Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Strugglin' with grumblin'

I must admit that this 90 day challenge that I have been a part of at the church where I serve has been DIFFICULT!!!! We are in day 37 and each day gets tougher. What is the challenge that I am talking about? For 90 days, we as church members must do three things. They are the following:

1) Do not ask anything from the church. Do not say I want this or I want that from the church. Instead, ask how you can serve Christ through the church; give instead of take.

2) Do not complain, grumble, or argue about anything. PERIOD! (This is the one that I am finding very difficult.) Paul writes this in Philippians 2:14. I have searched every translation in English to find some type of wording that will allow me a way out. They all say the say thing! UGH!!!

3) For 2 hours a week, serve someone else. Find someone around you to help. Send a note, make a phone call, send a text, cut their grass, bake them something, pay a bill for them, pray for them, etc. Do something for someone else.

That's it. Three things to do for 90 days. Simple, right?

I have just sit here and rewritten this section about 3 times now. I was just typing away, complaining. But I am not going to go down that path. I will state as I said about, that this has been difficult. I know that it will continue to be, but....

I am going to choose to be thankful to Jesus, instead. I want to thank him for all he has done in my life. I want to thank Jesus for who he is; Savior, Lord, GOD!

I can think of a lot that is not right with the things around me. I can focus of how others are acting and complain about it. But I will simply start praising him instead!

I can already feel a difference in my chest. I know that focusing on the right thing matters. I must be obedient to what God has said through Paul. I must stop the madness that complaining, grumbling and arguing bring to my life and the life of others by praising the name of Jesus.

Will you join me in that? Will you praise Jesus and not complain, grumble or argue? The choice is yours!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Holding to a form of godliness...

For the past week I have been reading in 2 Timothy. It has been a truly refreshing experience as someone who serves the Lord through ministry as a pastor. There are times when it becomes very frustrating navigating through this world. Leading God's people through these troubling times is a heavy responsibility that can only be done through his power and grace. It must be done!

Paul writes to Timothy to encourage him in teaching the truth of the Scriptures. This is needed in light of the evil people coming into the church to wreak havoc. He describes these people in verses 1-5 in chapter 3.
     "But know this: Hard times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, demeaning, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people." (CSB)

Many look at this passage as describing something that will take place in the far future; but Paul is actually describing those who were living then, those living now, and those living in the future until the return of Christ. As John MacArthur explains it Paul and the early church believed that we have been the last days since Christ left this earth after his resurrection until he returns again to claim his people out of this world. I agree with him. We are in the last days.

The Church today is and has always been attacked from within. These are those who call themselves "Christian" but are not. They are "holding to a form of godliness but denying its power." This is what Thom Rainer calls "Churchianity." In his book I Will, he defines it as "practicing our church and religious beliefs according to human standards rather than biblical guidelines" (93). WOW!!!! May this not be named of us!

This idea should horrify us. Are we practicing Christianity or "Churchianity"? Are we all form and no substance? Do we rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us in his power and might? Great and terrible questions!

May it be found within our lives that we are following the Lord Jesus. This should be our desire and prayer; for we are unable to do it in our own strength.

Monday, March 13, 2017

My first ever blog!

Hi everyone! This is my first attempt at blogging. I must admit that I am quite nervous and I don't really know why. It is just writing my thoughts that I would like to share, right? But it is more difficult than one may think. Or that could be just me making it more difficult than it really is.

I was thinking of what to call my blog. I found the word "transferred" in Colossians 1:13-14. It says this:
               "He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whim we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

WOW! I love it! I have been transferred. I am not in the same place where God found me. I am no longer in darkness. I have been redeemed and forgiven. These words mean so much to me! I get all excited when I read them.

I need to remember that I am different because of Christ. I have been transferred from hopelessness to having great hope. My future is secure in Christ!

I hope that this makes sense to someone. I know it makes sense to me.