Don’t Burn Up Your Blessings

23 01 2012
Busy Busy Busy

Working within your strength while working out your own salvation.

Philippians 2:12 tells us: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” This speaks to me of individual believer’s taking responsibility for their sanctification; which is a process incorporated into one’s daily lifestyle choices.

The larger aspect of working within one’s strength and calling is reflected in this account of the Apostles setting the focus of labor in ministry in order (see below): Acts 6:2 says, “And the twelve Apostles called the whole assembly of the disciples and they said to them,It is not acceptable for us to forsake the word of God and to serve tables.”

Time and again, I have come across this while in ministry training  under a Senior Pastor who refused to ‘let go of the reigns’ and allow the dedicated people within the Church to grow and serve in their God-given talents, gifts and callings.

What happens is “burn out.” It happened to Moses until his wise Father-in-law, Jethro stepped in and basically told him to ‘chill out’ and find some reputable leaders among the tribes and let them be Captains of thousands, hundreds and tens; then if they can’t solve the situation, they can speak to the league of Elders and if they couldn’t solve the situation; the Elders would seek out Moses; who in turn would bring the problem before the Lord.

I served under a Senior Pastor who planned a Church cookout. He went shopping for all the groceries, called special people to set up kid tumble houses; went personally to pick up various ala carte items; set up all the tables and chairs; cooked the burgers and hotdogs, served same from the grill; table-hopped to welcome everyone and stayed late into the night helping with all of the clean up.

The Church members almost turned into a choir as we all chanted: “Stop, sit down, we’ve got it; relax; we’ll do it… Stop!” All to no avail. The next day was Sunday and he admitted to being totally unprepared and tired from the previous days activities and the sermon reflected same.

As the early Apostles determined, he should have been praying and seeking God for the sermon message and not (literally) “waiting tables.” As leaders, often our desire to ‘be in the midst’ and ‘in control’ can hinder not only our own walk, but those to whom we minister.

I believe it all comes down to TRUST on a variety of levels.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 Be Blessed !



6 12 2011

Reference Texts:   I Samuel Chapter 8 (all) and Isaiah 8:11-17


True Chutzpah

The root of Christianity is Israel. Israel is our lifeline, our example and the history of relationship between finite man and infinite God-our-Father.

There is a Yiddish (Jewish) word colloquially synonymous with having the unique, individualistic qualities of: Nerve, guts, audacity, and spunk. That word is: “Chutzpah!” Quite frankly we need a lot more of it today in our 21st century society. We’re all trying to fit in: Our beady eyes fixed on the little screens; our chubby fingers flying over the acrylic keypad… locked and loaded, but for what?

To be a Believer in the One True God, the Almighty… to be a Christian; it will take ‘Chutzpah!’ In fact, from the Old Testament (the Pentateuch-First five Books of Moses/ first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy); we see our God telling us, explaining to us, warning us repeatedly that we must cling to Him, our creator and not subject ourselves to the schemes of Satan.

The schemes of Satan, his evil spirits (demons) and those misguided humans choosing to be ruled by him, will be under the evil ones’ thumb of dominion and receive his same punishment, eternally.  We’ve been warned.

However, in reading the First Book of Samuel, I recall how grieved the Prophet Samuel became when the children of Israel wanted a King (like everybody else). God warned the people through Samuel that they should be ‘careful what they wished for; they just might get it!’ And “got it,” they did: King Saul, whom God prophesied would put their kids to work for him in menial jobs; send their sons into endless wars; dominate their daughters in subservient positions for his pleasure as maids; place the young boys as pickers in his orchards; take the best of everything for himself and of course for his cronies; as well as take away the one thing they always had going for them as a nation of people: Hope in God and Chutzpah!

Here in our day we too have people who want to be “King” over us. They too have plans to subjugate our children to menial labor. Sound familiar? Our last and only chance to guard our future generations from this tyranny is to have the guts to pay attention; the spunk to stand up and grab onto the God of Promise with both hands; the nerve to look up and pay attention; to have the audacious Chutzpah to be the unique man or woman that our God created us to be. Get prayed-up and then speak up!

Sadly, this kind of thinking goes against the grain of the talking heads and reality show ringmaster’s who tell you what to think and the hired priests that take money to lull you back to sleep, to convince you  in joining them–Blessing ungodly ways just as they do. It is extremely uncomfortable to go against the voice of the crowd; to go against this worlds’ system. Prayer: Almighty Father, may we find eternal truth (and catalytic discomfort) in Your Holy word, to the saving of our soul and our nation.  Amen†  Be Blessed!

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