An Attitude of Contentment

lord-change-my-attitude3 men were walking on a beach one afternoon when they came across an old lamp. The first man picked it up and began to rub it and out popped a genie. The genie said I am here to give each of you one wish each.
The first man did not hesitate he said I want a million dollars – POOF, instantly a million dollars appeared before him.
The second man said I want a mansion her on the beach – POOF, a beautiful mansion appeared right before his eyes and the genie handed him the keys.
This got the third guy really thinking about his wish, finally he stated Make me irrespirable to women – POOF the genie turned the man into a large box of chocolate!
What are you wishing for? Suppose you had three wishes; what are the items you would wish for that give you happiness & make your life more enjoyable?
We live in a culture today that tells us there is always something more, something better, something we have to have.

Today as we look at the attitude of contentment, contentment says, “I have everything I need.”  I have enough.”

What steps can we take to transform our life from an attitude of coveting to an attitude of contentment?
I believe the answer is found in 1 Timothy 6:6-8, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

First, notice in verse 6, that contentment has a partner: like Salt and Pepper, like Niki and I, like Aggies and Championships.  Oh wait, the last two do not go together!  “Godliness with contentment.”

As we compare these two qualities –it would look something like this:

  Godliness Contentment
  • deals with who I am
  • deals with what I have
  • being unsatisfied with my character in becoming like Christ
  • being satisfied with what I possess in God.

Think of it like a math equation:  Godliness + Contentment = Great Gain.

Like 2+2=4, no other substitute will work!

How about: Godliness + Prosperity = Great Gain?   No, that’s not the equation.     When we focus on material gain we inevitably worry.  The more we have, the more we have to worry about.  How am I going to protect it?  How am I going to save it?  How am I going to invest it?  How am I going to insure it?  How am I going to avoid taxes on it?  How am I going to keep from losing it?   I read a study that said insomnia increases with income.  Prosperity may not equal great gain, but great pain!

Well if too much is bad, how about Godliness + Poverty = Great Gain?  That’s not the equation either because a poor person can struggle with coveting.  It’s not about more or less it’s a heart issue.

Surely its: Godliness + Control = Great Gain.  No, because like a dog chasing its tail, we will never be able to control everything.  God will make sure of that.

Many well-meaning people think that Godliness + Family Harmony = Great Gain.  “If I have a perfect marriage or perfect family, I’ll be happy.”  Don’t put all your happiness eggs in this basket either.  There is no perfect family. At least one of your children will make sure of that!

Here are Two More Steps That Lead To Contentment

  • Look to Eternity

 1 Timothy 6:7  “For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either”

I was present at each of my three children’s births.  It was awesome to see these new lives emerge, and I’ll never forget that they were slimly and naked!  Also, it was strange that they didn’t have any cell phones, video games or 401k, nothing!    We leave the same way- with nothing!  The Spanish proverb says, “There are no pockets in a burial suit.”  Or as American’s say, “you never see a hearse pulling a U-Haul!”   When people ask about a deceased person, “how much did they leave behind?”  The answer is always the same.  All of it!  In 50-75 years everything you have will belong to someone else.  Are you ready to stand before Christ?

We have only one life and it soon will pass, only what’s done for Christ will really last.

Think about all the grains of sand on all the beaches in the entire world representing eternity.  Then pick up one single grain of sand. This represents our life here and now.  Are you only living for right now or do you think about eternity?

  • Let enough be enough

1 Timothy 6:8  “If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.”

If you’re an American you’re rich.  I don’t care if you’re on welfare; if you’re an American you’re rich and in the top 1% of income of the world.

