A Message to the Body of Christ

What an average week looks like

As events have quickly developed through this week I have personally experienced a myriad of emotions. While there is still a lot of uncertainty that is filling our minds, this would be the time to allow the love of Christ to fill our hearts. It is in dark times that we can allow those who do not know Jesus to experience him in a way as instructed: “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14–16, NLT)

I have been deeply saddened to see that as the events have unfolded over the last week or so, that instead of being the light, many churches (the Body of Christ) have taken to bickering, insults, and overall dissension regarding policies, and decisions on whether or not to open church doors to worshipers on Sunday morning. I have also seen scriptures twisted and turned out of their historical context and used as a wielded weapon to support one’s stance as to whether or not their opinion is correct. It is precisely this type of behavior that causes the not-yet-Christians to judge us and call us hypocrites and what is worse it causes them to be correct.

So, to the Body of Christ, I have posted a pie chart of some very basic information of how the average Christian person claims to spend their time on an average week. If we are going to get bent out of shape and spend precious time bickering with one another regarding whether or not the doors should be open here are a few points that I urge you to consider and even better yet pray about.

  1. If you are missing the 2 hours of week spent inside the church building so much that it is causing you to become angry please examine what you are doing with your remaining 166 hours of the week and see if there is a gap of God serving activities there.
  2. If you only speak to or communicate, or interact with the people from church on Sunday mornings the building being open is not the issue you are.
  3. Sunday morning are NOT for our benefit. Sunday morning are a time to show God how much we love Him, and appreciate Him and worship HIM. If circumstances prevent us from doing this at a particular building God loves us know matter where we sit, and we can love him just the same.

Rearview Mirrow

It does have a purpose

Anyone who has lived long enough has either said, or heard advice that goes
something like; “Always look ahead, and never look back.” The advice that suggests that it is good to forget your past can seem very appealing to most. Especially if there are areas of your history that you would much rather forget. Is this solid advice? Is it truly a good idea to “forget” your past, never to reflect upon it again?

Imagine if you were a child and placed your hand directly upon the burner of
the stove. Quickly the nervous system of your body goes to work and causes a
chain reaction of synapses that causes you great pain, which leads to you
removing your hand to avoid and minimize damage to your skin. The pain that you
feel is obviously unpleasant and undesirable, but it does have a purpose. It
serves as an indicator that your hand is not in the right place, and further
goes to remind you never to put your hand there again.  If you were to eliminate that experience from your mind the chances of you repeating that event would be very likely.

Imagine you are a young adult, and you meet the love of your life.  The excitement and anticipate of this new relationship makes you feel as alive as you were on the day you were born. You and your new love are so excited to experience the world together, and explore things as a couple and build a life together. Eventually, the “newness” of that relationship wears off.  At some point, there are arguments and situations in life that challenge every instinct of your being to remain together.  You begin the search for the strength, and the will to stick it out.  More likely than not you are going to refer back to a time of happiness and remind yourself that the relationship is worth fighting for, as you have invested so much into it.

Good bad or indifferent the events of your life make you who you are today.  Everyone has a unique set up circumstances from which they come.  Some seem better than others, however assessing their worth is useless.  Conducting an appraisal on your past is where the real danger lies.  When a person appraises the quality of their past because it cannot change only you can.  If you view your history with low regard the odds of you viewing yourself with little regard dramatically increases. The further danger is that you will very likely view your present and future with this same regard.  God gives us all the ability to be able to have our cake and eat it too.  We can learn from our mistakes and the unfortunate events to have a clear and beautiful future, and he will walk side by side and carry all the baggage!

Don’t forget your past, do look back! Allow God to carry the weight of the areas of your history that are too heavy for you and would slow down your future!

 

Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)

But he was pierced for our
transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought
us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 59:12 (NIV)

12 For our offenses are many in your sight, and our sins testify
against us. Our offenses are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities:

Romans 4:25 (NIV)

25 He was delivered over to death for
our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

 

Ephesians 2:4–5 (NIV)

But because of his great love for us,
God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even
when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.


