South B-5c Year End Party😀
“You should live in a way that proves you belong to the God who calls you into his kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:12).
The Kingdom of God is a present reality. It’s what we’re to be doing on the earth right now. The power of God is the present resource. It’s the energy you get to do what God wants you to do once you’re surrendered and submitted to his will.
God’s glory is the reason. It’s not the reality or the resource. It is the present reason for everything. It’s all for God’s glory.
Romans 11:36 says, “Everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory”.
I talk to people all the time who say, “I have so much, and yet I feel unfulfilled. I’ve got a good family. I’ve got a good job. I’ve got great kids. I’ve got good friends. I’ve got a good congregation to be a part of. Why am I so unfulfilled?” It’s because you were made for more than this! You were made for more than survival. You will never find fulfillment in life until you begin to live in God’s Kingdom, by God’s power, and for God’s glory.
How do you live a fulfilled life — the kind of life that you were designed by God to live?
The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 2:12, “You should live in a way that proves you belong to the God who calls you into his kingdom and glory”.
What does it mean to live in God’s Kingdom? It means you make God’s agenda your agenda. You make God’s will your will. You care about what God cares about. Whatever you want God to bless, put him first in that area.
What does it mean to put God first in your life? I made up a little acrostic, FIRST, to give you five things you need to put God first in.
Finances. If you want God to bless your finances, even during a recession, you must tithe. Sorry! There’s no other alternative.
Interests. Put him first in your hobbies, your career, and your recreation. Give God first consideration in every decision.
Relationships. Put him first in your family, your special ones, and your friendships.
Schedule. That means you give him the first part of every day. You get up and sit on the side of your bed every morning and say, “God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I just want to love you a little bit more and know you a little bit better.”
Troubles. You need to turn to God first when you have a problem. Prayer should never be your last resort. It should be your first choice.
Talk It Over
- What do you need to change so that God is first in your finances, interests, relationships, and schedule?
- What is your first reaction to trouble?
- How can you develop a habit of prayer in your life?
By Rick Warren — June 27, 2016
Gospel: Mt 10:34 – 11:1
Do not think that I have come to establish peace on earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Each one will have as enemies, those of one’s own family.
Whoever loves father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me. And whoever loves son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take up his cross and follow me, is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life, for my sake will find it.
Whoever welcomes you, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes him who sent me. The one who welcomes a prophet, as a prophet, will receive the reward of a prophet; the one who welcomes a just man, because he is a just man, will receive the reward of a just man. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones, because he is my disciple, I assure you, he will not go unrewarded.”
When Jesus had finished giving his twelve disciples these instructions, he went on from there, to teach and to proclaim his message in their towns.
More things are piled up on the shoulders of those who choose to follow Jesus. It is as if pressures are calibrated to keep pace with our growing strengths. There seems to be no end in sight to all possible discomfort and pain one must be willing to take in order to be a disciple of Jesus. These probably are told in advance so that there will be no blaming afterwards when the going gets rough on the road to discipleship. Jesus wants His disciples to be wide- eyes with what they are signing into. He does not promise a life on a bed of roses. What He promises is a victorious glorious life in the end. He or she who desires that life must be ready to pay for what will happen in between.
Here in our Gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus talks about His final instructions to his apostles. Here, we see that to be an apostle of Jesus, we must be ready to make sacrifices. Jesus is telling us that if we love other people more – even those dear to us, such as our parents and children – then we are not worthy of Jesus Christ. Jesus tells us that there will be times when we have to give up our own life for the sake of His Kingdom.
We, as followers of Jesus Christ, must learn how to carry our own crosses. We have a lot of trials and difficulties in life, and we consider them as our crosses. But the most unbearable and hardest cross to carry is the cross of our own life, the cross of our own selves.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7
Are we still trying to find the will of God for our lives? Let’s read the above scripture again. He is calling us to Always Rejoice, Pray Unceasingly and Give Thanks in all situations.
Maybe most of us will complain about our current circumstances. We’ll fear about what we can’t do. We’ll cry about all of our disabilities. But we need to make it a point from now on to quit our complaining and line ourselves up with the word of God. It’s until we accept these truths that we will begin to see a change in our life.
Rejoice. Rejoicing comes easiest when things are going great, but the Word says, “rejoice ALWAYS”. When you rejoice, you feel joy. You can’t give something you don’t have. If you have no joy, then you need to meditate on the things God has done in your life. Psalm 144:15 says, “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord.” Your joy lies in the fact that the Lord of your life is Jesus Christ! Things may not be where they should be right now, but rejoice that you have Jesus and are going to Heaven!! Train your mind to think of all the wonderful things that fill your life (Philippians 4:8) instead of being fixated on the one thing that needs improvement.
Pray. Once you received your joy, shift into prayer. Prayer isn’t complaining about everything. It’s going into the throne room of God with a precise request. When you plead your case, do it with boldness (Hebrews 4:16). Because you started it off with rejoicing, your downtrodden, woe-is-me attitude is cast off, and you can approach your Master with confident faith, knowing He can complete the good work He started (Philippians 1:6)!
Give Thanks. God can’t give thanks to Himself. That’s why it gets His attention! (Read Luke 17:11-19). Here we see the perfect example of people who get what they need from God and never show Him gratitude for it. Look closely at what happened here, though. Nine of them went away cleansed of their leprosy, but only one of them was made whole. Nine of them were healed of their terrible disease but were still missing limbs and body parts. Only one was made completely whole that day. Who was it? The one who gave thanks to Jesus! Don’t be part of the 90% who leave without thanking God. When you thank Him before something is done, your faith moves the hand of God to bring those things to their completion. And as Christians we are called to be thankful in any situation. Because true thankfulness means remembering God’s goodness even when things are crashing down.
The Savior taught, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that ask-receive; and he that seek-find; and to him that knock it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). To the Nephites He said, “Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you” (3 Nephi 18:20).
Heavenly Father hears our prayers. He may not always answer as we expect, but He does answer—in His own time and according to His will. Because He knows what is best for us, He may sometimes answer no, even when our petitions are sincere.
Answers to prayer come in many ways. Never get tired of praying. They often come through the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost (see “Revelation”). They may come in the circumstances of our lives or through the kind acts of those around us. As we continue to draw near to our Heavenly Father through prayer, we will recognize more readily His merciful and wise answers to our pleadings. We will find that He is our “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
Remember: God’s delays are not God’s denials. God’s timing is perfect. Patience is what we need in prayer.