The Quest – Day 27

This is the devotional for Sunday, October 22, 2006 which is the 27th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 27 of Frank Moore’s insightful book, The Power To Be Free.

Today begins our emphasis on Discovery 4: You can receive power.

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Visit http://www.buildyourfaith.net to read the previous days’ devotionals or to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

Day 27 – Where Do I Look

Power for living comes from our relationship with the Spirit of Christ

“When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, ‘Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:18-19 NIV)

Jerry wanted to surprise Angela, his teenager, with a brand-new, bright red sports car. He asked author Frank Moore to drive it from the dealership to his home. As Frank reached the freeway, he punched the accelerator. Guess what? Nothing happened! He couldn’t wait to tell Jerry that some factory worker had placed a lawn mower motor under the hood! Jerry said, “Yes, I know. I didn’t want my daughter to be tempted with too much power, so I ordered the smallest engine the factory makes!” Something’s wrong with that picture!

Many believers suffer from the same power-shortage disappointment. We know we need power to live the Christian life. Yet, our daily performance does not always match our expectations for this power. So, the quest continues.

The Bible indicates that God demonstrates His power through believers. God worked through Philip so powerfully in Samaria that Simon, a local magician, made the mistake of thinking that he could purchase a local franchise for God’s power.

When believers experience a power-shortage they are tempted to think that God only offers His power to special people or at special times. Or they may decide, like Simon, that God has a secret formula for unlocking His power which they must discover or purchase. Please don’t be lured by false advertising that offers you spiritual power through gimmicks, purchases, or mail-in offers.

God’s power displayed in believers is not a commodity to be purchased. Peter said that a relationship with God is necessary to display God’s power. So, just as children should care about traveling parents more than the gifts they bring when they return, seek the Giver of the gift, not just the gift.

Maybe it’s really not a “where” question at all. Maybe the question is “To whom do I look for spiritual power?”

The memory verse for this week is Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Thank you for listening to FaithBuilders podcast at www.buildyourfaith.net. For more information about our church, visit our website at www.jaxnaz.org.

We invite you to attend today’s service focusing on Discovery 4 of The Quest. If you are unable to attend today’s service due to illness or travel or if you’d like to review the message, or hear previous messages in The Quest series, please sign up for our Faith Nazarene Church podcast. You will find the link at www.buildyourfaith.net.

Build your faith today by seeking the Giver, not just the gift.

The Quest – Day 17

This is the devotional for Thursday, October 12, 2006 which is the 17th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 17 of Frank Moore’s great book, The Power To Be Free.

If you were unable to attend Sunday’s service, focusing on Discovery 2 of the Quest, or if you’d like to hear previous messages in The Quest series, please sign up for our Faith Nazarene Church podcast. You will find the link at www.buildyourfaith.net

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Visit http://www.buildyourfaith.net to read the previous days’ devotionals or to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

Day 17 – A Golden Rule

Apply the Golden Rule to everything you say and do every day with everyone

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 NIV)

We call this verse the Golden Rule for a couple of reasons. First, like valuable gold, Jesus placed it at the top of the list of most important things He said during His earthly ministry. Second, following this rule results in the best kind of life we can live. Let’s look closer at what Jesus says here.

Jewish tradition as well as world religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism, all urge us to: “Do no harm to others.” But Jesus reverses that thought into a positive command. Treat others with the same acts of kindness and goodwill that you would enjoy receiving. In other words, pursue joy and happiness for others. Think of the kind of party you would like to have, then plan that kind of party for someone else. Think of a really nice gift, then buy that kind of gift for a friend. Include those who frustrate and aggravate you on your list of possible recipients. Don’t forget to put your enemies on that list as well.

Jesus not only gave us an example for following the Golden Rule but also gave us the inspiration to follow it. He called us to a life that leads to peace and harmony in our relationships with others. He called us to a life of wholeness with this rule.

Jesus further gave us the strength and power to follow this Golden Rule. This love for which we quest does not find its source in us. It flows from God Himself. That’s why we must continually remind ourselves that it’s not ours to produce; it’s ours to receive. We must accept this gift of love from God and then pass it along in the same measure in which we have received it. So we find that living out the Golden Rule is impossible without a close personal relationship with God through the Spirit of Christ living in you.