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Unexpected Teachers

Johnny raised his hand and jumped up and down in his chair. His teacher visibly, annoyed, told him to put it down and be quiet. Johnny persists, and eventually, the teacher erupts in a combination of frustration and anger. “To the office!” she yells. Johnny starts to protest but is quickly interrupted with another emphatic command to head to the office.

As he hangs his head and proceeds to the door unable to get a word in edgewise Sally slumps over at her desk, then rolls on to the floor. As she hits the floor, she begins to fall victim to a seizure. As Johnny sits in tears in the office chair, he keeps muttering to himself, “I tried to tell her, I tried.”

Johnny sits in that chair for what seems an eternity as everyone is busy and hectic with the emergency that is taking place, and the various rescue personnel and police officers coming in and out of the office. The phone rings unanswered, and there are several students in the office as well, with red eyes showing apparent signs of tears.

As the dust settles, Johnny is brought into the principal’s office to discuss his punishment. As the principal sits down and exhales with force to relieve the stress that is with Johnny seizes the moment to finally say: “I tried to tell her, my sister is diabetic! She looks just like that when her sugar drops too low!”

As it turns out, Johnny was right. Sally had been overcome by a deadly drop if her blood sugar. Johnny, who was at times an unruly child was attempting to summon help for her. He noticed the signs that were taking place, and perhaps had he been able to share this information, her life could have been saved.

Thankfully this story is fictional. What is not fictional, however, is the multitude of times in which we underestimate the ability of our young people. What is not fictional is that all too often those who have made a mistake or transgression are ignored for their meritorious abilities.

Albert Einstein once said: “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

This last week I spent the week in the company of some very unexpected teachers. Teacher’s whom I was guilty of underestimating. I spent a week where I was ministering to them; however, at the same time, they taught me more than I could imagine.

-It is better to be a poor but wise youth than an old and foolish king who refuses all advice.
Ecclesiastes 4:13 NLT

-Children are a gift from the Lord ; they are a reward from him.
Psalms 127:3 NLT

I Think I Can’t

Have you ever said to yourself: “There is NO way that I can do this!” ? I sure know that I have.  Challenges are well……  Challenging!  Have you ever heard the expression “No Pain No Gain”?  This is typically heard when we are discussing exercise to strengthen our physical bodies; however, it applies when enhancing our spiritual lives as well. 

There have been many times I have felt like Jeremiah.  I have doubted myself and thought that what was being asked of me or what I needed to do would be nothing short of impossible.  “How am I,” my mind says over and over,  “How on earth am I going to do this? “.  

In our lives we face many challenges from moving forward in life after the loss of a loved one, making difficult decisions about our children, and many other challenging choices that affect our lives and those associated with us. 

Today I want to explore the book of Jeremiah. 

Jer. 1:4   Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”Jer. 1:6   Then said I: “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”Jer. 1:7   But the LORD said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the LORD. Jer. 1:9   Then the LORD put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant.”

Jeremiah, the prophet, shared many of the same apprehensions most people do.  For one reason or another, we consider ourselves not worthy, unable; in other words, we believe we failed before we ever get started.  This is such a prevalent issue among people that the “Self Help” business is an 11 BILLION Dollar a year business!   

Before you consider yourself unable, remember that you are capable.  When God puts you to a task, it is why you were created in the first place.  That is the message he was given to Jeremiah.

  • Ecclesiastes 5:19  “Moreover, when God gives people wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil – this is a gift of God.” NIV
  • Acts 1:8  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” NIV
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13  “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to us all. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” NIV
  • Luke 10:19 ” I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” NIV
  • Deuteronomy 8:18  “But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” NIV

Have a great week everyone, and be strong in the Lord!

