Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Living Beyond Myself...Week 4

Here is the last message of our most recent series. To hear the whole thing, or to hear about Jeff's trip to Ecuador with Compassion International, click here.

The Power of Doing Good

Einstein quote: The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

WHY should we do good?
>It is God's destiny for us.
>Ephesians 2:10: For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
>God wants to bless the world but will do it only through other people.

Hebrews 10:24: And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

2 Thessalonians 3:13: And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.

Matthew 5:16: Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Titus 3:1,8,14: Remind the people...to be ready to do whatever is good,...those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone....Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.

1 Timothy 6:17-19: Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Luke 6:31-35: "Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners', expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked."

Romans 12:20-21: On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink."...Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

If you are alive, God has things he wants you to do.

WHERE should we do good?
>Wherever we are where goodness needs to be done.

HOW should we do good?
>Discover and develop our spiritual gift, putting it into play.
>However the Spirit leads you.

Dr. Albert Schweitzer: Keep your eyes open for the little tasks - because it is the little kind tasks that are important to Jesus Christ.

John Wesley: Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can!

As a challenge from the message, we were all given envelopes with a task inside that would lead us to do good to someone around us. It was interesting that my task was perfectly fitted to my gifting. Adam's was something that would fit into his normal routine. I wondered if anyone got one that was outside of their skill set or comfort zone. Neal said that he switched with another person because hers was something that didn't fit, as was his, but switching them created a much better fit. Interesting to me.

This series has really been good at getting me to think about how I spend my time and challenging me to look beyond myself to the needs of others. I hope that I will continue to look for ways to serve others in small (and sometimes big) ways. No task is to small to be a good deed.

Living Beyond Myself...Week 3

I know I'm a little behind getting this posted, but I've had a busy last few weeks of February.

Just Jump In!

Every time the rooster crowed, for the rest of Peter's life, he was reminded of his thrice denial of Jesus.

John 21:2-9

v7: When Peter learned it was the Lord, he jumped into the water to get to Jesus.
>What do you think the interaction was like between Peter and Jesus after the resurrection?

v12-17: Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him (once for every denial?)
>To reconcile their relationship.
>He gave Peter things to do to show his love for Jesus (serve my people).
>>We see in the rest of Peter's life that he served all out.

Dr. David Alan Black quote

>Words are attractive but deeds speak louder than words.

So obviously there aren't a lot of notes. This tends to happen when Neal speaks because he tells stories and I tend to spend my time listening rather than jotting down my thoughts. You can listen to the whole message here. I had not previously noticed that Jesus asking Peter three times if he loved him could be the symbolic act of canceling out his previous denials - a restitution of sorts. Neal pointed out that the Scripture notes that Peter was hurt that Jesus asked him THREE times about his love. That hurt was probably a minuscule amount of what Jesus felt when Peter denied him.

I enjoyed the reminder that we are to show our love of Jesus through our actions and our lives. Serving others should be the response to our love for Jesus. I need to constantly consider, "Are my actions indicating that I love Jesus?"