Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bloom Where You're Planted

A Word For Living

December 13, 2008
Bloom Where You’re Planted

From Rick Warren, author of “The Purpose Driven Life,” comes this tidbit: "There will always be more people willing to do ‘great’ things for God than there are people willing to do the little things. The race to be a leader is crowded, but the field is wide open for those willing to be servants."

It reminds me of the old preacher saying about eagles on hummingbird nests. The idea so many have is that they can really do something for Christ if they just have the opportunity to bloom on a great stage. Time and again preachers are confronted with those who confess to visiting preachers that they feel stifled in their environment. They need a larger arena.

The old saying, “Bloom where you’re planted” has never been more apropos. The only way we can reach our full potential in life is to be the very best we can at what God has given us to do right now, right here. In His timing He might choose to move you or me to a larger or smaller stage. However, for now, I must serve Him by serving others and demonstrating the very “mind of Christ” in all my doings.

When Jesus spoke of that one who desired the “head table” being embarrassed by being asked to move, He was pointing out natural man’s struggle for acknowledgment. Natural man’s desire to be recognized for his efforts and achievements is unbecoming to the child of God. We are not as those whose only success is the recognition they receive here on this earth from other men. Our reward is to do the work of Him who sends us daily into the morass, knowing that one day He will say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

© 2008 Mike Rasberry

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Word For Living--Pleach

A Word For Living

December 10, 2008

The word “Pleach”, pronounced “playch” is a great word for Christians. It means to interweave the branches of individual plants so as to form a single entity such as a hedge; or to create a decorative shape. The word “plait” is derived from the same source as “pleach” and most of us understand how individual strands of cord are plaited together to add strength and durability. Genuine Believers come from a myriad of backgrounds, but when they are “pleached”, they become strong, resilient, decorative, and extremely useful for the society in which they dwell.

So, how does this “pleaching” take place, seeing that each individual has different natural tendencies, and since his salvation, different spiritual gifts? How do these individuals, who are not like the vines which have no will, become molded into this useful instrument called the local church? It is a process called “discipleship.”

Discipleship is the nitty gritty part of the Christian Life. It is not the Praise and Worship which so effectively lifts us to another level of intimacy with Our Heavenly Father, nor is it the sermons which challenge and provoke us to an examination of our walk with Him. Rather, it is the disciplined study and application of Biblical truth learned in Sunday School and Small Group time that prepares us to deal with life’s treacherous paths.

Jesus discipled the twelve by sitting down to teach them in intimate settings. Should one really desire to become a disciple of Jesus Christ and thereby “pleached” into harmonious unity with the local body of Believers, he should determine to become a learner in his local church Sunday School. If that local assembly doesn’t have such a learning environment, he and his family would be well served to search out a local New Testament Church which has a thriving Bible Study program where dedicated teachers help them explore and understand God’s Word systematically.

In Psalm 133:1 David says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” Unity and union are entirely different concepts. One man said, “You can tie two tom cat’s tails together and you have union, but you sure don’t have unity.” Discipleship is learning how to utilize one’s individual gifts, talents, and natural tendencies within the whole of the body in order to present a beautiful, strong, and durable local body which effectively represents Jesus Christ to the society in which he lives.

© 2008 Mike Rasberry