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Archive for November, 2014

As Christians, we all want to live a life pleasing to God. We go about that in many different ways. We try to follow the golden rule, obey the ten commandments, read the bible more, pray more, attend church more and a various number of other things.

Of course we know that we cannot earn our salvation through works, so we need to think about what our motivation is for the things we do.

Many people emphasize good works and doing things for God because they feel they need to be doing something for God. Some feel we owe God for the gift of salvation, while others are trying to earn their salvation by their works.

There is nothing wrong with good works, as long as we are doing them out of love and by God’s strength and guidance.

Good works will be a natural way of life when we focus on Christ and allow him to do the works through us by his Spirit.

The problem is many people do good works out of a feeling of guilt, or necessity, or trying to pay God back for His gift of salvation. They think their good works will earn them salvation.

First, we need to realize that good works will not earn us more of God’s love, and not doing good works will not take away from God’s love. God loves us no matter what we do. Obviously, we want to do things that please God, but His love for us does not change no matter what. He has given us the gift of salvation because of His love for us.

Next, we cannot do good works in our own strength. It is by His love, strength and guidance that good works happen naturally. When motivated by love for God, and allowing Him to love through us, the good works done will be what is needed at the moment for the person receiving the benefit.

So we see in this that the motivation for good works is important. Are we doing these things because we feel obligated and should be doing something for God? Or are we resting in what He has done and allowing Him to love through us.

Stop trying to be so busy for God; rest in His love; wait for his moving and strength. Then allow Him to touch those you come in contact with throughout the day.

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So many followers of Christ today live like they are under the Old Covenant.

We have been brought up in the religious system that seems more like a corporation rather than a community where the priesthood of all believers should be the norm. The church has a pastor, elders and deacons just like a corporation has a CEO, board of directors and operating committee.

We still have the mind-set that we are living in the Old way of doing things. A lot of us still think the church is a building we gather in and listen to a ‘chosen few’ tell us what God is saying.

We tell each other to ‘have a good Lord’s day’, thinking Sunday is the chosen day to set aside to worship God and rest.

We look to the bible like it is part of the trinity and we worship it and use it for all kinds of rule keeping, judging and condemning others.

We tithe ten percent to the church, thinking God requires it from us and if we do not give the tithe, we are robbing God.

Jesus completed the Old Covenant and brought it to an end. He made a New Covenant with his creation, which we are now living under.Old and New

Jesus is building his Church, which is made up of people, not brick and mortar. It is a community of believers with Christ as the head, and each of us equal, participating members in a loving group of people. Now that may happen anywhere and anytime; in a building, in a house, in a park, a restaurant and so on. The fact is that Church is not an organized meeting in a set place at a set time, but it is a fellowship and relationship among fellow believers, no matter if there are only two or three.

Each and every day is the day the Lord has made. Every day is holy and for resting in the work God has already done. The idea that the seventh day is holy is just not true in the New Covenant.

The bible is the inspired word of God. Although God inspired men to write, it is still a book written by men. It is the Spirit that gives life and meaning to those words. If the Spirit isn’t enlightening us and teaching us, the words do not have life.  Jesus is the living, all powerful, inerrant Word of God.

Tithing was a law given to the Jews in the old covenant. It is no longer part of the new covenant. Giving out of love as the Spirit leads is the way things are done now. God does not need our money, but giving to those who do, out of love, is a way that is pleasing to God and a help to others.

It is sad that men have continued to teach the Old Covenant way to believers today, although it is understandable. All of us alive today do not know anything different since this has been taught for hundreds of years. Not until the Spirit opens our eyes and leads us in His truth do we see this new way of living by his grace.

Seek God’s truth, ask the Spirit for guidance. Do not be condemning and argumentative towards fellow believers who see things differently, but be open to what God shows you. Do not be close-minded and continue to do things just because that is the way we have always done them.

The Spirit is within us and he is our guide into all truth. Be open to hear his voice and follow in the way he leads you. Do not be condemning towards your brothers and sisters in Christ who follow a different path. It is the same spirit that leads us, and we are all called to love one another.

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Matthew 23:8-12

 

We hear so much about leadership in the church. Some people seem to be natural-born leaders, while others strive to get into leadership positions. A lot of people seem to be interested in power and fame, and being in charge.

I’m really not sure why the emphasis on leadership. If we look at what Jesus said about leaders, I’m not sure as many people would be as interested.

The way Jesus described leaders seems quite different from what a lot of people think. Leaders are to be servants, they are to put others first. They are to live as examples.servant-leader

Leaders are to be loving and not power-hungry. Usually, leadership comes with years of experience and gaining godly wisdom.

Leaders are not elevated above the other believers. We are all equal parts of the body. We are all under the headship of Jesus, not other humans.

Leadership should not be a power trip, but a natural way of life by loving others. Those we consider to be leaders will allow godly wisdom to naturally flow out and be an encouragement and help to those who are not as far along the path as others.

Leadership is not an office or position, but a servant attitude to help guide brothers and sisters along in their walk with God.

We don’t need to seek out an office or title of leadership. Leaders in the body of Christ will show themselves naturally through love, example and servant spirit. From time to time, each of us will be a leader in our walk. As we live each day being a living part of the Church, there will be others who look to us for encouragement, help and guidance. It is then that the love and servant spirit will show up and be a help to a brothers or sister in need.

 

A couple good articles on true leadership can be found at the following links:

http://house2housemagazine.com/2013/11/12/christ-is-our-leader-by-jon-zens/

http://house2housemagazine.com/2013/11/11/leadership-in-organic-churches-by-milt-rodriquez/

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