No reason to boast

July 26, 2014

I wonder if people realize, there are no big people, and no small people in God?

There are no big jobs, and no small jobs; no big gifts, and no small gifts; no big functions, and no small functions; that is, in regards to making one person very special and others, less special…

We are brothers and sisters, we have one Father, Matthew 23:9. We are equal in His sight. We have different functions–or offices–in church. And this, not by our own choice, or doing, or even deserving, but by God’s. God places us where He wants, 1Corinthians 12:18.

If we have a high position and believe this makes us somehow better than a person in what we perceive to be a low position, we are no longer deserving of our God-given high position. We dishonor God because we fail to realize this: Do… not be puffed up… For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? 1Corinithians 4:6b,7.

None of us have any right to boast. It is an incredibly great privilege to serve God, but serving God means serving people. If we think in our heart, I am better, more special, more important, more deserving because of my position, or gift… we will never serve people the way God wants us to, because our motive is not pure. Our motive is self-serving.

Neither should we weirdly honor some people, yet act completely blind to, or worse, dishonor and belittle others. We do this to our own detriment because God knows what is in every heart, Acts 1:2.

With tears, in humility, we should have equal concern for each other, 1Corinthians 12:25; loving, appreciating, and honoring all people; looking to lift up and encourage everyone.

Everyone is to serve and do their part so that the church may be built up, Ephesians 4:16.

When every person is seen as vital, every gift valued, and every person functioning in their God-given place, there will be no boasting, there will be no lopsided honoring of some people, and ignoring others. But, working together, the church will be built up!

1. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when you are continually aware of the condition of your own heart. You are softer, more grateful, and always repentant before Him, for even the slightest of wrong attitudes or thoughts.

2. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when you are listening to Him with a quick, willing, and instant response of faith and obedience.

3. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when you are open, warm, gracious, and loving toward all people; showing no favoritism, not ever.

4. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when love for other people dominates your thinking and motivates everything you do.

5. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when you are keenly aware and accountable for your mistakes. This awareness stops you being a critical and harsh judge of others.

6. If you are a leader in God’s House, you know you are growing closer to God’s heart when you don’t have any need to throw around your God-given authority in an effort to show others who is in charge. God-given authority is never used to assert dominance, control, or abuse others.

7. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when you realize God-given authority is for serving others; never self-serving.

8. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when you realize there is absolutely no need to self-assert your leadership over, or above, another person.

9. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when your strength is used for service, not status.

10. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when you know the gifts and call on your life are for building up and encouraging others; always others.

11. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when you value people over your own comforts, conveniences, and even your own life.

12. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when heavens priorities become your priorities.

13. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when you live obedient to God, no matter what circumstances come your way.

14. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when you don’t compare yourself with other people, you simply live to please God.

15. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when the attention, popularity, or promotion that comes from man is so unimportant, unnecessary, and even, an unwanted distraction; because you simply live to please God, not man.

16. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when you live in the radical pursuit of Jesus, with a willingness to accomplish everything He has tasked you to do in the earth.

17. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when you work to lovingly get along with all God’s people, in mutual submission and unity, working together, to accomplish God’s plans in the earth.

18. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when you more courageously speak about God’s love and forgiveness to every person that comes into your world, because you are deathly aware of people’s need to make a decision to follow Jesus.

19. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when you realize the desperate plight of every human’s heart, and their desperate need of God.

20. You know you are growing closer to God’s heart when you cannot even look at another person, wherever you are, no matter who the person is, and prayerfully wonder about the spiritual condition of their heart; wanting God’s absolute best for them.

Family Phobia

June 24, 2014

It’s ironic that one of the most essential elements to a nations stability, and ability to flourish, the family, is under such attack in our culture.

It’s even more ironic that Christians, Christ-followers, swallow these attacks–not just accepting the blatant attacks, but eating them up, continually asking for more, saying, Won’t someone entertain me, please! 

Our news media, music, and entertainment industries are bent on redefining family. Their agenda is set on destroying traditional family values. They are opposed to it, and vehemently opposed to any person in support of these values. They have in the last few decades, created within our culture, family phobia.

What is family phobia? An extreme and irrational hatred or fear of traditional family.

Traditional family values have become the butt of jokes and are talked about as if they are a destroying force in American society.

Traditional family vales have been portrayed as anti-American in media, and even by a few of our nations top leaders. Why? Because traditional family holds up God’s standard of truth in an age where few people want to believe there is an absolute truth. Much less, believe there is a God who is the originator of that truth. Many just want their version of truth, which is subject to change with any passing whim, so they can go about life without any external source of authority.

In fact, using the word traditional is itself an attempt at derision because anything deemed traditional has a polarizing effect in the context of morals, ethics, and relationships.

Many times through media, I’ve heard a news anchor, a late night TV host, or some celebrity, throw around the term traditional in the context of family values as an attempt at condescension to people with these values; a form of mockery. The anchor pridefully thinks he is intellectually advanced and rationally open-minded; assuming the person with traditional values is a narrow-minded intellectual numskull. This lie has been spread so far and wide that even Christians believe it; or, use it as an excuse for their own sin.

What are traditional family values? Believing in the sanctity of marriage, and the sanctity of human life. One husband, one wife, committed to each other in marriage for the course of their whole life. Raising their children to love and honor God, with healthy boundaries, and values based on the Truth of God’s Word. This includes, teaching children to cherish and highly value virginity, highly value sexual purity, and highly value life when it begins within the milliseconds of conception, in the womb–God is there in those milliseconds as a life is formed.

A quick read of history shows when family is attacked, devalued, or redefined, as currently in our culture, the nations foundations crumble. Interestingly, we don’t teach this ugly part of history in our schools anymore.

Any serious reader of history will say with great conviction, the back bone to any society is strong and healthy family. There is no denying the proof is in our history, not in cultural opinion polls, strong family equals a strong nation.

It’s time for Christians to stop being fearfully hushed and boxed into the politically correct corners of society.

More than that, it’s time for Christians to live up to God’s Word, no longer patterning after the world, and no more using the worlds changing standards to justify our lack of conviction about God’s Truth.

Family is God’s design. It was his design from the beginning. He gets to define it. God blesses our families when we do family His way.