The destruction of hurricanes Harvey and Irma and their impacts remain fresh, as well as North Korea’s threats, and other stories capturing the attention of our nation. Amid those things, losing track of immediate, ordinary, and ongoing spiritual and practical needs becomes a real possibility. So, this week, I offer six reminders of activities that need intentional attention during these times.
Number one: pursue God. Interact with Him. Seek Him. Distraction stealthily encroaches upon diligence. Its lures, sometimes undetected and uncomfortably natural, are utterly sinister. Spend time with God. Nurture and cultivate your spirituality. Saturate yourself in His word. Cast off every hindrance. Enjoy your Savior.
Number two: live evangelistically. God crafted every Christian into a multiplying saint. No exceptions exist. Look for ways to practice evangelistic living. Prompt others to move closer to Jesus, even to believe in and follow Him. Start with family and work outward. A sea of lost people surrounds every saint, especially in New Mexico.
Number three: love your family. Husband, love your wife. Cherish her. Parents, love your children. Protect, provide for and nurture them. Talk about God and faith at home. Have fun with each other, too. Serve each other. Invest personal attention, time, energy and resources into family relationships.
Number four: serve and support your church. Build relationships with church members. Nurture unity. Participate and serve in church ministries. Faithfully tithe. The entire tithe belongs to the local church. Splitting it among good causes is philanthropy, not tithing. Biblical tithing outweighs philanthropy. Tithe first.
Number five: personally observe Pastor Appreciation Month. Plan to say “I love you and value you” to your pastor, his wife, and any children they still have at home. Dote on them. Write notes. Give gifts. Serve them in some way. Appreciate them. Care for your pastor during October. After making your plan, help your church plan.
Finally, number six, give to the Mission New Mexico State Missions Offering. In New Mexico, hunger remains rampant. Neglected and troubled children need care. Orphans need homes. Struggling and fractured families need help. People need places to retreat and seek God. Churches need reviving. Ministers need crisis care. Disaster victims need relief and assistance. The MNM State Missions Offering funds these ministries. Give on October 1 or during October. Planned giving exceeds giving pocket change. Be generous to those who need you and other New Mexico Baptists to work together.
Stay focused, New Mexico Baptists. Those are the six reminders. Stay on track with God. Live evangelistically. Love your family. Serve and support your church. Observe Pastor Appreciation Month. Give to the MNM State Missions Offering. You and I, along with other believers, are God’s plan. Focus matters. He has no “plan B.”
PS. Don’t forget Pastor Appreciation Month in October!
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Crossing the Lines
The ideas behind this blog emerged from my study and preaching of a message I titled "A Single Step." It was an unexpected message out of Philippians 2:12-18. I'm the one who was surprised. I had a whole different idea of where the sermon would go. Then, I got into the text and followed it. That led, eventually, to the response by individuals after the message. God worked in me and in our congregation. He's still at work.
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