I’ll never forget reading the economist Robert Heilbroner’s walk-through of what it would take to transform the average American home into the typical dwelling of the majority of the world’s inhabitants. “We would have to begin by invading our house to strip it of its furniture. Everything goes: beds, chairs, tables, TV, lamps. All that can be left for the family is a few old blankets, a kitchen table, and a wooden chair. When it comes to clothing, each member of the family may keep his oldest suit or dress and one shirt or blouse. The head of the family gets a pair of shoes, but not the wife or children.
Then comes the kitchen.  All the appliances would have to come out, and the cabinets would have to be emptied. All that can stay is a box of matches, a small bag of flour, and some sugar and salt. A few moldy potatoes, already in the garbage can, have to be taken back out, for they will provide much of that night’s meal. We can add a handful of onions and a dish of dried beans, but that’s all. Everything else goes: meat, fresh vegetables, canned goods, any crackers or candy. All gone.
But not only do we have to strip the house this way, but we also have to dismantle the bathroom, shut off the running water, and take out all electric wires. Next, we take away the house itself. The family must move into the tool shed.  Then government services are removed. No more mail delivery, no more fire department. There is a school, but it is three miles away and consists of only two classrooms. There can’t be any hospitals or doctors nearby. The nearest clinic will be ten miles away and tended by no more than a midwife.  It can be reached by bicycle, provided that the family has a bicycle, which is unlikely.  Finally, we come to money.   The family can only be allowed a cash hoard of five dollars. That is only allowed to prevent the main breadwinner of the family from experiencing the tragedy that came upon one poor laborer who went blind because he could not raise the $3.94 to be cured.

Can you be bold enough to say, “I have enough?”

I have enough.  I just need to keep reminding myself.  I struggle with contentment.  Lord change my attitude.

Darrell

Check out one of our “Lord Change My Attitude” Growth Groups that will go into much more detail and study about each attitude.

www.RidgeFellowship.com

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Replace a Covetous Attitude

lord-change-my-attitudeOnce upon time there were two store owners who were bitter rivals. Their stores were directly across the street from each other, and they would spend each day keeping track of each other’s business. If one got a customer, he would smile in triumph at his rival while the other was jealous. One night an angel appeared to one of the store owners in a dream and said, “I will give you anything you ask, but whatever you receive, your competitor will receive twice as much. Would you be rich? You can be very rich, but he will be twice as wealthy. Do you wish to live a long and healthy life? You can, but his life will be longer and healthier. What is your desire?” The man frowned, thought for a moment, and then said, “Here is my request: Beat me half to death!

Jealousy and coveting can lead to an ugly end.

A true story: At the end of the Civil War. John Wilkes Booth, the man who killed Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s Theater was the brother of one of America’s most famous actors, Edwin Booth. John Wilkes Booth bitterly coveted the popularity of his brother. He knew there was a growing dislike for Abraham Lincoln in certain areas of the United States. So he killed the President, thinking to become a national hero. The assassination of this beloved man started with one covetous thought.

Maybe you don’t have a raging jealousy going on, but coveting can also be thought of as “Destination Disease.”  We think, “I can’t be happy right now. I will only be happy when…
“I get a new job, I get a new car, I get a new spouse, I get a raise, I move out on my own, I get married, I get divorced, I move to a different city, I get a better church, I go on vacation, I win the lottery, I pay off all my bills, My business takes off, My business slows down, I lose weight, I gain weight, I finally finish school, etc.”
Do you ever struggle with destination disease?  I do.

What does it mean to covet something? After all is it wrong to want nice things? The psalmist said God will give us the desires of our heart. When do the desires of our heart cross the line and become the craving of coveting?

According to author James McDonald, coveting can be defined in four ways…

  1. Coveting is; wanting the wrong things:
    Power over others, an illicit relationship or something that belongs to someone else.
  2. Coveting is; wanting the right things but for the wrong reason
    Wanting to be a leader, manager or boss but not to help people but to have control or my way and my agenda over others.
  3. Coveting is wanting the right things at the wrong time.
    A young couple comes into my office for premarital counseling, they love god and one another, they are committed to one another and plan to get married in 3 months – but they want to move in together now – they want the right things commitment to God and to one another but the timing is wrong, they need to wait until they are married to live together.
  4. Coveting is wanting the right things but the wrong amount
    Take money for example, money is not a wrong thing it is part of life – money causes us a problem when we love money to the point that we become obsessed with getting more and more money to the exclusion of building relationships with God and others.

    Coveting has a strong hold on people today, yet God’s word teaches us there is a way to escape the trap of coveting and live a life of contentment.

People have always struggled with coveting.  Nowhere is that more obvious than the children of Israel and their desert experience in Numbers chapter 11.

