Monday, March 25, 2024

Being Deliberate

Being Deliberate 
by David Brenneman 

‭‭"Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you." 1 Timothy 4:14-16.
"Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all." This passage is such a motivation to me. Not that many people have outright said it to me, their facial expressions and demeanor conveyed it that I take life too seriously in my walk with Jesus. 

As one put it: "I don't know, He took going to the cross to die for the likes of me as pretty serious the least I can do is live for Him".

My Dear Reader...being found by Him doing what He's called me to be doing...isn't that the real reason for being here today rather than dying immediately after coming to Christ for salvation?

You who have come to Christ for salvation...are you living like that life altering event ever happened?

It was supposed to be just that: life altering. 

Reading between the lines in Paul's letter to Timothy you can see that there were some who looked down on him because of his age.

Age has nothing to do with limiting the power of God to save lives. 

We, as in everyone in the human race who has indeed come to Christ for salvation, has done nothing to save anyone. The Spirit does the work. We are the vessel that's used for Godly purposes to that end. We point people to Jesus and Jesus does the rest.

It doesn't matter our background, our upbringing, our age, our mental condition. God seeks a willing heart that's set on obedience to God's Word to work in the world. 

People often wonder when Jesus will return. All Believer's have a hand in that day coming by way of their lives being lived in a right way in God's eyes. When Believer's are silent and do not live lives as God's Word has said, they delay the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. When those calling themselves Christians aren't a praying people...the world does get worse.  

When the last person, prior to the return of Jesus Christ, is saved...then and only then...will Jesus return. Unless those called by His Name live out the Christian life as Timothy was exhorted to do its going to be a while. 

Jesus said what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? What will he give in exchange for his soul?  

What is it going to gain you to get everything you want out of life if by doing so others go to Hell?  

What will it gain you if your blessings could free a brother or sister in Christ to be a blessing to others if you don't do your best to help them? That blessing you sit upon...don't you think that if God bestowed that upon you once that He couldn't do it again?  

Dr. Stanley taught a sermon on giving up something precious to him. His camera collection. Indeed that was something he valued very much. It indeed was a great blessing in his life and he came to the painful awareness that the Spirit was leading him to sell it to help with something God was doing. He anguished over it. But did it. God had used this as a teaching moment for Dr. Stanley who said as much. In turn for his obedience he actually received his collection back again. Now this may or may not be your own personal experience in obedience but you're never going to know until you let go and obey Him. 

In my personal computer ministry...I charge nothing. I do it unto the Lord Jesus. If He chooses to bless me monetarily then He does. If not, I move on. I don't dwell on it. If I have something that can be a blessing to others, be it my time or something that I can do or give, I try to listen to the Spirit and obey. 

People may think me crazy for doing that but I don't live to make sense to people. I live to try to be who I am meant to be in Christ Jesus.  

All who are in Christ have a spiritual gift that's to be used for the glory of God. The parable of the talents points out that its imperative to be using what we were entrusted with. 

Don't expect the world to understand your obedience to God's Word. It's not going to. Sometimes, don't expect those claiming to be Christians to understand you either.  

As Jesus told Peter...what's that to you? YOU follow Me!

In Christ we are to live, move, and have our being. Expect resistance to that from within yourself by your own sin nature. Expect many around you to not get it. Expect the world to fight against you. The world is on the highway to Hell. Jesus said that the road is narrow that leads to life and there are few who find it.  

Are you absorbed in living life for yourself or for your Savior? Are you more concerned with keeping your blessings or seeing just what more God can do through you to help others and watch that blessing multiply? Are you wondering why you aren't being blessed?  

Grace and mercy are integral to blessings. Those we deserve and those we are not going to see. Our obedience to Jesus Christ and His will for our lives has every single thing to do with blessings. Likewise our obedience has every single thing to do with our being effective in serving our Savior. Our obedience has every single thing to do with truly growing in Christ. 

Are you living deliberately in your life for your Savior your Lord Jesus Christ or are you living for you? 

All NASB 1995 nd NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.

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