Anxious for Nothing


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Others First

Philippians 2:3-5  

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,) 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. 

 

We’ve been discussing Kingdom and central to the Kingdom itself is the priority of others.  It was the second greatest commandment, and was reiterated throughout the New Testament, like here in Philippians.  We, as believers, are to lift others’ needs above our own.  This is how Jesus desires to reveal Himself and His people to the world… by their love.  

 

Not much about our culture promotes the pursuit of a selfless lifestyle.  In fact, much of what the world tells us is the exact opposite.  Our culture continually implies that in order to “matter” one must self-promote as much as possible, in order to establish a platform of influence.  This is just a distraction.  It keeps us from what God wants most.  And, that is what the Apostle Paul is reminding and commending the Church at Philippi of in this letter.  This was the poorest church in the New Testament and they sacrificed all in order to advance the gospel.  Paul thanks them and in love encourages them to continue.  He implies that this sort of living is the only true form of living.  It’s our purpose in life.  To love like Him, so that others can know Him and choose to live with Him.  This is why we’re here as the Church of Jesus.  It is to reveal His heart, through our serving hands and feet, as we worship Him in all that we do.   

 


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Isaiah 117 House Kick Off

Isaiah 117 House Kick Off


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Pray Without Ceasing

Pray 

1 Tim. 2:1- 6 

2 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all people. 

 

Paul is writing to Timothy encouraging that he be a pastor that lead his people to pray.  To pray for those in their immediate lives, to intercede on behalf of lost and seeking neighbors in their communities, and  to pray for the ruling authorities placed over them  to have wisdom.  Why?  Well, because central to the Kingdom itself is the priority of others.  It was the second greatest commandment, and was reiterated throughout the New Testament.  We, as believers, are to lift others’ needs above our own.  This is how Jesus desires to reveal Himself and His people to the world… by their love. He tells us what actually pleases God in all of this is… “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives…this is good and pleases God.”   

 

Not much about our culture promotes the pursuit of a quiet and selfless lifestyle.  In fact, much of what the world tells us is the exact opposite.  Our culture continually implies that “bigger is better” and that in order to “matter” one must self-promote as much as possible, in order to gain a crowd or a platform of influence.  This is just a distraction.  It keeps us from what God wants most.  And, this is the wisdom Paul imparts to Timothy in this passage.… “Make it about Him and others, not about you.  Stop living for what is ending, and start living for what is eternal.”  Pray for … all,… right now, while we can. Seize the moment.  Paul says, “love like Him, so others can live with Him.”   

 

So, pray and pray without ceasing.  Continue to press in… “Ask, seek, knock…” He will answer and He will intervene when we, His people, intercede.   

 


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He Comes Running

He Comes Running 

Psalm 34:4-5 

4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me; 

    he delivered me from all my fears. 

5 Those who look to him are radiant; 

    their faces are never covered with shame. 

 

The difference between guilt and shame is that guilt is felt for something that we do, while shame is something felt for who we are.  If allowed shame becomes our very persona; identifying us as eternal failures, captivating us, and then suffocating us within its vicious grip.   

 

Shame was never intended by God.  It is a byproduct of fear and insecurity.  It believes that a person is the sum of his/her mistakes and is beyond repair.  It is an effective tool of the enemy.  It is a method by which he renders man ineffective in God’s kingdom.  Crippling man under the weight of a life defined by defeat and judgment.  A device completely counter to the gospel of Jesus.  So, God gave us the gospel as remedy. 

 

While shame teaches man he is empty and bankrupt,  the gospel teaches that he/she was so valuable to God that the Father bankrupted Heaven through the atoning work of His Son Jesus to have man for Himself.  The Psalmist here reminds us that if we’ll only seek Him, He’ll not only answer our call, but will deliver us from all fear and insecurity.   

 

I read this and immediately think of the Father portrayed in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15).  When the prodigal realized the error of his ways, and in shame came home to his father, the father (in waiting) ran the length of the property to embrace his missing repentant child.  To care for him, throw a party for him, and to shower him with affection and attention.  To show him just how incredibly valuable he was. 

 

This is the Father that Jesus spoke of in said parable.  This is the Father that the Psalmist speaks of in this Psalm 34.  And, this is the Father waiting for you this morning.  Our Heavenly Father, who seeks to bandage the bruised, cover the naked/exposed, and to shower the shamed with affection and attention.  Walk towards Him this morning, He is running to you.


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Pray

Normally on Fridays we post a devotional and today’s devotional was going to be about prayer. But it is far more important to simply pray versus teach about it.
 
Right now, we ask that you take the time to pause and pray. Let’s put our community, friends, families, and our world before the Lord in prayer. Pray for the needs in our world, those we know about locally and even those abroad.

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For His Name Alone

For His Name Alone
 
1 Peter 3:8-9
8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
“Repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called…” What if this is actually why we were saved? Instead of focusing on simply escaping Hell or “inheriting a blessing,” what if God intended us to be in relationship with others the way that He is in relationship to you and I. Posing this question doesn’t make Heaven any less a reality or our inheritance therein, but since Peter says it here, what if this is the purpose of our salvation?
You know Peter would’ve been present when Jesus said things like “love your enemy, go the extra mile and turn the other cheek.” So, since Jesus placed such emphasis on loving our offenders, maybe Peter (leader of the Disciples) places emphasis on it for us as well, because it is the point to a life on mission. It is the key to a life redeemed and it is the very purpose of the (saved) living walking amongst “the dead.”
It is a hard teaching. It was for Jesus’ audience. It was for Peter’s reader, and it is just as difficult for you and I. In fact, it cannot be done in our own power. It is a call that requires His strength and inspiration. Apart from the empowering of the Holy Spirit it is humanly impossible. It requires seeking no blessing in return, and it is absent of personal recognition. It requires that you abandon the need to be “right,” and the seeking of credit for the good you do. Apart from the peace that comes from a job well done, and the assurance of God’s smile upon you, there is no other accolade to expect until the hereafter itself. This is true worship of Jesus in Spirit and in truth. It is our call. The question is… is it also our desire?
If this is what salvation truly meant, do we still want it? Do we still want our life hidden in His and our legacy aligned with His name? Are we OK to never be known as long as He is remembered? And, are we going to bless those that curse us, …love those that hate us and …pray for those that intentionally smite us? “because to this you were called.” Today, Church, let us love as we were loved… by Him, … and today, let us live as we’ve been called to … for Him. Today, for His name alone.

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The Salt of the Earth

 
 
 
 
 


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