“But I’m Not Worthy”

imageThe Saturday Night Live skit, Wayne’s World immortalized the saying, “We’re not worthy“. However, I must admit, I occassionally feel the same sentiment in my Christian walk. For example, there are times before I’m about to teach Bible study class, I feel incapable and unworthy to do so. Thankfully, I know these thoughts aren’t from God.  For in prayer, He reminds me that by myself it’s true, I’m not worthy, but in Christ, He is worthy; and when His Word is shared, it never returns void (Isaiah 55:11). Therefore, when these doubts come, here are some promises to help encourage us in faithfully going wherever He sends us:

Soft Enough: I frankly don’t feel tender enough to care for all the needs God places before me sometimes. Whether it’s an internal skepticism that people can’t be trusted, or a false belief that one has to stay guarded to avoid being hurt, I occasionally wrestle against the love Jesus calls me to. However, it’s not our frail attempt at love God seeks. Rather, He desires our submission to deliver His divine love through us (Ezekiel 36:26). Therefore, it isn’t as hard to be tender as one might think. For when we rely on Christ, His heart transforms our own, which allows our hands to become His hands.

Strong Enough: When I allow myself to get overwhelmed, I begin to  doubt how I can possibly teach a Bible class, serve my church, write a weekly blog, exercise regularly, lead my family effectively, make Kingdom impact at my job and complete all the other various tasks before me. After all, I like to remind God, I’m not “strong” enough to get all this done and as well as it should be.  However, anytime this weak-minded attack rages against my calling, God gently reminds me He knows my shortcomings, He cares for my life, He forgives my sins and He gives me the strength I need as I rely on Him. In the end, I’m always amazed how through His power all my commitments get done. Granted, some days seem to go better than others, but as we learn to rely on Him rather than ourselves, we receive the benefit in seeing how it’s not by our power, but by His Spirit that things get done righteously (Zechariah 4:6).

Secure Enough: Some seem to never struggle with shyness – not so for me. For example, I speak in front of people practically on a daily basis, but for some reason, I still get a little nervous just before my talk, almost every time. Granted, it soon subsides and I dare not let it show, but it’s there.  Also, God quickly reminds me, as I take my doubts and worries to Him, that He is in control and that as His child desiring to do His will, He can be trusted to take care of all my daily needs (Joshua 1:9).

Application: “Worthy Is His Word” – Proverbs 3:5-6
In summary, it’s true we’re not worthy to effectively steward over all the areas He has entrusted to us – especially when it’s in our own ability and power. We need Christ and it’s only through His power we get to enjoy the experiences, blessings and adventures that come with being used by Him!

Time Passages

imageIf there’s something many of us seem to run low on it’s time. Whether it’s time with our friends and family, time to fulfill all our daily commitments, time to physically exercise and/or time to pursue our dreams, time can be a scarce resource. Therefore, how we choose to save, spend and/or squander such a valuable asset not only reveals a lot about our priorities, but can also significantly impact our lives and the lives of others:

Time To Repent: Do we continue to blindly partake in those conversations and conducts we know are wrong and serve to only diminish our testimonies as Christians? If so, may we never forget that Christ is greater than any stronghold we may struggle against and in Christ, we are more than victors, for we are the beloved children of God (1 Corinthians 15:57). As such, let us seek Him and lay down such burdens, trusting in His provision, power and promises to overcome.

Time To Restore: What sin seeks to pervert and pollute, Christ restores (Joel 2:25). Therefore, as believers, we are restored with God through Christ. Then, as we seek to apply the truths God reveals in His word, He heals those areas in our life that may have been once hindered, such as our faith (prioritized), finances (stewardship), family (relationships) and fitness (health).

Time To Rescue: As repentant and restored disciples of Christ, we are empowered with the blessed opportunity to serve in spiritual search and rescue missions. Just as lifeguards possess the knowledge and tools to help someone drowning, we too, through faith, possess the knowledge and tools required to help others drowning in sin – Jesus. The question for us to consider is do we share Him nearly enough, for we are surrounded by the drowning daily, but will we seize the opportunities presented (Luke 10:2)?

Application: “No Time To Kill”Psalm 90:12
Time does not stop, nor slow down for anyone and once it’s gone, it can never be reclaimed. Therefore, may we be wise enough to cherish every moment, and invest the time we do have intentionally. This doesn’t mean we are to never rest and relax, for this is also vital, but it does suggest that we make our moments matter. Thankfully, as we put and keep God first in our lives, He helps us become better stewards of our time. So, that the time we do have left is properly prioritized, fruitful and blessed by Him.

