February 24
Today's Bible Readings   (Family) Exodus 7, Job 24; (Personal) Luke 10, I Corinthians 11
''Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven." (Luke 10:20)
            There is a great emphasis on success in our culture. The crowds flock to seminars and conferences on how to be a success.  It seems that our culture is obsessed with being measured as a successful person.
            Christians fall into the trap of extravagantly desiring spiritual success; that is…success by and patterned after the forms set by this religious age in which we now live. We must never seek after anything other than the approval of God, and always willing to go ''outside the camp bearing His reproach."(Hebrews 13:13)
            In our verse, Jesus is saying, ''don't rejoice in your successful service for me, but rejoice because of your right relationship with me." You may fall into the trap of rejoicing that God has used you, yet you will never be able to fully measure what God will do through you if you have a right relationship with Jesus Christ that is beyond comprehension. If you keep your relationship right with Him, then regardless of your circumstances or whoever you encounter each day, He will continue to pour  ''rivers of living water'' through you. (John 7:38)
            You must never fail to remember that once you have the right relationship with God through salvation and sanctification, that whatever your circumstances may be, you have been placed in them by God. God uses the reaction of your life to your circumstances to fulfill His purpose as long as you continue to ''walk in the light as He is in the light.'' (I John 1:7)
            Our tendency is to put the emphasis on service while God puts the emphasis on relationship. The very best you can do is total failure no matter how it looks in the eyes of the world. The very least you do in relationship with Him is absolute success no matter how the world measures your success. It is the works that God does through us that count, not what we do for Him. The one will of God for His people is to bring in the harvest. Jesus is ''bringing many sons to glory..." (Hebrews 2:10)
            Unless the worker lives a life that is ''hidden with Christ in God'' (Colossians 3:3) he is apt to become an irritating dictator to others instead of an activating, living disciple. Many of us are dictators, dictating our desires to individuals and to groups, but Jesus never dictates to us in that way. Whenever our Lord talked about discipleship, He always prefaced His words with an '' if." Never with a forceful or dogmatic statement - ''you must". Discipleship carries with it an option. Do you glory in what you do for Him, or what He does through you?
            Pray today for the Commonwealth of Australia. This large country in the Pacific region boasts of more than 25 million in population. Evangelicals number approximately 15 to 20 percent of the population. The opportunities for evangelism and outreach have never been greater.
            The church in Australia faces many of the same spiritual problems as the church in America and in Western Europe. I want to suggest that we pray especially today for the Aborigines. There are 350,000 of these people who have been demoralized in their contacts with western culture and greed, and have been frustrated by their lack of control over their own land and heritage. Recognition of the land rights of the first Australians has become a major political issue in recent years. More than 500 missionaries work among these people and deserve our prayer support today. They represent 26 denominational and interdenominational agencies.
''The one will of God for His people is to bring in the harvest."
Ron Herrod