Thursday, February 28, 2019

Do We Overflow?

“Do We Overflow?”
By Zach Wood
Colossians 2:6-7 NLT
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.  Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

We have all had experiences with something that overflows.  The kitchen sink or bathtub faucet is left unattended and, before we know it, we have a lake forming on the floor.  If you poor pop into a cup too fast, it ends up fizzing and overflows.  If a pipe gets clogged somewhere in a house, in a business building or in the street, there will be overflowing somewhere. 

Does this overflowing problem catch attention?  You bet it does!  People tend to move pretty fast and take notice when there’s an overflowing problem, no matter what or where it is.  It causes people to take action.  The action of overflowing draws attention.  It does not go unnoticed very long.  People are often affected by it, sometimes even dramatically. 

As I think of this concept and the attention it draws, I cannot help but think about our lives as Christians and the love of God that should overflows in our lives.  Are we drawing attention by the way we live our lives for God?  Are our lives filled with overflowing thankfulness for others to see?  If we are truly filled with God, we will overflow and won’t be able to contain what He has given us.  Our lives will naturally ooze His aroma of love and compassion.

I think we would all agree that we desire for our lives to overflow with thankfulness.  The life of Christ we have inside gives us every reason to overflow with constant thankfulness.  When we trust Christ each day and follow Him, our faith grows stronger and His love flows out of us to draw people to Him.  We want to draw the attention of others to Him through our love and actions. 

I want my daily life to overflow with God’s love and thankfulness for all He has done.  I’m ashamed to admit that often my attitude is not filled with thankfulness and that I’m not overflowing with God’s love.  I struggle with the selfishness and fleshly desire to please myself only.  I forget that my mission in life is to show His love at all times and not be self-centered. 

I hope we are all challenged to overflow with thankfulness so that others cannot help but be drawn to what overflows out of us.  May they be drawn to the Jesus Christ and all He has done in our lives. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

What Offer Do We Crave?

“What Offer Do We Crave?”
By Zach Wood
1 John 2:15-17 NLT
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.  For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.  And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

As I was reading this passage recently from the New Living Translation, the word “offers” stuck out to me.  It really hit me how there are so many different ways the world tries to offer us great things.  We see and are bombarded by different offers everywhere we go each day.  Some offers are pretty good, while others can get us into serious trouble if we accept them. 

My wife and I really like to shop for great offers.  We enjoy getting coupons through the mail or by e-mail with good discount offers at stores and places to eat.  We also like walking into stores and going right for the sale and clearance areas.  We are bargain shoppers!

It’s always great to find good deals and offers, but the more I think about all of this, I am reminded that these moments are short-lived.  They are enjoyed for a while, but they don’t last forever.  I’m often reminded of the offers I am bombarded with promising to make my life so much better!  I’m ashamed to admit that I often buy into the different offers from the world.  I get sucked into deals that end up not satisfying me.  I get frustrated when I think I find a good offer, but it turns out to be a rip off. 

We all have experiences like this.  So often, we buy into what the world offers for satisfaction and happiness.  It shouldn’t surprise us why God warns us so much about not loving the world.  He tells us to avoid getting sucked into the promises of what this world offers.  Why do we crave the things of this world so much, but crave God so little?  And then we are surprised when we come up feeling dry from the junk the world offers. 

Please understand, God is not telling us that we cannot enjoy things here in this world.  There are many things to enjoy for sure!  However, when we find ourselves longing for and craving the things of this world more than Him, then it becomes a problem.  Only what God offers to us will satisfy us eternally and not leave us dry. 

Are we craving what the world offers or what God offers?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Lip Service is NOT Enough

“Lip Service Is NOT Enough”
By Zach Wood
1 John 3:18 NLT
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other, let us show the truth by our actions.

We are so good at trying to persuade people with words, aren’t we?  Depending on the situation, we will use words in so many clever ways to convince people so that we can get what we want.  We easily and often use words to persuade others to do something for us or give something to us.

So many people use words in sly ways to get something from others.  People in different job positions can use words in order to trick people into buying something.  The last thing I want when I go somewhere to look for something to buy is to have a sales person pressure me with words to buy something.  Words can be so strong and persuasive.

As Christians, we use words to try to show people that we love God.  It is great that we use words to express to others our love for God, but words simply are not enough.  Words are good up to a point, but then our actions must speak louder.

In all my years of secular work world and vocational paid ministry, I have seen such a great need to show non believers the very love of God through actions.  We not only need to share God’s truth through words, but through our actions of love for others. 

Friends, we absolutely cannot just say that we love others.  We must prove that love by the way we act toward them and how we treat them.  Our actions will always speak so much louder than the words we use. 

Lip service is simply not enough in today’s world.  People want to see so-called Christians living out the faith they proclaim.  The world needs to see genuine love through our actions to back the words we share.  God proved His love by sending Jesus Christ to die for us.  His actions spoke louder than words.  Our actions also need to speak louder than words. 

We can never expect the world to believe what we say if we are not going to back those words up with genuine love.  Make sure your lip service is followed by love in action.  God depends on us to not only share words of love, but to put feet on those words so they become actions of love. 

When it comes to our words versus actions, actions will always speak louder.