Tag Archives: God’s will

Ordained to Preach

1 Timothy 2:7-8

7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.
8 I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

What are you ordained to do? The word ordained here means to put or place. Where have you been put or placed by God. I bet you never even knew you were ordained! Well, think again! God has ordained you as well.

Now Paul mentions three things he was ordained as: a preacher, an apostle and a teacher of the Gentiles. We will get to these later. This shows that we can have several different callings. So now I want you to think about your different callings, your different ordinations! How many are there. Can you think that big.

Let’s start with your family. What are you called to do in your family? If you are the head of the house, whether male or female, you are called to provide for your family (2 Timothy 5:8). You are called to raise your children in the ways of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6). You are called to teach your children as you rise in the morning and sit to eat and walk by the way (Deuteronomy 6:7). If you are a husband you are called to love your wife as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). You are called to not provoke your children to wrath (Ephesians 6:4) or discourage them (Colossians 3:21). Husbands, you are called to understand your wife and honor her (1 Peter 3:7). Wives, you should respect your husband (Ephesians 5:33). Proverbs 31 lists 17 characteristics you should be following on a daily basis. Children of any age you should honor your father and mother (Exodus 20:12).

Each family member has a different call on their life. Living within this dynamic group so closely knit together can be very rewarding and very trying. Similar personalities usually clash, and similar callings will do the same. We must all recognize the gifts, talents and callings of the other in order for the family to fully function. We must also realize that one person can bring dishonor to the whole family, and the father especially can bring the whole family down (see Joshua 7). Let us all search out the best in each member of our family and edify them in a way that makes them want to share their calling with the world. Your work is never done.

What are you called to in your community? You are called to witness to the lost, to heal the sick, to deliver those that are oppressed and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord (Isaiah 61:1-2). You are called to clothe the naked, visit the sick and those in prison, feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty (Matthew 25:34-40) and do unto others as you would want them to do for you (Leviticus 18:19). You are to work as unto the Lord, not unto man (Colossians 3:23-24). You are to honor and respect those in authority over you (Romans 13:1-10). You are to pray, intercede, supplicate and give thanks for everyone around you and for all those in authority over you (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Your work is never done.

How about in your church? Usually we think this is where our calling lies. Are you on the worship team, the worship leader, the one who runs the overhead projector or puts together the bulletins? Do you teach Sunday School, play the piano, help in the nursery or greet at the door? Are you an usher, a deacon, an elder or the church secretary? Do you help clean, cook, wash dishes or do yard work? Work around a church is never done.

We are all called to many types of ministries. We all have many types of gifts. We are all able to minister in many different ways. Yet we all must function together. Romans 12 talks about many gifts the body of Christ should be endowed with. 1 Corinthians 12 does an excellent job of showing the various gifts and talents the body of Christ is empowered with and explains well why we should work together similar to the way our human body does. Yet even after this description Paul says love is the more excellent way (1 Corinthians 13).

I challenge you this morning or evening or whatever time of day you are reading this, to make a list of the ways you are ordained, or put or placed in a position to serve God. I’ll start. Psalmist, writer, dishwasher, clothes washer, house cleaner, chauffeur, grocery shopper, lay minister, evangelist, worship leader, songwriter, edifier, peacemaker, witness, neighborly, husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, friend– I think that does it fairly well.

Paul lists three things. First he says he’s a preacher. The word used here is one that denotes a person like a town crier in the old days. Someone who goes around the street telling them news items. In Paul’s case, he was heralding the wonderful news about Jesus Christ and the salvation He offered. I can about see Paul walking down the streets of a city saying “Jesus Christ died for your sins” or “Get saved today” or “Be filled with the Spirit of the living God”. The crowd would gather as he walked along reciting various things to get them interested in what he had to say. And by the end of the day he had a crowd to preach to and he would share the wonderful gospel message. He was a master preacher.

Second, he was an apostle. This denotes someone who is sent by another. In Paul’s case, he was sent by Jesus himself when travelling on the road to Damascus. He received a clear calling when his eyes were opened that day in the house of Ananias. Jesus told Ananias Paul would suffer much for the kingdom of God that he had put through such suffering. He was sent by Jesus Christ to deliver the message to the Gentiles. He went to city after city taking the message to the Jews first and they rejected him. The stoned him, the mocked him, they left him for dead. But the Gentiles heard him, repented and were saved. He was a master apostle.

