Billy's Blog
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December 26, 2018, 10:14 AM

To Serve Not To Be Served


If you had a life mission statement what would it be? Would it have something to do with the consumption of coffee? Would it have to do with your favorite football team? Or would it have to do with how much you love your family? 

The Bible never says that Jesus had a life mission statement, and I'm sure that you could argue that he made a few mission statements. Yet one of the statements Jesus made really sticks out to me and it's found in Matthew 20:28. 

"Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

That sounds like a life mission statement to me. This is all about what Jesus was here on earth to do. He lived it out, too. He did not look to be served. He did not look for ways to elevate himself above others like the religious leaders of his day did. He hung out with people that other religious leaders would not be caught dead with, and he served people that others had shunned. He ultimately gave his whole life to this mission. 

So could we say the same thing? Are we all about trying to serve other people? What does a life look like that is lived this way? 

Here are a few things I can think of that defines this kind of life:

*You don't have to get your way. It's a life where you are not concerned that things are always done your way. You are happy to see others be served and blessed even if it's not for you. 

*You rejoice when things go well for others. You love to serve others so you love to see other people be successful. You are not jealous when others have what you don't. 

*You can let other people get credit. If you don't get credit for everything you do it's ok. You know it's good for the credit to be shared and spread. 

*You are always thinking of ways to serve others. People who love to serve others find ways to serve others. There is no shortage of opportunities just a shortage of willingness. 

*You make others feel good. If you've ever been around someone that serves others they make you feel good. They actually feel good by making you feel good. 

So think about your life today. Could you say that you are a person that is here not to BE SERVED but to SERVE? I think Jesus' life statement is a pretty good for all of us. 




December 21, 2018, 11:27 AM

Hope in Christ Not Christmas


Christmas means a lot of different things for different people. For some people it really is the most wonderful time of the year. They get some time off of work. They get to spend time with family, maybe go on a vacation, do some traveling. For others its time with family and having dinners and celebrating traditions together. But for some people Christmas is not the most wonderful time of the year. 

Christmas can bring up memories of loved ones lost that bring up old hurts. Christmas can remind people of just how they are struggling financially. Some families cannot provide for their children what they would like to. Christmas can remind people just how lonely they are. 

Our hope should not be in Christmas. 

Christmas is mainly a traditional celebration, but we celebrate Christ. This is where our hope lies. Our hope is not just about the manger that's just where it begins. Our hope is in the life, death, burial and ulitmately resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is a hope that is not defeated by any circumstance no matter how painful. 

Christmas can mean all kinds of things to all kinds of people. No matter what your feeling is about Christmas you can have hope. You can celebrate. It might not be the best time of the year for you, but you have something to be thankful for...the salvation you have in Jesus Christ. 

Merry Christmas! 




December 11, 2018, 9:39 AM

Obedience Is THE Part Of The Story


One of the things I love about the Bible is the continuous story that is told. When you read about the people involved in God's story you will find one consistent theme..obedience. There are men and women and even teenagers of various races and backgrounds. Some were very poor some were rich. Some were well-known some were unknown. The backgrounds of the people that we know about in God's story are so varied, but the consistent attribute of all of them is obedience. 

Noah was obedient to build an ark when he'd never seen rain. 

Moses was obedient to go free the slaves from Egypt when he was an unknown shepherd. 

David was obedient to take on a nine foot tall giant with no armor. 

Gideon was obedient to take on a thousands of men with 300. 

Lydia was obedient to help save her whole family when she'd just been saved herself

Paul was obedient to preach the Gospel when he'd just been an enemy of it. 

Mary was obedient to give birth to Jesus as a teenage virgin.

The person we are looking at today is Joseph. This is a great story of obedience. Joseph and Mary were engaged and were doing things properly...again being obedient to God. He finds out his wife is pregnant and he is going to protect his fiancee. He is going to do the right things by her and protect her dignity by quietly hiding her. God has other plans. 

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.  But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. --Matthew 1:20-25

Joseph. like Mary, is one of the most recognizable people in history. He was an unknown carpenter living a quiet life when God came in with his plan. The reason Joseph was a part of the story was that he said YES. 

