Day 15: When You Don’t ‘Fit the Mold’

Daily Bible Reading: Acts 16:14-40; Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 4:18

In yesterday’s devotional, I wrote about how important it is that we see ourselves as God sees us. God has full confidence in Himself at work within us. He sees us differently than most of us see ourselves. One way we can help ourselves believe in the image that God has of us is by making it personal! In other words, as we step out to do something in our hearts that we can’t do in our own strength, the reality of what He has placed in us will begin to dawn on us as His grace carries us.

When you know that the only way you could be accomplishing something is through His ability in you, you will have a revelation of His abundant grace actively at work in your life.

So many times we’re just interested in the end result of what we have in our hearts — to see people saved, delivered, healed, encouraged, restored, etc. We’re not always aware of the great things that are happening inside us as we’re stepping out in faith, practicing obedience and faithfulness. But the Bible says that we are to look not just on the things that are seen, but on things that are unseen (2 Corinthians 4:18).

The Bible also says that what we do for the Lord is never in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). Yet so many times we think we’re not really serving the Lord if we’re not preaching, witnessing, visiting someone, or doing all the things that might fit the description of “religious duties.”

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I want to remind you of a woman written about in the New Testament who made quite a difference, and she did it without fitting into a religious “mold” — without doing certain works or doing things the way others thought they should be done.

This woman’s name was Lydia. Most of us know very little about her, only calling to mind when we hear her name that she was a “seller of purple” (see Acts 16:14). But notice what we read about Lydia right after we learn of her job description. We discover that she was a woman “who worshiped God” and “whose heart the Lord opened” (v. 14). That verse goes on to say that she was very attentive and responsive to the apostle Paul’s message.

Later it says Lydia opened her home to Paul and Silas after they were released from prison, and it was there that Paul exhorted and encouraged the brethren before leaving the city (v. 40).

Here is what we can learn from Lydia’s story: God is watching every single thing we do, and the Bible says we will give an account of ourselves when we stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ (see Romans 14:10-12). Wouldn’t it be wise to make sure everything we do is for His glory instead of just the “big things” or what we might consider big ministry?

In Heaven, many will be rewarded whom few knew anything about during their lifetime. They will be men and women who worshiped God; walked by faith; served their families, churches, and communities; kept a thankful attitude in the midst of hardship and pain; and worked for their employers as unto the Lord. No, they didn’t have big ministries on the earth, but they opened their hearts to the Lord and served Him faithfully in their own spheres of influence.

You and I can be among that company of the faithful if we’ll just open our hearts to the Lord to love Him, serve Him, and do His bidding, whether it’s to perform a deed of kindness toward our spouse or children, to visit a neighbor or friend in need, or to pray for someone who’s hurting in our community or around the world! One of the greatest things we can do each morning is to pray before we begin our daily tasks. Our quiet time with God is truly a key time when He speaks to us, encouraging and empowering us to be instruments of His mercy to those who need a touch from Him.

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In His great love,

Denise Renner

Denise Renner