You are God’s Personal Representative to this World

We are ambassadors of Christ in this world. We represent the Kingdom of God here and now.  We are His personal representatives to this alien land. Our official residency belongs not to this world but to our homeland–Heaven. Within these walls of our homes the rules and customs belongs to Heaven.

Our allegiance is to our homeland and King, not of this world.

Are we living up to our ambassadorial title? And is our home an embassy of Heaven?

An ambassador also has direct access to the King he represents. How can we represent if we don’t know the King’s mind? Many people fail as Christian ambassadors because they don’t maintain communication with their King.

If an ambassador stays too long in a foreign country and doesn’t make frequent visits to his own land he gets “denaturalized.” This can happen without being aware of it.

How easily, without realizing it, do we become “conformed to this world.” How easily we accept a lower standard; lose the sharp distinction between right and wrong.

How do we avoid this? By repeated contact and communication with God and His people. Daily prayer, weekly corporate worship, fellowship and service are ways to do that.

Sooner or later every ambassador is called home and relieved of his or her post.

Some day we will be called home. God doesn’t intend for us to dwell forever in an alien land. When it comes, may it only find us fulfilling our ambassadorial duties.

Spiritual Diabetes

Proverbs 13:4,

Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.

The Catholic Church considers laziness or sloth to be one of the seven deadly sins because it has the power to shut down an entire kingdom.  People paralyzed by laziness miss opportunities to be Salt and Light.

Diabetes is laziness of the pancreas that affects the entire Body.  Far too many of us Christians are causing spiritual diabetes in the life of the Body of Christ, the Church.  It’s time to use our gifts and abilities.  It’s time to take a chance.  It’s time to unleash the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and see what God will do when we simply DO SOMETHING.

8 Expressions of Praise

Praise, by its very nature, is outward, open, demonstrative and obvious to anyone watching.  We are exhorted numerous times in the Psalms to praise God publicly.  We are on this earth to make our God known through our praise.

8 expressions of praise in Scripture:

  1. Kneeling
  2. Dancing
  3. Raising our hands
  4. Shouting
  5. Singing
  6. Testifying
  7. Playing instruments
  8. Clapping

These 8 are not commands to please God.  God’s only requirement is that we praise.  We are given 8 options to try.  We should TRY them all.  But some are more comfortable than others.

How to Become an Encourager

Encourage literally means to “give courage” to someone else.  Discourage means “to subtract from someone else’s courage.”  Whether we like it or not, we subtly or not so subtly encourage or discourage those closest to us all the time.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be known as an encourager than a discourager.

The first step to becoming an encourager is to discover the dreams of those you’re close to.  Not your dreams for them, but what they want to do and be.  This is particularly important as parents that we’re not living out our dreams through our children but helping them grasp their dreams.  Here’s a great question to ask them: What would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail?  When you have their answer, get creative with ways to encourage and enable them to make their dream a reality.

Encouragement also requires you to understand your loved one’s fears.  Encouragement is often about helping that person overcome their fears.  But you have to understand what those fears are if you want to help them overcome them.  How to tell?  Ask them!  “What is the one thing you’re most afraid of?”  “What’s holding you back from reaching your dreams?”

Too easily, our encouragements can be colored by our self-interests.  The true test of our love is when we can honestly rejoice when someone else is honored, wins the prize, or achieves their dreams.  If you really love someone, you don’t focus on “Why didn’t that happen to me?” or “Why are they blessed and I’m not?”  Instead, you will be the one who plans the celebration party and throws the confetti.

Envy is an Insult to God

Envy is an insult to God. Every time we wish we were someone else, have what they have, or do what they do, we’re saying, “God, you made a mistake with me. You could have done better.”

Envy is a form of spiritual rebellion based on ignorance and arrogance. It assumes that I have a better plan for my life than God’s plan for my life.

Romans 9:20 (NLT),

No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?”

1 Corinthians 4:7a-8b (MSG),

Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what’s the point of all this comparing and competing? You already have all you need.

Procrastination is the Enemy of Greatness

Procrastination is the enemy of becoming great.

This was true in King Solomon’s day as he instructs in Proverbs 6:4, “Don’t procrastinate—there’s no time to lose.”

When we procrastinate we’re not doing what God calls us to do.  Jesus died and rose again so that we can live, not so that we can be paralyzed.

The more we procrastinate, the “better” we’re at it.  So why do we do it?  Why then do we let our families devolve until we barely know one another, do just enough at work not to get canned, and look at our community as just the place we live and not as the world we serve?

What Does It Mean to Be Great at Something?

So what does it mean to be great at something?  And how do we do it?

To start, we have to follow Jesus and the new concept of greatness that He introduced.  Jesus said,

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

True greatness starts with being a servant to others.  We don’t live by the world’s standards but Jesus’ standards.

In order to get great at something it seems that God intends for us to build upon the foundation of skills and wisdom that He has given us.