Posted by: pastortomvabeach | February 27, 2008

Thought For The Week March 2, 2008

I recently started a new spiritual discipline that is helping me to pay more attention to my daily Scripture reading. We learned about this idea through the LDR Cohort training that our leadership team is attending every two months. The idea was presented as a means to be more consistent in reading and applying God’s Word both for pastors and for every Christian. It is something that I have never been able to get right so I just thought it’s not for me. I am discovering that with the right direction I can do it! The discipline is keeping a life journal.


The idea is very simple. Every day, as you read the Scripture, ask the Lord to speak to you and ask yourself the question, “How will I be different today because of what I have just read?” Then listen as you read the Word for what the Lord will show you from the Scripture. When something speaks to you make four notes: 1) Scripture – simply copy the verse(s). 2) Observation – write one or two sentences telling what spoke to you about the passage. 3) Application – write one or two sentences about how you will apply that in your life. 4) Prayer – write a short prayer asking the Lord to enable you to apply what you have read and therefore be different. S.O.A.P.!


Today I was reading Mark 6, and verses 54-55 spoke to me: As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. I was moved by the idea that when people really recognize that Jesus is present, they are powerfully drawn to Him. Another place in chapter six mentioned how Jesus had tried to get away with the disciples for some much needed rest, but the crowds got to the resting place ahead of Him. Seeing the people, it says He was moved with compassion and began teaching them many things (verse 34).


Think of it, the compassion, power, love, and servant’s heart demonstrated by our Savior caused great crowds of people to literally run to catch up with Him. The hung on His words, trusted in His healing power, and many of them were permanently changed so that they dedicated their lives to Him. This is evident everywhere in the New Testament where people really saw Jesus for who He was. They couldn’t keep away from Him!

As I thought about that, I also remembered how people also were drawn to the early disciples in the book of Acts. In one place it says that the religious leaders recognized that the disciples “had been with Jesus.” The fact that they had an intimate relationship with Jesus translated to a very real presence of Jesus in their actions and words. That is what we’re about. Bringing Jesus Christ into the world in which we live so that they recognize Him. That’s the heart of the Great Commission and of our mission – 2GO NDO – Transforming unchurched people into fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.


I asked myself if we, in my case I, am doing a good job of making Jesus known, of turning attention off myself and my agenda and onto Jesus and His love for people and desire to touch their lives in a concrete and powerful way. I recognize that I continually need to decrease, like John the Baptist said, so that He can increase in me and shine through me. My life can be a constant instrument of glory for God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, if I allow it to be.


So, have you ever asked yourself, “What do others see?” Is it me, my foibles, my complaints, my good deeds, etc., or is it Jesus as He makes me more and more like Him. We don’t have to be perfect human beings for Jesus to shine through. In fact, it is often through our weaknesses and missteps that we can point the world to Him so they see how He can work even in people like me.


The key, I guess, is to consistently live as though Jesus were living His life through me. Stay in touch with Him through constant prayer. Listen to His thoughts by reading and memorizing His Word. Most of all, when I know His preferences in any area of conduct or attitude, to let Him bring that through me so others see Jesus and recognize it is Him.


How are you presenting Jesus to the world in which you live? Would anyone recognize Him in your actions, attitudes, or words? Have you experienced being “hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3) so that your life lifts up Jesus so that the world may be drawn to Him? Try some journaling this week and let Jesus shine through. Just a thought!


This Sunday’s Message: Pastor Doug will begin a series this week describing what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He will share from Matthew 16:13-28 and challenge with what it means to deny ourselves and take up the cross to follow Jesus. It should be exciting!


Bible Reading for March 3-9

3/3 Leviticus 15, 16 Mark 8:22-38

3/4 Leviticus 17, 18 Mark 9:1-29

3/5 Leviticus 19, 20 Mark 9:30-50

3/6 Leviticus 21, 22 Mark 10:1-31

3/7 Leviticus 23, 24 Mark 10:32-52

3/8 Leviticus 25 Mark 11:1-18

3/9 Leviticus 26, 27 Mark 11:19-33

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