Category Archives: function

Give Me the Chips!

salt chipsI like potato chips.  I am in complete agreement with Lays, it is impossible to eat just one.  My personal favorite is the salt and vinegar chips; whoever invented these should have a national holiday named after them.  For now, until we find out who that very special person is, we could just name it, “Salt and Vinegar Chip Guy Day.”  So, the bigger the bag – the BETTER!  I don’t want one of those small personalized chip bags which come with your sandwich in a meal deal……that won’t do!  I’m going to need to have a lot of those chips, or I won’t be satisfied.

I also love Jesus, and if I love Him then the assumption which can be made is I want to know Him, walk with Him, and be like Him as much as possible.  This is no small bag commitment!  Yet, I find, many believers declare their love for Him, but they only want a little Jesus.  When this happens, there is minimal change in their life.  They don’t put off their ‘old self’ (Ephesians 4:22-24), but they try to find a happy balance between their old life and the new life.  Those lives are not compatible with one another, and one will always win out over the other.  Why do we struggle with letting go of our old sinful practices?  Well, its a matter of chips.

When your former ways are the bigger bag of chips in your life and Jesus is smaller, you know what you have?  An imbalance.  You have a desire problem.  You have a devotion issue.  Jesus can’t be your little bag of chips and be enough because anyone who is satisfied with a small bag of chips is not hungry.  If the small bag fills you, guess what?  You don’t care much for those chips.  If you’re content with just a little bit of Jesus then you don’t really believe He is necessary.  If a small bag of Jesus is enough for you then you’re not pursuing Him.  Whatever is greatest in your life is what you are pursuing; its the big bag.  You’d better make sure its Jesus!

Make Jesus your big bag of chips; a bag you can’t get enough of.  I don’t want to be content with less than all of Him, and Jesus doesn’t want me to be satisfied with less, but more.  Do you want more of Jesus or are you content with less of Him?  If you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you, so give Him a greater place in your life – actually, let Him have all of your life!

 

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You Want Change? Look no further….

deadlydodgeballIt was fourth grade, and I was the last kid picked for what would turn out to be the most epic dodgeball game in 1984.  I know……picked last, and that should make it clear I was probably the most not-so-valuable player.  I wasn’t that athletic, and I wasn’t incredibly confident, but somehow by ducking, hiding behind other kids, and throwing at imaginary people, so no one could have the chance to catch my ball, I had made it to the end.  It was just me and some totally athletic kid who should pummel me into dodgeball oblivion with ease.  I tried throwing low to hit his feet, but he just kept getting out of the way.  In a brief moment when I needed some confidence, I looked to the sidelines and was met only with looks of humiliation and defeat, and suddenly I wished I could trade places with anyone of them.  Oh, the pressure! Everyone thought I was sure to lose, and I did too.  But in a moment of insanity (cue the Rocky theme song) and just wanting to end it all, one way or the other, I put myself in a position to catch his throw.  The ball came right at my chest, and somehow, just somehow, I caught it – GAME OVER, BABY!  I had won the game for my team, but everyone was too shocked to cheer.  Either way, it was a life-changing moment for me even though it was short-lived.  After-all, you’re only as relevant as today’s news and the next day it was like it never happened to everyone else but me.

You, as a believer need a defining moment.  My moment was just that; a few minutes in time that can only be relived in my memory.  We each need God’s power in our lives, and we shouldn’t desire to have it in a moment which we can only look back on.  We need a power within us which is indwelling, always with us, and continues to propel us forward in our walk with the LORD.

Acts 2:1-5 relates to us what happened on the day of Pentecost to all those in the upper room waiting for the promise Jesus said they would receive if they just stayed in Jerusalem as He’d commanded them.  That moment would be the start of something new, lasting, and empowering.  They were each baptized with the Holy Spirit with the initial physical evidence of speaking in other tongues.  Read the book of Acts and the Epistles, and you’ll witness what this gift upon the disciples and the early church did for them……a gift which was for all those who were far off too (that’s us – Acts 2:39).  Pentecost was a defining moment for each of them.

You need this same defining moment; that’s right, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  If you haven’t received it already, seek God for what He has for you.  If you can start by acknowledging you are inadequate for what God has called you to (living for Him) and you need more from God than what you already have, then you’re on the right track!

God doesn’t want to just reveal His power in moments, He wants to put power into your life, and His Word is clear – it comes from the indwelling of the Spirit.  You need what the disciples had, and you’ll see incredible change come to your life.  Keep pursuing, keep desiring, keep growing!

What are you doing in a place like this?

Confusion

  Have you ever just wondered if you belonged somewhere?  I mean, have you ever felt out of place?  It’s probably one of the worst feelings in the world…not knowing if you should be where you are.  Sometimes we can even feel this way about ourselves in church….do I belong?

We may struggle with belonging in the church because we see what everyone else is doing and examine ourselves and think what we do pales in comparison.  We may even think to ourselves, “No one would miss me if I wasn’t here.”  Is that true?  Is anyone…….useless?

It never ceases to amaze me how little we can think of ourselves.  We have a in-born habit of inflating the importance of anyone else and undermining our own.  I’m not talented enough, godly enough, praying enough, victorious enough………well, enough with all that.  Can we be clear on one thing…..if you are saved and have accepted Jesus as your LORD and Savior, then you are part of the church.  That’s that!

I love diversity,  and God does too.  After all, He’s the One who has made people so unique and different.  That’s a good thing.  1 Corinthians 12:12-20 speaks of this diversity that isn’t merely ethnic, but specific to how God has created each one of us when it says, “Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.  If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.  And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to part of the body…..”

Let’s be clear on what Paul means here: Just because you’re not what someone else is doesn’t make you any lesser of a part.  Are you saved?  Do you love Jesus?  Have you made a decision to follow Him and obey?  I could keep asking questions, but if you are giving a “YES” on each of these then you must be part of the body of Christ.  Realize, when you are part of a body,  you inherently serve a specific function.  You can think others who serve in ‘more important’ capacities are more valuable than you, but you would be completely wrong for thinking such a thing.  A body, being made up of many different parts, relies on each part, no matter how seemingly insignificant, to function properly. 

Paul continues in verse 17, “If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?  If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?  But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.  If they were all one part, where would the body be?”

Maybe you’ve wanted to be someone else, so you could be more important, more useful, or possess a greater function.  Here’s the bad news for such unrealistic expectations…….you can’t!  Here’s the good news……God doesn’t expect you to. 

We can’t all be the same, and I, for one, don’t want to be like someone else.  I like being me and doing what God made me to do because it is important and everyone in the body of Christ can make that same statement.  For those who have a hard time accepting themselves, it is impossible for you to be what God hasn’t created you to be!  As the church, the body of Christ, He has arranged us in our parts just as He wanted.  If He wanted you to have a great singing voice, He would’ve given you one.  If He wanted you to be a great communicator, He would have suppressed your fear of being on stage and enabled you to do it.  Whether you are a good encourager, speaker, teacher, pastor, helper, organizer, administrator, evangelist (we could go on and on)…..this is who God has made you to be in the body of Christ.

So, serve your function whether you’re a hand, a foot, an ear or an eye and so on.  Be who God  created you to be in the church.  Do what He has made you able to do remembering that your function is exactly as God intended; so do it well!

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