Tag Archives: help

Understanding the Humble Nature of Jesus

Surrendering our own power and becoming more like Jesus

Written by Dan Lee on 04/10/2016

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: GodHumilityPower


You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.

Philippians 2:5-7a

Power, like control, can become an idol in our lives. The world tells us to be powerful, to be fast, to be strong, and to be in control. Even just recently in the Olympics, we watched the worlds most physically powerful people come together to compete against each other and admired and envied the power they had. Though there is a time and a place for power in acts like sport, we so often desire power and lean on our own power which moves our focus away from God.

One of the best ways to resist the unhealthy desire for power in our lives is to model our lives after the humble nature of Jesus. His surrender of power, described by the Apostle Paul in Philippians, was one of the most amazing things he ever did!

How do we stay humble like Jesus? First, we have to understand in what ways he was humble…

1. Remember that He was God, yet still humble

Jesus was not just a good man or even a great man. In Matthew 28:18, he said, “All power has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” He was God in the flesh – the One who had existed for all eternity, the great “I AM” (John 8:58). He created the world and maintains it (Hebrews 1:2-3).

2. He humbled himself to become a human

Yet all that greatness, the immortal and eternal, was somehow squeezed into a human body.

In his time on earth, Jesus chose to limit his power. He healed some sick people and performed many miracles. He had all the power and yet He lived His life under submission to the Father. Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does” (John 5:19).

3. Know that He gave up his life

“When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7b-8). Jesus’ captors beat him, taunted him, brutally whipped him, and then nailed his hands and feet to a cross. He resisted the temptation to reveal himself the as Almighty God. His plan from the beginning was to give his life for us, because “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

4. He was exalted

“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11). What a great day that will be, when every human being honors Jesus as Lord. And to extent we imitate Jesus‘ humility, we will be exalted: “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor” (1 Peter 5:6).


Pray this week:

Father, the desire for power is so strong. Help me to marvel at how Jesus humbled himself, and through your Holy Spirit’s power, to humble myself just as he did.


Want to learn more about power and humility?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Do you worry about money?

3 reasons not to worry about money

Written by Hope on 08/03/2015

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: FinancesMoneyWorry


 

“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.” Proverbs 3:9

 

The Bible is full of stories showing God working in the lives of wealthy people. Abraham, Israel’s King David, and Lydia (a woman who sold purple dye) are just a few. But when Jesus also said that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” it was a warning that money can hurt more than it helps. (Matthew 19:24). How can you follow Jesus and His Word rather than letting money keep you from following God? Here are 3 truths to help.

Money Will Never Satisfy

Although money is not a bad thing, “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Christians should not let anything–including money–interfere with their relationship with God. God is a great provider. Even among the wealthy, “those who love money will never have enough” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). The “happiness” found in things money can buy will not last, for “moths eat them and rust destroys them and thieves break through and steal.” (Matthew 6:19) Remember that Jesus gives His joy as a gift–and doesn’t take it back! (John 15:11)

God Gives What We Need

As Christians, we should strive to take good care of anything God blesses us with–including money. Our goal is to use money in a wise way. This includes providing for ourselves, our families and giving to support the local church. But how can you avoid worrying about money? God tells us to focus on Him. Jesus taught, “seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33). As you deal with and work for your money, “seek God’s will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3:6).

If You Are Walking With God, Be Content As He Provides

The Apostle Paul famously wrote, “I have learned how to be content with whatever I have” (Philippians 4:11). God promised to provide for those who put Him first. So you do not have to “worry about anything; instead, pray about everything” (Philippians 4:6). Be faithful with your money, but when you feel worried, “give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you” (Psalm 55:22). Christians can learn to “be satisfied with what you have, for God has said, ‘I will never fail you’” (Hebrews 13:5).


Pray this week:

that God will provide for you and help you learn to glorify Him with your financial resources.


How has God provided for you and enabled you to glorify Him? How does this encourage you when you look at your financial situation today?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

God’s Words: Kindness

Life-transforming words

Written by Gary Fleetwood on 03/10/2017

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: KindnessJesusLoveGod


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

The people who had the greatest impact on my life were those who displayed the quality of kindness to me. When I think of kindness, I immediately think of my mother, the kindest person I have ever known. I don’t remember my mom ever saying one harsh thing to anyone — ever. She always found the best in people, and that quality became so contagious in her life.

I remember a specific incident when I treated her very inconsiderately. To my surprise, she did not respond angrily as I deserved, but instead showered me with kindness — even though I had hurt her. Because of her kind response, I never treated her poorly again.

What does it mean to be kind?