I wonder how much would change in our lives if everytime God called us to do something we said YES. No maybe's, no we'll see's, no when things settle down, just YES. I would like my life to play a part in the story of God. I would like to know that my life has meaning and that God is doing something great in my life. The only way this will ever happen is if I say YES to God when he moves in my life. 

The consistent theme in the story of everyone God has used to do great things is obedience. Maybe there's something to learn from that. 




December 4, 2018, 1:23 PM

Ready To Serve


What makes a person ready to do anything? There might be some training, some education, some experience, some study, and hands-on training like internships and apprenticeships. One of the things that you can do to be ready for a new task is to be humble. Humilty is not a degrading of who you are, but it is an accurate view of who you are. Many people cannot be ready for  a new venture in their life, because they cannot admit they have much to learn. Their pride gets in the way of their ability to be teachable. Because they aren't teachable they aren't willing to learn new things, and because they aren't willing to learn they cannot be ready for their new task. 

When God called Mary to be the mother of Jesus in Luke 1 it says that she was "greatly troubled" when the angel Gabriel came to see her. No kidding! I know if I'm sitting there working at my desk and an angel of God comes to me I'm going to be greatly troubled, too. Although Mary didn't understand how she could be the mother of Jesus, she was a virgin, she accepted the task. Her humility allowed her to be obedient to God even though it was obvious she didn't fully understand how or why this was happening to her. 

Are we as humble and available as Mary was to be willing to take on this amazing new adventure? Just think about this...God was placing his baby son in the arms of a teenage girl along with her unsuspecting soon to be husband. This is quite a thing you are asking of this young girl and her young partner. Despite all of this she was willing. I don't think she had any idea what she was really getting into. I don't think she felt prepared or equipped to do this, but her humility allowed for her to be successful. She knew she was in way over her head, but she trusted God that he knew what he was doing. 

Do we have this same attitude? Are we willing to be used by God for his purpose even though we might not understand how it's all going to work? 

God does not need our talents. God does not need our resources. God does not need our abilities. God is looking for someone who is humble enough to be obedient and courageous enough to go forward. This unknown teenage girl became one of the most well-known historical figures of the world. She accomplished this because she was willing. Right now you might be  sensing that God is calling you to do more, but maybe you are scared. You might feel a little unqualified for this job. You might be just in the right spot for God to use you. 

We might not always be the most talented or the most equipped, but as long as we are humble and available God can use us. 

 




November 28, 2018, 9:25 AM

Life Happens


The greatest commandment is to love God. This is pretty obvious. But what happens when life happens and it threatens to take our love away? 

When I was in Bible college I was on fire for God. I wanted to give my life to preaching and serving the church and was so fired up about it. I was willing to go anywhere to preach and teach the Gospel. I was willing to lead a Sunday school class, lead singing, preach at a nursing home, preach to three old ladies at a church...I was willing and ready! But then life happened. My parents got divorced. At the time it was no surprise and didn't really seem to rock my world that much. I was 20 years old, I was in college, so I was good. I thought I was, but it really rocked me. 

I lost my purpose. I lost my direction. I dropped out of Bible college. I did not want to preach anymore. I was willing to go to church, and I did not give up on God totally. I just lost my fire. I had lost my first love. Has this ever happened to you? 

There might have been a time in your life when you were so on fire for God. You couldn't wait to go to church. You couldn't get enough of reading your Bible. You couldn't wait to share your faith with someone. Then life happened and your fire got quenched a little. The same thing happened to the church in Ephesus. Look at what was written to them:

 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. Revelation 2:4-5

So this church had lost their first love. They had lost their fire. So how do we get it back? "Do the things you did at first." 

So when you were on fire for God what were you doing? Who were you hanging out with? How did you spend your time? What were the things that made you on fire for God? 

This is what you must recapture. You must get back to doing those things. Yes, life happens. There are difficult situations that  threaten to take us away from God, but we must get back the love we had for him. If your love for God has been quenched a little or a lot take some time to think about the things you did that helped get you on fire for God. You might not be able to do the exact same things you did years ago, but you can do similar things. Discover this and do it. 

Our lives are too short to just be lukewarm the rest of our lives. Do what it takes to turn up the thermostat. 

 


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