The Quest – Day 38

This is the devotional for Thursday, November 2, 2006 which is the 38th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 38 of Frank Moore’s life-changing book, The Power To Be Free. 

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 38 – Growing in the Spirit of Christ

 

The Spirit of Christ wants to grow a Christlike character in you.

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”   (Colossians 1:9 NIV) 

Character growth doesn’t happen while you sleep or watch television.  God expects you to roll up your sleeves and do your part to exercise, grow and mature.  You and I cannot build a foundation on feeling and emotion.  Growth in wisdom, understanding and good works lead to growth in our knowledge of God as well as growth in Christlike character.

On Days 34 and 35 we reviewed the characteristics of Jesus’ life that offer goals for us to develop Christlike character.  We can’t develop these qualities on our own.  God works in our hearts to create these qualities in us.  God accomplishes decisive, character-building work in us only after we consecrate ourselves totally to Him.  After we offer ourselves as living sacrifices, He fills us with the Spirit of Christ.  We then enter a clear path to a lifetime of growth and development in Christlike character.  So take a moment to review the strategies for growth we mentioned on Day 3

In Ephesians 4 Paul shows us that God’s plan is to enrich our lives personally as well as to enrich the community of faith.  We grow as we minister to one another and the community of faith grows as well.  Christ works like glue holding believers together to form His Body on earth.  The purpose of this plan is to bring us to a common belief, a common Savior, and a common model for our spiritual maturity.  God doesn’t want you to be a spiritual baby, an infant who will never grow out of the “baby stage.”

Right standing with God does not exempt us from the need for further spiritual growth.  We must balance our thinking between satisfaction in what Christ accomplished for us on the Cross and a hunger to press on to a deeper walk with God. 

The memory verse for this week is Colossians 1:27, “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

For more information on both the FaithBuilders podcast and the Faith Church podcast visit www.buildyourfaith.net.  For more information about our church, visit our website at www.jaxnaz.org.  

Build your faith today by pressing on toward maturity.

The Quest – Day 25

This is the devotional for Friday, October 20, 2006 which is the 25th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 25 of Frank Moore’s insightful book, The Power To Be Free.

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 25 – Undivided Loyalty

Heart purity requires an undivided loyalty.

“Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21 NIV)

Carlos studied to be a medical doctor. When an area church found itself between pastors, God used this experience to call Carlos to full-time ministry. Carlos had the potential to earn one of the largest salaries in his country as a medical doctor. Yet he chose to live in a modest home and earn a modest salary as he fulfilled God’s call on his life. His undivided loyalty to Christ affected his entire life.

The verse for today comes from Jesus’ encounter with a rich young man in Matthew 19:16-22. The young man approached Jesus with the pure intention of asking an honest question. In Jesus’ day it was taught that God granted eternal life based on the performance of good deeds. This way of thinking is still around. The young man wanted to know which good deeds would assure eternal life.

Jesus pointed him to the Ten Commandments, but He failed to mention commandment number 10, “Do not covet.” The young man said he had followed these commandments perfectly, or so he thought.

But Jesus called for the young man to be perfect. He called him to deal with his internal problem of coveting by outwardly letting go of the material possessions he loved most. These possessions defined him: others even called him the “rich young man.” Now, Jesus does not condemn owning material possessions or working a job which pays a salary. But He does require us to remove all stumbling blocks that stand between us and fellowship with God and following His will for our lives. That’s why Jesus’ last words to the young man were, “Come, follow me.”

We also must watch for subtle stumbling blocks to our spiritual commitment. These include anything that means more to you than pleasing God completely. Such stumbling blocks will make you weak and ineffective in your commitment to Christ because they divide your commitment. Once you remove them, you clear the path to heart purity.

The memory verse for this week is Matthew 5:8, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

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

If you were unable to attend Sunday’s service, focusing on Discovery 3 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.

Build your faith today by offering God your undivided loyalty.

The Quest is Coming

“The Quest” Kickoff Week

My Dear Friends,

I believe that God has a purpose for our lives. In Philippians 2:13 the Bible tells us that God is at work in our lives “to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Ephesians 2:10 says: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

It is clear that God has a plan and purpose for us. The question with which many of us wrestle is this: How on earth can I live a life of purpose? Good question!

