When I was learning to drive, my father thought everyone should first learn to drive a car with a manual transmission. For those not familiar with that term, this refers to cars that require you to change gears manually. The process involves learning how to synchronize the gas pedal, the clutch pedal, and the gearshift. The key is to ‘smoothly’ engage the clutch.
My father and older brother took me driving in the country one Sunday afternoon (less traffic) to practice learning the mystery of the manual transmission. I came to a stop sign that had a sharp left turn UP HILL. Now the trick is to engage the clutch without letting the car roll backward. My first unsuccessful attempt was best described as a hopping rabbit. My “instructors” roared with laughter!
For the Christ-follower, our lives must “fully engaged” to live our lives pleasing to Him. Romans 12:11 “Do not be lazy but work hard. Serve the Lord with all your heart.”
The plague of Christianity is half-heartedness, resembles Christianity but there is no power, no love, no peace. We are to serve the Lord with all [fully engaged] our hearts. 2 Timothy 3:5 says, “They will go on pretending to be devoted to God, but they will refuse to let that “devotion” change the way they live. Stay away from these people!”
We are beginning a new year, I would encourage you to be fully engaged in your service to the Lord this year.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3
One of the most difficult aspects of any relationship is maintaining unity. No matter if it is in the home, church or business unity is hard to achieve and even harder to keep.
The church at Ephesus was composed of Jews and Gentiles, which was a perfect storm for disunity. I believe that unity is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. Only as we “walk in the Spirit” are we able to yield our “rights” and do what is best for the whole.
But there is another option. You could move to the town of Unity, Oregon (population 70). And in the truest sense, you COULD live in Unity.
Have you ever heard someone say, “They make me so mad?” Of course you have, maybe you said that yourself. But is it really true? Can people “make” you mad? I know there are people that know which “buttons” to push to upset you. They know how to “get your goat.” But we need to ask ourselves, who is in charge of my emotions?
To say that someone, other than yourself can promote a certain emotional response from you is to they can control you to some extent. But the Bible is clear that each Christ-follower is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit and not our emotions. Eph. 4:31 Psalm 37:8
You are to be in control of your emotions. I am not saying we are to deny our emotions (Remember Mr. Spock?) but don’t allow them to control you.
You get angry because you allowed yourself to get angry.
When I came to Christ, I belonged to a church that had an emphasis on external standards. They required people to follow a certain set of rules and requirements. They had a standard of dress that was rigidly followed. Certain places, like movie theaters, we’re off limits. No one was allowed to own or watch a television due to its influence.
Looking back, I have a new understanding of why they created those rules. Where they went wrong was they took the principles taught in Scripture and made them laws to be obeyed. The Bible does teach modesty but they tried to legislate it. The Bible wants us to live holy but holiness isn’t achieved by complying with rules. By keeping the “rules” they thought they could gauge if they were (or were not) pleasing God with their lives.
There is no “standard” for everyone. God has created us all different and what He requires of each is different. If we truly want to please Him with our lives, we must allow the Holy Spirit to lead us. John 16:12-14 Romans 8:14 Galatians 5:17-19
Everyone wants a great deal. We go through the newspaper looking for the best price on food, clothing, and automobile tires. Have you ever went to a yard sale or flea market and discover an item that is vastly under-priced? You know that the person selling the item obviously does not know its true worth. Do you try to talk them into selling it at ever a lower price?
As a Christ-follower, do you…
a) Praise God for this wonderful opportunity, buy the object without letting the owner know its true value? And then brag to your friends what a shrewd dealer you are?
b) Inform the owner of the real value and offer him a reasonable price?
Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you. Luke 6:31
Would love to hear your comments.
Horses are not loners by nature, so it’s common practice for thoroughbreds to keep a horse known as a companion pony for friendship and support. The friends that accompany racehorses both on the road and at home are not limited to horses, however—dogs, sheep, goats, and even chickens have served as companions. Thoroughbreds are high-spirited animals and the companion pony often calms the race horse before the race.
David was a soothing influence in King Saul’s life when a “distressing spirit” troubled him (1 Sam. 16:14). When Saul’s servants learned of his problem, they thought music might ease his affliction. One servant summoned David, who was a skilled harpist. Whenever the king became troubled, David would play the harp. “Then Saul would become refreshed and well” (v.23).
Jesus said, “ I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper who will be with you forever” . John 14:16
God will never leave us comfortless. He sent His Holy Spirit to us as our Comforter. God knows all that we’ll face in this world, and knows we cannot possibly do it in our own strength. The Holy Spirit within us empowers us to walk with God in a corrupt and dying world. When there is so much hate around us – He loves us. When there is so much negativity around us – He encourages us. When there are lies all around us – He shows us the truth. When there is so much fighting and discord around us – He gives us peace. He is our daily comforter – our Standby. And will be forever!.