Kindness means to be gentle with people no matter how they treat you. If we are unkind and disrespectful to someone, he or she will not be motivated to listen to what we have to say. I believe that God wants me to treat each person with great kindness, so this is how I live my daily life. For example, you can say nice things to people and be pleasant with them — especially to those who are having a rough day. The Bible says that a gentle answer actually turns away anger that may be directed towards us (Proverbs 15:1).

How can you guard your speech?

Have you ever been short with someone? Did you just speak your mind to them without really thinking about what you were saying? Well, I certainly have, and the results have never been good. However, I find that everyone appreciates it when I guard my speech and say kind words. We never know what people are going through in their lives and how a kind word may impact them. People without Christ are often hurting in some area, and we can become God’s tool that reaches out and touches them. Kindness can open many doors to minister to others.

How does kindness affect other people?

One elderly woman in our church always reminds me of what an angel must be like. She is so gentle and so calm, and every word out of her mouth is a word of kindness. Her very presence makes others feel peaceful and relaxed. Her kindness is so real and so sincere that I could never imagine someone saying something ugly to her. Kindness creates an atmosphere where people will not be inclined to be harsh to others. In a word, kindness is contagious.

How do I actually show kindness to people?

Colossians 3:12-13 says, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

The biblical phrase in this verse “put on then” is a great picture of what it means to be kind. When we’re putting on our clothes, we have to make a decision on which clothes to wear. The same thing is true when you are choosing your attitude for the day. You can either choose kindness, grumpiness or some other attitude.

God wants us to become comfortable in the “spiritual clothes” that he commands us to put on — being merciful, showing kindness, being humble, patient, and forgiving of others. These are great spiritual qualities to “put on,” and we will find that God will use them in our lives to touch other people. So, consider “putting on… kindness” and watch how God uses it in your life!


Pray this week:

Lord Jesus, please give me a deep desire and strength through Your Holy Spirit to show kindness and grace to everyone I meet, no matter what the circumstances.


If someone were to treat you harshly, would you be willing to “turn the tables” and show them great kindness?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

God’s Words: Faithfulness

Life-transforming words

Written by Gary Fleetwood on 27/03/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: FaithFaithfulnessGodFaithful


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

I just love the word “faithfulness.” If there is any quality I want to always be developing in my life, it is being faithful to God. It is very difficult to be useful to God if we are unfaithful to Him. Faithfulness is the idea of someone being able to depend on us to do something for them. We all know how disappointing it is when someone tells us that they are going to do something for us, but then they fail to do it. If someone tells you that they will pick you up at 8 a.m., but they never show up, I doubt seriously that you would even ask them to come to get you again. Why? Because they were unfaithful in doing what they promised they would do.

I had a great friend who just died of brain cancer. After he found how he had cancer, he only lived about one year more. As he got closer to the end of his life, there were many of us who would take turns going to his home, visiting him in the hospital, spending the night with him and helping his wife move him and feed him. People cut their grass, took their children different places, fixed meals for them and came and just spent time with the family. It was the faithfulness of these friends that helped the family get through a very difficult time in their life.

So, exactly how does God define “faithfulness”?

The easiest way to understand that question is to simply look at the life of Christ and see how He lived. In everything He did, He was willing to do exactly what His Father wanted Him to do.  He never once swerved from doing what His Father sent Him to do – to die for our sins. Jesus fully knew what the enormous cost would be to Him personally, but He was always faithful to God’s will for His life no matter the cost. 1 Corinthians 4:2 says this about being faithful: “Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.”

In other words, if we are going to be someone who God can trust to do what He wants us to do, then we must “be found faithful.” No one would consider a man to be a faithful husband if every two or three years he would divorce his current wife and go find another woman to marry. That would be a good example of what it means to be unfaithful. None of us would want to hear that our marriage partner was faithful to us 98% of the time. That would be just as bad as being unfaithful all the time. To be faithful means to remain, to stay, and to continue with someone no matter how difficult life may be at times.

So, how should I demonstrate faithfulness in my life? 

Well, the best way to demonstrate “faithfulness” is to simply be obedient to God’s Word. We would never consider someone to be a faithful friend who was always doing things that would hurt us in some way. Maybe they would make a promise to us that they would help us finish something that we were building, but then they would never come over to help as they had promised. For someone who is a fully devoted follower of Christ, the best way to demonstrate faithfulness to Christ is simply to be obedient to His Word. Jesus said this in John 14:15: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” 

That may be one of the simplest yet most important statements in the Bible because it defines how God measures our love for Him. If someone is always disobedient to God’s Word, then in essence they are not being faithful to Him and really do not love God. If you have children, you want respect from them, and the way they show respect is by being obedient to you. If you own a business, the way your employees show respect is by being more than willing to do what you ask them to do and to do a good job. Well, it is no different in the Christian life. God the Father calls on us to simply be faithful to Him, and we do that when we remain obedient to His Word.  