In the last post, we saw how their attitude of complaining caused God to discipline His people, now want us to look at another attitude of the Children of God were displaying; the attitude of coveting. I want us to consider asking God to change our covetous attitude to an attitude of contentment.
We need to look at the story and then discover the application.
This account reads like a three act drama, as the drama unfolds we can see the need to focus on an attitude of contentment.

Act 1 – Giving in to Wanting More
Then the foreign rabble who were traveling with the Israelites began to crave the good things of Egypt. And the people of Israel also began to complain. “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed. “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!” The manna looked like small coriander seeds, and it was pale yellow like gum resin. The people would go out and gather it from the ground. They made flour by grinding it with hand mills or pounding it in mortars. Then they boiled it in a pot and made it into flat cakes. These cakes tasted like pastries baked with olive oil. The manna came down on the camp with the dew during the night. Moses heard all the families standing in the doorways of their tents whining, and the Lord became extremely angry. Moses was also very aggravated.
Numbers 11:4-10
Moses introduces us to a new group of people – the foreign rabble.  These were the people who left Egypt along with the Children of Israel. Having seen the complete devastation of Egypt this group wanted nothing to do with their homeland, so they joined Israel hoping for a better future.
Scripture says, “They began to crave the good things of Egypt”.

The inference is that not only was the rabble complaining but the children of Israel were drawn into their complaining as well. They had a selective memory; they remembered the good life of Egypt. Verse 5, “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted.”  Really?  As slaves they did not eat at the buffet line each night!

It seems they longed for the good old days – Mark Twain said, what makes the good old days the good old days is a bad memory.
Egypt was not a good place, Egypt was a place of bondage; it was a place of bricks and mortar – yet all they could see was the good things of Egypt – the things that would fill their physical appetites.
While Egypt provided bondage, God was providing deliverance, direction, a new life, water, food and purpose.
Each evening as the dew fell God was giving his people a bread-like substance which would sustain them thru their wilderness journey. Remember the trip was to only take a couple of months and soon they would be in a land flowing with milk and honey. The only thing God’s people would have to do is gather the manna each day and cook it – it would be enough to get them through the desert.
But the manna was not enough.
Verse 6, our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!” God’s provision only brought about complaints. Everyday they had enough food, but they wanted something more. That is the bottom line of a covetous attitude – I want something more than I need!

The reason God is angry for us to have a covetous attitude is that we are saying to God, “you do not give me enough – I have needs and you are not taking care of me, so I want to look someplace else to have my needs met!”  For the children of Israel they wanted their needs met back in Egypt, for us we look to have our needs met by gathering things and possessions rather than seeking God.  The Root of Covetousness is a Rejection of God’s Sufficiency.

Act 1 closes out with a sober truth – verse 10, Moses heard all the families standing in the doorways of their tents whining, and the Lord became extremely angry. Moses was also very aggravated.
Because the people were unappreciative of God’s provision – scripture tells us, “The Lord became angry”, “extremely angry” If you have every tried to do something for someone and they show little or no gratitude you can understand God’s anger at this moment.
Act 2 – Getting what you do not want
Then the Lord said to Moses…”Say to the people, ‘Purify yourselves, for tomorrow you will have meat to eat. You were whining, and the Lord heard you when you cried, “Oh, for some meat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will have to eat it. And it won’t be for just a day or two, or for five or ten or even twenty. You will eat it for a whole month until you gag and are sick of it. For you have rejected the Lord, who is here among you, and you have whined to him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?” Numbers 11:16-20
Their request brought a dangerous reply.
Basically God said, “you want meat – I will give you meat, not just one day or two but you will have meat for 30 days. You will become sick of meat.”

He gave them what they wanted but it did not meet their need
Psalm 106 is a companion passage for this event listen to what verse 15 says, He gave them exactly what they asked for, but along with it they got an empty heart. Psalm 106:15
With God we can be satisfied with what he provides for us but if we walk away from God’s provision we soon find ourselves empty.   We may end up loathing what we had to have. 

