Summer Thoughts

May 31, 2011 Comments Off on Summer Thoughts

5 things on my mind recently that I want to share with you…My summer has given me a lot of time to think.

  1. Being humble and serving is the greatest way to reflect Christ to others. //Philippians 2:5-8 “Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.” Even though you may have position, use that position to reflect Christ- not leverage it against others for your own gain. 
  2. God has you exactly where you’re supposed to be, even if you don’t think you have a purpose.// 1 Corinthians 7:17  And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life. Don’t think I’m being harder on you than on the others. I give this same counsel in all the churches.” Even though you wish you could be somewhere else, God has a plan for you this summer and has opportunities for you- You just have to position yourself to find out His will. God is positioning you in a season of change, giving you lots of downtime to seek Him and actually study your bible- don’t waste this time sitting around all day and feeling sorry for yourself!
  3. God’s blessing isn’t in the act, it’s in the action.// James 1:23-25 “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” We often times are willing to take on the act of something in our thoughts, but are never willing to take action in our lives. You can accept Christ, but if you never take action on your faith and share it with others you are wasting your faith away.
  4. Our greatest problem in forgiving others isn’t what they did to us, it’s ourselves. // Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as Christ forgave you.” God has to forgive us everyday of our sins, so why wouldn’t you be able to forgive someone else? We can accept and process what happened to us and why they hurt us, but we are unwilling to let it go because we want them to think they owe us something. // Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”
  5. We like to judge others because it makes us feel important and all righteous. // Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven” We are too easy to condemn others for having little faith or slipping up short in their walk with Christ, but you’re too afraid to open your own eyes and see all your flaws. You hide your spiritual insecurities by judging others, but if you judge others you are asking for God to judge you with His perfect standards- you don’t want that to happen, let me tell you.
**God expects infinitely worse from us than we expect from ourselves, so don’t get down on yourself when you mess up. It’s why Jesus died for ALL our sins and not just some of them.

     

     

    Self-Examination

    May 3, 2011 § 2 Comments

     For so many of us, we love the idea that we can be critical of others; tell them what’s wrong with their life, how they can fix it, or where they are messing up with God. However, we are unwilling to examine our own life for those very same mistakes.

    I can think of numerous examples in my life when I have met with someone and they tell me their struggles, but I shove my own life out of the way. For many of us, we have too much pride to examine our life and accept the very same thing we tell others for our own life. We like the idea that we can tell others what’s wrong with their life, but get defensive when the tables are turned. Well, the bible has something to say about this…

    Psalms 149:4
    For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.

    Proverbs 16:18-19 
    Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.

    We are given 2 options in life: accept or reject Christ. If you choose to accept Christ, like I do, then you have to be able to take yourself out of the glory to let him be glorified. The only examiner of life is Jesus himself, the bible often warns judge not, unless you be judged. Meaning, if you go out and judge others for their actions, Christ will judge you and I don’t think you want the only perfect person in this universe judging you- even your thoughts would be judged.

    As Christ-followers, our duty in life is to show others the love of Christ by giving up our life, finances, and thoughts to Christ. Not telling them how badly they have messed up and doubting their walk with Christ. If you truly want to be used by God, you cannot by proud and showy. God will never bless the prideful or judgmental, but instead will use the wise, quiet man.

    So, my challenge for you today is simple: Before you speak words into someone elses life, are you willing to accept them as criticism in your own life too? Meaning, are you willing to examine your own life for the areas you need to improve on or are you going to try and runaway from your own failures by trying to tell others where they are wrong? God wants to use you to be something special– if He didn’t, you would be dead. You can either accept or reject Christ, there is no other middle ground or other option. Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save the world and give us all another chance.

    Isaiah 66:2
    Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.”

    Micah 6:8 
    He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

    Matthew 18:3-4 
    And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

    Matthew 23:12 
    For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

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