Does faithfulness have a reward?

Sure it does. Jesus gave a parable about faithfulness and this is what he said in Matthew 25:23 to those who were faithful.

“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”

We will never be disappointed in how God rewards faithfulness, so be encouraged that you can truly be someone that He sees as a good and faithful servant.


Pray this week:

Lord Jesus, when life seems to bring me a very difficult test, my prayer is that You would help me to be faithful during the trial so that You can be glorified in my life.


If someone were to look at your life, would they consider you to be a loyal and faithful servant of Jesus Christ?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Changing Suffering Into Joy

Are your tears collected or wasted?

Written by Ruth on 14/05/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: JoyPrayerSuccessSufferingHannah


[Suffering] may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:5

The Bible says we are to rejoice at all times, but how can we do that when we are hurting greatly?

The Need

As we read in 1 Samuel 1, Hannah was a lady with a big heartache. She wanted a child and had done everything she knew God asked of her – she was married, faithful to her husband, and asked God to bless her with a child. (1 Samuel 1:11).

Then the time of year came when she could travel to the Tabernacle with her husband, the place where she knew God would hear her prayer. She had not given up on God even though she had been asking for years.

How long do you pray for something you would like God to give you? Do you keep asking even when it seems like he isn’t listening?

The Prayer

As we read in His teaching about prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus wants us to present our needs to Him. 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us that we, His people, are to come before Him humbly, praying, and seeking His will for our lives, so that He can bless us according to his His will.

What are God’s requirements for us when we pray for something? We find a great answer to that in Matthew 7:7 – we are to seek things that belong to His kingdom. James tells us, by the Holy Spirit, that we must ask for things as Jesus wants them to be rather than asking for selfish things (James 4:3). 

Proverbs 3:5-7 says we are to seek His will in all things for which we pray. Hannah had done everything she knew God asked of her, so now she asked Him for what she still wanted. And in her prayer, she also promised God that His gift to her would be returned to Him in the form of worship.
 
This is for the specific reason of giving us an opportunity to thank Him when He answers us. It also places our desires into line with Jesus’ will. Just as Hannah went home rejoicing, our trust in His mercy will be our assurance that God will provide, and keep us rejoicing.

The Joy

Hannah’s heart responded in joy after she received the promise that God had heard and would answer her prayer (1 Samuel 1:18). Does that mean her life was perfect from that day forward? No – she was separated from her son from a very young age because she kept her promise and gave Him to God. Can a mother see her child only once per year without crying for the rest of the year? Jesus reminds us that this world is neither our source of joy nor a reason for despair. Our peace, and therefore our joy, is only from Jesus, as we read in Colossians 3:15

We are not here to find joy from a successful life in this temporary home; He is making us a success for all eternity. Often that means we carry His cross for Him (Mark 8:34), just as Hannah carried her cross of separation from her son for the sake of the whole nation. Her gift to God mirrors the gift of God, who gave His only Son so that we could have eternal life. (John 3:16) We need never be afraid of any suffering He asks us to bear because He promises that our glory in heaven will be so great that our suffering cannot even be measured against it (Romans 8:18-25). Our suffering here is a cause for joy even now because we anticipate His promises being fulfilled – just as they were fulfilled to Hannah.


Pray this week:

Heavenly Father, help me to trust You enough to say “Your will be done in my life!”


Have you been praying like Hannah for a long time? Would you like someone to join you in praying? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

What Does the Bible Say About Sex Before Marriage?

Does the Bible teach that sex before marriage is a sin?

Written by Gary Schneider on 23/04/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: MarriageSexAdulteryPre MaritalPurity


“Let marriage be held in honor among all…”

Hebrews 13:4

Does the Bible even call sex before marriage a sin?

A lot of people in today’s world aren’t sure. Our culture has told us that we should do whatever makes us feel good in the moment and that we shouldn’t even consider what the moral thing to do is.

Here are several verses to consider when thinking about sex before marriage:

1. 1 Corinthians 7:2

“But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.”

In this verse, the apostle Paul describes any activity outside of marriage as “sexual immorality.” That means when we read of sexual immorality, it includes sex before marriage as one of many examples of sin.

2. Hebrews 13:4

“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

What does an undefiled marriage bed look like? It looks likes a bed that a husband and a wife share exclusively together. Any kind of sex that is before, outside or in addition to a married relationship of husband and wife is sinful according to the Bible.