Lastly, he was a teacher of the Gentiles. Who of us can argue with that statement. Paul’s writings are used by every denomination and every church at some time or another. Countless books and blogs and sermons have come from his teachings. He wrote more of the New Testament than any other author. We who are not Jews are all considered Gentiles and he has taught us for centuries. I would guess Paul had no idea what his words would be used almost 2,000 years later to instruct newlyweds, used at communion, to save the lost, to give instruction in righteousness, holiness and Godliness. If you told him then that his words would still be teaching non-believers to accept Christ, he probably would have said “Yeah- right!” He was and still is a master teacher.

Do you have any idea how far your legacy will reach? What have you produced that can last that long? Have you trained up your children to love the Lord, and are they training their children? Perhaps generations down the road they will look back and point to their great-great-great-great-great grandparents as the ones who started them off right. Do you write a blog that teaches Christian principles? Perhaps decades down the road someone will come across one of your writings and give their heart to God. We need to reach out whenever and wherever we can to touch hearts and minds for Jesus Christ.

Lastly, Paul charges us to lift up holy hands and pray without wrath or doubting. I am curious here why he says without wrath. I understand the part about not doubting. We should never pray in doubt, but always in faith. Prayer is our faith put into action! Doubt has no place in prayer. It also has no place in worship and the lifting of our hands. Those who come to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Doubt has no place here. Neither does being angry at God, and perhaps that is what the wrath stands for. We can be angry at God, just don’t pray to Him or praise Him in the middle of that anger. Pray when you have cooled down and have a level head. We do not effectively communicate when we are angry, do we? How can we expect anything from God if we don’t come to Him on His terms? That would be like walking into your bosses office when he was in the middle of a very important meeting and arguing with him that you deserved a better raise then you got. That would not sit well, would it? It might even get you fired! God is not going to fire anyone, but He also will not respond to your prayer if you come presumptuously. It’s easy to come on His terms. Why do so often refuse to do that?

This day might be a day of discovery for you. Perhaps you never thought much about all the various ways you serve God. Maybe you have never looked at your family like I have described. Maybe you have never taken into consideration your role in the lives of those around you. We are all ordained into His service. He has put us where we are for a reason. Find that reason and then do it with all your heart. There is nothing in this world more satisfying than know ing you are walking in the will of God!

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The Reason

Are your prayers being answered on a regular basis? If they are not you might want to examine the reason that you are asking what you are asking. It is critically important that if we want prayers to be answered that we ask for what God promises to give us.

In James we read that people are not getting their prayers answered because they were asking to consume it on their own lusts (James 4:3). How often do you pray for things that all about accumulating wealth in your life.  These things will bring you glory and most likely make you proud.  God knows if He answers these prayers, it will drive you away from Him. God knows effects of such a prayer would be devastating on your life  Often, He will not answer prayers like  this.

However, if He knows that you will take that wealth and give it away to people that need it, He may answer that prayer.  if He knows that You will use that wealth to bring Him glory, He just may answer that prayer.  If He knows that pride will not result, the answer may come.  It’s all about the motive with these kind of prayers.

Another reason prayers don’t get answered is because we don’t pray according to God’s will.  Now we all realize that God’s will is His word.  Therefor, we believe that for everyone that is sick, He wants to heal them because by His striped we are healed.  But if that is the case, why do people die?  Why do some prayers end in miraculous healing while others take years to finally see healing come?  Why do people even get sick or injured in the first place if we are praying for their safety?

The reason is that we don’t know exactly what God’s perfect will is in any situation.  When Jesus prayed for the ten lepers, 9 were cleansed, one that came back and gave thinks was made whole (Luke 17:11-19).  What’s the difference?  Well, leprosy can eat away skin, noses, ears, fingers and make your body look like a leper the rest of your life.  You are cleansed when the sores stop oozing and take on a wholesome appearance.  None of the skin is completely restored, not the prats that may have been eaten away.  I believe the one who came back and gave thanks was made completely whole, completely restored.

The best thing we can do for anyone is that God’s will should be done in their lives.  Pray that they will be given the strength in God is ready to heal them.  Pray that they will endure the trial and learn what God has for them.  Pray that they will accept God’s timing in their lives.  Don’t override God’s plan by praying for what you think is God’s will.

A third reason is that we try to tell God how He should answer our prayers.  That is a recipe for unanswered prayer.  God is sovereign and He will answer the prayer the way in which he knows it will be best for us.  The trouble is that we do now know what is best for us as well as God does.  He knows our future and He knows the plans He has for us.  if we will just learn to place our lives in God’s hands, accept the situations that come before us, and lay them at His feet, then we will have a lot more peace.  Stop prescribing your own answers, your own medicine.  Allow Him to lead.

There are other reasons, but these are the big three in my opinion.  Personally, I would like every prayer to be answered.  I have worked hard to bring my prayer life in line with His word and I have seen more and more prayers answered.   Have you examined your prayer life lately?

