This is the last post in the “Ten Things I Have Learned This Year.” you can see the other posts here, here and here.
8. It is important to remember that we are a part of something so much bigger than ourselves, our church, and our affiliation (denomination, fellowship, whatever…).
- I am not minimizing the importance of the local church. Not at all. It is God’s plan for us to reach people. But, it is part of a BIG plan that God has to bring people into the Kingdom.
- We have to remember that everything that we do as a local congregation of believers gives people around us a view of what God and His people are all about. So, if you are some wack-job that preaches hate and intolerance (to personal preferences – not core doctrinal issues) than you give those in your community (and unfortunately, maybe even a larger audience) a view that God’s people are a bunch of idiots. You also give people that are visiting your church, maybe for the first or last time, something other than the hope, acceptance and love of Jesus, which is what they are looking for. As the people of God, we have to create an atmosphere that allows us to show the love of Christ to people in a non-judgmental way.
- If you are a part of some denomination or fellowship of churches, that is great. Those things are helpful for the big picture as far as home and foreign missions are concerned. But it is sad when a pastor or a church get so “affiliation” minded that they forget they are called to build a church, not an affiliation. I literally have heard pastors say that another pastor would have made a great leader an their affiliation if he had not been so focused on his church. Excuse me? Jesus did not die for you affiliation…
- We need to have a big picture mentality that allows us to work with others to accomplish the work of God. I like how Paul said it in Philippians, “I don’t care if they preach Christ out of envy or good will, the important thing is that they are preaching Christ.”
9. With that in mind, we should live our lives as if we are a part of something big
- God has a purpose and a plan. We should live to be a part of that, knowing that we were are involved in is God redemptive process for man.
- We are a part of what God wants to do. We need to see where we fit that plan, and dig in to love God, love others and serve both!
- Why do so many Christians walk around like they do not matter, and like what they believe does not matter. They walk around like it is a small thing to be a Christ follower! Stop it! We are a child of the Most High God! Live like it!
- Live your life as if the person you are in contact with at this very moment is a divine appointment from God… because it is! We are a part of His master plan!
10. God is sovereign. The end!
- So many times over the last year I have had to just sit back, take a deep breath, and remind myself that God is in control.
- I have had to remind myself that no man is bigger than God, even if they think they are. No circumstance is beyond God’s control, even if it seems like there is no escape.
- If I believe that I am a part of God’s great plan, than I have to believe that the things He allows to come into my life are also a part of that plan, and will help me to be exactly who He intends me to be.
In another post this year, I shared a passage from Job that gave me great strength. I have gone back to that passage many times this year. Job 23:8-14 says:
8 I cannot find God anywhere— in front or back of me,
9 to my left or my right. God is always at work,
though I never see him.
10 But he knows what I am doing, and when he tests me,
I will be pure as gold.
11 I have never refused to follow any of his commands,
12 and I have always treasured his teachings.
13 But he alone is God, and who can oppose him?
God does as he pleases,
14 and he will do exactly what he intends with me.
It is such a comfort to know that He is in control, and that He will do exactly what He wants to do with me to fulfill His purpose and plan!
I hope I am always learning… I cannot wait to see what God has for me in 2009!