Nothing is essential, but God.
Things were never designed to take God’s place. When we covet something and make it essential – “I have got to have it”, we are saying to God there is something more than what you can provide.
Maybe today there is something you are putting ahead of God…
A Relationship
A Financial Goal
A Specific Dream for your future
I have and continue to struggle with thinking that my goals must be God’s.  I want to challenge us to seek first His Kingdom, before we seek out our own desires.

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 34:7  Israel’s problem was they wanted their desires but they did not want to delight in the Lord, may that not be said of us.

Act 3 – Consequences to Getting What We Want
Now for the rest of the story:
The Lord sent a wind that brought quail from the sea and let them fall all around the camp. For miles in every direction there were quail flying about three feet above the ground. So the people went out and caught quail all that day and throughout the night and all the next day, too. No one gathered less than fifty bushels! They spread the quail all around the camp to dry. But while they were gorging themselves on the meat—while it was still in their mouths—the anger of the Lord blazed against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague. So that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah (which means “graves of gluttony”) because there they buried the people who had craved meat from Egypt. Numbers 11:31-34
The Lord was true to His Word.
He sent the quail – man, did he send the quail. For 36 hours the people gathered the quail – no one gathered less than 50 bushels.  A bushel of tomatoes or corn weighs about 50 pounds, so 50 bushels is a lot of meat!
Then came the ugly result of their covetousness:
Their punishment came in two forms…
1. Loss of Discernment – One the problems that comes with a covetous attitude is that we lose our capacity for discerning. The Children of Israel had so much quail, scripture says they gorged themselves. They actually lost the ability to know when they had had enough. Instead of controlling their wants their wants were controlling them. When you live a life of coveting you too can lose your discernment, you begin to want a possession or a goal more than life itself and soon you too are controlled by something rather than you having the self-control which is a fruit of the spirit.
2. Loss of their life – God intervened and caused a severe plague to come upon the people and many people died. Interesting Israel wanted to go back to Egypt for the best of everything. But God sent a plague reminded them that all that was in Egypt was destruction and plagues. If we are guilty of coveting we probably will not loose our life in such a dramatic fashion as the children of Israel did in the wilderness, but Jesus asked his followers a pertinent question that applies to us today when wit comes to handling a covetous attitude. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? Luke 9:25

The example of Israel rejecting God and choosing something else is a tragic story of coveting.  The question we need to ask ourselves today is, “what steps can we take to transform our life from an attitude of coveting to an attitude of contentment?   We will look at how to be content in the next post.

Darrell

Check out one of our “Lord Change My Attitude” Growth Groups that will go into much more detail and study about each attitude.

www.RidgeFellowship.com

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Replace a Complaining Attitude

lord-change-my-attitudeAn Aggie family that didn’t get out much went into town to do some shopping. They went into a large store and noticed some elevator doors that got their attention.  The boy asked, “Dad what is that?” The father responded, “Son I have never seen anything like this in my life, I don’t know what it is!”
While the boy and his father were watching in wide-eyed astonishment, an old lady in a wheel chair rolled up to the moving walls and pressed a button. The walls opened and the lady rolled between them into a small room. The walls closed and the boy and his father watched small circles of lights above the walls light up. They continued to watch the circles light up in the reverse direction. The walls opened again, and a beautiful 24-year-old blond woman stepped out.
The father turned to his son and said, “Boy, go get your Ma!”

If only change was that easy! Just walk through a door and you are transformed.  The change that we are focusing on in this series is our attitudes, and today it’s complaining.

Do you find it very easy to complain? I do!  I find myself complaining about traffic, about incompetent people, having to wait too long for anything.

I used to think that complaining was no big deal.  “Everyone does it,” I thought. Now I know God takes complaining seriously.

Look with me at Numbers 11:1:

1  Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused.  Numbers 11:1(NIV)

Did you see that?  God heard their complaining. What were they complaining about?  Their hardships; lets agree that being a slave in Egypt was hard, walking through a desert with a lack of water and food at times was hard, but God had delivered them and was leading them.  I find it convicting that hardships are not a good reason to complain.

