EPHESIANS 5:21 ON 5/21

TL 5-21 EPHESIANS 5-21

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  – Ephesians 5:21

I’m such a believer in proverbial iron-sharpening!  What does that mean?  It’s the support of Christian brothers and sisters that propels their ministry, forwards my ministry and most importantly pleases our Lord.  We submit to one another because we love Christ first of all – also because our friends who are like-minded love and revere Him too.  It goes beyond positive thinking or random acts of kindness.  We’re friends in Christ and we minister together – with a common goal and purpose. 

Submission is not understood in our world today.  People today see being submissive as a definite sign of weakness, when in reality, as a child of God, it’s a choice we make because Christ did so much for us and we are workers together for His sake.  If we keep the proper perspective and focus on Christ and the sacrifice He made for us, it is possible to submit to one another.  We get that it’s not about us – it’s about Him.

We must be mindful to submit to one another and not make it one-sided.  We never want to make our friends feel as though they are doormats to be thrown on the porch for our feet to be wiped on.  I have learned it is not necessarily the wrong thing to say NO to anyone.  I am human, a fact that my Savior is all too aware of…  and there will be times when my ability to submit and support may be hampered due to a physical  limitation or even mental exhaustion.  I used to be afraid to let the flaws be known.  Now I’m not a bit shy about asking for prayer support – and for a postponement.  To avoid burnout, it’s important to view this as a marathon, not a sprint.  It’s a lifestyle, not a phase of life.  We are committed to our Savior forever.

While the context of this verse is directed toward behavior in a family unit, it’s true that the body of Christ needs to adopt similar attitudes and behaviors, don’t you agree?  God’s children have so many reasons to sing for joy – whether it is on pitch or not – strong or weak voice – it makes no difference!  I’m not dense enough to think the Christian life is all singing all the time – we are not always singing and are sometimes crying for any number of reasons.  Regardless of our circumstances, we should be always giving thanks to Christ for His sacrifice – and showing reverence to Him – and do our best to help in ministry and have others help in ours.THINK ABOUT JESUS

There’s a sign on the door at Planet Fitness – it says, “Check egos at the door”.  In other words – don’t think you are either better or worse than anyone else.  Wouldn’t it be great if the body of Christ had that attitude too?  We’re all on the same side – the side of Christ.  We all work for Him.  We’re all on the same team.  Think of what could be accomplished if ego got checked at the door.  Think about Jesus.

As His children we should first and foremost promote HIS glory!  It’s so easy to lose focus and make it about ourselves.  We really are so human but God knows that – and that’s why we need to get on our knees and humbly ask forgiveness – then try again.  I love do-overs and I’ve had a lot of them.

Iron-sharpening, ego-checking and do-overs.  I’m so very thankful that Jesus understands me!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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EXODUS 3:14 ON 3/14

EXODUS 3 14 ON 3 14

God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”   – Exodus 3:14

God’s name is I AM.  It makes perfect sense because God has always been, therefore, He is part of His creation.  Does the creation name the Creator?  That is thinking that puts the cart before the horse.  When we realize that God is high and lifted up – and that’s where we need to place Him in our hearts and lives – only then do we begin to get a real sense of the awe and true respect we owe Him in our everyday lives and in our worship.

God is not a cosmic vending machine that we drop a coin in and get instant gratification in return.  If you send a certain amount of money to the such and so ministry, you will not automatically become happy and healthy and whole.  The Word, and its emphasis on reverence toward God, is being replaced by some ear-tickling, funky doctrine.  I do not subscribe to the “Doom and Gloom” ministry where everything is falling apart and there is seemingly no hope, but nor do I believe in the “Everything is just peachy keen because we’re all happy happy happy and riding the train to Glory no matter what” ministry.

If you want to ride the train to Glory, there is a right way and His name is Jesus.  There may be some bad habits He wants you to get rid of.  There may be some downright ugly sin He definitely wants you to get rid of.  God saves through the precious blood of His Son, Jesus.  It’s a narrow road and to preach that anybody can just hop on board and get to heaven…  well, it’s just not so.  When a person is ready to repent of sin, there needs to be some shame associated with it – you have to be truly sorry for the sins you’ve committed and ask the Lord to take that bent toward sinning away.  Jesus does take all that away – and the shame leaves too.  A heart that God helps you clean is clean indeed.

Once you are a child of God, when you stand before Him at the judgment, you don’t need to be afraid because you can point to Jesus.  God no longer sees your sin, but He sees His Son’s sacrifice covering your sin.  There’s not enough positive thinking doctrine to save your soul.  You have to lay it all out to Jesus.  Confess it – accept forgiveness for it – and walk away from it.  Is it easy – NO.  Will Christ help you do it?  Oh yes.

