Here I Am to Worship

To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God. ~William Temple

As a little girl, I attended church and Sunday School in the deep south. Each Sunday I donned a smocked dress, tights and leather shoes, topped off with a large matching hair-bow. Today my daughter wears many of  the dresses my mother spent countless hours smocking and ironing  those many years ago. She plays with the little white patent leather purse which in years past held my tithes, offerings, and chap-stick each Sunday.

Maturity has seen a change in apparel along with a change in my heart as I prepare for service…that is, at least when I purpose to poise my heart for worship.

send from InstaText(Free iPhone_iPad App) (1)

Addressing a few questions concerning what worship is and why it is important may help us poise our hearts for the most meaningful God-centered worship.

First, worship is a right and exalted view of God and a humbled, dependent view of man on God.

Secondly, worship is important because it opens the door to true intimacy with Christ and clarity of mission we would otherwise live without. Worship does not consist merely of singing. We can worship in various, if not all art forms, in addition to all the work that our hands set to do. Worship is a posture of praise and thanksgiving within our hearts and minds and as expressed through our lives.

The endeavor does not determine the significance of praise, rather it is the hidden thoughts and intents of our hearts. We can sing without love, but it is a clashing symbol or a gong. (1 Corinthians 13) Consider David.  God loved David no less when he worshiped Him on a lonely mountainside filled only with dumb sheep and the sound of his own harp than when David sat enthroned in his palace splendor and declared among God’s people:

“Who am I, O Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? And now, Sovereign LORD, in addition to everything else, you speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty! Do you deal with everyone this way, O Sovereign LORD?“What more can I say to you? You know what your servant is really like, Sovereign LORD. Because of your promise and according to your will, you have done all these great things and have made them known to your servant. “How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you! (2 Samuel 7:18-22)

Did you notice David’s humbled view of himself and his exalted view of God? This from the man who was labeled by God to be a man after His own heart. Perhaps David was a man after God’s own heart due to his right understanding of the righteousness of God and the praise that flowed from his heart.

Similarly, in Isaiah 6,  Isaiah’s commission comes after he saw the Lord and beheld his glory. His worship of God preceded his obedience to the call of God. Once we see clearly who God is, we realize the absolute imperative of taking the gospel to our neighbor’s, coworkers, and around the globe. 

So the question becomes, how can we worship God individually so that we fuel greater worship of God corporately?  The answer lies in preparing our hearts for worship all week and the hours before corporate worship.

Below are some bullet points which are taken from chapter eleven of the wonderful book, Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster.

Daily Preparation for Worship:

  • Learn to practice the presence of God daily. Pray without ceasing. ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
  • Have many different experiences of worship: Bible reading, prayers of thanksgiving, meditation on the goodness of God, singing praises, or praising God through various postures of sitting, kneeling, or lying prostrate before God.
  • Have a willingness to be gathered in the power of the Lord for the good of “we” not “me.”
  • Cultivate Holy Dependency: you are utterly and completely dependent upon God for anything significant to happen.
  • Absorb distractions with gratitude. They may be a message from the Lord.
  • Offer a sacrifice of worship. You may not “feel” like worshiping but go anyway.

On Sunday:

  • Arrive to service 10 minutes early.
  • Quiet your mind.
  • Pray for the pastor and worship leader.
  • Pray for others who arrive looking burdened.

If worship does not propel us into greater obedience, it has not been worship. To stand before the Holy One of eternity is to change. To worship is to change.  (Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline, p. 173)

Try to practice the discipline of worship this week. As we do, we will find that our communion with God increases and “the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” (H. Lemmel)

signature

Leave a Comment

Out of the Darkness

When the water surrounded me, I was no longer afraid. Hours earlier I feared for my very life, but now all that had changed. As the darkness encompassed me, I felt the hands that guided my plunge. Then, I rose to a new life and continued to feel the pull of the guiding hands lifting me out of the depth which I would never have escaped on my own.

 044

I was a simple guard. I followed orders, gave commands, and made sure people did what they were told. However, even for rule-abiding officers there are forces beyond our control…especially an earthquake.

