Since last I blogged Bible Gateway and other online Bible providers have removed the NIV '84 at the publisher's request. I refuse to use the new NIV due to its liberal translation of God's Word so this leaves me no choice but to go back to the printed form of the Bible. Such hardships in this current age of technology. :-)
I am sitting here in my store this morning, with my coffee beside me and God's Word open before me and I am tired. I went into partnership with my son, running a small coffee shop type of store. He needed a partner and I saw it as a means of connecting with people in the neighbourhood. I have to tell you though, it is a lot of work. It's hard to believe that people do this day on and day out just to make a dollar.There has to be easier ways to make money.
I would think that it is an easy thing to become discouraged running a business like this, as bill after bill pour in and income expectation is not always reached. I can tell you, if money was my motivation I would have walked away from this after the first week. But money isn't my motivation. Connecting with people for Jesus is the reason I am involved with this project. That means the financial burden is not so great and the discouragement is kept outside because profit margins don't bring me down.
How we handle life is going to depend on our motivation. Motivation dictates expectation and when expectation is not met then all kinds of emotions run their course. Wrong expectations can be a killer especially when they are based on a false sense of purpose. Perhaps this is why Paul reminded Timothy:
"Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David." (2 Timothy 2:8, NIV '84)
It seems a strange thing to say to a minister of the gospel or even just an ordinary Christian: Remember Jesus.Well, yes, of course I will remember Jesus. But did I yesterday? Did I remember him in the many decisions I made or in every conversation I had? Was he the motivation for my kindness, for my service, for my smiles?It is easy to be me without thinking of Jesus. I am usually a kind and generous guy, but kindness and generosity is not going to reveal the gospel of Jesus to a dying people.
The command to remember Jesus is a reminder that everything must come from him. Our motivation for everything we do must spring from the love of Jesus for us. It is not good enough that I am kind. The type of kindness that changes the world is that which is anointed, that comes from the seed of Jesus Christ. Anything else will fade away. Only that which comes from Jesus has the qualities of eternity knit into it.
I am telling you, you are kind, special, beautiful, talented and a hundred other things that I could say if I knew you better, but none of it matters. All that matters is what springs out of our relationship with Jesus. These are the only things that have the anointing of the Spirit. It is great that we offer our everything to Jesus but we don't have anything he needs.What he wants is our death and rebirth so that we are empty vessels, allowing him to fill us with what we need to serve him. Until we discover that for ourselves we will continue wasting our energy in actions and activities that have no eternal power,as nice and kind as they are.
Remember Jesus Christ. Set aside any other motivation. Stop trying to serve him in your own capacity. Instead, allow him to be your motivation in every word you speak, action you take, decision you make. Then watch what he accomplishes through you.