Tag Archives: service

August 8 – Shoulder To Shoulder

Zephaniah

Zephaniah is another prophet who brings bad news. He tells us what happens to God’s enemies, including His own children who reject Him. It’s not good.

But 3:8-11 offer hope. God’s wrath is poured out on the earth, and then He will purify our lips so we can call on the Name of the Lord, and serve him shoulder to shoulder. I like that picture.

I’d like to think we can put aside our differences, our programs, our worship styles, Calvanism or Armenianism, denominational differences, and stand shoulder to shoulder to fight for the cause of Christ.

Is Jesus God? Is sin a death sentence? Is the cross the only means of salvation? If you believe that, then I don’t care what you think about speaking in tongues, or if you lead a praise team, or play the organ for the singing of hymns. Stand with me and proclaim the Gospel, stand up for the Truth of Scripture, serve God like He deserves.

The Church is not dead yet. Let’s face our enemy, Satan, standing shoulder to shoulder, and let God use our united front for His glory.

May 27 – Don’t Play In The Dirt

I Chronicles 26-29, Psalm 127

I went to my great-nephew Colton’s t-ball game last night. (can you say adorable?) I really like the coach. He’s patient as he teaches the fundamentals of the game. The five-year-olds wait eagerly for him to give them their positions. Then, once he tells them where to stand, they run to their place on the field. When he yells, “Baseball ready,” they bend their knees and put their gloves in front of them. Well, most of the time.

At one point Colton sat down and threw dirt on his white baseball pants. Another boy drew lines in the dirt with his foot. Several kids just liked to see the dust fly when they kicked the dirt.

Occasionally, a ball would roll right past an infielder who happened to be playing in the dirt at the time. But, when they are paying attention, every kid wants to be the one to get the ball and throw it to first. It’s not unusual to see five or six of them converge on the ball, grabbing and pushing to be the one to field it.

Coach is working on the concept of playing your position. “You’re on the same team,” he tells them. Then he says, “But good hustle.”

After the game Coach gathered the team together in a huddle. He patted a few heads, gave some high fives. “Good game,” he told them. “Good hitting. I like your hustle.” Then he told them he wanted to work on helping them to play their positions better.

“You’ve got to pay attention to the game,” he said. “Don’t play in the dirt.”

The last chapters of I Chronicles gives the names of people who had positions to fill. Each had an assignment for which they were responsible. And their jobs were integral in the smooth running of the temple’s services.

I thought about that today. Each of us have a position to fill in the smooth running of our churches. Sometimes we might want to step in front of someone who has a different position because we want to be the one to “field” that ball. Sometimes we might get distracted by something or someone and neglect that which we need to be doing.  That ball might just roll right past us.

May we all obey God’s calling and fill the positions He places on our hearts, and as we have opportunity to serve. May we pay attention to our responsibilities. And may we never get caught playing in the dirt when that opportunity to serve is hit our way.

May 25 – Mow The Lawn

1 Chronicles 23-25

Everyone had a job to do. These chapters tell of the division of responsibilities for the Levites. Some were purifiers, some bakers, some were assigned to offer burnt sacrifices, and 288 of them were assigned to the praise team.

Often in Scripture we read about the division of labor: God’s people coming together to use their gifts and abilities in service to the Lord. I believe it’s a theme we in the 21st Century still need to apply to our church fellowships.

Has God laid on your heart to volunteer in the nursery? Do it. Maybe the person who is filling that position now is being called to teach a Sunday School class. Maybe in that Sunday School class there is a little girl who needs to hear the Gospel from this person.

Have you thought about mowing the church’s lawn on a regular basis? Maybe that’s God nudging you to serve in that way so the pastor can spend more time visiting people than sitting on the mower. Mowing the lawn is an important service. Should you be the one doing it?

There is something for you to do within your church fellowship. Being an elder, serving on the bereavement committee, updating the webpage, helping with VBS, putting flowers on the altar, pulling weeds, being a greeter, singing in the choir, washing dishes… In fact, your church will not be as effective without your obedience to God to use the gifts and abilities He blessed you with.

We need healthy churches. I pray your church is one because you are faithful.

May 1 – Come Together

2 Samuel 5:1-10, I Chronicles 11-12

The kingdom is being handed over to David. Thousands of mighty warriors are pledging their allegiance to their new king. Some believe so strongly that David is God’s chosen leader, they risk their lives to give David a drink of water.

I Chronicles 12:32 says the people “understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do.”

That got my attention.

