God Works Through His People for the Creation and Recreation of His Purposes
"The creation story says that humankind was created in God's image and immediately assigned a task: "Let them have dominion" (Genesis 1:26-28)
Human creatures received responsibility and resources. The Creator invited the creature into a partnership to manage, develop, and exercise faithful stewardship that would benefit all humankind and glorify Him. In other words, God invited people to join him at work. He does that throughout the Old and New Testaments and throughout history. "We are God's fellow workers, coworkers with Christ," Paul wrights to the Corinthians. God works through his people for the creation and recreation of God's loving purposes." ~~ Dave Williamson, Working in the Image and the Presence
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The Unearthly and Unerring Ethos for Living
How awesome is it that scripture contains a practical application for daily living, an ethos if you will? Spiritual principles that can guide thoughts and to focus on as I/we move through life, it's all laid out... Whoo hoo! When Paul speaks, in Romans 12, it sounds a lot like the Sermon on the Mount - but he wasn't orating to the masses or giving his personal opinion. He was speaking to those who were already Judeo-Christian, to people of God's holy church. Directly and succinctly, Paul directs us corporeally as a body how it is we are to live. It's easy to rest in comfort when reading Paul's words, self-satisfied that being saved by grace, having accepted God, believing in God and confessing to God that no more is necessary to ensure our redemption and entrance to heaven when our physical body dies. Uh ugh. We have both a mandate and a higher purpose to fulfill in this, our physical life. Not only have we been gifted with being chosen by God, blessed with a guide for living life, a vision of eternal life and communion with both God and Jesus in heaven after death - but we are given a higher purpose to set ourselves upon for the glory of God. We are not to be ambassadors for ourselves any longer as people of faith - It ain't about us. Living a self-absorbed life, seeking self-fulfillment, and setting our own standards is a pitfall. We must learn to set aside ourselves, our own carnal desires and preferences, and give of ourselves to the body of Christ, God's church. Jesus makes it clear that we, who believe in the living God, must incorporate ourselves, submit ourselves and deny ourselves in order to serve a higher unearthly purpose. Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24) According to the Bible, the foundation for the believer's life is the promise of eternal life with Jesus in the kingdom of heaven. This truth should define our attitude, whether living with Christ in heaven or for Christ on earth. The Bible invites us to live fully, making the most of each day - not because there is no tomorrow, but because there is one!
Dear Lord God,
Forgive me when I conform to the patterns of this world.
Place your mighty and holy Word in my heart
that I might abandon my self-absorbed life
and seek a mind of Christ so that every thought
is obedient to your truth.
Foster me in the fortitude and courage
to step out in light of your presence
so that I may stand with fellow believers
and take my position in the fellowship of your holy church.
Bless me if it be thy will exalted Father,
so that I may live a life worthy of the Gospel.
Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.
Renew and enable me to conduct myself today and every day
in a manner worthy of your glorious name.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Three things I am grateful for today:
1. Having been led to a Godly community church filled with Christlike mentors
2. That my matters of health are improving and that I am physically strengthening
3. That my husband is also a Christian
Romans 12 (English Standard Version)
A Living Sacrifice
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Gifts of Grace
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. 4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; 7 if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; 8 the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Marks of the True Christian
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowy. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." 20 To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing so you will heap burning coals on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Unearthly Boot Camp - The Army of God is Transformed by Devotion & Lifestyle
"Theology is our boot camp and the army is our duty in application. Yet, it is the least thing considered by the average Christian's pursuit, especially those who never take ownership of their faith, who grew up in a church and see it as cultural and a duty, not devotion and lifestyle. The danger is for the Christian to sit in a pew, learn all that they can, and take comfort in that knowledge, but never to do anything with it. It is the church that refuses to evangelize, the Christian that refuses to share their faith, or model Christ on Mondays, as well as Sundays: Be aware you will be harshly judged, you are no better than that of the Pharisees (Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:6-8; Matthew 12:9-14; James 1:21-27)! The proof test is if you use people, or serve them? Do you just gather information, or do you apply it? When we become a Christian either by birth in a Christian family or through evangelism, a time must come when the reality of who we are in Christ hist home in power and conviction. To completely change the black dirty oil of the mind with the new golden anointing oil of his love and precepts. That this will transform into a practical application of our faith just doe not happen on it's own, something wondrous must take place within us to transform us so we can. In other words, we must become the people of God in order that we are capable and willing to do the work of God." ~~Richard Joseph Krejcir, Into Thy Word Ministries