With what I know about the Apostle Paul, He would sum up Christmas in the 1st Chapter of Colossians. Building the argument about what the Faith is truly about; from verse 1 and culminating at 27, verse by verse, idea to idea, one attribute and again that “Christ in you,” is the “Hope of Glory”.
God has constructed a bridge, or as Isaiah spoke, “a highway for our God,” for us, mere humans, to travel an open road between ourselves and God.
With this honor and gift also goes responsibilities and commitment.
Before the Holiday Season is ended, spend some time praying through the beginning of Colossians; let it speak to you.
shape and deepen theological understandings so leaders can act with Wisdom
listens to the voice of God within: the Holy Spirit
trains and encourages growth that will produce fruit
empowers individuals by creating leaders so they can accomplish “works of service”; either within or outside the church
In the modern North American church we ask leaders to make decisions and give us direction — that is our “marching orders” — defining what positions there will be (and how many) within the church, each of their descriptions, hours, and pay (if any). Yet leading, within the context of Jesus’ teaching and Paul’s expressed views, means leaders are servants (Jesus to His disciples in Luke 22: 24-27 ) given the job of building up the Saints (Paul in Ephesians 4: 11-15). Not seeking power or administrating through corporate structure as everyone’s boss.
Think of the Marriage Relationship as God’s example for inter-personal communication skills. Plans are made but not always by one individual all the time. Also, a marriage does not function well without God in a leadership role. A triangular relationship. Marriage is enriched by the influence of a knowledge of God’s ways, an attentiveness to prayer, in short the overview God gives to our position in life: He has created each of us uniquely to reflect and serve each other.
Train people to lead. Let them do their God-given thing.
As our life closes and we see God to His face, we are called to some kind of reckoning for the life we have lived.
Talking on a positive note, as an individual you determine your outcome. Like college. At the end of the semester, the professor tallies the points you accrued and assigns the grade you earned. More effort on your part towards higher test scores equals a higher grade. Nice going! Our society emphasizes higher grades. But, God can see your whole life. Maybe you did not study as much because the house 2 doors down the block caught fire, and you helped the displaced family the weekend before midterm. Society looks at the grade; thank God, for seeing “the larger picture”; as well as our hearts. (I do not imply students shirk good grades — do your best work. Always try your hardest.)
As implied, this delving is enacted for individuals, not groups. Each person is evaluated — not nations, cultures, denominations, religions, genders and such. You are gifted for your credits, not for points earned by a group.
Originally posted on Kingdom Pastor: Well, yesterday we looked the the foundation provide by Jesus that the very first believers embraced. But what good is a foundation unless something is built upon it. Right now I remembering from a previous appointment in a certain community, there was something I saw almost every day. It was…
I thoroughly recommend this post (and others) Pastor Randy has posted.
Well, yesterday we looked the the foundation provide by Jesus that the very first believers embraced. But what good is a foundation unless something is built upon it. Right now I remembering from a previous appointment in a certain community, there was something I saw almost every day. It was a foundation for a house. What I noticed was that it was overgrown with weeds even saplings were growing up. Someone had started to build a house but got only as far as the foundation.
I don’t know the story or the reason why–but this morning I see a spiritual truth in that image. A foundation becomes worthless unless something–something worthwhile–is built upon it. In looking at the book of Acts–Acts Of The Holy Spirit In Surrendered People–those surrendered people took that foundation and began building. What they built is a far cry from most “churches” today.
Found this puffball near our house and immediately thought of John 12:24. Before the insides of a puffball turn to spores, the insides are spongy like a marshmallow and the outside’s color is creamy brown. But a transformation takes place, the insides become spores that spread in the wind — especially when you encounter one this size with the lawn mower!
The wording of John 12:24 is awkward. Dying is referenced twice — maybe to simply draw our attention to it?
First, in existing “alone”, as the seed falls to the ground and dies; but then, it will bear much fruit should it die. Jesus was preparing the Disciples of His own death: that His dying would grow fruit. What a great symbol for the Disciples to connect to later on when Jesus would be “absent in body” from them. Jesus gave purpose to the next stage for the Disciples to work to bear fruit.
Also there’s a nice symbolism within the imagery of a “seed”. Seeds are edible, beneficial, very healthy foods. The Word of God is edible, sustaining, tasting good.