Decently and In Order

1 Corinthians 14:40 “Let all things be done decently and in order.”

Contextually this verse is dealing with spiritual gifts.  Specifically it deals with the gift of tongues.  This article is not about the speaking in tongues.

I know what I believe about that, and I am sure you do as well.  So I am not going to waste time arguing about something that will not change my mind or yours.

I do believe that regardless of what we do, God wants us to do things decently and in order.  God has systems and has avenues by which things are accomplished through Him and I believe that wants us to do things in the same way.  God teaches that no matter what we do they must be done decently and in order.  The word “decent” has almost been completely removed from our vocabulary.  The way we handle our business, the way conduct our lives, the way work, they way we look, the way we act, or even the way we talk has lost a sense of decency about it.

Then there is order.  God has an order for everything.  God has structured things in a way that will maximize our abilities.  I don’t know why we argue with the way God does things and orders things.  We must remember that God knows best.  I think God wants us to keep our lives in order as well.  We all experience chaos from time to time.  However; God wants there to be order in our homes, churches, and within our families.

Today’s Challenge:  Do things decently and in order!

Adulthood!

1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:  but when I become a man I put away childish things.”

The process to adulthood can be an extreme journey.  However; somewhere along the lines adulthood must occur.  There should come a time in a young person’s life when they decide to put away childish things.

History teaches us that the age of adulthood has increased over the years.  Just a few decades ago young men and women were getting married, building careers, and raising a family before the age of 20.  Now, I walk into a mall and see 30 and 40 year old men playing video games.

I look back and remember the transition.  I remember in college I still like all that stuff.  I still enjoyed playing some NCAA football, and Tiger Woods Golf on the PS2.  I remember playing golf about two or three times a week.  However; I remember meeting my wife and my attention suddenly changed.  I suddenly started thinking about things like jobs, homes, and family cars.

The transition taught me that I was moving out of childhood and into adulthood.

  • Being an Adult is not determined by your ages:  It is not about a person age.  It is about their desires.
  • Being an Adult is not determined by the beverages you can drink:  Just because you are at the age to drink alcohol does not mean classify you as an adult.
  • Being an Adult is not determined by the language you can use:  I am still in awe at how using fowl language is called adult language.  To me it seems to demonstrate a lack of vocabulary.
  • Being an Adult is not determined by the movies you can watch:  This is a paradigm that is confuses me.  “It is not good for my kids, but it is okay for me.” Hmmm…does that make sense to you?

You see the mindset of adulthood has been distorted. Please remember that a title does not mean entitlement!

Today’s Challenge:  If you are not a child, then start acting like it!

Church Member vs. Club Member

1 Corinthians 12:27 “No ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”

There seems to be a mix up between what it mean to be a “Church Member”.  I want to come and say it…

Church Membership is totally different from Club Membership!

We have developed this mentality that we can treat the local Church like an everyday organization.  Over the years I have encountered a mentality that because the dues are being paid then there is a sense of entitlement.  The mindset on American Christianity is “What can you do for me.

Today we are reminded that the Church is a body not a business.  It is an organism and not an organization.  We are the Body of Christ and each of us has a particular function.  Just because we make financial contributions to our local church does not mean we are performing the work of the ministry.

I seriously tremble at the thought of what is going to happen at the Judgment Seat to the majority of American Christians.  We are to do the work of Christ.  We have all been given a specific task and a designated duty.  Do It!  Do it because you just love the Lord!  Don’t do it because it will bring you more perks in the next business meeting.

Today’s Challenge:  Remind yourself that you are not a part of a social club.  You are a member of the Body of Christ!

How To Judge Yourself

1 Corinthians 11:31 “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.”

Self examination is a great thing.  I think we get bogged down in examining the decisions and lifestyles of others and forget to look at our own lives.  There is no doubt that we should all hold ourselves to a high standard.  My fear is that we judge the greatness of our lives on the merits or mishaps of others.  Often times we find ourselves making judgments about ourselves in light of the failures of others.

The Bible teaches us that we should judge ourselves.  God wants us to live above reproach.  In other words, we should live in such a way that people would have a hard time finding something bad to say about us. This is difficult because we want to make excuses for our behavior rather than condemn our own actions.  I would like to write some key principles that will help us judge ourselves.

