The flame of God’s service, from 2 Timothy 1.6, is the focus of today’s devotional by Ed M. The call must ever be heard. (“Ministry” in today’s religious language has been co-opted by professionals. We are all ministers, only some of us serve in different functions.) God calls all his people to serve his mission. The church is about souls. We must never lose sight of that. We must constantly fan the flames of this privilege of participating with God in the rescue of mankind. Whatever our drawbacks or disadvantages — and Timothy had plenty of them — we are not exempt. No woman or man can run from it and be faithful to the calling.

Focus question: What do I need to do to keep the fire of zeal hot for serving God?

In his devotional today, Ed M. touches on a term, using 2 Cor 13.11, that I often refer to, in order to help others understand: perfection.

The word “perfect” suggested “restoration.” It meant “to fix what was defective.” The term is translated “mature,” Colossians 4:12. Hence, the idea was to be what we ought to be, to put oneself in order, Philippians 3:12. The apostle was encouraging the Corinthians to get rid of the old ways, to become complete in Christ, cf. James 1:4.

Focus question: How perfect is my perfection?

Haggai 1.5 is the powerful verse that Ed M. works from in today’s devotional. It’s a must-read. We must take time to consider our ways and the results of our lifestyle. It matters in eternity what we choose today. But so many of us are all rush and no reflection. We’re whipped around by media and let ourselves be manipulated through our emotions. Give it some thought!

Focus question: When and where do you separate time to meditate regularly on your life?

Ed M. chose one of my favorite verses for today’s devotional. He wrote,

The light is here. God asked His followers to be “radiant,” to “throb and swell with joy,” Isaiah 60:5a. It is not the stained glass in our building but the poetry of our soul that penetrates the darkness. We are a light—a reflection of Him—when He dwells in the cathedral of our hearts, Psalms 89:5; Isaiah 2:5.

Focus question: How strong is the light shining in you and through you?

“Shine like lights,” says Scripture, and so Christians have their task in the world. Ed M. looks at the background briefly in today’s devotional.

This may be an allusion to the towers in ancient times that were built at a harbor entrance. Fires burned atop these towers at night to guide ships safely into port. Hence, we “shine like stars” so that those in darkness may see light and find life in Jesus.

Focus question: To whom have I served as light thus far in my life, so that someone has found life in Jesus? How can I be effective in this task?

Ed M.’s devotional today hit me square between the eyes, using Isaiah 49.4 as his main text.

Labor of the saints. Discouragement is common among the devout. It is not their effort which exhausts them. It is the frustration that nothing seems to come of it. Yet happy are those who never quit. Lesser troubles are forgotten in the face of vaster undertakings. Let the flagging messenger look beyond his disheartening past, Deuteronomy 1:12; Joshua 8:1.

Focus question: How important are results to you? Or immediate praise of what you do?

Using Ephesians 4.1 as his base text today, Ed M. focuses in his devotional on the holy life required by Christ’s call.

A Roman philosopher said, “It is useful for the public good when people believe themselves to be born of the gods.” Why? In so doing “they will pursue worthy enterprises more earnestly.” Should not such a perception draw the children of God away from what is base? Should it not inspire them toward noble thoughts and holy deeds?

Focus question: Where does the concept of calling appear in the NT? How should it shape our behavior?

In his devotional thought today, Ed M. uses Nahum 2.13 to contrast the messengers of Nineveh (see 2 Kings 18) and those of God. And what a contrast!

The one spoke of submission to the king, II Kings 18:31,32. The other encouraged faith in the King of kings, Nahum 1:12,13. One led to disaster. The other pointed to deliverance. One promised earthly pleasures. The other told of heavenly blessings. Each messenger offered a choice, spoke with conviction, and asked for submission. Only one deserved a hearing.

God’s messengers continue to speak the Word. Let us be among their number.

Focus question: What word of God’s does the world need to hear today?

Ed M. wrote today in his devotional about worship: “To expect seasons of dryness is appropriate. To become comfortable with them is deadly!” He uses the book of Malachi with Mal 1.11 as the key verse. Another powerful thought to grapple with!

Focus question: Do I assemble with the saints for worship with an attitude of expectation and a mindset to discover truth and new motivations?

The key to God’s riches, under every covenant he makes with man, is the fear of him. Ed M. reminds us today in his devotional based on Isaiah 33.6.

Respect for God. The best treasure of a nation is her reverence for God, Exodus 20:20; Psalms 34:4-22. People who submit to the Lord have the key to riches— riches beyond purple mountains, ripened grain, and fruited plains, Isaiah 33:15,16.

Focus question: How does my fear of God express itself? What parts of my prayers, my speech, and my actions show it?