3. Galatians 5:19-21

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

In this long list of sins, the sexual sins that Paul includes are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, and orgies. It would be impossible to argue that the Bible approves of sex outside of marriage. Elsewhere, (1 Corinthians 7:2-5), Paul gives permission for sex between a married man and woman, thus all other forms of sex are sinful.

4. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality, that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles, who do not know God…”

Here, Paul contrasts a believer’s self-control over his body with living out of control, burning in passionate lust. The first is living a life that is pleasing to God and is holy, while the second is living a life that does not honor God. In which group do you belong? Does sleeping with someone you meet at a club or are not married to demonstrate control over one’s body, or is it done in the passion of lust?

5. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

These verses speak to the basis of God’s claim on our body. A Christian is to refrain from sexual intercourse with anyone to whom they are not married because Christians belong to God. We have been given the great gift of God indwelling us — the Holy Spirit lives within us — so when we join ourselves to others through one-night stands or anyone we are not married to, we are violating our own body, the other person’s body and the Lord, who has purchased us by pouring out his own body and blood.

If you’ve had sex before marriage, don’t worry! Hope is not lost. God is more than able to forgive you of all of your sins — even the sin of having sex before or outside of marriage. 

1 John 1:9 promises us: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Turn away from all sexual immorality and seek to live under God’s forgiving love. 

For those of us who do struggle with burning passion, just know that it is worth it to wait for the right time to enjoy the gift of sex. Pray that the Lord will bring you a faithful and God-fearing spouse. Sex is a wonderful privilege that comes with great responsibility. You will not regret living your life God’s way!


Pray this week:

Lord Jesus, you know all the ways I have sinned against you and disobeyed your Word. Please forgive me and cleanse my body, soul and spirit with your precious blood. As your child and as a temple of the Holy Spirit, I surrender my body to you. Thank you Jesus for strengthening me and blessing my future spouse with the same blessing that you now give to me. In Jesus’ name Amen. 


How about taking a first step and asking for God’s help? Are you willing to do that?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

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Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Created for a Purpose

The purpose of your life is to bring God glory in everything you do: in your worship, your relationships, and your work.

Series: New Believers Guide

Have you ever wondered why you were born? Augustine, one of the early church fathers, said “Our hearts are restless until we find God.” You cannot truly experience peace and joy in your life without an open relationship with God. Romans 5:1-2 tells us, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.”

"But, indeed, for this reason I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth." Exodus 9:16

"I cry out to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me." Psalm 57:2

Your Purpose: Relationship with God
The purpose of your life is to bring God glory in everything you do: in your worship, your relationships, and your work. “The chief purpose of man in to bring glory and honor to God and to enjoy Him forever,” says the Westminster Confession of Faith. Remember, by accepting Christ as your Savior you now have God who “is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). But this does not happen overnight. It is the result of a growing relationship with God. Faithfulness to read God’s Word and to pray according to His will help grow your relationship with God. That is the ultimate purpose of your life—to have a meaningful relationship with God. And beyond that, God has specific things for you to accomplish in your life. The next section deals with the special plan God has for your life. Take a moment and thank God that He knows you and cares for you specifically and has a great plan for your life.

"And I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me always, for their own good and for the good of their children after them." Jeremiah 32:39

What is the purpose for which God saved you? If you're not sure, talking to someone can help.

WATCH THE VIDEO:  https://youtu.be/Zx6LOar5aDk

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

God Creates Beautiful Stories

A story of a young girl coming to the feet of Jesus.

Written by GodLife on 13/03/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: Church And CommunityGodSalvationTestimony


For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

Romans 5:10

Relentless pursuit

In Nenet’s heart, the Holy Spirit began to plant seeds of belief before she was even aware of the possibility of His existence. As a young woman, Nenet was actively involved with her Muslim faith, pursuing Allah alongside her family in Cairo, Egypt. 

When her mother introduced more instructions on how to dress and how to read the Koran more rigidly, it put a different face on the faith she had cherished and known and caused her to be curious about other faiths.

Going through the motions of her cultural Muslim faith didn’t give Nenet any increased feeling of closeness to the God she worshipped, so she hungered for something more.

As a result, Nenet turned her energy into researching Muslims who had converted to Christianity. What she found only increased her hunger to know more, and her activity on the Internet eventually brought her to GodLife, where she began a relationship with her Online Missionary, Mike. 

Nenet made it clear to Mike that she still had many inquisitions and reservations about Christianity. Over the next year, they engaged in meaningful conversation in which Mike answered Nenet’s questions about Jesus, Christianity, Islam, and even Judaism. Her thirst was gradually quenched with each sip of living water that he poured out for her.