  • Use God’s Word as a Mirror:  If what you see being taught in the Bible does not align with the life you are living then there are obvious adjustments that need to be made.
  • Jesus Christ should be the Mark:  Paul pressed toward the mark.  We do not need to compare ourselves to others.  We need to constantly compare ourselves to Christ.
  • Listen to the way other Perceive You:  Many times you can judge yourself based on the way those closest to you will describe you.

Today’s Challenge:  Judge yourself.  If you do it right you may be able to avoid the judgment of God.

 

For The Glory Of God

1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

The Lord made us in such a way as to glorify Him.  We are to give God glory in every part of our lives.  As I think about this today, I have to assess the vanity within my own life.  How much of what we do has nothing to do with the glory of God?  So much of what we try to accomplish and try to achieve is pure emptiness.  God takes us to the smallest of practices.  God tells us that something as simple as eating and drinking should be to His Glory.

We must remember that we were made to glorify God.  In whatever we do it is to be so that God can get maximum glory.  I am afraid that the majority of life’s activity is spent giving more glory to our self than to the Lord.

I am of the opinion that there is plenty of liberty within the Christian’s life.  Religion is constricting, but a relationship with Jesus Christ is liberating.  God gives us the liberty to do what we want, but reminds us that we better be doing it for His Glory!

Today’s Challenge:  Assess your life’s activity.  Go through your daily routines and see just how much of it is done with the mindset of giving God glory.

Whatever It Takes

1 Corinthians 9:22 “To the weak became I as weak, that might gain the weak:  I am made all things to all men that I might by all means save some.”

This is one of those verses that if you are not careful can be taken way out of context.  This verse does not mean that we give up holiness and the character of Christ in order to win people to Him.

If you were to study the Gospels you would find that the Lord Jesus never changed His character or lowered His standards.  I also want to point to the fact that He never required them to come to Him.  He went to them.  He accepted them where they were.

While the Lord does not want us to change our convictions, I do believe He would desire we embrace our culture.  The personification of Christianity today is that of snobbery.  Rather than embrace people at their level, we expect them to rise to ours.  The problem is that we need to realize we are the same level to anyway.

Paul was willing to change His methods while keeping the same message.  He had the attitude that He would do whatever He could in order to see souls saved.  Somewhere along the line we have created this specific religious mold that expects people to look like us, act like us, and talk like us.  We have made our religious standards and convictions the plum line when the reality is that Jesus should be the plum line.  Paul was willing and able to present to everyone in such a way that He could get to them on their level.

Let’s put this on the bottom shelf.  If you are talking or reaching out to an unchurched person then guess what…they are have no idea what church is all about.  They are not going to understand church talk.  They probably are not going to know what words like “saved” means.  The key is to get the Bread of Life on a level to which they can read it, and reach it.  That is what Paul did.  He brought the Gospel to the level of those He wanted to reach.  He utilized their culture and customs to His advantage.

Prayerfully we will learn to embrace this Bible verse!

Today’s Challenge:  Get the Gospel on the level of those you want to reach.  Ask God to help you embrace them in such a way that your actions, attitude, and language will win them to Christ

Remember:  Our Goal is not trying to get people to be religious; our goal is to get them into a relationship with Christ.  

What Will Your Gravestone Say?

1 Corinthians 8:3 “But if any man love God, the same is known of him.”

 

The Bible teaches us that we are defined by what we do way more than what we say.  This verse is clear that if we love God, then all parts of our lives will display evidence of that fact.

 

I have heard the words “I love God” many times.  However; the actions and lifestyle of those that say that often display a greater love for self rather than a love for God.

 

While our words carry a certain weight, our actions make our words way more valuable.  I believe that God wants us to have a testimony that says “this person loves God”.  I want us to really assess how we are known by others.  When someone says our name, what is the first thing that they say about you?  When being described by someone else would the phrase “They Love God” ever come up in the conversation?

 

My fear is that so many Christians would not carry such a description.  I want to be known as a person that Loves God!

 

Today’s Challenge:  Think ahead to your grave stone.  What would be the description under your name?  Here is what I want mine to read:

 

Dan Boatman

“A Man That Loved God!”