Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dressed for Battle

This morning was a great time with the homeless men and women of Augusta.  We had a great devotional by Beau Brandenburg on being attacked and what our response should be (Ephesians 6). We hear about different types of attacks all time… bears, sharks, dogs, another person, or even terrorists.  There are books and articles written on how to survive these attacks with the hope that if you are ever faced with one you will know how to respond. 

We may never personally be attacked by any of these things but as Christians, we are in a constant battle for our souls.  There is one who is constantly waging war against you and me… Satan does not want us to be a part of the Christian life.  There is good news… we have a survival plan (Ephesians 6:10-17).  Paul, the writer of Ephesians, knew we would face these types of attacks and has given us the ultimate strategy to survive.  Just as a solider goes into battle with protective clothing and armor we are to be clothed with the Armor of God each and every day.  I don’t know about you, but this is not something on my “to do” list each day.  We live in a culture where we celebrate many freedoms and most of us do not face a real danger of being attacked on a daily basis (military, police, firefighters, etc.. not withstanding).  We are still in a spiritual battle and need to be prepared.  There is one piece of great news… the war has already been won… Jesus was victorious on the cross and has given us victory.  We still face the day to day “battles” and need to keep the faith and wear the armor of God but the ultimate victory is ours.

I hope as you read this, you are encouraged and challenged. 

Each morning, think… “Am I dressed for battle?”.

Stephen for KH

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Living in the World of "I"

Philippians 2:3-4 (NLT)

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”

This morning while spending some time with the Lord, I read these verses.  As soon as I did, I thought of Kingdom Here and the men who live these verses out each Wednesday morning.  Then, I began to think about my life and how I act outside of the Wednesday mornings we go downtown.  I realized, as a follower of Jesus, I am called to live this way each day in everything I do and everywhere I go… whatever the situation.  Jesus is the perfect example of someone who lived these verses. (See Philippians 2:6-11).

So often we look out for #1 (ourselves) and don’t worry about anyone else. In this passage, Paul, is telling us not to live this way.  He understands our selfish nature and wants to show us a better way to live life.  Not only is it better for us but it is better for those around us.  Imagine the impact of a community where we took these verses to heart and truly lived by them each day… thinking of others and their needs first instead of our own.  It doesn’t have to be a huge act… just something as simple as holding a door for someone, letting someone out in traffic, smiling at the cashier, praying for a friend, loving your spouse, and the list goes on.  Often the small things in life are the ones where people find the most joy.

In a world where the “I” is all some people think about; let us be a people who “take an interest in others.”  After all, we are called to a higher purpose and to live our lives not as the world lives them but as Jesus, the one who called us to himself and gave us the example. 

As you live your life today, are you thinking of the interest of others?

Stephen for Kingdom Here