Living for God Every Day

Living for God Every Day

Our oldest son and his wife gave me a copy of Daily Guideposts Devotions for Christmas last year. I enjoyed using this book for my daily devotion, bible reading and prayer time because the devotions are a collection of everyday events in people’s lives. The thing that makes each devotional so special is that in the midst of the ordinary and sometime mundane God reveals His truth to His people.

As I read through this devotional each day I underscore key text I want to remember. I put clouds around paragraphs that I find inspirational. I underline scripture references. Each article is backed up with at least 3 or 4 scripture references and I look up each one and read any footnotes that are in my NIV Life Application Bible.

As I did this each day I noticed one particular scripture reference that was referred to in at least 6 different articles. It is Colossians 3:12-19.

Before we take a look at that scripture I would like to give you some background on it.

These words were written by Paul while he was in prison in Rome to the people of Colosse. The interesting thing is that Paul had never visited Colosse. The church there had been founded by some of Paul’s converts from Paul’s many missionary travels.

The church at Colosse, however, had become infiltrated by influences from paganism and secular philosophy. Paul wrote this letter to confront these false teachings and to affirm the sufficiency of Christ.

Colossians 3:12-17

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

These words were written from Paul to the Colossians but they are meant for us as well today.

In this scripture Paul offers us a strategy to help us live for God day by day.

  1. Imitate Christ’s compassionate, forgiving attitude.
  2. Let Love guide your life
  3. Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart
  4. Always be thankful
  5. Keep God’s word in you at all times
  6. Live as Jesus Christ’s representative

So let’s look at Point # 1. Imitate Christ’s compassionate, forgiving attitude.

The real key here to forgiving others is to remember how much God has forgiven us. Remembering how much God has forgiven us, will help us love and forgive others.

Point # 2 is Let love guide your life.

Let’s look for a minute at Paul’s instruction to the people of Corinth in

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

 1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Here we learn that love is more important than all the other spiritual gifts exercised by the church body.

We can have great faith and do acts of dedication or sacrifice and even possess miracle-working power but without love they will produce very little. Love is what makes those spiritual gifts useful.

Something powerful to note here is that people have many different gifts but love is a gift available to everyone!

Point # 3 is Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart.

As Christians we are told to live in peace. Now we need to be careful here because to live in peace does not mean that suddenly all differences of opinion will be eliminated. To live in peace requires that loving Christians work together despite their differences.

This type of love is not a feeling but instead, it is a decision to meet other’s needs. To live in love leads to peace among the members of the body of believers.

Point # 4 is Always be Thankful.

Discontented people are constantly making a list of everything that is wrong with their lives. To increase thankfulness make a list of all that you have (your relationships, your memories, your abilities, and your family as well as your material possessions). Use this list as a guide to pray a prayer of gratitude and thankfulness.

On Sunday mornings before worship instead of rushing around, try taking some time to reflect on your reasons for thanks from this list. Declare Sundays as your Thanks, Faith and Hope Day. Celebrate God’s many blessing in your life and lift up in prayer your needs for the week ahead.

Point # 5 is Keep God’s word in you at all times.

To keep God’s word in you at all times implies that you must first know God’s word. In order to know God’s word we need to read his word, listen to word, and study his word.

If I asked for a show of hands right now as to who here in this room has at least one copy of the Bible in their home right now I think I would see every hand in the room go up. In fact, many of you probably have multiple Bibles. And, if you do not have a Bible in your home please see me after the service and I will see to it that you have a Bible to take home with you today.

Many people when asked if they actually read their Bibles say no for varying reasons. Some say they have tried to read it but they did not understand what they were reading.

But God’s word says it is not too difficult to understand. One of the reasons people struggle with their walk in faith is because they try to do it alone. Ask a friend to join you in reading the Bible together. We needs God’s people to walk with us but even more important, we need God’s presence with us.

When Jesus walked on the road to Emmaus with two disciples after His resurrection this is what it says in Luke 24.

Luke 24:45-49

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

We have the word of God to guide us and the Holy Spirit of God to open our eyes to the scriptures. That means we Will understand what the scriptures mean if we just ask God to reveal the meaning to us.

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 says

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
    the things God has prepared for those who love him—

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

So if we are faithful and read and study God’s word, He will reveal to us what his word means.

Many also say, “Oh I can’t memorize scripture. I can’t remember what God’s word says. Do you really believe that? If you do then consider this.

