Get to work

Eph 2:10 says that God created a work for us to do. More specifically it says “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (NLT).

That is pretty awesome. First God says we are a masterpiece, something special, something more than just worthwhile, but great because of Him. That is something that takes a long time to really understand. The God of the universe, the Creator of heaven and earth. The thinker of stars and galaxies says “I have made you a masterpiece” then He goes so far as to say “I also made something for you to do.” Not only does He take great delight in the work of His hand but He says now go and do likewise.

The main point I want to get across is that while we all have a calling from God, we also have smaller works too. I think everyone will look back at their life and see an overarching work you did. Something you will be remembered for. It might be compassion, or mercy, or love, or gentleness, or passion, but whatever it is there is something you will be known for. But there are smaller works for you to do sometimes within that scope and sometimes outside of it. For example, when you leave the house today to go grocery shopping God could have it in place for you to pay for someone’s food. Maybe He will have you in place to encourage someone who is grieving. It could be as simple as just being an amazing presence in your home to show God’s goodness. Whatever it is God has a plan/work for you today and we can easily miss it.

We can miss it if we think that today is just another day. If we decide that today has no real or lasting importance we can miss our job for the day. I think that we should all take a minute (30 seconds maybe) to ask God a pointed question that can change the whole day. I think we should take just a moment to ask God if He has something He wants us to do today. After all, we call Jesus Lord and Savior. We do not just get a Savior but a Lord as well.

The lawnmower didn’t change

Phil 1:6
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

A while back I had not cut the grass for 3 or 4 weeks. It was due to a mix of it raining every time I did have a chance and being lazy (not sure which played a bigger part). The result was the same; the lawn was out of control. I mean it was probably 8-12 inches high in some spots. Also, I should mention I had 50% grass 50% weeds. Not to mention my front yard had a pretty decent slope. All this together created a nightmare of a time. My little walk behind had a terrible time keeping up and didn’t at times. What usually took me 30-35 minutes to cut took over an hour and then it still took me about 45-50 minutes each time after that. It drove me crazy because it was always hard to cut. I had complained a lot about my stupid mower. I could not understand why that stupid thing would not cut the grass… Then I had an epiphany. It was not the mower.

I had always cut it down to the lowest or second lowest setting. Now I was on the highest or second highest setting. Because I let it get out of control I could barely manage to keep it under control. It is a lot like our spiritual life. If we walk away from Bible Study, Prayer, Fellowship, etc. then things start to grow out of control. When we come back to it we are expecting our normal effort to produce an extraordinary result. The lawnmower did not change the request, however, did. My Bible Study, Prayer, and Fellowship has not changed after not attending to these things but the lawn I expect them to take care of has overgrown. What is then required is either a bigger tool or repetitive use of the tools.

In order to deal with the overgrowth, I would have to go back and mow the lawn a few times or I needed someone with a more powerful (and hopefully riding) mower to intercede on my behalf. If I walk too far away from Bible Study, Prayer, and Fellowship then when I come back I need either a drastic move from God or more Bible Study, Prayer, and Fellowship to help cut down the overgrowth. The same thing applies. I sometimes think that the rules of life do not apply to spiritual things but sometimes they do. We need to be diligent in dealing with our relationship to God. He has promised to not quit on us but we have a part to play in the relationship with Him. That is why it is called a relationship.

ooh Mr Kotter, Mr Kotter

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. 2 Tim 3:16

Most believers know this verse and we know that it means the Bible is the Word of God and we can and should trust Scripture, but let me drop this thought on you. If Scripture is from God then it is Holy, and if it is Holy then we must treat it as Holy, that means to set it apart. We do not drop parts of Scripture here and there pasting bits and pieces like decoupage. No we must care for it and use it in it’s proper and rightful places. Some non-believers run around throwing out Scripture bombs because they do not understand it but we have an understanding and are called to treat it properly.

I have been given the privilege to share the word with some middle school boys today and I give it as much thought and prayer as I did when I spoke in the prisons, to congregations, or in weekly Bible studies because the avenue is not of importance, but the Word is of utmost importance. It does not matter if you speak to hundreds, thousands, or 1 the Word of God is mighty and the fact that you get the privilege to read it and share it is a gift from God. Do not take it lightly.

Just a thought,

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
James 3:1

Another Year, Another Word

Another year has come and gone.  A new year is upon us and that means it’s time for a new word.  First let me explain what the word is for any who do not know me.  Each year instead of a New Year’s resolution my family each picks a word.  Just one word that we want to pursue for the year.  Last year I picked audacious along with most of it’s variants.  While that word is typically used negatively I wanted to be positively audacious in all I did.  I wanted to go for broke, hold nothing back and be so daring it scared the crap out of me.  In my relationship with my wife, children, family, friends, and most importantly with God.  I wanted to trust God so much that I dared to do the impossible.  Of course I needed to be wise in my choices of what to go for so it required a lot of prayer to make sure I was going to make the correct jump.  Jesus says to carefully consider before you build (Luke 14:28-29) so that is what I did.  I am pretty happy as the year ends to say I lived my word.

Now before I tell you my new word let me make one more point about the word.  First for years I made New Year’s resolutions and every year I failed.  I might have had some success but by and large I failed.  I think a lot of people are the same way, and you may be hesitant about picking a word but let me tell you a secret.  I don’t pick the word on my own.  I spend time talking to God about it.  If I picked the word on my own I would probably fail, but by talking to God about it first I have a greater chance of success.  Last year God worked with me on being more bold and confident in my prayer life, and relationships, and decisions.  I am thankful God set up a sort of plan for me saying Mike this year I am going to make you daring and more determined.

So 2014 is brought to you by the word INSPIRE.  I want to be inspired, and I want to inspire.  My goal is to look for ways to be inspired whether by people, nature, movies, books, actions, or what have you .  I going to actively look for inspiration, and I am going to be more intentional about inspiring others.  There is such joy in knowing you played a part of someone deciding they CAN.  Seeing someone finally decide to shred the pain, or frustration, or aggravation, or whatever and do it.  Knowing you played a part in that changes you just as much as them, it pushes you harder, makes you want to go further, do better.  This year will be an inspirational year.

God says in Isaiah 55:11  “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”  That is pretty amazing.  God says if I am going to send my word out it will accomplish what I have sent it to do.  That is why I take the word for the year seriously, and talk to God about it.  Because if He says “Mike this year I will Inspire” then it will be accomplished.  

So here is to a great year everyone.  Remember that you can do this, you can make it through this, and you will get there.  There is a God who loves you and who wants you to rejoice.

Just a thought,