God’s Shaping Tools

It’s important to spend time with God every day. Just like any other relationship, your relationship won’t grow without communication. Reading the Bible for yourself, praying and earnestly seeking God will keep Him forefront in your mind. Sometimes just meditating on God and His Word more makes all our problems seem less daunting. When we keep our eyes on Jesus and what He did for us at the Cross, we’ll be more heavenly minded, and the obstacles in this life won’t seem quite as monumental.

12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Romans 12:1–5 KJV

MARCH 01, 2021 MONDAY

God’s kindness is demonstrated by the fact that He doesn’t leave us in the condition we were in before salvation. Throughout our life, the Lord uses certain tools to shape us into the image of His Son.

God’s Word. We grow in Christ when we spend time reading the Bible, because Scripture is like food that nourishes our soul (Matt. 4:4). Yet sadly, some Christians rely only on the Sunday dinner of the Word served up by a pastor. 

Prayer. We learn to depend on the Lord by coming to Him with our needs and concerns as well as our praise and gratitude. As we regularly draw near, our intimacy and love for Him grows. Instead of seeing prayer as a duty, we’ll realize our time with the Lord has become a delight. 

The Church. The body of believers is another important factor in our transformation because that’s where we learn to love one another.  It’s also where we find encouragement, receive biblical instruction, and experience accountability.

Our culture has no shortage of worldly voices and pressures that fill minds and influence behavior. But when we intentionally schedule time for God, His Word, and His people, He does His transforming work in our life.

Daily Devotions

Handling God’s Word Accurately

Just like with any other book, the Bible must be read in the right context. It can be easy to pick one scripture and apply it wrongly. Usually, if you’ll read the surrounding scriptures or chapters, you’ll be able to able to discern the true meaning of a verse—what it’s talking about, the context it’s used in. Maybe you have trouble understanding the Bible in general. I think we all do from time to time, but it’s important that we don’t give up. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s Word to you. You’ll be amazed just how much He’ll reveal to you.

JANUARY 29, 2021 FRIDAY

The Bible is an amazing book because it is God’s words given to mankind in written form. Yet many people misinterpret it. Instead of diligently studying Scripture to discover what God means and how He wants us to live, some people search the Bible to find passages to support their preconceived ideas or preferred lifestyles.

Today’s passage was written to a young pastor named Timothy. Of all the duties a pastor has, the central one is to present the Word of God accurately to the church. But that doesn’t mean nobody else can—knowing how to properly interpret the Bible is a skill every believer should develop. Consider the diligence of the Bereans, who were commended for examining Scripture regularly to gauge the truth of messages preached to them (Acts 17:10-11).

We aren’t free to interpret the Bible any way we want. The goal is to discover what God meant rather than to find a meaning we like. Remember, it’s our Father’s approval we are seeking—not our own or that of others. Therefore, let’s devote time to studying Scripture, use our resources to learn about context, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us to the truth.

Daily Devotions

P is for Prayer

Prayer is important. It’s how we talk to God. If you want to get closer to God, simply start praying more. God cares about every part of our lives, so we can pray to Him about anything. Pray to God about your worries as well as with praises and thanksgiving for answered prayers.

God Answers Prayers

God does answer prayers. It’s important to note, however, that he answers prayers that are aligned with His will, and he answers them in His time. While we might easily become discouraged when we don’t see immediate results, it doesn’t mean that God hasn’t answered our prayers. It might simply be that it’s not time for delivery of our request, or He might have something better in mind.

Praying for a Promotion

When I become discouraged, I always think of two instances. The first was when I prayed for a better job. Sure, I loved my freelance writing, but I wanted to be an editor. I prayed that if it be God’s will, for Him to please bless me with a promotion to an editing job. This prayer was first sent up nearly 9 years ago when I lived in Florida. I didn’t become an editor until a couple of years ago. While it might have taken six or seven years for God to answer my prayer, He did so – when He knew the timing was right.

Praying for Healing

The other instance is when my grandmother was sick in the hospital. I prayed for God to heal her. Unfortunately, she passed away, and for a time, I was so discouraged, thinking God doesn’t answer prayer. However, a week or two after she died, God revealed to me through a very good friend that He did indeed answer my prayer. He did heal my grandmother – maybe not physically here on this earth, but she received the ultimate healing by passing from this life to the next. She has a brand new perfect body and perfect health, and best of all, she is joyful forevermore in the presence of our Lord.

Praying in God’s Will

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can go to God like He’s a genie in a bottle and expect Him to grant wishes eventually. I believe your prayers have to be aligned with His will in order for your requests to be granted. For instance, just because you ask for a promotion doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get one if that’s not what God has intended for you. I always find it best to add the caveat “if it be Your will” to my prayers. I believe that is how we are supposed to pray because as Christians we should yearn to do God’s will.

For a list of excellent Bible verses about prayer, I recommend this link: 60 Bible Verses About Prayer.

For more Bible verses about the will of God, go here: Will of God.

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