The Quest – Day 39

This is the devotional for Friday, November 3, 2006 which is the 39th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 39 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 39 – Life in the Spirit of Christ

We live life in the Spirit of Christ every day through a thousand daily choices.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2 NIV)

To develop Christlike character we must look to Christ as our example. Then we consecrate ourselves completely to God. Next, we receive His gift of sanctification. Then we move from one growth cycle to another for the rest of our lives.

If you have heard that God quantum-leaps you to Christlike maturity in one moment with one prayer, you have been misled. Yes, our consecration can be accepted and our hearts purified in a moment. But the work of maturity is done in the many choices we make daily.

In our Scripture text for today Paul speaks of God’s incredible freedom that enables you to choose daily the way you think, value, and live. You have the freedom to choose one of two ways of life:

    Two preferences
Life in Christ Jesus, or
Life in the flesh, by which paul means living according to the carnal nature of humanity that prefers self over God

    Two walks
A spiritual walk in step with God’s value system, or
A fleshly walk in step with one’s own value system

    Two laws
The law of the Spirit of life – not a list of dos and don’ts, but the guidance of our deep love for God
The second law is the law of death – the outcome of doing what you please ends in spiritual death.

    Two powers
The power of Christ to forgive and free us from sin, or
The power of the old, condemning law which is powerless to deliver us.

    Two loyalties
Loyalty to the Spirit in which our pleasure is to do His pleasure, or
Loyalty to the flesh in which we become enslaved to our desires, passions and addictions

    Two destinies
Eternal life, or
Eternal death

Each day we have a choice between these two ways of life. You validate your consecration and affirm your sanctification in daily choices as you continue to live out your resolve to make Christ Lord of all!

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 choosing life in the Spirit of Christ.

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The Quest – Day 36

This is the devotional for Tuesday, October 31, 2006 which is the 36th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 36 of Frank Moore’s incredible 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 36 – A Holy and Pleasing Offering

We must offer ourselves to God as living sacrifices.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:1-2 NIV)

Author Frank Moore says that the common experience of saints down through the ages has been an awareness of a remaining hindrance to further spiritual growth. We come to realize that our problem involves wanting the best of both worlds—what God wants and what we want at the same time. But we know we cannot have it both ways.

Once we pinpoint the self-centeredness that is the heart of the problem, we realize it must be replaced with Christ-centeredness. We confess our need to God and surrender ourselves completely to His will. We sacrifice ourselves for God’s purposes and then trust God to change us. The Spirit entered our lives when we accepted Christ; now we are inviting Him to take charge of our control center.

Today’s Scripture lesson reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice. He willingly gave Himself to be nailed to the Cross. We too, should willingly offer our entire beings back to God as a living sacrifice. When we do this, something miraculous happens. Our values are changed from the world’s values; God radically transforms our lives. We receive the “mind of Christ” that the Apostle Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 2:16. We say to God, “Whatever You ask, I’m willing to do. I’m just a glove for Your hand to fill.”

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.”

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

To hear the message for Discovery 5 of the Quest, which reveals that “You can develop Christlike character,” or if you’d like to hear previous messages in The Quest series, please sign up for our Faith Church podcast. You will find the link at www.buildyourfaith.net.

Build your faith today by offering yourself as a living sacrifice to God.

The Quest – Day 24

This is the devotional for Thursday, October 19, 2006 which is the 24th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 24 of Frank Moore’s very helpful 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 24 – Declare Yourself DOA

You must declare your self-centered nature DOA when you come to God for His help.

“Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 6:11 NIV)

Yesterday we studied David’s prayer for a clean heart. It’s easy for us to see why David needed God’s forgiveness; he broke up a home and murdered a man! You may be thinking, Well, I’ve never done anything that bad. That’s probably true. But you’re not off the hook!

We find ways to make excuses for ourselves. We want to “rate” sin. Premeditated murder ranks higher on the scale than cheating on income taxes. But God does not use our scale. Sin breaks God’s law, and it breaks God’s heart. Everyone, including believers, must guard against rationalizing sin or explaining it away.

David asked God to do two things: forgive him of his sins and cleanse him from the thing that pushed him to sin in the first place. He prayed in Psalm 51:12, “Grant me a willing spirit.” He needed something changed in his nature. He needed God to change his “want to.”

What is the nature that David needed changed? Paul, in Romans 6:11-14, said that our sinful nature becomes the source of evil desires and tries to entice us to use our bodies as “instruments of wickedness” (v. 13). This nature wants to put self first and to center the universe around personal motivations. It manifests itself in self-will, self-love, self-trust, and self-exaltation. It is self-centered, self-assertive, self-conceited, self-indulgent, self-seeking, self-conscious, self-righteous, self-glorifying, and self-proclaiming, to name just a few.

