Yesterday, I had the opportunity of sharing in church; something that happens once or twice a year since I'm leading worship most of the time.
The message was about being "On the Mark" as if you were to begin a race. "On your mark" is a call to get into position for what you are about to do; "Get set" is a call to prepare yourself mentally and focus on your task; "Go" is the call to do what you have prepared yourself to do.
When runners are set out to run a race, they need to know where the mark is and where they are running to. They need to focus on the goal...getting to the finish line. And, to actually run the race, they cannot let the fear of failure or what people think prevent them from participating in the race.
The same is true in our Christian life. The Apostle Paul refers to our journey as a "race". In this race, we need to to where to begin, focus on the finish, and not be afraid of failing or what people think of us. We are not running for others, but instead for God.
Sunday, I focused on ourselves getting into position to run the race with these three (and not all inclusive) important points to consider:
1. We need to know our Position in Christ.
2. We need to know our Position in the Church.
3. We need to know our Position in the Community.
In Christ, we have a new and special Identity. Humans were created for a relationship with God. Things changed quickly once sin entered the world. Since then, we are all born into a broken relationship with our Heavenly Father. We need to be restored and accept the sacrifice of Christ because it is the only answer to restore that relationship (John 14:6). In Revelations 3:20, Christ says he is standing at the door (of our hearts) knocking. He wants to come in and commune with us. It's up to us to invite him in.
In Christ, we have (already) eternal life (1 John 5:11-13). We need to know our Identity in Christ. We need to know who we are. This is our starting line.
As part of the church, we are called to love one another (1 John 4:7; Romans 12:10). The vision statement of our church declares that each one of is a leader. We need to strive to be the leader God has called us to be in our families, churches, schools, communities, and world.
We need to know our position in the community and remember that we do not belong here (1 Peter 2:11), but are to be the salt and light of the world (Matthew 5:13,14).
Once we know where the starting line is, we can position ourselves on the mark and prepare ourselves mentally to do what God has called us to do.
Friday, April 24, 2015
A couple of days ago I was reading Proverbs 13. Verse four impacted me. I kept on reading the following verses, but my mind had stopped at verse four.
We've been talking about "Vision" in one of our Bible classes here in Cofradia. It is challenging us all to really dig deep, spend time with the Lord, and allow Him to speak to us about what impacts us and how we want to help meet specific needs that we see. We want to allow Him to give us vision for our life and ministry.
This has been something that I've been passionate about for a long time...helping others find purpose, help meet needs they see, and have vision for their life. So, it makes sense that Proverbs 13:4 stood out.
In the NIV, it says, "The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied." In my own words, I would say "Do nothing; expect nothing. Do something; expect something."
The sluggard who craves is the person that sees needs, but does not do anything about those needs. It's the person that has a vision, but is afraid to step out. On the contrary, the diligent person's vision will come to life because they are taking steps towards that vision. They see needs and they do what they can to help meet those needs.
The opposition--whatever reason that keeps people from stepping out--will sometimes manifest itself as discouragement. This discouragement could come from people or leaders in your past that have planted this seed through their words of criticism. Criticism can be constructive or destructive. To be constructive, it must come out of love and a willingness to invest. Otherwise, it can be very destructive. This destruction can cause discouragement down the road and prevent those who have a vision to take action. The enemy, Satan, will remind you of the criticism. He'll say that you are not fit or capable to carry out your plans (Nehemiah 4:1-3).
If your vision comes from God, your plans will succeed. Be diligent; don't lose heart. Keep the faith and vision the Lord has given you; "...the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied."
You can't expect something without doing something.
Discouragement will distract you from being diligent.
DO SOMETHING; EXPECT SOMETHING.