Friday, June 28, 2013

That's Not My Job

I read an article this week about people that say, “That’s not my job.” We all know someone that lives by the letter of the law in their job description.  They aren’t what we would call a team player. While I will concede there may be a time for someone to clarify what is and isn’t their job, many times in a work environment employees are not willing to do more than what they believe is required.
Sometimes this spills over into our personal lives as well. What are your roles at home? Who prepares the meals, who takes out the garbage, who does the yard work? Have you ever found yourself saying, “that’s not my job” or maybe thinking it?
What about our walk with God? We have defined roles for our pastors and church staff and Bible study leaders and volunteers. We each have our own gifts. But whose job is it really? What is our job as followers of Christ?
If we are filling our spiritual jewelry boxes with God’s Word, then we can just reach in and pull out our job descriptions for the day.  Love others as Christ loves us. Forgive others as God forgives us. Help others, have compassion, extend kindness, be patient, share the gospel, be thankful in every situation, trust God, pray, serve others  . . .
As Christians, we can’t say, “That’s not my job.” God has called each of us to follow Him. What’s in your spiritual jewelry box?
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).

Monday, June 17, 2013

My Life in the Movies

There is a popular Christian song right now that talks about God already being at the end of our lives and looking back. He knows our future and each decision we will make.
As I recently listened to the words in this song, I thought about God sitting in His media room and watching my life playing out like a movie. He has seen this movie many times before. He knows what I have done right and wrong. He knows the decisions I have made and will make in the future. He is watching where I am right now.
Is He watching and saying, “Oh I love this part. This is where she listens to me and allows me to bless her and accomplish great things.” Or is He saying, “Well she’s doing something good, but I had so much more for her. If only she had spent more time with me and listened for my guidance.” Could He be saying, “No, no, no. This is so hard to watch.” Is God happy with where I am right now and where I am headed, or is this the disappointing part of my life movie?
I can’t change things up to this point. I can’t change where I am right now, but I can change each step I take from this point forward. I can walk out in faith by listening to God as He leads and directs me through His Word, our conversations in prayer, and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
I can fill my spiritual jewelry box with His Word. Dear God, I want this part of my life movie to be the best yet and only get better. I want to step out on the path You have for me.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Antique Lamp

This picture shows an antique caged industrial lamp that has been converted into a lamp sitting on the table next to my bed. The original would have hung from the ceiling possibly in an old mine providing light within an explosion proof fixture. It has been flipped to sit upright (albeit actually upside down) and now provides light at my bedside.
This lamp reminds me of the verse in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” How does God’s word provide a lamp to our feet and a light to our path?
Revelation, chapter 21, talks about the new heaven and new earth. John describes the new Jerusalem as having the glory of God. Verse 23 says, “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.”
The glory of God gives light and the Lamb, Jesus, is its lamp. Psalms says God’s word gives light to us. Jesus is the lamp shining the glory of God on our path as we read and learn His Word.
As we immerse ourselves in scripture, Jesus lights up our path and the decisions we need to make with the glorious light of God. It’s more than a flashlight or lamp on our path. When God shines His light, it’s as if the sun stands still at high noon right above us without a trace of a shadow.
Do you need a light from God for a decision you have to make? I need that light every day. Let’s start each day in God’s Word, so we can get that high noon sun shining on every step we take.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Miraculous Monday

Look for God’s miracles as we start a new week. I’ve seen retro Wednesday and throw back Thursday, so I declare today Miraculous Monday. “O God . . . Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near” (Psalm 75:1 NKJV).

Look for the miracles around you today.

And for a little throwback Thursday on this Miraculous Monday. Who remembers this song?

"Creation shows the power of God, There’s glory all around,
And those who see must stand in awe, For miracles abound.
I believe in miracles. I’ve seen a soul set free.
Miraculous the change in one redeemed through Calvary.
I’ve seen the lily push its way up through the stubborn sod.
I believe in miracles for I believe in God."

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Keeping Score

It starts at a young age. This is your room. This is your sister’s room. The new baby got a present, so here is one for you too. Our team won because we got more points than the other team. You got two A’s and one B on your report card, but your brother got three A’s. The North Sales Team sold more, but the South Sales Team made fewer mistakes on paperwork. Department A helped Department B more than Department C.
Not all of these things are necessarily wrong. Some are good in their context. Individually they may show love, give motivation, or promote team camaraderie; but we have become obsessed with keeping score in areas where we shouldn’t. This is my job. This is yours. Let’s talk about teamwork, but that doesn’t mean we have to live it.
We are taught that true love turns the other cheek, but we still keep track of how many times we have turned it. We are taught to forgive, but we never forget. We are taught to show love and kindness, but we rationalize that doing nothing is kindness when it means not giving someone what we think they deserve. We keep track of how many times things affect us instead of others.
Scripture gives the answer to every issue in our life. There are many records in the Bible I could point to for insight on keeping score, but today I believe it is all summed up in this one verse. Parenthetical entries are mine.
“And whatever you do (with family, with friends, at church, at work, in public), do it heartily (sincerely, enthusiastically, cheerfully, with energy, WITHOUT KEEPING SCORE), as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24).
We don’t have to keep score. God will take care of it for us; and in the end, HE WINS.