Friday, February 11, 2011

Purpose for Your Pain

Matthew 27:51-52

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.

Do you know the purpose for your pain? The moment Jesus gave up his spirit, the purpose for his pain was actualized. Only Jesus was fully aware of the purpose for his pain. No matter how many times he tried to tell the disciples or prepare them and no matter the word given to Mary about the pain she would see, it wasn't until they watched Jesus endure and see the after affects did they understand his purpose. For he came to give something up so that we would have full access to God. The significance of the curtain being torn from top to bottom is that Jesus made it possible for us to go before the holy thrown of God. Our sin was so severe that we had to have others go to God for us. And the priests that went to God on our behalf had to be set apart but even they would fall short so God had another solution.

In our lives we all have to endure something but the word of God says that what we endure is not just for us but so that we can comfort others. Is there any pain in your life that you have yet to understand? Know that there is indeed a purpose for it and Jesus the wonderful counselor is the one you can go to for healing. He knows what it's like to endure pain for the sake of helping others. For he has done it for you and me.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

It' Bigger Than You

1 Corinthians 12:7

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

Did you know that nothing you do is actually about you? Paul addressed the church in Corinth because they apparently took their gifts as being for their own purposes neglecting the greater cause. The greater cause is the body of Christ. The Lord manifests the Holy Spirit in all believers but not all believers are willing to access it. The purpose of the gifts through the Holy Spirit is for the uplifting of other believers. But when we decide that we will use them for other purposes or not at all, we all suffer. In order to be more effective the body of Christ has to operate as one. For it is the same in a marriage. For the best benefit to be had, the two must act as one. This is to say that one has to look beyond theirself and look at the whole. Selfishness deems "it's all about me and what I want." But selflessness is about how does this effect all of us?

We live in a society where it's considered ok or normal to be selfish but what if God was selfish in how he blessed us? What if God decided that he didn't need to wake you up? What if God decided that he wouldn't use the Holy Spirit to stop the other person from running a red light and keeping you from having a horrible accident? What if God decided that he would miraculously take all the money from your account so you would have nothing?

The purpose of blessings is to bless others. The purpose of any spiritual gift is to help lift someone else up. Every believer has something inside but if you never share, why should you be blessed?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Keeping The End in Mind

Isaiah 46:10

10 I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.’

Have you ever heard the saying, "begin with the end in mind"? That is what God does. God knew the plans he had for Babylon and Israel from the beginning. He knew exactly how it would all play out. He knew that Israel's rebellion would lead them to Babylon. God also knew that Babylon would take so much pride in itself that he would have to bring them down. God begins everything with the end in mind. He knows who will be by the time we come to the end of our journey. He knows us so well that he knows every hair on our head. It's just like parents that know their young children and know exactly when something is out of place. God's purpose will always come to pass because he is the maker of heaven and earth. He brilliantly made us all and everything in it. He even gave visions to those he knew would carry out his plans to make our world better and more efficient. But more importantly, he does what he pleases. Yes he gave us free will and because he did so, he still knows what we will choose and therefore prepares the appropriate rewards or consequences for choices. It is the difference between his perfect and imperfect will. Both will still lead you to God's purpose, but one has a few more bumps in the road.

Are you living in his perfect or imperfect will? Have you begun your endeavors with God's end in mind or yours?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

For All Men to See

Matthew 6:1

1 “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ in front of others, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

Have you ever noticed those that love constant attention of others? Jesus had just finished his sermon on the beatitudes but was speaking very candidly about how we operate in everyday life. Jesus was aware that there are some who only do good works to have the attention of the public eye. He was particularly referencing those that help others in need. They are seeking constant praise and reward. There's nothing wrong with helping others and wanting to see others move forward but the question remains, "why are you doing it? We are in a society that says intentions don't matter only results but with our one and only savior, Jesus Christ and our Father in heaven, intention means a lot. If our intention is actually about wanting to do the work of our Lord and to see others succeed, then it's ok. For God will store up crowns for us in heaven. But if the intention is to have all eyes on us and to say that it's because of us that someone is or isn't then that is not of God. It is self-centered and not God-centered.

The next time any of us do an act of kindness, examine if it's genuine or is it because we want to look good in the eyes of someone other than God?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Seeking Yet Not Finding

Proverbs 14:6-7

6 The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none,
but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.
7 Stay away from the foolish,
for you will not find knowledge on their lips.

Has someone ever asked for your opinion but then when given, it goes unreceived? King Solomon recorded in Proverbs that a mocker will seek wisdom but still not find it. How on earth could one seek and not find? Wisdom is from God but if one does not reverence God then it becomes impossible to receive anything. Someone that asks your opinion has to have a certain level of respect for you in order to receive it. Your opinion is your opinion but the most important piece is what is God's outlook? King Solomon is saying that if there is no respect then any wisdom given falls on deaf ears. How many times has wisdom fallen on your deaf ears? What about the wisdom you've given, has it fallen on deaf ears? To further his point, King Solomon said to stay away from the foolish for there is nothing worthwhile they can offer you. So from either side, if you give a mocker wisdom and they don't receive it, that's on them and be sure that you keep your distance because the axe will surely fall. If you are the one seeking council, do not go to the foolish because they won't point you in the correct direction.

We've come a long way with google, wikipedia, and other such websites that provide answers to almost every possible question. Unfortunately, not every place has the correct answer. The one who has the correct answer is waiting for us to seek him. Do you have enough respect of God to seek, ask and receive an answer from him?