Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I am doing a great work...

And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”   Nehemiah 6:3

I am convinced, after last week, that I do not give the way I should to God. Give meaning everything--
Money.
Thoughts.
Attitude.
Time.
Trust.
Faith.

Those to just name a few. Sometime even I don't allow myself to give God a chance.

This isn't a post to tell you how to live your life. Just a personal realization I came to this past week that I want to change in my life. And it came about through a lot of different resources. I've been listening to Andy Stanley's sermons called "Guardrails" (which have been awesome!). And listened to some David Platt sermons, as well as reading the Psalms, and doing and completing all my Kelly Minter "Ruth" Bible study. God has been using all these resources to reach out to me and draw me close. I've learned so much so far, and it's been so good. I haven't had a week like last week in a long time, where I spent time every day with God and his word. It was about time.

So back to giving...I am sort of realizing that the more I give to God, the more He can use me, the more I am making myself available for His use and will. I asked myself, "What made last week so awesome?" Well, it was good because I felt like I was surrendering my all to Him. I want to do that everyday. Give him faith, trust, attitude, thoughts, money, time--I want to depend fully on God, everyday.  Matthew 6:33, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." God knows what we need.

The Nehemiah verse at the top is a verse that Andy Stanley was talking about in one of his sermons. It's about Nehemiah, who was re-building the wall, and not everyone was for the re-building of the wall, so some people sent word to Nehemiah for them to meet up together someplace, and Nehemiah replies, "I am doing a great work and I cannot come down." Andy told us that sometimes in our lives, we are doing a great thing--something God is calling us to do--and we get distracted. And the distractions aren't always bad things. I get distracted all the time by friends, to-do lists, Bible studies, church-related activities, family get-togethers, birthday presents, shopping, and all that. None of those things are bad things, but they can easily consume my life, to where I have nothing left to give to God. After talking to my roomie last night, she said something along the line of how she can't do things/activities every week night. Amen to that! Sometimes it's good to plan to stay in, plan to read the word, soak up time in prayer, and to just be. To be available for God. I want to learn to give to God first, then I can plan Bible studies, have friend time, shop for clothes, and all that.

I want to learn to give to God first when I start planning things for my week. I want to learn how to say "I am doing a great work and I cannot come down" because my great work is what God calls me to do (like God calling Nehemiah to re-build the wall). I don't want to let other good things distract me from this great thing.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Believer's Freedom

“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. 1 Cor. 10:23, 24

This is my memory verse this month. Found in 1 Corinthians - a book written to a rather new church/new Christians, who were learning how to be a body of believers in a city filled with commerce, immorality, and idols. These Christians had many questions, and thus Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, to instruct them and answer their questions about how to be a body of believers.

Now, this verse is found in chapter 10, and is sandwiched between instructions on what to eat, what not to eat, should you eat food sacrificed to idols, etc. Appropriate food/sacrificing animals and all that was a big deal back then. So I try to take this verse and put it into today's standards - what is a big deal now? What could this verse apply to? Well, it could apply to a ton of things.

The point is (just like the verse says) nobody should see his own good, because when you seek your own good, that's exactly what you are - a nobody. I'm not saying don't take care of yourself, that's not what I'm talking about. When it comes to controversial subjects, or grey areas of the Bible, or points in our lives where we disagree with others, or face conflict, THEN is when it's best to seek out what is for the good of others, not ourselves. We are called to not be selfish.

Paul ends this chapter with this statement:  "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31.  I think that sums it up pretty well, because when we seek out what is best for others, we are glorifying God.

And I picked this verse, because I'm too comfortable and need to be challenged to seek out the good of others. I've become silently selfish, and want to focus on what in my life has been permissible, but not necessarily constructive or beneficial to me, and especially to others. Something to work on...