Archive for September, 2016

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‘An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.’ – 1 Corinthians 7:34b

What does it mean to be concerned about the Lord’s affairs? How would you explain ‘to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit?’ Two questions I posed to my daughter in reading and reflecting on this passage written in 1 Corinthians 7. Transitioning into adulthood, the challenge for the teen is learning to engage in an interactive relationship with God as a priority over pursuing intimate relationships and friendship relationships. A challenge for men and women, youth and adults.

For the adolescent the typical growth and development for them is to pursue interpersonal relationships with their peers in their desire to continue to gain independence from their parents. As I explain to parents in the monthly NFRC parenting seminars, teens are familiar with ‘parent love.’ Since birth, they have experienced the love that comes from the parent-child relationship. Now, their desire is to go out into the world and learn more about this ‘love’ they hear sung about in their music, acted out on television and in the movies. The love they begin to visualize in their own hearts and minds and hear discussed amongst their peers. Lack of ‘parent love’ only heightens their desire for this ‘love’ they seek to encounter as they go out into the world.

1 Corinthians 7:34 is simply saying that the priority purpose for the ‘single’ male, or female, is to be focused on living for God, doing what God requires to demonstrate devotion to Him in one’s personal relationship with Him. Before they learn to do this, the average teen is pursuing their concept of love through peer relationships before they ever learn to develop an intimate, personal relationship with God to learn about love according to His word that would help them better navigate through the trials and temptations of ‘looking for love’ in all the wrong places in this world.

Power from God is receiving grace, or ability from God to live in a right way before Him that fits the Biblical description of being devoted to the Lord and being concerned about His affairs. ‘For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.’ – Philippians 2:13 God helps and empowers the faithful follower to live and thrive in the context of ‘being devoted to Him in body and spirit concerned about His affairs.’ More than the subject of power, I believe this speaks to the heart of ‘living with purpose.’ Discussing this with my daughter, my thinking is that it is God’s desire that we take ownership of our understanding of what He desires of us and requires in walking by faith so we can encounter His power in a way that allows us to live and thrive.

Taking ownership of our ‘purpose in being devoted to God and concerned about His affairs,’ sharpens our focus and helps us to consistently avoid being distracted by and dissuaded from living for God. I believe it allows us, even as a teen, to experience a measure of power from God that can only be encountered through prioritizing to walk in that purpose He desires and requires of us. It is a power and lifestyle that is always accessible and available for us to encounter, but it must be pursued passionately.

  • Power from God begins with prioritizing His purposes for how we live.
  • Power from God begins with a passionate pursuit of a personal, intimate relationship with the Lord.
  • Power from God is accessed in that passionate pursuit through prayer and intentional persistence in applying the principles of scripture.

God works in us to want to and to act in living with purpose according to Philippians 2:13. The moment we make up our mind to live with purpose, according to His will, God will enable and empower us to live and thrive. Male, or female, teen, or adult, the purpose of the person who is single is found in pursuing a personal, intimate relationship with God.

Father, bless us and help us to live with purpose, according to Your word, passionately pursuing You in walking by faith that we may exemplify being devoted to You and concerned about Your affairs.

OutOfTheDarkness

Click on the book to purchase your copy today to discover how to experience the elevated, expanded, exponential lifestyle encountered walking by faith. Learn more about God’s plan, purpose, fulfillment, power, and glory revealed in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

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‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ – Acts 1:8 NIV

Reflecting on the subject of power in relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, my mind’s eye visualizes  Bruce Almighty starring Jim Carrey. What would you do if you were endowed with all of God’s power? How would you make use of unlimited power and resource? The movie, Bruce Almighty, pokes fun at the reality of how our selfishness would get in the way of taking advantage of such a tremendous opportunity and great responsibility. What is most interesting about the movie, is the irony that in all the power and ability Jim Carrey’s character had, he could not possess the one thing he desired most. Jim Carrey’s character, Bruce, could not influence his girlfriend, played by Jennifer Aniston, to love him. His selfishness in making use of his power to amass, attain, and negotiate things to work out in his favor caused him to lose sight of what mattered most.

‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ – Uncle Ben, Spider Man Question? Power from God is power to do what? What is the purpose of that power? Uncle Ben’s words to his nephew Peter Parker were a foreshadowing of what ultimately led to his destiny in donning the blue and red tights after a ‘moment of selfishness’ disabled Peter from using his powers to catch a criminal who later became the culprit in the murder of his Uncle Ben. Peter’s remorse and grief in not capitalizing, in that moment when it mattered, is using his powers for a greater good than to serve his own pleasure compelled him to transcend beyond his individual concerns to the broader concerns of humanity in the use of his power.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. highlighted in his sermon, The Drum Major Instinct, as well as other famous speeches, that the Good Samaritan was a good man, if not great man, because instead of asking what would happen to him if he stopped to help the man on the side of the road, he pondered, ‘What will happen to this man if I do not stop to help him?’ This sermon is inspired from the passage of scripture that involved the dialogue between two of Jesus’ disciples, with jesus, about having the privilege of sitting as his right and left side of his throne when Jesus establishes his kingdom. James and John were thinking about what they could gain from being in a powerful position, or status, as followers of Christ.

When I discuss with my children the notion of their purpose at this stage in their lives, I use my hands to illustrate my desire to see them ascending and moving in an upward direction, climbing, rising, and excelling. I explain to them my desire to see them succeed and get a great head start in life by being resolved and determined not to make choices that would greatly hinder, halt, or impede them in continuously rising above and moving towards what would allow them to be successful in life and thrive. As I talk with them and share this, on the subject of power, I sense and see God saying the same thing to me. I hear the still, small voice of the LORD reminding me and reinforcing to me, as I talk with my children, His desire for me as I share mine with them. Power from God is to live and thrive in a manner that reflects God as the source and resource. Power from God allows me to ascend above and transcend the reality of the condition of my current circumstances to live victoriously. Power from God enables me to be a light to inspire and influence others to come out of the darkness, to serve and support those who are in need of help. An invitation to walk by faith is a tremendous opportunity and great responsibility in making use of the power of God for His glory and the good of others.

Father, bless us and help us to learn to make use of the power we receive from You to bless and benefit others as You bless and benefit us, being careful to do with Your power what You intended for us to do with it in making the world around us a better place.

OutOfTheDarkness

Click on the book to purchase your copy today! Learn insights to experience the power of God to live and thrive. Experience the elevated, expanded, exponential life encountered walking by faith.