Monday, January 28, 2013

Living with Purpose – Our Mission

Understanding the call on our life is a great blessing. We should know the Lord did not just save us for life in heaven, but has a special plan for our lives here on earth. With this understanding, life takes on a whole new meaning. I believe we a know what we are to do but, fear and insecurity cloud our minds, we ignore our mission.

I know my mission is share what I have learned about the life of faith. For many years I side stepped this call, until I understood our gifts are to used for the Lord's glorious purposes, not to hide or ignore them. We have been honored by God and play an intricate part of His plan.

I now understand that not accepting my mission by faith is sin, plain and simple. Whatever we do, it must be in faith and love for one another (John 10:10). Insecurity, fear and ignoring the call on our life will not lead to the fullness of life that Jesus died to give us. We block our own blessing!

Many believe that receiving salvation is the end of the road and all we have to do is wait for heaven. The truth is our reward begins in acknowledging and pursuing our individual mission.

How will I know my Mission? These are some clues to what the Lord has chosen you to do:

1) Out of your comfort zone: The Lord’s call is never easy, and it will challenge every part of your reason and resolve.
2) Element of danger: You will have to put yourself out there on the front-line against the devil’s stronghold.
3) Element of risk: It will cost something.

The Holy Spirit's nudge keeps us moving in the right direction and we are fully equipped to complete the mission.

What is that one thing the Spirit keeps bringing to your mind? What makes your ears perk up? Listen carefully, then step out in faith leaving the consequences to the Lord's glorious purpose.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” Amen!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Living with Purpose – Protect Unity

Jesus taught its easy to know who belongs to him, its by the fruit of their lives. (Matthew 7: 15-16). The good fruit of someone’s life is produced by faith that reveals itself in love. This love is a godly love which places the needs of another before his or her own.

The primary destroyer of relationships is unforgiveness. When we become offended by someone's action towards us, we are commanded to forgive them. “How can we say we love God, but hate a Christian brother or sister” (1 John 4:20). Forgiveness is a supernatural ability. It actually proves that we have passed from death to life. The sinful heart wants revenge, but the redeemed heart wants unity.

Jesus taught, “Stop judging others and you will not be judged. For others will treat you, as you treat them. Whatever measure you use in judging others, will be used to measure how you are judged” (Matthew 7: 1-2 NLT).

Gossip and jealousy are the silent destroyers. These two sins go hand in hand, because jealousy spurs gossip. When someone uses their gifts, doing what God has called them to do and someone wants that gifting for themselves, that is called jealousy. When jealousy is in full bloom, gossip and backstabbing result. Instead of encouraging and praying for increased success for the fellow servant, they feel obligated to either verbally dismantle the success or take a non-supportive stance. Both jealousy and gossip are predatory sins which have no place in the fellowship of believers.

We are responsible to the Lord to support other believers by stopping gossip, avoid jealousy and exercise forgiveness. Paul said, “Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” (Galatians 6:1). We are not called to judge, but love others enough to guide them back by the love you show them.

We must “Share each others troubles and problems and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really nobody” (Ephesians 6: 2-3 NLT).

Living in a world where relationships are disposable, people seek only the good of themselves and show little respect for the Word of God, we need to be mindful of our actions and attitudes toward others. Honoring God begins with choosing to live rightly according to the love of Christ.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Living with Purpose – Integrity

The definition of integrity is: Honesty; Without compromise or corruption. Our words match our actions. It is impossible for a person to live with godly integrity without the Holy Spirit. The child of God has the Holy Spirit living in them, it is unnatural for them to live like the world. We are consecrated (set aside for special use) to God through the Holy Spirit.

Without the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives we will not reflect godly integrity, have strength to fight off the evil one's strategies, stand firm in faith or make any lasting changes in our thoughts or attitudes. We must  submit  to the Holy Spirit’s authority. (2 Corinthians 10: 4-7)

The awful truth why most people reject the saving grace of Jesus Christ is because of the hypocrisy they've witnessed in those who claim to follow Christ. Instead of seeing the light of love through a changed life, they see people not much different than themselves living life on their own terms.

The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity says, “I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts.” (Isaiah 57:15)

A born again believer has a new nature. Everything about the old self serving nature has been changed, because of their true faith in Jesus. But those who do not have a true faith in Jesus, have not changed at all, they only exhibit a “cleaned up” version of their old self.

As followers of Jesus, we desire to live with integrity in our day-to-day lives in this fallen world. God’s loving grace is something to be honored never treated with disrespect. It is true that you can be forgiven anything, but we should accept his forgiveness with deep humility and awesome reverence for the one who is bestowing that forgiveness and the life that paid for our pardon. (Romans 5:20-21, 6:11)

Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong. And everything you do, must be done with love” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT).

Friday, January 11, 2013

Living With Purpose – Move Forward

Belonging to the body of Christ comes with responsibility. The early church was a picture of God’s plan from the very beginning; being united in love with him and each other. “All the believers were of one heart and mind, and felt that what they owned was not their own, they shared everything they had” (Acts 4: 32 NLT). Especially the Gospel of Jesus.

The Jewish leaders did not recognized the promise of God being fulfilled in their time and persecution began to intensify as this new band of believers began to grow

Once when the Apostles of Jesus were arrested, Gamaliel, a Pharisee prophesied when he made this statement before the High Jewish council “My advice is leave these men alone. If these men are teaching and doing these things on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them. You may even find yourself fighting against God” (Acts 5:38-39 NLT).

The truth had set the followers of Jesus free and nothing could stop the spread of the Gospel – The Good News. God had offered himself as a sacrifice which took away the sins of the world. Lives were being changed with this message being boldly carried forward. We too, must continue the good fight of faith, going forward sharing the Good News until our time is done!

So my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lords work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT)

Be happy if you are insulted for being a Christian, for then the glorious Spirit of God will come upon you” (1 Peter 4:14 NLT)

Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9 NLT)

I know all the things that you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can shut. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me” (Revelation 3: 8 NLT)

Peace and Blessings!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Living With Purpose – Guard Your Heart

The life of faith, growing together in love and reaching the lost with the message of salvation has never been an easy task. The early church began in unity and harmony, but suffered much. It survived through tremendous persecution and from those who tried to undermine it from within.

For those with unshakable faith, even to the point of death, we have the blessing of their faithful witness. Each generation has continued to bring the message of salvation, which we have received to this day.

Our relationship with each other is so precious to God that protecting it is our primary mission. Nothing speaks louder about our faith than our actions and attitudes toward one another. We have all have the ability to interpret body language through our visual senses. While a smile can let down our guard, a glare will cause us to be wary, but deceptive attitudes in the heart are the most destructive.

When we judge others based on outward appearances or circumstances in their lives, we are actually bringing judgment on ourselves. Our Father has no favorites. “Judgment begins in the house of the Lord” (1 Peter 4:17). Only Jesus is worthy of judging our actions and attitudes, but many relationships have been destroyed by this sin. (James 4:11-12)

The easiest way to tell if unforgiveness lives in your heart is when the person who has offended you is constantly on your mind or the mention of their name causes anger. Forgiveness begins with you. As an act of your will, forgive the person. To know that forgiveness has taken place, there is no pain or anger when you think of that person.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving on another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT)