It’s Who You Know

It’s Who You Know.

By Brian C Collins

Titus 1:16  They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him…
“We slander God by our very eagerness to work for Him without knowing Him.” (Oswald Chambers)

This thought that we rely on our own more then God was the main point of my devotional today.  Summarized by the above quote.  I wonder how many ministries and servants in ministry have failed in the end or became disqualified at some point in their ministries simply for the fact they never really knew God or fell out of fellowship with Him.
We can be saved, burdened, called, and even in ministry.  However, if we never completely dive in and get serious with God we can fail.  If we never give our all or stop giving our all, to be close and right with Him, truly getting to know Him, we can fail.  How can we try to do His work when we are not even sure if what we have decided to do is His will?
I’m not referring to a preacher preaching or a missionary going to the mission field.  I am pointing out the specific, intricate decisions made concerning the path, the people, and the plan of our mission.  Yes, Preach go spread the Gospel.  But have we chosen our direction through Christ or for other reasons; are we dealing with people the way God wants us to, or by some other philosophy?  Are we following God’s plan or our own?
We need to be prepared and equipped for ministry.  Bible colleges can help with this. Nonetheless, we need to use all the tools at hand that God has supplied.  Without that close relationship with Christ, we could use good tools for the wrong job.  Using a hammer to beat something down when all that’s needed is a little sandpaper to smooth it away can cause more problems.
It is the Holy Spirit of God that will help us in these specific decisions.  When we are in tune with God we will hear that still small voice, we will see how that scripture applies, we will know which way to go.  Which way to turn the wrench, and what amount of force needs applying.
Knowing God as we should, we can be equipped through Him, and directed by Him.  It is God’s power, leading, and knowledge that brings success to a ministry.  We will be bringing glory to God because we are not doing it all on our own.  God is doing it through us because we are truly striving to get to know Him.

Go Means Live

Go means Live.

By Brian C Collins

 

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in the earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  Matt  28:18-20

 “Go simply means live…where we are placed is a matter of indifference; God engineers the goings.” (Oswald Chambers)

This month is missions month at our church.  Pastor ask that we pray not only for those missionaries that we support but that we pray for our church and mostly ourselves to have a heart for missions. 

Most Christians know of the Great Commission, we are all commanded to go, live, the gospel of Christ every day.  When I think of the gravity of that command and I look back at my life and my testimony at work, church, and family I am ashamed to say that my living has not always measured up to the scale of Christ’s command.

In the past when I thought of the Go in the command from Christ, I just thought of the action of getting up and physically seeking those who are lost and telling them of Christ.  Yes, I have always been taught we should be Christlike and have a good testimony so others may see what Jesus has to offer.  However, for some reason, my small brain never made the connection of the Go also meaning live.

Considering the implications of Go as Live helps me see more clearly how the Great Commission does not just apply to full-time missionaries but all Christians.  Going to talk to someone about Christ or going door to door has always been intimidating to me, as with others also.  Nonetheless, if we were to focus more on being right with God, living right according to the Bible.  The opportunities to witness will come more natural to us in conversation and not be so intimidating in the end. “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.”  

Many of us feel a little shame due to Society, Self-doubt, and Satanic Oppression.  Make no mistake!  The Salvation of mankind is always under attack from the devil.  The easiest way for Satan to win each battle is to undermine our effectiveness as a witness.  This can simply be done by having a bad testimony.

I realize I sound like a broken record, but this is why our devotions and prayer times are so important.  We will still fail at times in our living like Christ.  If we go to those who had witnessed our bad testimony and admit our wrong.  Go to Christ and confess our sin.  Don’t give up.  Keep striving every day to be like Christ.  Know, you will mess up.  Don’t quit seeking God’s Face.  Don’t just Go but Live the Gospel of Christ.

Don’t Dabble. Be Diligent.

Don’t Dabble. Be Diligent.

By Brian C Collins

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

Once, I was asked with all my training and desire, why have I not done much for Christ? I would state different reasons. However, in my recent studies this week, the Lord revealed to me the answer to that question.

