Driven by Eternity DAY 36
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:2–3)
Jesus had an important message about how we may be found faithful. It was so important, in fact, that He told this lesson twice in two similar, yet significantly different, parables—the parables of the talents and the minas. Every believer is given the same access to Christ’s infinite grace and we are all called to multiply it through prayer, obedience to His Word, following the Spirit’s leading day by day, giving, reading Scriptures, worshiping, and many other things. (John Bevere)
What are we doing with what God has given us? God has given each of us access to His heart and His help. Success is measured by obedience in our lives not the objects around our lives. Through pondering His word, we learn how to pray His will. Believers who pray will do something with what God has given them. People who don’t pray won’t play. You might not like the word “play” for living the Christian life but it works. Those who pray play and those that don’t pray, don’t plan. They are afraid to get leave their seats and get out into the game. Praying leads to playing and playing leads to greater praying. Do you want to use what God has given you? Start praying and you’ll start playing.
Driven by Eternity DAY 35
BUILDING WITH WISDOM
Through wisdom, a house is built. (Proverbs 24:3)
Scripture tells us, “Through wisdom a house is built” (Proverbs 24:3), but there are two different kinds of wisdom—the wisdom of God, and the wisdom of the world. Both forms of wisdom are able to build things that look godly, but only one comes from a heart that is able to build something of eternal worth. The wisdom of this world has a nature of selfish ambition. God tells us how to recognize wisdom that comes from above.
Two things about the wisdom from above: it’s pure and submissive. Wisdom from above is motivated by God and molded by God. A smart man is a surrendered man and you can tell what a man is smart about by what he is surrendered to. I think John Bevere is right when he says that results are not what is important to God, obedience is. When we let His Spirit surge as we let our spirit submit, we live in obedience and God builds the house. The results are up to God when we make Him the Lord of our lives.
Driven by Eternity DAY 34
EMPOWERED BY GRACE
But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
It’s easy to admire those who have large international influence reaching millions of people for Jesus Christ, but that is not the call on every person’s life. God will not give us our eternal rewards based on man’s standard, but by whether we were obedient to our own call. (John Bevere)
This morning I’m reminded, once again, that our lives are not measured by human standards but by God’s script. What did we do with what God gave us? It’s impossible to live out God’s script if we can’t or won’t listen to God’s Spirit. The wisdom of God for life is found in God’s Scriptures and from God’s Spirit leading us along the way. God’s involvement in our lives is what we call grace and grace, is what we find in the presence, perspective, passion, power, and purpose of the Holy Spirit.
It all seems so strange because we’re seeking the advice of someone we can’t see, but we can hear. Living by faith in this grace isn’t merely about obey the Scriptures but operating our lives under the leading of the Holy Spirit. He writes the script for us each and every day and by the way, it will agree with the Scriptures, the Bible. What are we doing with what God is saying? That is the measuring stick.
Driven by Eternity DAY 32
DISPLAYING YOUR WORK FOREVER
If your work passes inspection, fine; if it doesn’t, your part of the building will be torn out and started over. (1 Corinthians 3:14–15 MSG)
Many begin their work in God’s house well, but then veer off and fail to finish. Whether financial worries, relational pressures, the trap of offense, hurt, disappointment, or some other entanglement ensnared them, the final statement on their lives is they did not fulfill their calling. This work must be torn out and redone, leaving these saints nothing to show for their labors when they reach eternity. Can you imagine that? (John Bevere)
God wants to keep and complete His work in and through our lives and by His grace, we will be able to see it through to the end. We’ll have something to talk about in heaven. Imagine that! Don’t let anyone or anything steal your reward in heaven. Without God’s work in our lives what will talk about after this life is over? Just asking!
Driven by Eternity DAY 31
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1–2 NIV)
We discover our calling in life when we seek God wholeheartedly. We develop it by planting ourselves within a local church. But even after doing these things, we may still fall short of God’s intended purpose for our lives if we have become entangled in the things of this world. (John Bevere)
I’m reminded of that place in Matthew 22:14 where Jesus says that many are called but few are chosen. He was addressing the man who had joined the wedding party but without his wedding garment. Why and how does this guy get into the party without the right attire? I don’t how but
why often takes us back to when we decided to do things our way. We become distracted or entangled by the day to day issues of life. We want to go but we just never get it done and if we do get there we come half dressed for the occasion because we had other things to do.
