This is part 2. Access part 1 here http://wp.me/p6rlMY-h
Some other ways we show forth God’s praises:
Deu 4:6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
Mat 7:28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
Mat 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Luk 21:14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
Luk 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
Joy in the face of persecution
Luk 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.
Luk 21:13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
2Ti 2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
2Ti 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
Considering the afore going, it becomes important, critical even, for me to know who I am as far as God is concerned so as to be able to succeed and live a fulfilling life. Consider the following areas;
Life in general – fulfillment, contentment, satisfaction all have a psychological component of a feeling of rightness and completeness devoid of a sense of loss which is usually brought on by greed and comparison or competition with others even if it’s just mentally. To be truly happy in life, you must get all that you want and nothing more and nothing less. If you get all that you want but you want what others want, you’ll never have enough and so you’ll never be truly satisfied and so a feeling of unfulfillment trails you everyday. You’ll never be able to say no to offers for more, get more, get this or that for free and so on. That’s the force that drives the consumer market, fraud whether via internet or in person. All because people always want more than they have not because that’s what they want but because everyone’s got it or is getting it so I must have it too.
Some days ago, I was driving behind a few cars. They were going at an okay speed but I needed to get somewhere a little quicker than they were moving. Eventually, I pulled out from behind them and pushed my car a little bit more than I was previously and very easily overtook them. I ventured out that way because I knew for a fact and from my experience with that particular car that I could get more out of it than what I was getting at that time. It’s the same with us. If we don’t come to terms with who we are and by extension a fuller awareness of what God has made us to be capable of doing, we’ll just keep following the crowd and staying in the rat race and never making any meaningful difference with our lives as God intended.
If you know who you are, you are less open to external influence, particularly negative influence. You are self possessed, in a positive sort of way. But if you don’t know who you are, you are just like water, taking the shape of whatever container is used to hold it.
Relationships – You can’t find someone else if you don’t know where you are yourself. You may run into each other by chance or even by providence but you’ll never know that’s who you are looking for with any certainty because you do not know who you are.
Ministry – God said to me recently while I was driving on my way to work, “If you don’t know who you are, you can’t really serve”. And immediately he said that a scripture jumped in my mind, John 13:3-4. You have not begun to serve until you know who you are. Because who you are includes all your talents and grace [divine empowerment], knowing who you are allows you access to those things that you carry in you making you more effective and efficient in bringing to the body of Christ and the world all that God has placed within you for the benefit of the people in your present sphere of influence.
As a ministry, a group of people, if we don’t know who we are, we are bound to feel and seem inferior to others who may be getting along better than we are, as it may appear. Wanting what they have, we’ll start trying to do what they do thinking it’s in the doing of those things that lie the secrets of their current level of success. Special programs become gimmicks rather than a direct mission to bless the community we find ourselves in. Attendance becomes a parameter to measure growth only forgetting that it also represents the number of people in the house who must be built before they leave us. Offerings become our bottom line when it should be the number of souls won into the kingdom and testimonies become advertisement. We’ll change our service profile to make it more appealing to the potential “customer” rather than make it more suitable to the Holy Spirit. We’ll totally derail the ministry if our unique purpose and calling is not our vision and sole focus. Matthew 6:22
Great numbers is not the sign that a ministry is doing well, it’s just the sign that the ministry is growing in numbers. Increase in numbers is not the focus of our ministry as a group, our focus is Jesus, His kingdom, and what aspect He has assigned to us. As we do that, we may quite likely experience numerical increase but when it does happen, it won’t derail us because our attention is not on the attendance but on the impact.