Exalting God, Edifying Believers, Evangelizing the Lost

Sailing with the Spirit

Have you ever watched a sailboat as it sailed across a lake?

Although it may look easy to just put up the sails and “away we go,” there is much more involved in safely navigating a sailboat than that. Understanding the wind direction and speed and how it will affect your course is just the beginning. Then you have to know exactly how to raise your sails and which sails to unfurl in order to safely go in the right direction. Sailing can be a complicated business.

In Ephesians 5:18, the Bible tells us to

“be not drunk with wine…but be filled with the Spirit.”

The word “filled” is not referring to being filled up, as a cup is with water, but to be “filled through” as a sail is with the wind.  The wind of the Spirit will push us in the right direction if our sails are up and we are willing to be driven by Him. But there is more to it than that.

Colossians 3 is a parallel passage that tells us to

“let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly.”

In each passage, the result of being filled is that we will be singing, giving thanks, and submitting to one another. So it is the same command but given in different ways. We are to be filled with the Spirit, but the Spirit has nothing to guide us with if we are not also dwelling in the Word of God. God’s Word is the map through which the Spirit will drive us in the right direction. It tells us both how to sail the sea of life and in which direction we need to go.

So how are you sailing?  Are you submitting to both the wind and the map to keep you moving and on course?

Servant Leadership

John Wooden is regarded as one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time, leading his team at UCLA to 10 national championships in 12 years. He is known not only for his great basketball savvy and strategy, but also for being a true leader who was concerned about the well-being and character of those under his leadership.

John Wooden embodied the principle of leading by example. You would never expect to find one of the greatest coaches of all time sweeping the gymnasium between practices, but that is exactly what he did. He was a great leader because he was a great servant first.

In Philippians 2:5-7 we are told,

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:”

Christ set the example for us through His serving attitude. Although He was Almighty God, he became a servant to show us what true leadership looks like. He served in love, giving up everything so that we might gain everything. That is the definition of true servant-leadership.

What does your service say about the kind of leader you are?

Complaining About the Weather

Did you ever think about one of the most common conversations that people have?

It usually focuses on the weather. One person complains about the amount of rain or the heat, and the other chimes in with their own opinions about the excess humidity or wind.

It might seem like benign small talk, but even a simple conversation like this can harm our testimony for Christ to the unsaved.

In Philippians 2:14-15, the Apostle Paul exhorts us to

Do all things without murmurings and disputings:  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”

If we believe that God truly controls the weather, then why are we complaining about it?

Christians are to be thankful in everything according to 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Complaining, even about the weather, is a sign of selfishness and ungratefulness, and those are attitudes that hide our “light.” If we are to be blameless before the world, then even our complaining about the weather can be a deterrent to the gospel.

Let’s strive to “blameless…in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation,” and remember to praise God for the weather, no matter what other people may have to say about it.

Being Blameless

In 1 Thessalonians 5:23 we read,

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

God wants us to be holy—every part of us.

Paul says that God will preserve our spirit and soul and body blameless until the coming of Christ. That means that He wants to make every part of us, both inward and outward, without sin.  God wants to make our lives look like Jesus Christ.

Many will argue that since we are not Christ, then we cannot really become like Him who “was without sin.”  And they are completely right, if we only take into account what we can do by our own will and strength.

But the key to becoming blameless is found in the next verse:

(24)  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

There is no way that we can make ourselves holy, and that is okay, because God has not asked us to try.  He says that HE is the one who will make us blameless. If he has called us to be holy and blameless, then only He can MAKE us holy and blameless in His sight.

Blamelessness is not the result of trying harder to be good; blamelessness is the result of submitting ourselves totally to what God wants to do in us.  The question is ARE WE LETTING HIM DO HIS WORK IN US?

Our Great God

Have you ever stood outside and looked at the stars in amazement as to how many there are?

What is even more amazing is that what we can see from earth, even with a telescope, is just a fraction of the total number of stars out there.

Scientists tell us that they estimate there to be about 100 billion stars in our galaxy alone, and they think there could be as many as 100 billion galaxies in the universe, each with just as many stars or more.

Psalm 145:4 says,

“He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.”

God not only knows exactly how many stars there are, but He knows each one by its name. That means that he knows each star perfectly because, after all, He did create each one.

If God knows the stars that intimately, think about how He knows each one of us, not just as another person on earth, but by our name.

In Psalm 139:17-18, the psalmist proclaims,

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!  If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

God is thinking about us all the time! How comforting it is to know that the God who created and named all the stars of the universe cares intimately about each one of us.