I knew the two new inmates were different. In all my years of service, I had never seen two men beaten and accused singing praises with the fervor of those two. It seemed as if nothing that I could say or do would deter them from their mission. It was as if they knew something I didn’t. It was as though they counted their lives as nothing compared to the knowledge of knowing and doing the will of their Master, Jesus.

That night as I went to sleep, the other inmates were listening as the two men continually sang praises and prayed to their God.

In the midst of a fitful night’s sleep, a rumbling and crumbling of the cell awoke me. When I went out to see about the prisoners, I was horrified by the sight that awaited me. The doors were all unlocked, open in fact, and all of the prisoner’s bonds were unfastened.

I quickly drew my sword. Surely a swift death would be better from my own hand than the stones of an angry mob. That is when I heard his voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” (Acts 16:28)

Could it really be? The shackled had become the willingly subdued? The prison break scenario every inmate had wished for and yet they all stayed?

I ordered the torches lit and light flooded the beaten bodies. They were each there. Such men of unceasing integrity and zeal, I had only one request, “Tell me, what must I do to be saved?” I must know the God who can free men’s souls from the confines of bodily chains yet subdue them to go against their own will and live in obedience unto death.

“Believe on Christ Jesus and you will be saved. You and your household.” Believe on Jesus, of Nazareth? It would take a dead man rising to new life for the changes that I witnessed in these two professing Christ-followers.

The two men came to my house, and I cleaned and bandaged their wounds as they spoke simply, but persuasively, of the divine plot of God to rescue man from sin and eternal damnation by the blood of Jesus. They spoke of the resurrected Savior, and of his appearance to one of them on his journey to Damascus. When they had finished talking we wasted no time. My whole family was baptized just as Jesus had instructed the disciples.

When Paul’s strong arms guided me out of the water I knew that my life would never be the same again. It was Paul and Silas’ voice I had heard  in the darkness and it was out of that darkness Jesus spoke grace upon my life.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9, NIV)

*This is a retelling of Acts 16:25-34. Artistic liberties were used to recreate the account of the Philippian jailer and Paul and Silas.

signature

Leave a Comment

Preparing a Friendship

Have you ever made an unexpected friend? I have! On more than one occasion my first impressions of someone  has given me a skewed version of reality. Upon further inspection, combined with greater portions of time spent in their company, I made friends with people whom I considered outside the realm of my personal comfort zone. First, this required my speaking up and reaching out, much like Barnabas to Saul.

003

083

075

In Acts 9:20-30, Luke records Paul’s meeting with the disciples in Damascus. Paul then preaches in the synagogues proving Jesus is the Christ which leads to the plot of the Jews to kill the ex-persecutor of Christians, Paul, or Saul of Tarsus. However, Paul’s disciples take him by night and let him down in a basket through an opening in the city wall.

Paul travels to Jerusalem, where the disciples are afraid of him; they do not believe his conversion is true. But Barnabas raises the risk and puts faith in the profession of Paul. Thereafter, Paul preaches boldly in Jerusalem until the disciples learn the Hellenists are seeking to kill Paul. So the disciples send Paul off to Tarsus.

Later in Acts 13, we see Barnabas and Saul (Paul) commissioned by the Holy Spirit to be set apart for His work. Although Paul and Barnabas will later have such differences in ministry that they part ways, I wonder if during their stint in joint ministry did these two men talk over the time when Barnabas took courage to believe in the evidence of Paul’s amazing grace conversion?

Jesus said that people will know we are His disciples by our love for one another. In choosing to give Paul a chance and believe on his word that he was a changed man, by the grace of Jesus alone, Barnabas demonstrated the love of Christ to Paul.

This week’s memory verse for Colossal Coaster World, VBS 2013, is  2 Timothy 1:7:

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but of power, love, and a sound mind.

God’s Spirit continues to work power, love, and a sound mind in and through disciples of Christ Jesus. We too are to be known by our love for one another. This week at Calvary Church, our children are packing bags of food in partnership with Feeding Children Everywhere (here). One way we can show our love  is by sharing our resources to pay for the food of brothers and sisters in need. The cost is $2,500. Prayerfully consider if you will give to this cause.

