those who depend on Him and trust in Him. May our God never forsake us as we cling to Him. We are bound to an unbroken fellowship, by faith and obedience. 

“Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His Ways and to fear Him. 7 For The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10  When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless The Lord your God for the good land which He has given you. 11 Beware that you do not forget The Lord your God by not keeping His Commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today (Deuteronomy 8).”

“We bless God for His promises that never fail.”

Bless the Lord with all your being. He is not like our fellow mankind who are not dependable, reliable or truthful. God made us for His Glory; He manifests His Greatness in all aspects of our lives. We bless Him by our praise, our offerings which come from His Provision, our commitment to obey, and we do so willingly. He is our Savior, Deliverer, God our Creator, Provider and Healer. We have opportunities everyday to bless God with the best we can offer Him. He lavishes His Goodness on us, and forgives our sins, when we repent. He loves us so abundantly. We bless Him with thanksgiving and praise for Who He is. Bless the Lord, everyday, with your words and deeds.

Sing to The Lord, bless His Name. Proclaim the good news of His Salvation from day to day. Declare His Glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For The Lord is Great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but The Lord made the Heavens. Honor and Majesty are before Him; Strength and Beauty are in His Sanctuary. Give to The Lord, O families of the peoples, give to The Lord Glory and Strength. Give to The Lord the Glory due His Name. Bring an offering, and come into His courts. Oh, worship The Lord in the beauty of Holiness! Tremble before Him, all the Earth (Psalm 96). 

Complete

Overflowing with richness.

Sometimes we may not have everything we want in this life; but we also may not be devoid of what is good. When we are complete, we have what we need at the moment. We limit ourselves by focusing on our shortcomings—what we don’t have, who we would rather be or comparing ourselves to others. We are God’s children, and He blesses us with everything we need, according to His Perfect Will. 

“If God is your life, He defines and enriches every area of your life.”

How precious is Your Lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your Wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your House, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life. In Your light we see light. 10  Oh, continue Your Lovingkindness to those who know You, and Your Righteousness to the upright in heart (Psalm 36).

A fountain hardly runs dry. God is the fountain of life that brims with His Goodness. Those who put their trust under His Wings, will not lack any good thing. His Lovingkindness is more precious than gold or riches. If God is your life, He defines and enriches every area of your life. You are complete, when you are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of God’s Provision. When you trust God to meet your needs, you will be grateful for all He provides. The Righteousness of God will keep you in good stead; He only does what is Right. The upright in heart are never left out to dry. Be filled with the overflowing pleasures of God’s Lovingkindness. Instead of pondering over what you don’t have, be satisfied with Who God is. 

“It is Christ in you Who makes you whole.” 

6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the Fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power (Colossians 2).

Abound in the faith that keeps you rooted in Christ Jesus, The Lord. Grow in Him by learning all you can about Him, so as to be more like Him. You don’t need man-made dictates, and religious practices to make you feel spiritual. The Fullness of God dwells in Christ, and you are complete in Him. You became one with Christ in His death and resurrection. It is Christ in you Who makes you whole. No rituals or good works will pay for the penalty of sin. Only the death of Christ and our union with Him make us a new creation in Him.

We must live by faith, by being transformed daily to His Likeness. This faith makes us submit to Him in obedience. Our lives become rooted and built up in Him. We have been made new and complete. If nothing else, this is our thanksgiving: We have been justified in Christ, our Lord, and sin no longer defines who we are. He is the greatest authority over any religious laws that would disqualify us from being children of God. The Fullness of God dwells in us—Christ Jesus, The Son of God.

“Righteousness is an expression of spiritual well-being.” 

17  The work of righteousness will be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. 18  My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places, 19  though hail comes down on the forest, and the city is brought low in humiliation (Isaiah 32).

Righteousness is God’s Standard for His people. The righteous strive to keep peace with God; they are not at variance with His Ways. Righteousness is doing what is right before God. They are clothed with the Righteousness of God—abiding in Christ. The Holy Spirit of Christ dwells in them; sanctifying, teaching and guiding them to obey God’s Truth. Those who have peace with God, have an unbroken communion and fellowship with Him. They have no fear of what life throws at them. Righteousness offers them God’s Protection, Strength, Love, Mercy, Grace and Faithfulness. They will dwell in peace and assurance forever. Righteousness is an expression of spiritual well-being. What peace we forfeit when we are in opposition to God! 

