Saturday, September 18, 2010


There is a central message to God's revelation; Jesus is our all.  Jesus....that name above all our lifestyle and our life.  If not, we've traded truth for an illusion; possibly a church illusion.

It is essential that every servant heart grasp the daunting task of believing Jesus.  Otherwise, one will likely malign his name by hiding in hard work in the church. 

Some are in the church because they are addicted to serving.  Their service can be both beneficial to others and to themselves.  These feel extreme gratification in leading a major tenet of the congregation.  The misstep in this is one's faith is in his work rather than in the work of the Savior. 

I have lived in both pairs of shoes.  I've applied myself to His call and His labor.  I've have also experienced the greater need to lean into him instead of scrambling to build up my arsenal of assumed productive talent.

How does one know whether we are more enslaved to working for God or trusting in Jesus?  Consider the following: the former will have obvious traits contradictory to the latter.
  • Easily irritated...........................................full of peace
  • Frustrated with lack of the co-workers......grateful for co-workers
  • Spends very little time in prayer.................prays without ceasing
  • Teaches about the Bible; but seldom studies it for personal growth......feeds from His Word
  • Frets........................................................trusts
  • Talks negatively about others....................praises others
  • Believes all work is up to them..................believes God works
  • Complains (at least in private)...................thanks
  • Easily stumped by others decisions...........confident in others
  • Arrogant to assume superior faith.............humble in reliance upon God
  • Refuses to turn reins over to colleagues....finds joy in empowering another
  • Operates from stringent control................happy to see how God will make it work
  • Speaks in a huff.......................................smiles with contentment
  • Assumes to be the only one sure of being lowest on the totem pole
  • Will not receive correction or criticism.....knows the value of both
This is one of the greatest changes in the church over the last 20 years.  The left column is fruit of the flesh.  The other is fruit of the Holy Spirit.  When the Holy Spirit was not a part of our system, we were stuck with trumping one another from the flesh column. 

Today the flesh-service is clearly out of step with the handiwork of our Lord.  The good news is that we are finding those who were awaiting from the right-hand column to be filled with such grace they tenderly wait on some of us to grow up.  Someone waited patiently on them and now they bless in similar fashion.

What I would encouraged readers to do with this is simply note the columns and awaken should a serious change be needed.  It is not wrong to struggle with many of the traits above.  It is wrong to deny them as "it's just the way it is" without intent to let God draw us into a relationship with Him.

What thinketh ye?


Brian said...

Oh my! I just looked squarely into the mirror and saw myself clearly.

Terry, I have read hundreds of your blogs, but this one for me was the most powerful-thought provoking-self examination blog I've read that spiritually stopped me dead in my tracks.

I needed this more than you know and you help kick off my Saturday right, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Jesus explained that one way you can judge whether or not actions/teaching are correct is by keeping a glory score card. Words are sometimes ambiguous in the Bible, but less so when you consider who gets the glory.

For example, do we tell people when and how to change, or do we talk about personal relationship with God? In one case, we seek our own will and our own glory; in the other we recognize where the glory belongs.

Someone seeks the gift of tongues as proof of salvation. Whose glory do they seek? Probably their own, and it may not have much to do with seeking the glory of God.

Another person denies the Spirit no longer works directly, because they're embarrassed by the outpouring that some experience when their spirit is renewed and made alive in Christ. They don't want anything taking away from their own glory and dignity, even if they have to err on the side of taking away from God's.

Or, how about the son who remained at home when the prodigal strayed? He's angry became he stayed and now the Father has a party for the prodigal son upon his return. The first son is not seeking the glory of God; he is seeking his own glory, and is angry about grace. This is how some legalists squash grace, too, by insisting that others shape up to their standards, instead of rejoicing when God rejoices.

If we micromanage God's ministry because we feel others can't get it right, then whose glory are we seeking? It's easy to forget that God can make the rocks speak. But he allows us the privilege of participating in HIS work.

Anonymous said...

I heard about this exchange in a Church.

One person said to another, "Don't worry; we don't throw people out of this Church for doing that."

The response was, "Of course not. You're supposed to keep people in, and not look for ways to throw them out."

One person is worried about their own glory, and another sees that the glory is God's.