First impressions, and past impressions, aren’t always correct. We can choose to be fearful and subsequently miss out on relationships that will bring us closer to the person Christ is developing us into, or we can live out of His Spirit of power, love, and a mind that is unafraid. Praise the Lord, He has given us a Spirit to guide us and the gift of a sound mind to face our fears and trust in God. (1 Timothy 2:7)

What about you? Is God preparing you for a friendship with an unlikely candidate? Pray that He will guide you to speak up and reach out to the people that He places in your path today. Who knows, one day you may look back together and say, “Remember when…?”

signature

 

Leave a Comment

What I Learned at My First Youth Pastor’s Conference

photoCAEI2612

Sitting in the Hard Rock concert hall in Orlando, I contemplated the irony that my first youth pastor’s conference comes about eight months after our six year tenor as youth pastor and wife had officially ended. I further considered the hilarity that the “cool” students in youth groups  initially intimidate me nearly as much as the youth workers with swag!

After settling into my cushioned seat, along with my surroundings,  the people watching began. As workers and volunteers filed into the auditorium it didn’t take long for mommies and daddies carrying babies in infant backpacks to catch my attention.  I was instantly reminded:

The sacrifices and juggling youth pastors and their wives endure to meet the needs of students is one of the most unseen tasks of the ministry.

For moms partnering alongside their pastor husbands, babies bring love and logistical issues. The will, passions, and heart of the mother are oftentimes torn between the desire to be the visual, involved helpmate of her pastor husband. While loving my job and joy as a mother, I often struggled with the desire to experience all of the riches of youth ministry: trips, conferences, discipleship, after church meals and fellowships. However, the choices of: a. bring the kids and chase after them… and the youth, or b. find a sitter to pay while I enjoy ministry, were both less than ideal.

If you are in the midst of ministering to teens or are parents of teens, would you agree that at times this portion of ministry seems like the leach and daughters in Proverbs 30; always crying for more? As a youth pastor’s wife, I often felt this way. (I can say that now, although it is with great fear and trepidation even after running in a different lane of ministry for 8 months!) Youth ministry is demanding and the pace strenuous.

Please understand, I loved pouring our lives into the next generation. Our aim was to minister so that fully devoted disciples would be made to reach the nations and the generations with the gospel for the glory of Jesus Christ. However, there was an ongoing struggle, a wrestle if you will, with my flesh, our families needs, and the demands and desires to minister as God would have both of us do.

At this conference I learned very valuable ministry methods, was reminded of the global needs of God’s created world, and reviewed with speakers the true critical issues of youth ministry. But, perhaps the most valuable challenge for me specifically was the reminder to pray for youth pastor’s and specifically their wives.

Join me today in praying for the youth pastor’s wife in your church. I hope the bullet points below would be a good launch pad for your prayers.

  • Pray for God’s peace for the current pace they are running.
  • Pray for endurance and perserverance under stresses.
  • Pray that they will see the value in all tasks both the seen (ministering to and with teens and adult workers) and the unseen (ministering to their husband within the home).
  • Pray for peer friendships and women to pour into them.
  • Pray for peace when she cannot go with him on trips.
  • Pray for God to guard and guide their marriage relationship.
  • Pray for their children and the faith and Christian worldview to come to full fruition in their lives.

signature

 

Leave a Comment

A Walk With Our Savior

Almost two years ago I was confined to walking in chest level water for exercise. At the time I tried to learn as much as possible of the spiritual parallels for walking in the water.

This past Sunday evening, Ron and I were watching The Bible on the History Channel. In one scene, John the Baptist is preaching repentance and salvation, and also baptizing in the Jordan River. John’s cousin, Jesus, approaches him to be baptized (Matthew 3:12-17). The moment Jesus’ feet plodded through the water to fulfill all righteousness, it came to me:

Jesus walked through the waters of baptism before He walked on the water of ministry.

DSC_1042

For those who are in Christ Jesus, our conversion precedes our submersion (baptism) and our submission to the will of God begins with believers baptism.

So often people will question whether or not they are ready for baptism. When the Lord calls us to come and die to our old life, our sin nature, repentance followed by confession of His Lordship (Romans 10:9-10) leads to new life. As a new creature, our response is a life centered around the life of Christ lived in us. Walking through the baptismal waters is our first act of obedience and preaching of the gospel with our lives.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. (John 6:44)

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 17:24-25)

DSC_0124

In baptism we follow our Savior. In so doing we preach the gospel and walk with Him.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

~In the Garden, C. Austin Miles, 1868-1946

The act of baptism does not save us but is an outward declaration of our faith in Jesus. It is a picture of our dying to self to rise in new life in Jesus Christ.

