Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Greatest is Love

Yesterday I was thinking about higher gifts that I had talked about in the previous post. Along with the higher gifts comes maturity to manhood....to be like like Christ.

But maturing, being better, or attaining any sort of gift does not matter if I don't have love. Building the body of Christ, the Lord's work, will be nonexistent if I don't have a 1.) love for God and 2.) a love for people.

1 Corinthians 13:13, "So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Don't be a Mediocre Christian.

In the previous post I talked about using my gifts for the body of Christ. This is deeper than I originally thought. In 1 Cor 12 it says that there should be no division among the body. We are to care for one another......convicting.

There are a variety of roles that Paul talks about in chapter 12; first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Not everyone possesses every gift. In verse 31 it says, "But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way." 

The reason I should desire higher gifts is to build up the body of Christ to unity of faith and understanding of Christ. It is God's will that everyone become mature to the "measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-16).

Practically, I can not settle. I should always be striving to be better. I should strive to grow in relation with Jesus, and to help build up the body of Christ in love. I can never become complacent or lazy. When I settle I am not experiencing the "more excellent way"....I am missing out.

How do you "earnestly desire" higher gifts? What does that look like?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I am a steward.

God's grace is varied. He blesses me different that he blesses you. He loves me more. Haha I'm joking. But for real, the fact that God gives grace differently to each person is amazing. He doesn't just do a blanket sweep across mankind and then go to watch cartoons. We're talking intricately detailed...to be redundantly redundant.

God has given me a specific gift. Sometimes I forget how God has blessed me and I envy other Christians. I want to be blessed like them. This is how I lose focus. I am a steward of my gift. I am a steward of God's grace. How will I show this grace to others? How will I bless them? How will I help build God's house? How will I feed his sheep?

Ask yourself these questions.

I know God has blessed me with creativity and sometimes it's challenging to focus it where I should. A lot of the time I want my creativity to reveal how awesome I am. But when I do focus that creativity on loving people and showing God's grace, it brings God glory.

1 Peter 4:10,"As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace."

Monday, March 19, 2012

Why do we eat food?

Think about it....What is the point of food? To give us energy to live. But really? Why do our bodies not use photosynthesis to sustain life?

As I continue to through 1 Corinthians I read about the Lord's supper in chapter 11. It was kind of complicated to think about at first but it became more clear. Jesus said to "eat his body and drink his blood." This was a metaphor for Christians to realize that He sustains us. He is our nourishment.

I think that the last supper was a model for how we are to eat every meal....remembering Christ.

Jesus is my spiritual food. Just like I need food everyday, I need the Word of God to sustain me daily. The word is how I know Jesus and feed on Jesus.

In verse 33 it also gave me understanding on being part of the "body of Christ." It says, "So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another." When I am with other Christians I am to show them love and patience helping them along. This ties in with John 21:14-17 which I have posted on before.

Food is necessary for life. Without continued nourishment, there is imbalance and malnutrition.

Read 1 Cor. 11:17-34 and you will see that remembering Christ when you eat will be both nourishment to your spirit and body.

Mom, this one is for you :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Take a moment and listen.

 Days. So much to do. Very little time. I catch myself multitasking or thinking about three things at once. A day can go by so quick if I have a lot to do. A lot of times I don't even remember what happened at the end of a day. Sad.

If I'm not careful, I will just live my life in a circle. Get up, eat, school, eat, school, work out, eat, work, sleep. Life is sometimes a paradox. I could wake up in the morning and think, "I'm going to have a purposeful day and get things done." But when that happens and I forget about what I did, how is that purposeful?

Sometimes I don't know myself. I don't know why I do the things I do. I need to take a moment....

breathe. listen. 

Psalm 46:10: "Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted in the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

God is. It doesn't matter what I do unless I acknowledge who the Lord is. He is the creator. He is good.

What does this verse mean to you?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Get your tail out from between your legs!

The verse I am memorizing today is Ephesians 3:16, "that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being." 

Through meditation and thought about this verse, I see that God wants me to be a man. He wants me to be strong and firm in faith. He wants to strengthen me at the core of my being. How many times do I give up or wimper away with my tail between my legs? How many times do I take the easy road or give in to sin? Do I love God that I don't want to take up my cross and be a man? 

 I want this scripture to take fruition in my life. I pray that my sinful nature would be destroyed. About a week ago I blogged about God's Spirit and by it only I understand God. In the same way, God will give me his Spirit to wage war against my sinful nature, or to overcome weakness. 

Lately I have been thinking about the baptism. Baptism is a metaphor of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. Baptism symbolizes that I, too, can kill my sin, bury it, and have new life. 

This is only accomplished by faith that the Spirit of Jesus is also with me. He is strengthening me with power through his Spirit.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sheep To Sheep

Lately I have been thinking a lot about a metaphor Jesus uses in the Bible. The metaphor is that Christians are the sheep and God is the shepherd. In John 10 Jesus says that he is the shepherd and we are the sheep. In John 21:15-17 Jesus says that if we love him we will feed his lambs, tend his sheep, and feed his sheep.

Yesterday I memorized Psalm 100:3, "Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture."

Thinking about this metaphor has been very humbling, but also very uplifting and faith building. First the idea that I am a sheep gives me a sense of humility. Sheep need someone to tell them where to go and when to do it. Sheep are not at the top of the food chain if you know what I mean. But grace be to God that he has us. We are his. He is our shepherd.

