Wednesday, June 4, 2014

40 Day Challenge - Draw Closer to God & Your Hubby (Day 38: What Is Your Attitude While Serving?)

As this challenge winds down I want to reiterate one resounding fact: to be a follower of Christ requires that you take up your cross daily. For Christ to teach that His disciples must deny himself and take up his cross daily in order to follow Him, requires that our hearts and minds and attitudes must be renewed daily as well. Just because this challenge is nearly over does not mean it's over. Day 40 marks day 1 in your challenge to not be conformed to this world and to focus your heart and mind and soul on CHRIST ALONE.

Day 38
Here's the truth about why it's so important to constantly focus on Christ: what you do here on earth will be tested on the day of judgement. If you decided yesterday, with a begrudged heart, that you are going to be your husbands helpmeet, everything you do will be burned with fire. If you decide to serve your church by helping in the nursery with a crappy attitude, it will be burned with fire. So whatever you do, do it with thanksgiving and with a joyful heart of servitude (like Christ).

Everything you do, everything you are, everything you think should be CHRIST-like. He's calling you to serve. Do it joyfully. He's calling you to manage your home. Do it joyfully and with thanksgiving. He's calling  you to love and submit to your husband. Do it with all your heart. If not, don't bother.

He wants all of you or none of you. 

You, like the hypocrites of old who followed traditions and commandments need to hear Jesus' words when He quoted Isaiah, "This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:1-8)

That is why Paul tells us over and over again throughout his letters that we need to transform our minds according to Scripture so that we can love and honor God with all of our heart, mind, body and soul. If we renew our minds according to God's mercies displayed throughout Scripture, we can joyfully and reverently give thanks and honor and praise to an all-knowing, preeminent, unchanging, beautiful, wondrous, miraculous and mighty God! (Remember Romans 12:1-2?)

What we do every day is a form of worship because our HEARTS SHOULD BE SO FOCUSED ON CHRIST THAT WE HONOR HIM WITH ALL THAT WE DO. Even while we wash the dishes, have sex with our husbands, change a dirty diaper, listen to worship music, read and pray to a Psalm, write love letters, plan a date, decorate our homes, play ring-around-the-rosy for the upteenth time... if our hearts and attitudes stink, it doesn't matter!

How do I know this? Well, in God's sovereignty, he has provided mind transforming lessons in Scripture given by our pastor AND awe-inspiring women who disciple me and by whom I am discipling. The last few months have been incredibly life transforming.

You see, right now our church is going through a major transition. Our worship team family moved and it left us in an unfamiliar place asking, what now? What will worship look like? What are we going to do for music? I was part of the worship team and came to love this family and their heart of servitude. In the midst of saying good-bye and trying to bless them in this new journey, my heart has been aching. I've been struggling with worship and what it looked like and also my hearts attitude while worshiping. Our pastor took a break from Hebrews to focus our minds on CHRIST and what it means to worship Him wholeheartedly. 

I've been struggling with this for 3 months! I've been struggling with my selfish attitude and my idea of what worship is; and God has used HIS WORD in discipleship and the lessons of my pastor to transform my mind. Every day of this challenge reflects what I've learned....

This whole process has been so mind boggling that I'm having a hard time explaining the entirety of this story in one paragraph or one blog post. You see, my attitude was not Christ-like. When I began to wrap my finite brain around the enormity of Romans 12:1-2 I thought I understood the importance of a daily renewal of mind, but when my pastor taught 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, my mind blew up as a result, 
"According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, or precious stones, wood, hay, straw - each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. if the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire."
First of all, who is the "I" in that passage? Paul. He wrote this book to the church in Corinth for what purpose? Go to 1:10, "I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgement." Okay, the church in Corinth obviously had some issues. They were divided. Paul wants them to be united in the same mind and same judgement. How were they divided? Go to 1:12. Some said they followed Paul, others Cephas, and some arrogantly said they followed Christ. Paul was trying to squash those ideas and transplant this truth: that they are united in the same foundation and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is of FIRST IMPORTANCE. Paul was trying to get them to understand that no matter who planted the seed, GOD GIVES THE GROWTH. (3:6) And that's where we get into verses 10-15. 

Like his fellow apostles and teachers, Paul laid a foundation because they preached the gospel to those in Corinth. As a result God gave them growth and they were created for HIS WORKMANSHIP. Paul's point to Christians? Like Christ we are called to serve others, because they are (like you) saved by Him. We are UNITED IN CHRIST! 

THEREFORE, if you have been saved by Christ (your foundation) you need to build upon it. What you build - gold, silver, precious stones OR wood, hay and straw - will either be refined by the fire on judgement day or consumed by the fire on judgement day. Whether it's gold, silver, precious stones or wood, straw, or hay is all determined on YOUR ATTITUDE. 

Is your heart focused on Christ? 
Or do you honor Him with your lips, but your heart is far from Him? (Matthew 15:8)

What you do here on earth, based on your heart and attitude, will either be rewarded in heaven or lost forever. You are already saved by Jesus Christ, but you will either be rewarded for your selfless heart or what you do here will never matter because because of your selfishness. 

What should our attitude be like while serving others? Including (but not limited to) our husbands? Keep reading in chapter 4, verse 1...

"This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God."

Stewards of the mysteries of God.

What are the mysteries of God? Go back to day 1, it is of FIRST IMPORTANCE.

If you just joined us I encourage you to start with day 1, there's a reason for the order...

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