Occasionally I receive notes from people thanking me for helping them find their way. They usually go something like this – “Your teaching has changed me. I value the example I see in you.” I am encouraged by notes like that. But honestly, those notes are also like a cup of cold water in my face. They bring a sober reminder that someone is always watching. Can I stand that pressure? I make no secret of my desire to be an authentic disciple of Christ. I’ll never pretend perfection. There are moments when my sinful nature rises up in all its ugliness. Thank God for His faithfulness! I am able to stand only when I realize that it is not me, but Christ IN ME, that makes the difference.
Disciple, have you gone public with your faith? We must, but when we do, we must know that others will be watching. Jesus said our influence in the world is like the quiet life locked in a seed. “What is God’s kingdom like? What story can I use to explain it? It is like what happens when a mustard seed is planted in the ground. It is the smallest seed in all the world. But once it is planted, it grows larger than any garden plant. It even puts out branches that are big enough for birds to nest in its shade.” (Mark 4:30-32, CEV)
God’s Spirit works in us with life like a growing seed! Jesus spoke of a tiny seed that grew into a huge plant; quietly, persistently, over time, drawing energy from sources outside of itself. Are you drawing on the power of the Spirit, growing in Christ and His character, so that there will be fruit and shade offered to others through you? We have a tremendous privilege, disciples: we are called and equipped to be world-changers! We fulfill this high calling in quietly influential ways; loving someone, praying with and for someone, being a person of integrity consistently…. and so much more. What a calling.
Are you fearful of declaring, “Jesus is Lord” because you worry about falling down?
Here is a great passage, one of my favorites from Paul. He writes of his assurance and he reminds us that it is not all up to us. Jesus is working through with the Holy Spirit. Be encouraged to say, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” “But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?” (2 Corinthians 2:14-16, NLT)
Who is up to the job? Here is a word from the Word that gives the answer! “We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:4-6, NLT)
Change my heart, O God.
Make it ever true.
Change my heart, O God.
May I be like You.
You are the Potter,
I am the clay,
Mold me and make me,
This is what I pray.
CoffeeBreak will be back next Monday.
Taking a break to renew and refresh. Thanks for your prayers.