In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
For a Child is born to us, a Son is given to us. The government will rest on His shoulders. And He will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. — Isaiah 9:6-7 NLT
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Experiencing temptation is universal and unavoidable. One cannot hide since there is no environment on earth that is free from its pull. You can never completely eliminate enticement because wherever you run, your flesh goes with you. However, giving in is optional.
In the Old Testament, priests did two things:
1. They had the right, privilege, and responsibility to go directly to God. They could pray and talk to God, worship, and fellowship with God. Everybody else had to go through a priest.
2. They had the privilege and responsibility of representing God to the people and ministering to the needs of people (serving).
Those are the very two things that are true of you when you become a believer.
You now have direct access to God. You don’t have to pray through anybody else. You don’t have to confess through anybody else. You don’t have to fellowship with God through anybody else. Read your Bible, talk with the Lord, and fellowship directly with him.
The Bible says that when Jesus died on the cross, there was a veil in the temple that separated the Holy of Holies, where God’s Spirit was, from where man was. Only priests could go behind that veil once a year. When Jesus died on the cross, God ripped that veil — about 70 feet long — from top to bottom, symbolizing that there is no longer a barrier between him and us.
You have also been gifted for ministry to serve other people. Every Christian is a minister — not a pastor, but a minister. Any time you use your talents and gifts to help others, you are ministering.
“It is he who saved us and chose us for his holy work, not because we deserved it but because that was his plan long before the world began” (2 Timothy 1:9a TLB). Why did God save you? So you could serve him. A non-serving Christian is a contradiction.
How do you know what your ministry is? Look at your talents, gifts, and abilities. When you use those talents and gifts to help other people, that’s called ministry — nothing fancy or scary about it. It’s just helping others. Can you be a priest in a sales office? You bet you can. Can you be a priest as an accountant? Of course. Driving a truck? Sure.
Any time you’re helping other people in God’s name, you’re ministering.
Talk It Over
- How are you using your gifts and abilities to serve God and others?
- In what ways would your life change if you started viewing your job, your neighborhood, and your relationships as ministry and opportunities for service?
- How do you make the most of your status as a priest? Do you take full advantage of your direct access to God?
Source: Culled from Daily Hope with Rick Warren.
“What is your name?’ the man asked. He replied, ‘Jacob” Genesis 32:27 NLT.
God allows a crisis to get our attention, and then he uses the crisis to develop our character.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth – John 1:14
Today, we would like to re-create the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols usually performed at Christmas but without the carols. The reason for the festival is to tell the story of our fall into sin and God’s redemptive love through the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Warn … those who are out of line” 1 THESSALONIANS 5:14
We tend to shy away from confronting others with truth. Thing is, it’s important to keep a caring eye out for other Christians. But why can’t we just sit back and let people get on with whatever they want?
“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:9-11 (NIV)
God loves us so much that He sent Jesus on a mission of love with a message of love. Christmas always reminds us that God loves us. The Bible says God is love. It doesn’t say God has love. What the Bible says indicates that Love is God’s nature. God created us because He loves us. The reason we are alive is because God created us as objects of His love. He created us so He could love us and we could also love Him.
scripture: Genesis 12:10 – 20
Learning to walk by faith requires time. As we have seen, Abraham listened to God and obeyed Him. Then over the years he learned to master additional skills.
Dependence. The Christian life is one of reliance upon God. From the very start, Abraham recognized that his own knowledge was limited and the right way was not obvious.