Dead Ends

I once observed a mother and daughter arguing quite intensely over the topic of a haircut.  I could not help but hear every word, and the emotions that they delivered!  As I sat, I quickly ascertained the two contrasting points.  The daughter desired for her hair to become as long as possible and did not want to alter it’s length at all.  The mother was attempting to make a point to shorten it by just a little by removing the dead ends would cause her hair to grow faster.  I am bald, so I had no dog in this fight, nor did I know the answer, but it did make me think of my relationship with Jesus.

As I sat there and listened to this argument and the different opinions one thing resonated.  They were both attempting to achieve the same goal.  This happens so much with Jesus.  It was true with his disciples, and it is true now, many want to ADD Jesus to their lives, instead of replacing their existing dead ends with Jesus.  I must admit that I was guilty of this thinking for a long time after becoming saved.  I had a good family, a good job, good friends, etc.  Some fire insurance in the form of Jesus would be a splendid addition to my collection of things!    After all who doesn’t want to have everlasting life!  It sounds awesome! 

One day an unfortunate reality smacked me in the face, and in my JOB like moment I was confronted with a harsh reality.  It just does not work that way.  I was not going to experience the everlasting presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit while they were tucked neatly in my dresser like so many of my other possessions.  This realization was not one of my favorites at first.  I took a long time praying and meditating over it and struggled with the end result.  Then it washed over me like a tidal wave.  If I wanted Jesus to change my life, I was going to have actually change my life.  What sounds so simple is really difficult for most, myself included. 

I was encouraged to be reminded that I was surely not alone in this struggle.  Jesus is recorded as saying: “Matt. 16:25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it..” 

When I read that, I asked myself one question.  Am I willing to lose my life as I know it for this relationship?  Am I ready to allow the “Dead Ends” of my life be removed in order to grow? I discovered that I spent more time justifying why certain areas of my life remained than I spent developing my new relationship with Jesus.  I had asked Jesus into my heart, but I was putting my limitations on what “rooms” he was allowed to help me clean up.  I was in pursuit of a one-way relationship.  I wanted to take, but I did not want to give.  There is a compelling account in the book of Acts, which I feel is appropriate to explore.

Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

The setting here is:  In the early stages of the Christian church, it was much like a commune setting.  Whoever joined did so voluntarily; however, upon entering you made yourself subject to the constructs of the church.  One of these was to share property, and wealth amongst one another, and to necessarily give up your previous life spiritually, and materially and submit it to God. No one forced this husband and wife to join.  They desired to experience the benefits of a relationship with Jesus in the fellowship of his followers without removing the dead ends of their previous life.

What a Dead End this turned out for the both of them!

As you reflect on the story of this couple, and how it turned out for them, I urge you to ask yourself.

  1. Are there areas of my life that need to be “cut off”?
  2. Are there areas of my life that I am lying to not only God but myself?
  3. Are there areas of my life that I “justify” to make them SEEM O.K.?
  4. What “Dead Ends” do I want to surrender to God?
  5. Do you want to grow?

Label Makers

Label Makers

Throughout our lives, we will be fitted with many labels.  Some of these labels are a label of pride, and equally, so some are those of shame. 

Father, Mother, Son, Brother, Sister, Daughter, Believer, Good, Bad, Sinner, Alcoholic. The list goes on and on.  All too often, the labels that are assigned, and the labels that we assign to our selves are a barrier.  They can serve to dictate our limitations.  They can shape and mold our behaviors.  They can be indicative of our responsibilities. And unfortunately, from time to time, they can serve as an unfortunate reminder of our pasts. 

Anyone who has been on the dieting rollercoaster can probably testify that they decided to get on the rollercoaster due to their desire to “shed” those labels that they have assigned to themselves or the labels that have been assigned to them. 

It is with a strong motivation, and resolve they adjust their eating habits, exercise, and then at the moment they feel accomplished they step on the scale.  The anticipate mounts as the little square pad which they are standing calculates then spits out a number that quantities their success.  The number comes.  If it is within the expectations, happiness, and a feeling of accomplishment overtakes.  But what if that number is not within our hope?  In a moment, that person is deflated.  The feelings of accomplishment are erased.  All of the sacrifices, changing of habits, and effort are deleted and immediately forgotten if not resented due to a lack of perceived result! 

