What is Right

I’ve heard it said, “whats popular is not always right and whats right is not always popular.” When I look over my decisions, remarks, actions, and intentions it is necessary that I ask myself, what was my motive. The question that came up today  in a devotional book I received not long ago was, “Is it Right?” Matter of fact part of a quote that accompanied this particular devotion is,

There comes a when a true follower of Jesus Christ must take a position that’s neither safe nor politic nor popular but he must do it because it is right. -Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr

I can’t speak for everyone else but myself, it would pay to ask the question before words are spoken, actions are taken, is it the right thing to do by God’s standard and His word. For the follower of Jesus Christ that should be the basis for which we do everything.

 

Resources:

The Presidents Devotional by Joshua Dubois

I Trust Because Its the Only Thing I Know To Do

“But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” (Psalms 31:14 NKJV)

Alone, this verse is powerful right? There is no secret meaning, it gets right to the point.

In a quick attempt I would like to break it down as I understand it.

But as for me (the writer happens to be David, It could read, I David) I trust in You, O Lord; (this establishes his loyalty, it’s to The Lord. Yahweh, God. David’s complete trust is in God) I say, “You are my God.” (again David establishes his trust in God. I say is a definitive declaration, it’s recorded let my words be established. It is God who is his God. Of all the pagan Gods in the neighboring countries David aligns himself with Yahweh, the God of Israel)

When things are great I think its possible for us all to sing this tune. I trust in you Lord, You are my God. It isn’t until we read the entire passage in Psalms 31 that we understand David isn’t playing around.

He isn’t trusting God simply because everything is good.
He isn’t trusting God because its the right thing to do.
He isn’t trusting God because its the popular thing to do.

David is trusting God because its the only thing he knows to do.

Starting at verse 9 lets take a look and see how David came to this conclusion…

Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; My eye wastes away with grief, Yes, my soul and my body! For my life is spent with grief, And my years with sighing; My strength fails because of my iniquity, And my bones waste away. I am a reproach among all my enemies, But especially among my neighbors, And am repulsive to my acquaintances; Those who see me outside flee from me. I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel. For I hear the slander of many; Fear is on every side; While they take counsel together against me, They scheme to take away my life. But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” (Psalms 31:9-14 NKJV)

One question, why do we trust God?
Is it a trust birthed out of complete dependance on Him no matter what situation or circumstance we find ourself in?

Serving to Represent

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. – Colossians 3:17 NLT

Knowing who’s we are makes life much more satisfying. According to the dictionary a representative simply means, serving to represent. Paul was clear in writing to believers that our life is to be lived in such a way as to represent Jesus Christ. This charge is not just set aside for church leaders but to all believers. Whatever we say or do is representing Jesus Christ. This means my life, my service, is to represent Jesus. God has allowed you and I to be a representative for Jesus Christ while we live on this earth.

In all areas of my life; personal, work, private, and public am I a good representative of Jesus Christ? How can I better serve as His representative?

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. – 1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. – Colossians 3:23 NLT

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – Romans 12:1, 2 NLT

Prioritizing Our Life Around Our Faith

A few weeks ago I posted a point from Sunday’s service regarding time. Below you will be able to read that post by clicking the link under resources at the end of this post. In today’s post I want to revisit the thought of priorities and leave you with a scripture and brief statement.

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper ), and to prayer. -Acts 2:42 NLT

As the early Church grew they prioritized their life around their faith. I fear we are so far removed from that concept. Instead, we prioritize our faith around our life. If our faith gets in the way of our life…we choose our life, or way of living. Far be it for us to base our schedule around what would be most beneficial as it relates to our spiritual growth.

The difference between those people who made up the early Church and what we’ve come to know as the Church is that the early believers prioritized their life around their faith not the other way around, their faith around their life.

