I know that sounds backwards. It’s meant to.
It’s meant for those moments when you are so motivated to step out and act out, but then you chicken out.
Like when that awesome song you love starts playing in your earbuds and you think you could just bust the most fantastic moves in the middle of the gym. But then real life comes into focus and you remember you are just not that coordinated.
Yeah…too many other examples to list. But what big life changing things have you missed out on by allowing fear in the face of a moment of courage. What God thing did you miss out on by quenching the spirit.
As we start taking ourself less seriously and understanding that what other people think doesn’t matter as much, we’ll get a lot more big things done. Because it is only God and His glory that will matter in the end.
What is your faith?
Show it to me. How big is it? How much did it cost? What did you do to find it? Where did you discover it? Can you feel it? Is it easy to shake? Why do you have it? Can a person take it from you? Can you lose it? Is it in a building? Is it a building? Is it a group of people? Do you need fancy clothes to be in it?
Remember who perfected your faith.
My faith is not a building or a religious group. My faith is not a set of rituals. My faith is not dead. My faith can’t be taken away from me. My faith has no dress code or minimum bank balance. My faith is evidential and true, I won’t be changing my mind based on cultural pressure. My faith is in Jesus Christ.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval.
Hebrews 11:1-2 NASB
Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:7-8 NASB
Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God , and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.
James 2:17-26 NASB
“Thus has the Lord of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’
Zechariah 7:9-10 NASB
Thoughts and prayers. Sen. Cory Booker says prayer after a tragic gun related terrorist attack is worthless. But I disagree. I think prayer and a focus on the redemptive power of Jesus Christ is the only actual solution to the problem of terrorism. But I have other thoughts too.
The shooting in El Paso is really staying with me in my thoughts and causing reflection in a more profound way.
I was born in El Paso, though I didn’t grow up there. I only lived there for maybe a few months. I am employed by a large retailer, but that’s just an additional weight on my thoughts.
The topic most prevalent in my thoughts is that these people were targeted because they are immigrants.
This terrorist targeted someone in my country because he is a racist. And I have many un-christlike thoughts about this terrorist that are not helpful to bring any resolution.
I wanted the terrorist dead too. I was hoping some armed citizen had pulled out their legal firearm and took that terrorist out. But it didn’t happen, and that’s not the “christian” way to think.
I wanted to see the cops roughing him up as they drug him out of his car. But it didn’t happen.
I was hoping they would put him in a jail cell with rather muscular and MMA trained people of color who would exact proper punishment upon his face. That probably won’t happen either.
But this is where I must remember that none of that will fix the problem of racism or hate.
Lord help us to love and forgive as we see examples of your love and forgiveness all around us. May we never compare our sins to another and think we are innocent. God has shown us grace and mercy.
Yet the earthly consequences of our actions are still required. And the terrorist who committed this crime in El Paso will hopefully get his, and vengeance is the Lord’s to serve.
Have you found what you are good at? Do you know what you are not really good at?
Our gift or purpose may not be flashy. We just need to do it with excellence for the one who created us. We must stop draining energy on our self focused ambitions and activate the purpose God has for us.
Not everyone is equipped or purposed to be the pastor of the local church. But we are called to exercise our gifts for God’s glory.
I anticipate that some of my readers will think, “but I don’t know what ministry God wants me to be in”. Sigh! You use your gift wherever you see a need in your local church or community.
And while you are exercising and honing your gift, God will slowly start showing you were you need to be or go. Just be willing to move once you see the plan.
Like a master artist creating His work, God knows how each brush stroke will impact the final painting. As onlookers we may not even understand what He is painting until the last stroke is placed on the canvas of our life. And as our final breath passes from us let it be filled with gladness and not regret of a life without purpose.
For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
Romans 12:4-13 NASB