Posts Tagged ‘Harm’


1 Peter 3:13-18
Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.

As I interact with people at work, in my neighborhood, through common friends, etc. I have come to realize that there are two different worlds we live in because our calling and motivations are different. The two worlds are diametrically opposite because of who heads each world and it is obvious. Two challenges we face in living in both worlds are to be able to determine which side we are on and then to hold to our beliefs for the glory of the way we believe is right. I am a christian and I find that as much as I try, my calling requires me to stand apart from those who are not and show them the one who called me from darkness into light. The result is that I face the jeers of those who are not Christian as they are happy being in their skin and living in their knowledge or lack of. What does God have to say to those of us who He has saved from the darkness into His light? (more…)


2 Corinthians 7:1, 9-11
Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God… yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.

Start of another new week here in Vancouver and as time flies, so do missed opportunities to serve God and I thank God for His patience with us even as we sluggishly serve Him. This morning, my passage of scripture was a confirmation yet again about the purpose of suffering in our faith walk. Many will disagree with me and I ask the many to seek God in His fullness just as I am learning to. First Paul talks about what our faith walk must be like by saying that we should cleanse ourselves mind, body and spirit of everything that prevents us from doing so and we should become holy in reverence for God. This is quite the ask and is impossible for us to do on our own. How then does God accomplish this in us?

Suffering is something we have always looked down upon, prayed against, and begged God to take away from us. Yet God permits suffering in our lives and we wonder why? Paul in his 1st letter to the Corinthians was very harsh and in doing so brought about a revival in the church that glorified God. For God, purifying us to become like Him is what counts as we are going to share eternity in His presence. For Christ to live in God’s presence every moment, He has to be holy and has to love God beyond everything else. This is the same for us and to change us, God uses trials and tribulations because this life is the training grounds for the wonderful life after. Are you sorrowful, hurting, suffering? Get on your knees now and ask God to reveal what changes He wants in you to make you more like Him. Stop looking at suffering as an issue but instead look at suffering as an opportunity to learn and grow in the Lord.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Romans 6:19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification


Acts 18:1b, 4-6, 9-11
Paul left Athens and went to Corinth… Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles”… One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

For a long while, I imagined Paul to be a strong and courageous man for his ability to speak out against what was not right and stand up for the gospel. In today’s passage, we see another side of Paul; we see fear and frustration in a man devoted to the cause. So much so that God had to reassure him in a vision. Paul in his ministry traveled significantly with one goal in mind – to serve Jesus to the world and now he seems lost. What happened to Paul? Had he lost his drive and passion? Was it the strength of the opposition or the lack of support in his ministry? What is the Lord speaking to us this morning?

Like many, we tend to put our faith in things we can see and touch and so in Paul, we drew confidence from his powerful ministry and life because he is a person we can relate to. However, we are reminded again that Paul is not the role model we need to follow but Christ. Paul, like you and me, is a servant of God and lived to glorify God, not himself. We need to be focussed on Jesus and draw strength and direction from Him. As human as Paul was, he could only see opposition and hardened hearts but God sees the big picture and directed him to continue to serve. We need to ask God to show us the way to serve him and we need to give it our all. The reason should not be self glory but God’s glory and our eyes need to fixed on Jesus throughout.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Acts 16:25-31
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

As we continue to journey with the disciples in their travels with the gospel from Jerusalem now to Turkey, we see the Holy Spirit working in powerful ways in the lives of people of different tribes and tongues. No longer is gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ restricted to Jews but also to the rest of the world. In today’s passage, there is a twist. The last time Paul was jailed, an angel of God whisked him away to safety but this time around, he and Silas did not move from their cell even though the jail doors were flung open by the earthquake. What caused them to stay back and why would the Lord use such trying circumstances in their lives to affect the jailer and his family’s life?

Note that Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God. Even though they were just stripped and beaten, their response was not moaning to God but praising God, an act of total foolishness or an act of faith because they could see beyond the physical beating. The jailer’s heart was hardened due to his job where he dealt with the worst of men. God chose to reach him in the place where he was least likely to believe and only because God loved him. Paul and Silas knew their lives were not their own anymore because they had offered it to God for his glory. What pain we face in life is nothing in comparison to the pain God went through when he sacrificed his own son Jesus Christ to save us from sin and an eternity with satan. Lets stop looking at the difficulties in our lives and crying about it, instead, lets offer praise to God for what he can achieve when we are broken for his light to shine through us.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting this group. Also, share it with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.