Monday, November 26, 2012


A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”  “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.  Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!  Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”  Mark 3:32-35

Jesus had a crowd sitting around Him, and His family came looking for Him.  They thought He had lost His mind and had come to take Him away with them (v. 21).  Jesus then asked the crowd who His family was, and looking around at them, He told them they were.  Then He said whoever does God’s will is His family.

The people were sitting around Jesus listening to His teaching.  From this simple scene we can see that God’s will involves: 
  • Listening to Jesus and learning from Him,
  • Being around Him and giving time to Him, and
  • Keeping Him at the center of attention. 
Since Christ had to suffer physically for you, you must fortify yourselves with the same inner attitude that he must have had. You must realize that to be dead to sin inevitably means pain, and you should not therefore spend the rest of your time here on earth indulging your physical nature, but in doing the will of God.  1 Peter 4:1-2 (Ph)

Doing God’s will means dying to our selfish ways, wants, and pursuits.  Dying to “self” is painful.  No doubt about it.  To give up comfort, convenience, and preferences for the cause of Christ can be upsetting, even heartrending.  But it’s the way to gain and reward.  It’s the way to life.  And it’s the way of God’s family.

When we keep Christ at the center of our way of thinking, feeling, actions, words, and relationships – we find ourselves doing the will of God.  And we’re family.  Doing God’s will is a family matter in God’s family.

Give your mind to Him.  Give your time to Him.  Give your attention to Him.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Celebrate the Passover of the Lord your God during the month of Abib, because it was during Abib that he brought you out of Egypt at night. …celebrate the Feast of Weeks for the Lord your God.  Bring an offering as a special gift to him, …Celebrate the Feast of Shelters for seven days, after you have gathered your harvest from the threshing floor and winepress.  Everybody should rejoice at your Feast, …No man should come before the Lord without a gift.  Each of you must bring a gift that will show how much the Lord your God has blessed you.  Deuteronomy 16:1, 10, 13-14, 16-17 (NCV)

The Israelites celebrated these festivals to remember how God had delivered them from Egypt.  The Lord God was their Savior and they celebrated Him and the salvation He gave them.  The Lord was their Provider and they celebrated Him for His blessings in their lives.  As they celebrated and gave thanks, God told them to give back to Him as He had blessed them.

I can think of three ways we can apply this to our lives:

1. As God delivers and provides for you, give back to Him with joy and remembrance of Him.

2. Choose to celebrate what God has done and is doing in your life.  And do it joyfully.

3. Schedule anniversaries and events that bring to mind what God has done for you.  And give Him praise and thanks. 

Obviously we will celebrate with family and friends this Thursday.  It will be one of those opportunities to give praise and thanks to God for His blessings.  And there are many more events you can celebrate:  birthdays, wedding anniversaries, spiritual birthdays … As a church we will celebrate Christmas and Easter as two great events which have changed the future of mankind and have given us hope and purpose, and they remind us of the real story that is unfolding which dwarfs all others, and one in which our personal stories are a part.  Give thanks and praise to our Savior and God this Thanksgiving because of His blessings and His promises.