As Easter approaches let us test ourselves to see if we are in Christ Jesus. If Heaven is to be our eternal home then Christ must be the Lord of our lives.

DSC_0137

signature

Leave a Comment

Who Is Accountable?

This morning we dropped Little E off for the family specialist to take him on his weekly visit to see his biological mother. I wiped his face, which still bore the cinnamon and sugar gooeyness of Einstein poppers, and quickly gathered his belongings. Just before jumping in my own car, I glanced in the family specialists’ car. Usually when she picks up Little E, he is the only child present. This morning, I was surprised to see two little boy heads bobbing in the backseat as E made three.

Sometimes one glance can change or renew a perspective.

187

With that one glance in the car revealing three heads instead of one, I quickly remembered there are thousands of children separated from their biological families for a multitude of reasons. Indeed, there are multiple reasons why children enter the foster care system. While not all of these reasons point directly back to the sins of the parents, many, if not most do. For example, drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence within the home, child abuse and neglect. Conversely, some parents lose their jobs and do their best to take care of their families, many times living out of their cars. In these situations the homelessness of families lead to foster care.

I am sure that many foster parents have heard their fosterchildren’s biological parents say similar to the following: “This was not my fault. My child should have never been taken away from me.”

Doesn’t this remind you of the state of our culture? Aren’t most people reluctant to take accountability for their actions? I believe so. We are a people, sadly both Christian and non, that refuse to point the finger of blame at ourselves. Rather we will join with the adulteress and declare, “I have done no wrong.” (Proverbs 30:20 ESV)

Can you recall the last time you heard a president, politician, or preacher mention the word sin? What about your general conversations with fellowman both Christian and non, how often does this word come up? I would venture to say rarely, and rarer still in regards to personal application.

I am working through Jerry Bridges’ book, Respectable Sins, with my Bible study group. In the second chapter of this book we read that according to Dr. Karl Menninger’s book, Whatever Become of Sin?:

In the presidential proclamation for the annual National Day of Prayer, the last time the word sin was mentioned was in President Eisenhower’s proclamation in 1953–and those words were borrowed from a call to national prayer by Abraham Lincoln in 1863! So, as Dr Menninger observed, “as a nation, we officially ceased ‘sinning’ some twenty [now 60] years ago.

Interestingly, a fellow Bible-study woman summarized the disappearance of sin in our vocabulary in this way, “As goes God (from our culture) so goes sin. People do not believe in God therefore, they do not know who they would be sinning against. Christians understand that when we talk of sin it is against a Holy God; non-Christians [and our society as a whole] do not understand or recognize this concept.”

As goes God so goes sin. We have softened the language of sin to “flaws, mistakes, weaknesses, secret pleasures.” With the softening of sin has come the loss of accountability. “It isn’t my fault…I have rights. My actions only affect me.”

Until we Christians call sin sin, how can we expect those outside the Body of Christ to do so? Until we rid our own houses of the sins of the flesh, how on earth are we expecting to be the the salt and light to this lost and dying world? (See Matthew 5)

Yes… I am going to say it, if you live with your mate outside of marriage and yet claim to follow Christ, you are blatantly disobeying and disregarding His commands to keep the marriage bed undefiled. If we watch filth within our home and condone the acts which we would abhor in our physical presence, then should we turn it off? Yes. If we curse and then praise with the same mouth should seek forgiveness for our SINS? Yes. If we harbor bitterness and resentment in our hearts should we seek to forgive and restore? Yes. If we are quick to anger and slander should we bow in repentance and seek forgiveness and a change of heart. Absolutely.

It is our sin which separates us from God and not our flaws or weaknesses.

We alone, you alone, I alone am responsible and accountable for the decisions that I make to sin.

Today is the day for repentance and salvation. Today is the day to resolve to obey the commands of God, without picking and choosing those we find comfortable or agreeable. We can do it by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and the resolution of man to walk forward in obedience. Even if it is more like trudging than walking at times.