“God’s abundant Mercy has lavished us with every spiritual blessing in perpetuity.”

2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God The Father, in sanctification of The Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ. Grace to you and peace be multiplied. 3 Blessed be The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant Mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the Power of God through faith, for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1).

Grace and peace are multiplied to those who have been chosen according to God’s Plan. They are sanctified by The Spirit of Christ, and their sins have been purged by the Blood of Christ, and His death on The Cross. They were chosen by the foreknowledge of God, before the foundations of the Earth. You are not a coincidence; you believed in God and gave your life to Christ, just as God would have it. You have abounding grace and peace to get you through this life. We have been sanctified for obedience, don’t miss that. We must be in one accord with The One Who called us to salvation. 

We have been born again in the hope of eternal salvation for our souls. We are kept each day by the Power of God. Nothing will stand in the way of God’s Plan for us. Our faith in God has given us victory over all our struggles, adversities and adversaries. We don’t have to live like paupers who don’t have a red cent to our names. We have an undefiled inheritance that will never be marred, or fade away, and is reserved for us in Heaven. God has given us all that we need for this life and the next. God’s abundant Mercy has lavished us with every spiritual blessing in perpetuity.

15   As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16   For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. 17  But the Mercy of The Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him. His Righteousness to children’s children, 18  to such as keep His Covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them (Psalm 103).

No one gets to live forever on this side of life. Though we may flourish and do well for ourselves, we will not live long enough to enjoy all the fruit of our labor, or all of the pleasures of life. Our lives are like a grass that is here today and gone tomorrow. What will happen to our children and loved ones when we are gone? If we lived by God’s Ways, kept His Covenant by fear and obedience to Him, our children will emulate the same. God’s Righteousness will be extended to the next generation of those who teach their children to fear, trust and obey God. God’s Mercy is everlasting to everlasting, for us, and those who come after us. Though they may not seem to have enough resources to cater for them, they have God’s enduring Mercy. Those who fear God store up for their loved ones everlasting Mercy for the days ahead. Strive to flourish in God’s Goodness; don’t set your heart on fleeting riches. 

“You have abounding grace and peace to get you through this life.”

22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the Word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the Word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (Matthew 13).”

Those who hear the Word of God and fail to implement it in their lives are unfruitful Christians. They are more interested in the cares of this world, finances, the latest trends or keeping up with the standards of this world. They have heard God’s Word but their lives are not rooted in obedience. Those who receive God’s Word, with an ardent desire to apply to their lives, will be fruitful in the knowledge and understanding of it. Christians who have a strong foundation in The Word of God for their very existence, will prosper in The Kingdom of God. Those who bear spiritual fruits through faith and obedience will continue to be productive in many areas of their life—relationships, work, responsibilities, mental, and emotional well-being. 

“God has given us all that we need for this life and the next.”

O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance (Psalm 16).

Are you worried about your possessions and whether you will always have enough? God is the portion of inheritance for those who spend their lives seeking Him. He is a full portion, a lot that is sure and everlasting. Those who live to honor and glorify God have an inheritance in pleasant places. They have more than the world can offer them. God, Our Heavenly Father, has allotted to us a good inheritance which no one glom from us. 

In Christ is the Fullness of God. When we are in Christ, we have access to all God has for us. He has called and justified us to an eternal inheritance that will never fade. We have all of God’s Mercy, Grace and Goodness to live in obedience, fellowship and righteousness for His Glory. Everything that pertains to our lives becomes the fountain of God’s Lovingkindness. We have been renewed to be complete in hope, joy, peace and victory over all the challenges we face in life. Our righteousness is God’s Righteousness for us and our children; we don’t need to observe any religious protocols to be children of God. In this life and the next, we lack nothing to become all that God has created us to be.

