On Wednesdays, I have join with Tom and Jan's Place to do an inspiration blog called Come to Jesus. Be sure to check their blog for others that are participating in this.
JOY ~ Signs of the Joy-Filled Life
I decided that I would share a bit of the summer series that our Paster is doing this summer. It has been very refreshing and I hope you will enjoy it as well.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed ~ not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence ~ continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Do everythning without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of GOD without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life ~ in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
Joy is living a Christ-focused life that realizes His pleasure, knowing that He is transforming me into HIS likeness and using me right "where I am" in the lives of others. I express my JOY by my obedience to God and what he wants me to do. My Joy Stealers are the complaining, grumbling and arguing I may do along the way that keeps me from my obedience. So, I need to keep my Focus on the Community of Faith.
My Reflection of Christ's Plan for my life:
How do I do this. First of all we are called to LOVE, love one another in John 13:34-35. Then Jesus himself gives us our Great COMMISSION, which is to advance the gospel as stated in Matt 28:18-20. Next, we are to EXALT Jesus Christ..by doing this I am asking myself *Do I love ME more than anything or is it Jesus that I exalt?* What is that answer for you? The last part of my reflection of Christ in my life is UNITY. Jesus' prayer for the body of Christ was that they BE One as He and His Father were one, John 17.
So....How do we do this?
Step 1: God works in us to do HIS WILL...We know that first of all Jesus comanded us to do this by Loving others and being unified as one. We are to be daily in the WORD, because this helps explain GOD's plan for us. Allow the Holy Spirit to awaken in us the desire to follow GOD's will for our lives by responding and doing his will.
Step 2: We work out our salvation with fear and trembling
How do we work this out? By lives that are sanctified in living a life pleasing to Christ with fear and trembling. Or...living a life in AWE or Reverence of what Christ has done for us.
Step 3: God works in us to act according to His Good Purpose:
Am I choosing to respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit...or listening to what it is he is asking of me. Often this may be that still small voice that is urging us on. I know for me when I quiet myself...I am often directed in the way to go. But many times we are too busy and not willing to be quiet or still to hear. Listening to God is such a big part of living a life following God's will for our lives.
So...how do will live a life without complaining or arguing. Complaining is described as an under tone of discontent or murming. Arguing is open disputes fueled by doubt. Hmmmm....is this me or what. So what is a good solution to helping me overcome this in my life:
R ~ Remember our purpose
E ~ Engage in Prayer
S ~ Speak directly - Listen intently
O ~ Obtain mutual understaing
L ~ Look at benefits of adjusting our attitudes
V ~ Value the other person more than self
E ~ End Graciously and commit it all to GOD
Our conduct makes us credible to other by living a life free of blame, being pure and living above reproach. Our conduct will point to others that we are God's child. Our conduct also is a huge contrast to the world around us...as many live lives that are apart from God and in such depravity...we need to live lives with out blame or fault and shine like the stars in the universe..or STAND out and be different. And most importantly it is the foundation of the message we have as we live out to the world the Word of Life.
Thanks for stopping by...have a blessed day.