Feb 24, 2013

Goliath issues

34 But David said to Saul, "Your servant used to keep his father's sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock,35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it.36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God."37 Moreover David said, "The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." And Saul said to David, "Go, and the Lord be with you!" 1 Samuel 17:34-37

When we read this passage, so many times we have been told we can go and slay our "Goliath's." Yet as David says in verse 37 The Lord is the one who delivers. Our pride cannot take credit for the victories of our God. Nor can we deceive ourselves to think we can handle the issues we face as a church family without the leadership of God. Dependence on the Holy Spirit has brought us to this point, and it will take prayer by all of our members to follow the kingship of God into our future.
We have been blessed with a responsibility to minister to a large number of believers, and with it many resources. Our questions include how do we allow the most believers study and worship in our fellowship? How do we use our resources efficiently and in a way to show stewardship of our money, time, and the Gospel? As we have already seen the issues are complex, and will not be solved in any one solution. It will take a God-sized, God directed answer.
David trusted God for his whole life, and this led to God blessing his life with great accomplishments, to the glory of God. We too can see great things in our mist when we trust The Lord to lead us into uncharted territory. If we stray from the written revelation of the Word he will come and remove our lamp stand. Yet we will have to try new ideas, methods, and uncomfortable positions so that we will lean only on His strength. How can we do both? Stay true to a 2000+ year old book and do new things? Ask God! I read his mercies are new every morning, and His Word is living and quick, and will never return unto him void. We need new relationships made, studies started, and contacts made. Things will not remain the same, but after Jesus slays this Goliath in our fellowship, what will we ask him to do next!?

Feb 8, 2013

Urgently Proclaim

   Agendas, budgets, resource projections, and rationing all serve as ways of limiting our use of inadequate supplies.  One method of handling the problem, is to give out supplies until you run out.  As long as the resources hold out, everyone is happy and provided for.  Yet when the end comes, we are disappointed if a ‘needy’ situation is overlooked for luxury.  This is why we are admonished to plan ahead, count the cost, and to be good stewards. 

   Urgency – What is truly urgent?  Something only becomes urgent, when there is a known need, and we deal with limited resources.  A small bill, due in a month is not urgent because there is enough time to accommodate it.  While a severe illness can lurk undetected for years, but it is not urgent because it is unknown.  Only when an issue is both known and short of resources do we really begin to worry about it. 

   So much of our lives we find ourselves hurrying to insignificant tasks, dare I say it . . . urgently.  We go about fulfilling our duties, running errands, making appointments, all in attempts of making our schedule efficient and our lives worth the while.  There are always going to be more activities than we have resources to cover.  So the question then becomes, how we make the most of the resources we have.  What is the most urgent priority? Individually and as a church?

“And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up , behold , two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said , Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:10-11

“And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.” Titus 3:14

As ‘little Christ’s’ we should be focused on those things that Christ values.  Part of His challenge to us was evangelism, sharing the gospel with those who don’t know.  Those who accept the gift are justified, and admitted into heaven.  Yet there is a second thing Jesus ordered us to do, which is to make disciples.  The majority of Jesus’ 3 year ministry was spent teaching and guiding 12 men.  We give them a hard time because of moments of doubt, and visions of grandeur; but in truth it is due to these men and their efforts that we have heard the gospel. 

   We must become intentional about sharing the message we have been given.  We do not need a full knowledge of the entire scriptures, just a willingness to be faithful to the Word we have received.  If you could not share your personal testimony of faith, practice in the mirror or a trusted friend.  If you need a topic to engage a coworker in a spiritual conversation, take notes on the sermon, and then start a talk about it.