Have you watched Billy Graham’s video about THE CROSS???  Go over to You Tube and watch this incredible video.  At 96 years of age, this great man of God is still pointing us to one fact – Jesus died for all that we might be saved and live in heaven for eternity after this life is over.

Do you belong to God?  Are you His?

I AM HIS

Why do we worship God?  Because He IS…  His name says it all…  I AM.  He is worthy of our worship and our praise.  We should never base our degree of praise on anything that is about us, such as a mood that might say, “I don’t feel like praising God today”.  It’s not about you, it’s about God.  He deserves the glory, honor and praise from His creation.

My daddy was not a minister, but he used to tell me that when God called Himself I AM, He was letting man know that they are the mere creation.  God has so much power and yet He restrains that power to show us such patience and love.  He wants us to seek His face and grow in His love and grace, with fear and reverence – always.

I used to ask daddy about the flood too.  I asked child-like questions like, “If God wanted to destroy all earth, why did he spare the animals and Noah’s family?  Why didn’t He just wipe it all out to begin with?”  Daddy told me that God loved Noah’s family because they gave God the respect and honor that He deserved when nobody else did.

Can we say that we give God the respect and honor that He deserves today?  God – I AM – is everything, in everything, surrounds everything – and if you are a Christian, He lives in you.  He needs to be the Lord of all in your life.  If He is not Lord of all in your life, He won’t be Lord at all.  God is a jealous God and will not allow anything or anyone to take first place.  He has to be the top priority in your life.  Why?  Because His name is I AM. 

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (20)

WOO HOO HALLELUJAH

When was the last time you went to a football game or watched one on TV? Be honest, how excited did you get about it? My dad was a die-hard Cowboys fan and believe me when I say, I know how enthralled you can get in sports when it’s your team playing!

Part of me is happy to see that some church services have been less starched and pressed than they used to be. Don’t get me wrong – I believe that the church is still a place of reverence and a place to worship and honor God. I just don’t think it should be a place where people go to catch up on the sleep they didn’t get the night before.

The point is, don’t you think we should be able to show at least as much enthusiasm about the fact that Jesus gave His life on the cross and was then raised from the dead and conquered death and the grave – for us? I mean, call me crazy, but I think that’s a pretty big deal.

It’s taken me literally YEARS to get comfortable with showing emotion in church. The church I grew up in was a very solemn and reverent place and most of the time you could hear a pin drop. I think I also heard quite a bit of snoring – from the adults. Jus’ sayin’… this little story sums it up well:

Six-year old Angie , and her four-year old brother, Joel , were sitting together in church.
Joel giggled, sang and talked out loud.
Finally, his big sister had had enough.
“You’re not supposed to talk out loud in church.”
“Why? Who’s going to stop me?” Joel asked.
Angie pointed to the back of the church and said,
“See those two men standing by the door?
They’re hushers.”

Take a moment in your next church service to lift your hands or say “Amen” when something said blesses you. 🙂

HEBREWS 12:28 ON 12/28

HEBREWS 12 28 ON 12 28

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe…  – Hebrews 12:28

When I read that passage of scripture, I thought, “Wow – what a great New Year’s Resolution!”  I mean, what could be better than to resolve to be more thankful and worship God acceptably with reverence and awe???

It seems to me that once the proper emphasis is put on all that, everything else will fall into its rightful place.  You may think that sounds too good to be true, but don’t dismiss my theory so quickly.

When our hearts and minds are on Christ instead of our problems, we are fully trusting Him to work it all out, right?  So, if we’re trusting the Lord to take care of the day-to-day, then it will all fall into place, right?

If we could just do that one thing, it would be the best resolution because by our act of faith we are letting Christ know that we trust Him for everything.  Well, you don’t think I chose the book of Hebrews just because I wanted to tell the joke about coffee, did you?  You do know that the man is supposed to make the coffee in the household – because the Bible says He Brews…  yeah – ok.  Talking Tom likes coffee…

Anyway…  what a great reminder that we are receiving a kingdom that is unshakable!  It’s not made by human hands.  We sure can’t say that about this place, can we?  I hear bad news almost daily that makes me wonder how much longer things will stay together.  But the kingdom of God is solid and eternal.  It is where we are headed, so we need to realize that we are children of the living God and start giving Him all the glory and honor and praise He deserves.  Let’s find the awe in awesome again.

We are not abandoned.  We are not orphans.  We are more than conquerors in Jesus’ name.  Let’s go into 2014 with praise for God on our lips and a testimony in our heart to share with those who need to hear it.  😀