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Posts tagged ‘Spiritual Maturity’

Church: It’s Not About Me – The Right Question

Spiritual Maturity 3Key Bible Verse:  I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are.  Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.  Romans 12:3

Bonus Reading:  Romans 12:3-7; Ephesians 4:4-6.

When I attended Michigan State during the ’70s, the basketball team wasn’t very good even though there were good players on the team.

Norte Dame was in town and we were the underdogs.  It was a close game all the way. You could sense that it was going to come down to the last shot.  And there was a senior guard who was a great shot.  If the game was on the line, you wanted the ball in his hands.

There was another player on the team who was a young, cocky freshman and, although he had a lot of promise, he still had a long way to go.  You guessed it.  As the clock ticked down to the final seconds, the ball was in the hands of this freshman.

Instead of passing the ball to the senior guard, the freshman took the shot and missed.  His desire to be the hero lost the game.  Team unity is based on asking the right question: “What is best for the team?”  The freshman didn’t ask the right question.

Church unity is also based on asking the right question: “What is best for the church?”  You may not agree with the pastor.  You may not agree with the Sunday school superintendent.  But you must ask yourself the question: “What is best for the church?”

—Joe Williams

 

My Response: What is one decision being made in my church that may not be best for me but is still best for the church?

 

Thought to Apply: When Christians meet … their purpose is not—or should not be—to ascertain what is the mind of the majority, but what is the mind of the Holy Spirit.—Margaret Thatcher (British prime minister)

 

Prayer for the Week:  As your disciple, Lord, I recognize I can’t live a life of faith and faithful service on my own.  Help me to truly connect with Christian community.

 

 

Church: It’s Not About Me – Having It God’s Way

Spiritual Maturity 2Key Bible Verse:  I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.  Romans 12:1, NIV

Bonus Reading:  Philippians 2:1-5

“Please turn in your hymnals to page 158,” says the pastor, “and bring your sheep to the front to be slaughtered.”

That’s not exactly what we hear in church every weekend.  In the Old Testament, worship and sacrifice went hand-in-hand, but today these two are not as easily connected.  Maybe they should be.

I hate to admit it, but I’ve grumbled to my wife about a worship song that was “so 1990s.”  I’ve complained that my favorite pastor wasn’t teaching.  Not my finer moments.

Now, it’s normal and okay to have preferences.  But I’m concerned with how we respond when things are done according to another’s preferences.

Complaining and grumbling reveal a heart of selfishness and entitlement.  On the other hand, I can choose to sacrifice having it “my way.”  I can peacefully and joyfully sit through a song I don’t like, realizing that the church is not there to serve me.

I am there to worship God—the God who unselfishly sacrificed his Son for me.

Thankfully we don’t offer animals to God anymore (too messy on the new carpet), but we are still called to sacrifice in our worship gatherings.  Let’s put our preferences aside and turn the focus back on God.  This is our worship.

—Jason Kliewer

 

My response:  How do I respond to worship preferences that aren’t my preferences?

 

Thought to Apply:  The church exists to train its member through the practice of the presence of God to be servants of others, to the end that Christlikeness may become common property.—William Adams Brown (clergyman and theologian)

 

 

Prayer for the Week:  As your disciple, Lord, I recognize I can’t live a life of faith and faithful service on my own.  Help me to truly connect with Christian community.