noooo, not the TV show. After dinner last night the wise, discerning and Sweet Anna said “Today is over, never to be again”
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16, ESV)
so, are there things we have said? ways that we have said them? ways we have treated others?
Jesus teaches us…
23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:23-24, ESV)
I love the word reconciled. I love it because it is based upon what God has done for us… HE has suffered for us so that we may be reconciled to Him… We, as followers of Jesus are called to walk behind Him with care, we will struggle and fail, but we can go to each other and be reconciled to one another … but we have to follow Jesus word…
23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:22-24, ESV)
He made it possible, so let’s go and reconcile… today!
If we treat people flippantly, we are showing not just a disrespect for them but the ugly state of our own heart.
“it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” – Jesus. (Matthew 15.11 ESV)
Let’s RUN to Scripture!
Soak in the life giving word as God uses it in His work of changing the hearts of we, who He calls precious! (Isa 43.4)
As one or two of you know, for a decade I have been working on a novel (chapters from an early draft exist somewhere on this blog – happy hunting if you care). The protagonist is a guy who works for a non-profit and is trying to help a group of people (NO, his name is not Tom – though I think I will make a cameo appearance on a train somewhere in the book). Enough of that.
After a long hiatus I have gotten back to work on this project thanks to encouragement from my wife and a former colleague who has become a writer. Of late, it has been interesting to watch the main character develop (his name, currently, is Scott).
It has been fascinating for me to see Scott develop and see the needs in his life. He is a follower of Jesus but… is struggling with his relationship with God and it shows in his decisions and the way he treats people. It struck me recently that he has many of the characteristics that drive me crazy about those of us who are leaders.
What he needs is to slow the heck down. He needs, what many call margin or boundaries. He needs to seek the counsel of wiser people than himself who are outside his immediate circle and listen to them before making decisions and above all, ABOVE ALL… he needs to slow down, connect to and listen to God more than 7 minutes a day (see an earlier post).
Character is not something we fix. Reading all the latest Gospel driven books, articles and blogs won’t do it UNLESS they drive us to abide in Jesus, soak in His word, and listen for his voice by waiting for him.
Today is Sunday.
Let’s all slow down and listen to God today.
Okay, be reminded of and meditate on some Biblical promises click here.
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, (Philippians 1:12, ESV)
Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. (Colossians 1:28-29 ESV)
Our job is to live for Christ and tell them the good news that His grace is greater than all their sin and that He wants them to abide in Him and He will change them and we will walk with them through it all as fellow disciples.
Stop punching a clock for some unseen boss what wants results. We are daughters and sons of The King inviting the adopted to new life!!!!!
The bulk of this post originated from a comment that I wrote as a reply to a comment that I KNEW was coming, and had been waiting for.
That comment was removed not because it had inappropriate content but because it contained a name that is not part of this greater conversation and would distract from said greater conversation (indeed a name might let the rest of us off the hook… we might think… oh, this is about HER… NO, it’s about all of us!).
On Tuesday I wrote to encourage a friend and those who honor him.
Beginning Wednesday I was moved to write about some leadership issues that I see everywhere I go (the railroad is in Hungary by the way). I am not thinking about any one leader or organization. These observations are not pointed to one spot. Indeed they are intended for all my readers who, on most days, the majority of whom are not even in the US.
As I visit and pray for many leaders in many countries and seek to encourage and help them, their hearts and stories are being used by the Spirit to help me write these challenges to affect a greater readership.
While some readers may feel (or hope) I am targeting a single place, please believe me, I am not. There are many schools and churches and organizations that have given this old brain pause and thought.
Having said all that, if the shoe fits, wear it. I sure do. And I am praying about what are the many ways that God needs to change me. We are all in need of self evaluation. Go consider the words of Paul in 1 Cor 11. My hope is not to effect change or change minds (let alone hearts)… that’s God’s job.
But, if I can make you think and ponder and then abide in Him, I have done my job.