Whatever You Are, Be a Good One – Ecclesiastes 9:10

passionWhatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” (Ecclesiastes 9:10, NASB).

Whatever you do in life, do it with gusto, do it with enthusiasm, do it with passion! Do the best job you can do, no matter what you are doing! Abraham Lincoln said it like this: “Whatever you are, be a good one!”

And then, do whatever you are doing as if you are doing it for God.

When you become passionate for doing God’s will, for achieving success for God’s kingdom and God’s glory and not just your own, then what you do in life takes on eternal significance and it becomes your God-appointed assignment, God’s will for you. “For I have taken all this to my heart and explain it that righteous men, wise men, and their deeds are in the hand of God” (vs. 1).

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God Prevails! The Key to a Victorious Christian Life – Exodus 17:10-16

MosesHandsLifted“Joshua did as Moses had told him, and fought against Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. While Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, but whenever he put his hand down, Amalek prevailed. When Moses’ hands grew heavy, they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat down on it. Then Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other so that his hands remained steady until the sun went down. So Joshua defeated Amalek and his army with the sword…. And Moses built an altar and named it, ‘The Lord Is My Banner.’ He said, ‘Indeed, my hand is lifted up toward the Lord’s throne.'”  (Exodus 17:10-16, HCSB).

The Amalekites were probably a nomadic people who resided in the area of the Negev on the northern part of the Sinai peninsula and came down to the southern part of Sinai to attack the Israelites. The attack of the Amalekites was particularly offensive because they attacked the weakest Israelites, the stragglers who were at the rear (Deuteronomy 25:17-18).

While the Israelites were fighting the Amalekites under the military leadership of Joshua, Moses, Aaron, and Hur were standing on a hilltop watching the battle. When Moses raised his hands holding the staff of God, the Israelites prevailed in battle. When Moses’ arms grew weary and fell down to his side, the Amalekites prevailed in battle.

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Taking the Long Way to the Promised Land – Genesis 46:3-4

promisedland“I am God, the God of your father, the voice said. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make your family into a great nation. I will go with you down to Egypt, and I will bring you back again” (Genesis 46:3-4, NLT).

Due to a great famine in the land and at the behest of Pharoah and the prime minister of Egypt, Jacob’s son, Joseph, Jacob (Israel) and all his family, which included his eleven sons and their wives and children, moved from Canaan to Egypt.

Their first stop on their journey was at Beersheba, so named 200 years earlier by Jacob’s grandfather, Abraham, who lived in the area for a long time (vs. 21:34). In a night vision God reaffirmed His covenant with Jacob, but in a peculiar way. God promised He would make Israel a great nation in Egypt and then bring them out of Egypt to live once again in the land of Canaan. So, they went to Egypt as a tribe of seventy people (vs. 27) and left Egypt as a nation of quite possibly more than two million people (see Exodus 12:37, 38:26, six hundred thousand men, not counting women and children)!

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Answering the Call – Ezekiel 1:3

phone_ringing“The Lord gave this message to Ezekiel son of Buzi, a priest, beside the Kebar River in the land of the Babylonians, and he felt the hand of the Lord take hold of him” (Ezekiel 1:3, NLT).

The word of the Lord first came to Ezekiel while he was living with the Judean exiles in Babylon.

Ezekiel was a priest by descent and, as such, his primary ministry was offering sacrifices in the Temple in Jerusalem. As one of the exiled Jews, Ezekiel was unable to serve as a priest in the usual ways.

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Blessing You Right Where You Are – Jeremiah 42

cat-dog“They said, Please pray to the Lord your God for us. As you can see, we are only a tiny remnant compared to what we were before. Pray that the Lord your God will show us what to do and where to go…Whether we like it or not, we will obey the Lord our God to whom we are sending you with our plea. For if we obey him, everything will turn out well for us… And today I have told you exactly what he said, but you will not obey the Lord your God any better now than you have in the past” (Jeremiah 42:2,3,6,21, NLT).

Following the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, King Nebuchadnezzar appointed a governor over Judah. The new governor encouraged the people of Judah who had fled to neighboring countries to return to Judah and farm the land.

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Salvation Workout – Philippians 2:12-13

workout“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure”  (Philippians 2:12-13, ESV).

The Apostle Paul is not suggesting the the Philippians should try to earn their salvation by doing good works.

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It’s Not About Me – Romans 14:5-12

in-the-spotlight“For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14:7-8, NLT).

The Apostle Paul makes a plea for unity among the Roman Christians based on their individual and collective accountability to God.

Paul said we come from different backgrounds and are at different places in our walk with God. While some are more mature in their faith than others, no one should say or do anything that castigates the faith of another in Christ even though the brother or sister may be spiritually immature.

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Believing or Belonging? – Acts 11:26

“The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.” (Acts 11:26, HCSB)The term “Christian” occurs only three times in the New Testament.

Besides this verse, in Acts 26:28 King Herod Agrippa asked if the Apostle Paul was trying to persuade him to become a Christian and in 1 Peter 4:16 the Apostle Peter referred to suffering for being a Christian.

The word for Christian in the Greek is Christianos and comes from christos, meaning “anointed one” with a modifier borrowed from Latin to denote adhering to, or even belonging to, as in slave ownership.

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Getting Out of God’s Way – Acts 11:17

“And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?” (Acts 11:17, NLT)

After Peter proclaimed the gospel of Jesus in Caesarea to the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius, a Roman officer, Peter had to explain his actions to the apostolic leadership and believers back in Jerusalem.

As Peter recounted the sequence of events, he explained it was only by God’s initiative that he took the gospel to the Gentiles.

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God’s Instruction Manual – Psalm 19:7-11

“The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul” (Psalm 19:7-11, NLT)

In Psalm 19 David declared the eminence and significance of God’s law.

In general, God’s instructions refer to all His laws or commands but can specifically refer to Genesis through Deuteronomy, the written code given through Moses.

We should consider God’s instructions to be His complete revealed Word in the Bible, Old and New Testaments, Genesis through Revelation.

According to the psalmist, God’s instructions are relevant to your life because they are perfect, trustworthy, right, clear, true, fair, desirable, and sweet (vs. 7-10).

And, if you read God’s instruction manual, the psalmist says that these are some of the benefits you will receive from following its instructions:

  • make you wise beyond your own ability
  • bring joy and happiness to your life
  • describe how God wants you to live
  • warn about sin and disobedience to keep you on the right path
  • give satisfaction and fulfillment in this life and the life to come

We should value the Bible as God’s instruction manual for knowing and understanding Him and how He wants us to live and what He wants us to do with our lives.

Because if we want to obey God, it is necessary that we know what His instructions are and then follow them by applying them to our lives.

And, if you desire to live for God each day, then you need to consult God’s instruction manual, the Bible, each day.