Resources – More Reading On Life of Pursuit:

  • You Have Time, 168 Hours to be Exact
  • Am I Speaking Clearly
  • Spiritual Disciplines are Memorials
  • You Don’t Have to Give In

    If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. – 1 Corinthians 10:12, 13 NLT

    I have been guilty of saying this and maybe you have too. I will never be, say, or do ______________. We tend to think and make others believe, by what we portray on the outside, we are super Christians who never goes through a problem nor will ever blow it big time (fall). There are a few things that jump out to me from my reading today.

    Don’t trust your own judgement. Paul wrote, If YOU THINK you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. Ultimately it’s not about us. I can’t trust my judgement based on how close I think I am to God. My salvation has everything to do with Christ. I didn’t earn it and I can’t think I am so big in the faith that I can’t fall. In other words, guard your life and walk with Christ. Don’t become so high and mighty thinking you are the next best thing to come around. Be careful not to fall. Guard your life and don’t trust your own judgement.

    My temptation isn’t new. Paul gives us insight that what we go through individually is no different than what others go through. The temptations in your life have been experiences by others and guess what, some have overcome that temptation and serve as examples to us. However in order to know this we have to share what we are going through. That’s the beauty of the Church or Fellowship of the believers. You are part of a spiritual family to serve and share your life with one another.

    God isn’t trying to trip me up but leaves me with the choice. God is faithful, he doesn’t put us in a maze called life and sit above us watching and laughing when we get stuck in a corner. God sets perimeters in our life in order that we live faithful and fruitful lives. He says what is allowed in our life and makes it plain that nothing enters more than what we can withstand. God knows our limitations. Further, when temptations come our way he even offers us help. He will show us the way out. Ultimately God gives me the choice to choose the way out or the option to give in. He wants us to choose the way out.

    In conclusion, be careful not to fall. Don’t trust your own judgement. The temptations you face aren’t new. God isn’t trying to trip you up but ultimately the choice is up to us whether or not we get out of or give in to the temptations in our life. Choose to get out.

    You Have Time, 168 Hours to Be Exact

    I am thankful for Pastors who pour into my life and challenge me in my walk. The basis of what I am teaching on Sunday’s comes directly from what others have poured into me and I believe the way it has challenged and changed me will do the same for those whom I Pastor. Currently at 11:00AM on Sunday Mornings at North Aiken Church of God we are taking a good look at Acts 2:41-47. The two main questions I am asking are, “What am I doing that is growing the Church?” To narrow that down a bit, “Am I growing in my walk with Christ.”

    When we personally grow the Church grows. The body of Christ is more than just an event or experience but a lifestyle. A lifestyle of dying to self and living for Christ. As we grow, become mature, we don’t focus on how we can serve ourselves but rather how we can serve Christ in the context in which we live. Serving Christ means serving others.

    One of the things which we learned yesterday is that we have no problem making time for the things which we want to make time for. My friend Mike DeGuzman said, “Growing is not a lack of opportunity but a lack of desire.” How true that is. If I am going to grow in my relationship with Christ I need to weed out the things that are keeping me from continually devoting myself to Him. This comes by shifting our focus and efforts and making God first priority. We always make time for what we want to do.

    We each have a total of 168 hours this week. We have a ton of stuff which has the ability to distract us from the main thing. My encouragement to you is to take a good look at what you spend time doing before saying I don’t have time. Rearrange your priorities and let the God things be the main things. Your growth depends on it, so do others.

    Individually United

    I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.1 Corinthians 1:10 NLT

    The past few days in my daily Bible reading I have highlighted verses regarding harmony or unity. When a particular topic keeps coming to the forefront through various passages and texts I can only be left with the conclusion that God wants me to stop and listen more intently.

    Harmony is a beautiful thing. There’s nothing better than a seeing a group of people who are not distracted by their personal differences but in harmony with the overall mission.

    The overall goal as a body of Christ, that there be no divisions in the Church. Simply put, no two visions can work at any one place. That creates division. It doesn’t mean any one vision is necessarily wrong but it does mean there is a divided front. One individual or group believe the Church should be about _______________ another individual or group believe the Church should be about _____________ and what you end up with is valuable time being spent trying to decipher which you are going to do.