16  Rejoice always, 17  pray without ceasing, 18  in everything give thanks; for this is the Will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19  Do not quench the Spirit. 20  Do not despise prophecies. 21  Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22  Abstain from every form of evil. 23  Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24  He Who calls you is Faithful, Who also will do it (1 Thessalonians 5).

Devotion

Strive for the best.

8  I have set The Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. 9  Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices. My flesh also will rest in hope (Psalm 16).

When we are passionate about doing something meaningful, we become disciplined and motivated to keep at it . We will consistently do what inspires us each day. Our devotion to a particular person, relationships, or goals will impact our daily routine. We will commit our time and effort with minimal disruptions. We find our existential purpose in what we devote our lives to.

“Love compels us to give the best of ourselves.”

25 “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor (John 12).”

When we have the right perspective of life, we will not waste our valuable time and energy on mediocrity. We make great sacrifices to attain enduring rewards. Those who want to serve The Lord Jesus, must be willing to live for Him at all costs. Our devotion to Christ should be the motivation for all that we do. If we serve Him, we will use our talents, resources and time wisely. As servants of The Lord, we have to make Him a priority and do what He requires of us. We should be willing to be useful, where He needs us to meet a need. As His followers, we should be able to give up the demands of this life, when called upon, to serve Him. God will honor those, who at the drop of a hat, are ready to serve Him. Those who are willing to give their valuable time or resources to God will gain eternal rewards. Our devotion to Christ is a commitment to serve Him with all we have. Eternal life is guaranteed to those who are willing to lose their privileges here to whole heatedly do God’s Will.

“Determine what to avoid, and what you must do consistently.”

25  Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. 26  Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. 27  Do not turn to the right or the left; remove your foot from evil (Proverbs 4).

Those who desire righteousness must strive for it. We should not allow ourselves to be tripped up by others or sinful desires. Set practical goals and stick to them. Determine what to avoid, and what you must do consistently. Just as one who wants to be healthy or lose weight, envisions a weight goal: how much they want to lose, the right diet, a work out routine, and what food to avoid. Be one-track minded and stick to the plan you have outlined. Keep a rapt attention on what you have set out to accomplish. Do not be embroiled in matters that don’t advance your goals as a fruitful Christian. Mind your business, if that is what you have to do; steer clear of what will not benefit you. Righteousness is a lifestyle that must be maintained, like a healthy lifestyle. 

I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall depart from me. I will not know wickedness (Psalm 101).

We are responsible for what we say we will do. As children of The Holy God, we are to be more like our Father. Wickedness should not be entertaining or amusing. It should not bring us any form of pleasure. We are what we do routinely. Our frequent thoughts will evoke our desires. We should not be overcome by wicked desires or thoughts; instead we must strive for purity. Sin should be abhorrent and repulsive to all children of God. We should not keep close associations with those who consistently engage in sin. We cannot afford to be complacent with works of darkness, because our Father is Holy. 

“Our devotion to godliness will yield us imperishable rewards.”

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses (1 Timothy 6).

We were created for an eternal purpose. God made us for eternity, not for the ephemeral substance of this world. Be devoted to building the character that pleases God. The love of money leads many to sin and greed. Money is good for sustaining a living, but an obsession with it can lead to an endless pursuit of riches, driven by deception, greed, corruption and anxiety. Riches are like a mist that is here today and gone tomorrow. The child of God has every good and perfect thing that God continuously supplies. We must learn to be content and grateful. Instead of pursuing fleeting riches, we can invest in eternal life. Our devotion to godliness will yield us imperishable rewards. Our pursuit of righteousness, faith, love, patience, compassion and self control, will require us to use God’s blessings to bless others. If we love God, we will not be enamored of possessions; we will receive and manage God’s blessings for His Glory. 

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21.”

If we are vigilant and pray as often as we can, we will not be party to wrong activities. Those who speak to God frequently, for the most part, are found in His Presence. His Spirit lives in them, and they are in constant touch with Him. They will be able to escape the day of Judgement, because they have chosen to be closely associated with Him. They will stand before the Son of Man, because they have always stood with Him. 

