Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘works’

Today we start with Sunday as the kickoff for our Fall 2020 seasonal campaign Giving Thanks by Giving Back. It is so appropriate to do so.

Why?

Sunday represents the day when most faithful Christians make their way down the aisle and into the pews to hear a stirring medley of hymns and spiritual songs and a soul-stirring sermon. That was at least the case before COVID-19 hit us in the spring of this year. Ever since we have been under the attack of the coronavirus, we have managed to worship differently. The CDC and county health officials have become additional sources of guidance for how churches operate with the designation that terms them as non-essential businesses within their communities. Regulated to outdoor or online worship services, depending on the locale, the church has taken a hit due to coronavirus.

Add the tension and division over the recent election and a summer full of protests regarding Black lives Matter, police reform, anti-masking, and Trump rallies and parades to the disheartening and discouraging effects of coronavirus with evangelical Christians split on nearly each and every item listed and you have the makings for the church in need of a come to Jesus meeting of its own. It’s high time that the people of God turned their attention to the very things that God called them to proclaim and produce rather than proliferate and pontificate rhetorical rants about ballot counting, turning the red states blue, and election fraud conspiracies.

It’s time that we as the people of God get back to God’s business. I love what C. H. Spurgeon said with such simplicity: “The business of the church is salvation. . .Our main business is winning souls.” John Wesley similarly surmised, saying: “You have one business on earth- save souls.”

So let’s get to it without wasting any time. Let’s take our day of worship and kick things into gear for a week of works.

Download a copy of our latest training presentation.

Think about it from a different perspective. This is the prime opportunity for us as believers to gather in His name, and then take all that has inspired and edified us from that gathering to go out into the world and spread goodwill through good works. We could turn the world upside down while altering the perception of Christians as hate mongers who want to protect Second Amendment right to bear arms a little bit more than the pro-life sentiment of anti-abortion. Our faith is so much more than modern worldviews and social-political confrontations. It is on us to show the world the core of our faith in action as we serve, providing a living breathing example of good works before their very eyes.

Let today serve as a day where we enlighten the world and encourage the world as we let our light shine. Let today start new beginnings of new ministries designed to serve more of the “least of these” while providing an open opportunity for us to “look after orphans and widows in their distress.” Make today the day where you make a difference and make an impact.

Start today by giving thanks by giving back.

#GivingThanks #GivingBack

Learn More About the Campaign

NOTE: A big thank you to bloggers like Dan Zimmerman, The Simple Preacher’s Blog and other folks whose blogs I have linked here. Your posts say so much more on the subjects than I could convey on my own, so I appreciate your work and efforts to communicate with the world at large on the things at hand and on your heart and mind.

Read Full Post »

I had the pleasure of presenting our Fall 2020 campaign Giving Thanks by Giving Back yesterday. The livestream was an opportunity for me to present and pray over the project with an open and earnest heart for the work ahead. As always with our Life Path Multimedia livestreams, the recording remains available via YouTube. A copy of the presentation is available for download online.

Good works are part of our calling as believers. StopAndPrayTV speaks on being fruitful in our good works, every single one of them. The reference to Colossians 1:10 centers the post and makes for a compelling read. I truly love how Kim Petitt lays it out there and explains good works. Naturally, Being Benedictine would reference Saint Benedict as it explores the topic of good works. I guess part of my take on it is aligned with the combined stances and approaches to good works, summing up my views by quoting NT verses from Titus 3:14 to Ephesians 2:8-10. I believe good works are the fruit of our faith, not the root of our faith. (One of my preacher friend’s will steal that and use it, and it’s okay.)

Part of Giving Thanks by Giving Back was covered in the previous post, but yesterday’s training session allowed for me to delve into finer elements of the campaign. This post gives you some of the highlights from yesterday’s session.

Our Latest Inbox Inspirations promo tweet

The Campaign Includes Guidance

What we presented is designed to serves as a guide for generating ideas and stimulating conversations around how to give thanks by giving back within your local congregation and community. It is by no means designed to serve as the only source material or resource for doing good works or charitable service. Every congregation and community is unique, so it would behoove anyone seeking to do something with this campaign to identify local issues and priorities that fit with the theme of the campaign as they plan and strategize any kind of project or event.

You Have to Keep COVID-19 in Consideration

The numbers don’t lie. There is a major upswing in COVID-19 deaths and case throughout the United States. In California, we have many counties shifting into the most restrictive tier due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. It is difficult to plan and organize any project or event without considering the implications of COVID-19 on those plans.

Some advice on how to handle COVID-19 restrictions and precautions comes from the CDC. As many of us have learned over these past months, be sure to check with your local public health officials for restrictions and guidance related to large gatherings and events. Some of the most basic precautions such as face coverings, social distancing, and hand washing have been touted to help limit the spread. Always check and keep updated and abreast of the latest restrictions and precautions as you plan and organize.

