Fight Time

Growing up I loved watching wrestling and boxing. One of my favorite moments was when they announced the fight was going to start. It didn’t matter if it was a bell or an announcer saying something. The start was this magical moment when the story that had been building reached its climax and the fight would begin. My favorite wrestler was Sting (Steve Borden). He just carried himself in a great way. By the way, if Steve happens to see this feel free to pop over to the site and grab a mission’s t-shirt. Anyway, my point in telling you this is that we have similar things going on in our lives. For each of us, God is always building us up for something that he wants to do. For our family it is missions but for you, it might be something different. Either way, things have been building and growing or maybe they are still building and growing but there comes a moment when its go time.

The thing to remember is that you don’t go it alone. Ephesians 1:3 and 1:13 say that we are blessed in Christ and that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. It’s a done deal. So yes, there is a go time, but we go from a place of being blessed and sealed. We don’t fight some wild fight out of anywhere. It has been building, growing, and waiting for the right time for you to move. Whatever God is doing in you and moving you to, you will have a fight time, but you fight with God for His mission.

That is amazing when we really think about it. We fight from a place of Christ’s victory. It is still scary, but it is awesome too. When we start to get scared because it doesn’t seem like things are going the right way, we have to remember three very important things. First is that Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. If you could see it then it wouldn’t be faith. Second, is Hebrews 11:6. I like the way the Message version reads – God cares enough to respond to those who seek him. Third is that failure is an option. If it wasn’t then it would not be a fight. I know that is not comforting to some, but it always makes me feel good. To know I could fail means I need to be that much more determined not too.

So, wherever you are at in the battle or whether the story is still building, it is going to be great in the end. Keep pushing into Christ. Keep fighting the good fight of faith. Keep pressing into Jesus. It might hurt and it might be scary, but God is so worth it.

Just a thought,

Mike

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Overdone

There are a lot of things that could be discussed in Ephesians chapter 1 but I want to focus on right now is found in verses 7 and 8 and verse 19. Now ideally, you do not want to just pull verses out willy nilly but these, sort of capture the essence of what is being discussed in chapter 1.

First in regards to verses 7 and 8 we can read and see that not only does God give us grace but he lavishes it upon us as the HCSB says. The word in the Greek is perisseuō and it means to exceed a fixed number of measure, to be left over and above a certain number or measure or to make to abound. I want to take just a minute on that.

Not only does God give us grace but it gives it to us in excess, He literally over does it. God’s love is so great and so big that His grace towards us is overboard. If you have ever fallen in love with someone then you can probably relate to that idea. You not only show love but you show it in abundance. You go out of your way to show that love you feel and have no problem with it. That is God’s grace towards us it is over and above. 1 John says that God is love which means He does not do love, He does not show love, but instead He is love. He is love, He is holy, and His love is a holy love. He has desires and plans but that all come from a place of Him being.

The second thing is that everything God does towards, for, and through us is done by His vast strength. God is so good and so gracious towards us that He knows that He cannot only give us His grace but He needs to also hold us up, give us wisdom, and show us His ways by His own power. Paul goes on to say that this power is the power that raised the Messiah from the grave. What Paul is getting at is that if God can raise Christ from the grave then surely, He can keep you and give you wisdom. If we think of it in terms of difficulty (not that anything is hard for God) which is harder; to know something or raise the dead?

The point is this; God gives you a crazy amount of grace, literally more than you will ever need and then says I will keep you and give you my strength so you just rely on me. He has covered all the bases and all we must do is let Him do His work. Now the catch is that this a partnership. God will give you the wisdom, God will give you grace, God will give you the strength, but you still need to do what He says. It will not always be easy Jesus promised that but He said we will not be alone. We still need to go where He says to go, say what He says to say, and do what He says to do but we don’t do it alone or by our own strength. Once we get that it gets a whole lot better.

Just a thought,

Mike

 

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.

What does He want from me?

Have you ever asked yourself “What does God want from me?”  I know I have from time to time.  I know that He does not need anything from from me but sometimes it seems like He asks a lot of me.  So what does God want from me?  What does He want from you?  The simple and short answer is He wants everything, or to be more clear He wants all of you.  

God wants all of you because He has created you to belong to Him.  He created you to choose and then presents Himself as the clear and proper choice.  There is not a single verse that points this out but as you search the Bible and the entire story of redemption you start to get the picture.  But what kind of man would I be without a Scripture to help point this out?  Ephesians 1:5-6 gives quick synopsis of this:

having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

God wants you so bad that He chooses you first, and then makes us acceptable in His Son Jesus.  He has done all of the hard work to make the relationship happen.  But I digress we are not talking about what salvation here.  Nope this time we are talking about the Christian who struggles with wanting to know what God wants from you.  Hummmmm.  I have a problem now though.  I cannot separate the two.  It seems I cannot find a way to distinguish between God saving you and what He asks of you.  This might be harder than I first thought.  Give me a minute to think about this…….

OK I am back.  Did you miss me?  Still with me?  Here it is here is what I have for you.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says you are not your own you belong to God because He purchased you at a price.  You are not your own, but you belong to another and you have someone to answer to.  Now let me give you an illustration or two.  First is from marriage and the second from family.

In marriage you take a wife (or a husband), you pledge to honor, cherish, love, and devote yourself to that person.  You go into the relationship choosing to give yourself and your thoughts over to that person right.  Well the Bible says that we are the Bride of Christ and we should go into that relationship the same way.  When making a decision in marriage you ask what the other person would want and make a mutually consenting, and beneficial choice.  Same way with walking with God.  The only difference is He is smarter than you and knows what is best, but He still talks to you about it.

Second is the family example.  If you have children you want what is best for them and you know what they are capable of.  More than that you know if you ask more than they are capable of you will help them achieve that goal.  Well again God is the best father ever and He knows what you are capable of and if it is more than you can do He will help.  He does not want you to fail, but has given you every spiritual blessing, and every good and perfect gift comes from Him.

So what does God want out of the person He has purchased with the Blood of Jesus?  He wants it all.  He wants you to listen and respond.  He wants you to obey.  He wants you to love those you need it.  He wants you to give the same way He gave.  He has shown what love is and He wants you to love.  Sometimes it is hard, and it hurts.  Sometimes people hurt you, but when they do you pray “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”  He wants you to give your will over to His.  He does not ask for too much though, He asks for it all.

Just a thought,

Mike