Archives For performance

What’s Your Goal?

January 11, 2016

Our human self-sufficiency is never more evident than at the beginning of the calendar year with our New Year’s Resolutions. Goals are great, but so often we set about those goals in a self-reliant, try harder kind of way.

As Christians, many of these goals are linked to spiritual growth, such as wanting to read the Bible more.

If spiritual growth were as simple as trying harder, we would all be light years ahead of where we find ourselves.

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I recently came across some Judah Smith quotes from his book, Jesus Is For You: Stories of God’s Relentless Love, which speak to this topic

The constant battle is to trust Jesus for growth and change even more than our own effort.

“Jesus isn’t standing aloof yelling at us to climb out of our pits and clean ourselves up so we can be worthy of Him. He was wading waist-deep into the muck of life, weeping with the broken. rescuing the lost, and healing the sick.”

When talking about grace, we often give negative connotations to words like effort, performance, and accomplishment.

They become four letter, anti-grace cuss words.

And if one is gaining their approval from God and others based on what they do, than a negative perception is the correct one.

We cannot earn or be worthy of God based on striving and effort. Broken people produce broken things. This means we cannot improve on perfection.

This line of thinking is reflected by the oft heard cliché, “We are not human doings, but human beings”

True…

But there is another side to achievement.

If we have our value and worth in God, based on what He has done for us, then there is a proper place of accomplishment in our lives.

God created us to work.

Improving on Perfection

August 11, 2015

When you merge something with impurities into something pure, it brings corruption.

In mathematics, we know a negative and a positive equals a negative.

As broken and flawed humans, we cannot improve the work of Christ by something we do, say, feel, or think.

Many times we are told the way to be a good Christian is “Jesus + (insert something we do or don’t do, an attitude, or a Christian discipline.)”

Consider some of the Christian activities we insert into this equation…

  • Prayer
  • Church attendance
  • Missions
  • Tithing
  • Spiritual gifts
  • Bible reading
  • Obedience

The list could go on and on. Notice the things listed above are all good things. We could easily attach a Scripture reference to each one.

The enemy would never think of convincing us that we need “Jesus + fornication or drugs” in order to be pleasing to God.

We casually toss around the word grace in so many ways. Saying thanks before a meal, a name on a church, or a greeting in the Bible.

There are both common and specific forms of grace.

Saving grace is very “generic” (not cheap but similar for all). Grace for life is where it becomes unique.

Grace enables

“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.” 1 Corinthians 3:10

Paul is speaking of a specific grace given to him for the completion of the job God had for him.

We use words like calling, leading, prompting, or the will of God. We know these things are unique.

Here Paul says this is the specific grace given to aid us in doing what we are made for.

Peace be With You

May 6, 2015

My wife and I have recently come off a transition in our roles. We successfully passed off many of our leadership responsibilities to men and women we trained up and walked with.

This is every leaders dream and greatest moment of success, to see something you’ve begun outlast you and be improved by another.

It can also be a place of great insecurity.

In our mission, many leaders hang on to titles far too long for fear of no longer having a voice.

We were not afraid of a loss of influence, but freedom to invest in whatever you want sounds both fantastic and terrifying at the same time.

There have been moments of insecurity and near panic attacks for me. My wife has been dealing with debilitating migraines.

Our dream of “doing whatever we want” has not gone quite as envisioned.