Sometimes I find myself thinking that I am further down the road than I truly am. I look down my spiritual nose at others in a prideful, condescending way, thinking that they are so immature. My problem stems from pride and a critical spirit. I may have more information then the other person, but knowing and being are not one and the same thing. Information or knowledge puffs up (1 Cor. 8:1) but love builds up. God has invested much in us and we must continually be applying it to every relationship and circumstance in or for it to benefit the Kingdom and bring glory to Jesus.
I want to share some basic New Testament principle that will keep you on track.
1. LOVE JESUS AND SPEND TIME WITH HIM EACH DAY. Matt 28:22 Mark 1:35
Don't rush off each morning without getting alone with him. You will find yourself missing sweet communion then and all though the day. This is the motor of everything in which we are involved. If Jesus needed to depart to a solitary place to pray, how much more do we? It is more than a routine of reading out of a devotional book: it is meeting with God himself. The acrostic ACTS is the guideline for having time alone with the Lord. Adoration and praise, Confession of personal sin. Thanksgiving and Supplication. Read from God's Word and apply it to your life and circumstances. This is a time of opening our hearts up to him, seeking His face, and giving Him time to speak. Time spent with our Master sets the tone for the day, preparing us to allow Him to live out His life and power though us.
2. SEEK TO SERVE OTHERS. Colossians 3:23-24, Ephesians 6:7-8
Someone said, "I love the ministry, but people are such a chore." My friend, people are the ministry. Begin with your family, closest friends and co-workers and serve them knowing that it is the Lord Christ you are serving. Ask the Lord to show you opportunities to serve others. Matthew 20:28 says that Jesus did not come to be served but to serve and we need to be serving in order to imitate. Our service is actually not for the one we are serving but for the Lord. Too often the higher we get in leadership the less we serve which is a direct contradiction of the Christian life.
3. LIVE FOR THE GLORY OF GOD. 1 Corinthians 10:31, Revelation 4:11-12, John 12:43
Many times we fell like no one recognizes and appreciates us for the exemplary way we act and the good things we do. Humility is not thinking lowly of yourself, It is not thinking of yourself at all. We are not to live for personal recognition. We're not even to bring attention to our church, denomination, or any individual. Our goal is to point to Jesus because He alone is due all honor, praise and glory. The Bible tells us, "Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing." Be careful to live your life in such a way that brings all glory to God.
4. IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS. 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Ephesians 5:20
Have an attitude of gratitude. Situations occur which, humanly speaking, call for fear, complaining or self pity. There will be instances in which you will scratch your head and wonder how you can give thanks for a particular situation. Christ in us, the hope and glory (Col 1:27) will enable us to look beyond The present and temporal to seeing that God has a hand in ALL THINGS making us more like Him. God will be glorified and praised as you thank Him without understanding.
5. PRAISE THE LORD! Philippians 4:4:, 11-14
Paul wrote the book of Philippians from prison. He says that we must learn the secret of being content in every situation. God has me right where we are and we need to resist the temptation of "greener pastures". Always remember that the grass may seem greener on the other side but you do not know their water bill. When we praise the Lord it take the attention off of ourselves and our abilities, and transfer it to the One who can see what we cannot and knows what we do not. "Now to him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work throughout all generations, forever and ever." Ephesians 3:20
From the MACEDONIAN CALL MINISTRIES PO BOX 4135 Greenville, SC 29608 Phone 864-292-0092 Fax 864-292-8844 E-mail Macedonian Call Ministries
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