Put the Bible into Practice

It’s important to not just read the Bible. We must put it into practice in our daily lives.

In Philippians 4:9, the apostle Paul urges us “whatever you have learned or receive or heard from me, or seen in me, put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Here is an example. A few verses beforehand, in Philippians 4:6, Paul teaches us “Do not be anxious about anything…”. In this chapter he’s also talking about living with the joys Christ in our lives and being content with the ups and downs of life.

Do you want to remain anxious or stressed out about things or do you want the peace of God to be with you?

Like Paul, I urge you to exchange the anxiety and discontented feelings of this life with the peace that comes from God alone.

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White

Are you a worthy disciple?

I was reading Philippians 3:17 today where Paul encourages others to follow his example of pursuing Christ. In the study notes, it asked a wonderful question, “What kind of follower would a new Christian become if he or she imitated you?”

So a thought to consider today is what kind of disciple of Christ are you? What example are you setting for others? Is it an example worth following?

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White

Love is an Action Plain and Simple

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:18 NIV)

These are profound words from the apostle John. Such words are even more profound with some greater context.

Let’s back track to verse 17…
“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” (1 John 3:17 NIV)

Having pity on someone in need goes beyond merely feeling bad for them. What help is that? I think this also goes beyond the knee jerk “I’ll pray for you” response.

Notice it says if anyone with material possessions… This clearly implies that if you have material resources to help, then help by providing those material resources. Right?

Another verse is highly relevant here from James:
“Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:15, 16 NIV)

Love is an action…plain and simple. If you and I aren’t loving in action, we aren’t loving. We are commanded to love God and love others. So don’t stop at “I’ll pray for you”. Love by giving what you have to help someone in need. Amen!

Ps, here is a link to a dear christian couple in need. Becky and Larry Knight are facing eviction from their home. Help (love them) if you can: http://www.gofundme.com/aa65w8

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White

Better than Sacrifice.

Gift box / present or christmas gift hand close up. Decorative g

“But Samuel replied: ‘Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.’” (1 Sam 15:22)

What could be better that coming before God and offering praise and worship with gifts and offerings? Surely this is the pinnacle of our relationship with God and the ultimate expression of worship and  faith.

Apparently not; God has a different view, and His opinion is that it is much more important to obey and to heed. We know what it means to obey, but the definition of heed gives us more insight: “to pay attention, to give consideration to, and to mind what someone says.” It gives the sense of one listening with intent to act in obedience.

Quick Prayer: Help me to hear, and compel me to obey. Amen.

best regards and God bless,

About Mark Bilton

This article is Copyright © 2014, Called To Business, All Rights Reserved. Republished with permission. Mark is Founder of “Called to Business” (www.calledtobusiness.com). The mission of his organization is to encourage and equip Christians to be effective at WORK. And his desire is to affirm God’s calling in you; to enhance business leadership and influence, and to unlock the potential of your God given talents. Mark and his family live in Auckland, New Zealand.

True Religion.

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“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)

 

 

 
What is religion all about? Is it worship on a Sunday? Is it working hard? Is it letting others know about Jesus? All these things are true, but what does God say is the real heart, pure and faultless religion that He accepts as true?
First, there is a demonstration of an inward transformation: “to look after orphans and widows in their distress.” Pure and simple, we have a significant God-given obligation to help the poor.
Second, we are called not to hide away from the world because this would make the first part impossible but to “keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Live in the world and fully participate, but don’t take on its values and distortions.
Quick Prayer: Thank You that true religion has a practical application. Amen.

 

best regards and God bless,

 

 

 

About Mark Bilton

This article is Copyright © 2014, Called To Business, All Rights Reserved. Republished with permission. Mark is Founder of “Called to Business” (www.calledtobusiness.com). The mission of his organization is to encourage and equip Christians to be effective at WORK. And his desire is to affirm God’s calling in you; to enhance business leadership and influence, and to unlock the potential of your God given talents. Mark and his family live in Auckland, New Zealand.

“Prayer Works” and 2 Other Things Christians Should STOP Saying Now

Vintage Christian button, Prayer worksThis article originally appeared here on the Church Leaders~ Pastors Blog. By Carey Nieuwhof

 

 

 

One reason people stay away from Christianity is not because they don’t know any Christians.

It’s often because they do.

Our actions and our words as followers of Jesus have the power to attract or repel people from Christianity.

The number of people who never go to church or follow Jesus keeps growing. And their thinking keeps changing too (I’ve outlined 15 characteristics of unchurched people here).

So what can we do about it?

Well, in addition to modeling humility, grace, truth, love and so many other things that describe the earliest Christ followers, we Christians can watch our words…  Click here to read the rest of the story on the Church Leaders ~ Pastors Blog site.

 

 In addition to serving as Lead Pastor at Connexus Community Church north of Toronto Canada, Carey Nieuwhof speaks at conferences and churches throughout North America on leadership, family, parenting and personal renewal. More from Carey Nieuwhof or visit Carey at careynieuwhof.com

 

Asked.

