Posts Tagged ‘ Servanthood ’

VerseD: Micah 6:7

“Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
Micah 6:7, ESV

Old Covenant sacrifices were a shadow of the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. It does not take a slaughter for our forgiveness, but the sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus.
Now, our sacrifice is to follow His example of servanthood and love.

VerseD: Galatians 1:10

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10, ESV

It is not enough to be a people-pleaser or to want to be liked by everyone (both are impossible to achieve with everyone).
We serve and aim to please only One: our Lord Jesus Christ to the glory of the Father with the help of the Holy Spirit.

VerseD: Romans 13:10

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Romans 13:10, ESV

“Does no wrong” does not mean “never causes pain in any way.” Doing no wrong means seeking to do the best for others.
Because Christ first loved us.

VerseD: Colossians 3:12

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience
Colossians 3:12, ESV

We have truth and grace on our side. As we live with fallen people and the faithful still being sanctified, let us remember we were lost and are being changed, so that we can faithfully serve others in the name of Christ.

VerseD: Matthew 23:11

The greatest among you shall be your servant.
Matthew 23:11, ESV

Our Creator and Lord served His Creation during His earthly ministry.
How much more should we love others sacrificially and serve them?

VerseD: Philippians 2:8

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:8, ESV

God put Himself through torture and death to free us from sin and wrath.
Are we willing to empty ourselves and humbly obey God?
Can I love my neighbor with Christ’s sacrificial love?

VerseD: Matthew 23:11

The greatest among you shall be your servant.
Matthew 23:11, ESV

We should not seek power or authority in the Church. We should be loving each other through service and helping each other.

VerseD: Romans 12:1

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Romans 12:1, ESV

We are not our own. Our lives belong to our Lord, so we must no longer seek our own pleasure and comfort. Instead, we are to share the Gospel and love on this fallen world for the glory of God.

Milk Does a Body Good

Get some good spiritual milk over at Proverbial Thought!

There are three main stages to the Christian walk:

  1. Acceptance and Growth
  2. Understanding and Growth
  3. Teaching and Growth

As we walk through this life, we should never stop growing. In this life, we will never achieve perfection, full Christ-likeness. This is one reason why Paul wrote, “Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:23)

We never stop growing, it is true. However, just as some things stay with us as we grow and age from infant to death, so there are things we need from the moment of salvation knowledge to the end of this life.Mugstache

I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
1 Corinthians 3:2

We need our mothers milk when we are young. We cannot handle other foods, because our bodies are not ready for solid food.

We come to a saving knowledge of Christ through the presentation of the Gospel: We have sinned against God. We have willfully broken his laws, separated ourselves from Him; and we generally refuse to love others and Him the way we should. Therefore, God came to earth as a man, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, to live a perfect life and offer Himself as a sacrifice for our sins to reconcile us to Himself. He rose from the grave three days later, giving us a hope of eternal life with Him.

This gets us excited, and we want to share this information with everyone. Unfortunately, too many people stay at this level of maturity for years.

We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.
Hebrews 5:11-6:3

Repentance is good, and it is something that is needed throughout our walk with Christ. Too many congregations and even whole denominations have gotten stuck on repentance and forgiveness without moving forward on the individual level (“Get ’em saved!” if you will, without helping new converts grow in righteousness, as Paul said.)

Just as a child eventually grows to eating solid food, so we must grow to be able to discuss the deeper things of our faith, such as prayer, service, and even miracles. The biggest reason we do not see as many miracles today is not because they are no longer used by God. Rather it is because the Western Church largely has abandoned the rites and practices that help us grow deeper in our faith and that position us to be used by God in miraculous ways.

There have been strides as of late to correct this within the Church. This is evidenced by the rise in social reform, but it is only one way God wants us to grow. We must also focus on theological and spiritual needs within ourselves and for others.

The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of sense.
Proverbs 10:21

Something happens with most of us as we grow: we fall in love, and we procreate – we make babies! All of a sudden we have to help these little ones survive and then learn and grow into adulthood. This requires using all we have learned and experienced to help them, but sometimes we need help.

Likewise, as followers of Jesus Christ we are commanded to make more followers. We are told that we are to take the knowledge of salvation to bring others to new life. We are then to help them grow in their walk with Christ, as we should have been doing. And we need help, which is why we have priests and pastors and each other who meet each week for communal worship and learning.

A warning, though, is that, as Paul again said, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2 Timothy 4:3)

This has happened multiple times throughout Church history, but it is certainly prevalent today. It used to be that most churches would start with the basic milk of doctrine: faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ. That is no longer a requirement for some churches. In either event, the teachings can range from “Be a better person by thinking this way or doing these things,” to full on cult-ish ideas and practices that are at best morally and cognitively dangerous and at worst physically dangerous. All of these are spiritually bankrupt!

Therefore, we must remember the milk of our faith – believing in the facts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection as the Son of God for the forgiveness of sins; that we must grow to understand more of our walk with God and of who God is as well as love others through word and action; and that we must learn to teach others of this knowledge, understanding, and service in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 03/17/2013

Lucky day! You can head to Proverbial Thought for some wisdom!

It is my pleasure to wish you a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Eventually I will give a brief history of the man, as I have with Saint Valentine (including last month), but for now the focus (as usual) is on our amazing Lord and Savior!

As we journey through the Hard Knocks Life, I think this poem is rather apropos. It serves as a good reminder of how our lives can be hard but worthwhile.

You said You forgive
i said i believe
my actions should show
it is true in me
You issued a call
to come and follow
i said i am here
to make myself low
to share the Truth of
Who my Savior is
the Man also God
Your first Son Jesus
Who died on a cross
to ransom my life
so i offer mine
to proclaim the Christ
and unfailing love
to a fallen world
in need of the God
Who is our Savior