Wednesday, November 9, 2011

As for me and my household

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Joshua 24:15

“But if serving the LORD
seems undesirable to you, then choose
for yourselves this day whom you will serve,
whether the gods your forefathers served
beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites,
in whose land you are living.
But as for me and my household,
we will serve the LORD.””

Today was very long with church business and planning meetings. We got a lot accomplished but have found that we will need to add an additional meeting each month to get beyond the business at hand and on to things like vision and purpose. Even on days when I am tired from meetings I am thankful for the God that I serve and that I am given the privilege to be a part of building His kingdom. Much like Joshua we need to at times stand up and say if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you and you would prefer to return to your old life - so be it. Me and my family we are going to keep serving the Lord.

We saw a great video while at the Navigate conference about building an plane in the air.  In it they say "were not just building planes, we are building a dream". Sometimes it feels like the task at hand is impossible and we seem to be forever trudging up hill through mud. It is slow going and it is easy to wonder why God may have chose you for such a task. It may be a personal transformation that seems beyond you to overcome. You make two steps forward and one step back. Sometimes you look around and find that you are some how stuck in the same old ruts and ways and you wonder if you will ever manage to get free from the entanglements of the old life. What I love about the bilding a plane in the air video is that its kind of ridiculous it appeals to a heroic sense of adventure. "There's not a lot of thanks up here" - they say but its the smile on a child's face that is "all the thanks I need."

Why do we do the things we do? Why do we bother to try to tackle things that are hard. Why do things like go back to school, its hard, it takes away time from the family. Why do we work long hours, and volunteer at church or in our communities. Why do we go the extra mile for a friend in need? Why do we do those often thankless task that need to be done. Why do we make sacrifices for our family or friends?  It is important to remember why. It helps us keep going on the days that are hard.

It is easy when things get hard to forget the "why". Sometimes we need to re-evaluate because it can be easy to just succumb to the pressure of the urgent and to forget about the things that are important. In the case of my church leadership team we are having to add another meeting to tackle things like visions and direction, to be strategic about how to communicate culture. We have in our hearts a kind of church we want to see become strong and vibrant. We will need to be prayerful and purposeful to get from where we are today, small and struggling to thriving. We look around and see so much need but sympathy alone is not enough. How do we become more kingdom focused. The word says to seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto us. I wonder about that sometimes when I feel frustrated trying to make financial ends meet. Here I am serving you Lord and it seems like it is always a struggle financially. I wonder where is the part about all these things being added unto you.  So today I have gone back to see what all those things are.  I've pasted the passage from Matthew 6 below and I will mark all the things that the Lord promises to add to us if we seek first His kingdom.

Part of that seeking first his kingdom seems to be deciding not to worry.

Dang it I'm guilty of that one all too often.  Most of the time I can reel it in but some days it gets the best of me. Help me trust you more Jesus.

Do Not Worry

    25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink;

or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food,

and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow

or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]?

   28 “And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 

30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

It looks like its about food and clothes and physical needs. We are not to worry about what we will eat or what we will wear. But don't miss where it says not to worry about your life, or tomorrow. Those two kind of cover a much bigger bunch of needs and concerns. Like how to pay the bills and all the things that concern us in our daily lives.
So today let us remember to seek first the kingdom, to choose not to worry and to remember as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Its not always easy but its worth it.  I sound like the guy building the plane in the air but I can look back on the difficulties that I have faced in my life and see that they have indeed molded and shaped me for greater service.


Dear Lord,
We choose to give you our concerns and our worries. We choose to trust you. Help us to not look back to the old life with yearning but to remember that we have chosen to follow you step by step, day by day. You know our needs and you are able to take care of the things that concern us.

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