Holy Huddle

imageDuring last year’s Super Bowl, I heard various preachers use the big game as an analogy for church. For instance, in football, the players huddle up to organize their game plan and then break out to execute it with each player charged with specific responsibilities designed to help progress their team’s position on the field. By advancing on the field, they progress their position in the game, to eventually advance their overall position in the league.

Likewise, the church huddles up on a regular basis with Christ in order to break out in a purposeful direction in the world – with each believer playing specific roles in progressing the Kingdom of God. To do so most effectively however, requires the following intentionality from each of us:

Get Out: Sometimes simply getting out into the world can be the hardest part to our calling. For we enjoy the comforts of our home, friends and family, and as a result, the harshness of the world can be intimating. However, this is where our jobs are very useful for the Kingdom, for what we do for a living forces us to get out of our comfort zones and into the world with others (Matthew 10:16). The question is, how do we use our hours on the job? Do we simply blend in, counting down to quitting time so we can rush back to our safety zones, or do we courageously seek to take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way in order to promote the love of Christ through all we do and say?

Give Up: A former NFL coach once stated he knew his team was going to win the Super Bowl when one of his players forfeited running a certain play that would have ensured him a sizable monetary bonus in order to run a play that instead promoted the team’s scoring position. In other words, the player was giving up self interest for the team’s greater interest (Acts 20:35). Similarly, what are we willing to give up in order to promote the gospel and impact others? We all have been given specific time, talent and treasure – the question is, how much are we willing to give to God and for His Kingdom over our own?

Go Down: Mountain top experiences are great, but they aren’t permanent. Rather, they are there to help us meet the daily needs in the valley. For in the valley is where the struggles, stresses and strains reside, and we are the vessels God desires to use to meet those needs. The question is, are we available and trust He goes with us every step of the way (Deuteronomy 31:8)?

Application: “Break Out!” – Matthew 5:16
Through Christ we are set free from sin, strongholds and setbacks, and although this freedom is to be enjoyed, it is not meant for us to hoard all to ourselves. Rather, we are set free in order to impact others with the hope of the Kingdom – to help others receive the good news Christ offers so that they may too receive the blessings only He can provide. We are players on God’s Kingdom team – playing not for ourselves, but for His greater good.

Born To Be…

imageThere’s an older Disney cartoon that remains one of our family’s favorites. It’s about a lion cub that is raised by sheep due to a mishap by the “stork” baby delivery service. As a result, the lion grows up thinking he’s a sheep, until one day a ravenous wolf attacks the flock and drags the lion’s adoptive mother away to devour. This event strikes fear into all the remaining sheep who flee in self defense. Although initially scared, the lion has a different response as the love for his mother triggers a transformation deep inside him, revealing what he was born to be. Then, with a powerful roar, he races to rescue his mother, striking terror into the wolf.

Similarly, God has placed specific callings on each of our lives, but many times, this call is diluted by not knowing, ignoring and/or denying the truth of who we are. For the worldview tells us we are nothing more than animals, struggling simply for survival and have no grand purpose. It indicates that it is even naive to believe in an all-powerful God. However, when we accept who we truly are – intricate creations of a Holy God designed with purpose – life begins to take on a whole new meaning. As a result, our overall perspective changes and through Christ, we also become what we were born to be:

Redemptions: God doesn’t desire to lose any to sin, which is why He sent His Son to reconcile us with Him. In doing so, we receive eternal life and alignment with His divine purposes (Proverbs 3:6). Sadly, some refuse this gift, deciding instead to remain as they are. God has blessed plans for each of us, but only by accepting and following His Son can we begin discover all we were meant to be.

Reflections: Being saved through faith and by God’s grace is only the start to our divine calling. For through sanctification, we begin to reflect Jesus more and more in all we think, say and do. Thus, wherever we go, we are serving as representatives of Christ and for Christ, because by Christ, we have been made a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Restorations: As we reflect Jesus, restoration is made possible. For the glory of God has the power to restore all sin distorts, damages and destroys (Psalm 103:3). For example, through Christ, marriages are mended, spiritual wounds are healed, the lost are found and the precious gift of life is rescued.

Application: “Maturity Matters” – Hebrews 5:14
What if the lion in the Disney cartoon never realized his purpose and remained thinking he was a sheep? Sadly, this is exactly what happens when we accept the lies of hell over the truth from heaven. As a result, the devil rejoices in having “lions” thinking they’re something else. Thankfully, the power of Christ breaks such tragedy and reveals to each of us His calling upon our lives. As we mature in our faith, apply our faith and share our faith through the power of the Spirit, we realize the freedom and fulfillment that comes from being all we were born to be.