Develop Connections within Your Community

Whether it is working with the local food bank or another church in its efforts to distribute turkeys, make connections that provide a win-win for your group or church as well as whoever you might partner with to make things happen. Do not neglect the idea of serving as resource to your congregation and community by providing updated information for clothing drives, food distributions, turkey giveaways, and special events happening within and around your community. Make connections that help make a difference and make an impact.

I like how another blog puts it out there with Psalm 100 and “Daily Service: Give Thanks.” It ought to become more natural for us to serve and give thanks. It should become part of our Christian DNA. Similarly, another blogger references Simon Sinek when speaking on a lifetime of service. No matter how you see it, giving back a way that we can show our gratitude and our own way of giving thanks that touches someone else’s life.

Read Full Post »

“Be not simply good – be good for something.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Imagine if you had nothing getting in your way, nothing holding you back.

What would you do with your life?

Could you see yourself doing whatever you could to help someone else?

Could you see beyond yourself and make a difference for someone else?

Just imagine if you had that opportunity.

No obstacles.

No opposition.

No other objective.

Just being in the position to do good for someone else, uplifting their spirit and blessing them through what God has already done for you.

Now it’s time for a reality check.

The only thing holding you back from doing such mighty works is you.

YOU…Your Own Unwillingness

If you could somehow shake that unwilling spirit, then you can do it.

Oh, that’s not you?

Then it must be. . .

YOU. . . Your Own Unworthiness

That is the pitiful self image that says that you are not worthy of doing good because you know that you are of no earthly good.  Our Bibles tell us that we are a “new creation” based upon the work of the Lord.  We are worthy!

So, you still think that’s not you?

How about. . .

YOU. . . Your Own Unfaithfulness

You just don’t believe that God can use you in such a way.  You don’t believe that you can be a blessing, especially since you are in the need of a blessing yourself.  Elijah was fed by ravens by a brook, and then he was fed by an impoverished widow.  There was another widow who gave all that she had when she placed two mites in the offering.

Get YOU out of the way and let God have His way.

Sit YOU down and set yourself up to be a blessing to someone.

Give YOU his walking papers and give God an open opportunity to use you like He’s never used you before.

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8 (NASB)

Read Full Post »

Sometimes, it just seems like our good intentions just aren’t good enough.  I know that we mean well, but it may not end up doing us or anyone else any earthly good.

I believe that we all have set out to do something for someone else without an ounce of greed or arrogance in mind, not even within our hearts. Sadly, the end result ended up being a disaster in our eyes. It was not even close to what you had in mind when you started out. It ended up blowing up right in your face.

I speak from experience.

As bad as it has felt, I also realize how humbling it had been for me. I recognized the short-sighted and well-intended moves that I made really made no difference in anyone else but me. I was humbled enough to see how fruitless my efforts were from the start.

In order to truly help someone out, you truly need to hear someone out first. If you don’t know they’re needs, desires and hopes, you are merely going through the motions and working from assumptions.

I had been doing so for a long time.

“Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” – Romans 13:10

Loving others will cause to help without harming a soul. Love will cause us to listen and learn. Love will cause us to take it slow as we take it all in. Love will cause us to pause and pray over needs and issues that people have shared with us before we make the wrong move.

It was hard for me to learn that life lesson.

Let these words sink into your soul for a moment.

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching”- Hebrews 10:24-25

By God’s grace, we have been saved. Our purpose is to produce fruit through good works. Live out your purpose as a believer and seek to do good. Allow your good works bear fruit that lasts eternally.

Read Full Post »

The Christian has truly been blessed.  Each of us has been blessed to bear certain things as Christians.  Oddly enough, we may not view them as blessings, but they are exactly that.  There’s no other way that you can explain God choosing to use us to strengthen and support our brothers and sisters, even so-called ‘outsiders,” the way that He does with His power.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2 (ESV)

God calls on us to bear the burdens of our fellow believers.  By doing so, the Word says that we fulfill the law of Christ.  We manifest love when we bear the burdens of others.

Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. – Luke 14:27 (ESV)

The Lord wants us to bear our cross.  He calls us to discipleship.  He says that we cannot be His disciples if we do not bear our cross.  Taking up your cross daily is part of being on the Lord’s team.

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. – John 15:8 (ESV)

The Lord wants us as his disciples, but he also wants us pleasing the Father.  He desires that we do a good work in His name and to the glory of the Father in heaven.  The works that we do should bear fruit.  Our fruit will stand as proof of our connection to the Lord. 

People will not question much about what we do when it is done in a manner that bears burdens, bears fruit and causes us to bear our own cross.  When there is something that seems misleading to our actions, even our good deeds, people begin to question such acts as well as our connection with the Master as His followers.

