HABITS WORTH HAVING – Celebration (Luke 2:10) ----------------------------------------------- We should live the joy of Christmas all year long. Remember that Jesus came with great joy. God doesn’t promise happiness all the time, but we need to be careful to not be so serious that we lose the joy of knowing Him. Joy is in us even when we are struggling in difficult situations and live in the midst of turmoil. Rather than wait until things are good, we should celebrate in anticipation of what He has for us. It’s all about faith in Who He is. We should enjoy ourselves, lives, the beauty in the world and people. When we follow God, the fruit of the Spirit shows up and joy is a part of that. True joy is from having a right relationship with God. Our obedience is the visible expression of faith, and joy is the reality of our life in comparison with a holy God. Application points: -- Don’t take yourself so seriously that you never enjoy and are not enjoyable. Give yourself permission to enjoy life. -- Fight sadness with celebration. Don’t be alone, and don’t dwell on all that has gone wrong. -- Get together and don’t forget to laugh. Prepare for heaven. There will be much joy! -- Obey God with the intention of enjoying His goodness.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
HABITS WORTH HAVING – Stewardship (Matt 25:14-30) ----------------------------------------------- Our time, possessions, talents and abilities are all gifts from God, and He is the source and the owner of all of them. (Gen 14:22; Ps 24:1). We need to faithfully manage what the Lord has entrusted us with. The parable of the talents shows that God entrusts us by the ability that we have to handle it. The servant who buried the talent put his own thoughts and ideas on the master rather than recognizing the master’s true self. When the servant buried the resource, it wasn’t used for good. It went unused. We need to be faithful and recognize that our God is love, grace, and life. (I Cor 4:2). We should do our very best to be obedient, and should have fun with what we do for the Lord. And we should do our work for the Lord. Our reward is not monetary gain, but is the relationship we have with the Lord and other people. We need to be careful not to live our life in an illusion that we are living with God when we live a life of disobedience. We are to use His resources to help others (I Peter 4: 10-11), and need to consider whether it is what God intended for His resources. He wants us to use our time, money, talents and abilities to accomplish what HE wants. God’s will for us is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves, making disciples of all people… to care for widows and orphans, do justice, and love mercy. Application points: --If you want to talk percentage, talk 100% rather than 10%. It’s ALL God’s. -- Steward your time (Ephesians 5:15-16). Care about what God cares about and spend your time accordingly. -- Seward your treasure (I Cor 16:2, II Cor 9:7) Steward your talents. (I Peter 4:10). Use it to serve others. -- Buy stock in the Great Commission. There is a Guaranteed investment return. We need to stop being disciple by the world. Things are either temporal (things) or eternal (people and God). Ultimately, we are here to make disciples.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
HABITS WORTH HAVING – Fellowship (Acts 2:41-47; Heb 10:19-25) ----------------------------------------------- God created a family. He gives us spiritual gifts so that we can build up the body of Christ (Eph 4:11-16), and he gives us the ability to exercise those gifts. Share life on the journey to maturity. As part of His family, we should genuinely care about each other. Rather than say “I don’t need church,” we should want to be together. Jesus calls us His body. We need people and need to be part of the fellowship. It gives us checks, and we can encourage each other and cheer each other along. Application points: -- Make certain you enter the fellowship through faith in Jesus. -- Share life with people who point you to Jesus. Reach out to others, but beware the influence of bad people. -- Invest in the relationships of fellowship so that we all grow. We all have gifts, abilities, and resources to bring. But we need to invest it. Don’t sell ourselves short of what God has put in us. We need to bring our gifts to bear for the body.