The Lord Jesus warns us to take heed to ourselves, and keep from being carried away by worldly pleasures of revelry, drunkenness, and materialism. Christ admonishes us that the life we have been given is of much greater import. He exhorts us to watch and pray at all times. When we are attuned to what He is doing in our lives and preparing ourselves for His return, we will not be distracted by other things. He will come, and all will have to stand before Him to give account of how they lived the lives He gave each one. The One Who gives life requires that we are good stewards of it. 

“We find our existential purpose in what we devote our lives to.”

13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money (Luke 16.”

Money can become an obsession, when we are not content with what we have. We should make a living and learn how to manage our money well, so that we are meeting our basic needs, and still enjoying the fruit of our labor. Money should not be what we serve. We should serve God with our skills, talents and resources. When making money becomes the main purpose of our existence, God will become secondary, even our loved ones will get less attention over time. We can not be devoted to God and money; we will desire one over the other. Either you will hate one and love the other, by giving most of your time and energy to the one you love. The amount of quality time we put into something shows our devotion to it. 

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, there are few who find it (Matthew 7).”

What’s all the rage in today’s culture, or is celebrated by most will not pass muster with God. The wide gate and broad way leads to destruction, because it is acceptable to most; and most don’t want to do what is difficult. Obedience, sanctification, love, purity, faith, righteousness, and submission to God are not easily achieved. Godliness and righteousness are for those who are willing to separate themselves from what is popular, to please God. Few will find the path that leads to life, because few are willing to be committed to submission, obedience and godliness. 

The narrow gate is accessible to those who have surrendered to the Spirit-led life. They have put off the fleshly nature for the spiritual new life found in Christ alone. They don’t need to appeal to others. They will enter the narrow gate having counted the cost of a surrendered life. The narrow way keeps them focused on their calling to attain eternal life. It is easy to do what everyone else is doing, it’s difficult to keep in lockstep with The Holy Spirit.

“We must devote ourselves to the teachings of Christ.”

27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. 28 And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 29 If you know that He is Righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him (1 John 2).

We are taught how to live the new life by The Spirit of Christ. His anointing opens our understanding to living in The Spirit and not in our sinful flesh. He abides in us and we abide in Him. We have no need for the world to teach us how to live anymore; we have The Spirit of Truth to transform us. We must devote ourselves to the teachings of Christ. Our life in Him must be lived according to His Doctrine. If we abide in Him, His Word abides in us, as the seed that regenerates us; and daily gives us wisdom, knowledge and understanding of Who He is and what is required of us. Since He is Righteous, we must practice righteousness as those who are born of Him. Our confidence is that when He comes, we will be found in an unbroken fellowship with Him. When He comes we will be confident to stand before Him.

“Devotion is a component of love.”

11  Teach me Your Way, Lord, that I may rely on Your Faithfulness. Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your Name. 12  I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify Your Name forever. 13  For great is Your Love toward me; You have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead (Psalm 86).

When we are determined to achieve a goal, we will steep ourselves in all the information we can find. We will be willing to take the time to study and understand, so that we can apply that knowledge appropriately. We can hunker down and set everything else aside to keep our focus on what we are doing. If we want to be delivered from the path to hell, we will choose the path that leads to God. We will learn God’s Ways and fear Him to do what is right. A heart that is enamored of God will give Him undivided attention. A receptive and teachable person will be eager to learn God’s Ways. Fear God and He will make your way perfect. 

Devotion is a component of love. Love compels us to give the best of ourselves. When we love God, we will give Him the best of our resources, time, praise, attention and lives. God’s Love demonstrated by His deliverance of our souls from eternity in Hell, should cause us to fall prostrate with fear and adoration. Great is His Love, and those who understand this will devote their lives to glorify and serve Him. We rely on Him for everything we need, because we belong to Him forever. Depend on His Faithfulness, by being faithful. 

Set your sights, daily, to be who God has called you to be. Do not be suckered into frittering your life away on worthless things. You are the child of The Great King, you will not lack any good thing. Determine to stay the course you have outlined, and invest on eternal rewards. Devote your life to God, serve Him, learn from Him, and you will live the best life.

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them (Colossians 3).

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