Take 5 (July 6-10, 2015)

take5

Chad Cowan • Pastor of Care Ministries

The Abundant Life

In the second half of John 10:10 Christ makes a strong assertion, “I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” Do you ever wonder, where is this abundant life? In the midst of life’s heartaches, in can be difficult to see exactly what the abundant life is. This week, we’ll focus on Luke 9:23, which illumines for the reader how they may grasp this kind of life.

Monday: Desire

Luke 9:23, Luke 14:25-34

If we want to take up God on His offer for the abundant life, we’re going to have to do things His way. Christ refers to His followers as disciples, and it order to become one, we’ll need to start our journey with desire. In Luke 9:23, the text states, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Jesus promises eternal reward, glory, the absolute deepest desire of the human being will be fulfilled for His disciples.

For Today: Pray that God would increase your desire for Him.

Tuesday: Can it do what I need it to?

3 John 12,13

I’m sure you’ve been there. Something tragic has happened to someone you know, and you’re trying to figure out what to do next. Would an email do? Should I send them a text? Would a phone call be too forward? Technology has enabled us to contact others in a variety of ways, but what’s appropriate? This is exactly the struggle that John was having when he was communicating with his friend Gaius, and at that time the only option was pen and ink versus face to face. One big question to ask yourself, is what do you desire to do? Start there, and then pray about what God would have you to do next.

For Today: Consider setting up an appointment with someone, and communicating with them face to face.

Wednesday: Will it tempt my flesh?

Galatians 5:17

When I was 9 years old, myself and two of my friends found a magazine while playing in the woods near our home, called Playboy. This was my first exposure to pornography, and there were images that were burned in my mind that day, that have stuck with me since. This was about 30 years ago, and now, no nine year old need to find something laying in the woods, rather its piped right into a home computer or smart phone. We’re told in Galatians, that there is a constant struggle between our flesh and the Spirit. So how might technology be tempting you? Does your pride demand you have the latest and greatest? Are you struggling with pornography?

For Today: Ask God to show your area of weakness and determine a plan to prevent further sin.

Thursday: What about your family?

Ephesians 5:18

Recently, my wife and I were sensing that we weren’t as connected as we should be. We just didn’t understand why we didn’t know more about what was going on in each other’s lives. After a bit of introspection, we learned the culprit…IT WAS THE TV! Instead of having our normal time together at the dinner table, we were crashing in front of the TV to watch the news, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy. While these things are not wrong in and of themselves, they can’t be allowed to run our lives! In Ephesians 5, Paul makes it clear that we are to be controlled by the Holy Spirit alone. If there’s one thing that the Bible is clear on, intimacy with one’s spouse is a priority. How is technology encroaching on your relationships?

For Today: Next time you sit with your family; turn off the cell phone and TV. See if your connections with them grow.

Friday: What about your church?

Hebrews 10:25

When it comes to the Christian life, no man (or woman) is an island. Sunday worship, community groups, and the act of communion itself is not something that is meant to be done alone. One of the big problems that comes with technology is isolation. No one realized this more than a group of trapped Chilean miners. In 2010, these men decided as a group not to allow personal music players or video games because they determined that “those tend to isolate people from one another.” Are you allowing technology to prevent you from being in godly relationships with people?

For Today: Examine yourself, if you were to die today, who would carry your casket?