The Quest – Day 28

This is the devotional for Monday, October 23, 2006 which is the 28th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 28 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 28 – It’s In The Bank

God has provided all you need for victorious Christian living.

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV)

One of Professor Frank Moore’s students requested prayer for her brother who had moved out of the family’s expensive home and was sleeping on city streets and eating from garbage cans. The young man’s father had placed a large sum of money in a bank on the street where his son slept. He gave his son a checkbook with the words, “If you ever need money, all you have to do is walk into the bank and write a check.”

From what Paul says in our Bible text for today, God has done for us something like what this father did for his son. God prompts a longing in our hearts to find power for our lives and then provides a way for us to access that power. This power comes through the indwelling presence of the Spirit of Christ.

When Paul speaks of our inner being, he is thinking of the place of our personality, our spirituality, of the seat of our praise, worship and gratitude, the source of our willpower, emotions, attitudes and conscience. The Spirit of Christ must flavor everything that springs from our inner being.

How do we get this power for the life we long for? Paul says it comes by our faith in God and His indwelling love. Only God’s love working within us gives us the solid foundation we need to complete our spiritual journey with victory. This power is not just for a select few; it is for all of God’s saints—including you! God and His love can dwell completely in you, a love that you can understand in your heart, but cannot adequately put into words. This power fills us with God Himself!

God’s power comes your way though relationship with the Spirit of Christ. Seek Him rather than power as the focus of your quest. God’s power comes as a by-product of your relationship with Him.

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.

If you were unable to attend Sunday’s service, focusing on Discovery 4 of the Quest, “You can receive power,” 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 receiving the Spirit of Christ and His indwelling love by faith.

The Quest – Day 26

This is the devotional for Saturday, October 21, 2006 which is the 26th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 26 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 26 – Heart Pure

You can be heart pure with a single-minded heart toward God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8 NIV)

Author Frank Moore says that he hates the bait and switch. He has seen a product advertised in the newspaper, but the sales clerk politely informs him that the item is currently out of stock. But he tells him they have a much better product that costs only $50 more.

The bait and switch sometimes occurs in our quest for purity. We read the Bible and talk with Christian friends about God’s provision for our spiritual development and maturity, so we pursue it. Then somehow during the process we find we’ve been switched to performance-based approval.

Now, don’t misunderstand. Becoming a Christian always leads naturally into a new lifestyle that flows from becoming a new creature in Christ. It becomes a problem, however, if we attempt to reduce our Christian lifestyle into a codified checklist of duties.

Purity of heart is singleness of purpose for God’s will and way. More than anything, the person with a pure heart wants to find and do God’s will. So does single-mindedness classify a believer as pure in heart? If you’re talking perfect performance, the answer is no. Maturity and growth bring that. If you’re talking about perfect motive or desire to please God, the answer is yes.

When a small child gets her dad a glass of ice water while he’s working it is an act of pure love. So the dad forgives the muddy water from his child’s unwashed hands because the glass was full of love! Is your action always flawless? No. Can the desire of your heart be pure and clean? Yes!

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 loving God out of a pure heart.

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 – Day 23

This is the devotional for Wednesday, October 18, 2006 which is the 23rd day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 23 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 23 – Heart Cleansing for Purity

Purity requires God to cleanse our hearts.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10 NIV)

Yesterday, our quest highlighted the purity illustrated in Isaiah’s life. But we must not assume that purity can be ours simply by deciding that we will pursue it. We need much more than focused willpower.

Take a moment to read Psalm 51:1-12 in preparation for today’s study. The first part of the passage reveals our need for God’s forgiveness. Then verse 5 calls attention to the fact that our hearts need cleansing too. From infancy we prefer our own interests, even if they go against God’s will for our lives. In verse 6 David says, “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” The problem of sin is solved only at its source where the desire to sin begins. David calls for a divine washing of his inner nature. He seeks a transformation to change him from the inside out.

Here lies the heart of the matter. God’s forgiveness of our sins is essential, but forgiveness is never enough. David prays for God to deal decisively with his sinful nature. This prayer for purity asks God for three things: (1) a clean heart, (2) a right spirit, (3) a sense of God’s Spirit living within him.

