Thursday, November 21, 2013

Life is Ministry

"Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve, 
and to give His life a ransom for many."
Matthew 20:28

By the end of the day yesterday, I had a sink full of dirty dishes...but without the baby...

I had forgotten about the six granny smith apples in the right crisper drawer, and since I love to bake, I decided to make an apple pie for my evening ladies Bible study.  I also baked my first batch of Christmas chocolate chip cookies (using red and green M&M's) to take to the gals, for our planned Christmas fellowship get together in December.  I know I will not be able to go because something else is on the calendar - I still wanted to contribute to the goodies.  (One of the gals could put them in the freezer and then pull them out the evening they meet.)  So, along with my and my husband's contributions from eating throughout the day, and the afternoon of baking, the stack of dirty dishes was pretty high.

I have a question for you gals, since we basically are the ones responsible for this household chore.  What is your view of dirty dishes?  They pile up every day, right?  We usually don't mind them when we've been doing something fun in the kitchen, but, if we are in a big family like I was when growing up, it's a never ending cycle of empty sink and counter, full sink and counter, empty sink and counter, full sink and counter - of dirty dishes!  I complained a lot about having to do dishes when I was in high school!  And what about the piles of dirty laundry large families can produce?  What is your attitude about keeping up with those mountains of dirty socks and underwear (and all the other smelly things our precious families send our way), each day?  Or, what has come out of your mouth when your husband has asked you to pick up that oil filter he needs to change the oil in the car, since you are going to be out running errands - it means one more stop, among the already half a dozen places on your list to go.  I'm guilty of not reflecting the character of Christ by letting the feeling of being put out rise up and then responding with, "Can't you do that?"  Selfish and sinful...plain and simply, selfish and sinful, when it should have been, "Sure!"

How are we supposed to think about all the areas in which we serve our families?

"Therefore be imitators of God, 
as beloved children;
and walk in love,
just as Christ also loved you
and gave Himself up for us, 
an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma."
Ephesians 5:1,2

We've been chosen for salvation, to experience the joy of a deep, intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe.  It comes from spending daily time with Him, in His Word.  He loved us and gave Himself for us.  He wants us to come to Him, to learn from Him and learn all about Him, so we can put His character on display in our lives.  He knows what will bring us joy.  Serving brought Him joy and our serving others will bring us joy, when we put off the mind of selfishness and put on the mind of Christ.  In His choosing us, and redeeming us, our calling is to be like Him.  To bear His image.  Before salvation, that was not a concern of ours.  It was all about us.  We may have served, but it was for the purpose of pleasing the Lord to gain heaven.  This really only produces anxiousness and fear.  Am I doing enough?  What is enough?  We didn't understand that our righteousnesses for that purpose, are like filthy rags to God.

Jesus is the example to us of how we are to live our lives.  Life for Jesus when He was here on this earth was about serving and ministry.  He taught, He touched, He healed, He loved, He died - for us.  Life, too, for us, is ministry.  It is to be about serving and loving, putting others before ourselves.  When we serve others joyfully, we bear the image of the One who loved us, and gave Himself for us.

Remember this truth - every meal we cook, every dish we wash, every pair of underwear we fold, everything we do for our husbands, is an expression of love...not only to our families, but also to our Savior!  Serve with gladness, and if the joy isn't there, and sometimes it's not because we serve in unredeemed flesh which wars against the heart of God, serve anyway.  Be in the Word, every day, even if it is just for five minutes.  When we spend time with the Lord and serve no matter how we feel, joy returns!

"Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing."
Psalm 100:2

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily,
as for the Lord rather than for men,
knowing that from the Lord 
you will receive the reward of the inheritance.
It is the Lord Christ whom you serve."
Colossians 3:23, 24

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


That Jesus loved us
and gave Himself for us
should be
knowledge of His character 
for us to immediately
and joyfully 
obey any instruction He has given us.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Knowing God

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory,
both now and to the day of eternity.

II Peter 3:18

Salvation is not solely about being rescued from hell, although that is part of the gift of salvation. The verse above instructs us to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Jesus defined eternal life in John 17:3 as knowing God the Father and Himself.  The best thing in life, bringing more joy, delight, and contentment than anything else, is knowledge of God.  Of all the states that God sees us in, knowledge of Himself gives Him the most pleasure.  In Hosea 6:6, God tells us that He desires knowledge of Himself more than burnt offerings.  In Jeremiah 9:23, we are told to revel in our knowledge and understanding of God, not in our wealth or strength or wisdom. It should be every child of God’s desire and life long endeavor to know Jesus better - the One who paid the price for our sin.  We should want to know Him deeper and more fully – the One who loved us and gave Himself for us. Anytime we open His revelation to us and look into the heart and character of God, sincerely seeking Him, our knowledge of Him increases, our view of Him is enlarged, our faith is strengthened, and our love for Him grows.  As our knowledge and understanding of Him increases, He becomes greater and greater in our hearts and minds.  He increases, and we decrease.  A true knowledge of God produces a supernatural peace in a world roiling with turmoil.  A true knowledge of God produces inexpressible joy.  A growing, true knowledge of God diminishes sin.  A true, intimate, deep, growing knowledge of God protects us, transforms us, and produces a heart and life that deeply loves and worships God. 

Have you spent time with Him today? 

May we be known, for knowing God…and for pursuing Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.