Those three heads bobbing in the car this morning reminded me that regardless of the outcome with Little E and our family, God’s children are out there in need of a home. If you are a Christian, would you consider today taking up the cause of the Father and providing temporary homes for children like these three? It may be the only home they grow up in that preaches the gospel and teaches the word of God. We are accountable for our sins and for the Great Commission: to make disciples of all nations. Where better than to start than in your own home?

signature

 

Leave a Comment

Lessons for Every Day

Every day there are lessons to learn, truths we must remember, and His promises that we must cling to.

Our lives have significantly changed adding a third child to the mix. It feels we are in constant motion trouble shooting one situation after another. Ron and I joke that I need to start wearing black and white vertical stripped shirts and have the kids call me “Ref” as I referee most of their waking hours.

The verses from last week’s post need to be printed out and referred to daily in our home. In fact, perhaps I simply need to staple them to my forehead?!  I am constantly reminding myself not to complain, to use kind words, to treat others the way that I want to be treated while simultaneously pointing the finger at the children and instructing them to do the same.

The lessons that I want our kids to learn first need to be modeled in their own mom and dad before they can adequately take root. This is true for everyday lessons and in missional, intentional living.

With our step into foster care there have been multiple people who have told me, “I think it is great what you are doing. I wanted to foster, but I couldn’t bare the goodbyes. It would be too hard for me to say goodbye.”

I felt the same way initially. Ron and I were only open to adoption in the beginning. We didn’t think we were “made” to foster. The change in our attitudes came when we realized that there are more children than homes with foster parents. We learned that many of these kids were living in group homes or separated from their brothers and sisters.

We were reminded that all of our children are with us temporarily. The truth is, there are only finite days that God gives us to parent our children before they leave the nest. We decided that we will take the days given us with as many children as we choose to foster over our lifetime; be it one or twenty.

The final kiss goodbye to our sweet Little E is not something that I look forward to with anticipation. I am still relying on today’s grace for today’s race and will leave what remains to God. We continue taking our fears and frustrations to Him as often as we need to in prayer.

My emotions are no different than the next person. I, and all of my family, get attached. We love deeply, we apologize often, we forgive one another and live alongside each other with the love God has given us. This is no less true in foster care.

His love never changes(Hebrews 13:8), the people in our lives in which we can share His love do change.

If you or someone you know has any interest in foster care or adoption I encourage you to take a step in faith. It is a wild and difficult ride…one that our family has only begun. Perhaps hearing from a couple that has adopted multiple times would help? I encourage you to join us at our church to hear guest speaker Tony Dungy and his wife, Lauren, as they share their adoption story. Click here for more details.

You might think that learning everyday lessons every day seems elementary, but mastering everyday lessons isn’t. Keep at it friends…every day.

With love,

Leave a Comment

Pour Another Cup

 

Today as I pour my morning cup of coffee it is with the realization that number three is days away from making his or her debut. We have decided not to find out the sex of the baby; rather I should say we haven’t made preferences known. We were officially licensed for foster care last Thursday, September 27, 2012. It happened only minutes after we picked our kids up on our return from the Grand Canyon.

I half expected a phone call in the night on Thursday: foster care families are in high demand. An empty bed is a scarce commodity in our county and little bodies in transition ready to fill them are at all time highs. Thankfully, we made it through the night without a call.

I am certain that God has plans in this foster care/adoption journey and they begin and end with giving Him glory. In the middle is pruning and sanctification; both of which I and my family need.

As we prepare for baby number 3, I consider the sacrifices that parents of young children are called to make. Another baby will ground us more. It is only in the last year alone, our children were “old enough” to leave overnight for the very first time to go on mission to Honduras and just recently a GTD trip (click here) to celebrate 10 years of marriage. Trips like these may have to be revisited later than I would like. That is the hard truth we face as we begin to foster; however, equally true is the fact that the babies that will enter and exit our home are known and loved by their Creator God and He has chosen us to be a part of their journey.

I pray for these children, as I pray for our own, that in the time we are blessed to raise them (even in those moments I do not want to pour another cup of milk or change another dirty diaper) that their early years will have a lasting, visible effect as that seen in the life of Moses:

By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.

~Hebrews 11:24-26

We want all the children who pass through our home to have a Homeward focus because of being here and influenced by the living and active word of God: the Bible.