Beginning next Tuesday, September 26th, we will be on our Quest to find the answer to that question. So let’s roll up our sleeves and set our minds to the task. If you begin to get discouraged along the way, just remember what’s at stake here. We are going to discover the power to be free to do the thing God wants us to do! We welcome this 40 Days of Discovery.

Why on earth would you settle for anything less?

The Quest consists of four commitments for spiritual growth:

Attending our weekend services (or if you can’t attend, listening to the podcast)
Daily readings in the book, The Power to Be Free  (our daily e-mail devotional summarizes the daily reading)
Attending weekly small group meetings (contact us for days, times & locations)
Memorizing one quotation from the Bible each week
This Sunday, September 24th is our Kickoff Sunday! Please plan to join us and receive as our free gift the book which will provide our daily devotional material for our 40 Days of Discovery, The Power to Be Free. Our Sunday School classes will be focusing on the Quest for the next 6 weeks, so make Sunday School a priority, or plan to attend one of the Small Groups meeting during the week.


(Our FaithBuilders Blog and Podcast will accompany us on this journey, so if you want to read or review any of the devotionals during the Quest, or download them as podcasts, visit this site. Check out our church website at www.jaxnaz.org. The Faith Church Podcast site will provide audio recordings of the messages from the Quest series.)

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 30

This is the devotional for Monday, May 29, 2006 which is Day 30 of our 40 Days of Purpose. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 30 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 30 – Shaped for Serving God

You were shaped to serve God!

“Your hands shaped me and made me.” Job 10:8 (NIV)

Before God created you, he decided what role he wanted you to play on earth. You are the way you are because you were made for a specific ministry. Not only did God shape you before your birth, he planned every day of your life to support his shaping process. God uses all of it to mold you for your ministry to others and shape you for your service to him. “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

God’s custom combination of capabilities is called your SHAPE:

Spiritual Gifts
Heart
Abilities
Personality
Experience

Spiritual gifts are special God-empowered abilities for serving him that are given only to believers. Have you taken time to discover your gifts? An unopened gift is worthless.

Another word for heart is passion. People rarely excel at tasks they don’t enjoy doing or feel passionate about. God wants you to use your natural interests to serve him and others. Figure out what you love to do – what God gave you a heart to do – and then do it for his glory.

The memory verse for this week is “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others.” 1 Peter 4:10

Thank you for listening to FaithBuilders Podcast at buildyourfaith.net. This podcast is a ministry of Faith Church of the Nazarene in Jacksonville, NC. Visit our website at jaxnaz.org for more information about our church. Build your faith today by serving God from your heart!

40 Days of Purpose – Day 5

This is the devotional for Thursday, May 4, 2006 which is Day 5 of our 40 Days of Purpose. For these 40 days we will be posting daily devotions based on the material in Rick Warren’s best selling book, The Purpose-Driven Life. We invite you to get a copy of the book and read daily one of the 40 chapter of the book along with us. We are scheduled to read Chapter 5 in the book today. Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional.

DAY 5 – SEEING LIFE FROM GOD’S VIEW

The way you see your life shapes your life!

The way you view life is your life metaphor. It’s your description of how life works and what you expect from it; it influences your life more than you realize and determines your expectations, values, relationships, goals, and priorities. But to fulfill the purposes God has for you, you will have to base your view, your life metaphor, on the biblical metaphors of life. These are: Life is a test, and life is a trust.

Life is a test – God continually tests people’s character, faith, obedience, love, integrity, and loyalty. Character is both developed and revealed, and all of life is a test. When you understand that life is a test, you realize that every day is important. God wants you to pass the tests of life, so he never allows the tests to be greater than the grace he gives you to handle them.

Life is a trust – We are to be stewards of whatever God gives us. All we enjoy is to be treated as a trust that God has placed in our hands. If you treat everything as a trust, God promises three rewards in eternity: affirmation, promotion, and celebration. So we must handle the trust as accountable servants of God.

“Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won’t be faithful in large ones.” Luke 16:10a (NLT)

Let’s review our memory verse for this week, Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10