All I can do is live each day in a way that brings honor to Him, and trust that He will honor that sacrifice.
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
By Roger Hart, Journey Small Group Leader
“At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius….He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day…he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who said, ‘Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter.’” — Acts 10: 1-5
Do I want the Holy Spirit to “speak” to me? Do I want to take an active role in what God is doing in the world? Do I want God to use me to further his kingdom? If my answer is yes, am I doing everything I can to prepare myself for this? As the scripture describes, Cornelius and his family were “devout and God-fearing, gave to those in need, and prayed to God regularly.” Their belief and faith in God, along with the actions they took each day, were a testament to their desire to further God’s kingdom. Cornelius and his family did not know what the future would hold for them. They did not know that their faith and sacrifice would result in a visit from an angel from God. They simply lived their lives each day in a way that brought honor to God. And God honored them in return by using them in His grand story.
I cannot know the future. I can’t see the possibilities for how God can use me to further his kingdom. All I can do is live each day in a way that brings honor to Him, and trust that He will honor that sacrifice with opportunities to further his kingdom in this world. Does my life honor God? Is the Holy Spirit asking me to make certain changes in my life? Are there sacrifices I can make today that will show God that I am ready to be a part of His change in this world?
“Dear God, thank you for this day and all the blessings that it brings. Thank you for the opportunities you give each day to serve those around me. I want to serve you Lord…..I want to play a part in fulfilling your kingdom here on earth. I pray for opportunities to bless others. How do I need to change? What do I need to do to prepare myself for this service? I pray that the Holy Spirit would put the answers on my heart, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”
Now You Try
Read Acts 10:24-48
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. Take time to read and allow God to speak to you. Write down the one or two verses that stick out. Even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make a basic observation about the scripture you just read. What stood out? Was something repeated? What is the author trying to communicate? What does the Scripture passage teach you about God? What does it teach you about humanity?
Ask, “What does this verse(s) mean for my life?” How might this verse affect your heart — how you feel? How does this verse challenge your thinking? How does it affect your will, asking, “What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?”
Write out a prayer to God. Scripture is God speaking to you, take this moment to speak back. Take a moment to say, “Thank you,” confess to Him what needs to change, or ask for something that is on your heart.
Today’s Daily devotional goes right alongside todays challenge – day 11. – Cate
Be an exhorter (1)
Wednesday August 11
“Exhort one another daily.” Heb 3:13 NKJV
The Greek word for exhort is “parakalew.” It comes from two words, one meaning “alongside of” and the other meaning “to call.” This is the root of the Greek word “paraclete,” which is the name Jesus gave the Holy Spirit. The real ministry of the Holy Spirit is to exhort and encourage us in our walk with God. So you are never more like the Holy Spirit and never more in tune with His ministry, than when you are exhorting and encouraging others. An exhorter can turn a loser into a winner, a shirker into a worker, and a pessimist into an optimist. They inspire others with renewed courage, spirit, and hope. They have a ministry of affirmation and appreciation. It’s important to remember the distinction between appreciation and affirmation. We appreciate what a person does, but we affirm who a person is. Now appreciation comes and goes because it’s usually related to someone’s accomplishments, but affirmation goes right to the heart of a person because it is directed at that person’s individual worth. An exhorter has the ability to make you feel good about yourself. They uplift, inspire, motivate, and make you feel better just by being around you. The Bible says that Barnabas was an exhorter. “Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch. When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord” (Ac 11:22-23 NKJV). So the word for you today is: be an exhorter.