Heed God’s Instructions

“Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.” Proverbs 10:17 — Crossway Bibles (2018-05-19). The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (p. 534). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

Our Witness is Important

If our private lives don’t match our public lives, our writing suffers. More importantly, we have people tune out the message of Jesus Christ because of our witness. They label us as just another religious hypocrite.

One of the most significant and miraculous things in life is to heed God’s voice. It is when we fully trust and follow in His ways.

How to Know the Ways and Instructions of God

I know what you are thinking, how can you know the ways and instruction of God?

You ask God through prayer. You spend time in His Word, that is the Bible, by reading, meditating on and memorizing Scripture, and attending a Christian Writer’s Conference. You listen to God’s herald. This would be listening to sermons as you attend church.

You might be thinking, but you don’t know me. I have really failed. I have broken so many of God’s teachings. How can He ever use me?

God is a forgiving God. 1 John 1:9 King James Version (KJV) tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV) teaches, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

God Has a Plan for Your Life

Never forget that God knows your heart. He even knows your most secret thoughts, feelings, and sins. God knows the number of hairs on your head. God knows everything!

Maybe you think you have everything under control. If you think that, you are wrong. Only God has everything under control.

Maybe you are feeling confused and just need direction in your life. Maybe the struggles of daily living and just meeting life’s expenses have you down. You feel spiritually broken.

One thing we can do in times of brokenness and confusion is looking at and praying for our needs. Don’t forget to thank and praise God when He meets your needs!

An example of God’s provision from my life when I began writing fulltime was finding a large unopened and undamaged package with twenty rolls of toilet paper in the middle of the highway. I stopped, picked it up, and took it home. My late wife shared she hadn’t purchased any that week when she bought groceries but had been looking for some on sale as our finances were tight.

God met this everyday need in our life. Another example could be a friend calls and speaks words of reassurance or encouragement when you feel depressed or hopeless.

God Uses Christian Writers

Christian writers are used by God to meet needs in other’s lives. We do this through the written word, through our speaking words of encouragement, and through the example of our lives.

We need to heed God’s instructions where others will listen to what God is saying through our writing and speaking ministry. When we fail to walk with God, our witness doesn’t point others to Christ, but can actually lead them astray.

Photo Source: Pixabay

Devotional: The Classic Spiritual Disciples

Below are reviews for four books that I read that have had a profound impact on my life. The author, Dr. Richard J. Foster, is a Christian theologian and author in the Quaker tradition. His writings speak to a broad Christian audience. He has been a professor at Friends University and pastor of Evangelical Friends churches.  He earned his undergraduate degree at George Fox University in Oregon and his Doctor of Pastoral Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Fullerton, California. He has written four books dealing with the classic disciples of the Christian faith. Enjoy the reviews and just maybe, you will read one of the books.

Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard J. Foster

The late Dr. Harry Piland who headed up Southern Baptist Sunday School work during the 1980’s and early 1990’s first introduced me to this book. He said only the Bible has had a greater impact on his life. As I respected Harry’s walk with the Lord, I wanted to see what was so great about the book. I found out in the first few chapters. I never thought that reading this book would change my life so deeply. Dr. Richard J. Foster, the preeminent Quaker theologian of this age, helped me to understand every discipline in a simple way and inspired me to put them in practice in my every day life. The book is divided into chapters that explore one of the spiritual disciplines in a deep, insightful, and yet simple way. The disciplines described are: meditation, prayer, fasting, study, simplicity, solitude, submission, service, confession, worship, guidance and celebration. After reading every discipline you’ll know what it is, learn how to do it and most of all, you’ll want to do it! I have read the book (originally published in 1978) about every two or three years since my first reading in 1981, and every time it motivates me to seek for God’s will in my life and learn how to grow in my spiritual journey. The book is one of the all time classics in Christian literature. If the Lord tarries, this book will be read regularly until His return.

The Challenge of the Disciplined Life by Richard J. Foster

I first read this book in 1986. The Challenge of the Disciplined Life has guided me often from then until now. Its clear ethics will give valuable insight to all who will apply its ageless principles. Foster’s blending of practical reality linked with biblical concepts leaves one thinking in biblical ways that still make sense in a world whose ethics seem to be changing daily. The insights expounded by Foster will continue to make a profound positive impact. It shows the dangers/temptations of money, sex, and power to draw one away from Christ.

Freedom of Simplicity by Richard J. Foster

I bought this book in Nashville, Tennessee at the Lifeway Christian Bookstore. Written in the same warm, accessible style as Richard Foster’s best-selling Celebration of Discipline, Freedom of Simplicity articulates a creative, more human style of living and points the way for Christians to make their lives “models of simplicity.” Foster provides a way to review our priorities and to “seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness.” He shows us how to live in harmony with the rich complexity of life while stressing the relation of simplicity to prayer, solitude, and all the Christian Disciplines.

Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster

This wonderful book is a nearly 20 years old. I have read this book twice. I have come back many other times to reread parts of the book. Richard Foster is a Quaker. He is probably the best known Quaker in the world today. He takes us into twenty-one different types of Christian prayer. He divides these twenty-one different types of Christian prayer into three movements of prayer, moving inward, upward and outward, which correspond to seeking transformation, seeking intimacy and seeking ministry. For those of us who love prayer, seek increasing intimacy with the Father or who have found difficulty with prayer in at least some of its forms, this book is a wonderful how to guide and aid. It helps us gain a better understanding of what each type of prayer is about.

Review: How to Pray

In How to Pray by R.A. Torrey his practical pointers on prayer clearly unfold the conditions God has established for intelligent, effective prayer that brings His answers, emphasizing the purpose and importance of prayer. He gives principals on:

  • The Importance of Prayer,
  • Praying unto God,
  • Obeying and Praying,
  • Praying in the Name of Christ and According to the Will of God,
  • Praying in the Spirit,
  • Always Praying and Not Fainting,
  • Abiding in Christ,
  • Praying with Thanksgiving,
  • Hindrances to Prayer,
  • When To Pray,
  • The need of Prayer Before and During Revivals, and
  • The Place of Prayer Before and During Revivals.

I own and read the Moody Press “Moody Classic” edition of the book. Read and reviewed by Jimmie A. Kepler.