Wednesday, July 29, 2015

5 idols you never seen coming

Because they all seemed so harmless.

• • •

1. Your happiness. 

"Do what makes you happy." I'm sure you've never heard that before.

The world is obsessed with happiness. So much so that it has become an idol.

As followers of Christ we know that our joy is in the Lord. Having joy does not mean you're always doing what makes you happy. It means you are hopeful and grateful for the eternal gift that is Christ's redemptive blood.

Sometimes you will be happy, sometimes you will be sad.

Joy isn't contingent upon either.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 15:13)

2.Your heart.
"Follow your heart."

Also sure you've never heard that.

If it moves you, it makes you, right? Wrong. Your heart can make some pretty naive decisions. Your heart can lead you down some super sketchy paths. 

Your heart is in jeopardy of becoming an idol because it seems like God would want everything you want. But the truth is, some of the things we want, aren't best for us. Our hearts can misguide us, God can't.

The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
[Jeremiah 17:9]

3. Your comfort.

Feeling comfortable becomes an idol when it gets in the way of your growth.

You know those days when you just...can't.

Those days are cool until they become habitual. Learning and growing take effort. When you're comfortable you are in jeopardy of becoming lazy.

This Christian walk is a lot of things, but it's usually not comfortable.

4. Your identity.

We all want to contribute something. To be known for something.

But as we grow, our interests also evolve. Some things that used to interest you may make you cringe at the mere thought of your former fascination.

You may feel like you have no idea who you really are and that's totally fine.

Securing an identity in Christ assures us that the only standard we ever have to live up to, is His.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
[2 Corinthians 5:17]

5. Your relationships
Relationships with other people are vital to our walk. Living in isolation can be very dangerous.

However relationships with people, even our spouse, don't compare to our relationship with God.

Reading a book about marriage is all in vain if you've abandoned God to focus on your relationship. God wants to be the center of every decision you make. He wants to guide you and lead you because after all, you are His creation.

You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the people who are all around you (for the Lord your God is a jealous God among you), lest the anger of the Lord your God be aroused against you and destroy you from the face of the earth.
[Deuteronomy 6:14-15]

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Monday, July 13, 2015

4 things no one tells you about obedience

Because I kind of wish they did.

1. It doesn't guarantee you're making the "best" choice.

Obedience is not about making the best choice, it's about making the right choice. If your boss tells you to write a 10-page memo by hand, you would probably think it was a joke.

You would say, "But there's a much better way to do this." Using a computer would make the same task 1000 times more efficient. Not to mention, it's 2015, I couldn't hand write 10 pages if I wanted to.

Chances are, your boss knows you could use a computer to complete the same task in a fraction of the time. And your boss even knows that you know that. However, in this particular (tedious) instance, writing the information out by hand is what's right. It's what works for your boss. And unfortunately, it's the task you were assigned.

No one tells you that your obedience might conflict with all logic and common sense known to man.

No big deal.

Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work.
(Titus 3:1)

2. It feels good.

Like really good.

There's something about doing what's right. As born again Christians, we have the mind of Christ. We delight in the things He delights in.

Consequently, we seek to do His will. Since obedience is just that, God's will, it brings us pleasure and contentment.

Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments.
(Psalm 112:1)

3. It can make you seem weak.

People may talk about you for "doing whatever people tell you to do."

They say, "If I were you I'd-

But their conviction may be different from yours. Also their employment status.

4. The reward is not what you expect. 

It's so much better.

The problem with the 10-page handwritten paper isn't that it's a 10-page handwritten paper. It's the idea that it doesn't seem rewarding. I can see the outcome and it's just not special.

It's actually quite severely underwhelming. Borderline depressing.

But the truth is, we can't ever see the reward. We can't even imagine it. Our reward comes from the One we serve, Christ, who does exceedingly and abundantly above all that we could ask or think.

No one ever tells you that the reward for obedience is much better.

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.
(Colossians 3:23-34)

What's something no one told you about obedience?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

10 reasons humility is the most attractive trait ever

Because in a world that tells us to have pride, there's just something about someone who doesn't.

• • •

1. People with humility give without expecting anything in return.

Humble people give "just because" gifts. They give because they want to. It's a good feeling when someone gives you something and you feel no obligation to pay them back. The absence of obligation makes you actually want to pay them back.  

But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return.
(Luke 6:35)

2. People with humility don't tell what they give.

Have you ever had someone give you something, then turn around and tell everyone about it? Humble people don't do that. If you're looking for their name on a's probably "Anonymous." 

But when you give to someone in need, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.
(Matthew 6:3)

3. People with humility are genuinely shocked when they receive a compliment.

Which of course makes them even more attractive.

For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
(Luke 14:11)

4. People with humility remind you how good God is.

Their weakness reveals His strength and it points you back to God every time.

If I must boast, I will boast of the thing that show my weakness.
(2 corinthians 11:30)

5. People with humility treat everyone with love.

Because they don't think too highly of themselves, they don't think they are too good for anyone else.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.
(Philippians 2:3)

6. People with humility understand grace, which is a tough concept.

They make it seem so simple.

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
(James 4:6)

7. People with humility make you want to show them off.

Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.
(Proverbs 27:2)

8. People with humility give the realest advice.

They are not in competition with you, so they're not afraid to be honest. And they have a ton of wisdom.

When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.
(Proverbs 11:2)

9. People with humility are honorable.

And you can't help but respect them.

Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility.
(Proverbs 18:12)

10.  Honestly, people with humility are just too cute.

And you simply cannot.