The answer, was in a verse I had read and heard so many times I know it by heart. It had never occurred to me as it had recently. Hebrews 11:6 says; But without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

The more I study the Bible and go before God; the more I understand that the only three reasons I never completely committed or pursued serious servitude for Christ are as follows:

First, the lack of faith. I never exercised my faith for God to qualify me and fulfill my need. I never stepped out onto the waves of life with Christ as my number one focus continually moving towards Him, towards ministry. Secondly, I never let go. Only hanging on to my ways, my desires, my understanding. Thirdly I never earnestly sought the Lord. Yes, I sought Him but not diligently, not consistently, not relentlessly.

The past four months I have done my best to seek Him diligently with some success, and more than enough failure. What I am learning is I never truly with all effort, sought the Lord. I have decided to Let go of everything. Preconceptions, Personal viewpoints, earthly hopes, and dreams. Giving all and seeking all of Christ. No more putting little effort into seeking Him, no more half measures.

No matter our needs. No matter our goals. All the things we see as important on this earth. Any problem that comes our way. All can be brought into focus and placed in order with clarity, confidence, and peace.

If we put out faith in Christ, let go of what is dragging us down, and seek God diligently. Don’t hesitate. Don’t do enough to just get by. Don’t play around. With all your might and free time simply seek the Lord. Don’t Dabble. Be earnest, be diligent. Truly get to know the Lord.

A Trickling Stream

A Trickling Stream

By Brian C. Collins

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”  John 7:38

“A river reaches places which its source never knows.” (Oswald Chambers)

Jesus told us how we can be rivers of living water to those around us and beyond, not knowing how far the river will travel.  I know this is true.  I wonder how much living water has flowed from me?  How often have we witnessed to others for Christ?  Do we always live our lives as if we believe what Jesus said?   How much have we really tried to live in obedience to God’s Word?

Yes, I have witnessed. I know, praise the Lord, that He has used me to touch lives.  I’m not calling into question anyone’s efforts to spread the Gospel. What I am questioning, is how many more could we have touched in the past if we had opened up more to Christ and His Word?  

Am I wide open to receive the message of God’s Word, in a dedicated daily diet of study. So that from me rivers of living water can flow to those in need?  Or am I reluctant and distracted, just peaking into the Bible briefly; creating a mere crack for a tiny trickling stream to leak out and touch a minuscule amount of people.

Oh, Father let me be a river of Living water for You, not a week trickling stream.

Testing, Testing — Is This Mic On?

Testing, Testing – Is This Mic On?

by Brian C. Collins

Matthew 6:5-18

“God does not hear us because we are in earnest, but only on the ground of Redemption.” (Oswald Chambers)

Prayer – I do pray each time before my devotions in hopes of preparing for a message from the Lord; the quote above struck me and caught my attention.  I can’t tell you how many times kneeling before God that in the back of my mind when something in my prayer is ranked high on my list as very important; I feel like I need to focus all my energy, emotion, and intensity into this section of my prayer.

If we think about prayer in the context of faith not works, the above quote makes sense.  How is physically exerting effort going to intensify the effectiveness of our prayer?

Are there things we can do to help draw God’s attention more than normal?  Yes, and although these things do require effort they are not a flag we can use to wave at God and say, pick me!   These tools are more of a way to help us strip away distractions so there is no noise muffling our voices in prayer. These tools are really there to prepare us to hear God’s still small voice more then they are for Him to hear us.

Fasting – Fasting is a popular form of getting real with God.  Matthew 6:17,18 it teaches us that if we fast we do it in a manner that no one knows.  Fasting is a whole other topic and involves much more than skipping meals. I would suggest one study Biblical fasting before they try it, there are spiritual guidelines and there are impotent physical and health-related rules to follow. 

Obedience –  You will see me write about this often.  I Samuel 15: 22 says To obey is better than sacrifice.  Remember Jesus said “if you love me, keep my commandments.” one of the ways to get real with God is to obey.

That’s it?  Well, as we all know, although the answer is short and simple the act of obedience is just the opposite.  It is very hard to do all were suppose to do according to the Bible.  It is imposable for us to do it without God’s help.

In the process of giving our all to living in obedience to God’s Word; He will help us and we will grow stronger and understand more, and in our prayer time, after we take time to confess our sins of the day removing any blockage of sight or sound to God’s eye’s and ears.  We will be turning on the lights, and turning up the volume controls of our microphone for God to hear our prayer. 

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