Do It With Love

1 Corinthians 16:14 “Let all your things be done with charity.”

God blesses what is done through love.  I think where we have failed is that we have neglected to us utilize the attribute of love.  Love opens doors, and it really opens hearts.  I actually think people allow you the opportunity to make mistakes if they know you really love them. Chapter 14 taught us to do things decently and in order.  The only way those two things can be accomplished is when you do them with a heart of love.  Everything must be done through love.  We find that love will accomplish so much more than any other attribute.

  • Love will allow you to Correct People:  When people know that you love them they will allow you to offer correction.
  • Love will allow you to Connect People:  The heartbeat of any family is that of a loving heart. 
  • Love will allow you to Console People:  If you love them then you will be able to comfort them by hurting with them.

Today’s Challenge:  Make sure the things you are doing are being done because you love others more than your own self!

Victory Principles

1 Corinthians 15:57-58 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

Anything done for the Lord is not wasted time.  My hope with this article will be to encourage the believer and local church member about their proper place in the ministry of God.  This verse is a charge from a preacher to the local church that encourages of several things:

  • It reminds the Church where their Victory
  • It reminds the Church how to keep the Victory
  • It reminds the Church how to maintain the Victory

The victory of a church is not found in a position, it is found in the person of Jesus Christ.  God gives us the victory through Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ is who you must rest upon in all things.

The key to maintaining victory lies within vs. 58.

  • Be Stedfast – settled and seated.  The problem with so many people is that they are not settled on anything.  They question everything.  When God shows you something, or tells you something you must allow that to settle you.
  • Be Unmoveable – means unshakeable.  When we are unsettle on what we believe we become susceptible to being shaken by circumstances and people.  There are people out there that want to shake you up.  Just remember when you get shaken you usually spew and that is always a big mess.
  • Always Abounding – means to stay engaged.  Stay engaged in the work of the Lord.  Don’t let situations or circumstances  keep you from being engaged in Kingdom activity.

Remember the way a person maintains victory is when they realize that what they do for God is never in vain.  Working and serving God is always a work that pays tremendous dividends.

Today’s Challenge:  Don’t allow the situations, circumstances, or people around you prevent you from being what God intends for you to be.

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!

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.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

1 Corinthians 7:20 “Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.”

Consistency is one of the great character traits of the Lord.  Thankfully He never changes.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  There is no doubt that there are things the Lord does differently, because the times are different.  However; when the Lord gives us an instruction, that instruction will not change.  I also believe that the Lord wants us to live in that same manner.

  • We all have a Special Design:  God designed us so that He could use us.
  • We all have a Specific Duty:  We learn here that God has a job for each of us.
  • We all have a Sovereign Destiny:  God has a unique purpose of all of us.

The Lord has placed a specific calling in each of our lives.  We need not argue with that calling.  We also do not need to try to change that calling.  We must live in our calling.  We must abide right where God called us.  It is important that we realize that we can’t improve on an instruction from the Lord.

Today’s Challenge:  Bloom where the Lord planted you!

Just A Little Sin

1 Corinthians 5:6 “You glorying is not good.  Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”

Even the smallest of sins are dangerous, destructive and deadly.  When we allow just a tiny bit of sin into our lives we are flirting with disaster.  God is using the illustration of leaven.  By placing just a small amount of leaven in a lump of bread will cause it to rise.  The same parallel can be seen with sin.  A little sin can cause anyone to fall.

Let be clear… the phrase “little sin” can have more than one meaning.

  • It could be a sin that most people would overlook.  I have always been puzzled as to why we hold different sins to a different standard than others….God don’t.  God looks at all sin the same way.  Please understand, that just because people may overlook your sin does not mean that it is not deadly.  Those are actually the ones that can take root the fastest.
  • It could be sin in small amounts.  Rather than looking at it from a standards issue, we can look at it from a size issue.  We consider flirting with sin, or dabbling in sin as okay.  Give it an inch and it will take much more than a mile.

People use comments all the time like “What a little of ________ going to hurt?”  Well if it is sinful, then it is going to hurt badly.  Maybe not immediately but the more your flirt with it, dabble in it and embrace it the worse it will become.

Today’s Challenge:  Don’t allow “little sins” to take root in your life!  They are just as destructive as all the other ones!

The Responsibility of Belonging To God

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

This scripture teaches us the importance of holiness.  God teaches us how important our bodies are unto the Lord.  Each one of us has a special design and a unique destiny.  God created us to use us.  However; it is hard for anyone to use damaged goods.  A defiled life is much difficult to use that one that has kept itself pure and holy.  We must realize that we do belong to ourselves.  Some have said “This is my life, my body, and I will do what I want with it.”  The person that decides to operate under those pretenses may be facing certain destruction.  Those that defile God’s temple will face destruction.  Just think about all those that have decided to do something harmful to their own bodies.  Just think about it for a moment.  When we make decisions like these we can see destruction from on different levels:

  • We Lose our Testimony:  A testimony is difficult to create, difficult to maintain.  What can take a lifetime to build; can take a moment to destroy.
  • We Lose our Influence:  When we defile our lives, we lose credibility, and when we lose credibility we lose our influence.
  • We Lose our Impact:  With each bad decision we take away our ability to impact certain lives.  When your life becomes more about what “not to do” that what we “need to do” then we are definitely losing our ability to make an impact on another life.

While these statements may be hard to swallow, deep down, you and I both know they are true.  Mistake happens, bad decisions are a definite, but we need to be careful because a defiled life can truly cause ultimate destruction.

Today’s Challenge:  Remember you belong to God.

Do I Qualify

1 Corinthians 1:27-28 “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world and things which are despised hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:”

Over the course of my ministry, I have noticed a large amount of debate on whether a person is qualified for a position of service.  I want us to really consider what we are actually discussing.  If it does not blow you away everyday that God allows us to be used by Him then you obviously think way too much of yourself.  To be honest, I am sick and tired of those that look at someone’s service and start picking it apart because they believe they don’t meet the qualifications.  Here is a news flash:

NONE OF US DO! 

I believe the verses in this scripture describe what God requires of us in order to serve Him.  Here are the qualifications you must meet in order to be used by the Lord:

 

  • You Need To Be Ignorant:  If you are foolish, you qualify.  So far my resume is looking pretty good!
  • You Need To Be Impotent:  If you are weak, you qualify.  It is a blessing to know that God uses those that you would never think could be used.  My resume is getting better.
  • You Need To Be Inadequate:  If you look at the calling, look at your ability and say “there is no way I could do that” then you qualify!  Yep, it is looking like I may get the job! 
  • You Need To Be Invisible:  If you have ever made the statement “I am not…” (filling in the blank of whatever you were not) then you qualify.  In other words, you don’t even have to have what you need to do the task and yet still you qualify.  How about that…I am a confident I will get the job.

Look at your personal resume.  Assess it on a spiritual, emotional, and physical level.  Then realize that God does not care about your ability, he cares about your availability.

Today’s Challenge:  You know what God requires, and by now you realize your resume looks really good!  Apply for the job and what God choose you