DO EVERYTHING IN THE NAME OF JESUS!
We’ve been talking a lot about choices lately. What is right and what is wrong? What it means to live a worthy life? What it means to have humility? As we soon enter into a season of Stewardship, it is my hope that we will be open to what God can teach us about sharing what God has gifted to us. How can we look at our lives and ALL that we have not only through a different lens but through a different heart? EVERYTHING we do matters. Absolutely everything!!!!! There is no hiding from God. Shine for the world to see Christ’s light in you today. After all, as a Child of God, our purpose is to please God by giving and using what God gave us in the first place.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
A Worthy Life
This past Sunday, we focused on living a life worthy of Christ. Every day we make hundreds of decisions. Some without thinking or at least without thinking very much. Other decisions are life-giving or life-taking. Hmmm. (Sounds like a commandment written on stone tablets to me). Anyway, when we are faced with difficult or more complex decisions, it is very important for us to consider…what would God say? Which decision would please God? At the end of the day, we will ALL have made good and bad decisions. The difference is…did we make an effort to please God in the process.
So as you make decisions today, consider what will please God, and go from there!
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves
in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
“Don’t go to church…Be the church!”
Many years ago while attending a youth conference I bought a shirt with those words on it. The front of the shirt says, “Don’t go to church.” The back of the shirt says, “Be the church.” I can’t begin to tell you the times I’ve been confronted by what others read on the front of my shirt. But, all I needed to do was turn around and tell the rest of the story.
This makes me wonder. How often do we find ourselves doing just that? Going to church. We get up on a Sunday morning and head to church. We see our friends. Have a cup of coffee. Get caught up on all the latest news and gossip. We take a few minutes to pray and offer our thanks and praise to God. We’ve gone to church. But, once we leave the building, what happens? We tend to get on with our lives. Living between late Sunday morning this week to early Sunday morning next week leaving 167 hours remaining in our week. We get busy with family, work, friends, errands…and we forget the rest of the story. BE THE CHURCH!!!!
Our time of worship, typically on Sunday mornings, is meant for two things. First and foremost to offer our thanks and praise to God. Secondly, to gain insight and strength for the journey that is before us. In order to be God’s Church in our world, we need to gain strength. We need to remain connected to God and God’s desire.
The last time you gathered with a dear friend, you likely shared stories to update one another, offered encouragement, and then made an effort to connect again. Our faith is no different. We gather with God and God’s people. We connect in story and song. Receiving encouragement for what is before us. AND…then we make plans to do it again.
The “what is before us” is the challenge we have received as people of God. To be the Church in the world. To bring love, peace, hope, and joy to a hurting world. Let’s not get stuck living the 167 hours a week between Sunday worship by filling our time. Instead, let’s learn to BE the CHURCH 168 hours a week. This is what makes us God’s Hands and Feet.
How will you be God’s church today?
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”
1 Corinthians 12:4-6
1 Corinthians chapter 12 speaks directly to spiritual gifts. Paul is very clear…there are many different gifts…but…ALL are needed. Every…single…one! We all know that God created each of us, uniquely. But, too often we wish we were; like someone else, had a gift or talent someone else possesses, or would rather not even discuss Spiritual Gifts. The reality is this; as God’s Children we have been given spiritual gifts AND God expects us to use them.
I was once told that in order to discover one’s spiritual gifts, one needs to try a lot of different things. Try and fail. Try and succeed. Try and develop gifts and talents. Regardless of the outcome, we learn. We either learn that we have a particular gift or we don’t. But if we don’t try, we will never know the truth! Take some time to read through
1 Corinthians chapter 12. It’s not long. But it may be the beginning of discovery. Discovery of how God the Spirit has gifted you and how God intends to use those gifts at this stage in your life.
Accept the gifts you have been given, but don’t let them sit on the shelf, gathering dust. Don’t hide them in a closet. Take them out. Use them. Build strength. God gave you these gifts with a purpose in mind. It’s time to ask God to reveal the gifts that have been given to you and then discover what you are to do with all that which has been entrusted to you. Now is the time of discovery. Now is the time to be church.