Does this sound ridiculous to you? Has anyone ever said, “Speak into my good nostril?” Of course not, it’s absurd!
But…..when you look at the volunteer ministries in many of your churches and you will find just that. As leaders we tend to plug people into ministry where there is the greatest need. While this may be necessary it can be damaging in the long run.
Take for example, a blind man. A blind man uses his hands to ‘see’ and while it is necessary, the hand will never be able to do everything an eye can. So many times, churches stick volunteers in ‘holes’ instead of spending the time and finding out where they best fit to build up the body. (Again, for some time this may be nec. – but don’t get stuck in this train of thought)
1 Peter4:10 – “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
Bear with me here as this is a concept I am still trying to ‘flesh out’ myself, but I hope you can take something from it.
I was having a ‘Ministry’ chat with a friend of mine the other day and I really started thinking about some important things. Two of which relate to how we ‘perceive’ the Bible in today’s world and the ‘context’ in which the Bible was written.
DISCLAIMER: I want to start out by saying, yes, I know that the Bible is just as applicable ‘Today’ as it has ever been in the past…and I do think that God can ‘show’ us, through his word, wisdom for our life and current state of affairs. I am not challenging any of those ideas or thoughts.
1) CONTEXT – How often to we read the Bible trying to find a proof-text for a certain attribute of God, or wisdom concerning certain decisions, or even to enhance a message…especially to make it fit into whatever ‘series’ we are going through at church. Truth be told, alot. I do it all the time (not that it’s wrong) but it can become unhealthy. Lately I find it very beneficial to take a verse and the chapter before and after, just to get a basic sense of the context in which it was written…often times I find that the message being conveyed is not 100% about what I thought it was about. I would say what we do is similar to a newspaper or magazine interview article, where the writer picks a handful of quotes from the interview and formulates the idea he/she wants to convey with the article…it isn’t always a fair representation of the entire conversation.
PERSPECTIVE (To Be Continued…)
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
there is so much in here, I don’t know where to begin. Do you (I) love your (my) enemies? **sheesh* how many of us are looking for a ‘good game’ from God when we only play it safe?
please read her most recent blog to see why!
2 Cor. 3 (the message)
16-18Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.
Most of the time the Message is a great paraphrase. Here is on example where it goes into greater detail to explain the original text. It is beautiful to see the picture it gives us of turning stone to life. Being part of a church that reaches out to those disconnected from God, I get to see this metamorphasis in real life.
In light of what’s happened the last few days….its ironic how we keep asking God the same questions…
Psalm 44:23-26 (message)
Get up, God! Are you going to sleep all day?
Wake up! Don’t you care what happens to us?
Why do you bury your face in the pillow?
Why pretend things are just fine with us?
And here we are—flat on our faces in the dirt,
held down with a boot on our necks.
Get up and come to our rescue.
If you love us so much, Help us!
daylight savings has thrown me for a loop but, I am talking about something way different. I need to get this out. this verse has been haunting me (in a good way) since friday night. it needs a bit of set-up though.
lifepoint is gearing up for a series entitled, the real “F” word. we are praying for BIG GOD STUFF to happen. there are many disconnected people in our community who feel that the church is irrelevant, much less a God who understands and loves them….so this is my prayer, that God would move them ‘out from under the covers’ and show them just how real he is.
from the message:
2 cor. 3:18
whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! they suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. and when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. we’re free of it! all of us! nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. and so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.