Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

God, the great and powerful
Praiseworthy and masterful
Creator of all that is beautiful
And origin of all the universe

Christ, the greatest miracle
Given as sacrifice for all
The Word who left heaven for the fall
And brought redemption upon a cross

Holy Spirit, wise counselor
Miracle worker and deliverer
Guidance and generous giver
Of God’s gifts, our convict-er

Father, the great I am
Holding all power in His hand
Everything according to His plan
He was with the Word before the first breath of man

Spoken Word Download: http://adf.ly/5730942/who-he-is

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(prepared for a Tuesday Morning Staff Meeting)

Ecclesiastes 1:1-2

“The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:

2 ‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’
says the Teacher.
‘Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.’”

What a great way to start off the morning and an awesome start to our week, right? Everything is meaningless. And this has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of what I’m saying this morning.

Ecclesiastes is my favorite book because it puts everything into perspective. It reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing and why I feel like I should be doing it in the first place.

A sober reminder like my alarm clock was this morning.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a morning person.
I like sleeping in.
I hate my alarm clock.
Which was my mom this morning…

When I set my alarm, I doom myself to the fate of waking to an alarm, for what reason? Because there is something I need to do, and without a sober reminder I would sleep right on through it.

Often I get up and my first thoughts aren’t about what I have to do, I honestly don’t even remember why I set the alarm in the first place until after my morning routine.

This makes it ever more important for us to set our alarms right now so we’re prepared for what’s to come. We have to be intentional. Just to be clear, I’m not talking about the type that wakes us up in the morning.
So what are we setting our alarms for?

Skip to chapter 3:1-5

“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2     a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3     a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4     a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

The list goes on…

This begs the question, what are we prepared for?

Perhaps more importantly, what are we unprepared for?

The cold reality is that we don’t always see things coming, and when the storms of life hit or things go unexpectedly crazy we have to be ready. Not just as people, not just as staff at a church, but as men and women on the front lines of a very real war against a very real enemy and as what may be the one thing that collides with a person’s trajectory to hell and points them to Jesus.

As my friend Paul said Sunday, Jesus prayed that we would be sent into the world to redeem it. (John 17:13-18) What idiot goes on a mission unprepared? We need to set our alarms to prepare for whatever may come our way.

Pray that when the time comes that your preparation is fruitful and rises up within you and everything is automatic, much like my morning routine, so we can praise God for the work He is doing through us in the midst of the world when we remember what was sown into us beforehand.

We just read in Ecclesiastes that there is a time for everything right? Well, let me leave you with this thought…

Ester 4:14, you know the story…
“14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Jeremiah 29:11-13, God knows what plans he has for us. Romans 8:22-30, we are called according to His purpose.)

The time for us is now, our time is ticking.

Romans 12:1-2,
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

We’ve probably all heard this once, if not a million times. But there’s reason to look at it again, and again, and again. This is a choice we must constantly and consistently make, especially as representatives of Christ in each of our own areas and examples to those who come behind us. On a narrow road to a narrow gate with many distractions and detours, filled with construction and confusing signage, people need to know God’s will and direction just as much as we need it in our own life, sometimes it will be our obligation to bring it to them and we need to be prepared.

Romans 15:1-4
“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3 For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” 4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

There were those who came before us, thank God, that laid a foundation for us to work with and grow from. Christ came to take on the reproach that we were destined to face. “Reproach” honestly confused me a little so I looked up the definition to make sure I understood this scripture the right way, “reproach” means “The expression of disapproval or disappointment” or to address someone with such expression. Jesus Himself left heaven to remove the largest obstacle, sin’s death grip, and bear the weight of our well earned disapproval and disappointment. We too must bear the weight of those weaker than us and become a living sacrifice, not living as we would will but instead as an example to others so that we can inject God’s will and plan and purpose into their lives and build them up. In doing so, let us not forget that this is first and foremost our worship to God. Secondly our duty to one another in Christ.

Galatians 6:1-6
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.”

It’s imperative that we watch our steps, in our personal lives and in our ministry, for our own sake and the sake of Christ’s reputation through us. We don’t need to compare ourselves and our giftings to others, and we don’t need to be discouraged by our weaknesses. We’re human. We’re different, none of us have the same fingerprints, or purpose, or giftings, or strengths. But we all have something, and God put you where you are now so that you can use that something.

1 Timothy 4:6-16
“If you point these things…”

(from verse 4 and 5, “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”)

“out to the brothers and sisters,[a] you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.

15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

In our respective areas, we all want to be good ministers, hopefully. What we need in order to be good ministers is simply the renewing of our mind, to become a living sacrifice, to train ourselves in godliness, living in the will of God. I don’t know about you, but often when I would hear this scripture they point out “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young” as if it were some rebellious spirit of inspiration, but I don’t see anywhere that is says “and when you get old you can stop doing these things”. All it says to me is that it’s never to early to start and always too early to stop. We need to set the example and pour ourselves into this diligently. We have before us the opportunity to save anyone listening, and all we have to do is what we can.

I believe Scripture can speak for itself, so let’s pick up again where we started off in Romans 12 to wrap this up…

Romans 12:3-8
” For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a]faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

Simple. Many of us, many gifts, one powerful God, one mission. Let’s do it.

“Living Sacrifice” means a life lived intentionally.

Why do people need Jesus?  Why do you need Jesus?  Don’t answer with only an inspirational quote like, “He is my hope.” That is hard to recite when it all hits the fan. Also, don’t preach to others here, but really just talk about you and JC for a minute.  Think on this for a while and then share your thoughts.”

Wow… This site (click here) is awesome. It really puts things out there to think about, and I’m glad I came across something like this. I like taking things seriously, and this really challenged me personally.

I need Jesus, not because of what He did and not because I believe in something He said. I need Jesus because the reality of the situation is that, although I fail to grasp the simplest of things at times, in all things I find truth compelling and none more compelling than what I find in Him. I desire truth. The world I see and the world He describes are so different, yet only in perspective and not function or definition, and my heart is longing for that which He describes. I want an adventure, I want a battle, something to fight for and the ability to do it. I want a real truth, powerful and solid and firm and unmoving regardless of my own opinions and experiences. I want a challenge, something to push me and bend me and send me far beyond my limits at times. I want a pure and fiery romance, or at least something to be passionate about to the point my heart burns itself completely as fuel for the flame. Nothing in this world satisfies these desires and cravings in my soul completely. Nothing in this world matches up. I can find this or that in the world, I can make this or that happen in my lifetime, but every path I take ends up feeling meaningless and uninspiring if it’s something I’m making come true instead of just being true. I want something greater because I find myself no longer able to accept all this world has to offer me and I am forced, no, determined to seek more. I am well aware this costs me my life and everything I could ever gain, that it costs me my freedom of choice and my ease of existence nearly all the time, but it rids me of all meaningless things and I gain those desires of my heart that this world can never satisfy. For me? That’s convincing enough that I need Jesus. Then I find out that I’ve sinned, so I no longer have the opportunity to chase the things of God and am denied the right to live according to my deepest desires, and the only way to fix it is passing through a narrow gate we know as Jesus? So you’re telling me the very One I need is now something I need even more? I’m taking that shot and you can keep your religion and worldly values to yourself. I just need Jesus.