Wednesday, December 29, 2010
If you guys already read my last post, you know that teamwork is important. We should be supporting each other, not arguing with each other. Because on any sports team, all it takes is one person that creates problems for the team to lose its chemistry. Or like how Paul put it, we are all one body, so if the toe is a pain to the rest of the body, no matter if it's a big toe or pinky toe, it will be a distraction to the whole body and be an overall hindrance. It would hurt to walk, let alone be active. That's just when something is being a pain; imagine if the body was fighting itself, for example, an autoimmune disease is a disease in which he body's white blood cells attack it. It's a very painful and damaging thing. Is it possible that the church is doing that right now? Think of all the pointless squabbles that some Christians have with others. Those arguments can cause division in the church to the point that it isn't effective anymore. And that's exactly what the enemy wants. He wants us as a church body to be completely ineffective. So be gracious, be kind, and play for the team! There are bigger things at stake than out own personal preferences.
Friday, December 24, 2010
So I'm a volleyball player, I love playing it. It's one of my favorite sports. My other favorite is ultimate frisbee, but that's irrelevant. In volleyball, every single team member counts. On all the teams I play on, I'm always a hitter. Now normally in volleyball, hitters get most of the credit, mainly because they hit the ball hard and that's where the most intense part of the sport is. But I'm completely powerless without my team, whether or not I'm a good player. When I'm in front row, I'm dependent on my setter to set me up in order for me to hit, but in order for my setter to set me up, he or she has to get a good pass from whoever the ball comes to. The whole team is important in volleyball, whether or not hitters are considered the "dominant" players. Isn't it the same with Christians? Shouldn't we be depending on each other in order to spread the Gospel throughout the world with our different gifts and abilities?
In Romans 12:5-8, Paul writes, "5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."
And he also writes in 1 Corinthians 12:14-19, "14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body."
God has given us all different abilities, while you might be a hand or an eye, I might be a pinky toe, or a toenail. In other words, while you might have the gift of evangelism, I might have the gift of preaching, or something along those lines. So be a team player, don't just worry about what you can do by yourself; as Christians, we're all in this together, and we have God with us at all times!
Monday, December 13, 2010
One of my favorite verses of all time, if not my favorite, is 1 Corinthians 10:31 which says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." I think that this verse is pretty much telling us that glorifying God should be our main goal in life. But how much do we, as humans, take pride in our actions? I know I do a lot, and that's wrong. Paul says to do EVERYTHING that we do all for the glory of God. For instance, I can do really well on a test at school, a final exam in fact. Now I can say that I studied really well for that exam so I'm the one who deserves all the credit, or I can thank God for allowing me to memorize the material and do well on the exam, because in the end, it's all up to Him. Now that's a hard thing to do for most people. It's our nature that drives us to thinking that we deserve all of the credit, therefore glorifying ourselves in our heads. Whether we act on that thought or not is still irrelevant. We still thought it. So remember, God is in control, and He deserves all of the glory.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Recently, I've started training for a triathalon. Now training for a triathalon takes a lot of discipline, a lot of dedication, and a whole lotta sweat. Gallons of the stuff. Thinking about how hard I have to work to acheive my goal of competing in a triathon reminded me of what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27: "24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." I got to thinking, competing in a triathalon takes a lot of preparation beforehand. My body won't be able to handle doing a triathalon without the proper training. I have to swim, bike, and run a lot beforehand just to be prepared to finish the race, let alone win. Christianity is the same way. I can't just go out into the world without praying or reading my Bible and expect to do what God has planned for me. I have to train. I have to pray constantly and read my Bible regularly in order to be ready for whatever God has in store for me. Without training, my spirit won't be able to do what God wants. So don't just run to win, train to win as well.