Central Baptist Church (CBC) has compiled a list of verses and blogs to keep you inspired.
“Carry each other’s burdens and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2 NIV
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2nd Tim. 3:16-27”
Wickedness (Proverbs 6:12-19)
“Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself.” -Charles Spurgeon
“The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints.” -Vance Hovner
THINK ON THESE THINGS: Making a Comeback by Tyler Mitchell
Do you live in a state of regret over how your life has turned out? Do you sometimes wonder how things would be different today if you had followed God’s path yesterday? If you have missed because of fear, timidity, lack of faith, or even apathy, you have missed opportunities God placed in your life, you may be tempted to keep punishing yourself for your mistakes.
God does not want you to feel constant regret and misery. He wants you to be forgiven, restored, refreshed, and renewed. With God, it is never too late to experience all of these and to be used by Him. The same specific opportunities may no longer be available to you, but you can still be effective for Christ, and He knows how. He wants you to serve Him willingly and obediently today – no matter how you may have failed in the past. Those who know me can attest that my own life is an example of what I am sharing with you. We can find inspiration in the believers in Philadelphia to whom Paul wrote so long ago, who wholeheartedly pursued God’s opportunities for them. They were faithful in the service of the Lord, and Jesus commended them: “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name” (Revelation 3:8).
The city of Philadelphia was then the crossroads of the world and was called the Gateway to the East. The Philadelphians sought to use that gateway to propagate the Greek culture and language to the rest of the world. They had a great mission for themselves, but Jesus had a far greater one for the believers in that city. Jesus honored the Philadelphian church with unique opportunities to spread the Gospel.
The Christians in Philadelphia had many obstacles and weaknesses, but instead of neglecting their opportunities, they embraced them. They did not want to miss out on anything that God placed before them. They just would not ignore God’s open door. They would not trample upon or squander the rare opportunities that Jesus was giving them to spread the Gospel message. They knew they were in a unique position in that gateway city. They did not take that privilege lightly.
Think on These Things: Joy from Within by Pastor Tyler Mitchell
Generally, the top three things people want the most in life are love, happiness, and peace. If you continue to talk with them, you will find out that they so often confuse happiness with joy. But there is a difference between the two – happiness and joy. Happiness is the result of getting what you want. We tell ourselves that we will be happy when we get that new car, or that new house/home, or that new job. Or we say that life will be just great if we get a promotion at work and a pay increase.
However, getting what we want only offers a temporary form of happiness that fades over time. We get the new home, and we are so happy until we realize that in order to remain happy, we must have all the furniture and decorations to go with it. We get a new job and the pay increase, and we soon find out that we raise our living standard and, therefore, we need more money. The underlying truth is that kind of happiness is dependent on our particular circumstances and can be accompanied by a fear that we may lose whatever it is we feel has made us happy.
Joy, however, is listed with the fruit of the Spirit (Holy Spirit). The Bible reveals that in Galatians 5:22-23. Joy comes from within – not from external conditions. The Lord Jesus said that we are to abide in Him so that our joy can be complete. You can easily find that in John 15:9-11. We can experience the joy of the Lord regardless of our circumstances because joy is dependent on our relationship with Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, instructed the Philippian Christians to rejoice always in the Lord (Philippians 4:4). While this group of Christ followers was anxious about their material needs, Paul reminded them that the joy came from the LORD God. They were oppressed and persecuted by the Romans. They suffered economic hardship. Yet they had a reason to be and remain joyful – their lives belonged to the Lord.
This world tries to persuade us that joy is found in material possessions, worldly achievements, and social status. That is just not a fact. True joy comes from the knowledge that we are saved through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Once we are saved and our relationship with God is forever established, the Eternal God who indwells us immediately at the time we were saved, is the very one who causes us to experience His joy. And with that joy comes true peace and happiness that this world does not know.
My friends, if you want joy, you must have a relationship with the Lord. That relationship can come only by accepting Christ Jesus as your Savior and surrendering to His will.
THINK ON THESE THINGS: When God Hides You by Pastor Tyler Mitchell
On August 24th – just a week ago – we spent our devotional time talking about what happens when God moves you, drawing attention to how God operated on many fronts to accomplish His purposes, and to bless those who obey Him. Our topic was When God Moves You. This morning I want us to see what happens to us when our God hides us. We draw your attention back to 1st Kings 17.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Elijah appears in Scripture. He had no family history, no high office, and no credentials to make him God’s choice to confront the terrifying and immoral leadership of his day. There is no evidence that Elijah was super spiritual. Just like us, he was fearful and perplexed at times. Yet, with great directness, he tells the wicked King Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except AT MY WORD.” Read 1st Kings 17:1-6 to see how God used that ordinary man to make extraordinary changes in his nation.
Elijah’s act was outrageously bold because King Ahab was under the influence of his pagan wife, Jezebel. She led King Ahab to kill hundreds of God’s people because they would not bow down and worship the false (idol) god, Baal. Delivering God’s message to Ahab must have seemed like a suicide mission. At God’s direction, Elijah delivered the message, then God hid him by the brook Cherith. There, Elijah learned that when God pulls you away into hiding, He will supply the power, provision, and protection you need to be prepared to be of even greater service to Him.
All of Elijah’s needs were met through God’s supernatural provision. Verse 6 states, “The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning; and he drank from the brook.”
God’s children rarely seek to be hidden. However, it is in those hidden moments that men and women of faith are drawn closest to God and prepared for greater ministry. Joseph grew during his time of exile and imprisonment. Moses spent years in the desert before his greatest ministry. Esther spent a considerable amount of time being prepared to present herself to the king. Paul spent three silent years in northern Arabia before he launched his ministry.
Has God hidden you for a time? Are you feeling isolated, endangered, or unused for the Kingdom? God has His purpose for you to be exactly where you are at this time. Use this time to refresh yourself in the Word. Pray that you will grow closer to God, and more fit for service during this season of seclusion. If God is hiding you, rest assured that He is preparing you for the work He has for you.
The Philadelphia church knew that serving God is not a chore or a burden – it is a gift and a blessing. Because of their faithfulness and loyalty, Christ gave them an opportunity to do great things for God, and He promised great rewards. “He who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall by no means go out anymore, and I will write upon him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem, which descends out of heaven from my God, and my new name” (Revelation 3:12).
Christ is also calling today’s church to serve Him. He wants each of us to share our faith with others. People will hear the Word of God, and He will open doors that no one can shut. But before we can share the Good News, we must have the spiritual sensitivity to perceive those open doors. We must be ready to act in faith when God gives us an opportunity. We must have the spiritual eyes to watch for those open doors. We must be willing to serve God wholeheartedly in whatever He calls us to do.
What open doors has God placed in your life? What spiritually striving people live near you or work along with you? How long will those doors remain open to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them? You must act now. If you have neglected the opportunities God has given you to serve and to share, turn back to Him today – it is still not too late. Stand up for Jesus and serve Him while He even now calls upon you!
I will end this by reminding you of the Holy Spirit’s command to us in Romans 12:11: “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.”