The result of the feeling of failure typically leads us to give up.  Why bother trying if we are not getting anywhere?!  This mentality is all too present if those who are beginning a new walk with God. 

At the very moment, we decide to accept God into our hearts and lives he calls us redeemed!  Instantly, without questions. Our pasts are erased from his memory banks, and we are received into his arms and presence.  But what of those who knew us before we made this decision?  What of those who desire to hold on to our pasts more then we want to hold on to our past?

In the book of Luke, Jesus tells a parable that addresses just this situation…..

“Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

“Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, “Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’

“But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, “Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ””

(Luke 15:11–32 NKJV)

https://accordance.bible/link/read/NKJVS#Luke_15:11

As you read this, parable asks yourself some questions from the perception of the different people within the story.

  1. How much humility did it take for the prodigal son to swallow his pride and return to his father?
  2. How heartbroken would the father have been had the prodigal son decided to be influenced by his angry brother, and leave the presence of the family yet again only this time, weak and without resources?
  3. If the angry brother would have gotten his way, how long would it have taken for him to be overtaken by guilt?
  4. If they angry brother would have gotten his way, what impact would this have had on his relationship with his father over time?

Many more questions could be derived from this parable, but starting with these four is an excellent “jumping off point” to examine your heart and your desires.  God, after all, expects only that. 

God never expects, nor desires us to examine the hearts of others….. 

We can apply a lot of labels to ourselves and those around us.  Society tells us that labels are healthy and necessary.  What is more critical are the labels that God assigns to us.

  1. Redeemed!
    1. Eph. 1:7   In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
  2. Protected!
    1. Rom. 8:31   What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
  3. Loved!
    1. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
  4. Capable!
    1. Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  5. Valuable!
    1. 1Cor. 6:20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
  6. Worthy!
    1. Col. 3:12   Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;

We all battle with feelings of inadequacy that is one of the things we all have in common on this earth, however, what is more, important and is we also share the above labels assigned to us from God the creator of the earth!

Pray for your self today!  Pray for those whom you do not agree with today!  Pray for the ability to peel those negative labels off and cast them aside!

Faithty Belt

There have been times in my life when I resisted doing things because I could not see the end from the beginning.  I was in a position of comfort.  Things in my life made sense.  In today’s world, often we make a list of pros and cons as we evaluate the decisions we are going to make.  When I was in school, we were taught “Critical Thinking,” taking decisions out to their logical conclusions. 

Making rational, and well thought out decisions can lead to tremendous success in our lives.  It is this thinking that can lead to the large house, the beautiful cars, and the bank accounts where the zeros come AFTER the decimal point.  Rational decisions are expected of us as our life responsibilities increase.  These truths are applicable whether you live a life of following Christ or not. 

I want to look at the practice of making rational decisions through the lens of someone who is a follower of Christ.  All too often, when one practices religion, the disconnection from God becomes buried under layers of the liturgy, legalisms.  There is a lot that can be learned from the story of Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, who was a priest. From the book of Luke:

“And Zacharias said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.” And the angel answered and said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”

(Luke 1:18–20 NKJV)

How would you react if your Priest or Pastor told you that they had been spoken to by an angel of God, and did not believe the message was possible?!  It would be effortless to condemn that person for the lack of faith!  It would require a fair amount of consideration and understanding on your part to conclude that Zacharias was actually acting from the position of HIS faith, and HIS experience that he had encountered up to that moment with God.  Zacharias was not a young man; he had many many years of religious habits and practices that as he was taught is what brought him into the presence of God.  It was all he knew.

There are so many things that we can learn from this story, and I would like to drill down on a few points.

