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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday Words of Encouragement June 8, 2014

Our Sunday school teacher, “G”, gave a wonderful message this morning entitled, “This, That and the Other.”
THIS: Recently G visited his lake home after a long winter and discovered that he had to spend a day pulling weeds that had infested the gravel sitting area. Even though the area had been prepped with a lining, weeds still grow up. G compared this to our spiritual lives. We can do right things and still get weeds in our lives. There is no equivalent of spiritual ‘Round-up”. Satan can even use busyness in ministry to keep us from remembering to tend to the weeds. We must learn to deal with weeds regularly, while they are smaller. This is true of computer bugs, too – we need to do regular debugging. Maintenance is important to our physical bodies as well as our relationships with others.
THAT: Each person is uniquely made with different packaging. We don't choose it but rather we inherit certain “wiring” from our parents. Our wiring and gifting varies greatly. One person may have great patience but deals with other weaknesses like shyness or pride. Another may be bold in his witness but quick to anger.
When we go to purchase a car we look for one that suits the purpose we need. Each vehicle serves differently. A a pickup truck is good to carry or haul on short trips. An 18 Wheeler carries heavy loads for long distances. You would choose a Jeep if you planned to face rough terrain or go off road. A sports car is good for speed, and maybe fun and flash. Most people with growing children end up choosing a station-wagon or minivan. If you only need a smaller vehicle to drive to and from work and around town, you would probably buy an economy car.
Similar to different vehicles, God created each of us to serve a unique purpose. We should not compare ourselves to others. Each person must cope, in varying degrees, with pride, anger, jealousy, envy, lust and other human weaknesses. We become stronger as we mature and learn to conquer lusts of the flesh by walking in the spirit; seeking God’s help and submitting to His will. God may allow situations that reveal the weeds that we have to pick. G admonished us to take a good look within ourselves and to remember to tend to our own weeds regularly.
THE OTHER: G encouraged us to read the book ALL IN by Mark Batterson. G read from Chapter One which tells of “one-way” missionaries who set out knowing they might die in their service. They took along a coffin instead of bags of belongings. Batterson says:
   "When did we begin believing that God wants to send us to safe places to do easy things?...
   Jesus didn't die to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous.
   Faithfullness is not holding the fort. It’s storming the gates of hell.
   It’s time to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.
   It's time to go all in and all out for the All in All.
   Pack your coffin!"
I was reminded of this older praise song: You Are My All in All.
Verses for Today:
Ephesians 4: 22-24 (NIV)
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

I pray that the Spirit will show me all areas of my heart, mind and live that need weeding and help give me grace and fortitude to do the weeding instead of seeking a more enjoyable activity.

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