Archive for May, 2011

What’s your motive?

Posted in Discipleship on May 18, 2011 by nmpreach

Being a part of a community is vital to one’s health.  Too often we worry about our physical health.  Less often, we get concerned about our emotional health.  And sadly, our spiritual health is something that we often believe will take care of itself.  Paul encourages us to train our spiritual bodies as well (1 Tim 4:7-8).  We are our brother’s keeper. 

So let me ask you: when you establish a relationship with one or many, do you check your motive?  In other words, are you more concerned about what God wants to teach you or are you in it for your own selfishness?  Are you really called or are you loading up your resume?  Do you hang out with people to be seen or to minister?  Are you more concerned with rubbing elbows with the elite or getting “dirty”?

It’s all about motive and ministry!  What did/would Jesus do?  Perhaps it’s time to ask ourselves why we do what we do and who we do it with.

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An Arrogant Body

Posted in Church, Community on May 13, 2011 by nmpreach

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.  For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – Jews or Greeks, slaves or free – and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

For the body does not consist of one member but of many.  If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body…On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honor we bestow the greater honor…

1 Cor 12:12-15, 22-23

I’m often reminded of how much emphasis Jesus placed on unity.  He modeled it, taught about it, and prayed about it.  Of course if our Lord placed an emphasis on something in His life, perhaps we should learn why and strive to do the same.  Within the Church, there are well-intentioned believers who think they have a “handle” on what God’s will is…for everyone!  In other words, using Paul’s analogy to the Corinthians, an eye might say to the foot, “You’re not doing it right.  Watch what I do.”

In the Church there are those who believe they and they alone have a discerning spirit.  They’re willing to tell the community what needs to happen, how it needs to happen, and when is the right time.  The trouble is: When these people don’t like how things are going or the timing of things, they become frustrated and question the validity of the community.

The same well-intentioned believers are also available to tell each person in the community what their particular gift is.  And they are happy to do so.  The trouble is: When those in the community don’t use the gifts like they’ve been advised, their commitment is questioned.

Of course we in the Church are to hold each other accountable to be what Christ desires us to be.  We need constant encouragement to persevere to the end.  But how arrogant is it that one or two people in a community think they have a “handle” on what God wants to do?  Your gift is what God says – not what someone else thinks it should be!  Our role in the Church (discipleship, missions, service, etc.) should be defined by God and not others.  It’s much safer that way.

If you’re a hand, stop listening to a foot.  Be a hand.  If you’re an eye, understand all parts of the body have a function.  You might not like their function.  But be what God called you to be – an eye!  That’s how the body works.

Usama Bin Laden’s Death and a Christian’s Response

Posted in Uncategorized on May 2, 2011 by nmpreach

National news sources reported just hours ago (Sunday afternoon U.S. time) that U.S. special forces have killed Usama Bin Laden in an operation in Pakistan.  Bin Laden was the mastermind of Al Qaeda and responsible for the planning of the devastation on 9/11.  At the time, President George W. Bush vowed to find and bring Bin Laden to justice “dead or alive”.  It seems President Obama received information about Bin Laden’s whereabouts in August of 2010 and ordered the “fire strike” to kill what many Americans to be their most hated enemy.  President Obama addressed the American people and reported “Justice is served”.

Upon hearing the news, exuberant crowds gathered near the white house, at military academies, and in Times Square in New York City.  Chants of “USA, USA” were heard among others singing “God Bless America”.  In interviews, some claimed this to be the greatest day of national history.  Others maintained this “was like July 4th” (an obvious time of celebration for Americans).  After all, Bin Laden was – in American’s minds – the epitome of evil.

But what about Christians?  What should our response be?  Jesus told us to pray for those who persecute us and love our enemies.  (Mt 5:44)  I’m wondering how many prayed for Bin Laden and loved him.  If we are to be about being peacemakers (cf Mt 5:9), what does our rejoicing say over someone’s death who was created in God’s image?

* Another post regarding a Christian’s response is found here.

Thoughts?