The home of the brave

Read the entire article about these American military veterans who received the Medal of Honor. Their stories are inspiring, even though one may not be a militarist or fan of war.

Such stories recall the courage needed by the inducted soldiers in the Kingdom of God. “Stay alert, stand firm in the faith, show courage, be strong” 1 Cor 16.13. You may know some spiritual warriors who show these traits. Under the fire of the enemy, they are not ashamed of their Lord, Lk 9.26.

The author of the article cited above claims that brave soldiers have become strangers in our midst. No doubt, such estrangement is true as well of the church, which ought to be called the home of the brave. Many, also, look upon Christ’s workers who sacrifice themselves in the trenches as victims rather than heroic warriors.

Continue reading

#service, #spiritual-warfare

Good for me, good for you?

Some things one does for one’s own spiritual benefit, as is right and necessary. If by chance those things benefit others, as they often will, so much the better. Growth in the Spirit is not a lonely nor selfish proposition. Of course, one must take care that such benefit does not become the end-all and do-all of ministry. There is that service that is undertaken solely for the benefit and need of one’s neighbor. The overflow of my benefit to the other cannot be the main service provided for another. The additional blessing to others that comes from one’s own efforts toward growth can never substitute the teaching, evangelism, edification, and benevolence given to others. But when the additional blessing occurs, blessing indeed it can be.

#benefit, #ministry, #service, #spirituality

I Want a Church that Meets My Needs

By William Woodson — The statement made in the title is not only the desire of many in the religious world, but it is becoming the philosophy of many Christians, because many of us are seeking a religion that “meets my needs.” The phrase itself has virtually become a new religious term. Many persons praise or blame a particular congregation because it is or is not “meeting my needs.”

Let me hasten to say that if the phrase means that we need to satisfy spiritual hunger, then it is a good expression, for surely everyone ought to be in a Christian community where his/her deepest spiritual longings are being addressed. Continue reading

#church, #needs, #service

Who needs whom again?

Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.” (Acts 17:25)

How could the Lord, from whom all blessings flow, ever owe us anything? Obviously he doesn’t – not to any one individual or nation! The Lord’s will is the Lord’s will; the question is, “Are we willing to get on board with it?” Just think Romans 11:34-35 (which happens to repeat a principle that had already been taught to God’s people in the past) and the point will be made clear.

With that point in mind it should be remembered that the things we do in our service to God and his kingdom are not meant to be done as though he couldn’t do it without us. They are meant to be done in a way that causes us to be grateful to God for accomplishing his will through us (Philippians 2:1-11).

Whatever aspect of worship you can think of applies to this situation as well. What can we give that he doesn’t already own? (Psalm 50:10) The Almighty isn’t jealous of us! Jealous for us? Yes. (Exodus 34:14, Deuteronomy 32:16) Jealous concerning his name? Most definitely! (Deuteronomy 29:20) But not one time has the Lord ever been, nor will He ever be, jealous of us. He doesn’t require worship because he wants what we have – it’s because he wants us!

Service, worship, humility, appreciation, a holy fear and good spiritual growth comes through a recognition of who is in need of whom in the relationship between the created and the Creator. This is the thought that is meant to be bound between our eyes and upon our heart; a thought that leads to a seal which identifies us as first belonging to the Lord and then to the Lord belonging to us. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Hebrews 8:10)

So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10)

 

#areopagus, #our-need-for-god, #relationship-with-god, #service, #worship

We need them all

The Lord Jesus Christ taught multitudes, discipled small groups, talked one-on-one. He also took time away from people to be with his Father.

His followers do likewise. They find time alone with their God. They shine their light in the midst of a dark world. They make it a priority to meet with their family in Christ. Continue reading

#church, #divine-gifts, #grace, #service

ETHICS

In Romans 12 the Holy Spirit, writing by the hands of Paul, addressed the spirit of the saint in a tough world. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). The approach of each saint is to present oneself to the Lord in all that we do; the NKJV calls this one’s “reasonable service,” while the ASV says it is one’s “spiritual service,” and the ESV a “living sacrifice.” Whatever term is used the point is clear: one is to serve God, and this is the saint’s ethical basis. So, “let love be without hypocrisy” (12:9). This means that we are to love as the Lord loves us. This is easy to understand, but difficult to apply. The reason it is difficult is because we might be moody, the other person might be less than lovable, we might not know the meaning of the word love, or we just don’t want to do so. Whatever difficult reason in front of us, it is our obligation to move it out of the way and to do as the Lord did and does. RT

 

#ethics, #love, #service, #worship

Someone has said What is needed in…

Someone has said, “What is needed in the church is more towels and fewer titles.” When Jesus’ disciples were arguing over who was greatest, he told them they needed to become the Towel Brigade. Jesus took a basin of water and a towel and washed their feet and wiped them dry. But the lesson was not in dirty feet, but in pride-filled hearts. No spirit is further from Christ’s spirit than the haughty spirit. Yet I’ve seen some folks so proud, they could strut sitting down! In the parable of the good Samaritan the priest and Levite passed by on the far side. They represented the religious people. Someone said the reason the religious folks passed by on the far side was they saw he’d already been robbed. There was nothing left to take. Too many want titles, not towels. I once heard a preacher correct a member, “Don’t call me brother, call me Dr. So and So.” Well, the truth is there are no doctors or reverends or fathers or most holies in the Lord’s church. All are servants or they are not Christ’s. This is Just-a-Minute

#humility, #just-a-minute, #service