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Dear Online Reader,

Thank you for spending this time with us and reading through our devotional/s and Bible studies at AbleToPerform.com

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In His great love and mercy,
Carmen – part of the Able to Perform Team

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God Is the One Who Gives the Increase

I planted,
Apollos watered,
but God gave the increase.

So then neither he who plants is anything,
nor he who waters,
but God who gives the increase.

(1 Corinthians 3:6-7)

LORD Jesus, we praise You for all the increase that You give so generously to us. Forgive us, O God we pray, whenever we fail to acknowledge that our wealth does not come by our own hands, nor by our own might, but You are the One who gives us the power to get wealth. Reach out to us, the rich and the poor, and touch our hearts and minds. Let us become more and more dependent on You and less dependent on the world and ourselves. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen

In last week’s blog post, I challenged us to ask ourselves,

How are we using the blessings God is giving to us?

How are we using the crops we harvest, the car/s we drive, our house/s, money, time, and many other kinds of increases God has blessed us with?

Will we put them aside, save them for future time of need, or hoard them for whatever reason? Or will we freely share them with others?

I wrote that,

It is not how much we have, but what we are doing with it.

True, what we are doing with it (the increase) is important for our giving and receiving. Where this increase is coming from, though, is of an even more importance.

Will we buy and sow the most expensive seeds, use the best of fertilizers and waters to feed the plants as they grow? Do we spray certain products to battle any diseases in our fields? Or, if we are committed to keep our gardens organic, can we find useful flowers, insects, and herbs to keep the wrong bugs out and fight against fungus? How far will we go in our own wisdom? Will we say that our own way brought us the abundance that we enjoy today?

Of course, we will have to sow the seeds, and we will have to water the plants, but we must never neglect to give all the glory to God for the increase (of crops, finances, education/wisdom, etc.) for He, and only He, is the One who gives the increase.

Do not forget all the blessings that the LORD gives to you today.

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Giving and Receiving

There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing;
And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.

(Proverbs 13:7)

LORD Jesus, we praise You for providing so richly for us. Forgive us, O God we pray, whenever we neglect to be thankful for all the things we have been blessed with. Protect our hearts against greed, and teach us how to practice generosity. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen.

God gives us so many lovely things! Are we able to accept His gifts?

What do we call the gifts of God?

Something we worked hard for?
An heritage we received from our parents?
Gifts we deserve because we are Christians?

Will we take and truly be thankful for them?

For some people, it seems almost impossible to accept a gift. They cannot but try to pay for it, no matter what. Yet, if they are not able to receive freely, they will not be able to truly give from their heart.

How are we using the blessings God is giving to us?

How are we using the crops we harvest, the car/s we drive, our house/s, money, time, and many other kinds of increases God has blessed us with?

Will we put them aside, save them for future time of need, or hoard them for whatever reason? Or will we freely share them with others?

It is not how much we have, but what we are doing with it.

In Proverbs 3 Matthew Henry comments that,

“God shall bless thee with an increase of that which is for use, not for show or ornament – for spending and laying out, not for hoarding and laying up.” Those that do good with what they have shall have more to do more good with.

Do good to someone in need today.

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Growing Up Into Christ

And He Himself gave some to be apostles,
some prophets,
some evangelists,
and some pastors and teachers,

for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ,

till we all come to the unity of the faith
and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man,
to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

that we should no longer be children,
tossed to and fro
and carried about with every wind of doctrine,
by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,

but, speaking the truth in love,
may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—

from whom the whole body,
joined and knit together by what every joint supplies,
according to the effective working by which every part does its share,
causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

(Ephesians 4:11-16)

LORD Jesus, we praise You, for You are the One who has given us apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Forgive us, O God we pray, whenever we fail to see that You are the One who has given us talents and gifts, and You are the One who equips us for the work we need to do. Help us, LORD Jesus, that we may eagerly work toward the edifying of Your Body. Enable us to love one another, so we will strive after unity within our churches. Protect our hearts, precious LORD, against our fleshly desire of not wanting to grow up. Most of all, guide us that we may become able to speak the Truth in love and that we will grow up in all things into You. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. Amen. 

I’m not going to get into today’s verses much, but I want to highlight the one that I remember so vividly from yesterday’s sermon. It is found in verse 15 of Ephesians 4 where it says that we should speak the truth in love.

Looking back at the past couple of weeks, oh, how I have failed so much to do exactly that in love! Even worse, just before yesterday’s sermon began, I answered back to someone in a way that I should have not. It was the truth that I told her, yes, but it was not speaking the truth in love. 

Sweet and precious were the hug and her words, “I forgive you” afterward, but I could have avoided reacting in such a bad way. God has commanded us in His Word that we should love one another, and Ephesians 4:15 says that we have to speak the truth in love. 

How?

Learn from the Master, the LORD God Almighty, 

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 

(John 3:16)

Pray to Him,
praise Him,
study His Word every day,
and grow up into all things into Him today.

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