Quick hits: Don’t grumble about Monday

Here’s a quick little reminder on your Monday to help get you in the right mindset for this week!

It comes from Philippians 2:12-18, written by the apostle Paul:

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘Children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.”

God seeking man; man seeking God

I was in church this morning at Long Hollow Baptist and pastor Robby Gallaty illustrated two connecting passages in the Bible that I had never thought about before.

And once you see it and fully connect the dots…..it sure has a nice way of summing everything up.

What was the first question God asked in the Bible? Most of us know the story of Adam and Eve in the beginning of time in the Garden of Eden. God had instructed Adam and Eve not to eat anything from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Of course, we know that Adam and Eve eventually did eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. After this happened, God was walking in the garden looking for Adam and Eve.

Genesis 3:8-9 reads:

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” 

The first question God asks in Genesis is “Where are you?” In other words, it’s an illustration of God seeking out his people that he has created.

Fast forward to the book of Matthew in the New Testament. Jesus had been born and the Wise Men, or Magi, had seen the star and were seeking to find Jesus and worship him. They came to Jerusalem, where King Herod was, and asked where to find Jesus.

Matthew 2:1-2 says:

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him?” 

The first question asked in the New Testament basically boils down to “Where is Jesus?”

God’s first question in the Old Testament was “Where are you?” Man’s first question in the New Testament is “Where is God?”

That’s a powerful way to sum up and illustrate the foundations of living a life following Jesus. God has been seeking out man since the creation of the earth. In turn, he wants man to seek him out as well through Jesus, who made a sacrifice for every person.

That’s what the Wise Men did. They went after God by seeking out Jesus.

God has been seeking you out ever since he created you. If you haven’t made the decision to seek him out, what’s been stopping you? I encourage you to listen to him and make the decision to pursue Jesus today.

 

Encouraging one another through sin’s deceitfulness

The writer of Hebrews in the the Bible communicates to us a warning against unbelief in Hebrews 3 that I think gives us a good reminder.

We are to rely on other Christians as a source of encouragement, and we are also to encourage other Christians daily as well.

Hebrews 3:12-15 reads:

“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. as has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” 

We don’t have to go through our daily lives, with all of the different twists, turns and challenges that brings, alone. Not only do we have God to communicate with and to put our full trust in, we also have each other to confide in and to encourage.

The first example that came to mind for me when reading this passage was “small groups” or “discipleship groups” within the church. I think a good way to make sure you have a consistent source of encouragement and accountability in your life is to have a small group of people that help you walk through life.

What does that look like? Form a small, core group (maybe four to six) of people that you go to church with, or maybe a group of Christian friends that may go to a different church, and develop an intentional plan to get into God’s word and have discussions about your daily life and challenges each week.

Having a core group that you can trust will help you be accountable with your actions, encourage you to keep listening to God and what his word tells you and will help shoulder some of the burdens you face throughout your daily life.

Remember to be an encouragement for other believers, as well as rely on other believers to encourage you. And prayerfully consider starting or joining a small group or a discipleship group to help you grow closer with the Lord.