9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Luke 18:9-14 (NIV)
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and, in your name, perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
As I ponder this question that came into my spirit, I couldn’t help but wonder if the result of our praise, worship, and work reflect that of a church that is in line with the Will of the Father. I would like to think that we are ever striving to reach that mark. But we still have much work to do in order to get there. The truth is that because we are constantly in a moving state of faith toward knowing more about the God we serve and while living in the flesh, I don’t believe we can reach that perfection, but doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
Acts chapter 20:28 reads, “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood."
Beloved, as laborers in the vineyard we spend countless hours preparing our messages, being attentive to our respective congregations, acting as ambassadors for God and the congregations in which He has entrusted us with…but what about time for ourselves?
2018 has come and gone, and if you are anything like me, it left you wondering; where did the time go?
As each year closes and another year begins, many Pastors take self-examination of ourselves; as well as the Church the Lord has blessed us to shepherd through their Christian journey; under His Power and authority.
Those who are not Pastors but love the Lord and are called according to His purpose; also may find themselves taking self-examination of the works they have done throughout the year; knowing that their works don’t save them, but it is a Sovereign act of God alone.
As I reflected and prayed over last year, the Holy Spirit continued to give me the same theme; which is our Church Theme for the 2019 Year: “Striving to show our Faith in God through our works.” James 2:14-26, Matthew 25: 34-40
He gave me this theme along with several “understandings” to keep in mind:
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