  1. God makes you able to do what he asks you to do.  Zacharias says: “For I am an old man,” this was not news to God or his angel, but rather an attempt to demonstrate he was not able.
    1. The book of Philippians States: “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”(Philippians 1:6 NKJV)
  2. It is not possible to be in the presence of God and doubt him all at the same time, no matter how long you have been a Christian.  Notice the Angel Gabriel says: ”I am Gabriel who stands in the presence of God”  When Zacharias’s heart did not accept the message he lost that position.
    1. Paul, in his address to the Book Romans, says: “But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.”(Romans 14:23 NKJV)  He is urging the people not just to practice the practices but rather be transformed and guided in their actions by the will of God.
  3. If you are not willing to listen to what God has to say, and furthermore allow it to guide you, everything you do is futile.  In this case, Zacharias becomes mute as Gabriel says: “Because you did not believe my words.”
    1. Jesus said: “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”-(Matthew 6:7 NKJV)  Jesus was teaching to genuinely talk to God, seek his presence, and allow his will to be what guides.  Not the pros and cons, not the perception of others. 
  4. Don’t put an expiration date on the word of God.  The Angel Gabriel goes on to tell Zacharias: “Which will be fulfilled in THEIR OWN time.  We live in a society of instant everything today.  As God does not exist in time, it is up to us to recognize that his plans will be carried out when it is time. 
    1. The book of Romans says: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”–(Romans 8:28 NKJV)  Often we can read this scripture to be inspired by actual events, but it is essential to remember that the “WHEN” is just as important as the “WHAT.”

Faith is a beautiful thing.  God wants to utilize every one of use to fulfill his purpose not only for our lives but equally important the lives of others.  So ask yourself.

  1. When is the last time I have stepped outside of my comfort zone
  2. Is there something I have ignored doing because it just didn’t make sense.
  3. Is my “Faithty” belt holding back?
    1. Meaning do I tell myself it’s ok because I go to church, pray, and do all the things a good Christian does?
  4. What is the last thing that I did to add a member to the Kingdom of God?   

Alone

There are times in life that you will feel lonely.  There are times that you will be alone.  Either the case, God intends for us to be relational people.  Being in relationships can be very counter-intuitive to the society in which we live today.  Today, we as a society are very individualistic.  To illustrate this point, anyone who has traveled across this great country of ours has most likely noticed, or perhaps even utilize an HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lane.  These lanes are typically not as congested as the other lanes, and in some areas, they also take you to a seemingly “magical” detour away from the general traffic pattern to get you where you are going quicker.  People seldomly use these lanes because most cars traveling to where ever they are going, are occupied by one person, alone.    

Recently I have had the opportunity to be just one of those people.  Riding in a truck on a long ride with one of my favorite people, and as we drove down the HOV lane, (Which I may mention requires only 2+ occupants), we discussed things.  We discussed matters ranging from lighthearted humor from the impact of God in our lives.  We need these people.  God intended for us to have these people. God intends for us to allow those people into our lives, minds, and hearts. 

Let’s look at what God intended a little closer. 

As God created the world in which we live, it was good.  His grand design and artistry demonstrated from one end to the other.  I want to examine this from the perspective of the very beginning.  By beginning, I mean the Beginning.  Genesis, Creation. Let’s look back to where EVERYTHING started. 

  1. The first order of business was the give the world light.
    1. “And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.”–(Genesis 1:4 NKJV)
  2. We can see again when God created the land mass that the living organisms which he has created would exist.
    1. “And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.–(Genesis 1:10 NKJV)
  3. Next, we see God develop the Ecosystem.  God, since the beginning, has been providing “Material” needs to sustain life for this new creation. ß (Future Blog Post) lol
    1. “And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.–(Genesis 1:12 NKJV)
  • Next, some of the details start to shape up.  Day and night are introduced.
    • “and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.–(Genesis 1:18 NKJV)
  • Next up, the creatures are created.
    • “So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.–(Genesis 1:21 NKJV)
  • Next, we have the creation of Land animals:
    • “And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”–(Genesis 1:25 NKJV)
  • As creation comes to its conclusion, God has a conversation with Man and explains to him what he has done; in this conversation, he sets an expectation.  The expectation that this has all been given to Man.   The entire earth is for the use of Man.  It has been given to him. 
    • Gen. 1:29   And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you, it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31yThen God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Now, as most of us know, this is the part of the story that God rested.  His job of “Creation” has completed.  I can only imagine Man exploring this tremendous new earth, being all new himself, and learning everything much like that a young child would. 