 

Am I In God’s Will?

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

In Jesus times, the servant was the person doing the work that was given to him by the master.  He may have been a servant that was bought, or a free will servant, but always a servant.  In today’s world, we have employees and bosses.  The positions have different names, but are nonetheless the same as in Jesus time.  As employees, we still have an obligation to work for a boss, and as a result we are, in essence, the servant and he is the master.

When we understand this, we understand how these next few verses apply to today.  we have an obligation to do what our bosses tell us to do with a determined purpose of making him look good.  This is not about whether he is a  good boss or a bad boss, whether he plays favorites or  not, whether he really has he ability to be the boss or not, or whether the task is too easy or too hard.  We have an obligation to do what he asks.  The fear and trembling part is not as much because he can fire  us at any time, it is because we should be doing this work as if Jesus is telling us to do it, not the boss.  Do the work as unto Christ – more on this coming up.

Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

By all means, we should not do good work just to receive commendation for it, trying to please man.  This will only add to our pride, which we never want to do.  I am not saying that we should not accept those “good work” comments when they come – we need to acknowledge those with respect.  But out goal in working should not be to get those remarks – we should be doing the job to the best of our ability whether those comments come or not, and no matter how it looks to our fellow workers.  W should be doing that job from our heart, and always, always giving our best effort.

Why?  Because if we believe God is providing for us, than we should believe God placed us in that job,  And if God placed us in that job, when we should ultimately be working for Him, not just our bosses.  I know that you want to do your best for the Lord.  So do it in the workplace, and do it with all your might.  If you are a married, do your job as a husband or wife with the best of your ability as unto the Lord, not your spouse.  If you are unemployed, do all you are able to around the house for your children and spouse, as unto the Lord, not your family.  I could go on but I think you catch my point.  So many people wonder what the will of the Lord is for them.  This is a good place to start!

And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

This verse speaks to anyone who has some kind of authority over another.  It can be a boss at a job, or a father in a family, or someone who hires and independent contractor do some work.  And it’s words are pretty straightforward.  Again, the golden rule is a gauge to live by in these relationships.  First he says to forbear threatening.  Forbear is defined as politely or patiently restraining an impulse to do something.   I can’t even begin to tell you how often I threatened to do some kind of punishment on my kids and did not follow through!  And I did this with employees as well.  I would definitely have been better off forbearing in a large majority of those cases.

There is a proper time for threatening though, and that’s when company policy is broken, or job performance is poor.  We should still do these things in love, as Christians, and we should never be respecter of one person over another.  All should be on a level playing field.  If we find ourselves disciplining one, and allowing another to do the same thing,, we are playing favorites.  This is wrong in God’s eyes.

Aren’t you glad God even gives us direction in employee/employer relations?  Imagine if these simple rules would be followed by every Christian, what a better world we would live in!  I think I’ll start to pray more about that!

 

Is Time On Your Side?

15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

This world is very  deceitful.  It is very easy to hear someone say something that sounds oh, so good, only to find out that they are talking about something completely contrary to God’s word.  This happens a lot in what I call the “grace” churches.  They preach that God is a God of unlimited grace – which I totally agree with.  God’s grace will never run out, and He will lavish me with grace until my dying day.  He is just like that!  But then some of these churches go on from there, and never mention that we must turn from our sinful ways and not take God’s grace for granted.  Paul says “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid!” (Rom 6:1-2).  It is our calling that once we are saved, we turn from our sin.  Slips and falls will happen, but  to continue in unbridled sin is just wrong.

So Paul tells the Ephesian church to walk circumspectly – be cautious and wary of things around you.  We must not be foolish enough to allow false doctrine into our lives.  We must be wise and measure what anyone says against the scripture.  I feel the need to interject something on the scripture we use.  Newer translations are slowly doing away with sin, atonement and hell.  They picture a God who loves all (and He does) and provides a way of freedom for all (which he does) at no cost to us (which he does).  Why is this a problem?  Because first, it does not explain we must repent, or accept the gift, or turn from our sin.  It does not discuss the sentence of hell if we are disobedient.  It is a watered down, grace gospel that is a mere shadow of what God truly said.  Please take caution of what translation you are reading.

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

What do you do with your time?  Right now, I have time on my hands, since I am disabled and not working.  And it may be a while before I can get back to work.  That can be a problem for me if I don’t manage my time.  My mind will wander off to places it should not, and I can easily get caught up in behavior that I should not be involved in.  I need to keep my mind occupied!  So I have these blogs, which take a while each day to put together.  I am cataloging my poetry, which numbers over 1,000 poems, and starting to assemble it for eventual publishing.  I make the most of my time, and I always run out of time to get things done, it seems.