So we will ask the Holy Spirit to pour another cup of grace, mercy, provision, and wisdom into our hearts and minds through prayer, the Bible, and His people so that we may turn and pour Him into the lives of His kids.

Please pray for us on this journey. Thank you sincerely for reading friend.

1 Comment

10 Ways to Build a Beautiful Body

IMG_0597
The voices in my head do not always reflect the truth of Psalm 149, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. That is not why I am using my picture above. Instead, I always believe that God’s Word opens the door to building a beautiful body in Christ Jesus.
In order to take care of our earthly bodies we must eat right, exercise, drink water, and get enough rest. But what about our corporate body of Christ? We started this discussion on Wednesday, and today we are reviewing 10 ways to build a beautiful body of Christ as found throughout the scriptures.

No calorie counting or squats on this list! However, resistance training and a heavy dose of discipline are required.

1.  Treat our personal body as the temple of the Lord by pursuing sexual morality.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8

2.  In like manner, for the married, love our spouse and remain faithful to him. Our marriage should be a picture of Christ and the church.

Ephesians 5:22-33,  Hebrews 13:4

3.  Recognize that all our assets come from and belong to God then use them according to His will.

Acts 4:32-35

4.  Use spiritual gifts to serve and edify the saved and to seek the lost.

Romans 12:4-8,10, 13; Acts 1:8; James 2:26

5.  Pray for persecuted Christians around the world and for their persecutors to come to Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 13:3, Romans 12:14-15

6.  Renew our minds by setting our thoughts on things above, through the reading of the scriptures, and prayer. Romans 12:1-2, Colossians 3:1-4, 16

7.  Take care of the orphaned and the widow.

James 1:27, 2:26

8.  Do not give up meeting together for corporate worship.

Hebrews 10:23-25

9.  Seek the unification of the body.

1 Corinthians 12:24-26, Ephesians 4

10. Love one another as Christ has loved us.

John 15:12-17

In building a beautiful body of Christ, as with pursuing to maintain health in our physical bodies, knowledge will only get us so far. It is the working out of that which we learn that brings us closer to our goals as well as our ideal state. Thankfully the Holy Spirit is within us to guide us and help us to attain that which Christ commands.

I challenge you to choose one of these ways to build a beautiful body. Research what the Bible says and then begin to pray that Christ will develop you in this area.  Let’s build some holy muscles shall we?

Leave a Comment

How To Build a Beautiful Body

I was seeking a place of solitude and rest. It was the end of the work week building houses in Honduras.  In the cool, dark confines of another house, I sat near the water cooler on one of the many scrap lumber piles in the main living room. Covered in sawdust and dirt, and drinking a cool bottle of water, I looked down to see this beautiful piece of wood lying at my feet.

The ink markings conveyed that this scrap wood had a designer. It had been intentionally used by a creator to speak a message to all who would read its markings.

Jennifer. I knew immediately which teammate had lovingly created this piece of art for one of the children who had danced and laughed and played around our team that week.

As I looked down, I found yet more…

As I marveled at the love etched on the pieces of leftover wood I thought, so this is how you build a beautiful body Lord.

What some would leave for scraps or the burn pile, He takes and make something beautiful and new. The One who created life and trees themselves also came in bodily form to stretch out His hands on splintered wood as the payment for my sin so that I, we, can become a new creation in Him.

This is how He builds His beautiful body:

…speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Ephesians 4:15-16 (emphasis added)

Jennifer had the job of guarding our water supply to make sure it did not become contaminated. It was imperative that the 40+ workers on our site had clean water to drink or else our upset bellies would decrease our productivity. Jennifer took her job to another level by loving on the children as Jesus would while she also conducted the mundane, but important, job of guarding the water.

She was working with the mind of Christ.

When Christ saves us He gives us a new mind and spirit: his own. In this way, His body can be of one mind and one spirit and act in accordance with His will. Missions, both foreign and domestic, both intentional and invitational- that which God lays in our path each day- provides the present day church the opportunity to live as the early church did. To live this present life to the fullest.

Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own…There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.

~Acts 4:32, 34-35

May we be reminded that we are a part of a larger body that is to be built into something beautiful.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Leave a Comment