Tag: Jesus our example

Serving wins battles!

Scripture reading for January 26th:  Exodus 17-20, Matthew 20

Key Scriptures:  Exodus 17:10-13  “So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.  Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed.  But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side.  So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.  And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.”

Moses recorded this story of a battle with the Amalekites.   He and Aaron and Hur observed the battle led by Joshua.  As Moses would stretch out his hand, Joshua was winning.  When he lowered his had because of exhaustion, Amalek prevailed.  So Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ hands and seated him on a stone and Joshua prevailed in the battle.  This is a picture of corporate intercession and the power of agreement.

Matthew 20:25-26:  “But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  It shall not be so among you.  But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, for even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and give His live as a ransom for many.”  

Prayer:  Father, help me to lift my hands in service of others.  Thank you for the example of Your Son and Aaron and Hur to show me the way.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Giving even beyond our ability!

Scripture reading for August 7th:  2nd Corinthians 8

The subject of giving can be difficult for a minister to talk about.  When money is mentioned, people tend to close their hearts and guard their money!  Also, false teachers often manipulate people with their words to get money.  The love of money is a stronghold that must be broken for God’s blessings to flow in His people’s lives!

“And now brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.  Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.  For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.  Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.  And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord, and then to us in keeping with God’s will.”  (2nd Corinthians 8:1-5)

Paul shared with this church about another group of churches who had “the grace of giving.”   These churches were in a ‘severe trial’ and ‘extreme poverty’, yet they pleaded with Paul for the opportunity to give.  Paul stated that they gave even beyond their ability!  They did this on their own, not being manipulated by Paul or worked to get their money.  How could this be?  Paul said the secret was that they gave themselves first to God and allowed God to instruct them in His will.  They then obediently gave generously to Paul for his mission work!

Would that we in the church would follow the example of the Macedonian churches!   Let’s try giving ourselves fully to the Lord and allow Him to put His heart of generosity in us!  May we “excel in this grace of giving.”  (2nd Corinthians 8:7b)

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Living in true humility!

Scripture reading for October 28th: Titus 3:1-15

Paul concluded his short letter to Titus with an encouragement to preach and live out the word of God.  Jesus Christ, our blessed Hope, would suddenly appear for those who were working and watching.  ” These, then, are the things you should teach.  Encourage and rebuke with all authority.  Do not let anyone despise you.  Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility to all men.” (Titus 2:15-3:2)

Jesus was Paul’s example of true humility.  Jesus left the glories of heaven to take human form, even being born as a baby!  He lived a normal human life as God in the flesh in order to serve all mankind by revealing the Father.  He humbled Himself by completely obeying His Father and offering His body and blood as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.  God exalted Him to the highest place, giving Him the Name above all names!  (Philippians 2:3-11)

Paul exhorted Titus to teach Jesus’ followers to show true humility to all men as Jesus did.  As Jesus gave up the glories of heaven, Jesus’ followers were to give up the glories of man ruling his own life on earth.  They were to submit to all rulers and authorities and be completely obedient.  They were to be ready to give aide to those in need and do good deeds with their talents and possessions.  They were to live in peace, being considerate of the needs of others.  This demonstration of true humility was to be a way of life marking true followers of Christ!  The reward of true humility was and is sharing Christ’s glory for eternity!

Paul instructed Titus to avoid foolish controversies and arguments about the law.  “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time.  After that, have nothing to do with him.  You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful, he is self-condemned.” (Titus 3:10-11)  Those not living in true humility and claiming to be part of the church needed to be dealt with.  Pastoral ministry must humbly confront those dividing the body.  Christ Jesus is coming to reward those living in the grace of true humility!

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