As you know hardships are the normal experience of human life. They confront us all, and they perplex and puzzle us. We often ask, “Why has God let this happen to me?” Trials are common to all people (1 Cor. 10:13). When they strike us, the question is: How are we going to react? Are we going to trust God to help and strengthen us, or grumble and complain?

What are the dangers of complaining?

Complaining is bad for me because it causes anger and bitterness to grow.

Complaining is bad for others.  Do you like to be around people who complain?  If not, then why would people want to be around you when you’re complaining?  I have found that complaining is more contagious than any virus!  Once it starts at work or church it continues and before you know it everyone is complaining.  Then morale and productivity go down.

Complaining is bad because it’s missing the mark of God’s best for us.  In other words, complaining is a sin. Why? Complaining and grumbling show distrust in God:

  • Complaining is like saying, “God you could have met my needs and given me what I wanted but you blew it!”
  • Complaining shows that we do not trust the goodness and power of God that He will work things out.

As a parent if you overheard your kid’s saying, “I wish Dad had a better job.  He is not giving us the things that the neighbors have. He is NOT a good provider!”  or “Mom is too strict. Who does she think she is asking us to do this or that?”  “What losers!”    If I heard my kids say this I would be mad! Then I would be sad.   This is how God must feel at our complaining.

Let’s define complaining:
Author James MacDonald uses the following definition: “Complaining is expressing dissatisfaction with a circumstance that is not wrong and about which I’m doing nothing to correct.”

Complaining is about things that are “not wrong.”
If a situation is wrong and you express your dissatisfaction, it is not complaining.
It is not complaining to express your dissatisfaction with meal served at a restaurant and asked the server if it can be changed.
It is not complaining if you are treated rudely at a store and ask for the manager or fill out a customer service form expressing a legitimate concern.

Complaining involves things that “I’m doing nothing to correct.”  If we choose to whine about an issue but refuse to get involved in correcting the situation then we are complaining.

If we agree that complaining solves nothing but causes more problems for me, for others and with God, how do we stop complaining?

I must replace a complaining attitude with a thankful attitude.

Instead of complaining about traffic, at least I have a car!

Instead of complaining about work, at least I have a job!

It’s all about perspective.

As Christ followers we have much to be thankful for:
Our past is forgiven and our future is secure
We have God’s word to guide us
We have fellow Christians who walk with us
We have a home being prepared for us
We have a purpose for living
We have a hope for tomorrow and a strength for today.

Darrell

Check out one of our “Lord Change My Attitude” Growth Groups that will go into much more detail and study about each attitude.

www.RidgeFellowship.com

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We Can’t Do It All by Ourselves

lord-change-my-attitudeHave you been around someone who came across as being indispensable? From this persons’ stance, nothing could be done right if it was not done by him or her?

Have you ever been like this?  I have.  It’s something I struggle with but am determined to change.   For me, sometimes it’s pride that fuels this wrong attitude, “I can do it and don’t need help” or “they may mess it up.”   Sometimes it’s fear, and I feel, “they are too busy to help me or they don’t care.”    Sometimes this wrong attitude is based on a lie.  “I have to meet everybody’s needs.”

I’m not alone and see that many people struggle with trying to meet everybody’s needs. It’s a messiah complex that says “I have to be there for everybody. I have to help all my relatives. I know my son is 45 years old but I have to keep paying his rent. My baby needs me. I have to help everybody at work. They need me! Those people at work won’t make without me. I have to help everybody in my neighborhood. All 100 of my friends need me! They can’t survive without me.”

People who live this lie, live under constant stress and pressure. I know, because in the early days of our church, I lived this lie. As a pastor, I felt like I had to meet everybody’s needs. A lot of pastors struggle with this. There’s this pressure of, “I have to counsel and teach everybody, help everybody, visit everybody in the hospital, marry everybody, meet everybody’s needs.”  I learned that living this lie is unrealistic and unhealthy.

Let me show you a man in the bible who tried to do everything himself:

Exodus 18:13-18 “The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 14 When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?” 15 Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and laws.” 17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. (NIV)

Jethro told Moses that trying to meet everybody’s needs isn’t good! Having the superman or superwoman complex isn’t good! You can meet some needs but you can’t meet every need. You ought to help some people but you can’t help all people! You’re not God!

