The Holy Bible (New Living Translation – Philippians 2:14-16a): 14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life;
Thoughts: I don't believe there is a person on earth that would not want to live their lives with purpose and in a way that would impact someone else in a positive way. I believe that some of the bestselling books are those written to show people how they might improve their lives to be more effective in their jobs and in their personal relationships. Perhaps most folk are unaware of Biblical teachings, such as the one highlighted today, that do exactly what they are looking for! So friends let's dig in and examine what the Word is actually directing us to do in order to live innocent, pure and effective lives:
- First, and of primary importance, do everything without complaining and arguing. – I believe it is obvious to see that not only does this interfere in our growth and effectiveness today, but that Paul addressed this with His church followers because of issues in the church back then. Think about this good friend, and I believe that you will quickly see that this type of behavior only serves to tear down and not build up. It is generally egged on by Satan to destroy the effectiveness of God's work among His people. So anytime you find yourself participating in something like this, please quickly recognize that you are not promoting an innocent, pure and effective work that shows God at work in your life;
- Secondly, when others cannot see any difference in the life you live versus those that do not claim Jesus as Lord, then I would dare say that you have lost touch with the One who makes a difference in your life. For when Jesus lights up your life, through living in You and showing you the way to righteousness, your life will be a stark contrast to the unsaved that you come into contact with. People might explain a stark difference in two things as "difference between day and night". Similarly, you can also see from verse 15 above that God is expecting our lives to be in such contrast to the darkness of sin in an unbeliever's life, as a shining light is to one in their dark world of sin and disregard for the things of Christ. And
- Thirdly, our strength to be effective comes from the Lord. So hold firmly to the Word of God. This is not a paper book being referred to here. This means that we are to hold on to the truths taught by and through the Word of God. When we live by the Spirit, He will be more apt to affect the lives of others through us, but when we exclude Him, we are powerless.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, Light of the world, thank You for shining Your precious light on me some 39 years ago, and for lighting my path every day, enabling me to live in the light of Your will. Please continue to touch me with Your power each and every day so that I may stay away from complaining and arguing, and instead live a clean and innocent life that exemplifies You in every way so that I may be a 'light', Your light, to the dark and miserable world that I am surrounded by. Please touch the hearts of my readers today so that they too might commit to being more effective 'lights' in their world, or if You are not known as a source of light to one that might stumble upon this devotional, I pray that You might have an awesome and life changing impact upon them today. Lord, may Your powerful 'Light' shine though us today, is my humble and sincere prayer that I ask in the name of Jesus, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day's devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!