Tag Archives: Romans

Has Anything Changed?

Has Anything Changed

We are well into the new year, a time to reflect and make goals for what you want or think the future should be for you. We can get so focused on the moment that it can be hard to see the change. Today, I encourage you to step back and take a look at the big picture. If the New Year’s resolution has already tanked, a big picture look can get you back on track. The last couple of posts have looked at how thorns can help us and how God can use you. But, I think we need to take a moment and look at your faith. Has anything changed?

2 Corinthians 13:5  tells us to, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves…”. You can look close in the mirror, really close. PK’s gross example had to do with looking close at that pimple. Eeeew. If you’re that close, all you will see is that pimple. So step back and look at the big picture. What has God done over time in your life?

In the end of 2 Corinthians, Paul writes about how he hasn’t burdened people. He has a day job to pay the bills and hasn’t taken money for himself. He’s setting an example. He does this so we can see what a transformed life looks like and so we can use it as an example. He wants others to benefit from his example of living. Mark 10:45 reminds us that, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Jesus came to give, not to take. Paul is trying to live like that as well. His goal is to make disciples. He’s afraid people aren’t getting the message. If our goal is to make disciples, then we need to remember the big picture. It’s not what we get out of it, but what we put into it so others can benefit.

So, have you changed? When you look at the big picture, do you see how God is leading you? It’s messy and hard. You might do all you can for someone and they just turn and throw it all away. It happens. But do you stop? No. You keep going forward for God and trying to make disciples and living for Him. You hear a message and then you don’t let it stop there…you do the message so other people can go through a transformation like you.

Church isn’t about building up programs or empires, it’s about building up people.        -PK

You can have buildings and butts in the seats, but it can also be void of heart if the visual of “what a church is” overtakes the real mission of the church. Christians need to be people who are committed to people committed to the mission of the church. God reminds of this in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

How is your big picture looking? Are you growing up in your faith? Are you more concerned about building others up rather than yourself? Are you using Jesus and Paul and other disciples in the Bible as your example? When you look at the big picture, you’ll see living a transformed life is not a straight, flat path. Rather, it is hilly, with detours and circles no doubt put there by the one who knows just what you need. I encourage you to look at the picture and map it out if you need to so you are not discouraged by what you think doesn’t matter or hasn’t helped. Instead, I hope you will find that your life has transformed and that each day presents new ways of building people up in God’s love.

 

Avoid Being the Christian SBD

Christian SBD

There are 6 of us in our family. Four boys (yes, PK is included in that) and two girls. A day doesn’t go by that there isn’t some sort of bathroom reference or someone laughs so hard they inadvertently let one rip and the giggles start all around. So, imagine my horrified face with a bright shade of pink rising through it when PK spouts this off in his message:

So many Christians come off as pushy and judgmental…they’re the SBD in the room.     -PK

It took a minute, but there were giggles all around as they realized what he said. (In case you don’t know, SBD refers to: Silent But Deadly. If you need more information, go ask a boy!) Oh my, why wasn’t this a Sunday I was in back with the kiddos so I could plead ignorance on anything PK said? But, we hung in there and the good news in PK’s message came through. Good news that you don’t need to be the Christian SBD because that isn’t what God has called us to do or be.

God’s word in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is, “All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” And Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Looks to me like we need to be the servant and let God take care of everyone.

God has made us ministers of the new covenant. 2 Corinthians 3:1-9 tells us that we are to move from the old law to the new covenant. We need to move from the legalistic life of living by the law. Gone are the days of saying absolutely no dancing allowed, no watching movies, no having an occasional drink. Here to stay is the new covenant, where our salvation is not based on our performance but His. Jesus came to earth and died on the cross for us so that we could have salvation through Him.

 The Bible tells us so in Romans 7:6. It says, “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” Yes, we have been released. But why? And how do we serve?

The new covenant was instituted by God so we could be free to serve Him by showing the love of Jesus for others. That’s right, the Christian SBD needs to stop giving nasty looks and acting holier than thou and start showing the love of Jesus to others. We all have to do that. We need to use our gifts to serve Him so that others can come to know Jesus. We need to realize at the end of the day that if we don’t have Jesus, what does anything else matter.

We need to stop relying on rituals and rules at church and start relying on a relationship with Jesus. Church is all around you. It’s at the football game, your workplace, in the restaurant, or even in long holiday lines.    -PK

No one wants to be around an SBD. It stinks! So, PK’s message that started us off giggling really left us with a challenge. How is church in your life going to become the beautiful aroma that pours forth the love of Jesus through serving Him?