John 14:26

26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

He will remind us of everything He says in His word.

I will share with you one way which is a great way to help you remember God’s word and that is through music.

Even the secular world knows this to be true. How many of hear even just a few notes to a tune or hear only a few words and can immediately tell what product is being advertised?

Do you know that many Christian Hymns and Praise Songs are based on actual scripture? Singing scripture helps us meditate on it and memorize it, bringing us into a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father. In fact the songs we are singing this morning are all based on scriptures.

Earlier this morning I mentioned that I used the Daily Guideposts 2022 A Spirit Lifting Devotional this past year. The devotional for Wednesday, September 21st reinforces the importance of keeping the word of God in our hearts. I would like to read that devotional to you at this time.

“Our gentle Labrador, Rugby, was attacked in our backyard. He had one wound on his shoulder and another on his back. It had happened at night where the grass gives way to the woods.

“He’ll be fine,” our veterinarian said. “But I’m puzzled. A bite would be two punctures. Each site has just one.”

My eleven-year-old Isaiah was listening, so I knew there’d be a mission. He’d find what had wounded his dog. A shake of his bank brought forth funds. A few days later, night-vision binoculars came via UPS.

I’m ready, he said. “When Rugby goes outside, I’ll wait for the attacker. I don’t want my dog to be afraid.” And for a week, Isaiah sat on the back porch when Rugby went out at night. He watched through binoculars that shot a ray of green. Beside him was a leather pouch of marbles and a slingshot carved like a bear.

Isaiah was armed and ready. He was fully prepared. What a way to live!

In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow because each day holds trouble of its own. Some days, trouble comes in the form of circumstance. Or people. Trouble can also be our own schedule, thoughts, family, work, or situations that spin out of control.

We can’t choose what comes against us. But we can be prepared.

When we spend time in His presence, His truth makes us strong. It changes our perceptions and reactions and how we persevere. He makes us bold. Unafraid. We become conquerors.

The Word is our weapon of war.

As for Isaiah, he never did find the mysterious creature lurking in the woods. But Rugby healed and eventually felt safe again.

The slingshot and marbles are still sitting on an old trunk on the covered part of our porch. They remind me to be prepared.

Lord, Your Word holds power! Amen

This devotional was submitted by Shawnelle Eliasen

That last sentence really hit me. The slingshot and marbles are a reminder for Shawnelle each day to be prepared.

That is what we all need. Each day we need to be reminded to rely on the Word of God that holds a power more powerful than anything on this earth! That power will help us Live for God Every Day.

Paul’s last point in his Colossian text on how to live for God every day is to Live as Jesus Christ’s representative.

I teach elementary age children in Sunday school and in this past quarter we had a lesson on making choices. We talked about the consequences of making good choices and the consequences of making bad choices.

We played a game that was similar to “Mother-May-I”. We made pyramids before playing the game and each pyramid had a different instruction on the 3 sides and the bottom.

In the game I gave an instruction to the kids and rather than say, “Mother May I”, they threw their pyramids up into the air. They had to follow the message on the pyramid that was facing them.

The instructions on the pyramids were.

Ok, Take one step forward. They could obey my request and move forward one step.

Be glad to,Take two steps forward. They could obey my request and move two steps toward me.

Not now, Take one step backwards. They were not to obey my request and move one step backwards away from me.

No way,Take two steps backwards. They were not to obey my request and move two steps backwards away from me.

After finishing the game we made another pyramid that had 4 instructions on it as well, but these were very different instructions.

This pyramid was designed to help them make good decisions each day when confronted with an instruction someone gave to them. These were to sit in a prominent place where they could see them each day.

The instructions on this pyramid were 1) Listen 2) Commit 3) Pray 4) Take Action.

When confronted with something someone was telling them to do they were to 1) Listen to what they were being asked to do, 2) Commit to making the right choice in God’s eyes, 3) Pray for god’s guidance, and 4) Take Action.

Now the key to living our lives as Christ’s representative all hinges on following step 4) Take Action.

Let’s look at what we are told to do in James.

James 1:22-25

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

This is just the beginning of a New Year. It is always seen as a time to reflect on our past and make a fresh start on our future. What better time is there to Begin Living For God Every Day!

By

  1. Imitating Christ’s compassionate, forgiving attitude
  2. Let Love guide your life
  3. Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart
  4. Always be thankful
  5. Keep God’s word in you at all times
  6. Live as Jesus Christ’s representative