Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Living Tableau- Service

Romans 12: 7-13
7 If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Luke 22: 27 (NLT)
27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.

Pastor’s Notes

As a means of being a servant, one must identify one’s spiritual gifts and put them to work. No one set of gifts can do the work of the church. It takes the gifts of many dedicated Christians to work together towards a common cause. One’s strengths should balance one’s weaknesses and welcome the work of others that can fill in the areas where one may not be strong. Together in service means that thew tasks will be done and done well if everyone works together for the good of God’s Kingdom here on earth and the church.

God tells us love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, minds, souls and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. This requires us to love others so much that we share our strengths to help them become better people and we open ourselves to receive help from them so that our weak areas will be strengthened, therefor yielding outstanding team work. There is no place for competition in doing God’s work. It is important that Christians work together for the good of humanity. Service is working for the Lord in a manner that benefits others and the church.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Living Tableau- Worship

Matthew 4: 10 (NKJV)
10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.

Pastor’s Notes

Worship is a means of experiencing reality, which is to touch life.

Adele Calhoun explains in Spiritual Disciplines Handbook that worship is when we seek to know and love God in our own unique way. Each one of us loves and glorifies God in a particular way that no one else can, therefore we should expect differing worship styles and tastes: traditional, contemporary, liturgical, folk, emerging, etc. One style of worship is not better than another. The quality of worship emerges from the heart and its focus.

Worship happens when we put God first in our lives. When what God says takes precedence over what others say, we worship God. When loving God matters more than being loved, we worship God. Discipline, willpower, giftedness and going to church can be actions that stimulate our worship, however it does not transform us. Transformation comes through valuing God above all else.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Living Tableau- Giving

Exodus 36:6-7 (NKJV)
6 So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, “Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.” And the people were restrained from bringing, 7 for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done—indeed too much.

Pastor’s Notes

Giving to the glory and honor of God means that we understand that everything that we have is from God and God is expecting us to be good stewards of everything that He has provided. Sharing is a grace of God and God expects us to tithe and share with others. As Christians, sharing should be a normal response to our faith and obedience.

God so graciously entrusts all that we have and own to us and only asks that we return a minimum of 10% back to service and care of others. Giving a minimum of 10% to ministry for the well-being of humankind is a special gift and recognizes that we are representing Christ as we give.

Giving is a means of worship! Let’s be ever mindful that God expects us to give in proportion to what is entrusted to us. Let us give freely so we can also receive freely. God blesses us to bless others. God will advise us when we have given enough as Moses advised the people in Exodus 36. Wouldn’t that be a great problem to have?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Living Tableau- Loving

1 Corinthians 13 (NLT)
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Pastor’s Notes

Love began with God. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that we may have everlasting life. God sacrificed His Son and only ask us to be obedient to His principles and the fullness of life will be ours for the asking. Isn’t that powerful love?

Every person needs love. Love shows that we care. Love is patient, kind, holds no grudges, keeps no record of wrongs, is not puffed up, to name a few characteristics. Christ asks that we love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul and very being and love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Let’s practice loving and loving unconditionally and watch the evil of this world subside. The word of God, obedience and unconditional love can conquer the challenges that we face in life. Let’s love, love and love more.