buildingbodies4christ

building on the foundation of Jesus Christ

Archive for the tag “New Thing”

Let’s Get on With It!

On August 21, the US experienced a total solar eclipse – from the west coast to the east. There was another solar eclipse that did the same thing 99 years ago. Think about how much the nation has changed in those 99 years. But since this last solar eclipse, I think there has been a drastic change. It is like gears have shifted to a new level of intensity. Just think of everything that has occurred since August 21.

Everything changed in that same week with the devastation from Hurricane Harvey; then Hurricane Irma hit the islands about a couple of weeks later; then Hurricane Maria soon after. It’s been a busy hurricane season. Many firsts have occurred this year in the Atlantic Basin.

Not only has it been natural disasters since the solar eclipse, but man-made devastation as well. The Las Vegas shooting happened in October, NY had its day of terror, and now this church shooting just this past weekend. Did I forget anything? Every month, has seen something new. Will this end anytime soon? Unfortunately, I think we have turned a corner. It is interesting to me that the next solar eclipse to cross this nation will come in seven years. Leads me to wonder what God has in store for us in these next seven years.

And yet, here we are born into this time on God’s calendar. We were made for this season. He chose us for this hour. Scripture tells us that God has a plan for our lives. We have a purpose specific. Ephesians 2:10 says we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. God molded us in a fashion to do something specific – to reach the people He puts in our lives in the only way we can do so – with our talents and abilities. You might think you have no talent or ability. I always did. But God has placed something uniquely in you that will make a connection with someone else. You just might not have found that uniqueness yet. But it’s there. God designed you for a purpose higher than you can imagine.

So what do we do in this new time? We go back to the beginning of the church age when Jesus walked this earth – Love God; Love others and tell others what Jesus has done. I think the church has forgotten its roots. We got all into our programs to enrich our spiritual lives, but we have failed to follow through and teach others outside the four walls of the building. We became self-absorbed and have failed to love others in the way we have been instructed through God’s Word (Matthew 28:19-20). Well, that’s my opinion based on what I have witnessed in my own life.

However, I really believe we are in a new time where this is really going to be top priority in the years to come. One day, we may not have church buildings to go to. The American church body may become like every other part of the world, meeting in homes under the guidance of everyday people who love the Lord and love others by teaching them what they know. We actually learn together as the Holy Spirit joins in to teach us. It stretches us to learn in a different way by participating in a group setting. No one speaks at us, but we engage in the conversation as we discuss the Bible and apply what we learn. I think this is where we will be going in the future. I could be wrong. Time will tell.

You also might think you don’t know enough to teach someone. I did. However, I know more than someone else. We are all at different points of understanding. We can all learn and grow from one another. We pray for a heart that is willing to listen and the Holy Spirit to help us in the process of teaching and learning from each other. We are to be open and ready whenever Jesus places us in the position to be His hands and feet. We can do this.

The first church did it with great success. Jesus instructed the disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. The disciples weren’t ready in the beginning of His time with them; but when Jesus was ready to leave this earth, He put those scrappy young men in charge and they were ready. Three years of instructions from Jesus took a new form with the power of the Holy Spirit. Those who heard in the first few years spread the word and look how far it has gone. This is our time; and as you noticed, things are changing rapidly. Be prepared to tell others about your peace and your joy. They are going to want what you have.

So come on, let’s leave the preschool finger painting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on “salvation by self-help” and turning in trust toward God; baptismal instructions; laying on of hands; resurrection of the dead; eternal judgment. God helping us, we’ll stay true to all that. But there’s so much more. Let’s get on with it! Hebrews 6:1-3 (MSG)

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New Year, New Thing

I love new things. I buy new cars and drive them for many years. I love the new car smell (even though I know it’s toxic). I love new houses. I love to watch them start from nothing to become the blueprint in 3D. I love new clothes and how they make me feel. I love to see new ideas come to life. I love new seasons of the year – especially spring and fall. I love to plant things and watch them grow. I love a clean slate when there are no expectations – open mind; ready for anything that comes my way.

2013 is a clean slate. I have no expectations for this year. Oh, I have a few things I want to accomplish. I set some spiritual goals. There are a few things I am praying to happen. But I don’t know God’s direction for me yet. I have been reading several books lately about “purpose.” I got a couple more as gifts for Christmas. I read about the five love languages, and it dawned on me that Jesus has a love language too. He knows our love for him when we are doing “acts of service.” One of the things I will be working on this year is how I will show more love to Jesus. Jesus ask Peter (found in John 21:15-19) if he loved Him. Peter replied “yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus told Peter to “feed His sheep.” What does “feeding sheep” look like in my current city? What is my purpose in this place? What need am I called to fill?

These are the questions that need to be answered this year. I didn’t do such a great job last year. I have been in this city, in this neighborhood for thirteen years. Have I made a difference? God called me to my city for a “job” and I have been wandering in the wilderness wondering where this job is. I was in a new place, found a new church and new friends. I was excited about all the newness. But then the newness wore off, and I’m still here looking for the reason for this particular city at this particular time.

As I sit on the cusp of a new year, I am anxiously waiting to see where the sheep need to be tended. I don’t want to have another year down with little difference being made. It’s time to be busy loving Jesus as He wants to be loved. It’s time for all things to be made new – even my mindset – ready to serve in the name of Jesus. Hold me to it!

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)

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