When we sin, that guilty feeling is from our conscience, and the Holy Spirit takes that feeling and brings conviction. The work of the Holy Spirit is just as Jesus said, “And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” John 16:8 That feeling of guilt, the conviction when we have done wrong, is an invitation to repentance.
When facing IT, we try so many things. We try to justify IT. We try to explain IT away. We try to ignore IT. More than any other time of year, Lent is a season for us to face IT head on. Call IT out. When we are honest about IT, the Holy Spirit leads us to the place where IT goes to die – the Cross.
Forgiveness is most powerful when we’ve done nothing to deserve it. In Daniel 9, the prophet prays that God will forgive His people because of God’s character, not on the basis of their righteousness.
Do you have power over IT or does IT have power over you? Maybe you think you’ve got this, right? Wrong. You’re full of IT. We all are. All of our efforts, all of our attempts will ultimately fail until we finally cry out, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord who is the only one who has power over IT.
With some aspects of life, we can just go through the motions. We can pretend to be sincere and serious when in reality, our heart is just not into it. But there is one fact that no one can escape – YOU WILL DIE. “For you are dust, and to dust you shall return,” Genesis 3:19. When it comes to life and death, you cannot fake it till you make it. When it comes to repentance the Lord expects both an internal and external response as He says, “rend your hearts and not (only) your garments,” Joel 2:13. Therefore, this Ash Wednesday, let our external repentance reflect the internal repentance of our heart.
We all have ambitions. A good family. A successful career. Meaningful relationships. What are your ambitions? Your ambitions are those things that you are willing to work at and make sacrifices in order to achieve. But is it alright to have ambition for the things of God, especially when we’re always told that there is nothing I can do to achieve God’s plan anyway? It's Day 34 of the Serving Challenge and our ambition is focused, “toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ.”
“Comparison is the thief of joy.” These words spoken by Teddy Roosevelt are true. We could also say, “Comparison is the thief of our joy in serving.” Too often we think, “I can’t serve because I can’t __________ like them, or because I’m too __________.” It’s true that you can’t do everything, but you can do something. What is the unique ability that God has given to you? Join us this Sunday for day 27 of the Serving Challenge as we embrace and thank God for the unique ability He has given to each of us.
How much is your opinion worth? That’s right, two cents! Too often we want to give our advice and opinions about serving, but what we say has far less value than what we do. One of the core values at Prince of Peace is Action. That is, we place a higher value on action than simply talking about maybe someday doing something. This is not always easy, and mistakes can be made.
If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy. Have you heard that before? No margin no mission. What about that one? Most of the time, serving comes down to one word – DISRUPTION. Disruption of our routines, our schedules, our priorities. Day 13 of the Serving Challenge as we take a few steps with Jesus who teaches us that serving is about being available to Him and others.
Have you ever woken up on the wrong side of the bed and your entire day was ruined because of it? Have you ever been in a position where you wanted to serve someone else, but then talked yourself out of it? It turns out that our mindset and our attitudes have enormous power over our actions. Our attitude can either prevent or empower us for service. We need the mindset and attitude of Christ.