As in David’s time, people still come into this world with a desire to please themselves. They use free will to choose their own ways, and they wake up one day deeper in sin than they realized was possible. Yes, more than anything they need forgiveness for their acts of sinning. Once forgiven, they also need God to cleanse their hearts of the desire to sin or serve self.

The good news is: God can help us; He provides two cleansings!

 

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 asking God to cleanse your heart!

The Quest – Day 20

This is the devotional for Sunday, October 15, 2006 which is the 20th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 20 of Frank Moore’s great book, The Power To Be Free.

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. We will post the recording of the service by this evening.

Visit our archives to read the previous days’ devotionals. Check out the links to the right to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

Day 20 – Not Another Lecture

God’s call to purity is not another guilt ball for you to catch. It’s a call to obey God’s truth.

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” (1 Peter 1:22 NIV)

Have you ever known teens who go deaf when Mom tells them to clean their rooms? Some folks quickly develop that same kind of deafness when God calls us to a life of purity. As Christians we know that purity is a Christian virtue, and that as followers of Jesus Christ we feel drawn to a quest for purity. But we don’t always have a biblical understanding of it. We can be so influenced by our culture that the biblical understanding of purity loses its strength.

Our society has many ways of urging us to lower our expectations of purity in our world:

· “Nobody’s perfect”

· “You should expect me to get angry. I have red hair.”

· “Kids will be kids.”

· “Men have a weakness for that, you know.”

· “He can’t help himself; he comes from a dysfunctional family.”

· “What do you expect? Her mother is an alcoholic.”

· “So I call in sick when I’m not. I work hard most of the time.”

· “Everybody fudges on the truth once in a while.”

· “It can’t be that bad; everybody does it.”

But all the excuses in the world don’t keep our hearts from longing and searching for purity. Our hearts tell us God has something more than the world wants us to believe we should expect, especially when we’ve been personally hurt by the impurity of others.

As you explore the Scriptures this week, keep your ears open to new insights God wants you to hear into the biblical definition of purity. Its meaning may be far richer than you imagine. Notice, too, that God believes we can live a life of purity in this sin-soaked world. Also, as you read and think this week, get in touch with the inner desire for purity God has placed within you. Enter this week’s quest with a new enthusiasm to discover God’s dream of purity for His children.

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 podcasts. For more information about our church, visit our website at www.jaxnaz.org.

Build your faith today by realizing you can experience purity.


The Quest – Day 15

This is the devotional for Tuesday, October 10, 2006 which is the 15th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 15 of Frank Moore’s challenging 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 15 – The Great Command

Love God, love others.  That’s it.

 
“The most important one is,…‘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..” (Mark 12:30-31 NIV)

We live in a give-it-to-me-quick world.  That’s the mindset that also prompted one of the teachers of the Law to ask Jesus to cut to the chase when it came to the thousands of Jewish laws and interpretations.  Jesus replied with a twofold response:  love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and your neighbor as yourself.  The first command summarizes the first four of the Ten Commandments; the second summarizes the last six.

Love for God must always come first; love for others will naturally flow from it.  We do not obey God’s laws out of slavish obligation but with a child’s heart of love.  Sin does not break God’s laws as much as it breaks His heart.

On another occasion, Jesus summarized the Law by saying, “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).  We call this the Golden Rule.  We must always keep the biblical principle of love for God and others at the center of our thinking as we proceed on our Quest to discover the life we’ve longed for.

Jesus calls us to make sure that we mark everything in our lives with love.  We can easily be kind to those who are nice to us; we’re not as easily disposed to have that same regard for those who mistreat us.  But Jesus gave us that revolutionary charge.  Our love responses for God and others create one of the most important characteristics of our Christian faith.

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.  For more information about our church, visit our website at www.jaxnaz.org. 

Build your faith today by loving God and loving others.


40 Days of Purpose – Day 39

This is the devotional for Wednesday, June 7, 2006 which is the 39th day of our 40 Days of Purpose. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 39 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 39 – Balancing Your life

Blessed are the balanced; they shall outlast everyone!