Today I’m reminded not to let the issues of life keep me from the issues of heaven. What is more important than Him? What is more pressing than the eternal work of God? What is more critical to talk about then the conversations the Holy Spirit wants to have with me and through me? It’s so easy to become entangled in the thoughts and things of man. I don’t want to be late and half-dressed for the occasions of God.
Driven by Eternity DAY 31
PUTTING DOWN ROOTS
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. (Psalm 92:13)
Have you planted yourself in a local church? If you haven’t, it’s to your benefit to get connected to one. This is one of the most important steps to discovering and living out the call of God on your life. (John Bevere)
This morning I’m reminded once again just how important the role of the church is to the development and deployment of Christians. The church is a God idea. He has ordained the church as His tool for developing and deploying followers of Jesus into this life and this world. The church isn’t just something believers do, it’s somewhere believers belong and share and enjoy and grow and serve. In the church is where God develops our character and defines our calling if we’re willing, to be honest, and humble. In the church, we discover who God has made us to be and where God has prepared us to serve Him. It’s the church, not merely the Christian, that God has chosen to be His presence in this place. John Bevere ends the devotional today with “The church is God’s prescription for learning to flourish in His kingdom.” Where are you with that?
Driven by Eternity DAY 30
DISCOVERING YOUR CALL
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5–6 NLT)
When someone discovers they can choose a different path for their life other than the one God intended for them, and that they will be held accountable by God for that choice, it can be justifiably terrifying! (John Bevere)
We will be held accountable for what we did with what He gave us. That’s the lesson from the parable of the tenants. But rather than focus on what might go wrong, focus and what will go right. When we seek the Lord with all our hearts, going His way is more of a given. When we go our own way, it is a sign that we want God on our terms or we can’t go because of our fear, disobedience and maybe our lack of trust. The preacher in Proverbs says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart…” Learning to hear and see in the power of the Holy Spirit will make God’s way more obvious. We will still need to trust Him and that comes from spending time with Him. Today John Bevere writes, “God’s ways do not normally align with our understanding, but if we seek Him He will reveal our calling.”
Driven by Eternity DAY 29
LIVING YOUR UNIQUE CALLING
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.” (Jeremiah 1:5 NLT)
Everyone has a divine calling on their lives. We all serve important roles in building God’s house. It’s important for us to know that in regard to our calling we won’t be judged according to what we did but according to what we were called to do. (John Bevere)
Today I’m reminded that this calling is something God reveals to us when and as we become who He wants us to be. There is a place in God’s house, God’s passion, for us in this life but I don’t think it’s a great treasure hunt that depends totally on our ability to find this treasure. If we will be concerned with becoming who God wants us to be, I believe God’s passion for what He wants us to do will rise to the service. The issue won’t be can I find God’s passion for me, but will I follow God’s passion for my life?
Driven by Eternity DAY 27
CO-LABORERS WITH GOD
We are co-workers with God and you are God’s cultivated garden, the house he is building. (1 Corinthians 3:9 TPT)
God has limited Himself on our behalf. No one could have ever forced Him to do this, yet He has chosen to simply by giving man authority over the earth from the beginning. Because He has delegated authority over the earth to man, we can restrict God. (John Bevere)
God has delegated His authority to us so that we might live in His authority to accomplish His will in our lives and on this earth. We can restrict God through our choices. That happens when we grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30) and quench His holy work(1 Thess 5:19) in and through our lives. When God saved us He brought us on His team to build His work in us and through us. We have a responsibility to reveal God’s work, want and will in and through our lives in and by His authority that has been delegated to us and for us to live in.
Driven by Eternity DAY 26
HOPE FOR A HOPELESS ASSIGNMENT
Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” (Isaiah 66:1–2)
You are both a builder and a gardener, and your great purpose in life is to build a house for God. How you build God’s house is the ultimate basis for how God will determine whether to reward you or how greatly to reward you. In short, we can build without the help of the Spirit, but all of that will be useless in the light of eternity. Only what we build with God will endure the test of fire on that day. (John Bevere)
Today I’m reminded that what we build for the Lord will be determined by what we build with the Lord from a heart of humility and faith. We cannot afford to place the Holy Spirit on the sidelines of our lives, simply watching us. What can a man build for God? But with the Holy Spirit living in us and with us God will build something awesome through us. This faith is about living in a relationship with God, not just a religion about God. How are we letting the Holy Spirit work in us and through us?