Then…….. we fast forward to the Man being placed in the Garden of Eden:  “And the LORD God said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” —(Genesis 2:18 NKJV).

Those words are so powerful.  “IT IS NOT GOOD”  Not good to be alone.  You are a part of a community. You may even be a part of multiple communities.  You were created and designed to be in relationships.  Everyone who God has placed in your life is there for a specific role and a particular reason.  God intends for you to consider how to nurture those relationships best prayerfully.   Relationships are an excellent thing when we want to share a good time, and triumphs with people!  What about when we do NOT want to share, and we are in despair. 

Let’s consider for a moment the walk to Emmaus.  Two men in a moment of despair.  Anguish, pain, and a myriad of negative emotions serving as their common denominator.  Then a “Stranger” interrupts them.  How much temptation did they face to say, “Hey, just leave us alone!”  The scriptures do not say, but you can determine from the passage they are rather emotional.    As Barton explains in her book Life Together in Christ: “After expressing some exasperation with Jesus’ apparent cluelessness, they recounted the basic facts of what happened in Jerusalem in fairly succinct terms. And then came that poignant phrase—but we had hoped. These words are simple and yet so profound—pregnant with all the longing and desire that had drawn their little community together in the first place.”

 “So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained so that they did not know Him.  And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”

(Luke 24:15–17 NKJV)

These two men could have rightfully ignored Jesus on this road.  So how do we use the experiences from these stories and apply this to our lives? 

  1.  We are created on purpose for a specific purposes
  2. One of these specific purposes is to build and maintain relationships
  3. We are meant to INVEST genuinely in those relationships.
  4. No relationship is by mistake.  We may fail to appreciate it from time to time, but it is not a mistake. 
  5. Everyone in your life has a specific role.
  6. You play a specific role in someone else’s life.
  7. If you do NOT play a role in someone’s life, find someone in which to invest.
  8. You may find yourself outside your “Comfort Zone” (It Ok!)

You just never know what God has in the works when we build these relationships.

“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.”–(Hebrews 13:2 NKJV)

Works Cited:

Barton, Ruth Haley. Life Together in Christ: Experiencing Transformation in Community (p. 70). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

(Luke 24:15–17 NKJV)

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To New Beginnings!

My wife April and Myself.

Hello!

I am so honored you are taking the time to read this 1st blog! This blog will be focused around spending 10 minutes of the day learning about the word of God, and I hope that it inspires you to go through your day with encouragement, and Spirit filled!

Just a little about me. I am 40 years old, and was saved by the Grace of God in October 2014. Since that day, I have been a work in progress where surely some days are better that others! I have been married to my wife April for many many years now, and we are blessed with two wonderful children! I come from a large family of many brothers and sisters, and was blessed to grow up under the greate care of two wonderful loving and hardworking parents who did their best to shape my life even in spite of my efforts growing up.

I currently serve as the Associate Pastor of a Nazarene Church in Longwood Florida, where I am blessed to be involved in several ministries, mainly of which is our children, and teen ministries. I am currently a student of Nazarene Bible College, where I am furthering my education, and building upon my Spiritual Formation.

Starting this Blog is something that God has laid upon my heart for quite some time. I spent a lot of time praying over it, and at first resisted it becasue this is not in my normal wheel house. It is my hope and prayer that I am able to bring those who read this blog words of encouragement that will mold and shape the hearts and minds via the Holy Spirit through utilized scripture.

I welcome comments, and feedback.

Blessings!