Saturday, June 27, 2015

Checking Motives


While cuddling and reading devotions with my eight-year-old, Philippians 1:15 tore my heart wide open.

"Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel."  Phillipians 1:15-17

Pressure for platform and numbers can distract attention.  The moment envy rises its ugly green head in our hearts when it comes to fellow ambassadors of the gospel, we can be sure Phil 1:15 isn't far from describing our state.

As ministers of the gospel of Christ, we need to be keenly aware of our motives.  And this not only goes for ministers, but every service in the church body.  There is a key question we must continue to ask ourselves...Why do we do what we do? 

Do we like the attention?

Does it make us feel good about ourselves?

Money?

Is position and favor our conquest? 

There are other questions to ask as well.  But, there should only be one answer.  The only reason for proclaiming the gospel of Christ is simply to preach Christ.

Thankfully whatever the motives, still Christ is preached, as Paul admirably points out in Phil 1:18.

"What then?  Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in trust, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice."

Anyone is subject to fall.  Anyone at any time can be tempted with envy and jealousy.  No one is immune.  We are all human.  We just all need to be aware.

Do you find yourself comparing your ministry to others?  Check your motives.

Do you find yourself begrudging the fruit in others' lives?  Check your motives.

Do you think you are right in how you do things and others are wrong?  Check your motives.

Do you ever feel like someone "stole" something or someone from you?  Check your motives.

At the beginning of this post, I shared an intimate confession. The Lord used Phil 1:15 to reveal an area of sin in my life.  This sin broke my heart.  And as a fellow sojourner in Christ, my heart is to help others avoid the pitfalls along the journey.

My prayer is that our goal and aim would be One.  My prayer is that all believers in Christ could be joined together in unity rather than me-nity, focused on others and the Kindgom of God rather than self.

It starts with each person doing a heart check and walking in love with one another.  It starts with me. It starts with you.

Father, cleanse my heart and renew a right spirit within me.  Lord, may my only motive be Christ and Christ alone.  Forgive me for times I have been envious of my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ.  Forgive me Lord and rid me of pride and selfishness.  Lord, I pray that as Your children, we would love each other and encourage each other along this journey.  In Jesus' Name, Amen.    




Thursday, June 11, 2015

Don't Forget to Enter to Win!

Friday morning I am giving away a prayer journal!  Don't forget to enter to win.  Click this link below to see how to win!

http://www.livingfreeinhim.blogspot.com/2015/06/results-or-relationship-and-giveaway.html

Also, I posted a new post today on the other blog I write, Deeper Still Devotions.  Click the link below to read this post.

www.deeperstilldevotions.blogspot.com


Blessings to you!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Results or Relationship {And a Giveaway!!}


As soon as my fingers typed the word, I felt a check in my spirit. ...Results. 

The message was a text message sent to a friend as we ping ponged opinions on a theological concept that I won't go into here.

The sentence I typed was along the lines of, "I have gotten good results with this."   This referring to the theological concept and a posture of prayer.  

WHAT???!!!!

Results.  I was sick to my stomach.  Is that what prayer is about?  Is that why I pray?

Do I pray to get results or do I pray to cultivate a relationship?

I think this is a very good question, not just for me.

God doesn't have a problem with us praying with expectation of results.  In fact, He honors those prayers and answers them.  However, if results are the only reason for our prayers, there is a problem.

For instance, what if your children only came to you every time they wanted something.  What if they were only talking to you for results and did nothing to nurture a loving relationship with you?

Being the good parent you are, you would be happy they were talking to you and most likely honor their requests.  However, would you be grieved?  Would it sadden you that results were their priority over relationship?

I believe our heavenly Father is grieved with the number of His children who either never or rarely speak to Him.  I believe it grieves His loving Father's heart.

Friends, I want to encourage you to get a journal and write letters to your Father.  Then listen.  Listen for a response.  Then write His response.  Journaling is one way I speak to, listen and hear the Holy Spirit.

The Lord wants to speak to you.  He wants that relationship with you.  Please don't understand.  It isn't wrong for you to pray expecting Him to answer.  Yes.  Prayer Works.  Prayer bring results.  Let's just not let results be our exclusive focus.  He longs for you to know Him intimately.  He longs for relationship.

"But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33

"Seek the Lord and His strength;  Seek His face evermore." Psalm 105:4

"When You said, "Seek My face," my heart said to You, "Your face, Lord, I will seek."  Psalm 27: 8

"But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all  your soul."  Deuteronomy 4:29

This week, I want to help one of you cultivate your relationship with the Father by giving away a prayer journal.  You can enter to win by one of three ways:

1.  "Like" my facebook page.
2.    Invite 10 others your know to like my page.
3.    Share a post.

If you invite others or share a post, please comment below or send me a Facebook message to let me know. I will randomly select a winner from all who entered by drawing a name on Friday morning at 8 am.  

 How fun!!!  










 
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