Thursday, March 24, 2011

Are You Giving Your Best to God?

Romans 12:1 says, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." Malachi 1:8 "And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, is it not evil?..."

What are we offering God today?

This verse struck me as I enter into my work exhausted. I woke up this morning with a headache and a back ache and an everything ache. I got my coffee and started the list-making in my head of everything that I needed to do. “OK, so eat breakfast, squeeze in God time, work out, lessons, more lessons, planning time, and if I have the energy at the end of the day, maybe I will stay awake long enough to do a little Bible reading.”

Does this sound familiar? And this is from a person without kids! I can’t imagine what the schedule of a working mom or dad looks like, (actually I can because I have friends who share), but today these verses struck me and I was convicted in my heart about my complaining. By dreading our day we are not giving God a worthy sacrifice. By complaining we are not worshiping in spirit and in truth with everything we do. Then what are we working for? Are we working for the treasures of this earth or are we working for a greater treasure in heaven?

Matthew 6:19-20 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

We work for God. Not just me…. Not just the Pastor. YOU! We work for God as an act of worship. So offer God your pleasing sacrifice today.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring has....... uh, not quite

I was just enjoying the sunshine and mild "Spring is coming soon" kind of weather when all of the sudden I woke up this morning and see snow covering the ground! Don't get me wrong. I love Winter. I love snow. But I get to the point toward the end of each season where I get a little excited for the next one to come. For me, Ohio weather is perfect because each season is so distinguishable from the one before and the one following.

What other areas in my life do I "anticipate" something the way I do the seasons changing? Even bigger I suppose is the anticipation of new phases of my kids growing up... you know, first steps and first words turn into a drivers license, first dates, and graduation. I anticipated each date with my wife when we were first together and now I anticipate growing old side by side as we learn everyday what it means to be married to your best friend.

I would have to say that following Jesus is full of anticipation. I anticipate learning new things about Him, getting together with others to worship God, and what exactly life will be like after this present life is through. Following Jesus is not always a "bed of roses". Let's be honest that when we mess up we may have hard time "anticipating" God's reaction. Or when life has given us a raw deal and disappointment it is not exactly peaches and creme.

But if I were really honest, I would say that even with life's disappointments (self-inflicted and outside of my control) I anticipate the love and hope that Jesus has to offer in the midst of the valleys and the storms. It is this very attitude that helps keep me centered whether it is a "dark Winter" or a "fresh Spring" kind of day in my soul.

What about you? Do you anticipate spending time with God privately and publicly? What are the roadblocks to anticipation?