Sunday, April 28, 2013

April 28 (2 Timothy 4:5)

But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an 
evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.  (NIV)

You and I have a ministry.  You may work in an office, work out of your home, or work on the line.  You may be self employed or working for the man every night and day.  Whatever your job is, it is also field of your ministry, and the work of that ministry is ultimately evangelism.

Whoa, Nelly!  Evangelism?  Yes, evangelism, which is simply and literally sharing the good news of Jesus.  Evangelism is work, though.  It is hard work.  You may lose friends over it.  You may lose your job.  You will not, however, lose your ministry.

Paul was not giving advice to his young friend Timothy here.  He was giving him the speech generals have given warriors throughout history.  Since all Scripture is inspired by God, hear Paul saying these words to you.  Either get in the game, get back in the game, or stay in the game.  Whatever your situation is, God, through Paul, is speaking to you.

Father, I hear what You are saying, and rather than lay before You all my fears and objections, I am simply going to say, "Yes, Lord."  Deep in my heart, this is what I really want to do anyhow.  I ask only for the strength and grace to do it.  In the name of Jesus, my Savior, amen.
Copyright © 2013 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, April 21, 2013

April 21 (Romans 1:16)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes….  (NIV)
I am suffering some holy discontent, and I am glad for it.  I do not want God to take it away.  In fact, I am praying that He will make it worse.  You see, I am a nice guy.  I do some good things.  I try to live right.  Blah, blah, blah.
The bottom line, though, is that there is so much of my life that God could use to advance His gospel.  How much of my time is spent on, well, on anything else?  How much of my money, my energy, my resources?  If, like Paul, I am truly not ashamed of the gospel, then I think my life should look quite different.
How would your life look if every aspect of it were committed to the good news of salvation to everyone who believes?  Stop and think about that seriously for a moment.  If your calendar and your checkbook truly reflected what you say you believe, if your cabinets and closets and shelves really bore witness, would your life look as it does?
Jesus, do not let me go.  Show me the places that need to change, whether sin that needs repentance or simply habits that need to be altered so my whole life can be spent in the service of the good news You died to bring us.  My life is Yours.

Copyright © 2013 by Steven R. Perkins

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 14 (Matthew 10:29)

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. (NIV)
I was reminded of this verse twice in less than twenty-four hours. Our daughter, who is eight, called our attention to a sparrow sitting in the road in front of our house. Not hopping or fluttering its wings, it seemed wounded, and she wanted us to help. I put on some gloves and carried it to the woods behind our house, where it eventually took flight. On the way, our daughter walked closely beside me, and I shared this verse with her as we asked Jesus to care for the little bird He had made.
The next day I arrived early at the school where I teach to get some paperwork done. A student met me at the door, however, and I could quickly see the paperwork would have to wait as she poured out the latest details in the tragedy that is her life. This is no teenage drama. She lives in poverty and violence, and they are taking their toll. How could I attend to something as unimportant as paperwork when another of God’s sparrows stood before me with a broken wing?
Take heart, then, for as Jesus went on to say, we are worth many sparrows. Your Father cares for and loves you more than you realize. He really does. From the overflow of that love, for He will always lavish you with it, reach out to his other children, who are also worth more than many sparrows. He loves them, too.
Father, keep my eyes open for those who need to feel Your love through me. Show me how to help those who are wounded. In all things, thank You for loving me. In the name of Jesus, my Savior, amen.
Copyright © 2013 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, April 7, 2013

April 7 (1 Corinthians 9:24)

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.  (NIV)
Do you know what your race is?  Do you know what prize you are striving to attain?  There is a shared prize we are all yearning for, and that is life eternal with our blessed Savior.  The race, however, is particular to each one of us.  Generally speaking, of course, we all run the race of serving God, but how we are called to serve Him looks different for each person.
It is a beautiful spring day, and I have enjoyed much of it outside with our children.  As I walked back to our house after playing with them, I realized how clear my race was to me and the confidence I felt regarding the prize I seek.  Both the clarity and the confidence are not born of my own skills or achievements, but rather of that One Who is the author and perfecter of my faith.
I am neither unique nor special in this.  Such clarity and confidence can be yours as well.  Jesus wants them to be yours.  After all, He is the one who has called you to your race.  He is the one who paid for your prize with His life. 
Jesus, I trust You, not just the words You have spoken, but with my life.  I put it in Your hands.  I want nothing more than to run the race You have set for me and to enjoy the everlasting prize with You.  Amen.

Copyright © 2013 by Steven R. Perkins