A Teachable Spirit

7 05 2015

“The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.”  Proverbs 10:14

Do you know that even the greatest expert in any field still has much to learn about their area of expertise?  There is no such thing as a person who has learned all there is to learn, even if you have given your whole life to study and learn.  The reason a person becomes an expert is because they have committed themselves to learning and storing up knowledge in a particular area.  They have embraced the mindset of a learner.

A disciple must have a commitment to become an expert in Christ, and to do that, they must embrace a teachable Spirit that is hungry and thirsty to learn all they can about Christ and His ways.  A wise disciple understands that this will be an eternal quest, to “ know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.”  (Phil 3:10)  We will be learning and growing in Christ for all of eternity.

What are you doing today that will increase your knowledge and understanding of Christ?  What are you discovering in God’s Word that you can put into practice today?  How teachable is your Spirit today?

A Desire To Grow

6 05 2015

“Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.  Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.”  Proverbs 9:8-9

Have you ever told someone what they needed to hear, not necessarily what they wanted to hear?  How did they respond?  Did they appreciate your counsel, or did they get angry and upset?  Their response reveals everything about whether they have a wise spirit or a foolish one.  A foolish person will hate you, but a wise person welcomes the truth into their lives.

Many people, when they face difficulties, don’t want to hear the truth, but rather they want someone to listen to their problems, to feel sorry for them, to affirm what they want… and if someone presses them to consider wisdom, they angrily accuse that person of not listening, or not caring, or not having their best interests at heart.  The sad part is, these people have no desire to grow, but rather to have their selfish nature coddled and affirmed.  The bible calls these people foolish.

But the wise person has an earnest desire to grow and experience God’s very best, even if that means putting to death the desires of their selfish nature.  They welcome the counsel of others who are wise and who will share with them the Truth.  They have no desire to be coddled and cuddled… they want to grow.  They have a heart that is willing to do whatever it takes to draw closer to God and to grow in that relationship with Him.

God Is Working

5 05 2015

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6

God is always working in the life of a disciple.  When a person makes the decision to follow Jesus, Christ makes it His task to mold and shape that disciple into the image of Himself.  It is a long and sometimes painful process, but the end result is a transformed life.  As long as you let Him, Christ will be faithful to work in you until he presents you mature and complete in Him.

This understanding should relieve a lot of pressure for us, because we can know that the work of maturing and growing in Christ isn’t something that we have to do alone.  This process is something that Christ directs and leads, and we simply have to submit ourselves to Him, and make ourselves available to His transformative work in us.

So don’t be discouraged and don’t lose heart if the process doesn’t seem as if it is happening fast enough.  Know that God is working, and that He will be faithful to “carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  This, we can be confident of.

A Prayer For Maturity

4 05 2015

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” Philippians 1:9-10

Do you pray for maturity in your life?  Do you pray for the maturity of others?  Paul was constantly praying that those whom he was pouring his life into were growing and maturing in Christ.  His prayer was that they would “abound more and more…”  This is a statement of growth, more and more growth.

Paul’s prayer was that the Saints would grow in their love, in their knowledge, and in their depth of insight.  As disciples, we need to press into growth in these areas as well.  That we might grow in our Love for God and for others.  That we might gain a greater wealth of wisdom and knowledge, and that we might have a growing understanding about how that knowledge affects our lives and the lives of others.

Why?  Because as we grow and mature in these things, we will be able to make the best choices, and to find ourselves pure and blameless when we stand before the throne of Christ.

Send Me

3 05 2015

“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send Me.’”  Isaiah 6:8

When you look around, how many people do you see with their hands raised and trying to get the Lord’s attention and saying, “send me”? I would venture to say not many, in fact probably next to none. Most of us when the Lord is asking for someone to go and serve Him in ways and places that are uncomfortable, expensive, scary, difficult, etc. tend to slouch in our seat and look away hoping He doesn’t call on us. We act like a student when the teacher is calling on us to answer the question we don’t have an answer for, rather than as the player who wants to get into the game.

Let us be challenged today that fully committed disciples to not slouch or hide from opportunities to go as an ambassador for the Kingdom, but rather with eagerness seek out being the one to go.  Let Mark 16:15 be your mandate, let it be you hearing the Lord saying Whom shall I send, who will go for us? …

“And then He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation’.”

by Paul Hansen

One Nation

2 05 2015

“Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people.”  Zechariah 2:11

We’ve said it countless times when reciting The Pledge Of Allegiance, “One nation, under God…”; but have you ever stopped to think its implications beyond this nation in which we live? God’s plan of redemption was never intended to be for just certain people, but has always been inclusive to all who call on upon His name (Psalm 86:5).  While in this world we have formed 196 separate nations, to God there is just one nation.  Those who by faith and through the sacrifice of Christ have become His people, who have entered into His Kingdom.

To be a disciple with a global mindset and a genuine heart for the world, means to understand that the Lord not only views us all the same, but he views us as one. He does not have favorites here or there, but His love is for all those He has created in His image.  For God so loved THE WORLD that He gave his only son… (John. 3:16).

I don’t know about you, but for me there is something magnificent about watching the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics; with thousands of people from nearly every tongue and nation together in one place. In just a small way it gives us a glimpse into Heaven.

When all we see is ourselves, we only see a sliver of the greatness and the grandeur of God.  But here is the beauty of it all…  In the diversity of all the nations we see the fullness of who God is!

by Paul Hansen

Beautiful Feet

1 05 2015

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”  Romans 10:13-15

You and I can easily take for granted that the Gospel is available to us because we have had someone share it with us.  Someone has made the good news about Christ available to us, either by sharing it directly with us, or by making it available through gifts, talents, efforts, and prayers.  But the reality is that many in the world today cannot believe in Christ even if they wanted to because the Gospel isn’t available to them.  There is no one to share it with them.

As disciples, we cannot grow complacent in knowing that we have the Gospel while there are so many in the world that have never heard about Jesus, and the saving work that He performed on the cross on their behalf.  This is the mandate of a disciple to be engaged in the work of Missions… to take the good news of Christ to all men.

And when we carry that Gospel message into places where it has never been proclaimed, and when the Gospel takes hold in the hearts of people, it will be true that our efforts will be beautiful to those who experience the good news of Christ!