It’s not good because you’re wearing yourself out.

It’s not good because you’re living a stressed out life trying to meet everybody’s needs.

You’re frustrating people because you’re over promising and under delivering. You’re over committing yourself.

You’re robbing other people from being used by God

This passage of scripture epitomizes for me the fact that, “One person cannot do it all.” Even in trying to do it all Moses as well as the people were wearing themselves out.

When Moses led the people of God out of Egypt there were at least 600,000 men with their wives and children (Exodus 12:37). And all day long, every day for several weeks, he’s been in the desert with these people and he has constantly been judging their many conflicts and disputes.

It’s obvious that it’s tiring Moses out. He’s been doing this from early morning until late nite for several weeks now. Jethro can see the fatigue in Moses’ eyes and he sees how haggard Moses appears each day.

Moses is also neglecting his family. He had already sent them to Jethro in Exodus 18:2.  Now Jethro was bringing them back to camp Exodus 18:5-6.  There would be no time for his family if he continued in the way he was operating.

And it’s obvious that the people aren’t real happy with this arrangement either. It’s wearing them out as well too.

Have you ever stood in a long line at the Grocery store or at the Post Office? Have you ever gotten impatient if you had to wait more than a few minutes?
Imagine what it would be like if you had to wait in line for HOURS to get service! Out there in the desert there’s over a million people and only one line to stand in.
You can get the idea of what this must have been like for the average Israelite.

So Jethro watches what’s going on and he realizes his son-in-law needs some advice.  So he makes a suggestion. He says: “Moses, you need help.”

Exodus 18:19-21
Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. But select capable men from all the people— men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain— and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.”

In other words: don’t quit doing what you’re doing… just learn to share it with others.

God never designed us to work alone.
Do you remember back in Genesis – when God created man? Do you remember the reason He gave for creating Eve? He said “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18

It’s an abiding principle in Scripture that when we work for God – we need to work with others.

That’s part of the reason Jesus didn’t do His ministry alone. He selected 12 men to work alongside of Him. And then – when he sent them out to do their work – do you remember how he sent them out? “He sent them out two by two” (Mark 6:7 & Luke 10:1)

Why?
Because trying to work for God all by yourself can wear you out.
Ecclesiastes 4:10 “If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”
Ecclesiastes 4:12 says: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

In science it’s called the principle of Synergism.
Synergism basically boils down to this idea: Two can carry more than one.

I once read the story is told of a horse pulling contest in Canada.
The winning horse in the contest pulled 9000 pounds
The runner up pulled 8000.
Together you’d expect them to pull 17,000 lbs., but not so! When teamed together, they pulled 30,000 lbs. – nearly twice as much!

That’s part of the reason Jesus created the church.
There are people who will try to tell you that they can be just as good a Christian without going to church, but that’s just not so. They are deceiving themselves and deliberately ignoring the fact that part of the reason Jesus went to the Cross was to establish His church. And one of the reasons He established the church was so that we could do more together than we could individually.
Congregations are filled with imperfect people but when these imperfect people allow themselves to be guided by God’s word, they end up “pulling together” and find they can accomplish a great deal for God.

That was true for Moses in the wilderness, and that’s true for you at home, at work, and for the church in our day.

During World War II, a church building in Strasbourg was destroyed. After the bombing, the members surveyed the area to see what damage was done. They were pleased that a statue of Christ with outstretched hands was still standing, because it had been sculpted centuries before by a great artist.

Taking a closer look however, the people discovered both hands of Christ had been sheared off by a falling beam. It seemed like a great tragedy at the time.
Sometime later, a sculptor in the town offered to replace the broken hands as a gift to the church, but the church leaders refused. They realized the damage done to Christ actually symbolized a powerful teaching from Scripture. They were called to serve God with all their hearts, but if they didn’t do their part, Christ had no hands. They realized they were the hands of Christ!  The statue had taught them that the work of Christ had been given to them.

God designed us to be able to work.  But He didn’t intend for us to do His work all by ourselves.  We must include others.  He designed the church to pull together to accomplish more together than anyone could do alone.

Darrell

www.RidgeFellowship.com
 

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