Daily Devotional for Friday November 23, 2012
Our Blessings Come from Our Obedience
(2 kings 5:19-40)
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, how best can a Believer best disciple a new Believer? What do you recommend that a Christian do as far as coaching a new Believer?
ANSWER: If there is one thing the church lacks it is discipleship. It is critical, since once a person accepts Jesus, unless someone shows them the way, how will they know what to do? Discipleship is about a special relationship. The key to that relationship is accountability. For a new Believer, you need to spend time with them to help them understand they need to read the Bible and pray every day. They need to get into a good Bible teaching, Bible preaching church. They need to get into a good Bible study. We grow as fast as we are able based on the time and effort we put into our new relationship with the Lord. To disciple somone, you don't need to be a Bible scholar, there are many out there to answer the difficult questions. You DO need to be committed to this relationship and helping guide the new convert in their DAILY walk.
So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha's house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed." But Naaman went away angry and said, "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?" So he turned and went off in a rage. Naaman's servants went to him and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, 'Wash and be cleansed'!" So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. 2 Kings 5:9-14
Our blessings come from our obedience. How often are we like Naaman. We have a problem in our life and go to God in prayer. He gives us the answer to our problem in His Word. We then have the audacity to not only complain about the answer, but the fact God didn't just snap His fingers and fix our problem. Eventually, almost grudgingly, we follow God's instructions and lo and behold, our problem is solved! Like I say so often, our way never works, but God's way ALWAYS works! Rebellion leads to consequences and obedience leads to blessings!!! That is my message to you today, obedience brings blessings.
I have talked to you in the past about how to HEAR God. That is obviously very important. However, after we hear God, we then have to OBEY God! That can often be easier said than done. God speaks to us in many ways. Most times, He speaks to us through His Word, through our time in prayer, through others, and through our circumstances. As I have shard in the past, the more we practice "hearing God," the better we become at hearing His voice. The key is, God will never contradict His Word. When God speaks to you, it will always be in line with His Word. That is the major test to knowing if it is truly God's voice.
Again, hearing God's voice is important, but after you hear His voice you then need to obey His voice. This is where our commitment to the Lord gets tested. Many time, we hear what God is saying to us but we don't want to obey Him. This is usually the case when He is calling us to do something we dislike or calling us to make some sort of sacrifice. Sacrifice is really not something most people want to hear. We love to hear about blessings, but really don't want to hear about sacrifice.
We claim to love the Lord, but the true test of that love comes when He calls us to sacrifice something for Him. Sacrifice calls us to give up something precious. That something precious can be money, it can be possessions, but in most cases it is OURSELVES! You see, the greatest sacrifice you can make to the Lord is YOURSELF! You have nothing more valuable to give to Christ than your life.
The fact is, when you accepted Jesus into your heart and life by faith, part of that process is the act of giving your life to Him. The Bible says that we have been bought with a price, that it is no longer our life any longer, but that we belong to Him. So when the Lord speaks to you and you are faced with the opportunity to obey His voice, you are really only giving Him what He already owns anyway . . . YOU!
I know that this is a very challenging word today. We are all called each day to obey God's voice. Throughout the course of the day God will speak to us . . . and not just hearing his voice, but obeying his voice is what we are required to do as His followers. Obeying God often calls for sacrifice on our part. Whether it is sacrificing our time, talent, or treasure, ALL WE HAVE BELONGS TO HIM! So in essence, He is only asking us to give Him what already belongs to Him anyway.
I thank God for His Word that guides us through this life. One of the great challenges we have is obeying God's voice. The fact is we have the free will to ignore God or listen to Him. I can tell you without any hesitancy that ignoring God is just stupid since we know it is only going to bring pain and heartache. The reality is God loves to bless His children and God will always bless our obedience! Let me say that one more time, GOD WILL ALWAYS BLESS OUR OBEDIENCE!
I love you and care about you so much. I am praying for you today, that as you hear the voice of God in your life, that you will not just hear His voice but obey His voice. God has a purpose and reason for what He asks us to do. Rarely do we fully comprehend that purpose or reason, but that is not our job. Our job is to simply be obedient and do what God is calling us to do, no matter what that may be. May you take time each day to not only hear God's voice, but be faithful to obey God's voice and enjoy His blessings.
***LIVEPRAYER EMERGENCY FINANCIAL UPDATE: THANK YOU to those who were led and able to help me with a gift during the past week as we are desperately trying to cover the final $19,000 we are still behind in our October operations. We had $9,000 in donations we know of, and I am grateful for each person who was able to help me at this critical time.
I am praying that God will speak to 2 or 3 others will be able to make up the final $10,000 that is still needed to finish taking care of our past due October shortfall. ALL OF THAT IS SERIOUSLY PAST DUE AND WAS SUPPOSED TO BE TAKEN CARE OF BEFORE THE END OF BUSINESS TODAY OR OUR ABILITY TO OPERATE WILL BE COMPROMISED! Please pray about a special year-end gift to help me at this important hour!
Of course if everyone will pray, and everyone who is able will send what you can, I am standing in faith that by the end of the week, ALL of October's shortfall will be taken care of and we can begin to work on the $40,000 we need for our November operations. That is $50,000 we need to bring in over the next 7 days, or just 50 of our friends making a special year-end sacrifice to God's work here of $1,000. Will you pray today about helping me with $10, $20, $100, or whatever God lays on your hear and you are able to give today? Our God is able!!!
TO GIVE A GIFT TO LIVEPRAYER, you can use your major credit card on our secure server at: www.liveprayer.com under the "Donation" link, you can give using your PayPal account using my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org,or you can mail your gift to: Liveprayer, 6660 46th Ave. North, St.Petersburg, FL 33709. All gifts to Liveprayer are 100% tax deductible.
Thank you for being faithful and being OBEDIENT, since our blessings flow from our obedience!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,