Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Living In Constant Fellowship

“Living In Constant Fellowship”
By Zach Wood
1 John 3:23-24 NLT
And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us.  Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.

There are many things we enjoy to be constant in our lives.  Most of us want things to be constant with updates on our computers, phones, tablets and other techie gadgets we own.  Most of us would like our paychecks to be constant!  Who wouldn’t?  We want constant days of sunshine and decent temps to get out and enjoy it.

We could go on and on about things we would like to be constant each day.  We really want consistency.  Why wouldn’t we?  Who would want anything that is not consistent, right?

As much as we strive for constant things in our life, how often do we fail to put in the effort to keep a constant fellowship with God?  We want to have constant fellowship with family and friends, but so often we don’t put as much effort into having constant fellowship with our Creator Who has given us so much in life. 

God asks us to obey His commands and to be in fellowship with Him.  He wants us to believe in Him fully and completely dedicate our lives to being in fellowship with Him each day, all day.  I hope it would be our desire to fully be in fellowship with Him all day, everyday.  We can be, but so often we just aren’t living that way.  I know I’m not everyday.  I want to be and intentions are such, but so often my efforts reveal otherwise. 

As the Apostle John shares, we must love one another.  In this way, people will know that we truly do love God and care about reaching out to others.  If we are in constant fellowship with Him, He will teach us better and better how to show love to others, even when it’s difficult to do so. 

We all have things in our lives that we are constant about and things we are not so constant about.  If we strive to keep our fellowship with God constant, our other relationships with people will become even more blessed as we learn to love them more with God’s love. 

When we live in constant fellowship with Him, His Spirit guides and directs us each day to help us learn to love better.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

From "Thanks" to "Thank You"

“From ‘Thanks’ to ‘Thank You’”
By Zach Wood
Luke 17:11-19 NIV
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.  As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”  When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.  One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.  Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?  Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”  Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Many years ago, when I worked at a computer warehouse in the cities, I had a conversation with a guy that I will never forget.  He had heard me say “thanks” to others and to him when certain things were done for me.  He knew the type of person I was and that I did mean what I say, but he made a comment that will remain forever with me.  He said that he knew I meant it, but that to say “thank you” instead has much more meaning. 

From that point on, I have had such a different view of “thanks” and “thank you”.  Think about those two phrases for a few moments.  Do they sound totally different to you?  They sure do to me now!  I never really considered it before, but after that conversation and to this day, I continue to share this concept with people and I always get a confirmation that saying “thank you” sounds so much more meaningful.  I don’t know what it is about taking the time to say two words instead of just one, but there is just something more meaningful when you say “thank you” instead of just “thanks”.  Please understand, I’m not saying “thanks” is wrong by any means, but just consider trying “thank you” instead and see how it makes others feel and how you feel when you say it.

Jesus heals 10 lepers here.  They all start heading away when all of a sudden one does a 180 and realizes, “Hey, something really cool just happened and I’m going to take the time to tell Jesus how much it meant to me!”  The 1 leper decided to take a trip back to Jesus and show his true thankfulness.  Does that mean the other 9 didn’t care or took it for granted?  I’m not quite sure and I don’t want to assume anything about them.  However, we are led to think that they didn’t really think about showing appreciation to Jesus as the 1 leper did who took the time to turn around and thank Jesus.

I want to encourage all of us to consider showing appreciation to others by saying “thank you” instead of “thanks”.  Most of all, we need to show God appreciation every day by taking the time to thank Him for all He has done and continues to do.  From “thanks” to “thank you”.  It may not seem like much at first, but it will change your thinking of how you say it and show it.