Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Col 3:10 And have put on the new man…
When the Apostle Paul commanded believers to put on the new man, he was using an image that communicated the thought of removing soiled clothes and replacing them with fresh, clean clothes. He had told them to remove the filthy clothes of their old lives, and was now encouraging them to put on the clean clothes of righteousness that is based on the new life God had given to them in Jesus.
This reminds me of something that happened to a fellow Pastor several years ago.
He was ministering in the Philippine Islands, and was about to take a picture of some of the people he had been teaching and ministering to. As he held his camera to his eye, he saw that he was too close to them to get a photograph that would include all of them. In order to get them all in the picture, he took a step back. The problem was, he had not noticed that he was standing on the edge of an open sewage pit and as you may guess, he fell right in, up to his armpits!
Do you think he wanted to keep those clothes on? Did he argue with the ones who encouraged him to remove those soiled clothes?
I don't think so.
It was in his best interest as well as the interests of others for him to get them off immediately!
He wanted the old ones off and wanted to put the new ones on!
Though this picture most certainly is disturbing, I still cannot help but believe that many Christians have simply gotten used to wearing the old stuff (you might want to read Colossians 3:1-17 to get a more full picture) and are more than satisfied to keep them on!
Today, if the Lord is speaking to you about fine tuning your life, you just might want to remember the old phrase "Off with the old, on with the new!"
Especially when it comes to your walk with Jesus!
Monday, May 2, 2011
1 Co 12:17-18 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.
There he was, standing with his baseball glove in his mouth, staring down the batter at home plate. My third baseman, my hero, the terror of Pee Wee Little League baseball players everywhere, Joseph Andrew Rosales.
Joseph was never much interested in sports. For him, involvement in athletics seemed to be something you would do once in awhile, but not necessarily something that one should get too involved in.
Being home, kicking off his shoes, and just relaxing with the family seemed to be all he was interested in. Baseball certainly wasn't something he had ever been too caught up in, but he did play for a couple of seasons, and I can't help but believe part of the reason he did this at all was because he thought I would like watching him play, and he was right.
But there he was, all eight years old of him. Standing next to the bag, chewing on his glove, waiting for the pitcher to somehow discover where the baseball had hidden in his glove so he could wind up and throw his marshmallow towards the backstop. Only this time, the pitcher actually threw the ball across the plate, and the batter somehow connected, and the ball screamed towards Joseph standing quietly at third base.
Joseph made a beautiful stop with his chest.
Dazed as he was, he somehow got control of himself, picked up the ball, threw it over the first baseman's head, and then ran off the field, directly into the arms of his Daddy who was standing on the sidelines.
As I cradled his little head in my hands, and as I consoled him and kissed his little face, I could not help but to think of how many times I have run into the arms of my heavenly Father.
Times that I have been caught off guard, hurt, and embarrassed.
Times when I needed to be held by Him, consoled by Him, encouraged by Him, loved by Him.
Touched by Him.
I also learned something else that has impacted my life tremendously.
I came to realize that I too was part of Joseph's team.
Though I wasn't on the field, still, my presence was necessary. My presence was an encouragement to Joseph, and to the rest of the team.
Then I thought about the Church, which in a way is God's team.
This led me to realize that every person on God's team is necessary; not only the ones who are on the field playing, but also the ones who are there, encouraging others.
In church, sometimes we may get the mistaken idea that only certain people are on the actual team. We may think that the pastor, elders, deacons, musicians, or Sunday school teachers are the real players, and we are only spectators, cheering them on as they fight valiantly for Jesus. We may even become sorrowful, because we think we will never be on the first team.
To make this application more personal: you may not be able to do the things you once did. Perhaps your body does not respond to commands anymore. Perhaps you lack transportation, or are unable to perform the kind of ministry you once performed, and you feel useless and unnecessary.
You need to remember one thing: you are still on the team.
Today, you just may be used by Jesus to love and encourage someone who needs a gentle word and a loving touch. You may be used today to bring comfort and security to someone desperately needing to hear from the Lord, or you may hear of something that needs immediate prayer.
Be ready, because you never know when you will be called on.
Wait and be ready, because you are on His team.