Patterns Matter!

“Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 1:13 NLT).

I remember when I was sewing most of my clothes–primarily because of a home economics class in which I had to learn to read a pattern–how difficult it was for me to understand the pattern. The one thing I noticed, though is when I had “repeated”using the pattern often enough, I had no problem getting the results I wanted in the clothing I wanted to wear. This was in high school–when we didn’t have much money and fabric was considerably cheap. I was able to use patterns from a neighbor and learned to modify the pattern to suit my own tastes. I made jackets, pantsuits (before they were popular) skirts, dresses, belts–whatever I wanted to wear. I even learned to modify clothing by adding “lace or trimming” to lengthen a gown for someone else.

When my daughter first began school, I made her school clothes and then somewhere along the way, I stopped sewing and lost sight of how to read the patterns.

When we don’t practice doing a thing–we lose sight on how to do it. Like learning a foreign language–we must practice or we lose our ability to remember it. Typing requires continual practice to maintain accuracy and speed.  The same principle applies to–well, just about anything–we must practice and hold onto patterns in learning that make learning worthwhile.

If this works for learning, it will also work for teaching–anything. When we develop wholesome patterns–that work every time–we create situations in which we can be assured of the results. And this is the admonition Paul was giving to Timothy (and us)–make sure the pattern is shaped by faith and love we have in Christ Jesus.

If what we teach is not based upon the same pattern–foundation in The Word–the results will be unpredictable and this is how division in the body of Christ is created–people have forgotten to hold onto the pattern of faith and love.

Establishing patterns in life–make differences–especially when we want to achieve specific results–time after time–that glorify God!

Hold onto the patterns of wholesome teaching based upon The Word and be assured of the results that have a foundation in The Word, shaped by faith and love!

Rich Word Living Inside!

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16 NKJV).

Whenever people see or hear those of us who proclaim to have a relationship with God, they should see and hear someone who has rich word living inside of them–always thinking before speaking, allowing Holy Spirit to dictate what we say and do. They should hear and see us teaching and correcting one another through the songs we sing and in every message that God gives us to speak.

What do others see in us, really? I’m inclined to believe that not many who know God, know how to represent that relationship in such a way that it doesn’t appear to be one of superiority. When we speak, is every word condemnation or invitation? When we do things is for the glory of self or God? Are we truly compassionate people or are we like those who cross the street to keep from getting involved?

How can we expect God’s mercy to overflow in our lives when we cannot show mercy to others? Where would we be if–we had received from God what we deserved–rather that benefit from His mercy? I shudder to think where I’d be without His mercy. Therefore, with the mercies we receive every day, would it really be too difficult to show mercy to others? 

I am inclined to believe that when we are incapable of showing mercy to others, refuse to offer assistance when we are in a position to do so, and cannot love–everyone in spite of who they are or what they do; we do not have rich word living inside of us. Rich Word, the Word of God, the Word of Truth, the Word of Love, the Word of Forgiveness, the Word of Mercy, the Word of Faith, the Word of Grace, the Word of Correction–full of wisdom and more valuable than all the jewels that can be found on earth. This rich Word should be living on the inside, always at the ready when we speak or do anything.

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to gain insight and understanding into Your Word, so we might partake of it daily, and allow it to dwell richly inside of us so we may know how to treat one another.

 

Teach All Nations!

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28: 19,20 NIV).

What a great parting gift from Jesus to His disciples just before He ascended and returned to The Father–giving us the authority to do just what He said.

To go–means to move from one place to another.  We cannot remain stagnant or pulled into ruts that keep us from going–moving forward; not backwards to share the Gospel.

Make–means to create/mold something into something else.  In this case, we are to mold people into disciples of Jesus Christ, after going into all nations–by whatever means possible.

For those who choose to accept the call to discipleship–they are to be baptized–totally submerged under water, (just like Jesus was) as a symbolic representation that our old sinful nature has been buried with Him and we arise a new creation, ready to serve Him.

Teaching–the most important thing we can do–by example, how we should conduct ourselves with each other–learning to love and forgive and how we should love God.  This is the commandment in total–to love, for if we love we cannot hate or commit crimes against one another.  If we love God, we do not want to sin against Him.

From the looks of the condition our society today, we have much work to do.  Let’s go and get it done so The Father will be pleased with what we do and bless us to be a blessing to others. Moving Out!  Forward, March! Doing all things to His glory!

Help us O God to exercise the authority You have given us with wisdom moving before us, in all things!

 

Rewarded For Works!

“…then He shall reward every man according to his works” (Matthew 16:27).

Imagine that!  We will be rewarded–everyone of us–according to the works we have done.

When I was a child, I was rewarded for good grades, behaving in school, and doing my chores, without being reminded.

As a teenager, I was rewarded for doing things in school with the clubs to which I belonged, getting good grades, and still doing my chores (more of them) without being reminded.

As a college student, I was rewarded with recognitions and being on the Dean’s list, for doing my work and without being reminded.

As a young adult, I was rewarded with raises and promotions on jobs for doing what I was supposed to do (punctuality, integrity, and dedication), without being reminded, five days a week.

As a teacher, I was rewarded with–the satisfaction of seeing some of my students excelling and in knowing I was doing a job well (the rest of the students–almost 75% of them in public school–well, that’s another story for another time–found in If Parents Cared Enough…Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read, available on amazon.com).

As a writer, I am rewarded for writing a  good book–content with substance and for the most part–well-written, whenever people buy my books.

As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I am rewarded every time someone gives their life to Christ and understands how much He loves them through my conduct and conversation with them.

As a child of the most High God, I have endeavored to do good works in promoting the Gospel and living according to His Word to the very best of my ability, always trusting Him, and expecting Him to guide, correct, love and forgive my shortcomings.

I am looking forward to the reward He has for me, according to the works I have done–“Well done my good and faithful servant!”

What is your reward going to be?

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