Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Who am I?

Each season I have to repriortize my life and schedule. Over the years I have come to these seven important considerations to prioritize and evaluate my spiritual growth and maturity. As fall approaches I have taken a look at these again.
This is what I want to be about.

1-Live into your identity in Christ and grow in your relationship with God as your Father. You were made to be in relationship with God, your creator, who made you for intimate communion as his child through Jesus Christ and to be made like him. You will never be disappointed with spending your life understanding God's love. Your beliefs will affect your behavior. Your life and beliefs are shaped by reading God’s word, the Bible, and taking time to pray and relate to him. Read any and all books about God’s love and the roles of the Trinity. Talk about it with humble, trustworthy, Biblically-rooted people, mediate on the Bible’s truths and examine how your family of origin has affected you and your understanding of God as Father. Seek to live in God’s forgiveness, and extend it to others. God really loves & likes you. John 15. Eph 1-3. Col 3:16. Make the time to love God and let him Love you.
2- Live your life passionately, as worship and with purpose. Develop (and utilize) your prayer life, purpose, and spiritual gifts. In love, God created you to be satisfied with himself and with a specific purpose to help usher in his kingdom. This means you must listen to him in order to live this out. Be an active part of God’s church filling your “part” of the body and living out your role. Read, study, and meet with people who live this out. Pray without ceasing. Study biblical prayers. What can you learn from them? Then make sure you can teach others. Read up on spiritual gifts. What are yours? How do your passions, hobbies and skills work together to advance God’s kingdom? Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Col 3: 17, 23, Eph 4, 1 Peter 4. Commit to worshipping with others. Be mentored and mentor others. (Worship is not just about music, it’s your lifestyle. Do everything as worship and be holy ad God is holy.) 1 Peter 1-2.
3-Live into God’s design for healthy masculinity/femininity and practice godly relationships. Study the roles that God has given to men and women and live in purity. Learn all that you can about sexuality and healthy relationships. Be single and pure, and if you want to be married, live like it now in your purity and roles as men and women. (When/if you are married, then prioritize your family above all else. Your spouse (family) is your first ministry.) I believe that when men and women truly live out their God given roles, it affects all of society. When these roles are dysfunctional, weak, or lacking power, it contributes to the breakdown of the family, society, and our world. Ephesians 5, 1 Peter 3, Proverbs 31.
4-Practice authenticity, be honest about your brokenness, live in forgiveness and seek reconciliation. Are you honest about your issues? Have you confessed your sin and found help? Are you free from bitterness toward all the people in your life? Find people with whom to share your story and prioritize living in God-centered community. Care more about what God thinks of you than what people think about you. Check your emotions. God created you with them and they are good. Live life with trustworthy, close people who you can share anything with yet depend on encouragement and accountability! Seek to get over your pain from the past with God’s power and love and live free. The lamest choice in life is the choice to be fake, to live in unforgiveness or in fear of what people think, to compartmentalize life, or to choose to believe or live lies. Do you need counseling? Get it. There is no shame in that! James 5:16, Hebrews 10:24-25
5-Live a missionary life where ever you are...wherever you physically live, live/serve as God has made you. We are called to live like Jesus and love others. Bless others, know and love your neighbors and those who work and serve around you. What has God called YOU to do? What is your mission? Don’t be anybody but who you are, and do this in a way that impacts and influences our world. Ministry is not just for those who are paid by the church—we all can live lives of ministry. Love/serve others: Our workplaces, neighborhoods, communities, etc. are our mission fields. Matt 5:16.

6- Give, save, and manage money as God’s steward. All you have comes from God. How you spend your money is worship. Your spending and giving is a reflection of your heart and character. If not wisely planned and budgeted, money can be very dangerous and have negative implications on your whole life. Get a spending plan and spend less than you make. Prioritize and budget giving to God’s purposes and the Church. Spend more on others than yourself. Seek simplicity. Your credit card statement/checkbook reflects your heart for God. Avoid debt, materialism, and closets full of clothes and stuff. Matt 6:19-24, 1 Tim 6:10.

7-Take care of the least of these. Jesus was concerned for the outcast, sick, and socially estranged. Christians need to be concerned and broken for the poor, orphaned, widowed, sick, and imprisoned. Do not take God’s word lightly we must not neglect the poor, widowed, and oprhans. Read the Bible and see how often God takes up the cause of the alien and stranger. Consider adoption, simple living, and radical sacrifice so that you can give to and serve in God’s purposes? Do you know a homeless person in your area? Take her to lunch. Invite him over to your warm house. Pray for the 163 million orphans in the world. Start and/or partner with ministries that make a difference for these causes. To know God is to love the poor. To follow Jesus is to live a life of sharing with those in need. Prov. 14:21&31, 19:17, Jer 22:19, Matt 25:31-46.

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