Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks. -Phillip Brooks
Getting out of our comfort zone was a recent Sunday morning lesson. It made me squirm a bit and I expect others as well. I admit, in my mind I started justifying why I don’t need to get out of my comfort zone by remembering Romans 12:4-8 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
As I thought more about it I admitted to myself I was taking Romans 12:4-8 out of context. I thought about how I got out of my comfort zone when I learned to ride a bike, drive a car, learned to cook, got a job. The list is endless; on many occasions we have all had to get out of our comfort zones for one reason or another. (Ugh! There went my backup plan).
There will be occasions when we will be called to step up and step out. Time to walk in another’s shoes and lend a hand. It might make us nervous, sweaty and shaky. In the middle of that nervous, sweaty and shaky situation, you might be surprised to find what a blessing you were to others.
Hebrews 4:16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Do not strive in your own strength; cast yourself at the feet of the Lord Jesus, and wait upon Him in the sure confidence that He is with you, and works in you. Strive in prayer; let faith fill your heart-so will you be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. -Andrew Murray
This post came about from observing our leaders trying to find a few willing bodies to fill in while most of the church family is away as family camp.
If you are like me, ever so often you need to take inventory and make a list before a trip to the grocery store or when your insurance comes up for renewal, asking, do I have enough or too much.
Often I pause to take my ‘spiritual’ inventory.
Am I saying “no” to self and “yes” to Christ… am I remembering Galatians 2:20-21 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
I recently finished reading Micah again and am reminded how God hates idolatry, unfairness, rebellion, and empty rituals.
I love this question from Micah 6:8 And what does the Lord require of you?
(I find this a good question for beginning my spiritual inventory).
Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
This scripture has a strong message and should not be taken lightly. It gives instruction on how we are to live every day. Not when we are trying to impress others, not in ritualistic actions or service. It is to be so ingrained in us that it becomes our nature.
Hosea 6:6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
Isaiah 1:16-17 Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
Jeremiah 22:3 This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.
Zechariah 7:9-10 "This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.'
James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
For me, this next one covers all of the above, if I am loving God and my neighbor as stated below, I will be obeying the ones above. It’s all about loving God and loving others and expressing that love in the way I treat others. I know full well it’s not as easy as it sounds, because we all know how others can get on our last nerve at times. I also know that God doesn’t ask any thing of us that we can’t do.
Matthew 22:37-40 "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
It all comes down to our heart, God doesn’t want sacrifices, he wants our hearts to be in tune to others, loving Him, loving others and serving. Finding our talents and using them.
I am also reminded that our God is truly an awesome God…Micah 7:18-19 Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
Psalm 51:10-12 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.