So understanding this metaphor has given me a peace about living. Jesus is guiding me. He is involved in where I go, what I do, and when I do it.

How am I supposed to feed, tend, and feed (John 21:15-17) the other sheep if I myself am a sheep? I think Jesus is calling me to love and care for those who are his. As a christian, my love for God is shown when I care for the "body of Christ"–another metaphor for Christians.

This has been what I've been meditating on lately. What are your thoughts?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Loving God

John 21:15-17
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep."

Knowledge Doesn't Matter Without Love

Man! It's been hard to be consistent in scripture memory and blogging. It's so easy to let life get in the way of–not only this scripture memory–thoughts and intentions toward God. My mindset is easily strayed toward things other than God. 1 Corinthians chapter 8 is convicting to me.

Paul says that our knowledge can limit us concerning idols. "If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know." My knowledge about God is so small. In verse 3 "But if anyone loves God, he is known by God." I need to get this. As a Christian it isn't about how much I know, but who I love. It's about whether God knows me or not. My love for Him proves that he knows me.

Then Paul says that there is no other god. The idols are made up.....they are "gods" or "lords."
1 Corinthians 8:6 "yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist."

I want this scripture to sink into my heart. I want to realize this on a daily basis–that my life is from the Father and through Jesus, and for the Father and through Jesus. Jesus is why I am am alive and why I live. God knows me because of Jesus. All of these other things in my life don't matter. I let these little "idols" get in the way loving God like I should.

I want to love God.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What are some practical ways to serve God?

Somehow I ended up reading in 2 Chronicles 29 and 30 today. It was talking about a willing and right heart to serve the Lord. In chapter 30 verse 8 it says, “...but yield yourselves to the Lord and come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you.” 

This verse is both humbling and exciting! 

I also referenced Psalm 36, and 1 Corinthians 7:17, which I memorized. “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.”

After reading these passages today, I see again that there is absolutely no room for arrogance. I need to be reverent and humble in God’s presence because God has assigned me a life to live. He has a plan and that plan is to serve him. If I serve him, his fierce anger will turn away from me. How exciting is that!?

What are some practical ways that I can serve God?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Not With Old Leaven

This has been a great weekend with friends and family. I am so thankful for what God has been doing not only in my life, but in people around me as well. I feel connected to the body of Christ. God’s loves overflows. 

The verse today is 1 Corinthians 5:8, “For Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

This scripture is huge!!! Before this verse, it talks about arrogance within the church body, or “boasting.” This boasting is referred to as leaven, or the being puffed up. Verse 6 says that if there is a little leaven, the whole “lump” will be leaven. This is a metaphor for arrogance within the church body. Within this arrogance comes malice and evil. 

As a Christian, I have absolutely no reason to boast be prideful. Christ has been killed in my place because of my sin! I just want to say THIS IS HUGE! I want to celebrate with a humble heart, and with others who are humble as well. With this humility is sincerity and truth.

So I think this verse is a reminder of what Jesus has done for me, how I am supposed to be, and who I associate with. 

I John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all unrighteousness.”


Friday, March 2, 2012

I have a reason to be thankful!

The verse today is 1 Corinthians 6:11, "but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the spirit of our God."

This has huge implications if you ask me. It the verses right before it talks about those who won't inherit the kingdom of God. "And such were some of you."

I am unrighteous, I am sinful, I don't understand God, so what hope is there? But I am cleansed and set apart for His name's sake! This is an intense thing to really understand this verse and to let it effect my life. Its easy for me to forget that and live how I want, or feel condemned for the sin I have.

This verse gives me a confidence that 1) I can live according to the spirit and walk worthy of God, and 2) when I do mess up, I still have confidence that God is cleansing me and making me new.

Galations 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." life

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I don't understand God.

Lately I'm seeing how human and sinful I am. My heart is wicked and I tend to stray from God. It's frustrating because I want to have a heart for God. To a certain extent, I think I do. But when I analyze myself in a deeper light (by The Book), I see all the dirtiness in me. Doesn't the Bible say that Jesus cleanses me from sin and unrighteousness by faith in Him?

I recently started to read 1 Corinthians and it's been blowing my mind! What has stuck out to me so far has been 1 Corinthians 2. In verse 17 it says that no one knows the thoughts of God or understands his ways except for the Spirit of God. What? Ok, ok, in the next few verses it says that God has given me his spirit to understand Him and what he has given me. 

But why do I still not understand? This is such a hard thing to wrap my brain around. 

The culminating verse for me that I memorized in this passage was 1 Cor. 2:16 which says, "For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." 

It clicked with me. . . I don’t understand God all at once, but by faith in Jesus I have his spirit. His spirit instructs me how to live. Wow! This was a humbling thing to realize. 

Romans 8:26-27, "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for what we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Beginning of the journey...

     The purpose of this immersion will be to show the importance of studying God’s word and how that affects a person. I will memorize one Bible verse each day of the thirty days and meditate on that verse. I plan to communicate the process of change in my life that I anticipate. I want to share this so that you can see the results of God’s word, and can be provoked get involved as well.

     "How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:9-11

     This is the first day of memorizing one verse each day for 30 days!! Psalm 119:9-11 speaks volumes to me because David shows, through this psalm, his love and passion for God's word. He was known as a man after God's own heart. My hope for this immersion is to "guard my way according to God's word." I too want to be a man after God’s heart. This will be a difficult journey and I realize I have to be dedicated. 

My hope is that you will join me by following my journey and responding to my posts.

What do you think about this passage?