Kingdom Eye’s – Seeing What God Is Doing
Part 4 – Experiencing God
-Robert Schuller, You Are Wonderful
Mother Teresa of Calcutta had a dream. She told her superiors, "I have three pennies and a dream from God to build an orphanage."
"Mother Teresa," her superiors chided gently, "you cannot build an orphanage with three pennies. With three pennies, you can't do anything."
"I know," she said, smiling, "but with God and three pennies I can do anything!"
ÿ When we want to know how to have a meaningful relationship with God that produces fruit and life our best example is found in Jesus Christ.
11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
ÿ God invites us to be Ambassadors of His, doing His work in the world around us.
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
--Oswald Chambers in The Highest Good, cited in Christianity Today, February 9, 1998, 78.
The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else.
We may be bombarded with fear when we think of abandoning ourselves to Christ:
ü What will others think?
ü Where will God take me?
ü Won’t I look foolish?
ü Will my family and friends abandon me?
ü What about all I’ve worked so hard for?
ü What if I’m wrong?
ü Will God see me through?
ÿ Jesus, as our example, models complete dependence upon God.
28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will realize that I am he and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak what the Father taught me. 29 And the one who sent me is with me—he has not deserted me. For I always do those things that are pleasing to him.”
Sign seen in a textile mill, "When your thread becomes tangled, call the foreman." A young woman was new on the job. Her thread became tangled and she thought, "I'll just straighten this out myself." She tried, but the situation only worsened. Finally she called the foreman. "I did the best I could," she said. "No you didn't. To do the best, you should have called me."
ÿ God offers opportunities for us to join Him in His work through our daily relationships – Do I see the opportunities or do I run from them? (* Slide is different than handout! Obedience leads to transformation.
14 Whatever we do, it is because Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15
Who are you living for? Not just on Sunday – but everyday?
ÿ If you are unable to see clearly what God is doing around you – focus more on Him and wait to see what He does.
7 But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! 8 My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father.
ÿ Our job is to be obedient to God, not to determine what is best for me.
He already knows what is best and is trying to move you toward it.
8 for I have passed on to them the words you gave me; and they accepted them and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.
Peter T. Forsythe was right when he said, "The first duty of every soul is to find not its freedom but its Master".
ÿ God gives us the assignment and when we move forward in faith He gives us the resources.
Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is; delayed obedience is disobedience. Whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from Grace.
Thomas a Kampis.
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
ÿ The purpose of Spiritual Gifts is to help us accomplish God’s will. When we focus on the gift we tend to focus on self rather than God.
7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.
1 Corinthians 12:7
James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986, Page December 9.
We are right to say that spiritual gifts come from the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:4-11). However we go on to think of them in terms either of giftedness (human ability to do things skillfully and well) or of supernatural novelty (power to speak in tongues, to heal, to receive messages straight from God to give to others, or whatever). We have not formed the habit of defining gifts in terms of Christ, the head of the body, and his present work from heaven in our midst. In this we are unscriptural.
Paul makes it clear that spiritual gifts are given in Christ; they are enrichments from Christ. 1 Corinthians 12 assumes the Christ-oriented perspective that 1 Corinthians 1:4-7 established. It is vital that we should see this, or we shall be confusing natural with spiritual gifts to the end of our days.
Nowhere does Paul or any other New Testament writer define a spiritual gift to us. But Paul's assertion that the use of gifts edifies (1 Cor. 14:3-5, 12, 17,26; Eph. 4:12), shows what his idea of gift was.
For Paul it is only through Christ, in Christ, and by learning of and responding to Christ, that anyone is ever edified. So spiritual gifts must be defined in terms of Christ as actualized powers of expressing, celebrating, displaying, and thus communicating Christ in one way or another, either by word or deed.
q I commit today to surrender my life to God and to focus my attention to hearing His call to an assignment for Him.