Friday, March 5, 2010


'If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.' -John Quincy Adams

'Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don't let anyone put you down because you're young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed—keep that dusted off and in use.' -The Message (1st Timothy 4:12-14)

Did you know that you have a ministry? As a Christian you do. And did you know that by what you do and what you don't do you are 'labled' here on by those around you? *No, you're not back in Jr. High-it's just how it is. Whether you like it or not, people take notice of you. Even your friends notice the good and the bad days.
Now, I know I have good and bad days and that there are times when my lips don't bring honor to God. I also know that I fall short in following through sometimes-my actions don't back up my words. I also know that I'm not alone and that sometimes I still choose to go it alone-even making more of a mess while I'm at it. What about you? How often do you find yourself doing that?
I think the biggest thing here the distinction between knowing and believing. There's a difference you know. Take for example the leaders of Jesus' time: the Pharisees knew God's commandments like the back of their hand and could easily resite scripture, but they didn't really believe. Instead, they let pride and their egos  take over-they did more condemning and judging than anything else. Does any of this sound familiar? Yeah, I's not a shocker, but it should be.
In today's culture egos rule, it's not about what you believe, it's about what you can prove-what you can control, something tangable and more believable. *Which kind of makes this whole 'faith' thing kind of crazy really and even harder to believe. I mean is it even shocking find that living the life is harder than just saying it? It is too easy. And there isn't any great mystery behind why those on the outside looking in think we are hypocrites.
So...what does a Chrstian look like? Or better yet...what should a Christian look like? What are the things that come to mind when you think about the attributes and qualities of a Christian? Do you think of someone who doesn't swear or gossip about or at others? Take a moment and think about that...
Check out this passage from the book of Galatians 3:2-5 'I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?'
I would venture to guess that like me, you struggle with doing things on your own-trying to 'attain your goal by human effort'. And I would go further and say that nearly 9 times out of 10 trying 'our way' resulted in suffering for little or nothing. Now, my next question might take sometime on your part...are you who you want to be and ought to be or are you someone who everyone else expects or wants you to be? Paul gives us a challenge in Romans: 'Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.'
This blog isn't to make you feel bad, it's to get the wheels turning in your spiritual life. It's about reflecting on Christ and His ministry. Lent is a special time for Christians not because we give up something, but because we change something in our lives for the betterment of our faith journey. Last month during the Ash Wednesday service my message was more of a challenge...urging others not to let Lent-traditionally a 40 day period in which we are to 'refocus' ourselves spiritually, become simply another 'New Year's Resolution'.
So here's the challenge and this goes for me as well...let us focus on being a better ambassador for Christ-not just in what we say, but in what we do. And I leave you with this from James 1:22-'...don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.'

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