Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- May 26, 2013
When he [Barnabas] arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. Acts 11:23
Remain true to the Lord, for He has remained true to you. Remain true because the grace of God compels you to. Remain true, for He knows what is best for you; remain true because you know it is the right thing to do; remain true while others encourage you; remain true because your obedience encourages others; remain true with all your heart so that the Kingdom of God advances aggressively for His glory. It is easy to sign up as a Jesus follower, but follow through requires faithfulness, so remain true to your commitment to Christ. It does matter that you follow through for Him. It matters to Him, to you, to your family, and to your credibility. It matters to those you have encouraged, those you are encouraging, and those you will encourage. It matters that you remain true.
Satan will try to suppress your commitment by his limited power of disease, discouragement, and discontentment. He wants you to forget God’s faithfulness and fall into his trap of temptation. He wants you to walk away from your family and follow your own selfish desires. He wants you to think you are an exception to the rule of law and accountability. He will feed your pride until you starve humility into non-existence. Jesus said, “I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me…” (Revelation 2:13a). The hand of the Lord is on those who remain true with all their hearts. However, He moves on from those who drift into hypocritical behaviors of pretending one thing and doing another. Begin by exposing any unauthentic living, and seek to reconnect with Christ and others.
The grace of God creates an environment of encouragement. You can encourage others to remain true because God’s grace has been extended to you. Grace encourages faithfulness. Grace realizes there is room for mistakes but still offers opportunities to remain true. Failure and faith can coexist. Encouragers engage others on a heartfelt level. You have the opportunity to come alongside husbands and wives, friends and relatives, new and mature Christians. You can encourage them to remain true to the Lord and to each other. Encouragement extends hope rooted in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Your eternally based encouragement is not sentimental or shallow. It is a heavenly hope evidenced by answered prayer.
You encourage others exponentially when you petition Christ on their behalf. Cry out to your heavenly Father and ask that He keep your teenagers true to Him. Pray for your friend’s body to be healed by the hand of God; pray for married couples to learn how to love and respect each other under the influence of the Holy Spirit; pray for your Pastor to remain true to his calling and to the One who extended his call; pray for opportunities to pray with those you are encouraging. Prayer is without exhaustion in its encouragement. Above all else, receive encouragement from the Lord and others to remain true. Then simultaneously and spontaneously extend encouragement to others to remain true with all their hearts. Remain true because there is no limit to what the Lord can do. Giving up is not for you.
Taken from the May 26th reading in the 365-day devotional book, “Seeking Daily the Heart of God” volume 1… http://bit.ly/Tv6y9a
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