Bible Devotions

God’s Plan

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before hand that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

 

For We are His Workmanship

The “we” is collective, meaning more than one of us individually.  Remember, all believers are one body, the church.  Together we are His workmanship.  Isn’t it encouraging knowing we are part of something bigger and grander than just our self?  Knowing that each part within a body has a certain function and only when each part carries out their function, does the body work as intended by design.

 

Created in Christ Jesus

We started to become His workmanship the moment we trusted in Jesus Christ and received His gift of salvation.  We are a new creation in Christ.  Jesus alone does the building of the body.  He calls them to Himself and fits them in the proper place within the body.  His Spirit distributes gifts, talents, and abilities appropriate for their purpose within the body.  We can not say “I am the eye” or “I am the hand”, for it is Jesus who decides what our function is to be. 

 

For Good Works

There is a reason and purpose behind being His workmanship.  It is not to simply show off how awesome God is, although that’s part of it.  God always has a purpose.  We are hand-crafted by the God of the universe to do good works.  How do we know what’s good to do?  Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Does what you say encourage and build up someone’s faith?
  • Is your service done as though it is done for the Lord?
  • Is your act of giving helping expand the kingdom of God?
  • Are you caring for widows, orphans, oppressed, discouraged, and diseased or the poor?
  • Are you using your spiritual gifts?

If we answer yes to any of these, chances are we are doing good works.  Certainly, this is not an exhaustive list of all the ways to tell if we are doing good works, but it should help us stay on track with God’s plan. 

 

Which God Prepared Before Hand

God who created us and knows all things past, present and future has prepared the specific good works He wants us to carry out.  He has everything planned and worked out.  He even has His back up plans in place.  He is in complete control.  He has given us certain spiritual gifts such as pastering, teaching, speaking in tongues, encouraging, hospitability and generosity with an expectation these will be used for His glory. 

 

That We Should Walk in Them

Every spiritual gift given to us is for the purpose of operating in those gifts.   We are called to use the gifts.  Think about when you have given a gift to someone.  Did you expect them to open the gift and use it?  Of course you did.  No one would give a gift that just sat there without ever being opened.  We give gifts to be used and appreciated.  The same holds true for spiritual gifts.  It is in our using our God-given gifts God’s workmanship is demonstrated and His kingdom is expanded. 

 Lord thank you for your clarifying word.  Thank you for the spiritual gifts you’ve given us.  Enable us to recognize those gifts and to use them for your glory.  May we be empowered by the knowledge of your complete control and carry out the good works you prepare for us.  In Jesus’ name Amen. 

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity helping you grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.

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Minister Right Where You Are

For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:9-12 NKJV

If anyone is considering quitting their job to go into “ministry” full time, stop.  The first verse above tells us that Paul worked.  He had a job, so he was able to provide for himself.  Yet, he still preached the gospel.

I had a co-worker and friend of mine tell me she was considering leaving her job, where we both worked, and finding a Christian job or perhaps work at the church. She felt like she needed to move in the direction of ministry.  I thought this was kind of funny.  From my perspective, I’ve always thought ministry happens wherever you are.  In fact, where I work, I am ministering by being who I am in Christ.

Don’t misunderstand, there’s nothing wrong with working for the church or a Christian employer.  Just be certain that God is really calling you to make a change.  Pray, ask for wisdom.  Don’t overlook the opportunities right before you.  Remember, everyone needs to know Christ and be saved.  Chances are there are plenty of folks around you that could use the saving grace of Christ to give them hope for eternity.

After much prayer and self examination, in the end, my friend decided, she was in a way trying to run away from the ugliness of the secular world.  Now, she is ministering right where she is.  It’s beautiful to watch her discover how to use her gifts in her current role to minister to those around her.

Be who God called you to be.  Keep alert and pray for everyone around you.  Even if you never say a single word about Christ, you still can make a difference through prayer and the decisions you make at work.  Be faithful to God, right where He has you.  One day, you’ll heard Him say what Matthew 25:21 says: “The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together! ’”

Look around, who needs an encouraging word?  Who needs some uplifting prayers?  Is anyone really exempt from those questions?  The answer: Everyone needs it.  Start today, pray for someone you work with and you’ll be starting your own ministry, right where you are!

Lord thank you for giving us purpose right where you have us.  Open our eyes to the needs us. Give us insight on how to pray for others. Teach us to meet needs of others around us by the power of the Holy Spirit given to us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

© ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries Inc is a 501(c) (3) Public Charity

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Small yet Strong


Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8 NKJV

Let’s consider an ant’s ways. Ants are always busy. Have you ever seen an ant standing around taking in the sites? Of course you haven’t. Why are they busy? They are preparing, gathering food, building shelter or caring for their dead.

So what can we learn from the ant?

Prepared and Ready

Ants are prepared for anything. They have no fear of what’s to come because they have planned for it. We can learn from this strategy too. We prepare for eternity by giving our life to Jesus Christ. Then we don’t have to fear what comes our way either because we know we are secure in Christ.

The Gatherer

Ants always gather and carry food around. The bring food home to the colony to share. The Bible teaches us in Deuteronomy 8:3 “man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.” So we gather eternal food from the Bible. We share what we’ve learned with others so they might believe and be saved too.

Place of Shelter

Ants build their shelters so there’s always a safe place to go. We don’t build our shelter, for God Himself is our shelter. We rest in knowing He shelters us in the shadow of His wings. How do we get to His shelter? We come to Him in prayer.

Caring for the Dead

Ants take time to go back for their dead. Ever see them carrying the carcasses of their buddies? It seems so caring and responsible for them to bring the dead back to their home. We are asked to care too, by sharing what we know about Jesus with those who don’t know. In this way, those who don’t know might come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior and secure for themselves eternal life.

In summary, the ant is a seemingly small, insignificant creature yet so strong, determined, useful and responsible. What a picture of a Christian!

Are you prepared?

Lord Jesus thank you for giving us the simple picture of an ant to show us what we should be doing. Help us to follow you each day. Enable us to be prepared, to gather, to come to your shelter and to care for the spiritually dead. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. In your name we pray. Amen.

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word. For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

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Water Drops

We are the body. We are all part of one creation called the church. Each one affects the others both in positive and negative ways. Watching water drops fall into a pool of water got me thinking about how it reflects our interaction in the body of Christ.

1. A drop of water by itself is insignificant. One little drop doesn’t last long either, for the sun or wind will cause it to evaporate. We, too, like a drop of water, on our own won’t last long either. We were made for fellowship with other believers. “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:9 NKJV). “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7 NKJV).

2. A drop of water into a larger pool of water causes ripples. It becomes more significant because of the ripple it creates. The ripple represents the growth of a believer when place in the church. As the drop grows, it creates the first ring. Then as it continues to grow, an ever widening ring appears. The drop had to sacrifice it self to become something greater in service to others. It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade” (Mark 4:31-33 NKJV).

3. As multiple drops go into a pool of water, the rings created overlap each other. This reminds me of how we interact and influence other believers along the way. The influence occurs at all growth levels even without our awareness. “but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:15-17 NKJV)

4. Lastly, the little drop of water, the expanding rings finally disappear. This represents the transparency, we believers achieve as we learn to live as Christ. “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27 NKJV). “if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” Ephesians 4:21-24 NKJV).

Lord Jesus, thank you for caring so much for us. Thank you for reminders of your love even in a drop of water reflected in a pool. Enable us to live as you did. Teach us your way. Draw us close to you, as we draw close to you. In your name we pray. Amen.

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word. For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

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