2 Corinthians 2:14 Are You Allowing God To Use You?

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 2 Corinthians 2:14

The majority of people around the world do not really like to be led by someone else. People like to consider themselves free and be able to go where they want to, as they want to. Some of those actually like to be the leaders of others.

On top of this, no one likes to be led around as a captive. Being a captive means one is a prisoner and has no rights.

Paul gives thanks to God that he, and others with him, are being led around like a captive by God and being used to spread knowledge of Jesus everywhere.

At the moment a person chooses to follow Jesus, he gives up his personal rights before God. All authority and power is handed over to God to do as He pleases. He is now captive to God.

As God is given that position of authority over one’s life, He begins to lead that person around as needed. The believers life is changed to where it no longer looks or smells like that of the world, but something different. It has the look and smell of Jesus.

Just a perfume permeates a room that a lady walks into, so does the smell of Jesus permeate anywhere a believer walks into.

The purpose of this aroma is to spread the gospel message of Jesus to everyone in this dying world. It is to let people know that there is a hope and a life that they can have as a gift from God that will last for eternity.

A believer, who understands this great gift, will be thankful to God that he is being led and used by God to touch lives.

If you have chosen to believe in Jesus, allow God to lead you around to spread the message of Jesus. Everywhere you go people should be able to notice the smell that you are a follower of Jesus. There should never be any doubt in their minds.

Now as God is leading you, give thanks to Him that He is using you. Do not see it as a chore or a drudgery, but as a great honor. As He uses you, lives are being changed and saved.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will be led by God; that you will be used by God to spread the gospel message; that those around you will know that you believe in Jesus; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you.

Colossians 2:8 Don’t Be Taken Captive

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8

The world has its own philosophies as to how a person should live life. And those philosophies change from person to person, group to group all over the world.

Most of the philosophies of the world focus upon the here and now, with a slight eye to the future. They are about pleasing one’s self right now. Sometimes they appear to be good, but are deceptive and fail to produce what is desired.

Paul warns the people to not be caught up in the deceptive philosophy of this world. Those philosophies depend upon human tradition and worldly spirits, rather than upon Christ. God had set up various traditions for His people to follow.

Following them can be good, as long as the purpose for them is kept in mind. Often traditions are followed without knowing why they are done. New traditions are sometimes put in place, without being concerned with what God’s word says.

It is easy to get caught up and taken captive with human traditions and beliefs. On the surface they sound good, but inside are dead and cause death. They are all about self and not God and His kingdom.

Jesus came to restore every person to a relationship with the Father. A believer in Jesus will follow His ways in every area of his life, not the hollow and dead ways of this world. He will allow himself to be guided by God’s Holy Spirit, and not the dead spiritual forces of this world.

The philosophy of the believer will be to be more like Jesus, to worship the Father and to bring as many others to Him as possible. He will not allow himself to be taken captive with the ways of this world.

Take a look at what your philosophy in this life is. Are you following the dead and deceptive ways of this world? Or are you following the live ways of God?

Be alert to the deceptive ways of this world that will try to draw you away from God, rather than towards God. The closer to God you get, the less likely the world will be able to take you captive into its ways of thinking and acting.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will follow God’s ways of living; that God will make you alert to the deceptive ways of this world; that you keep yourself close to God; and that you will depend upon God’s wisdom and power.

Isaiah 49:9 Come Out And Be Free

Stepping out

to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill. Isaiah 49:9 

Being free is something that most people desire. They want to be free to do what they want and be who they want to be.

The world is also using the phrase ‘come out’ to be what they want to be openly. People are often told to come out and be who they think or feel that they are, regardless of what others may think or feel.

In doing this type of action, the world is promoting sinful activity and setting themselves into more bondage, rather than freedom. They are bound up in sin and are not really free to live.

God calls to the Israelites to come out of their captivity and those in darkness to be free. They are called to live for God.

Over the centuries, God has not changed His call to people. He is still calling people to come out and be set free. He calls people to come out of the world and be separate from the world and its ways.

Living by the world’s standards appears to be freedom, but in reality is bondage to sin and death. The result in living ‘free’ according to the world’s ways, will be eternal death and separation from God.

Believers are to be different, set apart. Every believer is called to live a holy life just like Jesus did. They are to come out of the bondage to the ways of sin and be set free to really live life and gain eternal life with God.

Every believer, every person has this choice to make. One has to choose whether he will be bond up in sin or set free to live.

Each day you walk on this earth, you will also have to choose how you will live. You can remain in bondage and darkness or you can choose to step out and be free.

Stepping out and living for God will result in true freedom and live. You will be able to see the reality of the life of sin and the reality of what God has for you. Because of the light of Jesus in your life, you will be able to see how you are to live. You will also be able to share that light with the rest of the world.

So, come out and be free today from sin.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will choose to follow God rather than this world; that you will come out of your sin to live for God; that God will set you free from the bondage to sin and this world.

2 Timothy 2:25-26 Dealing With Opposition

 

Girl with rabbit

Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:25-26

The majority of the world is against Christians. They do not believe in God and do not want anything to do with Jesus. There are some who are violently against believers and will get physical in their opposition. The rest just oppose believers in words. Either way they act, they are opponents to those who follow Jesus.

All of these people have been taken captive  by the traps of the devil. They are living as the devil desires, doing his will to oppose Jesus.

Many believers are willing to take a stand against those who oppose Christ. The problem is that there have been many who have done so in a way that is not the way Jesus would respond to opponents. They have harshly condemned the opponents, struck them, physically destroyed their property and more.

Jesus rarely used violence. The only time He used a little violence was in the temple against those who were religious, and then it was not against them physically, but against their stuff. Jesus had spoken with kind words almost every time. He worked to draw people to Him, not push them away.

Paul told Timothy to speak gently with his opponents. He is to show love and care to them. Jesus had stated that believers are to love their enemies.

Speaking gently is to speak kind words as one points out where a person may be wrong. It is pointing a person to Jesus and His words. It is showing love, compassion, mercy and grace to a person. The goal is to get them to become a follower of Jesus, not beat them down.

You will have people who will be an opponent to you. Some may be just verbally violent, while others may be physically violent. Jesus had both types against Him. How you speak and react to them will show how much of a follower of Jesus you are.

Give them a chance to change and choose to follow Jesus. Do not just condemn them and give up on them. Jesus did not speak harshly with you and did not give up on you.

I pray today that you will know the gentleness of Jesus; that you will show God’s love to all people; that God will give you the words to speak to your opponents; and that many will come to Jesus through your message.