If any of us have been around churches or churched people, we have probably heard Matthew 28:18-20 quoted. GO and MAKE disciples. Commands of action. So what happens if we don't activate our faith? So what if we don't GO or DO or SPEAK or LIVE? It's about a relationship with Jesus, right??? Absolutely, but it is much more than just having a closed-door faith and it is this call that we need to strive toward in each day of our lives.
As I sit in my house, comfortable temperature, coffee cup next to me, iPhone at the ready, family fed, youth pastor at a fantastic church, great friends who love Jesus, the challenge rings and rattles throughout my heart, mind, and soul. KEVIN - What are YOUR actions today in relation to the Kingdom? Who has the Lord planted in my path? What words has He deposited into my heart and mind that are for that person? If I don't activate and listen to the Lord, I will be happy to ignorantly walk through the day and never share. Never know. Never allow the Spirit of the Almighty inject life into someone else.
James 2:16-26 cuts directly into the meat of our faith. If someone is without clothes or food, and we simply say we hope the Lord helps them, what are WE DOING? Our faith is shown by what we do, and if we are doing nothing, our faith is not being shown. As summer moves along, let us grab ahold of the need for action and activation of faith to fulfill the call of Christ, to be used by the Almighty, and to experience the life-giving expressions of Jesus.
It's official! All schools are out and it is time to enjoy the summer! As we begin to fill up our time with events, picnics, swimming, and friends, we want to remember to keep the Lord as our priority. One of the best ways to do that is to continue to read His Word and be prayerful in each day.
Psalms 119:11 - Your Word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.
As we desire for the Lord to continue to change us as His children, we should also strive to bring honor to Him through obedience and righteous choices. Learning and following His word allows us to know what His standard is and how He helps us meet that.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Our attitudes should reflect the relationship we have with Christ Jesus through His sacrifice for us. Rejoicing and celebrating who He is and what He has done begins to be a natural response once we align ourselves with Him through prayer.
Whether you are a night owl who makes their time at night to pray and read, or if you are an early bird who studies and prays during breakfast, God our Father is waiting for us to seek Him and know Him more!
As each day presents new challenges, changes, and opportunities, keep in mind God's great mercy. The mercy of Christ on the cross, His resurrected life for our redemption and forgiveness can not be overlooked. When we know and believe He has poured out His grace and compassion and love to the point of death, it should shake our foundations each and every morning so that the walls of bitterness and revenge come down. Christ states that the merciful are blessed for they will receive mercy (Matthew 5:7). It is not based on our own standards that we give mercy; it is based on Christ's standard that mercy is not necessarily deserved as His death and resurrection resonate.
I pray that we are all reflective this week as His mercy showers over us. What does that mean for me as His follower? How should I treat those around me? May we all allow the Holy Spirit to move us toward being merciful in light of Christ and His message of hope, love, and life.