Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's His choice

There was a man preaching Sunday school about a month ago in Bro. Gaddis' place while he was out preaching and he preached on the story of Jesus healing the blind man. The pharisees got so angry and were asking the man and his parents about it and the man just told them "All I know is that I was blind but now I see". At the beginning of the story the disciples ask Jesus why the man was born blind. Jesus answers- "...that the works of God might be made manifest in Him". Something that the preacher mentioned almost in passing stuck with me... We do not get to decide how God manifests His glory through us. The man was blind from birth for no other reason but that God might get the glory for healing him. It seems as though it would not be worth it to that man. But how great it must be to know that God chose to show himself mighty through your circumstances. How awesome must it have been for that man to finally have a reason for his sufferings and to know that the reason was that God's glory might be made manifest through him.
We cannot say "I want God to manifest His glory through me" and then expect that he do it through our preaching or teaching or singing ability etc... We must accept that sometimes God chooses to show himself through us through our hard times and difficult circumstances. He does show himself through some people's preaching and teaching and singing but some he chooses to work through their trials. If you are going through a hard time or have difficult circumstances in your life, remember, God may have put you there or allowed that to happen because he has chosen to manifest His glory through your life...He just chose to do it through your trials. Are you going to make it easy for Him to show himself through your trials by peacefully accepting it and learning from it so that you can share it with others or are you going to lose your testimony by complaining and becoming bitter? He is God, is he not? He gets to decide how He shows himself mighty. Trust Him.
"If I never had a problem, I wouldn't know that He could solve them."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Conforming in a good way

I was reading in Philippians this morning. 3:10 was what caught my attention today. In the preceding verses, Paul was talking about how if anyone was justifyed in having confidence in the flesh, it would have been him. He was elite. But then Paul goes on to express that it didn't matter who he was or what he had. Everything he was and had hindered him from serving Christ the way he should. He was knew that it wasn't about how good HE was, but about having God's rigteousness and KNOWING HIM. We focus on that part of the verse a lot and rightfully so because it is a great thought... to be able to KNOW Christ Almighty. But I've really been trying to do more than just read lately. I've been trying to dig a little deeper and write down what I find in a journal. I think it helps me to apply it to everyday life, to remember it, and to think about it on a deeper level when I write down what I read in my own words and write down what I can take from it.
Well, I noticed that not many people preach about the end of that verse that says, "being made conformable unto His death". I thought about what that means for a bit and what I thought about was... "Why would we want to be conformamble to His death and not His life?" So I asked myself..."What was it about Christ's death that I would need to apply to my life? The more I KNOW Him, the more I know of His death, right? So what do I know of Christ's death?
I know He was forgiving. I need to be conforming to that trait. But what else is there about His death? What kind of death was it that I need to be conforming to?
It was a death of Sacrifice. I need to learn what it means to show devotion by sacrifice. Have I ever really given up anything of real importance for God? Convicting question.
It was a death of Surrender. This goes along the same lines but I think more of surrender of self-will. Jesus said "Not my will but Thine be done." I need to have this attitude in my life. I need to let go of what I want to do and just trust my Father and what He has for me.
It was a death that showed great love for others. This is something that I need to work on. Showing others that I really care for them and love them.
Lord, teach me to love people like you love them.
This is the kind of death we are to be conformable to. It makes sense now, doesn't it. I probably didn't reveal anything new to anyone but I had never personally thought about what it meant to be conformable to His death.
Just some thoughts from my Bible reading. Hope it made sense.