“Don’t let the errors of evil people lead you down the wrong path and make you lose your balance.” 2 Peter 3:17 (CEV)

One of the events in the summer Olympics is the pentathlon. It is composed of five events. The pentathlete’s goal is to succeed in all five areas, not just one or two. Your life is a pentathlon of five purposes, which you must keep in balance. These purposes were practiced by the first Christians in Acts 2, explained by Paul in Ephesians 4, and modeled by Jesus in John 17, but they are summarized in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission of Jesus.

These two statements sum up God’s five purposes for your life:

1. “Love God with all your heart”: You were planned for God’s pleasure, so your purpose is to love God through worship.

2. “Love your neighbor as yourself”: You were shaped for serving, so your purpose is to show love for others through ministry.

3. “Go and make disciples”: You were made for a mission, so your purpose is to share God’s message through evangelism.

4. “baptize them into …”: You were formed for God’s family, so your purpose is to identify with his church through fellowship.

5. “teach them to do all things …”: You were created to become like Christ, so your purpose is to grow to maturity through discipleship.

A great commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will make you a great Christian.

The memory verse for this week is Colossians 4:5 (NIV), “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”

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 choosing to become a world-class Christian!

40 Days of Purpose – Day 38

This is the devotional for Tuesday, June 6, 2006 which is the 38th day of our 40 Days of Purpose. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 38 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 38 – Becoming a World-Class Christian

The Great Commission is your commission!

“Jesus said to his followers, ‘Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone.’” Mark 16:15 (NCV)

You have a choice to make. You will be either a world-class Christian or a worldly Christian.

Worldly Christians look to God primarily for personal fulfillment. They are saved, but self-centered. They love to attend concerts and enrichment seminars, but you would never find them at a missions conference because they aren’t interested. Their prayers focus on their own needs, blessings, and happiness. They want to use God for their purposes instead of being used for his purposes.

In contrast, world-class Christians know they were saved to serve and made for a mission. They are eager to receive a personal assignment and excited about the privilege of being used by God. World-class Christians are the only fully alive people on the planet. Their joy, confidence, and enthusiasm are contagious because they know they’re making a difference. They wake up each morning expecting God to work through them in fresh ways.

Which type of Christian do you want to be? If you want to be like Jesus, you must have a heart for the whole world. You can’t be satisfied with just your family and friends coming to Christ. There are over 6 billion people on earth, and Jesus wants all his lost children found.

The Great Commission is your commission, and doing your part is the secret to living a life of significance.

The memory verse for this week is Colossians 4:5 (NIV), “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”

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 choosing to become a world-class Christian!

40 Days of Purpose – Day 32

Welcome to FaithBuilders Podcast at buildyourfaith.net. This is Pastor Bill Crane.
This is the devotional for Wednesday, May 31, 2006 which is the 32nd day of our 40 Days of Purpose. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 32 of Rick Warren’s best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life.

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Scroll down to read the previous days’ devotionals. Click on the link to the right to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

DAY 32 – USING WHAT GOD GAVE YOU

God deserves your best!

“Since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be.” Romans 12:5 (MSG)

He shaped you for a purpose, and he expects you to make the most of what you have been given. Don’t let another day go by. Start finding out and clarifying what God intends for you to be and do.

BEGIN BY ASSESSING YOUR GIFTS AND ABILITIES. The best way to discover your gifts and abilities is to experiment with different areas of service. Until you’re actually involved in serving, you’re not going to know what you’re good at.

CONSIDER YOUR HEART AND YOUR PERSONALITY. This is simple – Paul advised, “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.” Galatians 6:4b (Msg)

EXAMINE YOUR EXPERIENCES AND EXTRACT THE LESSONS YOU HAVE LEARNED. Review your life and think about how it has shaped you. Moses told the Israelites, “Remember today what you have learned about the Lord through your experiences with him.” Deuteronomy 11:2 (TEV)

Forgotten experiences are worthless; that’s a good reason to keep a spiritual journal. In heaven we are going to serve God forever. Right now, we can prepare for that eternal service by practicing on earth. Like athletes preparing for the Olympics, we keep training for that big day: “They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.” 1 Corinthians 9:25 (Msg)

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 by making use of what God has given you!

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!