The result of this pattern is damaged and destroyed relationships, dissension and tension, loneliness and lack of fulfillment. It leaves a wake of evil and corruption.

No quest for purity is complete without dealing with the sin buried deep within us. You must declare your self-centered sinful nature DOA (dead on arrival) when you bring this problem to God and ask for His help. If you’ve encountered this problem but have not dealt decisively with it, you are a perfect candidate for Discovery 3. You can experience purity for the life you’ve longed for.

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 crucify your sin nature and then trusting Him to do it!

The Quest – Day 7

This is the devotional for Monday, October 2, 2006 which is the 7th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 7 of Frank Moore’s awesome book, The Power To Be Free.

If you were unable to attend Sunday’s Kickoff service for the Quest, we’d love you have you participate via our Faith Nazarene Church podcast.

Day 7 – What’s in a Name?

The Spirit is really the Spirit of Christ.

I will come to you.” (John 14:18 NIV)

A name communicates volumes. Sometimes you think you’re dealing with a total stranger on the phone. You hear her name, then suddenly realize you live down the street from her or go to church with her.

Our Day 5 devotional ended with Jesus’ fulfillment of a promise He made to His disciples on the Mount of Olives before returning to His Father. When we hear Jesus tell us about the Spirit who filled the disciples at Pentecost, we assume Jesus is talking about someone completely different from himself. But is He?

Who is the Spirit? Think again of the verse we read at the beginning of this devotional. Jesus said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” Romans 8: 10 tells us, “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you…your body is alive because of righteousness.” Paul references the Spirit and then calls Him the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ. Then, Paul said those who have the Spirit living in their lives have Christ living within them.

In Acts 16:6-7, Paul received instruction from the “Spirit of Jesus” about the direction to take his travels. Verse 6 refers to the Spirit directing Paul; verse 7 names Him the Spirit of Jesus. In Philippians 1:19 Paul acknowledges the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

So when we hear about the Spirit’s work at Pentecost in Acts 2, we’re not meeting someone new. We’re reconnecting in a new way with our Savior Jesus Christ.

So, what’s in a name? Everything you know about Christ, everything you feel deep in your heart for Christ can be transferred to your understanding of the Spirit. Jesus did not go back to the Father and pass you off to one of His angels for spiritual direction, strength, purity, power and everything else you need to live the Christian life. He Himself is in your heart in a profoundly new way. What could be better than having Jesus Christ as a permanent heart guest?

The memory verse for this week is John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

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 remembering, the Holy Spirit is really the Spirit of Jesus.

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 25

This is the devotional for Wednesday, May 24, 2006 which is Day 25 of our 40 Days of Purpose. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 25 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 25 – Transformed by Trouble

God has a purpose behind every problem!

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV)

He uses circumstances to develop our character. In fact, he depends more on circumstances to make us like Jesus than he depends on our reading the Bible. The reason is obvious: You face circumstances twenty-four hours a day.

Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days—when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you’re out of options, when the pain is great—and you turn to God alone.

Everything that happens to you has spiritual significance. Everything! Romans 8:28-29 (NLT) explains why: “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son.”

You see, every problem is a character-building opportunity, and the more difficult it is, the greater the potential for building spiritual muscle and moral fiber. Paul said, “We know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character.” Romans 5:3-4 (NCV)

What happens outwardly in your life is not as important as what happens inside you. Your circumstances are temporary, but your character will last forever.

Visit the FaithBuilders Blog/Podcast at buildyourfaith.net to subscribe to this devotional as a podcast or to read previous editions. This podcast is a ministry of Faith Church of the Nazarene in Jacksonville, NC. Visit http://www.jaxnaz.org for more information about our church. Build your faith today by letting God build your character in every circumstance!

40 Days of Purpose – Day 10

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

This is the devotional for Tuesday, May 9, 2006 which is Day 10 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 chapter 10 with us today.

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

Day 10 – The Heart of Worship

The heart of worship is surrender!

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?” Romans 12:1 (NLT)

In today’s competitive culture we are taught to never give up and never give in—so we don’t hear very much about surrendering. If winning is everything, surrendering is unthinkable. We would rather talk about winning, succeeding, overcoming, and conquering than yielding, submitting, obeying, and surrendering. But surrendering to God is the heart of worship.

As Joshua approached the biggest battle of his life, he encountered God, fell in worship before him, and surrendered his own plans. That surrender led to a stunning victory at Jericho with God’s plans. This is the paradox: Victory comes through surrender.

Nothing is more powerful than a surrendered life in the hands of God. “So,” as Paul says, “give yourselves completely to God.”