It is starkly obvious how important each part of our body is critical to the whole. As I have been watching my mom’s health decline—I have seen how critical kidney’s skin, lungs, and appetites are. As I thought it through the more hidden the part, the more critical the function. Our brain and other organs have several lines of defense. As ugly as organs are they are what sustains our lives.
In the body of Christ, it is the same. The show is great—a great church service is so powerful. But the a/v guys, nursery workers, greeters and those folks that collect offering, count heads pass communion all are critical to the churches life. I am grateful to be a part of the body. I pray that I will contribute to a thriving body and not be a carrier of disease or infection. Help me Lord to care for your body.
God Bless You
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit…18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
Being gifted is a phrase we immediately connect to those that are a cut above. In the father’s eyes that is absolutely true. I admit, I am somewhat of a doting dad. While I do not think my kids are perfect, I find each of them to be amazing in different ways. I praise God for them and their unique qualities.
It is the same with God. As our father, he takes great joy in watching each of his chosen use the gifts he has given. They are dramatically diverse. But, whatever the gifting, We need to use the gifts he has given to bring him glory. We do that by being content with who and whose we are.
If we focus on using the gifts he has shared and also focus on following him, we will become content and invaluable to the journey we are on. Thanks Lord for the gifts you have given me. Help me to use them for your glory.
Thanks to everyone that is praying for my Mom. I am here at her side in Oklahoma and she seems to be doing a little better. Keep praying.
God Bless You
4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
In the Lord’s eyes, why we do stuff is often more important than what we actually do. If we in our journey simply go thru the motions so that we do Christianity—then we miss the point of our faith. We are a part of his family and the things we do need to reflect our love and desire to be like him. Communion is a great example. Communion is a reminder of the intimacy of our fellowship with God and a reminder of his sacrifice for us. We should take communion with a pure heart and a focus on him. It need not be a painful sacrifice nor a raucous party.
It is the same with worship and personal time with him. Our actions need to reflect our hearts. Help me Lord to walk, worship and remember you with a pure heart and right spirit.
God Bless You
17 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21 for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!
Though our faith is the key to our salvation, it is important to incorporate a level of discipline into our lives. Faith needs training just like the physical body. As we remain faithful in our walk with him, we see a dramatic change in our spiritual conditioning. We can lift the burdens we are handed. We can continue to move forward on those days the world would encourage us to give up. But, what’s more, we can encourage others to run the race set before them as well. We look spiritually fit and we feel empowered by his spirit. The goal is to focus upon him—the author and perfector of our faith.(Hebrews 12:3). As we do, we will become spiritually fit! Help me Lord to feel the spiritual burn!
God Bless You
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
I am completely unique—just like everyone else. Wouldn’t it be great if when you faced a challenge, trial or temptation in your life at the critical moment there could be a pause button to review options. Well there (kind of) is. Paul reminds us that his word provides us an amazing historical record of various folks from various walks of life facing similar circumstances and either following the Lord to freedom or breaking away from him only to fall flat on their face. Israel did the same dumb things America is doing, Many Israelite folks made the same dumb choices I have made. There really is no new trials or temptations. Our response, can be a copy of others who have chosen to resist the enemy. Our response could also be as simple as walking away from the temptation. Whatever the response we have to cling to the idea that we can choose correctly. God will not put us in a no win situation. We simply need to cling to him, follow his lead and if panic sets in and life seems hopeless—RUN. Joshua said it best, “Choose this day whom you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.
11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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.
What does it mean to be all things to all people? It is not a question of compromise; it is more a question of culture. In II Corinthians 5, we are reminded that we are Our Lord’s ambassadors. As such, we blend in to our culture without becoming a part of it. We are the bridge between the world and the Lord.
As ambassadors we carry our message to the world but we do it on their land and in a way that gives them the desire to be different. Prayer, fellowship and wisdom guide us to meet folks where they are at, so that they can see our God for who he is. We do not have to convince folks we are righteous, we only have to convince them of his Love and desire to be a part of their lives. Help me Lord to be an ambassador for you and meet folks where they are at.
God Bless You
I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. 20 When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.
22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.
When we sign on for this amazing journey, we are to leave our selfish nature behind. That really has two components—1. Our thought that by being good, we may be able to earn our way into heaven; and 2. Our attitude that my behavior is irrelevant to the life of others. The call is simple, “Surrender your own desires to me and allow me to free you from the burden of sin and death.” As Christians, we then are free to live a life that is free from rule based salvation. But, we are not free from the impact we have on others. If our behavior really drags someone away from God, we need to knock it off. I have seen Christian mouths and attitudes do devastating damage to the non-believers. In our culture, a fish on your business card is often a warning to run! We as God’s kids need to be the best examples of honesty and integrity. We need to walk away from things we know cause others to question our faith. There is no treat or activity you can give up for the sake of the Gospel that God will not out bless you with better things. Whatever “IT” is in our lives, God is not requiring sacrifice for salvation—but, if you are hurting others—is it really worth it? Help me, Lord to walk in a way that draws men to you!
God Bless you
9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
It is simply difficult to remain content in the circumstances you currently live. Paul told the Philippians that he knew what it was like to be rich, poor, having excess and having nothing—the key for Paul was that he had learned to be content whatever the circumstances—He could do all things through Christ who strengthened him. Each journey is different. We look at others and their circumstances and assume they are so much better off than we are. God has revealed to me and my family in recent times all the pain and struggle going on around us. The levels of grief, fear, pain and unrest are at an all-time high. We, as his chosen children are called to be different. The primary difference is that we remain patient and content where he has us planted.
Make no mistake, the act of living contented is extremely difficult and disappointing. We see others prosper, we watch raw pain in the eyes of friends. We simply face the struggles in our life with little or no assurance of a better day. That is why we have to be content and trust him. He is the only real solution. He provides, he reveals and he encourages us in the most extreme times of pain and disappointment. It is a long journey…this is a short leg of it. Help me Lord, to remain content to allow you to lead me.
God Bless You
17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. 20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.
21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.
It is difficult to live where God Has you planted. Things always seem better anywhere else. God is all knowing, all powerful and always present. He sees the entire plan—not just our little parts. As we trust him and become content in the place he has us, then we can watch him execute his entire plan and marvel at our role in the process. We, still want to be in charge of our stuff—even when our track record for independence is deplorable.
God says, learn to be content whatever the circumstance. In the end, you will see an amazing transformation that will change your life and the lives of so many others. Proverbs 3—Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways and he will make your path straight—Help me Lord to trust and follow you.
7 Each of you should continue to live in whatever situation the Lord has placed you, and remain as you were when God first called you. This is my rule for all the churches. 18 For instance, a man who was circumcised before he became a believer should not try to reverse it. And the man who was uncircumcised when he became a believer should not be circumcised now. 19 For it makes no difference whether or not a man has been circumcised. The important thing is to keep God’s commandments.
20 Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you. 21 Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. 22 And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. 23 God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. 24 Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you.
God has not moved. While his grace is sufficient to meet our needs and cover our sin; his standards of surrender and holiness have not edged one bit. It is our responsibility to walk and talk in a way that honors him and resembles his attitudes and actions. Selfless not selfish; free not independent; humble not humiliated theses are the benchmarks that set us apart from the world. The more we walk and talk like him the fulness of our lives increase. In addition, we are able to see others lives affected by his influence on us. These are the reasons that Joshuas said, Choose this day whom yu will serve–As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
It is all permissible, but not all good. Help me Lord to walk with and like you.
God Bless You
12 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. 13 You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. 14 And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead.
15 Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! 16 And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.” 17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.
18 Run from sexual sin!