Wednesday, June 7, 2017

MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN A COMFORTABLE WORLD…

MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN A COMFORTABLE WORLD…

It seems to me that most people in this world are comfortable in their world. Before you state you disagree, please read my reasoning. The way in which I am using this term comfortable is being comfortable in a self-centered fashion… Too often we choose things: to do, be involved in, give our money to, exert our efforts toward… based upon how it will affect us. So, our goal of comfort is to be personally comfortable. Even at the cost of others being uncomfortable. This idea is a solid example of self-centeredness. Before anyone thinks I am preaching at them specifically, I am not. I am preaching at myself. I am searching my life, decisions and habits. I am asking myself, “Why did I do that?”. What do my words or actions do to encourage those around me? Who have I helped or hurt by the decisions I make?  How can such an imperfect person as me – make any difference to anyone else? How can I, who often fights for my own comfort, help others be comforted?


I am not sure if I even have an answer which will satisfy. But, here it goes.
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IT IS NOT ENOUGH

The fact is, I am not doing enough (and I am not talking about busyness) to love others as I love myself. I am loving myself greatly, even when I do things I ought not. I am loving others less when they don’t do things I think they ought. This is SIN.

It is not enough to preach… teach… study… pray… if these things do not change me into someone who does not live to make a difference. Not just any difference but a godly difference. Jesus saved me to make a Kingdom difference. Jesus saved me, not to do my best but to do that which is required. I am required to make a Kingdom difference.


Side Note – Living right and loving others biblically does not, in any way, mean those we love and encourage will accept our love and encouragement. The recipient’s willingness to be encouraged or loved is their choice not ours. Our choice must be to be biblical.
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BEATING THE SAME DRUM

I have covered this topic before in my life. Some of my dear friends, from way back when, will attest to this. This is a theme I have carried throughout my ministry. There are some who can respond to this, speaking of the difference made, by the investment given. Some could respond and say I made no difference at all. I am not looking for a response, I promise you I am not. I am baring my heart. I am exposing some of my deepest and most intense desires to you. I am hoping to convey my love and excitement I carry for each of you and for those beyond the walls of EBCI.

You will probably hear me speak or write to this topic again. I speak to this topic to remind myself of the need to not forget. I speak to this topic to be better understood. I speak to this topic to give each of you a prayer focus. I speak to this topic because the subject matter is biblical and greatly needed to be presented. I speak to this topic because I want to encourage you to be a Child of God which makes a difference in the lives of others. I speak to this topic because, as best as I can tell, God wants me too.


This is a drum I will continue to beat.
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THE TOOL OF THE ENEMY

The enemy knows this is my heart and what has driven me most of my adult life. The enemy knows what to do to bring distraction and discord within the church (universal and local). The enemy knows what I long for and knows how to get me to look the other way. The enemy knows how to use others to cause pain and discouragement. This is not to say that the we intentionally set out to cause pain or discouragement because I do not think most want to be that person. We want to do right but often mistake what is right for what we think is best.

Please know that I hope this posting encourages you, though it may appear a bit somber. You are loved, even if I forget and call you by a wrong name. You are loved, even if I unintentionally do not shake your hand. You are loved, even when I am grumpy. You are loved, even when what you see me communicating says different to you.

Love me… Like me… Want nothing to do with me… Hate me – or anything in between. I love you even though I mess up. Why do I mess up? Because I am messed up. I fight sin daily. I wrestle with truth vs lies when my messed-up self approaches scripture in study. I often sit and weep over my guilt and shame.  I watch a video of someone making a difference in another person’s life (whether spiritually or not I cry out – “I want to be that kind of person”).


Below are a few scripture God uses to encourage me. May they bless you.

Romans 15:1
 
We who are strong ought to bear with the shortcomings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 
Galatians 5:14 
The entire Law is fulfilled in a single decree: "Love your neighbor as yourself." 
James 2:12 
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the Law that gives freedom. 
Romans 7:16B 
For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. 
Philippians 4:13 
I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.


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IN CLOSING…

I am asking that there be no response to me in this posting (that means no “likes” or “comments” please). That is not the intent and I do not need to see who might say something and who might not.

Please know this… Your pastor loves you! 😊


I LOVE  MY CHURCH… HER PEOPLE… OUR GOD!


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