Monday, February 22, 2010

Kingdom Assignment Day 8

I'm still thinking and praying about what God would have me do with this Kingdom Assignment. Because our church has 5 services over the weekend, and because I don't always attend the same services that my friends attend, I didn't know that I have three other friends who have also accepted the Kingdom Assignment. One friend is completely lost about what she's going to do. Two friends have little ideas, all are praying about the next steps.

As I was thinking about this last night, all of God's people are on Kingdom Assignment. Really, all we have is His, entrusted to us to be used to help build God's Kingdom in some way. My corner of the Kingdom right now might be Chinatown, or it might just be my cul-de-sac. The tools I've been given to complete my task are not different than the tools you've been given. The time in each day, the food on the table, the books we read, the places we visit, the coffee we share with a friend--all are tools given to be used for God's glory. Sure, these tools are not a crisp 100.00 bill in an envelope issued in challenge.

But, they are still tools which God expects that you will use to share the love of God with whomever you come in contact with each and every day. Each one of God's children have been given wealth beyond imagination! Not only the physical comforts, but also talents and passions...creative minds, logical minds, your job, or your stay-at-home-ness....all of these things can be used in ways that honor God by showing His love to others, by sharing His resources with others.

What are you doing for your Kingdom Assignment?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kingdom Assignment Progress on Day 2

What is power? Is it electricity? Is it a position of authority? Is it simply the ability to accomplish a task? Where does power come from?

What if I told you that I know the answer to this? I do! The power I know about is from Jesus, given to those who have accepted Him as not only Savior, but Lord of their lives. It can not be understood by those who do not know Jesus. It is not electricity, it is not authority, it is not success, it can not be achieved.

Power is found in God's word. Those who are true believers are given access to the very power of God Himself through the Holy Spirit! When Jesus was giving his last instructions to his disciples he told them that after he was gone they would have the power to do even greater things than he did. He would give them his very spirit, the Holy Spirit to be their comfort, guide, counselor, and teacher who would remain with them forever. It would be through his Holy Spirit that the disciples would do great things. They would share the love of Jesus to the ends of the world, they would teach the words of Jesus to many people. They would fulfill the great commission given to them by Jesus. The power they needed to do much more than Jesus did was given to them freely by Jesus. However, it would require of them a much deeper union with Jesus than they had ever known.

Today, anyone who has accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord of their life is given the Holy Spirit. When we have accepted Jesus in this way, we too are given the same power that the disciples were given.

The thing is, although we are given the power of the Holy Spirit, something is required of us. We are given the Spirit so that we can be empowered to live the life that God has intended for us to live as His agents of change upon the earth. But to utilize this power, we must be in prayer. We are to use the Holy Spirit's power to do God's work. It requires prayer to know God's heart for me and to know how He would have me use His power. I can only know His will as I grow deeper in Him. I grow deeper in Him through conversation with Him in prayer. How can I have a relationship with Him if I don't talk with and to Him as often as possible?

I grow deeper still when I live in complete obedience to His commands found in His word, the scriptures in the Bible.

I can only be completely obedient to Him through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is a circle!

God has asked me to do something big for Him with this Kingdom Assignment. I'm pretty sure that I can't figure it out on my own! I have no idea what I'm to do. The only way I'm going to find out is if I ask for His guidance. I need His great power to accomplish this! If I am to be His agent, I need to live completely by His commands. That means that I need to be daily reading and studying His word. Then, praise God! I can rely on the Holy Spirit's great help.

Interestingly, while all true believers receive the Holy Spirit, He is given to each believer in a unique and specifically tailored way. How cool is that?! Because God made me, He knows where my weaknesses are and how I need the Holy Spirit. So, rather than just giving me some sort of vague power for good...God gives me His Holy Spirit who also knows me AND knows God's plan for me as well as how to accomplish God's will in my life while building His Kingdom.

By giving the Holy Spirit to true believers Jesus has basically given unlimited resources! How will I use God's resources today?

So, I'm praying that I will be truly empowered by the Holy Spirit for this Kingdom Assignment. I'm seeking His power through prayer, asking for His help to be completely obedient to all God's commands, and depending upon His Spirit to guide me as well as empower me.

What is your prayer today?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Kingdom Assignment

At church this morning Pastor Mark (also our small group leader) gave a message on Luke 19:11-27. It is a passage in scripture where Jesus tells a parable to his listeners about a ruler who is headed to Rome to be officially declared a King. Before the ruler leaves he chooses some people and gives them an amount of money that was worth about a month's wages. This money was from his treasury given to about 10 people to take care of until the ruler returned as King. Each of the 10 did something different with the money with which they were entrusted. The way that each of the 10 reacted to the responsibility given to them by the ruler is a mirror into the lives of many believers who are entrusted with gifts from God. Will they share what they have been given, or will they hoard it? Read Luke 19;11-27 and decide what you think the reactions of the characters in the parable say about them...and to you.

This parable has been written about in countless Bible commentaries, as well as taught and spoken to God's people for centuries. If you want to read what others have said about this parable and how they have interpreted it, find a commentary in your local or church library. I'm not going to interpret the parable here.

