Saturday, August 8, 2020

The Time is NOW, not LATER

Then another of His disciples said to Him, 
“Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”

Matthew 8:21

Often our struggle as Christians is not in deciding whether we should obey Christ but in obeying immediately. We may acknowledge our need to follow Christ and commit ourselves to do what He has told us. Yet when God reveals His will to us, that is the time to obey! God's revelation of His will is His invitation to respond immediately.

Some would-be disciples pledged their willingness to follow Jesus, but they told Him they were not ready yet. In Jesus’ day, a Jewish man was expected to care for his elderly parents until they died. One man wanted to wait until his father died before going with Jesus. This would be an honorable delay. The man had to choose between this important responsibility and heeding a call from the Lord. Yet God knew this man, and He knew the man's father. God would have taken care of the man's father, if he only would have followed Jesus. This was an opportunity to walk with the Son of God, yet the concerns of this life were competing for priority with obedience to God.
Timing our obedience is crucial. Invitations from God come with a limited opportunity to respond. Some opportunities to serve Him, if not accepted immediately, will be lost. Occasions to minister to others may pass us by. When God invites us to intercede for someone, it may be critical that we stop what we are doing and immediately adjust our lives to what God is doing. Missing opportunities to serve the Lord can be tragic. When an invitation comes from God, the time to respond is now. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

More often when opportunity knocks, we're not paying attention. We are so busy with the cares of this life that when God is speaking we can't hear Him.

It was interesting hearing a bit of the history of Dimas in recent weeks.  What was interesting was he wasn't and isn't alone in his seemingly falling away from walking with Jesus.  We read here from Blackaby on his take of someone who was that way from the beginning.  An offer to be taught by Jesus Christ Himself and the man was more concerned about the things that might not get done concerning his parents.  It's interesting to note that little bit of extra information. Jesus saw everything before the man answered. Saw his parents, saw everything about him and them and all the opportunities and pitfalls that lay ahead for them.  

This past several weeks there have been opportunities in various places and times for me.  I guarantee there were for you as well.  When the Spirit of God is with you, there are always possibilities for use in the work of God. 

The question comes early in this devotional.  Are you paying attention or are you more concerned about political issues or the other major things of this world?

We are on the clock 24/7 when the Spirit calls, we answer.  Even if it's during the night, if He wakes you, ask what you are needed for.  It may be your immediate prayers are the tipping point of someone coming into the family of God.  It may be your Savior needs you to remember something or someone.  

Nobody comes to Christ and isn't useful to Him.  Nobody. Paul taught in Corinthians on the parts of the body.  He also, in a roundabout way taught on cancer in the body.  A cancer cell is a normal cell gone rogue.  Doing its own thing in defiance to the will of the body.  

This is going to hurt. 

Is your mouth declaring the things of God or is it mostly complaining about life? Is it being used for prayer and lifting people up before Jesus or are you going on about yourself?

What ARE you doing for Christ?

The time for obedience isn't later.  We see the enemy raging, give him him something to rage about.  Be in prayer, living in obedience to what you were called to do.

Honestly if your mouth is being used to spew foul language and is also being used to praise God, YOU are not living in obedience.  Don't go on about it being a bad habit.  All habits can be broken at the Cross. You must choose who is on the Throne of your heart. 

What opportunity is awaiting you today?

Are you even listening for the Shepherd's voice?  Jesus said His sheep know His voice and come when called. 

When He calls, what are you going to do?

He saved us, not just to save us. 
He saved us, to help save others. 

The time to obey is when the Spirit says He needs you. Be ready for your call. Be ready and do not grumble.  

Do not get wrapped up in the cares of this life.  We are visiting. This world is not our home.  If your name is written in the book of Life, Heaven is your address, not anywhere else on Earth.  

There isn't anyone who comes to Christ and is useless.  There are no people who will be skaters in this life.  Just enjoying it after coming to Christ with no responsibility to serve.  Every part of the body of Christ has a use. Every part is meant to do something for the head, Christ Jesus.

Now, what are you doing?
Are you disregarding your call or are you going to answer it?

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