Today I am reading day 89 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Invest to Help Others Meet Jesus
Luke 16:9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
1 Timothy 6:19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
This is one of the most misunderstood statements by Jesus, but he isn’t saying we should “buy” friends with money. What he meant was that you should use the money God gives you to bring people to Christ.
They will then be friends for eternity who will welcome you when you get to heaven! It’s the best financial investment you’ll ever make.
You’ve probably heard the expression “You can’t take it with you”- but the Bible says you can send it on ahead, by investing in people who are going there!
The Bible says, “By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven–it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well.” (1 Timothy 6:19 TLB)
Today I am reading day 88 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Don’t Trade Life for Temporary Things
2 Corinthians 4:18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Luke 9:62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
1 Corinthians 7:31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
So much of what we waste our energy on will not matter even a year from now, much less for eternity. Don’t trade your life for temporary things.
Jesus said, “Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62 TLB)
Paul warned, “Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it is on its way out.” (1 Corinthians 7:31 MSG)
What are you allowing to stand in the way of your mission? Whatever it is, let it go. “Let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back .” (Hebrews 12:1 TLB)
Today I am reading day 87 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Turn Excuses into Creative Thinking
Jeremiah 1:7-8 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord .
Mark 8:35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.
Whether it was Sarah claiming she was too old to be used by God or Jeremiah claiming he was too young, God rejected their excuses. “Don’t say that,” the Lord replied, “for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and take care of you.” (Jeremiah 1:7-8 NLT)
Maybe you’ve believed that you needed a special “call” from God, and you’ve been waiting for some supernatural feeling or experience, but God has already stated his call repeatedly. God doesn’t want to use just some of his people; he wants to use all of his people. We’re all called to be on mission for God. He wants his whole church to take the whole gospel to the whole world.
If you want to be like Jesus, you must care about what he cares about most and you must have a heart for the whole world! You can’t be satisfied with just your family and friends coming to Christ. There are over six billion people on earth, and Jesus wants all his lost children found.
The Great Commission is your commission, and doing your part is the secret to living a life of significance. Jesus said, “Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live!” (Mark 8:35 TLB)
Today I am reading day 86 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
On Mission: Pray for Specific Countries
Psalm 2:8 Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
2 Corinthians 1:11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
A good way to begin thinking globally is to begin praying for specific countries. Get a globe or map and pray for nations by name. The Bible says, “If you ask me, I will give you the nations; all the people on earth will be yours.” (Psalm 2:8 NCV)
Prayer is the most important tool for your mission in the world. People may refuse our love, or reject our message, but they are defenseless against our prayers. You can aim a prayer at a person’s heart whether you’re ten feet or 10,000 miles away.
What should you pray for? The Bible tells us to pray for opportunities to witness, for courage to speak up, for those who will believe, for the rapid spread of the message, and for more workers. Prayer helps us do what God calls us to do, and it makes you a partner with others around the world.
You should also pray for missionaries and everyone else involved in the global harvest. Paul told his prayer partners, “You are also joining to help us when you pray for us.” (2 Corinthians 1:11)
Today I am reading day 84 of Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional:
Shift from Local to Global Thinking
Psalms 67:2 so that your way becomes known on earth, so that your salvation becomes known among all the nations.
John 3:16 God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.
Acts 17:26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
God is a global God. He has always cared about the entire world. “God so loved the world….” (John 3:16) From the beginning he has wanted family members from every nation he created. The Bible says, “From one person God made all nations who live on earth, and he decided when and where every nation would be.” (Acts 17:26 CEV)
God has done all this, so that we will look for him and reach out and find him.
Much of the world already thinks globally. The largest media and business conglomerates are all multi-national. Our lives are increasingly intertwined with those in other nations as we share fashions, entertainment, music, sports, and even fast foods. Probably most of the clothes you’re wearing, and much of what you eat today was produced in another country.
We’re more connected than we realize and God can use that connectedness as a means for us to fulfill his Great Commission. Jesus gave us a pattern for such involvement: ” You will tell everyone about me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world.” (Acts 1:8 CEV)
His followers are to reach out to their community (Jerusalem), to their country (Judea), to other cultures (Samaria) and to other nations (everywhere in the world). Note that our commission is simultaneous, not sequential. We are called to be on mission to all four groups in some way.
How would you identify these groups in your community? What nations do you believe God has called you to serve in some form?