Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God


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Pandemic Perspective – Part 131 Born to Bless – Part 1

Galatians 6:7-10

7 “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith”.

In Galatians 6:9 God reveals the secret to a successful and blessed life, don’t be selfish with your service but seek opportunities to lavish God’s love on others. The world tells us that getting ahead involves investing in self not service, that happiness comes through having not helping. But the Word reminds us that if we want a harvest we need to hand out not hold onto. Investing our lives starts not with saving but with:    

  • SOWING

If you want to partake in the blessings you have to plant. There will never be a harvest if you hoard the seed, so scripture calls us to sow the seeds not leave them in a bag in the barn. This is more than just a call to plant seeds, if we want to be successful we need to be planting specific seeds. In the previous chapter Paul pointed out the difference between a lust based life and one of love as he listing out 15 different kinds of foul sinful behaviors and 9 fruitful ones. So let me ask you what seeds are you sowing? If we want to experience success then we need to stop sowing sinful seeds and start sowing the seeds of the Spirit. You can’t sow to the flesh and reap fulfilling fruit. Today there are many who are mocking God, they want to sow seeds of destruction and demand that God bless them or at least bail them out. But you can’t fool or force the Father into blessing you, blessing is not based on your wants but on His Will. I wonder what our world would be like if we sowed seeds of kindness in keeping with the fruit of the Spirit? In Mark 12:30-31 Jesus sums up the scriptures in two statements, love God with all of your life and love others like you love yourself. So what would happen if we submitted to God’s formula for success and sowed seeds of life? What would happen in our homes and the hearts of our neighbors, in our workplaces and world? How would life be different if we would participate in planting and make it a point to brighten somebody else’s day? We need the ministry mindset of who can I serve by sowing, who can I bless? You see we were born again to be a blessing, saved to serve. Opportunities are everywhere if we would be willing to just seek them out and sow. Do you paying attention and looking for opportunities to plant or are you letting opportunities to sow slip by? Are you a proactive planter or a procrastinating planter? If sowing leads to success then why don’t we do this more often? Selfishness, in my life the greatest enemy to sowing has not been Satan but self. If we want to be successful then we need to live our lives like the Savior and:

  • SERVE 

Selfishness short circuit’s success because it causes us to stop sowing the seeds of life. Paul calls us to have a family focus and find our joy in giving not getting. We should have a genuine concern for the community of believers, the body of Christ. One of the saddest things about the church today is the focus on self instead of serving. As the emphasis has shifted from the Savior to self so has our focus of service. Today most Christians are concerned with how a church service will serve them, what they will get out of it. If it doesn’t fit their needs or provide or serve them then they stop going. Today most Christians go to get, rather than showing up to serve they show up to soak. What about you are you looking to serve or looking for a show? One of the foundational truths that the Lord wants us to learn when we become Christians is that we were saved to serve. One of the greatest strengths of the early church was their commitment to come together and serve one another. They were committed to community and meeting one another’s needs. Serving is not easy it takes energy and sometimes serving requires sacrifice. The early church cared for each other sacrificially, they were willing to sell and share whatever they had in order to serve each other. Serving may mean that we have to give up our wants and go out of our way. Sometimes it means putting other people’s needs ahead of our own plans. Caring enough to come alongside others may require you to clear your calendar. It might mean sacrificing your time, talents and treasures. Sometimes service requires more than just a sacrifice of money but a total mindset, sometimes we have to get self out of the way long enough to make room for the servant. Many of us desire to see a spectacular harvest but instead of sowing sacrificially we sow sparingly. Rarely is caring convenient, instead it often costs and calls to us when we are tired and drained, maybe even discouraged and don’t feel much like serving. Much of the Masters serving came at great personal cost, and serving isn’t always pretty. Serving may get us into situations that are far from comfortable or convenient. Jesus didn’t paint a pretty picture of serving when He got down on his hands and knees and washed the disciple’s dirty feet. He didn’t just say that He came to serve, He showed it. Ministering involves adopting the Masters mindset, sometimes serving requires more than just stopping to help but stooping and humbling our heart. Sometimes before we can lend a helping hand we have to humbling our heart. Jesus didn’t see Himself as superior to others He saw Himself as a servant. What about you are you willing to get down on your hands and knees and get a little dirty so you can serve others? We live in a culture that not only likes convenience but loves its comfort. As a result we are often unwilling to do anything which makes us uncomfortable. Christ didn’t call us to comfort he called us to care. What about you are you willing to plant, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to serve, sometimes it’s the simple things like a meal or mowing a lawn that make a difference. What if you started to sow the seeds of service? There are many practical ways to put this into practice all you need is a heart that wants to help. Either you are a servant or you are not, but if you want a good harvest then you have to be willing to participate and plant. So what seeds are you sowing? The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others will always harvests a crop of weeds. But the one who sows seeds of service will harvest a bounty of blessing. Sometimes people sow not to serve but to be seen, seeking earthy recognition rather than eternal reward. Are you serving to be seen and settling for man’s applause over that of the Almighty? Stop serving to be seen and start serving selflessly. Are you sowing sacrificially or sparingly, are you going to sow a lot or a little. Are you going to love liberally or lavishly? If you want a harvest you have to be willing to invest your heart, are you investing your life or your left overs?  


