Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Morning Musings ...

Had a great day yesterday. There was a very good spirit throughout the worship service. One of our teens played a special on the piano for the offertory and did a fantastic job. There were 2 teens on the worship team. I love seeing our youth involved in worship leadership. We had a decent attendance. There was some powerful stuff going on in people's hearts and minds during the service. This was evidenced by the prayer time and by people stepping out to counsel someone while worship continued.

I concluded the series "Changeover" yesterday. Using Isaiah 43:14-44:5 we have looked at what we need to focus on to be all that God desires of us as individuals and as a church body. Each week we had a challenge and the last 4 weeks we have examined specific disciplines such as reading the Bible, Prayer, Fasting, Giving and committing to a community of believers. This week was a challenge that links all of the disciplines, serving others. The call to serve Christ by serving others. One of the criticisms that God gave to the people in the passage in Isaiah was that they had "not wearied yourselves for me" (43:22). That verse has stuck with me all through my study of this passage and preparation for the messages in this series. Too often we don't put ourselves out on God's behalf. We often weary ourselves over many things don't matter and neglect God.

We are to serve others because Jesus showed us how. He was not only an example, but he told us to serve others, John 13:12-15. Jesus looked for opportunities to serve. An opportunity is when we see or hear of a need. This requires us to be seeking to serve. So you must be looking and listening for needs. Matthew 25:14-30 is a great parable about a master giving responsibility to some who worked for him. He went away and came back to check on the results. Two of the three worked hard and brought the master a return on his investment. The third one did nothing with what the master gave him and literally buried it. He then simply handed it back to the master. The master didn't want it returned, he wanted the worker to use it. God has gifted each of us and he is not looking for us to preserve it, but to use what he has provided to serve. What are you doing with what God has provided for you? Notice in this passage that the master gave to each of the workers "according to their ability". The master believed in each of the workers, but the one didn't believe in himself or the master as evidenced by him doing nothing with what was given. Brian C. Houston said, "Great churches are not built on the gifts and talents of a few, but on the sacrifices of many." The issue is not equal gifts but equal sacrifice. This requires no special skills but a willingness to be available.

The challenge: Seek to serve others as God shows you needs. Note there is no time limit to this challenge. Are you willing to be available?

Last night we began new small groups on Sunday evenings. The reports of the groups has been outstanding. I am really excited about the group Jody and I are leading. It was a great beginning and the future should be great in these groups.

Yes, a very good day indeed.


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