Devotional: ‘Our Influence Upon Others’

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Are you an influential person? Probably, most of us would not consider ourselves to be so. However, it may be that more people are watching us than we realize. Consider this example from the book of Acts.

Acts 16:11 We sailed from Troas straight to Samothrace, and the following day on to Neapolis. 12 From there we went to the Roman colony of Philippi, the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there for several days. 13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate along the river, where it was customary to find a place of prayer. After sitting down, we spoke to the women who had gathered there. 14 Among those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. 

It was a marvelous thing that Lydia received the Lord. But notice again what it says in verse 15. “And when she and her household had been baptized…” Not only did Lydia become a Christian, but so did her entire household. It is unclear whether ‘household’ refers to her family or her servants. It is possible that it could have been either or maybe even both!

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Devotional: ‘How Does Walking by Faith Affect the Way We Live?’

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The Bible says, “without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6)Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:7that we must “walk by faith and not by sight.” Consider how Paul’s faith in God affected the way he lived.

2 Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, although we know that while we are at home in the body, we are away from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, then, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we aspire to please Him, whether we are here in this body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive his due for the things done in the body, whether good or bad.

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Devotional: ‘Finishing Well’

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This week we have been focusing on how to live our lives in a way that will bring God glory. I close our study with this word of testimony from the Apostle Paul.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

As many of you know, 2ndTimothy was the last letter Paul ever wrote. Sometime shortly after writing it, he was executed. What can we learn from Paul’s final testimony?

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Devotional: ‘Build a Life That Will Last’   

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By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one must be careful how he builds. For no one can lay a foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, his workmanship will be evident, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will prove the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as if through the flames. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)

Paul uses the analogy of building a house to help illustrate the importance of living a life that will bring God glory and praise. Let’s consider what he teaches us about building our spiritual house.

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Devotional: ‘Let Us Make the Most of Our Opportunities’

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This week we have been focusing on the importance of living a life that will please God. The Bible tells us that when God created man, He said, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:28) Much of this fruitfulness pertains to our responsibility to raise godly children. (see Malachi 2:15) But it also refers to our ability to be productive in every aspect of life. We are to take the resources God provides for us and use them for His glory.

Realizing our responsibility to be productive should cause us to be careful in how we live. Consider this word instruction from the book of Psalms: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) 

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Devotional: ‘We Have Been Created to Be Productive’

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Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”  

Down through the years, I have thought a lot about what it means to be ‘created in God’s image.’ We know that it doesn’t mean that we physically resemble God. The Bible says that God is a spirit. (see John 4:24) The Bible also tells us that God is invisible. (see Colossians 1:15) Therefore, to say that we bear God’s image can’t mean that we look like Him. What then does it mean?

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