Read Full Post »

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.– 2 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

Are you growing? Answer it as honestly as you can.  Are you growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Got an answer yet?

If you are growing, then it ought to be showing. . . somewhere.

If you are growing, it should be showing in one way or another, in one place or another.  It should be showing some way or somehow.  It ought to show.

It should show in your. . .

  • Words: What you say (as well as what you do not say).  Words carry meaning.  Even if we are careful with our words, we should also be mindful of how our words may be received by others.  The grace of the Lord should come out by what comes out of mouths.
  • Ways: What you do now (and what you don’t do any longer).  Our ways say a lot about how we relate to the Lord.  People will attribute who we are aligned with by the way we act.  People who do not even know the Lord have a preconceived notion of what Christians should act like and they expect Christians who are true to their faith to act accordingly.  Actions do speak volumes, especially to others.
  • Works: What we do for the sake of the Lord (by way of helping others).  Our faith should show by what we do for the Lord.  We perform good works for the good of others and the glory of the Lord.  Jesus said so.  He said that we should let our lights shine, and people would see our lights and give glory to the Father due to them (Matthew 5:16).

Take another look.  Is it showing in you? Are you growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord? If so, it should be showing.

Read Full Post »

“Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.” – Acts 5:20 (ESV)

We need to step out in faith and speak “all the words of this life.” The angel of the Lord freed the apostles from the jail that held them in bondage, but he insisted that they go share the message with the people.  Their instructions told them to specifically speak in the temple.  That was where they were divinely directed.

Where has the Lord directed you?

Has the Lord directed you to share your prayers with the world? How about your praise? Think hard about it.  Let the Holy Spirit lead you to where God has for you to go with your prayers and your praise.

Perhaps, if you listen to the urging of the Lord, you will discover how much He wants you to publicize your prayers and your praise.  He can lead you to a plethora places.  He can lead you into the public space to share with others.  Let Him lead you to the parks and recreation centers, even the bus stops and train stations.  Maybe, if you get that divine inspiration, you can lead a prayer at city hall or the courthouse steps.

Let Him lead you.  Let Him use you.

Read Full Post »

16 And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him. – Mark 1:16-18 (NKJV)

Image

Jesus made an offer to fishers.  In Matthew 4:18, the Bible says: “. . . for they were fishermen” in the New King James Version.  These men knew fishing.  It was their trade and vocation.  They made their living with boats and nets.  They knew about fishing and how to fish.

Jesus offered them something vastly different from the world that they lived in daily.  He offered to make them “become fishers of men” (v. 17).  He would train them to be fishers of men by training them, as the New International Version says, “to fish for people.”

They would be able to do it, but Jesus would teach and train them in how to do it.  He would equip and enable them to reach people for the eternal kingdom of God.  They would serve as witnesses among men of the mighty power of His earthly works as well as His eternal works on behalf of the sinful throughout the world.  They would be trained at the feet of the Master to evangelize with purpose and power.

Image

Look at what Jesus can do with what you already have going for you.  He can use what you know or what you have experienced to make you suitable servants for the kingdom of God.  He trains us through His Holy Spirit, coaching us all of the way.  As we study and serve, the Spirit affirms the training of the evangelist within each and every one of us.

Read about what Jesus can do with us.  Francis Chan offers some insights into truly understanding the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Look at evangelism ministries of the the likes of Billy Graham and Oral Roberts.  Let the Lord lead you in your own evangelism efforts.

Read about what Jesus can make of us.  He made fishers of men out of fishermen.  He used ordinary folks to extraordinary things.  Twelve Ordinary Men is an exceptional read and study into how jesus can make something else out of us.

Image

Study His Word and discover how He can make more out of us than we have ever been before today.  He is able to do mighty works among us and through us to accomplish His purpose.  He wants people saved.  He wants you actively participating in drawing people to Him as fishers of men

Join the fishing division of the Lord’s army of believers.  Go forth and fish for people.

Read Full Post »

I am convinced that part of what we need to keep in mind for the remainder of 2009 is that God has high expectations of us all. I don’t mean to say that God expects us to be perfect. That’s not what He expects of us. Yet, He does desire for us to follow the model of perfection left by Jesus Christ, the Son of Man. We live as believers who should strive to “think and act like Christ” (Phil. 2:5, NCV). As the end of the year approaches, we can get into a mode where we just coast through towards the finish line. No, sir. No, ma’am. We must strive to continue to live out our God-given callings to the fullest. We motivation to keep our momentum. Stay on point with what God has ordained for you to complete and see through. Let Him inspire you with His Word. Don’t get into the holiday humdrum and settle for kick-starting things into full gear after the first of the year. Finish it out strong in 2009. Operate without regrets. Stay on point. God wants you to get things done in His name for His glory.

Read Full Post »