Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Gift on Sunday

This note was handed to me on Sunday after church from one of our members. She said that this person got up to leave right after the message and handed this to her on her way out. It reminded me once again that you never know how God's Word is going to hit people. I'm humbled and amazed that God could use even me to speak to His people on His behalf. I'm also reminded that not every person that attends on a Sunday morning is saved and a part of the body of Christ. People come in every week with their stuff. We need to be more sensitive to these. And we need to pray for them, as the request here was made.

I don't know who wrote this. The lady that handed it to me said that she had never seen this person in church before (not to say they hadn't been here, just hadn't seen her). Even though "threw" is misspelled and the note is anonymous, I'll keep it as a reminder of "so that's why I keep doing this". I don't know who was more blessed on Sunday...the hearer or the preacher!

Thanks for the affirmation. God used this to encourage me.

1 Peter 4:11 "If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Faith or a Demanding Spirit?

Which interests you more—who Jesus is or what He can do for you? I’m afraid that too many of us are more concerned about what He can give us than we are about getting to know who He is. It's selfish Christianity and it's becoming the norm for believers today.

But this is nothing new really—Jesus had this problem when He walked on earth. The crowds often sought Him out for what He could do for them. They might get to see or experience a healing. If you hung around long enough, He might feed you a free meal. Even though their needs were quite often legitimate, Christ knew their motives.

There is a fine line between selfishly trying to use the Lord to get what we want and humbly coming to Him with our needs and struggles. Some of the issues we bring to Him are so pressing and urgent in our minds that our desire for Him to take action in the way we want becomes greater than our willingness to submit to His will. At times, what we call “faith” is really a demanding spirit.

We must remember that our needs will come to an end, but Jesus Christ will remain forever. If our prayers have dealt only with presenting our requests to the Lord, only selfish requests for "blessings", we’ve missed a great opportunity to get to know the One with whom we’ll spend eternity. Let’s invest time in pursuing intimacy with Christ. Then we can enjoy the benefits of that relationship forever.

How much of your communion with God is devoted to your needs—even legitimate ones? Are you spending any time getting to know the Lord? Although God delights in our prayers and tells us to pray about everything, He also wants us to come to Him just because we enjoy being with Him. Growing in our faith happens best when we can focus our mind's attention and heart's affection on Him. Then it seems that the things of this world grow strangely dim.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year's Plan

To the blogosphere and inquiring minds:

First let me say that I'm sorry for not blogging more frequently and consistently. I've had several inquiries into why I'm not posting more often. The only excuse I can muster is that time for blogging was used for other ministry endeavors. In September and October I asked the elders at Oakwood to help me prioritize my ministry tasks, to help me order what needs to be done so I am most effective in fulfilling my calling and in touching lives to the max for the Lord. I have 12 "duties" if you want to call them that, and the blog is number 7 on the list. The top 6 things are (and really the top 4) are keeping me SO busy that I just didn't have time to blog. It's not to say that I don't have any thoughts or ideas for it. I have plenty! It is literally a time factor.

So, new year, and I'm going to do my best to get to #7 more often than I have in the last several months. Hang on, I have A LOT to say and I'm about to explode!

Keep the faith! -E