Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Blog

Share your stories and ideas with the network as you respond to crisis and disaster.
Tag » Leadership

One of the things that I enjoy doing in my spare time is hiking.  Aside from the physical benefits of this activity, I’ve also learned some spiritual principles that apply off the mountain.

Lesson 1: We put in the work, but the results are up to the Lord.

Story: This happened while I was doing an internship shortly after high school. They worked into our program a couple of physically challenging activities throughout the year. This particular one, we were training to hike Pike’s Peak, a 14,110 elevation mountain in Colorado. As we were training, they would encourage us to identify things in our life that we wanted to overcome and use the hike as a physical symbol of overcoming those areas. Well the day of the hike drew near and we were unable to hike due to inclement weather at the top.

 

The Apostle Paul was no stranger to persecution. Paul never laid down his armor when resistance to his ministry continued. In the midst he did consistently call believers to total and unconditional surrender to the authority of Jesus Christ. Even in persecution we see in II Corinthians, the Apostle Paul at one moment the pinnacle of joy, the next in despair but not forsaken. This is a good reminder for us as believers as we too are facing persecution worldwide of unprecedented proportions.

Last week Sandie posed the question: If Jesus truly is the only name that matters to me (or you), what is keeping me from proclaiming His name “at all times”?

We discussed how we can easily fall into the traps of busyness and keeping up with life in general.  We ended with the scripture Acts 2:32-39…

This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. 34 “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, 35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” 36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”  ~ Acts 2:32-39 New King James Version (NKJV)

God has Overcome


John 16:33 – In the world you shall have tribulations: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

An average view of the Christian life is that it means deliverance from trouble. It is deliverance in trouble, which is very different. “He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High…there shall no evil befall you” – no plague can come near the place where you are at one with God.

Remember the commercial "Where's the beef?" As Christians living in an increasingly complex world, do we need to ask ourselves "Where is the reverence in our worship today?"

Growing up in the church my family attended and served in with distinction, we had what some would call distinct church customs which I remember well such as donning a hat before entering the sanctuary several minutes early before the service started; sitting quietly in prayer until the congregation began its opening hymn; bowing before the cross when in procession or when we passed it; handing our hymnal to the new person seated next to us; wearing our best dress; kneeling during prayer; standing for the reading of God’s word; and departing the sanctuary only when the cross had receded down the aisle. My parents and grandparents were church leaders so they were either teaching a Sunday school class, ushering, reading Scripture, counting the attendees, or back in the kitchen preparing a fine meal to encourage others who were visiting. When my grandmother died there were over 150 cars in the funeral processional because she was so loved as a member of her church family with her selfless service! My grandfather would get up early every Wednesday to lead the Bible study lesson and be in church very early helping with Sunday worship.

 The heart behind of all those activities was a love of God, a worship of the One who is worthy of all praise, honor, respect, adoration and reverence. The subjective adoration of someone who exceeds personal excellence, who deserves deep acts of respect and praise, is still the same yesterday, today and tomorrow – Our Lord Jesus Christ.

'Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.' (I Samuel 2:30) -- "What are the differences between honoring God and honoring ourself? I. Honoring God Involves Presenting Our Best to the Lord; II. Honoring God Means That I Must Keep Him as the One I Please; III. Honoring God Involves an Acceptance of Life’s Challenges." (Dr. Jeff Redlin)