Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bring Forth Treasure!

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us.

When the apostle Paul compared our lives to clay pots, he focused not on the earthen vessels, but rather the contents of those vessels. Jars of clay deteriorate over time, become chipped, cracked, and eventually broken. However, the real value of those ancient pots was not in the clay containers themselves, but in what they contained.

We human beings tend to focus on the frailties and imperfections of our decaying "vessels", looking, characteristically, on the outward form rather than the substance within. But the inward reality is what matters to God, and ultimately, to us as well, since that reality is His living Presence within us; a treasure of wisdom, power and love with inestimable value.

The Lord's evaluation of us is not by outward appearance, which is corruptible and deteriorates with time. His indwelling Spirit, His Living Word, and the dynamic intimate relationship into which He invites us— are where the real treasure lies!

Article taken from Worthy Devotion -

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Reflection on 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12 - Spiritual Parenting

This brief passage in 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12 is one of the most important statements in all of Scripture about spiritual parenting. Paul gave a compelling example for us. Paul describes his ministry among the Thessalonians by employing both parental figures side by side to describe his style of leadership. He considered the congregation his spiritual children and cared for them accordingly.  When a person gets saved, that is wonderful, but then he desperately needs the tender loving care of someone who will assume the role of a spiritual parent for him or her. Helping people to grow in the Lord, as with growing children, takes time and requires patience. Sometimes it causes pain and priorities need to be set in our relationships. We don’t raise children overnight, we can’t raise them without growing pains for both parent and child alike, and we can’t impact them for Christ without spending quality time to see them built up in Christ. The Spiritual Parent's heart based on Paul’s double metaphor for an effective leadership — a loving mother who cares for her children and a gentle father who encourages, comforts, and urges his family flock to live lives worthy is important for a church leadeship today. The two sides of spiritual parenting that Paul describe in perfect balance: the tenderness of compassionate, motherly care alongside the fortitude and strength of fatherly love.

Be Blessed.