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“Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” (Mat 5:42)

 

 

 
How are we asked to respond to those in need around us? What is our response to be to those who ask for help? Give and do not turn away. As we open our hands, we open our hearts. As we walk in obedience, we open our hearts and our hands follow suit. It is a virtuous cycle of love and giving.
If we live our lives this way, God will pour out His provision as He finds vessels willing to be His hands and His feet with His heart. Ministering to those around us is not only telling them about Jesus but also demonstrating His heart by meeting the needs of those who need help.
Quick Prayer: I am available to bless someone today. Send me someone who needs help. Amen.
best regards and God bless,

 

 

 

About Mark Bilton

This article is Copyright © 2014, Called To Business, All Rights Reserved. Republished with permission. Mark is Founder of “Called to Business” (www.calledtobusiness.com). The mission of his organization is to encourage and equip Christians to be effective at WORK. And his desire is to affirm God’s calling in you; to enhance business leadership and influence, and to unlock the potential of your God given talents. Mark and his family live in Auckland, New Zealand.

Where Mentoring Goes Wrong

Mentorship Concept.This article originally appeared here on the Christianity Today blog.

Why do good discipling relationships derail?

 

 

Through the mentor’s eyes

Sharon scooted between cars, hurrying through the stifling parking lot to make the meeting on time. Although only August, she already felt the pressure of a busy fall schedule. She was unsure how becoming a mentor would fit, but involvement in the life of a younger woman interested her. At least she was willing to attend the training meeting and see what it was all about.

Refreshed by the cool air in the room, Sharon found a chair. Looking around at other women, a wave of nervousness rushed over her. Was she even qualified to mentor?  During the next hour, she learned the requirements of the mentoring program, looked over the recommended mentoring resources, filled out a personal profile, and signed up to bring a dessert for the kick-off event. Still the question nagged:  Did she really have enough wisdom to do this?  Probably not, she thought, but her love for God and young women encouraged her to press on.

Two weeks later at the kick-off event, an eager greeter handed Sharon a bright green crayon and instructed her to find the young woman with the same color crayon as hers—”‘Caribbean Green.’  Isn’t it peppy?” Sharon returned the beaming smile, grateful for a game to help her find her mentee. The energy-filled room lifted her spirits. This was fun! She leisurely worked the room, smiling and displaying her crayon as she went…

~ By: Sue Edwards and Barbara Neumann

Click here to read the rest of the story on the Christianity Today Leadership Journal Blog.

Give as you Can.

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“According to their ability they gave to the treasury for this work 61,000 darics of gold, 5,000 minas of silver and 100 priestly garments.” (Ezr 2:69)

 

 

The seemingly eternal question: how much should I give? If we have moved on from, “Should I give?” to the next stage, the question remains. We are called to give “according to our ability.” Each one of us has been blessed in different ways and with different measure. We are to give according to our resources, yet we all have a part to play.

It is not the amount or even the proportion, but we are all able and willing to be a part of God’s work and a reflection of His heart. Look at what God has already blessed you with.

Decide in your thankful heart what to give, and give cheerfully according to your ability.

Quick Prayer: Thank You that You ask me to give according to what You have already given me. Amen.

best regards and God bless,

 

 

About Mark Bilton

This article is Copyright © 2014, Called To Business, All Rights Reserved. Republished with permission. Mark is Founder of “Called to Business” (www.calledtobusiness.com). The mission of his organization is to encourage and equip Christians to be effective at WORK. And his desire is to affirm God’s calling in you; to enhance business leadership and influence, and to unlock the potential of your God given talents. Mark and his family live in Auckland, New Zealand.

Why do Christians sometimes (or often) act like such jerks?

This article originally appeared here on the Missio Alliance blog.

Ok so maybe that’s quite a blunt way of asking ‘Why, while believing in what is good and right, do I choose to think in a way and engage in behaviour that accords with a “lesser version” of myself?’

I’ve asked this question for some time but I think it comes to the surface even more at the beginning of a new year when we are reminded from pulpits everywhere that we are a new creation in Christ and also by our broader world that this is a perfect time to set some New Year’s resolutions so that we can improve and be better people this year.

We enthusiastically respond by nodding to the truth that in Christ we are a new creation and we agree that it is good to set some goals for the New Year, so we faithfully set out to practice these truths. But inevitably we sooner or later hit a wall when we experience that our ideals quite often fail to measure up to reality. Everyone has experienced this dissonance no matter how long we have been followers of Jesus.

A godly and mature Christian friend when we were talking about this recently, said that he holds close to his heart values like generosity, care for the poor and compassion however as he walked past a homeless person once, he thought and felt the exact opposite of those values regarding that person. I can say that I’ve experienced a similar thing! I would guess that we all struggle daily as we sit in the uncomfortable gap between what ought to be and what in reality is. There’s no need to beat ourselves up about this gap but perhaps we need to think about what does in fact bring about deep transformation in our lives so that our behaviour more matches our status as new creations in Christ…~ By:

Click here to read the rest of the story on the Missio Alliance blog.

