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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone!

Ran Zilca, writing for Psychology Today, argues that being too comfortable won't foster the desire and the ambition you need to go after your dreams. He argues that in the short term we do believe comfort is more important, but choosing comfort over taking risks is what leaves many of us with regrets in the long run:

We live in a society where comfort has become a value and a life goal. But comfort reduces our motivation for introducing important transformations in our lives. Sadly, being comfortable often prohibits us from chasing our dreams. Many of us are like lions in the zoo: well-fed but sit around passively stuck in a reactive rut. Comfort equals boring shortsightedness, and a belief that things cannot change. Your comfort zone is your home base, a safe place not to stay in, but to return to, after each exhausting and exhilarating expedition through the wilderness of life. Take a look at your life today, if you are enjoying a shelter of comfort, break through it and go outside where life awaits.

Isn't that true about our faith? When we play it safe or comfortable, our faith isn't stretched and we don't grow into deeper dependence on God. Without getting out of our comfort zones, our faith can become stale, listless and stagnant.

Is there anything in your life or ministry that you are reluctant or scared to venture into? Would doing it be a big risk and undertaking? Would it stretch you and get you out of your comfort zone?

Then perhaps it is the very thing you need to do!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What Does It Mean to be Part of the Body of Christ?

January 24, 2011
What Does It Mean to be Part of the Body of Christ?
Romans 7: 4-6

The body of Christ- those who identify with His teaching. Paul is trying to clarify this concept for us. It is more than agreeing with the philosophy or teaching of Christ or His role in history. We are not just giving accolades to a good prophet.

It means if you are united with the living Christ. Paul puts this into the context of marriage. We are to be united with Him in our living. If you’re not united, you cannot pull down the promises of God.

“somatas tu Christu”= to be part of the body of Christ- describes the works and the workers of God’s will.

To be alive, a thing must be actively doing something.
We are consumed with dead passions, dead pursuits.
What are you doing in your activity with and for Christ?

If you are in the body of Christ you should be bearing fruit!
It is very Pauline- many can come together to do one work.

@ Acts 9 [the blinding and transformation of Paul]. Jesus asks, “Why are you prosecuting me?” What you do to the least of these, you do to me! Be careful who you antagonize, persecute, marginalize, trivialize. Jesus knocks people off their prosecutorial attitudes.

Vital to know how we are called by Christ.

The title “The Body of Christ” is:

1. Definitive- shows identification- defining who and whose we are. We are a possession, owned by Jesus Christ. We move on His command. Your life should show some Godly distinction.

2. Descriptive- suggests type and form. An association of members and organs that are real, lively and have functionality that can act under the direction and guidance of God.

a. Or do you work out of habit and hazard?
b. We are to be called to be what God has called us to be to glorify Him. We should define ourselves by our spiritual industry. We must put down our own work for Christ’s work.

3. Declarative- we make known the will of God. Jesus is actively working in this world through His Spirit and body.

a. He uses us as a means of grace.
b. Grace is not just a quality of the Holy Ghost, it is a quality of the believer.
c. We are the recipients and repositories of His grace.
d. Our lives should be a means of transmitting grace into the world

The body of Christ is not just a metaphor, it is a metaphysical reality.

We are mechanisms for Christ’s divine directives.

It is not just a spiritual phenomenon, but a right-now reality.

Every day and all-day, you are a part of the body of Christ.