Giving the Right Stuff

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom He gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Colossians 3:16-17 NLT

 

Dr. Bob Miller

Dr. Bob Miller

Jesus’ message was one of love, Lordship and longing.  He came with compassion to convict and to change.  Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15 ESV). God’s Kingdom is not a territory but a Truth.  It is not an area, but an authority.

Storm writes that the message of Christ is the total Biblical experience “concerning Jesus: who He is, His mission, His life, His redemptive work, His character and will and ways.”  It’s about what He said and how He lived.   We focus so much on His words, yet we often forget about His walk.

Jesus’ conviction, commitment, concern and compassion comprise the richness of His life.  These are the seeds that need to take root in our lives to grow and to give.  Like a rich and decadent dessert, He fills us up and we still want more.

We find meaning when our mess is changed by His message.  Instead of “caving and coping” in our lives, we begin to “create and cultivate”.  Our investment in others becomes intuitive.  Our appreciation abounds.  And, excellence becomes an everyday experience.

Give To Others.  Paul encourages us to give to others what we have received from God.  Each of us has a story of His saving . . . an insight of His intervention . . . an accounting of His affection.  Paul reminds us of the power of our words, “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (Eph 4:29 NLT).  Instead of giving someone a “piece of your mind” give them a “place in your heart”.

Give Thanks.  Paul reminds the Christ-followers in Thessalonica, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thess 5:18 ESV)  Our praise of adoration is prompted by appreciation.  William MacDonald writes, “The Spirit of God must consider a thankful spirit very important. Usually we think of thankfulness as something that is determined by our immediate circumstances, but Paul here shows that it is a grace to be cultivated.  We are responsible to be thankful.  The fault is not in any lack of subject matter, but only in our selfish hearts.”  Whistle a tune, sing a song, or make a melody . . . with a heart of gratitude.

Give It Your All.  In everything we say, in everything we do . . . we are representatives of our Redeemer.  Thankfully, we don’t have to be sinless . . . I’m far from it . . . we just have to be sinners who have saved by grace.  Our flaws will be evident just as our faith is evidenced.  Paul wrote, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10:31 NLT).  We give of ourselves by His grace and for His glory.

John Wesley wrote, “Do all the good you can.  By all the means you can.  In all the ways you can.  In all the places you can.  At all the times you can.  To all the people you can.  As long as ever you can.”

Filled with His message.  Focusing on Others.  Finding gratitude.  Faithful excellence.  These are the things we can do.  These are our defining moments.

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