As a School Chaplain and previously a Pastor you get asked lots of questions. I have had questions about heaven, hell, the Bible, Jesus, salvation, the Holy Spirit and more.
Often the questions are easily answered and people are happy with the answer. Sometimes they are a bit more tricky and take some real thought or research before I get back to the person.
One of my favourite resources that I often refer to is GotQuestions.org. They have nearly 700,000 answers to questions and many have short videos to explain them.
Sometimes I will watch their video and do more research or sometimes I just send a link to the person who asked the question. Most times people are happy with a short video and that answers their question.
I read this simple explanation about meditating on God’s Word today. I found it quite useful in explaining what Biblical meditation is…
Many Christ followers don’t understand what meditation actually means. When we meditate on something we are simply focusing our thoughts. To understand what it means to meditate on God’s Word, let’s read Pastor Rick Warren’s description. He says, “Surprisingly, if you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate on the Word of God. Worry is when you take a negative thought and think on it over and over and over. When you take a passage of Scripture and think on it over and over and over, that’s called meditation.”
I was reading these verses as a part of my devotion today. Then I looked at the notes for them in my Bible. I thought I would share them both today…
Proverbs 11:24-25 NLT  Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.  The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
Notes from Life Application Study Bible 11:24-25 These two verses present a paradox: How can we become richer by being generous? The world says to hold on to as much as possible, but God blesses those who give freely of their possessions, time, and energy. When we give, God supplies us with more so that we can give more. In addition, giving helps us gain an accurate perspective on our possessions. We realize they were never really ours to begin with; they were given to us by God to be used to help others. What do we gain by giving? Freedom from enslavement to our possessions, the joy of helping others, and a deeper relationship with God through an increased awareness of our dependence on him.
Today I looked at 1 John 3:1-10 for my devotions. It is all about how we should live as God’s children.
Verse 1 says “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” We are reminded that God loves us and we are His children when we come to Christ. We are adopted into His eternal family, now and forever.
In verse 2 it tells us that we will be like Christ when He appears and in verse 3 were are reminded also to live a life of purity because Christ is pure.
John emphasised this point because false teachers were telling the people they could live how they wanted because the flesh was evil and it would be destroyed. They believed you could still be spiritual and live a sinful life.
John strongly condemns this thinking in verses 4-6…
“Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is”.
As we have seen in previous chapters we all sin at times as Christians. When we do, we confess and we are forgiven. Our Advocate in heaven represents us before the Father.
Someone who continues in sin, as the passage talks about, is someone who is not sorry for sin and has no desire for forgiveness and change. They don’t realise that living right is an important part of living as God’s children. John tells us that these people really belong to the devil and don’t really know God (v10).
Here are some questions for personal reflection and application:
Have there been times when you have continued to live in sin and not sought God’s forgiveness?
Do you understand that it is important to live right as we wait for Christ to return?
Today’s reading comes from Philippians 1:20-26. It is titled, “Paul’s life for Christ”. Verses 21-24 explains Paul’s heart. They gives us a glimpse of his priorities.
“For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn be- tween two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live”.
For Paul, living was all about Christ. He was all consumed with Christ. He desired earnestly to go and be with Christ, but knew staying here would mean he could continue His work in the world.
Paul knew he could help others come to know Christ, he could plant churches, and he could strengthen the churches he had planted. In short his mission was to know Christ and make Him known.
Over the years I have known people like this. They have been completely sold out for God’s Kingdom. Their life was hidden in Christ and His will was all they wanted. Some are alive still serving, while some have gone to be with their Lord.
I am so inspired by these three verses and the sold out Kingdom people I have met over the years. It is something that I aspire to myself. I hope and pray that I can wholeheartedly say, “To live is Christ, to die is gain”.
Dear God, thank You for Paul’s words in this passage. Thank You for his commit- ment to Christ and his commitment to making Him known. I pray today that I will have that same commitment to Christ and to His mission in this world. I pray my life will be all about Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.