Our Need for Improvement

Our Need for Improvement

This article is a reminder for each of us to focus upon our own, individual need for improvement rather than to look around at other people’s failings. 

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  (Mt 7:3)

The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  (Lk 18:11)

And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.  (Joh 8:7-9)

As human beings, we have a tendency to look at other people and compare ourselves to others.  Most of the time, we do that when we want to see ourselves as “not being so bad.”  Other times, we look around at the circumstances of other peoples’ lives and we feel jealous.  It is not good to compare ourselves to others; it is what the Bible would term as foolishness.

As the verses shown above demonstrate, we should never focus on other people.  (2 Cor 10:12)

Also, there are a number of Scriptures instructing us to avoid comparing ourselves.  (Exo 20:17; Mt 7:1-2; Joh 21:22)

Rather, we should focus upon Jesus Christ and yearn to follow in His footsteps.  As we focus upon Christ, He will shower us with His love and encouragement.  He will give us a purpose and a plan for our lives, as well as all of the grace and mercy that we will ever need to fulfill that plan.  (Jer 29:11; 32:19; Pro 16:4; 19:21; 1 Cor 2:9)

Let us trust the Lord Jesus to transform us in His own way, in His own time.  We are His workmanship, and He will see the work through to its completion.  (Eph 2:10; Phil 1:6)  Just trust Him and trust His plan for you!  God bless you.

Creativity, Part 2

Creativity, Part 2

As we discussed in the last article, God has made mankind in His own image; He has made us to be creative even as He is creative. 

Every human being has a unique personality—we all understand that fact.  In the same way, we each have a wonderfully individual mixture of talents and abilities blended in a distinctive combination. 

Whatever our talents and giftings, God has not only given them to us but He has blessed us to serve Him and His kingdom through them.  Here are several passages of Scripture that demonstrate the talents that He has given to mankind, and also how those abilities are intended to bless everyone around us.

And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.  (Ex 31:3-5)

For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.  (Rom 12:4-8)

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.  (1 Pet 4:10-11)

In our creativity we live, walk and work by faith, trusting that God has blessed the work of our hands.  By faith, we also understand that the Lord uses our creative work to bless, help, and to inspire other people.

Keep on creating, friend!

Set Apart

Set Apart

But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself:  the Lord will hear when I call unto Him.  (Ps 4:3 KJV)  We have been “set apart” by God.

Moreover, when you divide the land by lot into inheritance, you shall set apart a district for the Lord, a holy section of the land; its length shall be twenty-five thousand cubits, and the width ten thousand. It shall be holy throughout its territory all around.  (Ezek 45:1)  God instructed the Israelites to “set apart” land for Him that would be considered holy.  In present times, we believers have become His dwelling place—the “land” set apart for God!  (1 Cor 3:16, 17; 6:19)

What does it mean to be set apart for God? 

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light . . . (1 Pet 2:9)

It means that we who have accepted Jesus as our Savior are God’s special people, and we are called to proclaim His praises and His good news of salvation to all people, everywhere.  We are Christ’s ambassadors on the earth.  (2 Cor 5:20)

He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.  (Ps 121:3)  This is a promise of God to His chosen people—those who are set apart for Him.  Every promise in the Bible is for us!  These promises are our inheritance. (Ps 119:111)

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.  (2 Cor 7:1)  We who have Jesus as our Savior—and are set apart—are called to holiness.  (1 Pet 1:15, 16)

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  (Eph 2:10)  What constitutes “good works”?  Good works are actions which are pleasing to the Lord.  Because we have accepted Jesus as our Savior (we are set apart), He becomes the origin or source of our actions.  Christ is the root cause of everything, and good works are the fruit!

In conclusion, we are set apart as special to God.  Because we are, we walk in holiness and good works to the glory of God.