The Small and Insignificant…

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Acts 4:13  (KJV)

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

Anyone who studies God’s ways soon realizes they are quite different from man’s.

Worldly wisdom says that extraordinary people and abundant resources are needed for great tasks, yet the Lord often chooses the small and insignificant to achieve His purposes on earth.

For example, Christ selected a rather unimpressive group of men as disciples, yet after being filled with the Spirit, they “turned the world upside down.”

During His ministry on earth, Jesus fed thousands with a child’s meager lunch, and He viewed the widow’s two small coins as a greater offering than all the other generous donations (John 6:5-12; Luke 21:2-3).

God specializes in using people who aren’t naturally qualified to accomplish His tasks.

Moses was a verbally impaired 80-year-old shepherd who liberated a nation. After Gideon hid from the enemy, God made him a valiant warrior. David was the overlooked youngest son who killed a giant with a small stone and became Israel’s greatest king.

God isn’t looking for impressive people; He wants willing ones who will bow the knee in humble submission.

Being weak and ordinary doesn’t make you useless. Rather, it positions you for a demonstration of divine power in your life. He takes insignificant ones and delights in making them great.

Have you ever considered that your lack of ability, talent, or skill is the ideal setting for a great display of Christ’s power and glory?

If you are willing to submit to His leading and venture into the scary yet rewarding territory of faith and obedience, He will do great things in and through you.

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Fruitful Believers…

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Galatians 5:16-26 (KJV)

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

As believers, we all want the fruit of the Spirit, but how can we know if we truly have it?

Even unbelievers can display these qualities when conditions are positive. This nine-fold fruit of the Spirit is not what we do, but who we are, and it is primarily on display in Christians when circumstances are unfavorable. Two characteristics help us recognize these traits in our lives.

Fruitful believers are not controlled by their environment.

Everyone experiences trials and pain, but those who are filled with the Spirit do not lose His fruit because of their situations. They keep their joy even when difficulties overwhelm. If someone speaks harshly, they respond with kindness. Because the Holy Spirit is in control, He is free to produce His fruit no matter what the circumstances are. Even though such believers may feel pain, anger, or a desire for revenge, they choose to trust the Lord to protect them and direct the outcome.

Fruitful Christians recover quickly after a fall. 

These believers are not perfect, but they are sensitive to the Spirit’s conviction and are quick to return to the Lord in repentance. In fact, they are actually grateful for the correction and praise God, not only for revealing their weakness but also for drawing them back to obedience.

No one produces these amazing qualities in himself.

Trying harder to be godly will never work. Character transformation occurs when we submit to God, giving Him complete control of our lives.

Only then will the Spirit be free to produce fruit that remains even in the deepest, darkest storms.

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The Willing Ones…

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Acts 4:13 (KJV)

13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

Anyone who studies God’s ways soon realizes they are quite different from man’s.

Worldly wisdom says that extraordinary people and abundant resources are needed for great tasks, yet the Lord often chooses the small and insignificant to achieve His purposes on earth.

For example, Christ selected a rather unimpressive group of men as disciples, yet after being filled with the Spirit, they “turned the world upside down.”

During His ministry on earth, Jesus fed thousands with a child’s meager lunch, and He viewed the widow’s two small coins as a greater offering than all the other generous donations (John 6:5-12; Luke 21:2-3).

God specializes in using people who aren’t naturally qualified to accomplish His tasks.

Moses was a verbally impaired 80-year-old shepherd who liberated a nation. After Gideon hid from the enemy, God made him a valiant warrior. David was the overlooked youngest son who killed a giant with a small stone and became Israel’s greatest king.

God isn’t looking for impressive people; He wants willing ones who will bow the knee in humble submission.

Being weak and ordinary doesn’t make you useless.

Rather, it positions you for a demonstration of divine power in your life. He takes insignificant ones and delights in making them great.

Have you ever considered that your lack of ability, talent, or skill is the ideal setting for a great display of Christ’s power and glory?

If you are willing to submit to His leading and venture into the scary yet rewarding territory of faith and obedience, He will do great things in and through you. 

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The Severest Discipline…

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2 Corinthians 3:18
“We all, with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image.”

The outstanding characteristic of a Christian is this unveiled frankness before God so that the life becomes a mirror for other lives.

By being filled with the Spirit we are transformed, and by beholding we become mirrors. You always know when a man has been beholding the glory of the Lord, you feel in your inner spirit that he is the mirror of the Lord’s own character.

Beware of anything which would sully that mirror in you; it is nearly always a good thing, the good that is not the best.

The golden rule for your life and mine is this concentrated keeping of the life open towards God.

Let everything else – work, clothes, food, everything on earth – go by the board, saving that one thing. The rush of other things always tends to obscure this concentration on God. We have to maintain ourselves in the place of beholding, keeping the life absolutely spiritual all through.

Let other things come and go as they may, let other people criticize as they will, but never allow anything to obscure the life that is hid with Christ in God.

Never be hurried out of the relationship of abiding in Him. It is the one thing that is apt to fluctuate but it ought not to. The severest discipline of a Christian’s life is to learn how to keep “beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord.”

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