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Pandemic Perspective – Part 130 Thankful Trust

Psalm 28:7

 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

There are many things that can steal our joy like painful losses and broken relationships, but the bible says that a Trusting heart is a Joyful heart. There are over 200 references to joy in the Bible and when I talk about joy I don’t mean “happiness,” because happiness is dependent on circumstances. Happiness is fleeting because it is tied to how we feel, like heartburn, from eating too fast that can make us unhappy because it doesn’t feel good. Joy on the other hand is an inward attitude that has God as its object and its source. Joy has a depth deeper than just feeling and is present even in the midst of pain, because the focus of joy is not the pain or the problems but the presence of God.

The real truth is that joy can still be a major component of our lives even in the pain and problems, when things go wrong and we are left with the heartache and hurt. Sometimes in those moments we are tempted to walk around with a plastic smile on our face pretending that everything is okay but joy is not faking happiness. Joy stems from a trusting relationship with the Lord that permeates our attitude impacting how we carry ourselves in the midst of the problems. How would others characterize your attitude? Do they see you living a life of joy, peace, and rest, or do they see someone who looks like they have no hope for today, much less for eternity? Which attitude do you think is likely to attract someone to the gospel? Why would anyone want to be a Christian if the one they see is sullen and grumpy? Imagine someone with a perpetually long face sharing the “Good News?” Have you forgotten the joy found in the truth of the “Good News?” Is it time to reclaim the joy in life? Becoming a person who lives a lifestyle of joy starts with:

  • Trusting God

A trusting heart is also a thankful heart. When we trust God we lean on Him, where does your strength and protection in this world come from? David did not face Goliath in his own strength and unlike his adversary he did not rely on a mere physical shield. David trusted in the true shield bearer the Lord his God and like Nehemiah he discovered something about God’s strength and joy Nehemiah 8:10: “…The joy of the LORD is your strength.” We need to release our problems to the Lord. One of the hallmarks of Christian joy is that it can be experienced in the midst of intense sorrow and loss. We may define happiness as the absence of something undesirable, pain, suffering, or disappointment, but joy is truly the opposite because joy is a response to the presence of something desirable, God Himself.

  • Finding Joy in the relationship.

Do you trust God enough to rest in your relationship with Him? True Joy stems from having God as its object and its source. If you focus on God you find joy, because joy is not found in circumstances but the creator. As you focus on God how do you view Him, do you recognize Him as joyful? In our journey of joy we need to see the Almighty not as a taskmaster, but as the God of the Universe with a smile on His face. Have you discovered Zephaniah 3:17? It describes how the God of the universe feels about you: “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” One of the reasons we have so little joy in our lives is because we don’t know God well enough which is the result of a trust issue. Joy is one of His character qualities that should draw us to God. He is not an aloof judge just waiting for us to mess up so He can unleash His fury, He has created us to be His delight. Have you discovered the truth that God finds great joy in you, He sings over you? Like the Good Gardener who toils over us with constant care, waiting patiently for His fruit to ripen and with great joy He longs to gather in the harvest. There is enthusiasm in everything He undertakes and sweet satisfaction in all He does, His joy is transmitted directly to us by His Holy Spirit who lives within us.

Will you take the time to think of all He has done for you in securing your salvation and in offering you a full and abundant life? Take time today to look over some of His wonderful promises in Scripture given so that you can live a life in close relationship with Him even though you don’t deserve it. Will you rejoice in your relationship today, not only has He given you breath for today, Ephesians says that He has given us every spiritual blessing in Christ! He has promised to be active in all of your life at all times, think about it, the great, awesome, mighty God of all creation loves you. King David’s trust allowed him to go deeper and as a result his heart leapt for joy, giving thanks to the One he trusted. Will you stop trying and start trusting?