As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me.
Addicted To The Ministry
“I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints)(1 Cor. 16:15).
The word addicted means; to surrender ones self habitually, or to become dependent upon, or to be very enthusiastic about. We usually use this word in a negative way, but here in reference to the believer it is very positive, "they have addicted themselves to the ministry."
Believers have surrendered to Christ, submitted to Him, His rule and reign (Psalm 110:3; Acts 2:36; Phil. 2:9-10).
Believers are totally dependent upon Christ for all of their salvation (1Cor. 1:30; Phil. 4:19).
Believers are very enthusiastic about the good news of God's mercy to sinners in Christ (Luke 18:14; 1 Tim. 1:15). Their confession of faith is, "He has done all things well" (Mark 7:37), in creation (Gen.1: 31), in providence (Rom. 11:36) and in salvation (John 17:2-4; 19:30).
Be On Guard
Those who are so foolish as to allow ANYTHING IN THEIR LIFE to cause them to renounce their faith in Christ and neglect their duty and privileges as children of the living God will, like Esau, someday weep with bitter tears when it is beyond their power to recover what is lost. Guard against apostasy and fleshly appetites; guard against neglecting worship and daily communion with the Lord; guard against unwholesome companions and worldly social contacts; guard against covetousness and materialism lest you come, at last, to mourn bitterly your foolishness and wickedness.
We have entered a RACE and the prize goes to those who FINISH (Heb. 10:35-39). There will be difficult times, perhaps heavy trials; and along the way there will be tempting pastures of pleasure which appeal to the flesh. We must go on! We may proceed rapidly or slowly; we may even stumble and fall; but, looking to Christ, we continue.
I have a responsibility TO MY LORD and to the gospel of His grace. Neither the smiles nor the frowns of the world will cause me to surrender what I believe. I have a responsibility to the church, my brothers, my family, and to those whose lives I touch. By His grace, I must not allow anything to cause me to quit the race nor fail to see it through.
In 35 years of pastoring and preaching, I have seen many runners in this race. Those who finish and are crowned with glory are those who CONTINUE FAITHFUL! They lay aside the weights and sins which hinder; they look neither BACK to Egypt which they have left nor AROUND at others who profess to run, but only FORWARD to Christ, their goal.
They do not always maintain the same pace, for sometimes the track is smooth and sometimes it is rocky or muddy; but they are always moving in the same direction; “I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness.” Pastor Henry T. Mahan (bulletin 1986)
Words Of Instruction
“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
Let all your things be done with charity” (1 Cor. 16:13-14).
When the apostle Paul gives his closing words by inspiration of God to the believers at Corinth; he also gives to every believer today inspired words to live by each day in our walk of faith (2 Cor. 5:7). Believers don’t walk blindly or haphazardly but rather always looking to the Lord Jesus Christ for all things (Heb. 12:1-2). He gives us words to live by and words to die by. Notice carefully these chosen words of instruction to us right now as we walk and live in this life.
1). “Watch ye”…be on guard against all false preachers, all false doctrine of men and anything that would take our attention, faith and love away from serving the Lord (Col. 3:1-3…1 John 4:1).
2). “Stand fast in the faith”…persevere in the faith of the gospel, there is just one gospel and one faith, one way and one Lord; stay in that way of faith in Christ. As Peter said; “Lord, to whom shall we go, thou hast the word of eternal life” (John 6:68-69; Eph. 4:4-6; Phil. 4:1; Phil. 1:27).
3). “Quit you like men”…act like mature believers grown up in the faith; believing the gospel not like little spoiled children. Remember, Paul accused them of being carnal children (1 Cor. 3:1-3). Our growth in grace as believers comes by a constant diet of the reading, meditating and hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17; 1 Tim. 4:15; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18).
4). “Be strong”…the only source of our spiritual strength is the Lord Jesus Christ the Lord Himself. He is our salvation, sanctification and strength (Psalm 27:1; Psalm 46:1; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 3:16).
5). “Let all things be done with love”… see that all things are done out of true love for God and others; motivated by His true and eternal love for us (2 Cor. 5:14; Eph. 5:1-2; John 13:34-35; 1 John 4:19-21).
Tom Harding is pastor of Zebulon Grace Church located at 6088 Zebulon Highway, Pikeville, Kentucky 41501. You may also contact him by telephone at (606)...