The following is a short article I wrote for our church newsletter today, but I wanted to share it on here as well:
Do you carry the mind of Christ with you throughout your work week? In other words, do you reflect your Savior in your attitude and decision-making? When I think back to the time that I worked in the secular workforce, I can remember having difficulty in keeping this Kingdom perspective. More times than not, I kept a worldly perspective – I tried to live under my own strength. I would put on my Christlike attitude on Wednesday nights and on Sundays, but it was too easy to slip back into a worldly mindset when I got to work on Monday mornings. Even though I currently work full time in ministry, there are still times that I tend to think this way. I think that’s part of human nature – we are independent and want to solve problems under our own power.
I have found that the more time I spent in the Word and in prayer and fellowship with the Lord, the more I keep a Christ-centered mindset. I want to encourage our church family to stay centered in the will of God by feeding your soul with the Word on a daily basis. When we do this, we will develop our mind for Christ. We will have a Kingdom mentality; we will LOOK for opportunities to live our testimony, not just react when they present themselves. Have a mind for Christ on a daily basis and with everyone we interact with, and we will change our world.
When we sing songs of worship, we are most likely singing from one of two groups of songs – those that are written about and to God that come from a person’s heart and are inspired by God, and those whose lyrics come directly from scripture and are set to music. To me, this latter group is the purest form of worship through singing. How more can we praise God in song than through singing His divinely inspired Holy Word?
The choir sang a song of worship on Sunday morning called “Revelation Song.” The words of the chorus come directly from Revelation 4:8: “…Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” (NIV)
How incredible it is for us to sing the very words that the heavenly creatures are constantly singing to God! We don’t know the heavenly melody or accompaniment, but to get just a glimpse through those words should bring us a chill of excitement! I am thankful that God is still using people to write songs of praise and worship today, that we may continually sing Him a new song.
“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.” Psalm 40:3 (NIV)
But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him? So who am I, that I should build a house for Him, except to burn incense before Him? 2 Chronicles 2:6 (NASB)
I came across this verse in my daily reading this week. Solomon is preparing to build the temple to God and he asks himself this question. My own question when reading this verse was, “Who is worthy?” None of us are worthy to anything for God, yet He calls us to be obedient. He is more interested in our faithfulness to Him than our abilities or worthiness. Obeying our Father only strengthens our faith and reliance upon Him.
Are you being obedient to God? Has He placed a burden in your heart? Too many times we feel a burden and share it with someone else, expecting them to do the work, when god has placed that burden on our hearts because He wants us to do the work!
If God is calling you to do a work unto Him, He will equip you to do the work, no matter how impossible the task or how ill-equipped you may think you are. All He is asking is for our obedience. I pray that all of us will obey when our Heavenly Father calls.
It’s been a while since my last post. I plan to do a write-up in the near future of our Association’s recent vision trip to West Virginia.
The following is my weekly article, “Soundbites,” that I write for our church newsletter:
I’ve had the following verse on my mind the last few days: “Then He said to [them] all, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23 (HCSB).
Have you ever really thought about what would happen if all Christians would heed this command from Jesus? The world would never be the same. If we simplify everything we are commanded to do, I think it all comes down to Luke 9:23 and the Great Commission. Heeding Luke 9:23 begins with denying ourselves. This is a very hard thing to do of course, since we are selfish by nature. We want to look out for ourselves first. This is not what Jesus commands us to do. In fact, much of what we are taught from Jesus goes against our natural reactions.
Can you truly imagine a life of self-denial? Practicing this prepares us for the ultimate sacrifice for Christ, martyrdom. We must be willing to give our very lives for the name of Jesus. A question we must ask is, “Am I willing to give my life for the name of Christ?”
I pray that each of us is ready to do that very thing. When we can come to that point, we can truly deny ourselves every day, and therefore fulfill the command of Luke 9:23. We can then change our world.
God has been placing some thoughts in front of me lately. When you start noticing the same idea from different sources, you tend to sit up and take notice. Ever have that happen? For me, God has repeatedly asked the question: Is Jesus Lord of your life?
I don’t think this is directed solely at me, although I know that there are areas in my life that I still need to completely surrender to Him. Are we as Christians turning over complete control to our Savior? Are there any areas that we still try to control? Are we guilty of being satisfied with just being a Christian? Isn’t there more to it than that? Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23.
It’s pretty evident here that Jesus is to be more than just our Savior—He is to be Lord of our LIFE. We are commanded to take up our cross daily. The question to ask ourselves is, “am I living a country club christianity?”. Did we pay our initial membership fee (get saved) and go to church occasionally (pay our dues) but never grow in our faith (use the benefits we pay for)? Do we feel satisfied (dangerous word there!) with just going to church on Sunday morning and saying the blessing at mealtime? Do we truly desire to follow Christ in EVERY aspect of life? There is much more to it than just walking down the aisle and getting baptised afterwards. I will leave you with a great quote I came across this week. Of all places, it came from the devotional book that we read to our children each night:
“Salvation is not a cafeteria where you take what you want and leave the rest. You cannot take Christ as Savior and refuse Him as Lord.” – Vance Havner.