Archive for March, 2012

AwAreness: Serve

Posted in Gypsy Carns on March 28, 2012 by Gypsy Carns

When it comes to serving in the church, people rarely request positions where they will go unnoticed. They usually ask to be involved in a place of leadership. Now, there is nothing wrong with heading a committee. But God calls us to have a servant’s heart: He desires that our motive be to glorify Him, not ourselves.

There are many reasons the Lord calls us to serve. First, He rids us of pride and selfishness, allowing our focus to be on Him. Second, we proclaim our love for Christ through our care for one another. Third, God tests and purifies our hearts through service.  The Lord desires that we discover His plan, obey, and become all that He intended.

Deuteronomy 6:13 – You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name.

 

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AwAreness: Debt

Posted in Gypsy Carns on March 27, 2012 by Gypsy Carns

Personal debt has skyrocketed in our Western culture. Easy credit, a desire for material goods, and an unwillingness to save and wait have led many people down the path of financial bondage. The Bible doesn’t forbid borrowing, but it clearly warns us of its negative consequences. Our verse today describes the borrower as the lender’s slave.  Every dollar you borrow costs you a measure of freedom. Your paycheck is no longer entirely yours; a part of it must be set aside to repay your creditor. As the interest adds up, the financial burden may necessitate longer working hours.

For Christians, the obligation to repay debt oftentimes hinders the ability to give to the Lord’s work or help people in need. Instead of getting the first part, God gets leftovers or nothing at all.  The burden of mounting bills creates emotional and relational stress. In fact, financial problems are one of the leading causes of divorce. Even our relationship with the Lord is affected when we let our appetite for the world’s goods override our obedience to biblical principles.   True freedom comes to those who rely on the Lord’s promises instead of their credit cards.

Proverbs 22: 7 – The rich rules over the poor,  and the borrower is servant to the lender.

AwAreness: Praise

Posted in Gypsy Carns on March 26, 2012 by Gypsy Carns

Glorifying the Lord is not limited to worshipping in church. In fact, praise ought to permeate the believer’s life.  One obvious way that we praise the Lord is with our voice. We can either speak or sing our worship. Psalm writers put adoration into words and set their love to music. True worship also flows from the mouths of believers who are focused upon God’s attributes. They desire to honor Him because of who He is, what He has done, and what He has promised for the future.

Genuine worship allows the Lord to fill our hearts and minds with His presence.  Our God is praised when we serve Him. People are created for the purpose of bringing glory and honor to His name.   Don’t just sing; serve His kingdom and share the gospel. Help to make God’s throne room ring with worship.

Psalm 34: 1: I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

 

AwAreness: Appetites

Posted in Gypsy Carns on March 23, 2012 by Gypsy Carns

What words would you use to describe our society? Materialistic, sensual, impatient, indulgent, undisciplined–these are just a few. We’re also a “have it now” culture. Satan specializes in presenting us with opportunities for instant gratification while promising us that indulging our appetites will bring us the satisfaction we seek.  Human appetites, in themselves, are not sinful. In fact, they’re God-given. However, because of our fleshly weaknesses, they need to be controlled.

One key to success is keeping our focus on the eternal instead of the temporal. Many decisions that seem mundane are in fact spiritually significant.  When the Enemy tempts us, he always tries to keep our attention on our desire and the pleasure of indulgence rather than on the eternal rewards and blessings we’re forfeiting. Just remind yourself how quickly immediate gratification wanes and how long eternity lasts.

Galatians 5:16 – I say then; “Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

AwAreness: I AM

Posted in Gypsy Carns on March 22, 2012 by Gypsy Carns

In our culture, God’s name is oftentimes mentioned with little reverence. In fact, many people actually use it as a curse. Even among those who love Him, it is far too common to use His name casually, without taking time to ponder who He is.  Our view of the Lord impacts three areas of life. First, it affects our prayers. As we come to know Him better and better, our desires will start to look like His goals for us, and our petitions will align more closely with His purposes.

Second, our understanding of His righteousness and goodness influences our behavior. If God has these attributes, surely it is in our best interest to obey gladly.  Third, our faith is impacted. Grasping that Jesus is holy, good, and powerful grows our trust in Him.   Do you personally know our loving and holyheavenly Father? He invites you into an intimate relationship with Him. But, as with any good friendship, time and intentionality are necessary to understand Him and learn His ways. The more you do that, the more your prayers, behavior, and faith will be impacted.

Exodus 3:14 – And god said to Moses, ” I AM WHO I AM”.  And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent Me to you.’ “

AwAreness: Holy Spirit

Posted in Gypsy Carns on March 21, 2012 by Gypsy Carns

You are probably familiar with the book The Little Engine That Could, in which a small engine keeps repeating the words “I think I can.” By using sheer willpower, she pulls an entire train over the mountain. That’s a nice children’s story, but the truth of the Christian life is very different. In the real world, our efforts and determination often fall short. Only by walking in the power of the Holy Spirit can the godly life be achieved.

Throughout the Old Testament, God’s Spirit would temporarily come upon saints for a particular work. However, after Jesus ascended to heaven, He sent the Spirit to dwell permanently within each believer. Consider what this means: If you’re a Christian, God is living inside of you, available to help all through life by providing guidance, comfort, and empowerment.

Do you recognize your need for the Lord? Begin each day confessing your dependence upon Him. Ask to be filled with His Spirit so that all you think, do, and say will be an overflow from Him. Then trust Him to work in mighty ways through you. Watch what almighty God can do.

Acts 2: 1-4: When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  ANd suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

AwAreness: Weakness

Posted in Gypsy Carns on March 20, 2012 by Gypsy Carns

The book of Judges tells of a man named Samson, who was so strong he could kill a lion with his bare hands. He possessed physical strength unequalled by any human being. But this could not compensate for his inner weakness.  All of us have areas of weakness. God wants these character flaws to show us how totally dependent we are upon Him. When we handle them properly, they drive us into a deeper, more intimate relationship with the Lord. But uncontrolled weakness wreaks havoc in a person’s life.

Samson’s Achilles’ heel was uncontrollable lust. Although he was raised in a godly home and had a clear calling in life, he gave in to his desires and deliberately violated the truth he knew so well.he met a woman named Delilah, and even though her motives were blatantly treacherous, he gave himself over—heart, mind, and spirit—to sexual indulgence. He was in such bondage to the sin that he ultimately allowed it to dictate his actions, even at the cost of his life.  Before he died, Samson lost everything: his strength, eyesight, and honor. The man who once led his country mightily became a slave to his enemies.

What is your weakness? Is it lust, insecurity, fear, greed, gossip, or pride? Personality flaws can be a powerful motivation for good or ill, depending on our response. A desire for sin can ruin your life—as it did Samson’s—or drive you to utter dependence on God. The outcome is up to you.

James 1: 13-15: Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.