Friday, December 12, 2008

short, tall,grande or venti

I am currently reading a book entitled The Gospel According to Starbucks. Well today I am sitting a Starbucks and I am watching people. The book is basically around the premise of our passion. We all have our favorite drink at Starbucks and we all have a passion for Starbucks or we would just drink truck stop coffee that has sit on the burner for several hours.

Why do people stand in incredibly long lines and pay $4-$5 for something to drink? People long for the quality and the atmosphere. They have a passion for the coffee.

What if we had a true passion for Christ? We will do anything to go out of our way to get Starbucks, but will we go out of our to grow close to Christ?

What are you doing? Are you waiting for Christ? What type of passion do you have-short, tall, grande or venti? Or is it decaf?

Peace, Garrett

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Caught up with taking care of your own house...

I was recently reading from the Old Testament book of Haggai. I have never really looked at it that closely. Today as I was reading through the first chapter, it meant something to me. Here is the context: When the first wave of Jewish exiles returned from Babylon to Jerusalem they began to rebuild the temple but soon gave up. Inspired by the prophetic words and ministry of Haggai and Zechariah, they finally completed the task about 20 years later. Haggai's words rebuked the people for living in fine homes while God's home remained in ruins. He warned that despite their efforts their wealth would not last, because the Lord was not pleased with their lack of responsibility. He called them to repent and renew their covenant with the God of their fathers. He assured them that God would achieve his purposes for his people and all other nations. The rebuilding of the temple symbolized God's restored presence among his people.

So, what does this mean for us? I see a few things. The first thing I see is we need to get over ourselves. This is what is says in the scripture: You have spent a lot of money, but you haven't much to show for it; you keep filling your plates, but you never get filled up; you keep drinking and drinking and drinking, but you're always thirsty; you put on layer after layer of clothes, but you can't get warm. And the people who work for you, what are they getting out of it? Not much - a leaky, rusted out bucket, that's what. (The Message)

We are wrapped up in ourselves. We are selfish. We are more concerned about us than others. This story is a great example. These people had an opportunity to honor and glorify the Lord by building the temple, but instead were too busy being wrapped up in their mansions and fancy lifestyles to care. I wonder how that is true of us. We get so busy and so comfortable that we forget about God's house today, the church, the people. As a pastor it is easy for me to say it's my job, but I still find myself wrapped up in the business of my personal life to make even minor sacrifices for the church.

Consider your ways.

Only true obedience leads to true satisfaction. How can we be satisfied in God? Apparently the people thought that they could be satisfied with their materialism, but Haggai spoke the word of truth. They have sown much, but harvested little. You eat the Vegas buffets, but never get full. You drink and drink and drink, but never have your thirst quenched. You try to clothe yourself, but cannot get warm. The people who earn wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.

Consider your ways.

The people did consider their ways. They obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the words of Haggai the prophet because they were the words of God. They repented and feared the Lord and the Lord said to them "I am with you." The temple was completed.

Our challenge today is to put aside selfishness and our own motives. Our challenge is to repent and fear the Lord. He will be with us. A little bit of sacrifice is obedience and it brings about satisfication in the Lord. We must look at the bigger picture. This life is temporary, but the things we do for Him will have eternal results. As this story teaches we are assured that God will achieve His purposes for His people.

Here is a key thing to remember. It is HIS purposes for HIS people. It is not our purpose for us. Take a good look at your life. Consider your ways. Think it over.

God can accomplish a lot through you, but what are you doing to show faithfulness, sacrifice, and obedience. The opposite of holiness is selfishness. Quit being selfish and pursue holy living that is pleasing to God. Stop living the fancy life, while there are those in our midst who are barely living at all.