Failure That Leads to Godliness

Failure That Leads to Godliness
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader.... - 1 Samuel 22:2

God uses broken things to accomplish His greatest work. When David was anointed to be the next king, he was just a boy, the youngest among all his brothers. Little did he know that the next several years would be years of fleeing from Saul whose successes turned into obsessions as a leader who had fallen from God's anointing. Perhaps David thought, "Why am I living a life as a fugitive?" I am the next king of Israel. Yet, his life was filled with adversity after adversity before he ever fulfilled the ultimate calling God had for him. Others began to hear of David's successes and identify with his plight. But, it wasn't the successful and polished who came to join him. It was "those who were in distress or in debt or discontented" who would be part of his army -- and an army it was! His army would become known throughout the world as the greatest ever assembled, not because of their skill, but because of the God behind the army. God turned David's men into "mighty men of valor" (see 1 Chron. 11:10).

God often uses failure to make us useful. When Jesus called the disciples, He did not go out and find the most qualified and successful people. He found the most willing, and He found them in the workplace. He found a fisherman, a tax collector, and a farmer.

The Hebrews knew that failure was a part of maturing in God. The Greeks used failure as a reason for disqualification. Sadly, in the Church, we often treat one another in this way. This is not God's way. We need to understand that failing does not make us failures. It makes us experienced. It makes us more prepared to be useful in God's Kingdom -- if we have learned from it. And that is the most important ingredient for what God wants in His children.

Today's Prayer
Dear God, Please help me to adjust my life to you. I pray for wisdom and boldness to do what is right. Show me the way, whether I need to change jobs, make new friends, break bad habits, or whatever the case. Make me aware of how I need to change and adjust, so that I will be pleasing to you and will receive the blessings you have in store for me. May you be glorified in all I do. With thanksgiving and praise, amen.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders

How to Serve God
Dr. Charles Stanley

Titus 3:5-8

When you encounter opportunities to serve God, how do you respond? Let me list some of the wrong reactions:

1) I can't.

2) My schedule is too busy.

3) I don't know how.

4) I'm just a layperson, not a pastor.

Those knee-jerk reactions slam closed a door before we've discovered whether or not the Lord wants us to go through it. You've probably never thought of a refusal to serve God as idolatry, but that's what it is—bowing down to self instead of submitting to Him.

The Lord desires that His servants first be willing to do anything and then seek His specific plan for them. He uniquely gifts followers to serve according to His will. But when we've already decided what we can't do, won't do, or are ill-equipped to do, then we're acting by our own will. That isn't going to work.

You may serve the Lord as a godly parent, as a factory worker who shares the gospel with coworkers, or as a friend who listens to those who are hurting. There is no restriction on what God can do with a willing helper. The strength of His Spirit overcomes human limitations. Don't have enough courage? God can fix that. Don't have the right skills? God can fix that.

Laying down our excuses is the wisest thing we can do to serve the Lord. Trust that He will empower you to do whatever He calls you to do—and will see to it that you are properly equipped and trained (Eph. 2:10; 2 Tim. 2:20; 3:16-17). All He asks of you is that you say yes.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit

What Does It Mean to Be Saved?
by Sharon Jaynes

Today's Truth
"If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9 NIV).

Friend to Friend
I walked through the receiving line during the visitation for a godly man who had passed away a few days before. As the person in front of me embraced the wounded widow he whispered, "Oh, but you will see him again." My heart broke as I heard her reply, "I hope so. I don't know if I've been good enough."

This was no place for me to reprimand or scold, but my heart was torn in two. This eighty-six-year-old woman had been in church all her life. She read her Bible often, pondered devotions daily, and attended church regularly. And yet, she believed a lie. Somehow she believed that she had to earn her way to heaven...that she had to be "good enough to get in."

Oh dear friend, we will never be good enough to earn our way to heaven. We will never be good enough to "get in." If we could, Jesus would not have had to give His life in our stead. It is a free gift.

So many are trying to earn what they already have. And it is the lie of performance-based acceptance that keeps women bound.

Perhaps you have found yourself believing the lie that you have to earn your way to heaven, or that you could somehow lose your salvation if you did not perform properly. Let's expose that lie and learn to walk in God's incredible gift of grace.

Or perhaps you have the helmet of salvation fixed securely in place and it has never left your pretty little head. It that's the case, just sit back and thank God for His precious gift and rejoice with your sisters who are about to pluck the bow from the most precious gift of God and join the party.

What does it mean to "be saved?"
The word "saved" has been tossed about so much in the church that I feel it has lost its wonder and mystery. What does it mean to be saved?

The word salvation is used five times in Romans and the verb form, saved, occurs eight. It means "deliverance" or "rescue." So what are we saved from? Through Jesus Christ we are saved from lostness (Matthew 18:11), the wrath of God (Romans 5:9), the penalty of sin, the realm of darkness (Colossians 1:13), eternal separation from God, and eternal punishment in hell (Revelation 20:6). We are saved from the penalty of sin the moment we believe. We are being saved from the power of sin as we continue to live on this earth and become more and more conformed to the image of Christ. And we will be saved from the presence of sin when we leave this earthly body to spend eternity with God.

Saving faith involves our entire being: mind, will and emotions. With the mind we understand the truth of the gospel, with the will we choose to submit to God and make Jesus Lord of our lives, and with the emotions we express sorrow over our sin and joy over God's mercy and grace. Salvation is more that a "get out of jail free" card. It is more that a ticket into heaven. Eternal life begins the moment you believe, and God's desire is for you to experience the abundant life here on earth (John 10:10). It is passing from spiritual death to spiritual life in the twinkling of God's eye. We are not saved by how we behave, but by how we believe.

So here's the question. Are you saved? Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If you are still exploring, join me in my next devotion as we walk down the Roman Road to the Cross.

Let's Pray
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that while I was still a sinner, lost and separated from You, You sent You One and Only Son to save me. Jesus did for me what I could never do for myself. In His Name I pray,


Girlfriends in God
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Matthews, NC 28106

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