Even though she had initially desired to read the entire Bible before converting, the Spirit’s tug and her thirst for truth and love became too great, so she chose to spark a new relationship with God and enter into a Christian life after six months of consistent and faithful correspondence. 

A new life

“Deep inside I was believing that Islam couldn’t be from the real god, but I was still afraid, afraid and not brave enough to face myself to admit in a loud, clear and decisive statement that I am not a Muslim anymore and that I refuse the teachings of Islam,” Nenet said. “But I couldn’t wait. I accepted Jesus, before finishing that Bible. My love to him forced me to accept him before finishing the whole Bible.”

Because her family continued to follow Allah, Nenet’s hunger evolved into a yearning for a Christian community. With some help, Mike was able to connect her with a pair of local Christians named Adom and Masika, who walked with her as she lived a life of secret
conversion in the midst of Muslim family and community. 

Rejoice with us that Nenet has found contentment through the blood of Christ! Her story calls us to remember James 4:8, which says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” Nenet’s story is a refreshing adventure of a beautiful and valuable life redeemed by Jesus, but also a reminder of the strong power of the Lord’s truth and the enticing tug of the Holy Spirit.


Pray this week:

Lord, I’m sorry I’ve strayed away from your path. I want to draw near to you and please draw near to me. Amen.


Do you want to have a God-centered friendship? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Why Are We Here?

How can we know the purpose for our lives?

Written by GodLife on 09/04/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: MeaningLoveSignificancePurposeDestiny


…everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.

Isaiah 43:7

You've met them or heard of them — men and women of vision and passion. Driven by purpose and a life pursuit. They discover things. They build things. They do important things. Streets, colleges, battleships, cities and awards are named after them. They're fascinating! What makes them tick, and why aren't more people like them?

One reason more people aren't like this may be that the single-minded pursuit of a mission tends to be hard on people. We sometimes call high achievers "workaholics." That makes it sound like an addiction. Addictions are destructive, unlike the diligence we associate with dedicated workers. How can your diligent attention be singularly significant, yet not hurt your friends and loved ones — or your walk with God? Read on to discover three key aspects of an effective Christian life that can make all the difference.

Your own context

Followers of Jesus talk more often about calling than achievement. That puts it into different perspective. You are the hearer. God, your creator and redeemer, is the caller. If He’s your omniscient creator, nothing in your life is an accident. Your resources, experiences, skills, talents and relationships have all been gifts planned and given by Him. It helps to see them as gifts, because then you know you’re responsible to take care of them. Thinking “How God has provided these things for me?” can begin to set you on the right course. 

“…let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him…Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called…in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.” 

All these quotes are from 1 Corinthians 7:17–24, where Paul explicitly covers questions about marriage, servitude and the Gentile or Jewish roots of these early believers.

God’s work, God’s way

Just as you can get guidance from your own life conditions, you can also do so from things shown to you about God. For example, because God is love, He would not be behind inclinations toward the hatred or exploitation of a group of people. Because God is the Spirit of Truth, He’s not in things that rely on the practice of deceit. Israel’s first king, Saul, thought God would accept his sacrifice despite his incomplete obedience to his original mission. Samuel predicted God would replace him, saying,  “…to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22

God’s Priorities

God is clear that all His instructions are pure (Proverbs 30:5) and that we have no right to add or subtract from them. (Deuteronomy 4:2Revelation 22:18-19) That almost makes it sound as if they are all equally important, so that we have to carefully follow it all and “…do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) Yet Jesus had a surprising answer to a teacher of Jewish law who asked, “‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” If all God’s words are perfect, how can any have more priority than the other? Jesus goes on to explain this implied question: “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40) They are greatest because they effectively contain the rest. Romans explains, “love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:10) God’s great expression of love (1 John 3:16) was sending Christ to die for our sins. Jesus told the Apostles: “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”(John 20:21)

In summary, the reason you and I are here is to bring glory to God, as Isaiah 43:7 says. We do so by telling others to be reconciled to God, as 2 Corinthians 5:15-20 tells us. Because we know Him, we must not go about this in a way that is against what He reveals about Himself in His Word. And because we trust that He created us for a purpose and has provided for us in a way that serves as a guide and a model for us, we cherish our relationships, seeking the best for others instead of taking advantage of them. We leverage our resources, putting His Kingdom first by using our time, energy, experience, knowledge and influence to help others find the way to eternal life. That’s how to live a life of the very highest purpose without missing out on the best God has for you and your loved ones.


Pray this week:

Father, will you help me see and eliminate anything that is standing in the way of reaching the full potential of my life?


Do you sense any resistance to the ideas shared in this devotional? A caring volunteer is available to discuss and pray through them with you!

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member