Friday, May 18, 2012

Giving No Offense...

II Corinthians 6:3 "Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:"

This small verse packs such a POWERFUL truth!

As a Christian, I ought to be willing to let go of anything in my life that might cause another to stumble or walk away from the ministry of Christ. There may be things that I do not believe are necessarily sinful, but they might cause someone around me to take offense towards God and blame the ministry.

I believe God makes it obvious in His Word that there are areas where He does desire for me to take a stand; but I need not be offensive in my demeanor towards others. I believe God is reminding me here that I must be willing to let go of some menial things, some that I might enjoy, if they might possibly be  a stumbling block to another Christian who is watching my life.

If I truly want to be used of God, I must care more about the influence my life has on others than I do about my own selfish wants and desires.

Thank You, God! This is a great reminder to live my life today one step above reproach.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sanctification...What's that?

This is the Dictionary definition...

Sanctification - To make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate. To purify.

I Corinthians 1:2
"Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus,"

Paul seems to be commending these Christians, as well as us today, and encouraging us to be sanctified (or set apart--different).

Yes, I think it is important that we as Christians are able to easily converse and identify with any person we meet. I think we ought to be constantly working on our "people skills" and our ability to carry on friendly conversation with all those that cross our paths.

However, the word "sanctify" is mentioned 65 times in the Word of God. Apparently it is very important to God that we as Christians live a life set apart from the "norm."

In today's society, we are attempting to bring our churches, religious standards and lifestyles down from God's level to the world's level. When people walking into our churches feel they are in the same atmosphere as the rock concert they attended the night is this set apart or sanctified?

Thank You, God, for reminding me the importance as a 21st century Christian to rediscover the word Sanctification in my daily life and not be embarrassed about it! What a privilege and great responsibility to be an "advertisement" for God.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Confident and Willing...

II Corinthians 5:7-8 "(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."

Confident and Willing...These 2 words are so often left out of the description of a life of faith and yet are so key to its existence in our lives.

Without a confidence in God and a willingness in our hearts, it is next to impossible to have abiding faith in our Christian walk especially one that is lived by trust and not sight. We cannot always "see" God's way; we often have to walk on in faith--trusting His promise to lead us.

Do I really confidently believe in the power of God and the truth of His Word in my heart? Am I really willing to do whatever God wants me to do with my life and go wherever He wants me to go?

I, like Paul, must be a Christian with a strong confidence in the existence and power of God and a true willingness to do what He wants in order to truly live my life by faith and not by sight.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Trying Times...

II Corinthians 4:17 "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;"

The trials we face here on earth may seem extreme to us as we are walking through the valley of sorrow. However, God gently reminds us here through Paul's letter to the Corinthian people that our affliction is light and temporal in view of eternity.

Have you ever put together a very large jigsaw puzzle? Aren't there always some strange looking pieces that don't seem to fit anywhere? It is almost impossible to figure out a large puzzle without the big picture on the outside of the box.

My son enjoys putting puzzles together; but sometimes he needs the help of a parent to figure out where a funny-shaped piece fits the picture. In the end, every piece is needed to complete the picture.

Our lives can be very similarly compared. There will be moments (or pieces) in our lives that look strange to us and do not seem to fit. We would love to just toss them out of our lives altogether. However, our "Dad" up in Heaven can see the big picture. He knows what pieces are needed to make the picture of our lives complete.

We must learn to trust that God's ways will actually create a far more beautiful picture for eternity than we could ever hope to create on our own.

This is an easy truth to write, but a much harder one to live by! Thank You, God, for this wonderful reminder today!