Time to Give.

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“So that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.” (Deu 14:29)

 Those of us who have been provided for have an obligation to meet the needs of others. In this case it is those who work fulltime for the church, foreigners, and those who have had misfortune in the loss of fathers and husbands, who were the providers of the time.

There are two groups that are a priority for God: those without finances and those who serve in church. We would do well to neglect neither.

There is a consequence attached to the actions we take. If we obey and provide for the poor and church workers, God Himself will bless us in all the work of our hands—that is, in our work at work.

Quick Prayer: Bless me as I give to Your house and the poor. Lord, according to Your Word may it be done to me. Amen.

 Best regards and God bless.

 

About Mark Bilton

This article is Copyright © 2014, Called To Business, All Rights Reserved. Republished with permission. Mark is Founder of “Called to Business” (www.calledtobusiness.com). The mission of his organization is to encourage and equip Christians to be effective at WORK. And his desire is to affirm God’s calling in you; to enhance business leadership and influence, and to unlock the potential of your God given talents. Mark and his family live in Auckland, New Zealand.

What is more important?

called-to-business“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” (Mat 23:23)

 

There is a lot of chatter in churches about giving. If we were to be perfectly transparent with each other, it is usually by leaders who want you to give more and churchgoers looking to give less.

Is giving important? Yes it is, and it should not be neglected. But more important is justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These are the behaviors we should covet and endeavor to have in abundance.

Please give, and give regularly and generously, but never forget the priorities that are the fruit of a life transformed by Jesus: faithfulness, mercy, and justice.

Quick Prayer: Thank You for the pattern and discipline of regular giving. Amen.

About Mark Bilton

This article is Copyright © 2014, Called To Business, All Rights Reserved. Republished with permission. Mark is Founder of “Called to Business” (www.calledtobusiness.com). The mission of his organization is to encourage and equip Christians to be effective at WORK. And his desire is to affirm God’s calling in you; to enhance business leadership and influence, and to unlock the potential of your God given talents. Mark and his family live in Auckland, New Zealand.

Giving as Worship

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“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” (Mat 2:11)

 

When Jesus was a young child, the wise men came and worshipped Him. Then they gave Him gifts. This was a part of the act of paying homage to the newborn king. They honored Him with their giving.

 We too are called to worship in our giving. Sometimes we can be moved to bring something of value to Him. It is not giving to a church or to a worthy cause but just giving something of value to Him, to worship and to adore.

I am not sure how that transaction occurs in our hearts, but it is certainly saying you are worth more to me than gold.

Quick Prayer: I just want to worship and adore You. Amen.

About Mark Bilton

This article is Copyright © 2014, Called To Business, All Rights Reserved. Republished with permission. Mark is Founder of “Called to Business” (www.calledtobusiness.com). The mission of his organization is to encourage and equip Christians to be effective at WORK. And his desire is to affirm God’s calling in you; to enhance business leadership and influence, and to unlock the potential of your God given talents. Mark and his family live in Auckland, New Zealand.

What shows the love of God?

called-to-business“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” (1 John 3:17)

How is the love of God demonstrated in us? What is the way in which our faith is demonstrated and evidenced? This powerful Scripture speaks to the reaction we have to those in need around us.

Quick Prayer: Show me a physical need I can meet today please, Lord. Amen.

I had this verse printed on my checks. Back in the day before the proliferation electronic commerce, I used to write a lot of checks. It made me think about my priorities every time I wrote one out.

There are practical physical needs we can meet every day. Will we walk on by and have no pity, or will the love of God in us compel us to act?

Quick Prayer: Show me a physical need I can meet today please, Lord. Amen.

About Mark Bilton

This article is Copyright © 2014, Called To Business, All Rights Reserved. Republished with permission. Mark is Founder of “Called to Business” (www.calledtobusiness.com). The mission of his organization is to encourage and equip Christians to be effective at WORK. And his desire is to affirm God’s calling in you; to enhance business leadership and influence, and to unlock the potential of your God given talents. Mark and his family live in Auckland, New Zealand.

Thanks for the Opportunity to Exercise Grace and Forgiveness

Mercy and GraceIs the Bible command to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18), impractical, unreasonable, or outdated? I don’t think so. In fact, it’s in those times when we are most unwilling to give thanks that we can grow the most in love of God and others.

When others disappoint us, we have a choice…to get angry, get even, or give thanks. It may not be easy, but the Godly choice is to give thanks.

I have a favorite saying, “Thanks for the opportunity to exercise grace and forgiveness.” I use this phrase when someone stands me up, lets me down, or treats me in a way I would rather not be treated. Sometimes I say this to the person, and sometimes it’s just a quiet prayer I say to myself. It helps remind me that we are all fallible and in need of grace by God and others. And we will also need that grace and forgiveness returned when we treat others poorly or let someone else down.

So give thanks in ALL circumstances. The next time someone upsets you or hurts you, remember to say “Thanks for the opportunity to exercise grace.”

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White