Posts Tagged ‘Saved’


2 Corinthians 2:14-17  But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.

When I read the words ‘triumphal procession in Christ’, I wondered what it must mean. I’ve dwelt on it for 2 days and looked at the historical context. What in me would cause God to want to show me in his victory parade? The catch words were ‘in Christ’. It is through Christ’s sacrifice that we are washed in His blood and therefore found acceptable in God’s sight. Then my mind wandered to the next phrase, ‘the fragrance of the knowledge of him’ and my mind was reeling again. What’s with Paul using such adjectives that make us think?

When we have a really positive experience, we cannot stop telling others about it. In Christ, we don’t just have a positive experience but a life-changing one and how much more joyous can that be? This knowledge is what we spread and the fragrance of Christ is sweet to the seeking soul and bitter to the ones who chose otherwise. It’s the greatest gift of eternal life to some and a bunch of ‘old wife tales’ to others. It is the difference between life and death and to those who celebrate the victory, it is sweet but to the rest, it is offensive. Are you the aroma of Christ to the world?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Ezekiel 20:41 “As a soothing aroma I will accept you when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered; and I will prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations.”


1 Corinthians 10:12-13, 21-22, 31-33
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it… You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?… So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

Today’s chapter is power-packed in that it is so pregnant with meaning that I wish I could use it to write out several devotionals but instead I chose parts that make a sense of the whole. Paul seems to be using the word caution all through this chapter and I hope you can also get a sense of it by reading the chapter. First he warns that we should not become idolaters, then about not sharing God with the God’s of this world and finally to be aware of our actions keeping our final goal in mind.

As I continue to walk with the Lord, one of my many battles I face is that I think I know and therefore I do. In our human minds, we like to take control of things and in the same manner, we like to believe we know something because of the length of time we have been associated or exposed to it. However, Paul warns us not to take the Lord for granted.
Temptation is real and while we are given only as much as we can take, we can fall into it if we don’t run away from its lure. Let’s constantly reflect our spiritual walk in the mirror of the cross and let’s not forget that it cost our Lord His own blood to buy us our eternal freedom!

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


1 Corinthians 3:10-15
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

As I read through this chapter that talks about divisions in the Church, I wondered what else was new about this topic that we could learn about. We know that we are called to worship God as Bible believing Christians and not as denominations because soon the denomination defines us and our values and not Christ. We are quickly driven by the ones leading the denomination or the ones who influenced them rather than the one who created them and used them for His own glory. Here Paul digs deeper about evangelism when he says in v7: So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

We are called into God’s service by Jesus when He gave out the great commission and this was based on the authority that God the father gave Jesus. Our calling is to serve God to the lost and doing everything in the name of the father, son and holy spirit, not out own. For everything that we build for God will be tested severely to determine it’s worth and if there is anything that is found offensive to God, it will burn away and what will remain is our faith. Therefore as in building Churches, drawing people to Christ or even walking with Christ, we are assured that we will be put to the test and we better have sowed right for we will otherwise be burned severely. Lets resubmit our lives, our ministries and our walk to Christ and ask Him to lead, direct and be glorified rather than being scorched in the fire.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


1 Corinthians 1:13, 17-18
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul…? For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Start of a new month and we begin our 7th book of the New Testament, a letter from Paul to the Corinthians written around 56-59 A.D. As you can read from the verses collated above, Paul hits hard at the Church in Corinth about key issues starting with their break-away factions. As we sit at the cross glorifying Jesus during this resurrection weekend, Paul asks us a question about our identity in Christ and questions our intelligence. What is our response to the question, ‘What kind of Christian are you – Catholic, Pentecostal, Baptist, or Orthodox’?

My Dad was protestant and Mom orthodox and we went to the protestant church most of the year but during school holidays would visit catholic and orthodox churches in my grandparent’s native places. A dear brother in Christ asked me a few years back what Christian I was and I tried to explain my denomination. In response he simply introduced himself as a Bible believing Christian. How simple and true is that. We are followers of Christ Jesus and serve Him, not denominations. We may be different in our race, language, ways of worship, geographic locations, etc. but we are one family in Christ redeemed by His blood and made anew. Lets not empty the cross of Christ by applying our human wisdom to God but instead lets stand together as grateful newborns praising God for His abundant mercy and grace.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Romans 10:1-4
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

The Jews are marked by religiosity and religious fervour that few others share and it is something that amazes me. Paul testifies of it in the passage above when he refers to them as zealous. However, he states that their zeal for God is not based on knowledge and this is where they are lost. I am certain that to the Jews, we Christians are lost in following Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and this causes the great divide. So, is Christ the undoing of the law as stated above?

For thousands of years, the Jews have been trying to live up to the law and follow its requirements but have faltered and therefore offer sacrifices as atonement for their sins. This is being done in wait of the Messiah who will redeem them and establish them as His own. In Christ, all the requirements of the law were met, in his death the ultimate sacrifice for mankind was made and in his resurrection, the assurance of life eternal for those who believe is confirmed. He is the Messiah for the Jews and Gentiles alike and waits (patiently) for those who believe to come and submit their lives to him and accept his gift of forgiveness and salvation. He is the fulfillment of the law and in Him, there is righteousness for all who believe. Are you still trying to live up to the law or can you see the truth in Jesus?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Romans 8:22-25
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

In a world where success needs to be measured, I often get caught up in the rat race even when it comes to my spiritual life. This morning was one of those days when I prayed asking God to enhance or improve my ministry of His Word because I felt that I was not effective and lives didn’t seem to be touched. I was corrected by Him immediately as He let me know that I was serving him and he was the one who determined success, not me. God orchestrates human thought and creates opportunities for the lost to hear his voice and we as servants of God are called to serve him faithfully. Why is it so hard for me to understand for I have often visited these crossroads in my faith walk?

As the earth quakes and groans in anticipation of the coming King, all mankind seem to be asking and wondering who or what is in control and what next? We Christians know the truth and are eager to be redeemed from the darkness of this world and have our hope in Jesus’ return. If our hope shifts from an unseen goal (His return) to measureable goals as I had this morning, there seems to be nothing to look forward to and we are soon lost like the world. We therefore need to refocus our hope in Jesus’ coming and serve him faithfully without counting the cost or measuring the results.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


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

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