Take 5 (June 19-23, 2017)

Robert Ballard • Pastor of Worship Ministry

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I Want to Be More Like My Father!

I would love to tell you about my Heavenly Father. He is loving, patient, kind, slow to anger, rich in love, saving, caring, full of grace and truth, powerful, wise, holy, righteous, and all-knowing. Wow…what a Father! So how can we set a better example and be a reflection of Him to those around us? 1 Timothy 4:12 says to set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity. During this Father’s Day week, let’s look at 5 practical ways that we can be more like Him.

MONDAY: What Did You Say?

James 3:8-10

I can still hear the song as if it were being sung yesterday. My Sunday school room was full of elementary aged children who all began to sing O be careful little mouth what you say, O be careful little mouth what you say; for the Father up above is looking down in love, O be careful little mouth what you say. And 30 years later, it still rings true today! The words we use say a lot about us. What we say in front of other people is important. What we say on blog posts, social media, and in private conversation is of equal importance. This is a tough one… but we must strive to avoid unkind, unwise, hurtful and vindictive talk. Our Heavenly Father’s words are truthful, wise, and compassionate.

For Today: Before you say it, run it by your Father first.

TUESDAY: WWJD?

Philippians 1:27

Do you remember the 1990s? It seemed that every teenager had one—a WWJD bracelet or wristband. Some are even around today. WWJD stands for “What Would Jesus Do?” A simple bracelet, yet stitched with such a serious and profound question. To answer the question truthfully, we must look to God’s Word. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul reminds us to let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ. As believers, we have a mandate to represent Christ by our actions. Our “manner of life” (our conduct) should be such that it points others to the gospel.

For Today: Is the way you live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ?

WEDNESDAY: Love God. Love Others.

John 13:35

What if I told you to “love God.” Well, that’s almost always easy to do. Now, what if I told you to “love others just as God loves you.” Now, that’s easier said than done! But what if I told you that loving others as Christ loves you could perhaps be the greatest way that you can reflect the love of your Heavenly Father. In John 13:35, Jesus tells His disciples, By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. More than anything else, our love for others distinguishes us from unbelievers. Love is a result of knowing Christ. Christ is the ultimate example of love. This is how much God loves you: He never stops being patient with you. He never stops believing in you. He never gives up on you. That’s what God expects you to do with everybody else. Christians are called to show a kind of love that others would see as crazy—the same kind that our Heavenly Father shows to us—unconditional and undeserved.

For Today: Show the love of Christ to someone today.

THURSDAY: Keep the Faith!

Hebrews 11:6

What is faith? I’ve heard many definitions over the years, but the one I like goes something like this: “Faith is choosing to believe what God says in spite of what you see or feel around you.” Faith is trusting in and relying on God in every situation. As believers, we walk by faith, and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). We trust that the Bible is true, that Jesus was and is who He says He is, and that God will keep the promises He has made to us. This faith should give us courage to live boldly for Christ because we know God will love, protect, and provide for us no matter what. God wants our faith to set an example for those around us. His constant faithfulness to His children allows us to look back at all He has brought us through—even through our darkest trials and times of trouble. We can rest in the fact that God is a faithful God. We see in the book of Hebrews that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Let me encourage you to begin placing more of your trust in God.

For Today: Ask God to give you a renewed faith in His promises.

FRIDAY: Living a Pure Life

Philippians 4:8

Because of our fallen nature, we cannot reach perfection in this life. Yet, out of obedience, we are to strive to keep God’s commands as a demonstration of our love for Him. As we become more maturing followers of Jesus, He promises to purify us and make us more like Him. We worship the Savior who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good (Titus 2:14). Perhaps the apostle Paul said it best when he wrote this important message to the church at Philippi: …whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Philippians 4:8).

For Today: Ask God for strength to live in purity in all areas of your life.