Q366: Stop Doing

What would Jesus ask you today?

"If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?" - Genesis 4:6.

There are activities that are good and noble, but they are not right for you. You have a purpose and gifts, and those define what you should do and what you should not do. As you enter a new year, this is a good time to reflect on your world and where you are investing yourself. What do you need to stop doing in the coming year? What do you need to do more of? Where should you spend your time so that your return on investment is at the max? Read Acts 6:1-7 and see that the apostles had to say 'no' to important work, but the results were that more people were involved and the church grew.  Now go apply the same principle to your own life's work.

This represents my last devotional in this series for the year. Thank you for your faithful readership and support. Tomorrow I will start a new series entitled Purpose Pearls, designed to help you carry out the practice described in this last devotional: Be more purposeful and productive. Have a Happy New Year! 

Q365: Fickle

What would Jesus ask you today?

"Was I fickle when I intended to do this?" - 2 Corinthians 1:17.

The dictionary definition of fickle is: "marked by lack of steadfastness, constancy, or stability; given to erratic changeableness." You will never accomplish anything for the Lord without learning how to set a goal and stick with it to the end (even though as in Paul's case in 2 Corinthians, he was unable to fulfill his stated goal). What are the goals you are working on right now? What are your goals for the new year? If you are a good starter but poor finisher, why do you think that is? What are you afraid of that is preventing you from planning or following through? Read Romans 15:23-29 and notice that Paul's success did not just happen; he gave it thought and had a plan. Follow Paul's example and develop a plan for your own life and work and then be diligent to carry it out.

Q364: Your Life

What would Jesus ask you today?

"What concern is it of yours?" - John 21:22.

You may invest a lot of energy worrying about or meddling in the affairs of someone else, just as Peter was doing when Jesus asked him today's question. That energy is better directed into your own work and world, and that involves knowing what Jesus wants you to do - His will for your life. Are you wasting energy trying to live other's lives? Is this a defense mechanism to keep you from pursuing God's plan for your life? What are the things that should concern you in the coming year? Read Philippians 3:7-11 and notice how focused Paul was on his own life and work; that is how focused you should be with your life.

Q363: Press Through

What would Jesus ask you today?

"And what does the Lord require of you?" - Micah 6:8.

What God has put in your heart to do will not just happen. It will not be part of the heavenly Jerusalem that descends from heaven, but will require effort on your part, often more toil than you first thought it would require. That means you will have to learn how to make things happen in the Lord, being clear that you cannot wait on the Lord to do what only you can do. Furthermore, if you don't describe and quantify it in a goal, it will remain a wish or a dream and go unfulfilled. What is the Lord requiring you to do? What price are you willing to pay? What are your goals for the coming years of your life? Read Philippians 3:12-14 and then determine what you need to press through to get to whatever it is you want to accomplish.

Q362: Witnessing

What would Jesus ask you today?

"How will you escape being condemned to hell?" - Matthew 23:33.

There is only one way for anyone to escape hell and that is to put their faith in Christ and then live life in the Spirit. And there is only one way that people can find out about Christ and that is when you and others like you tell them the good news. What are you doing to spread the gospel? How much personal witnessing do you do?  What do you do to support world missions? As you approach a new year, give some thought to this critical discipline in your life as you read Romans 10:14-18.

Q361: Potential

What would Jesus ask you today?

“What then is this child going to be?” - Luke 1:66.

The people marveled at the events surrounding John the Baptist's birth and knew that he was destined to be someone special in the plan of God. Moses' parents looked at him and saw the same thing. What do you see when you see others?  Do you see their weaknesses and problems or what they can be in the will of God? And how about yourself?  Do you see the problems or the potential? Read Acts 7:20 and then ask God to help you see people as He sees them, so you can cooperate with His plan for their lives.

Q360: Christmas Favor

What would Jesus ask you today?

"But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" - Luke 1:43.

Elizabeth saw herself as favored by God because Mary came to visit her while carrying Jesus in her womb. How much more favored are you because Jesus has come to visit you personally in the presence and power of the Spirit? Do you see yourself as favored by God? Do you act like it? What should someone who is favored like you be doing? Pray? Worship? Do good deeds? Rejoice? Give thanks? Learn more about God and His ways? Read about your position of favor in the Lord in Ephesians 1:15-23 and then meditate on the meaning and implications of the Christmas truth that God is with you. Merry Christmas!

Q359: Wise Men

What would Jesus ask you today?

“Where is the one who has been born
king of the Jews?" - Matthew 2:2.

The Magi asked this question and Herod, the reigning king, was threatened by the presence of a rival king. The wise men, however, were looking for the baby to worship Him and give Him gifts. The responses are still the same: Some are threatened by Jesus but others recognize their need to worship the King of kings. Are you searching for Jesus as the Magi did, or are you intimidated by His desire to be Lord over every area of your life? Read Matthew 2:1-12 and realize the price the Magi paid to seek out and then worship the King; then go pay the same price.

Q358: By the Spirit

What would Jesus ask you today?

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” - Luke 1:34.

Mary asked how God's will could possibly be accomplished in her life when the angel announced that she was pregnant and would give birth to Jesus. The angel's answer was simple: The Holy Spirit would achieve what the angel promised. The same is true for you and may be the only answer you also receive if you ask "how will this be?". Your purpose and God's will for your life will only be done with God's help and through His power. Are you facing a huge purpose, intimidated by your own inadequacy to achieve it? Are you delaying in doing God's will because you don't understand how it will all work out? Because you cannot see the end, are you refusing to even start? Read Genesis 22:1-19 and be encouraged to see how the Holy Spirit provided all Abraham needed when he set out to obey God and sacrifice his son.

Q357: Bow Down

What would Jesus ask you today?

"Who can stand when he appears?" - Malachi 3:2.

Malachi was indicating that when the servant of the Lord called the Messiah appeared, it would be an event that would impact all people in all nations. All would bow to His beauty, mission, and righteous superiority. The Christmas story bears this out, for everyone who came to see the baby Jesus bowed to worship Him! Are you too busy to stop and worship Him this Christmas? Is He the focus for your activity these days? Read Luke 1:39-45 and see how even John the Baptist as a fetus responded to the presence of Jesus when His mother Mary appeared. Then make sure you bow down or leap for joy as well at some point during these days of Christmas.