It’s interesting, isn’t it, how your quest keeps bringing you back to the need of a close personal relationship with God?

The memory verse for this week is Mark 12:30-31, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

Thank you for listening to FaithBuilders podcasts at buildyourfaith.net. For more information about our church, visit our website at www.jaxnaz.org.

Build your faith today and every day by applying the Golden Rule to everything you say and do with everyone.

Helping Hands

Welcome to Faith Builders. This is Pastor Bill Crane. (Here is the link to the podcast file.)

Before moving to Jacksonville, I lived in a community near Charleston, South Carolina. It seems that many of the Pastors in the area had been overwhelmed by a large number of folks coming to them to ask for food. The area ministerial association began to pray about how to help. As a result a food pantry was started to assist people in crisis situations. The churches all collected donations of food which were given to the food pantry. Volunteers from the churches manned the food pantry. A schedule was established for food distribution. Contact was made with food banks in the greater Charleston area. They began to receive donations of food from grocery chains, restaurants, and area charities. The community rallied behind the organization and offered their help also. Then when anyone approached a church with a need for food, they were referred to the food pantry, which was named, “Helping Hands.”

This reminds me of something Jesus did. In the Bible, in the Gospel of John, chapter 6, Jesus is confronted with what appears to be an overwhelming need. There was a crowd of people who had followed Him, who were hungry, but had no food. Just the men in the crowd numbered 5000, so if their wives and children were present, the total number could have easily been over 15,000!

Well, Jesus simply asked Philip, one of his disciples, to feed the crowd. Philip was overwhelmed! He remarked that it would take more than eight months’ wages just to buy an appetizer for everyone! Andrew checked to see if he could find any food, but all he found was the lunch bag of a small boy. There was no way, humanly speaking, to feed the crowd with that pitifully small meal.

But Jesus wasn’t intimidated. He gave thanks for the meal and began passing out the pieces He broke off. God performed a miracle and provided enough food for the whole crowd, so much in fact that there were leftovers…twelve baskets full of leftovers!

Do you see overwhelming needs around you? I certainly do! Aren’t you glad that Jesus isn’t intimidated by them? I certainly am! Let’s decide today to offer Christ the little we have so that He can bless it, give it away, and minister to thousands!

Thank you for listening to FaithBuilders Podcast! For more information about our church, visit us online at jaxnaz.org. Thank you for visiting BuildYourFaith.net! Have a great day and let God use what you have to bless others!

40 Days of Purpose – Day 18

Welcome to FaithBuilders Podcast at buildyourfaith.net. This is Pastor Bill Crane.

This is the devotional for Wednesday, May 17, 2006 which is Day 18 of our 40 Days of Purpose. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 18 of Rick Warren’s best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life.

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Visit http://www.buildyourfaith.net to read the previous days’ devotionals or to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

Day 18 – Experiencing Life Together

Life is meant to be shared!

“Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace. Colossians 3:15 (CEV)

God intends for us to experience life together. The Bible calls this shared experience fellowship. “Fellowship” now usually refers to casual conversation, socializing, food, and fun. The question, “Where do you fellowship?” means “Where do you attend church?” “Stay after for fellowship” usually means “Wait for refreshments.”

Real fellowship is so much more than just showing up at services. It is experiencing life together. It includes unselfish loving, honest sharing, practical serving, sacrificial giving, sympathetic comforting, and all the other “one another” commands found in the New Testament.

The Body of Christ, like your own body, is really a collection of many small cells. The life of the Body of Christ, like your body, is contained in the cells. For this reason, every Christian needs to be involved in a small group within their church, whether is it a home fellowship group, a Sunday school class, or a Bible study.

The Bible says, “If we live in the light, as God is in the light, we can share fellowship with each other.” 1 John 1:7 (NCV)

The world thinks intimacy occurs in the dark, but God says it happens in the light. Darkness is used to hide our hurts, faults, fears, failures, and flaws. But in the light, we bring them all out into the open and admit who we really are. You were created for community.

Thank you for listening to FaithBuilders Podcast at buildyourfaith.net. It is a ministry of Faith Church of the Nazarene in Jacksonville, NC. For more information about Faith Church visit us at jaxnaz.org. Build your faith today by sharing life with other believers. If you don’t have a church home, we welcome you to join us!

Memory Verse for the week: “So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:5