    The antidote for division among the Church is pretty clear according to the above verse, “Be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.” Simply put, think about the same things and put all your energy and effort into fulfilling one mission. This doesn’t mean you take away your individuality but it does mean you are going to use your individuality to help accomplish the collective goal.

    Live in harmony, set aside division, and be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.

    People Over Personal Preference

    “So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.” -Romans 14:19 NLT

    I love the simplistic way the NLT translates this verse. It leaves no doubt whom Paul is addressing and what He hopes the hearers will do. Paul writes to believers about believers. The ultimate goal, harmony. The process by which the goal is accomplished, edification, or the process of building one another up. In other words, harmony takes place when each person makes a deliberate effort to choose people over personal preference.

    I firmly believe if we as believers are going to be an example to those outside of the church, harmony must be present among us as a collective body. The Church (fellowship) should be a place where peace, unity, and harmony is prevalent. Discord and disputes should be as common as a frog with wings.

    I am convinced that the reason there is a lack of harmony in most Churches and homes is do to the fact that our aim is off. We’ve chosen personal preference over people.

    I’ve seen through the years of growing up in church that our aim/focus has been on lesser things than the main thing. For instance, we can rally around a particular team, sport, political party, and or candidate but not around the mission that Christ has called the church to accomplish. We aim for lesser things than the main reason for our existence, Jesus Christ. Let this be a reminder,

    Christ built the church, Christ loves the church, and Christ is coming back for the Church, and the Church is made up of people.

    In the movie The Patriot, the main character played by Mel Gibson taught his young sons how to shoot. Before firing in a tense situation the young boy kept reminding himself of the lesson his dad taught him, “Aim Small, Miss Small.” In other words, the only way you can hit your desired target is to be accurate.

    The means by which we obtain harmony in the body of Christ is the process of building one another up, edification.

    It’s not about my personal convictions, it’s about helping one another grow in their personal walk with Christ. I am reminded that I must aim for harmony and be deliberate about building one another up in the faith. People matter and they must be built up.

    Who can you build up today? Give them a call, send them a note, stop by their home or place of work just to tell them they matter.

    Present Suffering and Future Promises

    “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.-Romans 8:18 NLT

    I find it easy to focus on the here and now giving no thought to what will be. Our present sufferings have a way to dictate how we view the rest of our life. Again, we have choices. We can choose to allow our sufferings to distort the beauty that is truly around us or we can allow our sufferings to elevate us to a greater dependency upon God and hope in what will be.

    I am amazed as I read through the book of Acts recently and saw how the suffering/persecution of the early Christians didn’t stop them from their God given task to being witnesses in the culture which they lived. Why, because they understood this truth which would be revealed in Romans 8, what we suffer NOW is NOTHING compared to the glory he will REVEAL to us LATER. The point is this, present suffering is nothing compared to future promises. Now and Later. What is now will not be later. Here are a few words which come to mind; Endurance, Persistence, Outlook, Hope, Steadfast, Immovable and the list could go on.

    I will leave you with this, nothing your going through now can be compared to the glory which God will reveal to us later.

    Keep pressing forward.

    Is My Choice the Right Choice

    Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. -Romans 6:12,13 NKJV

    It’s my choice what I do with my body, I believe this is true. I have the power to chose to use my body for Gods purposes or selfish purposes. At the beginning of each day we are given a beautiful thing, Gods mercy and compassion. You do know they are new every morning, right? “Through the Lord ’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!”” – Lamentations 3:22-24 NKJV

    Each of us have the individual choice whether or not we are going to allow that “sin” to be attached to us. You know, the one that has control over us which we can’t get away from. We obey, it has become our master. The sin that we allow to continue with us is literally a hatred of what is righteous.

    How then do we get rid of the sin and obey God instead of the sin.
    1. You can’t fix yesterday but you can start new today.
    2. Make a moment by moment decision to present your whole self to right living (righteousness)