It's important to say the right things. Today there is so much said at once and so much of it is wrong. Communication is important and so it is important to say what is clear and correct. It is also important however, that if you are going to talk the talk you must walk the walk. As a preacher I talk a lot. I study and pray so as to say that which is in keeping with my faith and the word of God. If my actions however do not back up my words then all I am doing is making noise. Yes its true that the Spirit can and does still work despite my imperfections, and it because I am imperfect that I must point people to a perfect savior just as I must be pointed to a perfect savior. Having said all that it is still important that I strive for my actions to always match up with my words. I have recently found that this is more difficult to do than to say. One example is that it's easy to say that we should think of other people more than we think of ourselves. This is a good Christian principle coming from the second greatest commandment, and from numerous verses in the Bible. For a long time I thought this principle just meant being nice people, asking them how they were doing, and opening the door for them, and giving money to those who truly needed it. While all these things are good, they are not indicative to the concept of putting others above self. For believers putting others before one's self has its true meaning when it involves sacrifice. There is nothing wrong with being nice to people and getting the door, but it does not cost much. There will be times in our lives when thinking of others will cause us to have to sacrifice and it is during these times that we are more conformed to the image of Christ. Some times it could that we have to sacrifice our free time in order to comfort someone in times of trouble. Some times it could mean sacrificing something that you wanted to buy because you are spending real money to helps somebody out. Some times it could sacrificing your pride and desires by not saying something that while true, would not help the situation and would hurt the one you love. Love requires sacrifice, which is one of the reason I believe God instituted the family. It takes sacrifice if one is going to be in a family and as any parent will tell you, when the child comes it is all about that child and your thoughts and desires come second. That is sacrifice. Sacrifice is not something that is pleasant. It means putting yourself second which is something no one really wants to do. This is why love is one of the fruits of the Spirit. The scriptures tell us, "Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:13. There is a great video from the Christians who are being persecuted by ISIS stating that they will lay down their lives so that the ones taking them can hear the gospel. Perhaps the reason that many Americans are not seeing the love of Christians is because Christians in America are unwilling to really sacrifice in order demonstrate the love of God to unbelievers. I do not wish to make generalizations as I have witnessed many Christians sacrificing much out of their love for others and the church and of course God, but I believe there are many Christians like me who will only love so long as that love is not too costly. This is not a Christian attitude and reveals a lack of love within the heart. If you find that this is your attitude I invite to reflect upon the love that was shown to you by Jesus. Jesus, "who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bound servant, and coming in the likeness of men. and being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death of the cross." Philippians 2:6-8. When we think about the love and mercy God has shown us we should reflect that love in the treatment of others, and if we are to truly show God's love to the world, then love must be like God's, which means it must be sacrificial. Of course it's easy to talk the talk, God help us to walk the walk.
Here you can read various thoughts and discussions that come from the mind of our Pastor