But, here is what I learned in Pastor Mark's sermon today. Pastor Mark reminded me that when Jesus spoke in parables it was to help his listeners learn something more about Himself. Pastor Mark said, "The character of the Kingdom must reflect the character of the King. Jesus' kingship is about servanthood and sacrifice." Interesting that it's not just about serving, nor is it just about's about both together. That is the nature of Jesus Christ! Jesus came to earth, leaving the glory of Heaven behind, not only as a helpless baby, but as a man who loved his disciples so much that he washed their feet! He didn't just wash their feet, he told them to do the same to and for others. Serving and sacrificing. While we live here and now in between the time after Christ first appeared on earth and the second coming of Christ we are to be busy doing just that, serving and sacrificing.

So the guys from the parable who got the ruler's money to take care of...the ones who did something with the money besides wrap it up and hide it until the ruler's return...they knew the money was not theirs! Because they knew the money came from a man who had plenty of financial reserves, they were not afraid to invest, even spend, the money! Because of that understanding, they were able to grow the ruler's influence. I'm guessing that they must have thought that if they took a chance and lost the money, the ruler would be able to cover the loss and chalk it up to experience gained. The poor guy who just hid the money did so because he did not trust the ruler, he was afraid.

See, here's the difficult part: When I don't use all of what God has given me out of His vast stores I'm actually indicating that I don't trust God. Ouch.

The men who invested the ruler's money knew that they would have to give a report to the ruler about what they did with his money. They wanted to do the best they could with that money. They were not afraid! Instead, they were motivated by the ruler's great resources to take a big risk.

How I see that in my life is this: God has given me sooooo much! He has given me an abundance really. I have a nice warm bed to sleep in every night. I wake up having slept in peace and comfort all night long. I get to have my children with me all day and teach them at home. My husband does not worry about loosing his job. We have food on our table three times a day. That's just the physical, creature comforts! I've been given salvation from my sin, saved from the deprivation that is myself by the ultimate sacrifice of love--Jesus' death on the cross for my sins. Because of Jesus' resurrection, I know that the sacrifice was accepted and I've become one of His family. It doesn't stop there! I've been given the Holy Spirit to help me understand mighty God's words written in Scripture so that I might know the way to live in Christ.

What do I have to loose by sacrificing my self, my time, my resources so that I can make a difference in God's Kingdom? Nothing.

Not only was I challenged to rethink my "stuff"; but I was challenged to think about the very real fact that I don't truly trust God enough. Oh, I know how to act like I trust Him. I have trusted Him many times as we have moved five times in 17 years of marriage. But, I wonder do I really trust Him with all of me? with my entire life down to the point of the food on the table?

So I was processing all the things Pastor Mark was saying, then he told us of five or six folks from our church who ten years ago were given Kingdom Assignments with 100.00 to do something for God's Kingdom. The projects varied from helping in our community in some way, all the way to Uganda! Check out for the result of Mary Ann McCoy's Kingdom Assignment. Fabulous things were done in the name of Christ those ten years ago.

I had to ask myself at that point, "What do I have to loose?"

And THEN Pastor Mark said that the opportunity had come again to do the same thing again! 25 people would right then, on the spot, be handed a 100.00 Kingdom Assignment if they were interested. No need to have a project in mind, just a willingness to pray patiently for God to reveal something to the heart of the person and then the boldness to do it.

What do I have to loose? So, I found myself raising my hand and taking the assignment! I really have no idea what I'm going to do next. I do know that I'm excited to see where God takes me on this Kingdom Assignment journey. I am really wondering what I'm going to do next! I don't have that many connections in the community since I'm still new here.

Here's the deal though, I know that God has a plan which includes this assignment for me. The question will be, will I cooperate with Him? Will I trust Him enough to wait and hear what His assignment for me is? Will I be able to stay completely focused upon Him and building His kingdom and not my own reputation?

All of this means that my prayer life is about to take an interesting ride! Stay tuned for more to come.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

La Jolla with Vanessa

I spent a lovely hour in La Jolla with my friend Vanessa this past week. It was a quick stop on our whirlwind organization task at Vanessa's apartment. We had fun in spite of the pain of letting go of some things. Our jaunt to La Jolla was our little reward for a hard job well done. Then, I hopped back on the airplane and flew home.

It was an overcast day in La Jolla, so the beach was not as enticing to me as it might have been if it were warmer. However, the wild creatures I got to see were fabulous. As I look now at the pictures I took, I'm reminded that even when we live in a pile of troubles, there are still beautiful things all around us. The question is, will we be able to see that which is at hand, or will the momentary troubles take over and essentially drag us under with their powerful riptide?

What has been troubling you lately? Do you have a load of "stuff" that has taken hold of you? Maybe that "stuff" is really material "stuff", or maybe it is a situation you find yourself in at work, or in a relationship...something you know you need to shake free of, but find it impossible to begin that process. What would it take for you to see past this "stuff" to what is possible beyond it?

I don't have any answers for you because your situation is your own. Out there in the big world is something special waiting just for you. I know this because I know God is bigger than your problem. Will you trust Him with your "stuff"? Will you ask Him to take it off your hands for you? Then, will you really give it to Him and let it go?

If it is a relationship, you'll have to trust Him each day a little at a time. If it is a true pile of material "stuff", you might need to call in some assistance!

Blessings to you today!