When  am healed of this cancer, and I am able to drive again and work again (by faith, I am believing this will come to pass), I will have  to be diligent in my time management.  I keep thinking that God has given me this time to work on the poetry and publishing it.  It’s a monumental task.  But when I am well, I will have to make the time to continue with at least one of my blogs,  plus get back into the swing of things around the house and at my job.  Redeeming the time is so important.  It is one commodity we all have the same amount of.  How do you redeem the time?

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

If we do not know what the will of the Lord is, we are unwise.  God clearly shows us His will in His word.  It is so important that we understand what God would have us do.  Here are a few things that God’s will entails.

Micah 6:8 says the Lord requires us to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.  If you really want to move closer to God, practice these three things in earnest.  Understanding these three things is a  key to understanding the will of God.

In Mark 16:15, Jesus tells us to  go into all the world and preach the gospel.  This is a mandate.  And we do not have to be pastors or evangelists to preach the gospel.  Our lives are our testimony.  You preach the gospel by the lifestyle you live, if you are living for God. Take every opportunity to share what God has done for you.

Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on things that are just, pure, lovely, true, honest, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy.  when we set our minds on these things, our actions will follow, and we will be in the middle of God’s will.

This is just a start.  Understanding the will of the Lord is as important as the air we breathe.  Do all you can to effectively walk circumspectly, redeem the time, and carry out His will.

 

 

The Mystery of His Will

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

A lot of what Paul says in Ephesians is everyday Christian knowledge. It is good to review the basics once in awhile. In Christ we have redemption through the blood of Jesus. He forgave us of our sins. We did nothing to deserve it. It was by the riches of his grace. And he has abounded that Grace to us in all wisdom.

 I am so glad for the grace of God.  When I try to define Grace I usually use the acronym God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. He bore a terrible death so that I could have God’s riches. He willingly went to the cross. He could have called ten thousand angels when they tried to take him in the garden but He did not.  He knew the future He faced and He did not back away from it. When He was praying in the garden,  He knew what He was going to have to face and He did not back away from it.

Still today, He abounds His grace toward us. He uses His wisdom and His prudence to shower us with grace every single day in the areas where we need it. God is not obliged to give us anything. It’s all by grace that He provides for our daily needs. We can go all the way back to Noah and realize that God can destroy this earth anytime He wants to. But He loves people so much that He won’t do that.  He said He never will flood the Earth again, and I’m glad

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Paul says God has made known to us the mystery of his will. Do you know the mystery of his will? I know a lot of Christians that say “I need to find God’s will for my life”. Well I’m here to tell you today that His will is sitting right in front of you.  You’re reading out of it every single day hopefully. What is the mystery? The mystery is that we can miss it so easily!  What did Jesus come to do? He saved the lost, he healed the sick, opened blinded eyes, made the lame to walk, set the captive free and proclaimed the good news. And He told that the things we have seen him do,  we should do, and that we will do greater things. That’s His will. Then He told us to go into all the world and preach the gospel.  That’s His will.

Eventually Jesus will return and ,Paul says, in the fullness of time  He wants to gather us all together. But,, until that time we have work to do.  We need to see that people find Christ. That’s His will for our lives. To go out and find souls that are lost and bring them into the kingdom.  We need to ask God to heal, deliver them, and sanctify them, just like He has done for us.  Then we give thanks to God.  Start right where you are, and if God has more for you to do, He will let you know.  His will is right in front of you!    It’s really pretty simple. Why do we make it so complex.

11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

WI discussed predestination last lesson, so I will not go back into that.  Paul adds here that we have obtained an inheritance. How did we obtain an inheritance? How many of you know that a will does not go into force until the one who left the will has died? I bet all of you answered yes to that one. Well the word of God is God’s will. And the Word was made flesh and came and dwelt among us (John 1:14). His name is Jesus. And Jesus went to the cross and died.  When Jesus died, God’s will then came into force. It became our inheritance. That’s another reason why it is our duty  to carry out His will.  But along with that, we inherited all the blessings of the word.  The fruit of the spirit (Gal 5:22-23), the gifts of the spirit (I Cor 12:8-10), the blessings of obedience (Deut 28:1-13).  I could go on and on.  I have  a few friends who are talking about reading through the bible this year, and this is one reason that is a good idea – you will get to read all the blessings that are ours because of this inheritance.

Now we are not to carry out this will to glorify ourselves and bring praise to our lives! We do all these things in order to bring glory to Jesus Christ and God the Father. He deserves all the praise and all the glory because He’s the one that makes it possible. Never forget that