Monday, May 17, 2010

Jealousy/Envy continued

"Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name…" Philippians 2:4-9a

By the way I want to thank so many of you for you kind remarks, e-mails, and Facebook messages. I did not expect so much response from the teaching on Sunday.

I wanted to add an addendum to the teaching. I was reading Philippians in my morning devotions and came across this scripture passage. Jealousy hinders you from doing what Jesus had done. If we are interested in the blessing of others in the welfare of others rather than just ourselves then we become like Jesus who not interested in his personal well being took on the form of a servant and gave us all life.

How many will you give life to today because of your lack of a self-interested, self-serving heart? Your bringing selfish ambition, jealousy, and envy under control will not only bring freedom, joy, and blessing to others but like Jesus the Lord will exalt you, fulfill your dreams and your purpose. He gives grace to the humble but resist the proud James writes. We need to care for our families and ourselves but we cannot become lustful for things or jealous for how someone has been blessed. Our humility causes the blessing and places us in a greater position to touch even more lives. I know it can be scary at times but to be honest faith can be that way.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

You may not want to read this post:)

Sorry many are going through challenges right now, as I read my devotions this morning I thought you may need to hear this, or not!

I know you don’t want to hear it but people can really see Jesus best in us when we go through trials.

“And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything.” 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8

Paul was writing the new church in Greece a letter of encouragement. He basically was saying guys you have impacted so many others because of the example you have lived while you went through the tough times.

We all go through tough times it is in these times where we sometime wonder, “God where are you?” It is in the middle of those times that are faith is seen most clear by others. Our lives are not our own and there are indeed times when the Lord allows us to go through things for His glory. “Why was this man born blind?” the disciples ask Jesus, “whose sin was it?” Jesus responded, “no man’s but that the Father may be glorified.” Please don’t develop a martyr complex about whatever situation you may be going through, but do remember that people are watching your life. There is an old adage about raising children, “More is caught than taught”. Our children, neighbors, co-workers, other church family are all looking at our lives to see how we will handle both the good and the bad that comes into our lives.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thanks to all the Moms and wives

Thank you for being who you are! There are many aspects to God’s character that we can see best through you. Here are three.

Your strength of love makes us secure. In many ways, life can beat us up, we can feel hopeless but like the Lord you are always there to help pick up the pieces and to tell us we can make it. Your protective nature has given us the strength of character to be secure in who we are!

When it seemed that no one else loves us you where there; it didn’t matter if we were right or wrong you still loved us. When we have gotten out on the edge or even fallen off the edge we always knew we where still loved. It was never abut what we did for you but always about who we are, your love like God’s love is always there.

You have always been the first to believe in us. From the horrible drawings that you just “loved” that we did prekindergarten to the job interviews that would be impossible; when no one else would say we could do it you did. You prayed when everyone else gave up, you stood by us when the world was falling apart believing we could still make it, many times we did because of you.

To all the great Mom’s and wives everywhere, “Thank you”, you have made a difference, you can show us aspects of God’s heart that no one else can!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Things do get tough but God is faithful!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3 – 7

Tuesday I performed a funeral and then went to Children’s Hospital to see Kristian the 6 year old we prayed for Saturday night. Kristian had taken another turn for the worse so Paige and I went down to pray for him. Wednesday he had so improved that they were taking him off of all the paralysis medication and waking him three day earlier than expected.

We will walk through difficult things in this life. Jesus told us this world has plenty of difficulties. It is not if the difficulties will come into our lives it is when. When they come the challenge is what will we do?

I hear the questions a lot, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” I believe the answer is this, the world is still corrupt, flesh is still alive in most people and the devil is real, but more importantly when bad things happen to Christians, if we choose to trust Him, He always proves His faithfulness.

The doctors and nurses are amazed at Kristian’s recovery; God is doing some other very important work in Kristian’s family. At the funeral, brothers were restored to one another and a man who had just recently lost his wife, got peace and others, for the first time were open to hearing about a relationship with Jesus.

We will go through tough times. God will never let us down, He will use them to heal, strengthen, encourage, and mold us more into His image as we trust him through the difficulty.