Seek first to please the Lord. If you do, other things will get into line.
Text for Today – Acts 24:16 – And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men.
James writes in the third chapter of his epistle that “in many things we all offend.” But he did not stop there. He added that “if any man is able to bridle his tongue, he is a perfect man, and ABLE to bridle his whole body.” Note that James said “able.” He did not say it would automatically happen, but rather that the ability to do so was present.
The direction of offense that should be most important to all of us is offense toward our heavenly Father. My dear reader friend, I strive with all my heart to NOT be an offense to anyone, especially to those of the household of faith. But if I am put into the position of having to make a choice between offending another human being (believer or not) and God, then a human being will stand offended. However, even then, that person would be offended at my action in obedience to the Word of God, and not at some arbitrary action or word of my own. Still, our primary focus in avoiding offense should be towards our heavenly Father.
So here we are, hurtling through space at more than 1.6 millions miles a day.. Before us is whatever time the Lord yields to us before He sends Jesus for His church. Let us purpose in our hearts to make every moment of that time, be it days, weeks, or years, rich with fruitfulness that is pleasing to our Lord. May we all be able to stand before Him and hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
You don’t need to wait for some starting point. Start NOW! Make a quality decision from which you will not turn, determine now in your heart that for the rest of your life, you will constantly endeavor to please your Father in every word and deed. Remember that without faith you cannot please Him, and with faith, all things are possible. Let your faith, your servant, serve you well in the coming year. Feed you servant (faith) well daily with the Word of God, and then expect your faith to perform for you just like it did for Jesus. It was Jesus Who authored and finished your faith, gave it to you, and made you His joint-heir. So make the coming year one of great expectancy, believing with your whole heart that God can and will do all He said in His Word. Then believing it, act on your faith with corresponding action, giving no offense to the Lord Who is your redeemer. Keep faith as your daily exercise regimen, growing stronger each day, once again, giving no offense to your Lord and Savior.
Manna for Today – 1 Samuel 25:31; Luke 17:1-8; 2 Corinthians 6:3; 1 John 5:3; James 3:2