Friday, June 24, 2016

I Cry!

I CRY today as I think of how we as believers, those called to walk in the ways of Christ, fail to reflect the values and love of Christ.

I CRY when put our personal interests and selfish desires over the needs of another.

I Cry because we are so willing to hurt others without coming to a point of recognizing we are wrong, asking for God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of the person we have hurt.

I CRY when we are so willing to judge and condemn others, despite God’s call to us to not judge so we will not be judged.  Where is this thing we call unconditional love?

I CRY because we fail to recognize the value of bending our knees before our heavenly father and crying with him; asking for his strength, wisdom, direction, love and forgiveness.

I CRY because God’s awesomeness overwhelms me with the joy of knowing how much he loves us despite of our hurts and flaws.  His grace is sufficient and able to turn our tears of sorrow into tears of joy.  Hallelujah!

I CRY because our God is an Awesome God!  To God Be The Glory! Just a little advice to go!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Everybody Matters!

In God's eyes all people matter and are important to him; he loves everyone unconditionally. In fact, we matter so much that he gave his only begotten son as the ultimate sacrifice so that whomsoever would believe in him would not perish but be saved by His grace. He was intentional about providing us the opportunity to simply repent and be saved. God may hate sin, but he doesn't hate sinners. His son did not come to condemn the world, but so that through his sacrifice the world would be saved. His word acknowledges that we all fall short of God's glory because we are all sinners; believers are simply sinners who have taken hold of God's forgiveness.

Anyone can love the lovable, but it takes a true believer to love the least lovable person. God's word calls on us in 1 Peter 2:17 to Honor all people and love the believers. While God asks us to love those who believe as we do, he does not stop there; he goes on to ask that believers honor all people, regarding them with great respect in spite of who they are or what they believe. We are to love others unconditionally, because everyone matters! Just a little advice to go!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Prove It!

Imagine if someone asked you to prove it; to prove that you truly love Christ. What would your answer be? Perhaps you would respond by stating that you give your tithes, you attend church regularly, you feed the poor, you visit the sick, you visit the prisons, you go on mission trips, and/or you minister on the streets. The potential list of answers goes on and on, but is that truly proof of your love for Christ. We know that we are not saved by our works, but by his grace; but that doesn't preclude our responsibility as believers to do his work.

Each and everyone of us has a calling that Christ has placed in the depths of our hearts. It is a calling ignited by our willingness to submit to the direction of the Holy Spirit. All of us have work to perform, not because it gets us to heaven, but as evidence that our faith is founded in the reality of Christ. We need to speak about our faith in Christ whenever the opportunity allows or even when it doesn't. We need to be willing to stand against the crowd, particularly when they are heading in the wrong direction; away from Christ. We need to ensure that we never deny Christ and always proclaim him as our Lord and Savior. We need to make sure others understand our faith and why we believe in the miracle of Christ. We need to take notice of needs others have and provide for them to help sustain them much as Christ would sustain each of us.

The best proof of our faith is living it each and every day. The evidence of God's mercy should resound from each word we speak demonstrating that regardless of the challenges we face, God will prevail. Our every action and every word should testify to the reality that Christ is our Lord and Savior. Just a little advice to go!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Christian Minimalist

Minimalism is a life style choice, one we as believers need to become intimately acquainted with.  If Christ has taught us anything, it is that when he calls we should surrender all and follow him.  This means committing ourselves completely to him without worry of holding on to our worldly possessions.  I'm not suggesting we take to living on the streets but rather that we focus on the "intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that detracts from it."   In other words not living in the culture of consumption, but focusing on doing everything to align with God's commandment that we love our neighbor as ourselves; that we focus our efforts on caring for those in need.  

Reducing our possessions to the things that really matter, the essentials; enables us to be in a position to provide for those who have far less than we do.  Imagine if we stopped purchasing the latest technological gadget (this one applies to me), another article of clothing that will sit in the closet perhaps going unused for some time, another pair of shoes because three brown pairs are never enough, another decoration for the house as if we have any more wall space, and so forth.  As believers, we cannot allow ourselves to fall prey to the culture of consumption that makes shopping fun but limits what we can do for others.  We need to consider how little Christ possessed during his time on earth and how much he willingly gave of himself; the greatest of which was his life on the cross so that we could be blessed today.  Take a look around your home, your apartment, your rooms, your closet, your dressers and consider how much of what you have is more than you truly need.  Be a blessing to your family, friends, neighbors and those who are without by giving your excess to them.  Perhaps you might even make a sacrifice and give beyond your excess, giving to the point of sacrificing your own needs for the benefit of others.

I have started emptying my closets and limiting my possessions, preparing to downsize my home, increasing my contributions to those agencies helping the poorest in our community, and looking for opportunities to love my neighbor as I love myself.  Think about it, being a minimalist just might be more fulfilling than you can imagine.  Just a little advice to go!