As Christians, do we understand our own times, or are we hiding our heads in the sand? We have so much information at our fingertips. Do we use it to find out what God is doing outside the four walls of our homes? Are we aware of how much control Satan is taking in our world? And, are we in God’s Word daily so that we have the knowledge of what the Church – you and I – should be doing?

Verses 38-30 of this chapter tell us the warriors came to David with “a perfect heart to make him king over all Israel.” Everyone was of one mind to make him king.

Wouldn’t that be incredible if that happened today, if all of us who call ourselves Christian would come together as one, with pure hearts, to make God our King – truly our King? If we put aside political agendas, denominational differences, music preferences, sin, control, and determined to follow God only?

The Bible tells us that these people, who came together to be with David, to fellowship with their king experienced joy. Oh, for the joy of corporate fellowship with the King of Kings!

Sure, these warriors were prepared for battle. So should we be. But that didn’t stop them from  coming together and enjoying the sweet fellowship with the king.

Let’s be warriors who, together with pure hearts, serve our own King as He deserves. There is joy for those who do.

April 29 – Excuses! Excuses!

I Chronicles 7-10

I wonder what it would have been like to be Sheerah. In a male-dominant society, she is credited with building lower and upper Beth-horon, and Uzzen-sheerah. She is given one verse in I Chronicles (7:24), but her life must have been extraordinary.

I wonder what it was about her that she was able to have men listen to her, to follower her direction, to respect her. Because she certainly didn’t build those cities by herself.

I wonder what would have happened if Sheerah had sat back and not taken command of the situation. She could hardly be faulted if she had thought, “What can I do? I’m only a woman.” Or if the first time a man tried to overrule her if she had given up.

The thing is, God uses both men and women to accomplish great things. It just takes a willingness to step out in faith.

If God is calling you into some kind of ministry, stop making excuses. God used uneducated men who were willing to follow Jesus to lead the first century Church. If God can use them, He can use you, too.

God uses men and women, healthy and dying, introverts and extroverts, children and elderly people to do great things in Jesus’ name. When a heart is yielded to God, He can accomplish the extraordinary.

Feb 12 – Just As God Commanded Moses

Exodus 39-40

There are at last eighteen times in the last two chapters of Exodus telling about the steps Moses took to get the tabernacle ready, that the words, “just as God commanded Moses” is recorded. It’s like a check list:

Finely woven garments just as the Lord commanded Moses. Check.

Ephod in place just as the Lord commanded Moses. Check.

Breastplate just as the Lord commanded Moses. Check.

Bread on the table just as the Lord commanded Moses. Check.

It doesn’t seem Moses was satisfied with doing a pretty good job. Moses was careful to obey every command to the smallest detail. Just as God had commanded him.

I’m reading my Bible this evening instead of my usual morning devotions. And as I think about these two chapters I find myself with my own checklist for the day’s activities.

God has given me some commandments. Like love my enemies, share the Gospel, resist the devil, turn the other cheek, pray without ceasing, not put anything or anyone above Him.

Just as God commanded Connie.

As I ran through my list of today’s activities I realize I could have done more. I mean I did ok. I didn’t do anything horrible.

But I see that Moses wasn’t satisfied with just “ok”. Neither should I be.

Feb 8 – Seriously

Exodus 28-29

God is serious about His priests being holy, consecrated, pure, set apart. This is quite a ceremony described in the verses we read today. Every inch of their clothes had to be just so, every bit of a sacrificed animal had to be accounted for, the blood, the oil, the gemstones, the bread, every detail had to be followed exactly as God commanded.

I am convicted. As a Christian I have the privilege of being a member of God’s holy priesthood, my body a temple of God, set apart to represent Him. But I don’t always take my position in Christ as seriously as what I read today.

Maybe it’s true that we don’t tend to appreciate those things that come easily as much as we do that which involves effort, struggle, intention. My position in Christ was given to me through grace when I repented of my sins and asked Jesus to be my Savior. I don’t walk around with that heavy uniform Aaron wore. I am clothed with Jesus’ righteousness.

But I needed to read this portion of Scripture today to remind me that my salvation came at a very high price. What I read in such detail here is exactly what Jesus’ death on the cross fulfilled in my life.

I owe it to my Savior to be just as serious, as respectful, and worshipful as were Aaron and his sons when they were consecrated for service. I never want to take for granted that which cost Jesus His life.

Dearest Savior, I am  humbled today as I read what steps Aaron, as Your priest, took in order to be consecrated for service, and what details were required for the sacrifices. You did that for me when I was still a sinner. Let me serve You today as You deserve. I want to be an effective priest in Your kingdom.