Monday, January 10, 2011

A New Year: A New Direction

Ephesians 4:7-16But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it says, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men." (In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

This morning, I read this portion of scripture and was reminded of a few Bible truths that the Lord has been faithful in trying to remind me of lately.

1. God in His grace, has given all saints gifts.

2. These gifts are to be used by believers for the equipping of the saints for ministry, to help bring unity and maturity.

3. This is particularly important (unity and maturity) to prevent any of us from being “blown about” by false doctrine. Which brings up an important issue of how important it is to be discussing, learning and teaching doctrine to one another. Knowing exactly what we believe and why we believe is important! Without a solid foundation in doctrine, we are easily led astray by false teachers and gospels – this is a Biblical warning found throughout the NT, none of us are exempt from this.

4. All of these things are to be done in love with Christ always our focus.

This Scripture Applied to My Life

For those of you who have been following my blog for a while, you have probably noticed a pretty drastic change from what I once posted to what I’ve been posting. The last year has been mostly family updates and reviews, rather than my once Bible reflections and personal doctrinal studies. There are a lot of reasons for this (a lot of good reasons). And while I think stepping away was a good thing, and a season that God called me to, I also believe He is calling me back to using my blog as a ministry to share what He is teaching me and my family, and to be a place of Biblical discussion and reflection.

I would never claim to be right, 100% of the time, or even 50% of the time. I’m rarely confident enough in my self to even write a sentence without saying “In my opinion” or “I think” or “I believe”, however, God has given me a love of His Word and a gift of knowledge and research, and I am confident in Him, so right or wrong I plan to use that gift to grow into maturity and I pray encourage others to grow in a similar way.

I pray that no one use or think of my blog or posts as absolute truth, but as a spring board to find truth for themselves. It may be that I am right, it may be that I am wrong, but either way I never want to stop learning and talking about God’s Word and I hope that you don’t either.

Like most blog writers, I love comments, but if at any time I feel like the comments are getting to harsh or that love for God and one another is not at the center of our discussion I will absolutely turn off comments. Please, please, feel free to comment, God has used most of your comments to encourage and strengthen me in my walk and like Ephesians 4 points to, this blog is about more than just me, it’s about you the reader, your comments help guide and direct where this thing is going so please, keep commenting – even a little something is encouraging.

So, whatever this all means for me and this blog, I pray that God will use my gifts for His glory and His glory alone, even if that means I need to apologize over and over again :) As a small disclosure, I do not plan on turning this blog into post after post of heavy, sometimes controversial issues, it will remain our family blog. I just plan on posting more scripture and devotional style reflections, however along with opening my blog back up to more reflective posts, also inevitably comes disagreement and conflict, by looking at the life of Jesus, Paul and the apostles, this seems to be expected, but I pray that it’s all in love and to the Glory of God.

What I am Learning

Okay, so for where to go from here --- I’m not really sure yet. I thought I would just tell you guys some of the things that God is laying on my heart right now and that I am learning. These may be things I talk about in the future, or maybe not, who knows where He will lead?

1. Eternal Security: I am knee deep in Eternal Security study right now which I am discussing with my sister-in-law, this has been so much fun to do a topical study viewing both sides of the argument and nailing down exactly why I believe in eternal security.

2. Covenants: In researching Eternal Security, I have also been learning about New Covenant vs. Old Covenant, and the “bigness” of what a covenant really is. Fascinating stuff.

3. The damage of religion in the Church, along with the danger of seeker friendly churches.

4. Predestination and the sovereignty of God (yes, this again :))

5. And last, but certainly not least – the severity and seriousness of sin.

So what about you guys? Let’s talk!!

What are some of the things God is teaching you right now? Where is He leading you in your studies?

What are some of the gifts God has given you, and how are you using them to build up the Church?

1 comment:

Charlotte said...

You said you loved comments but I see there are no comments here. Here is a comment. I appreciate your reflecting on what you share on your blog. You brought up some interesting observations and questions here. It is hard to know exactly what it is that God wants us to convey to others. He has taught me so many different things at different seasons of my life. I love the scripture that says if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God. I feel like God has answered this prayer for me many times.
Blessings as you share what God has shared with you.