Archive for September 2009

A Servant’s Motivation   Leave a comment

“Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways.  You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours,” Psalm 128:1-2, NIV.

The writer of this Psalm goes on to say that his wife and sons will be a blessing and shares the hope of living long enough to see your children’s children.  Knowing we will be blessed for walking in the Lord’s way is one thing.  Using the potential for being blessed as my motivation for service is something entirely different.

One key in these words to me as I read them today is how we will basically get out of our relationship with God what we put into it.  We will be rewarded but only for that which we deserve an have earned.  I throw the “but” idea in here as a warning and an incentive.  I must not expect God to bless me for no reason and must increase what I put into my relationship with Him.  My ultimate reward is knowing God and the fullness of His love.  What more do I need?

At the same time however, the grace of God is not to be ignored.  God’s grace is favor undeserved.  I do not earn my salvation or spiritual gifts or blessings from above.  God sometimes chooses to bless in incredible ways and that is His prerogative.  I’m not saying that I don’t want to be blessed, but I cannot allow that “want” to be what drives me to serve the Lord I love.

I think the lesson for today is ultimately this – faithfulness and the results thereof.  I must be far more concerned with how I am faithfully following the Lord Jesus Christ than I am in the blessings I’ll receive if I do so.

I think that there is a real danger in expecting God to bless you.  My works do not earn me special merit if they are done for that purpose.  All that I do for Him must have my love for God and my desire to do His will in serving others as my sole motivation.  Anything else is selfish and should not be rewarded.

Lord, why do I serve You?  You know that many times even I forget.  Please help me do everything not only in Your name but for the reason of my love for You.  You alone are my life and my all and You alone are who I choose to serve because of my love for You.

Puzzle Pieces – Sermon Summary   Leave a comment

1 Corinthians 12:1-12.

I love “working” a puzzle.  Diane and I will get one started once in a while and it won’t take long for Derek and Doug to join us.  While we may not be the speediest of puzzlists around the world, it is always a fun thing to do.  There is only one time when putting together a puzzle results in frustration and aggravation – when a piece is missing!

God puts the church together much like a puzzle.  There are pieces of various sizes and shapes.  They are mixed and matched and pieced together in such a way that we can see in time precisely how He formulates the portrait known as His church. Read the rest of this entry »

Double Vision   Leave a comment

“They killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes.  Then they put out his eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon,” 2 Kings 25:7, NIV.

That may not be a passage used in many devotional thoughts, but sometimes reading more helps bring things to light.  This was part of the story about King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians overtaking Jerusalem.  What we are also told in 2 Chronicles 36 is that Zedekiah was not a ruler who had followed after God, choosing evil as a lifestyle.  Was this his punishment from the Lord?  Notice the great humiliation of the deed. Read the rest of this entry »

Toe Dipping – Sermon Summary   Leave a comment

Joshua 3:7-17.

We have assembled many of our ideas and dreams as a church.  Some ideas may be spot on while others may be a bit off target.  If we look at things through the lens of target practice, we see the bulls-eye as the primary target.  When we shoot and miss, we don’t give up.  We don’t put our tools away, admit defeat, and quit without ever trying again.  When it comes to the church moving forward in seeking God’s will, our bulls-eye is what we would call the center of God’s will.  If we don’t hit the target with our first shot, we cannot allow ourselves to feel defeated and lose our desire to try again.

In other words, we must learn from our past if we plan to continue to move forward again. Read the rest of this entry »

Never Without a Mission – Always Say Never, pt.7   Leave a comment

Matthew 28:16-20.

What is the mission of the church?  To be part of God’s mission which is to redeem the world unto Himself.  One thing that is fascinating about the Greek language, the written language of the New Testament, concerns the word “priority.”  We are always talking about how we need to have our priorities in order, how we need to set our priorities, and how our priorities are so crucial to how we function.  In the Greek language, the word we translate “priority” cannot be made plural.  I think that is theologically sound as well as a grammatical truth. Read the rest of this entry »